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RedSox

Church History in Church Materials

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Uncle Dale, you are a wealth of knowledge.  Thanks for the tidbits that touch so many subjects.

We all have our hobbies, I suppose.

I'm really terrible when it comes to hockey teams, hip hop lyrics, and fudge recipes.

d'Unk

I'll share a really good fudge recipe I got from the Marshmallow Creme label, if you won't curse me later for not revealing how many calories each serving contains.

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I'll share a really good fudge recipe I got from the Marshmallow Creme label, if you won't curse me later for not revealing how many calories each serving contains.

Before you type it out, let me do a quick check to make sure that Zakuska and

MorningStar are not signed on right now

[multiple mouse clicking sounds and sigh of relief].....

OK -- the coast is clear.

d'Unk

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I don't know where this stuff is supposedly hidden?  I distincly remember Ensign articles on the Mountain Meadows Massacre and the Church putting up a monument there.  Most of the quotes from Church history and officials are available on lds.org and on BYU and other LDS sites.  The history on the LDS Church is very, very well published and mostly by LDS sources.

Are there really lessons in the Catholic investigator lessons there are lessons on the inquisition and the political maneuverings of the Church through the middle ages and reformation from the standpoint of their critics?  (Don't get me wrong, this isn't sarcasm or a pot shot, I'm just surprised if they do this as part of the investigator classes.)

How much of the Vatican library is available to the public without reservation?

I think the circumstances of the LDS and RCC are probably more similar than dissimilar in terms of what they share and what they don't in their teaching publications.

Like I said, you're more than welcome to check it out yourself anytime at any parish anywhere. You can even study up on all the anti-Catholic stuff you want and "challenge" your instructor (who is usually an appropriately knowledgeable lay person) in front on everyone.

Here are a few usual syllabi (?) for RCIA. Of course it might vary a little from diocese to diocese, but the important lessons would be universal. I know all classes to have a question and answer period at the end....so if you want to bring something up that was from a few classes back, you absolutely can.

http://www.stjohn-stillwater.org/org/RCIA/index.html

http://www.incarnationparish.org/rcia/currentschedule.pdf

I notice this one has a "Stump the priest" class, but only has half it's syllabus posted. That ones probably a fun class. :P

http://www.fouroeight.com/rcia/schedule.asp

I think this site says it very well what the general attitude is at RCIA. http://www.stvdep.org/share/rcia.asp

During the sessions, we hear presentations on topics like the Bible, the Sacraments of the Catholic Church, prayer, Church history, the liturgical year, social justice and service issues, and the Mass. The speakers welcome questions, and the parish staff is always available to answer questions as well. We love questions -- even the tough ones! We want to provide you with all the information you need to make an informed decision -- and one that you

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I don't know where this stuff is supposedly hidden?  I distincly remember Ensign articles on the Mountain Meadows Massacre and the Church putting up a monument there.  Most of the quotes from Church history and officials are available on lds.org and on BYU and other LDS sites.  The history on the LDS Church is very, very well published and mostly by LDS sources.

Are there really lessons in the Catholic investigator lessons there are lessons on the inquisition and the political maneuverings of the Church through the middle ages and reformation from the standpoint of their critics?  (Don't get me wrong, this isn't sarcasm or a pot shot, I'm just surprised if they do this as part of the investigator classes.)

How much of the Vatican library is available to the public without reservation?

I think the circumstances of the LDS and RCC are probably more similar than dissimilar in terms of what they share and what they don't in their teaching publications.

Like I said, you're more than welcome to check it out yourself anytime at any parish anywhere. You can even study up on all the anti-Catholic stuff you want and "challenge" your instructor (who is usually an appropriately knowledgeable lay person) in front on everyone.

Here are a few usual syllabi (?) for RCIA. Of course it might vary a little from diocese to diocese, but the important lessons would be universal. I know all classes to have a question and answer period at the end....so if you want to bring something up that was from a few classes back, you absolutely can.

http://www.stjohn-stillwater.org/org/RCIA/index.html

http://www.incarnationparish.org/rcia/currentschedule.pdf

I notice this one has a "Stump the priest" class, but only has half it's syllabus posted. That ones probably a fun class. <_<

http://www.fouroeight.com/rcia/schedule.asp

I think this site says it very well what the general attitude is at RCIA. http://www.stvdep.org/share/rcia.asp

During the sessions, we hear presentations on topics like the Bible, the Sacraments of the Catholic Church, prayer, Church history, the liturgical year, social justice and service issues, and the Mass. The speakers welcome questions, and the parish staff is always available to answer questions as well. We love questions -- even the tough ones! We want to provide you with all the information you need to make an informed decision -- and one that you

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Thank you for your reply. I'm sorry I was premature in my assesment that you wouldn't answer my questions.

