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Would Joseph Smith Recognize A Modern Lds Sacrament Meeting?

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

That sounds like an endorsement from the OPer to me... In which case I'd be happy to continue the conversation here.

So here's the original quote from History of the Church (bold mine):

(The sectarians) "were all circumscribed by some peculiar creed, which deprived its members the privilege of believing anything not contained therein; whereas the Latter Day Saints had no creed, but are ready to believe all true principles that exist, as they are made manifest from time to time."

History of the Church, 5:215; from “History of the Church” (manuscript), book D-1, p. 1433

And then here's the version from Teachings of the Presidents: Joseph Smith (2007),261–270

(The sectarians) "were all circumscribed by some peculiar creed, which deprived its members the privilege of believing anything not contained therein, whereas the Latter-day Saints... are ready to believe all true principles that exist, as they are made manifest from time to time.”

http://www.lds.org/ldsorg/v/index.jsp?hideNav=1&locale=0&sourceId=86d720596a845110VgnVCM100000176f620a____&vgnextoid=da135f74db46c010VgnVCM1000004d82620aRCRD#footnote6

So why edit out "LDS have no creeds"? Is it because, by 2007, it's a little awkward to say "we have no creeds" if we apparently do?

So if Joseph were sat in Sacrament (or Sunday School) would he recognise the approach to teaching gospel principles?

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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?

Did you miss the part where I denied saying that Joseph is leading the Church from the other side? And I've not even come close to saying this is Joseph's church instead of Christ's church. Such a thing is utterly foreign to what I believe and profess.

If you respond to me at all, please respond to what I say, not to Canard's (or your own) misunderstanding of it.

Edited by Scott Lloyd

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If you respond to me at all, please respond to what I say, not to Canard's (or your own) misunderstanding of it.

That's a pretty smug and condecending remark, feel free to not participate in this thread.

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. 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.

I'll take that bet. Sleeping in church has been a tradition since at least New Testament times, and can you imagine being crammed cheek to jowl in a tiny cabin in the heat of summer? Nay, dozing in church has, is and will be a part of human experience long before and and long after our mortal time.

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I believe that Heaven is organized in a similar way to here. Christ leads the Kingdom and deligates operations to others,be they prophets or angels. Some prophet ( Woodruff ? ) had a vision in which he saw Joseph who had little time to visit as he was hurriedly

about his heavenly tasks. Was Joseph in a rush to the 4 o'clock tee-off? Doubt it.

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As for Joseph's view of the current sacrament meeting, he might be amazed at all the " kids " in the meeting. So would Brigham.

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That's a pretty smug and condecending remark, feel free to not participate in this thread.

On the contrary, it was a reasonable request.

And within board guidelines, I'll participate here as I see fit.

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And yet...

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

Here are the lyrics of the song to which canard78 refers:

Our Primary colors are one, two, three—

Red, yellow, and blue.

Each one has a message for you and me.

Each is a symbol true!

Red is for courage to do what is right,

Yellow for service from morning till night.

Blue is for truth in our thought and our deed.

We will be happy when this is our creed.

(Boldface emphasis added for reference.)

It should be clear here that this is a poetic application of the word creed to fostering the character traits of courage, service and truthfulness. It is quite unlike the theological/doctrinal context in which Joseph Smith used the word creed as applied to, say, the Nicene Creed or the Apostles' Creed.

The author of "Our Primary Colors," Marzelle Mangum, might just as well have used the word ideal -- except, of course, that it wouldn't have rhymed with deed.

What we have seen with canard's use of this example is an unusually blatant example of absurd semantic argumentation.

Edited by Scott Lloyd

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I'll participate here as I see fit.

Never said you couldn't... Perhaps you should make your post more clear so that you say what you mean and not what you say.

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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?

Christ is capable of leading the Church by Himself. He could do everything by Himself. He has given mankind the dignity of being able to be actively involved and seems to focus on those things we cannot do. I have no problem with the dead assisting the living even though Jesus could do it instead and would probably even do a better job. We also have no real need for angels because God could do that instead. This is Joseph's dispensation. I am sure he is heavily involved. I would want to be.

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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.

Regarding whether the Articles of Faith could be called a creed, consider this from Encyclopedia of Mormonism:

The Articles of Faith do not constitute a summation of all LDS beliefs, and they are not a creed in the traditional Christian sense, but they do provide a useful authoritative summary of fundamental LDS scriptures and beliefs.

