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Michael Sudworth

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About Michael Sudworth

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  1. There is so much truth in this statement. I used to listen to my grandmother talk about her first, and subsequent visits to the temple. In her day, they dedicated nearly a full day to initiatory and endowment services. I think it would be a tremendous blessing for us to have the opportunity to be in the temple for an extended period.
  2. When I worked in the temple back in 2005 (IIRC), we had a meeting in January where President Hinckley's changes to initiatory were explained along with details of how the updated ordinance was to be performed. I only worked in the temple less than a year so I don't know if these January meetings were regular or not.
  3. Alaris -- I think you have provided very strong evidence that some early Church leaders held beliefs about a divinely-guided figure in the Last Days named David. However, you have not provided sufficient evidence that we should accept this information in the sources you cite. There are plenty of things printed in the Times and Seasons that we don't accept today. Joseph Smith made a clear doctrinal error in the King Follett Discourse when he reference infants (President Smith was right to have this reference redacted from official printings of the text). Why should we accept the references you cite? Even if Joseph said something, that doesn't mean we automatically accept it. There is an order and process to these things. The bigger problem with your argument is about the use of Scripture in the Hebrew Bible. In both Ezekiel and Isaiah, we know that when the seed of David is referenced, this almost always refers to Christ and his coming Kingdom. David list his throne, but Christ is the True King. That's how the symbolism is employed throughout the text. I don't think your scriptural evidence supports any conclusion beyond the traditional understanding that references to David's kingship of Israel, always lead to Christ. Lastly, I'm not sure how believing in, or concerning yourself with this coming David Servant does any practical good. Follow the mainstream of the Church and follow the Prophet. I think we have to tread carefully when we become highly interested in on particular aspect of the Gospel.
  4. That the Book of Abraham makes specific cosmological claims is not in question. The text makes very explicit claims. I disagree on both points. I'm very sympathetic to Pragmatism and the philosophies of Wittgenstein and Rorty. I'm genuinely curious how you are applying, in practice, your interpretation of these men. I'm simply questioning what appears to be an incredibly narrow reading. My mother likes to think so. My wife remains unconvinced.
  5. Then why, in your view, does the BoA make very specific claims about the physical world? It seems an arbitrary distinction to pay attention to the spiritual message of the BoA and completely ignore the additional information provided in the book.
  6. No one is debating this point. Of course, poetry -- like all other art -- is not dependent on facts to have value. But there are a few things you are not giving due consideration. First, you are insisting that a poem (or scripture etc...) has a single purpose: to convey "spiritual meaning." Yet you have failed to substantiate this claim. No one is doubting that spiritual value is certainly one aspect of poetry or scriptures. But neither poetry nor scriptures are constrained in providing spiritual meaning exclusively. Homer was a poet and historian. Scriptures contain both spiritual value and historical facts. Second, you are unduly separating author intent from meaning. This seems to be a horribly post-modern thing to do and I am not convinced you fully grasp the implications of your proposals. Poetry may have value absent facts. But a history book without facts or with false claims, is worthless and is completely without value. The work an author produces should be what the author presents it to be. But by using your logic, we should fully embrace the Hoffman forgeries because they give us an insight into the culture, time and place of Joseph Smith. Never mind that they are completely fake. This is why the epistemology you present here is so problematic in the context of the Gospel. You are encouraging people to ignore lies and distortions as long as the story "has value." I think Elder Dunn serves as a cautionary tale in this case. Third, you seem to regard Rorty as some sort of prophetic voice. You mentioned earlier how other philosophers simply haven't had the courage to go down the road Rorty has taken us. You will pardon me for rejecting this claim outright. By rejecting all that came before Rorty, you are throwing out both baby and bathwater.
  7. Can you explain what this sentence means? I'm trying to engage your ideas on a serious level. Cryptic and evasive replies make that challenging.