The missionaries also deal with tough questions and answer them to the best of their ablility (although they won't get bogged down in the minutia when they have the basics to teach).

How would the teachers of these classes deal with questions about the moments in Catholic history. Is there a posibility that they would also defer the most critical views of Catholocism for another time or place than classes designed to orient new members?

I just saw a TV show where they asked a Vatican libraian about access to the papers there and they said that not all were public for obvious reasons.

I think the two Church bodies are more similar than different in how they handle their history and private papers, and it doesn't seem to me that either one of us need to be throwing stones in our respective stained glass lined sanctuaries.

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What I meant to imply there was that the LDS know (as do a few others ) that they would likely not gain as many converts with this type of new approach than if they stuck to their current practice....especially attempting to sell their brand as mainstream Christianity.

Only those who are terminally clueless about the Church of Jesus Christ really believe that we are "attempting to sell [our] brand as mainstream Christianity." Although there are a lot more people who assert that than who actually believe it. Are you, by any chance, one of them?

But you've held up your church as a righteous example of "telling all" before baptism. So tell us, CG: in those RCIA classes you wax so rapturous about, how many hours are spent discussing the Reign of the Harlots? In how much detail do they examine the interrogation practices of the Inquisition? Is it disclosed that the Roman Inquisition was still torturing heretics up until the time Garibaldi's army captured the city, just as the Spanish Inquisition did until Napoleon's army took over? When the RCIA teacher explains about popes deposing monarchs, does she do so proudly or regretfully? Are they told about the Indulgence given to the soldiers who participated in the St. Bartholomew's Day Massacre? Are they told about Indulgences at all? Is the depopulation of the Languedoc region of France discussed in any detail?

Inquiring minds want to know!

Regards,

Pahoran

Pahoran,

RCIA is usually once a week for about 48 weeks. The questions of the Inquistion, the Indulgences, and other church history that would be considered controversial are usually discussed in the first class titled "Introduction to Catholicism" but also in several more classes with their relevance to those topics. This would include Church History, the Protestant Reformation, the Magisterium, the Scrutinies, and the Exorcism Rites (not the kind you see in the movies, either :P ).

If you were to audit an RCIA class, you could ask these very questions you raised openly and freely and be answered openly and freely in front of the entire class. I would challenge all who doubt to try it.

But I realize that Mormon missions are only two years and that would only amount to teaching two class groups if we were to directly compare the conversion process of our respective churches. Not to mention these missionariers would also have to undergo much more catechisical training to teach all the in-depth classes that would equal the RCIA program.

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We don't rely on missionaries to all of our teaching. We have home teaching, Sunday School and Prieshood/Relief Society, new member classes, seminary (high school history and doctrine classes), Institute (college and adult classes) and a plethora of publications and associated agencies that deal with these questions.

Of course in any of these venues, just as with the Catholics, if someone asked we'd try to get them the best answers we could.

None of it is hidden. There is not a single topic that you have mentioned that cannot be found discussed in official Church publications. I've often heard anti-mormons tell me that their best source of information if not their exclusive source is LDS Church publications.

I'm not accusing the Catholics of hiding their history, why are you accusing the LDS of hiding theirs, when it is avialable in detail through primarily official Church sources, and certainly avialable in places like this without fear of censure by the Church?

I just think the accusations on your part of "hiding our history from investigators" are unfair and heavy handed.

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This is an interesting question that intrigues me. Should the Church desterilize their official materials? Should polygamy and prohibition on the priesthood be addressed in their materials?

Some will say that is the obligation of the church member to do their research. While in the U.S. and Canada may have ample access, what about Church members in Ghana, Kenya, or other similar places? I had a friend from Kenya who said that he had never heard of the prohibition on the priesthood until he had been in Utah for 18 months. Should he have known? The missionaries didn't tell him. In my experience, some general authorities don't know, or don't admit to knowing, some of the more difficult aspects of Church history.