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I personally have a hard time understanding our near obsession with the Articles of Faith. They are not comprehensive. Some are obscure points. I can see why we added them to the canon but the way we try to get children to memorize them seens odd. Do we do that just because they are short?

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To be perfectly honest, I suspect Joseph Smith, and especially Brigham Young, would be much more comfortable in an FLDS community were they to be "transported" through time.

For example, even at our most modest, I suspect they would find the way some of our women and youth dress to be quite scandalous. Time travel can be weird that way; it's the little things that get you.

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Edited by cinepro

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Never said you couldn't... Perhaps you should make your post more clear so that you say what you mean and not what you say.

I certainly didn't see anything beyond a suggestion that Joseph would be interested in watching what became of the church in much the same way I think my ancestors are watching to see what happens with their family.

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I personally have a hard time understanding our near obsession with the Articles of Faith. They are not comprehensive. Some are obscure points. I can see why we added them to the canon but the way we try to get children to memorize them seens odd. Do we do that just because they are short?

My impression was always to give the kids something to say when someone asked them on finding out they were LDS what they believed in.

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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.

Only saying unpalatable at the thought that any man would be leading the church on this side 'from' the other side. I've no issue with JS himself, I consider the work he completed to be a work of brilliance and have great admiration for him.

You've clarified to Saints Alive it wasn't your intention to say that he is leading from the other side but instead 'involved' meant 'aware of changes' and not 'involved in the changes.'

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Here are the lyrics of the song to which canard78 refers:

(Boldface emphasis added for reference.)

It should be clear here that this is a poetic application of the word creed to fostering the character traits of courage, service and truthfulness. It is quite unlike the theological/doctrinal context in which Joseph Smith used the word creed as applied to, say, the Nicene Creed or the Apostles' Creed.

The author of "Our Primary Colors," Marzelle Mangum, might just as well have used the word ideal -- except, of course, that it wouldn't have rhymed with deed.

What we have seen with canard's use of this example is an unusually blatant example of absurd semantic argumentation.

What is a creed, what was the principle Joseph taught? Today, do I, as an LDS have "the liberty to believe as I please and... Not be tramelled."

Is the temple recommend interview approaching creedal in the sense that I would be "kicked out" (or at least be told 'no recommend') for not believing them (which was Joseph's criticism).

I must believe in a three-part godhead and the divinity of the Father, the Son, the Holy Ghost

I must believe in the restoration of the gospel

I must believe in the living leader of the church as prophet, seer and revealator, as well as other GAs and sustain local leaders

I must believe in certain behavioural doctrines such as Word of Wisdom, tithing etc.

If I said I did not believe in the Holy Ghost or believed that a member of the twelve was not a prophet/seer etc... Would you be comfortable with me holding a TR?

We may say "we have no creed" but we don't behave as if this is true.

Also, why do you suppose the editors of the JS manual 'snipped' the 'LDS have no creeds' if we really don't?

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Only saying unpalatable at the thought that any man would be leading the church on this side 'from' the other side. I've no issue with JS himself, I consider the work he completed to be a work of brilliance and have great admiration for him.

You've clarified to Saints Alive it wasn't your intention to say that he is leading from the other side but instead 'involved' meant 'aware of changes' and not 'involved in the changes.'

Thank you.

I believe that the work of salvation for mankind is far broader that the relatively tiny fraction we are able to observe and participate in here below. It transcends time and space, and I am confident Joseph Smith is playing a prominent role in that broader work. That's why I think discussions such as the one going on here, suggesting that Joseph would somehow be astounded or disturbed at the developments that have taken place in the Church of Jesus Christ over time strike me as myopic.

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What is a creed, what was the principle Joseph taught? Today, do I, as an LDS have "the liberty to believe as I please and... Not be tramelled."

Is the temple recommend interview approaching creedal in the sense that I would be "kicked out" (or at least be told 'no recommend') for not believing them (which was Joseph's criticism).

I must believe in a three-part godhead and the divinity of the Father, the Son, the Holy Ghost

I must believe in the restoration of the gospel

I must believe in the living leader of the church as prophet, seer and revealator, as well as other GAs and sustain local leaders

I must believe in certain behavioural doctrines such as Word of Wisdom, tithing etc.

