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nealr

John Dehlin And Faith Reconstruction

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What you should have been doing? Reading; that's obvious. You don't like the answer, but it really is that simple.

-Allen

He states he was reading, even Nibley...but I wonder what he absorbed from Nibley, certainly not the attitude that things don't fit into perfectly shaped pieces of knowledge all interlocking smoothly with each other, doesn't appear to have notice the criticism of Nibley for certain forms of leadership and several other attributes of Nibley that prepare one well for processing new out of the box information in effective and positive ways.

My other sister came up through the same primary and SS I did, not that great I freely admit. When I was 13 I had read at least half of the OT and all of the PoGP. I don't know what my sister read though we had a number of children's scripture stories around including this beautiful old style one with huge ornate pictures I would spend hours staring at but I do know she hadn't a clue about who David and Goliath were. She certainly wasn't stupid, my guess was she was very good at ignoring what she wasn't interested in even as she read it.

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It's really not simple at all. We know that with some digging, one could have discovered much of the unsettling parts of church history. But, it wasn't easy to find nor was it encouraged to read many of the sources where information could be found. We have been advocated over and over to only read church approved materials, books by apostles and leaders and so on. The huge majority of these books (I'd say 99%) contain none of the more controversial aspects of Mormon history.

Much of the anti Mormon material uses church produced stuff as their sources, such as the History of he Church or Journal of Discourses.

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Much of the anti Mormon material uses church produced stuff as their sources, such as the History of he Church or Journal of Discourses.

Oh, I know. But then you have many who state that the Journal of Discourses is not an accurate source too. It's like you can't win. I know that all of the history of the church is available within church approved sources and books. But, let's be honest and realistic here, one really had to be a very committed, dedicated researcher to dig and find the details to piece together a more accurate history. Now that there is so much out on the internet, many have compiled it all into one place (on anti and church websites with different spins and conclusions). This is why we now have the problem of members feeling they've been deceived. If it was easy to find and readily available to every member prior to the internet age, members would not be upset and falling away. That's the point I was trying to make.

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Bushman's RSR (i was thinking of his previous book which was available in 85 so use this as an example of what people choose even when the good stuff is there and wouldnt take more resources than the candy variety) and was in my memory very much promoted by Deseretbook. Certainly my conservative father in law bought it for all 8 of his kids' families. I bet it was available in every library in Utah within a year of its being published. It was a big thing in the lds publishing world. Previous years we had gotten volumes of the Work and the Glory. My memory says the same thing happened with its precursor Joseph Smith and the Beginnings of Mormonism, which was published in 85. Big displays in the bookstores.

I would like to see comparison numbers but from what I've seen up close and personally there are a ton more Saints that choose to read all nine volumes of the Work and the Glory than Rough Stone Rolling even though they are equally accessible and available.

There is a certain amount of detail that's needed in order to properly convey history, it cannot be laid out as some sort of purely linear experience especially in areas where gaps exist or contradictions.

Edited by calmoriah

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What you should have been doing? Reading; that's obvious. You don't like the answer, but it really is that simple.

-Allen

Let's discuss and analyze this in the Who is at fault? thread I created today.

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KC, did you give up? Do you or Lou Midgely want to offer an apology, or do you still think I'm lazy for not knowing D & C 8 was about Oliver using a divining rod to translate the BOM?

I don't think Dan Peterson or Lou Midgley would say this, so I'll go ahead and do it.

If anything, there should be an apology forthcoming for the false and slanderous implications and outright rumor-mongering that last summer's dismissal of Dan and associats from the editorship of the Mormon Studies Review amounted to some sort of institutional rebuke from the Church or its high leaders. It has been repeatedly stated that there is no credible evidence to this effect -- infact, according to Dr. Peterson, there have been assurances to the contrary -- and it is time for its purveyors to cease bearing false witness, if not to apologize outright.

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Calmoriah has it exactly right.

You will find that is not unusual.