So, what do you think? Is it the Church's obligation to inform its members or is it the members duty to inform themselves, even if the information is only available through the agents of the church (missionaries, leaders, etc.)

The church is only obligated to do what God tells it to do. End of discussion.

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I also know that, as missionaries, when we'd get an especially difficult question that we felt we couldn't handle, we'd often bring along an institute director or an educated member with us to help with the apologetics. One of my former missionary companions, Elder Avanesyan (he's from Armenia), actually brought along one of the moderators (I believe) of this messageboard, who was serving as a ward mission leader at the time. Elder A said that his participation was very helpful.

I think what it really boils down to is what you feel ought to play the major role in conversion: faith and spirituality or knowledge and academics. Different people feel comfortable with different preferences there.

Personally, I tend to side with Alvin Dyer. I give mad props to that apostle, I've got to tell you.

http://www.usna.edu/LDSSA/Resource%20File/...0Missionary.doc

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The church is only obligated to do what God tells it to do. End of discussion.

Well that's true but it makes for boring apologetic discussions. :P

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How would the teachers of these classes deal with questions about the moments in Catholic history.  Is there a posibility that they would also defer the most critical views of Catholocism for another time or place than classes designed to orient new members?

I just saw a TV show where they asked a Vatican libraian about access to the papers there and they said that not all were public for obvious reasons.

I think the two Church bodies are more similar than different in how they handle their history and private papers, and it doesn't seem to me that either one of us need to be throwing stones in our respective stained glass lined sanctuaries.

How would the teachers of these classes deal with questions about the moments in Catholic history.  Is there a posibility that they would also defer the most critical views of Catholocism for another time or place than classes designed to orient new members?

No, they do not. It's done all right there in front of everyone. They want prospective members to make an informed decision.

I just saw a TV show where they asked a Vatican libraian about access to the papers there and they said that not all were public for obvious reasons.

By obvious reasons, do you mean having any ole Tom, ****, or Harry walking in there and putting his oily fingers all over ancient artifacts? We all have to protect our heritage :P

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Pahoran,

RCIA is usually once a week for about 48 weeks. The questions of the Inquistion, the Indulgences, and other church history that would be considered controversial are usually discussed in the first class titled "Introduction to Catholicism" but also in several more classes with their relevance to those topics. This would include Church History, the Protestant Reformation, the Magisterium, the Scrutinies, and the Exorcism Rites (not the kind you see in the movies, either :P ).

If you were to audit an RCIA class, you could ask these very questions you raised openly and freely and be answered openly and freely in front of the entire class. I would challenge all who doubt to try it.

But I realize that Mormon missions are only two years and that would only amount to teaching two class groups if we were to directly compare the conversion process of our respective churches. Not to mention these missionariers would also have to undergo much more catechisical training to teach all the in-depth classes that would equal the RCIA program.

It appears Philip would also be advised to drastically alter his teaching and conversion process if he were to match that of the Catholic church.

Acts 8

34 And the eunuch answered Philip, and said, I pray thee, of whom speaketh the prophet this? of himself, or of some other man?

35 Then Philip opened his mouth, and began at the same scripture, and preached unto him Jesus.

36 And as they went on their way, they came unto a certain water: and the eunuch said, See, here is water; what doth hinder me to be baptized?

37 And Philip said, If thou believest with all thine heart, thou mayest. And he answered and said, I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God.

38 And he commanded the chariot to stand still: and they went down both into the water, both Philip and the eunuch; and he baptized him.

39 And when they were come up out of the water, the Spirit of the Lord caught away Philip, that the eunuch saw him no more: and he went on his way rejoicing.

It doesn't appear Philip described at length the racist policy of denying baptism to Gentiles or the delicate issue of circumcision. <_<

What he did do was confirm the potential convert had received a pure spiritual witness that Jesus Christ was the Son of God. With that, he qualified for baptism.

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so catholic girl,if the RCC denies access, it is to protect heritage, but if the LDS Church does it, it is hiding it's history. I see. Glad to know where you are coming from. Thanks.

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I think what it really boils down to is what you feel ought to play the major role in conversion: faith and spirituality or knowledge and academics. Different people feel comfortable with different preferences there.

