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Would Joseph Smith Recognize A Modern Lds Sacrament Meeting?

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I found this old sunstone article about a fictional 'what if JS attended a modern day sacrament meeting.'

it touches on a couple of points:

- changes in the age of ordinations

- automatic PH advancement

- missionary requirements

- BoM changes

- Hymns

- Sustaining officials

So, if JS were to attend a modern meeting would he recognize it or would he be aghast?

here is the link: https://www.sunstonemagazine.com/pdf/088-54-57.pdf

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I am of the opinion that he is still involved so he has adjusted to the changes very well gradually. The article was meant to be a criticism of Nibley's mention that the same things were being taught then as are taught now and for the most part, he was right. The critic focused on organizational changes instead of what is taught in church.

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I am of the opinion that he is still involved so he has adjusted to the changes very well gradually.

I agree.

The question hypothesizes that Joseph would have been stuck in a time warp and would not have been privy to all that has gone on since his death.

The scenario more consistent with LDS thought is that Joseph has been privy to the same divine guidance that has influenced his successors in the presidency of the Church and in the apostleship and thus would be quite comfortable with the way things are done in a modern-day sacrament meeting.

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Assuming that all modern day changes were driven by revelation and not culture and policy, I would agree with you two.

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The question should be about a hypothetical Joseph Smith that is transported forward in time from early 1844.

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The question should be about a hypothetical Joseph Smith that is transported forward in time from early 1844.

Feel free to take the thread in that direction.

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Feel free to take the thread in that direction.

I think the first thing he would ask at such a meeting is "Why is everyone staring at the pads in their hands?" :P

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I think the first thing he would ask at such a meeting is "Why is everyone staring at the pads in their hands?" :P

Answer: Using the Priesthood we have stored the hymnal and the scriptures in there. What? Were you not faithful enough in your day to make that work?

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I think the principles are in place but due to the changing times and people the way we do things changes. I don't think Joseph would have a problem with it at all and in fact may have made the same changes.

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Assuming that all modern day changes were driven by revelation and not culture and policy, I would agree with you two.

The notion of Joseph being stuck in a time warp and being totally oblivious to changes that have taken place over time, that the Church since Joseph has been loping off in a direction uninfluenced by divine inspiration, is more fanciful to me than the idea that Joseph, now in the spirit world, has been privy to the unfolding of events in the Kingdom of God over time.

Edited by Scott Lloyd

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I doubt any of us would recognize an LDS sacrament service if we were suddenly transported 150 years in the future. I would suggest many of us would conclude the church fell into apostasy. Just imagine if as each member of the congregation entered, a member of the High Priest quorum would wash our feet and the ancient cheesy sounding organ was replaced with a full digital orchestra. Young men no longer pass the sacrament because it is placed in front of you instantly as soon as it is blessed. Ties will finally go the way of the dodo bird, and women's dresses are considered in appropriate for Sunday worship. But don't worry, this will all be explained to you by the stylishly bald bishop as she introduced you telepathically via cranial implants.

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Early Mormon "sacrament meetings" were more like Pentecostal today. Men and women arose and spoke in tongues and somebody "translated" for the congregation. There was a lot more animation in meetings then, possibly because the entire body had to be involved in speaking without amplification. People in the congregation participated more. I doubt that there was any sleeping going on, because everyone was listening to prophets expounding on the new doctrines, and those were being added to continually. Also, there was the presence of those dissenting from the Saints in most meetings. Times were hard and very different. But we may see such times again....

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I doubt any of us would recognize an LDS sacrament service if we were suddenly transported 150 years in the future. I would suggest many of us would conclude the church fell into apostasy. Just imagine if as each member of the congregation entered, a member of the High Priest quorum would wash our feet and the ancient cheesy sounding organ was replaced with a full digital orchestra. Young men no longer pass the sacrament because it is placed in front of you instantly as soon as it is blessed. Ties will finally go the way of the dodo bird, and women's dresses are considered in appropriate for Sunday worship. But don't worry, this will all be explained to you by the stylishly bald bishop as she introduced you telepathically via cranial implants.

I volunteer to time travel into this awesome future to test your theory.

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I volunteer to time travel into this awesome future to test your theory.