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I think that's is a good point. This is how things get twisted and misunderstood. If John Dehlin had just learned about the paper (that same day?), it's easy to see why he mistakenly jumped to the conclusion this incident was part of the paper.

In hindsight, it seems that all of the questions Louis Midgley asked Dehlin in public that evening at UVU would have been better asked privately. Maybe things wouldn't have gotten so escalated?

Amen. Very true. Lou was off the rails that day.

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Amen. Very true.

The conversation did not take place as part of the panel event, did it?
Lou was off the rails that day.

Or you misunderstood him.

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Amen. Very true. Lou was off the rails that day.

Didn't you say in your podcast that you were at (or very near) the low point of your spirituality and emotionality on that day? Could that have a bearing on who was really "off the rails?"

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KC has done this before. He throws out a bunch of sources hoping I won't look them up. He threw out a bunch of sources here, and of the three that were linked online, he went 0/3. How is this my fault?

I did a search on "diving rod" and then "rod" on those articles and didn't get any hits.

The fault might be in that you only looked at the three online sources, and that when you searched for "rod" your search feature somehow missed this from the original 1835 Book of Commandments which I had actually quoted in my post, here with bolding. Of course, we could grant that the problem is a failure of technology, and not your fault.

Chapter 7:3—Now this is not all, for you have another gift, which is the gift of working with the rod: behold it has told you things: behold there is no other power save God, that can cause this rod of nature, to work in your hands, for it is the work of God.

Now it is true that this doesn't say divining rod. And perhaps a fishing rod might be a way to tell him that a fish was biting or something.

But it does happen that two of the essays I listed in the 1984 BYU Studies articles do explicitly discuss divining rods. The whole issue was devoted to dealing with the issues raised by what turned out to be Hofmann forgeries. I didn't exactly have to prowl the Mines of Moriah on my knees in the dark to hear about them. The media was full of it. And I bought my copy of the issue at the BYU Library, during a visit from California. And that was back when for economic reasons, we had to drive, not fly.

Walker's essay, "The Persisting Idea American Treasure Hunting" discusses divining rods and treasure hunting, as well as observing that a "rod's wide-ranging power might include healing, answering religious questions,... discovering lost articles, salt likes, underground water channels..."

RIchard L. Anderson's essay in the same volume, "The Mature Joseph and Treasure Seeking" goes into far more detail, and discusses divining rods and Oliver Cowdery at length, starting on page 521 in a section called "The Gift of Aaron."

https://byustudies.b...aspx?title=5659

Though Anderson does discuss divining rods, he makes the case that the pattern in the sources close to Cowdery suggest tighter associations with the Biblical rod of Aaron, paralleling Oliver's role as a spokesman, as Aaron was spokesman for Moses in the Bible, and the rod a symbol of Aaron's authority. Anderson points out that even Uncle Jesse's 1829 letter contains ridicule of the idea of recieving information through a rod, which is interesting, since Uncle Jesse was responding to a letter about Joseph's revelations.

And from the last paragraph on 527 to first paragraph of 528, Anderson looks at the "lines that immediately follow the rod references invite Oliver to "ask that ye may know the mysteries of God, and that you may translate all those ancient records." He points out that both the rod and the translation stones are "dependent on the spirit of revelation."

On page 535, he says: "Oliver Cowdery's rod instruction is the middle directive of three messages forming a cohesive context. And they contain classic summaries of the inner process of revelation: "peace to your mind" (D&C 6); "the Holy Ghost shall.. dwell in your heart" (D&C 8:2); and "your bosom shall burn within you: therefore you shall feel that it is right" (D&C 9: -8. Mormon documents on the rod give not hint of an external, mechanical operation."