I agree with you.....but why not aim for both? :P

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How would the teachers of these classes deal with questions about the moments in Catholic history.

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I can't help but think, in the context of this discussion, of Matthew 4:17-22 as that passage appears in the Really Revised King James Version:

From that time Jesus began to teach regular annual seminars, and to say, Come weekly, for the kingdom of heaven may prove attractive to you if you have a thorough understanding of its history, doctrine, and prospects.

And Jesus, walking by the Sea of Galilee, saw two brethren, Simon called Peter, and Andrew his brother, casting a net into the sea: for they were fishers.

And he saith unto them, Follow me, and after lengthy catechetical training I will make you fishers of men.

And they straightway left their nets for a moment to sign up for a year of weekly catechesis, followed by more specialized theological education that would qualify them to be missionaries and clergy.

And going on from thence, he saw two other brethren, James the son of Zebedee, and John his brother, in a ship with Zebedee their father, mending their nets; and he called them.

And they immediately left the ship and their father just long enough to register for a course in religious history and doctrine that would permit them to make a carefully considered decision as to whether or not they would follow Jesus.

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so catholic girl,if the RCC denies access, it is to protect heritage, but if the LDS Church does it, it is hiding it's history.

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Where she's coming from is that the same practices that are followed by the Catholics and the Latter-day Saints come under different standards of criticism by you.

I have not accused the Catholics of hiding their history by having standards for who can handle their ancient documents or access the personal papers and internal communications of their leaders (and not all off limits documents in the Vatican or in Salt Lake City are off limits for antiquity reasons only)...

I have not accused the Catholics of hiding difficult parts of their history from potential converts because they don't publish them in their teaching materials and disseminate them as a part of their prosyliting activities.

You on the other hand made some pretty sharp accusations of the LDS hiding things about our history and doctrines from potential converts for precicely those reasons.

Can we share an even standard for both Churches without accusing each other of hiding the truth?

Dr Petersons sly parody is spot on. The Church is not in the business of publishing a detailed history in order to inform potential converts, although those histories are available and the bulk of them through official LDS sources. The accusation of "hiding" them seems misplaced at best.

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I'm beginning to enjoy the Really Revised King James Version. Here's Acts 9:1-6:

And Saul, yet breathing out threatenings and slaughter against the disciples of the Lord, went unto the high priest,

And desired of him letters of recommendation to Damascus to the synagogues, that he might gain admission to day school classes there from some really charismatic teachers.

And as he journeyed, he came near Damascus: and suddenly there shined round about him a light from heaven:

And he fell to the earth, and heard a voice saying unto him, Saul, Saul, why haven't you signed up for the classes that we're offering?

And he said, Who art thou, Lord?  And the Lord said, I am Jesus, the founder of the organization that administers the very best adult religious education classes and catechetical seminars in the land of Syria-Palestine: it is hard for thee to know what to do without the proper training.

And he trembling and astonished said, Lord, what wilt thou have me to do?  And the Lord said unto him, Arise, and go into the city, and the registrar there shall give thee the proper enrollment forms and tell thee what to do.  You have promise, young fellow, and we're seeking qualified professionals to help us extend our franchise throughout the Mediterranean basin and beyond.  Doth this career-path appeal to thee?

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And he said, Who art thou, Lord?  And the Lord said, I am Jesus, the founder of the organization that administers the very best adult religious education classes and catechetical seminars in the land of Syria-Palestine: it is hard for thee to know what to do without the proper training.

The learned scholars of the Hebrew scriptures, in the past, have pondered the

figure of the "suffering servant" in Isaiah and the "son of man" in Daniel, and have

seen that in each case a type or a persona of the covenant people.

From such earlier composite human symbols, Saul of Taursus very likely drew

his vocabulary for the ecclesiastical analogy of the "Body of Christ." Whether this

was an innovation of the epistle writer, or his borrowing from earlier Jesus followers,

we will perhaps never know --- still, it is a powerful and poignant symbol for the

covenant people, the "congregation" who call Jesus "Lord."

Within that living body are many callings -- many professions -- multiple talents --

a myriad of occupations, specialities, offices and responsibilities.

To some it is given to be teachers, to others healers, to others laborers, organizers,

planners, messengers, leaders, truth-tellers, architects, nurses, companions, helpers

and many, many other interdependant callings.