  8. This statement is incorrect. You are asserting a false dichotomy with no supporting evidence. The Book of Abraham teaches us *both* "how to go to heaven" and "how the heavens go." On what basis are you asserting we need adopt a subset of what the scriptures teach us? But don't you ignore the vast majority of the text of the book? Didn't the Lord give us those words for a purpose? I think I understand the Book of Abraham quite well. It teaches me spiritual truths. It also teaches me truths about the physical world. I do not understand this sentence. Rhetoric like this is ultimately counterproductive.
  9. There is a lot of nonsense at Sunstone that they don't want you to know about.
  10. This weekend, Sunstone reached out begging for money. I've subscribed in the past, attended a conference years and years ago.... I was thinking about tossing them a few bucks since I do really enjoy the Magazine -- even if the symposium has become a complete joke. And then I saw that Sunstone has banned Kirby. Well, they are never getting any more of my money. It would be better to give to the Interpreter IMO. Sunstone has fully embraced the SJW/victim mentality. They deserve the bankruptcy that has resulted.
  11. I don't understand what point you are trying to make. What is an empirical observation? Carmack's data? Or Exiled's comment on it? You say the data is what the data is. As if data just naturally appears. Nope. Data is collected by human beings with biases and agendas. In order to assess both the quality of data and the conclusions drawn from that data, we must first understand if the data was collected such that we can feel confident in our interpretations of that data. As they say, garbage in, garbage out. It is perfectly reasonable to expect Carmack to clarify and justify his thesis. Why are you showing a bias for conclusions drawn in the future? Does the passage of time ensure that later explanations and interpretations are superior? We can, and should, learn from the data now. If our understanding is refined in the future, fantastic.
  12. With the exception of Kate Kelly, I do think there was change over time in how the Church was approached and discussed. Kelly was a disbelieving and insincere agitator from the beginning IMO. I think this is a good description. But, with the exception of Denver Snuffer, I don't think that these folks set themselves up as alternative or superior authority to Church leaders. Rather, they set themselves up as "authorities" within the exmo crowd. Once they gave up on the Church, they all sought "martyrdom" and the 15 minutes of accolades it provides.
  13. Having listened to Bill for a while, I believe that he started out with the absolute best of intentions. Really trying to bridge the gap between doubter and believer. However, I think at some point Brother Reel became disaffected. After this his podcasts were much more negative. While his early episodes were legitimately helpful, the past couple of years have been overwhelmingly negative and antagonistic. As I said above, anyone who things this theatre and eventual outcome are real, they must be pretty dim.
  14. I completely agree with this. Being a member of a community is, ultimately, a choice. It is a relationship. I personally think highly of Brother Reel. I like him a lot. But he is doing the precise opposite of what one should do. To Brother Reel, I would say: who are you to try and dictate Church policy by using agitation? Not sure where Brother Reel is working these days but I imagine if he did a podcast about his boss in very public and negative way -- EVEN IF WHAT WAS SAID WAS TRUE -- Brother Reel would be rightfully be fired. I'm not saying there aren't areas where the Church can improve. I believe both the "sister in Parowan" and Elder Holland should be part of the conversation about how to work through and address the things people may be concerned about. But treating the Church as if it were Congress to be lobbied and pressured, is a mistake on several levels.
  15. Hello MNM I don't think your logic here is sound. Simply because something isn't widely known, doesn't mean it doesn't have significant impact on the lives of those involved. This thread is 11 pages in, after all, so certainly there are folks who have feelings one way or the other about Brother Reel. Who are we to tell others what relationship they should have with the Church? I have a good friend who grew up in SLC back in the 50's and 60's. This person isn't a believing member, maybe shows up to Church once every couple of years for a baby blessing. Yet, this person still considers themselves Mormon and they have a great appreciation for the culture and values this person was raised with. There is much to love about the LDS Church even if one doubts or disbelieves. I don't think we should shut the door on anyone. Having said that, Brother Reel -- much like John Dehlin, Kate Kelly, and the Toscanos -- has been poking the Church for years. He knew it would come to this, and I suspect that is what he wants. Brother Reel will be lauded in the exmo community for a while. But it will fade. If folks buy into this manufactured theatre as if it is real, then they are pretty dimwitted.
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