One of the reasons why my reflexive mode of inquiry in 1984 was to look for information from all sources I could find, rather than to settle for institutionally provided manuals and classes was that while on my mission in 1974, I was invited to show the filmstrip Meet the Mormons to a rowdy group Middle schoolers in Colne England. I could see that they were passing around anti-Mormon pamphlets, probably the first information they had encountered on Mormons, and that that gave them some questions that I could not answer. I learned that day that I should not trust the institutional church to prepare me for what I might encounter. And I very soon learned that I could trust the informed members to freely and eagerly share whatever they found interesting and useful. I found what I've recently begun to associate with the "power to the edge" concept that John Boyd has developed. And had earlier seen in relation to varying personality types, and different stages along the Perry Scheme for Cognitive and Ethical Growth. Once I got personally interested, active, I found treasures of knowledge everywhere, and I've always sought to inject as much as I can into every class and social gathering I have participated in as a church member. Somes that attitude meets with suspicion, because it involves unofficial sources. But I see that as just a mode of dealing with complexity employed by some members at different ages and stages and types. It takes all types and temperaments. I'm fine with that.

FWIW

Kevin Christensen

Bethel Park, PA

Edited by Kevin Christensen

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One of the reasons why my reflexive mode of inquiry in 1984 was to look for information from all sources I could find, rather than to settle for institutionally provided manuals and classes was that while on my mission in 1974, I was invited to show a the filmstrip Meet the Mormons to a rowdy group Middle schoolers in Colne England. I could see that they were passing around anti-Mormon pamphlets, probably the first information they had encountered on Mormons, and that that gave them some questions that I could not answer. I learned that day that I should not trust the institutional church to prepare me for what I might encounter. And I very soon learned that I could trust the informed members to freely and eagerly share whatever they found interesting and useful.

This sounds similar to my own experience. For me, too, it was while I was on my mission and encountering anti-Mormon stuff that I decided that, when I got home, I was going to learn all I could about the various criticisms I heard about. One thing I did not do was assume that I knew enough right then, or that those critical of my faith were giving me enough information, to be able to draw any conclusions about what was being said. Since it was new to me, I knew that I didn't have enough information to come to a conclusion right then.

And that, I think, is part of the problem. A lot of people seem to assume that they know enough to judge the veracity of the material, and since it is foreign to them, they assume it is false. When they find out that it is based, in part, on some fact or another, this destroys them. Or, some people seem to assume that the critics are giving them all the information you need (the critics certainly try to present things as if they were doing so). Thus, they feel compelled to reach the conclusion the critics want them to reach.

Not saying that is what happens all the time, but it at least seems to be what happened in some cases.

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On another layer of this issue, I'm reading Patrick Carnes, The Recovery Zone, vol 1, Making Changes that Last: The Internal Tasks, chapter 4, The Dark Night of the Soul.

"Researchers find that by that age (mid sixties), enough 'bad experiences" have occured to provide a perspective called 'wisdom.' In essence, wisdom is the ability to know what is worth being upset about. The recovery process is a proven recipee for creating an inner observer, a part of the self that has pschological distance sufficient to limit our overreactions.

"Physician and writer Deepak Chopra's recent novel on the life of Buddha has that same message: 'Take care to examine your own perceptions lest you lose the perspective that suffering simply is.' Buddha's story is all about how he lives in a protected reality and progressively comes to the realization of how illusory his world really is. Similar to Plato's cave dwellers, his new perceptions are jarring. As his awareness expands, he understands more about coming to terms with pain and suffering. Buddha describes this as waking from a dream.

"We loose serenity when we invest in the pain. Mostly that means resisting change and believing we have more control than we do. As theologian and writer C.S. Lewis observed, the core of Christ's message was surrender. Lewis wrote in The Problem of Pain that Jesus accepted the will of the Father. He wryly observes that we humans 'are rebels who must lay down our arms.' Growing up means abandoning what we once believed to be true, divesting ourselves of those impassioned arguments about fairness, and allowing the larger forces of the universe to work through us" (Carnes, 104-5)

Seems relevant and resonant.

FWIW

Kevin Christensen

Bethel Park, PA

Edited by Kevin Christensen

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