We work together to edify and extend the body -- to keep the members of that body

strong, spiritually healthy, dedicated, and joyful.

And in that mission, and each in our callings, according to our telents and abilities,

we do what we can, to bring forth and establish the cause of Zion.

In that latter day work there is a place for theologians -- just as there is a place

for cooks and cleaners. There is a place for scribes -- just as there is a place for

farmers and workers of metals. There is a place for editors of learned journals --

just as there is a place for critics of grammar, or lawyers, or linguists.

Were it not so -- what would be the fate of the infant, who cannot think maturely;

or of the aged, who are too feeble to work; or of the traumatized, the sick, the

mentally challenged, the senile, the lost, the helpless, the frightened?

Together we are joint heirs in Messiah -- divided, we become rivals and enemies.

He who has ears to hear --

-- Let him hear.

Uncle Dale

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Both polygamy and the 1978 revelation on priesthood (which necessarily entails mention of the pre-1978 priesthood ordination ban) are discussed in Church materials -- e.g., in My Kingdom Shall Roll Forth and in Our Heritage each of which has been used at least twice in the Gospel Doctrine teaching cycle (i.e., for a total of at least four occurrences in the Gospel Doctrine teaching cycle during recent years). Both are also discussed in Church HIstory in the Fulness of Times, the textbook used in the Church's college-level religion courses on all three BYU campuses and throughout the Institute system. 

Mr. Peterson, Our Heritage, has not been used, to my knowledge since 1998. I've taught both Gospel Doctrine and Priesthood, and I've never used either, though I can't speak for My Kingdom Shall Roll Forth.

And while the institute manyual may include such admissions, I think you can tell the effectiveness of their inclusion by asking institute students the question, "Was Joseph Smith a polygamist?" Or, "Why were black men prohibited from holding the priesthood?"

But, we're in the here and now! I'm actually quite intrigued by Mormon polygamy, and I'd love to talk frankly about it in church, but doing so is like talking about that dirty family secret...

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I undertand and appreciate "milk before meat." However, prior to baptizing a man who was African-American, I felt compelled to inform him of the church's racist past and the policy that flowed from it. He appreciated, understood, and is still an active member.

When I told him, did I know that there was a chance that he wouldn't want to be baptized? Certainly.

If I hadn't told him, and he found out later, would he feel deceived and betrayed? Probably.

Is it best to be honest (meaning telling the whole truth?) Indubitably.

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Church is not a place to have "fun" discussions. ILAut and others, we should measure everything that happens in our meetings by the threefold mission of the Church. If it doesn't directly support one of those goals, there is no place for it.

How many minutes a week do the Saints have for instruction? Sacrament meeting, maybe 30 minutes of instruction time, Sunday School, 40 minutes, RS or priesthood, 30 minutes. To perfect the Saints? Should we get distracted by fruitless discussions of something that makes no difference in our salvation?

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I think what it really boils down to is what you feel ought to play the major role in conversion: faith and spirituality or knowledge and academics. Different people feel comfortable with different preferences there.

I agree with you.....but why not aim for both? :P

Ever tried it before?

Teach by the Spirit or Teach by Indoctrination. It's hard to do both simultaneously, speaking from experience.

We do aim for both the spiritual and the academic, but you have to strike a balance. If you say "I want to know everything before I get baptized," you're saying, basically, that even if the spirit prompts you to do it, you won't put faith in that prompting - you're laying a condition on the promptings of the holy ghost. On the other hand, the spirit isn't supposed to tell you the answers to everything without you studying it out some, so you have to examine things for yourself and do some honest research as well.

Kawakidave made a good point, and I tend to balance it more the way that Phillip and Alvin Dyer balanced it.

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Should we gloss over important events of the past because they make us appear ...ghast....human? I think that there are important lessons to be learned, perhaps the most important lessons, by looking into our controversial past and realizing that error is okay, and that we're progressing.

This issue goes well beyond polygamy and the priesthood. What about J.S.'s failures, mistakes? What can we learn about our own relationship to God by analyzing the mishaps rather than the "near pefect life" of JS, as some people see it. There is value in studying and discussing the errors of the past; otherwise, we may be prone to repeat similar mistakes.

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