You will need a 'calling and election made sure' stamp on your temple recommend. And bring lots of silly putty. Don't ask why, just bring lots.

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Process has definitely changed, but actual doctrine? This is not a scholarly piece, but rather a mediocre attempt at humor used as critique. There have been changes in the way the priesthood functions and frankly, it is a worthwhile discussion. However, I believe Joseph would be just as comfortable today as he was then. It makes me think that if there were any problems it would be an enjoyable conversation to overhear between all the prophets once they are all together. I suspect we would hear the common refrain that we did the best we could in running the organization and then the bearing of strong witness to the reality of Jesus Christ crucified and resurrected.

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I think the first thing he would ask at such a meeting is "Why is everyone staring at the pads in their hands?" :P

"...and why don't we use hats anymore?" =@

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I agree.

The question hypothesizes that Joseph would have been stuck in a time warp and would not have been privy to all that has gone on since his death.

The scenario more consistent with LDS thought is that Joseph has been privy to the same divine guidance that has influenced his successors in the presidency of the Church and in the apostleship and thus would be quite comfortable with the way things are done in a modern-day sacrament meeting.

Scott... You agree that Joseph is still involved in the church or leading the church? I'm not sure LDS sacrament meeting on the other side of the veil is doctrinal. And the idea of Joseph leading the church from the other side is unpalatable.

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I think the first thing he would ask at such a meeting is "Why is everyone staring at the pads in their hands?" :P

He might also say, "I said no creeds, so why did you edit out the words "the LDS have no creeds" from the statement on creeds in the Teachings of the Prophet JS, and then have the primary kids learn and parrot 13 "We believe" statements that I put in a letter to a journalist, canonised after I died, which sound very much like a creed. Why do you also have a primary song with an end line of "...this is our creed." I thought I said no creeds!"

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He might also say, "I said no creeds, so why did you edit out the words "the LDS have no creeds" from the statement on creeds in the Teachings of the Prophet JS, and then have the primary kids learn and parrot 13 "We believe" statements that I put in a letter to a journalist, canonised after I died, which sound very much like a creed. Why do you also have a primary song with an end line of "...this is our creed." I thought I said no creeds!"

If a loose enough set of beliefs is called a creed. Then I suppose we could be called creedal Christians, but that terms doesn't really apply to us.

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If a loose enough set of beliefs is called a creed. Then I suppose we could be called creedal Christians, but that terms doesn't really apply to us.

And yet...

- We edited out "the LDS have no creeds" (I don't have the full quote, am on my phone) in the JS manual.

- we teach our children a song saying "...this is our creed"

- this board calls 'apostates" "heretics" and "anti christs" those who are active mormons but don't embrace all of the teachings and doctrines

- we are asked if we believe certain principles and commandments in order to get a temple recommend

I guess I'm going off topic, so I'll start a new thread as I realise this is straying off the content of sacrament meeting.

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I guess I'm going off topic, so I'll start a new thread as I realise this is straying off the content of sacrament meeting.

Maybe not strictly in line with the theme but I'd say youre still in the ball park

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Scott... You agree that Joseph is still involved in the church or leading the church? I'm not sure LDS sacrament meeting on the other side of the veil is doctrinal. And the idea of Joseph leading the church from the other side is unpalatable.

You misunderstand me.

I don't say Joseph is "leading the the Church from the other side."

I do believe that, due to his pivotal role in the Dispensation of the Fulness of Times" as prophet of the Restoration, he is keenly aware of the progress and advancement of the Church, being the one through which it was restored. I'm also confident he has a prominent role in bringing the gospel to the spirits of those who have died without receiving it, that the work being done there and the work being done here are inextricably linked.

That said, I wonder about your extremely negative reaction: Why is the mere thought of Joseph's involvement "unpalatable" to you? Does this betray an antipathy for Joseph on your part? If so, I could not disagree more strongly with such a sentiment.

Edited by Scott Lloyd

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That said, I wonder about your extremely negative reaction: Why is the mere thought of Joseph's involvement "unpalatable" to you? Does this betray an antipathy for Joseph on your part? If so, I could not disagree more strongly with such a sentiment.

Perhaps because it it Christ's church and not Josephs church. If the current prophet is getting direction from Christ why does Joseph need to give any input? Is Christ incapable of leading his church by himself?

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