If I said I did not believe in the Holy Ghost or believed that a member of the twelve was not a prophet/seer etc... Would you be comfortable with me holding a TR?

We may say "we have no creed" but we don't behave as if this is true.

Also, why do you suppose the editors of the JS manual 'snipped' the 'LDS have no creeds' if we really don't?

I don't have a good answer for that without ascertaining who they are and asking them.

My guess is that it might have been to avoid getting mired in the kind of semantics we are in just now.

If one defines creed as broadly as you seem to here (and I'm not knocking it; words have varying connotations and shades of meaning; that's the nature of the English language), then it becomes confusing when we get into the context Joseph was probably in when he decried the formal "creeds" of his day, which had the effect of denying ongoing revelation.

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I don't have a good answer for that without ascertaining who they are and asking them.

My guess is that it might have been to avoid getting mired in the kind of semantics we are in just now.

If one defines creed as broadly as you seem to here (and I'm not knocking it; words have varying connotations and shades of meaning; that's the nature of the English language), then it becomes confusing when we get into the context Joseph was probably in when he decried the formal "creeds" of his day, which had the effect of denying ongoing revelation.

In order to not appear as purely argumentative (moi?) I would certainly agree that Joseph made it clear the type of creeds he opposed and, if that includes a definition of 'revelation has stopped and here's everything you can and must believe,' then I would agree that we don't believe in creeds.

A few quotes from Joseph:

“I never thought it was right to call up a man and try him because he erred in doctrine, it looks too much like methodism and not like Latter day Saintism. Methodists have creeds which a man must believe or be kicked out of their church. I want the liberty of believing as I please, it feels so good not to be tramelled. ” WoJS p. 183-184

“I cannot believe in any of the creeds of the different denominations, because they all have some things in them I cannot subscribe to, though all of them have some truth. I want to come up into the presence of God, and learn all things; but the creeds set up stakes, and say, ‘Hitherto shalt thou come, and no further’ [Job 38:11]; which I cannot subscribe to.” History of the Church, 6:57

“I stated that the most prominent difference in sentiment between the Latter-day Saints and sectarians was, that the latter were all circumscribed by some peculiar creed, which deprived its members the privilege of believing anything not contained therein, whereas the Latter-day Saints had no creed, but are ready to believe all true principles that exist, as they are made manifest from time to time.” History of the Church, 5:215

If by creed we take the "...and no further" definition, we have no creed. That, however, should also mean that I should have the "liberty of believing as I please." The temple recommend interview means I can't, which means it is approaching a creed. There are also those who will cry "false doctrine" and even "heresy" (or worse) when someone (such as our sadly banned friend, wayfarer) expresses a different expression of aspects of the gospel. Is there a creed being imposed by Mormon culture?

And the fact remains, the editors of the TOTP: JS manual chose to edit out "(the LDS) had no creed." To me, that has certain implications. It's such a short few words that I can't believe it's simply 'for brevity.'

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While it's probably fair to say the living 'spirit Joseph' in the spirit world is probably fine with the way it has evolved, the point of the question is to discuss how different the church today is compared to the 1840s one.

This leads to two key points in the 'creeds' discussion:

- The church practice and (some) teachings have changed. This happily reminds me that the church isn't (and never has been) perfect. It's a vehicle that's fit for purpose of supporting members in a quest for personal development. The church today is "fit for purpose" of members today. As was the 19thC church to its members.

- With that said, it's still worth identifying the changes (perhaps to better understand ourselves). I've said we're at least "approaching creedal." In addition to the doctrinal aspects of the temple recommend questions being something I "must believe," the more creedal attitude today compared to 19thC is also manifested in: the correlation of church manuals and content, the instruction to not re-quote GAs in stake conference (probably also because they are easily misquoted), the encouragement to avoid conjecture and speculation (and the down-playing of any prophet's statement that is speculation, e.g. King Follett, Adam-God) and the very clear instruction to teachers to ONLY use the approved materials for lesson content.

Having said that, I feel happy to say that despite a "creedal culture" I'm still fairly free to embrace and believe whatever I like and still practice as an LDS in principle and follow Elder Uchtdorf's instruction to "seek for truth, wherever it may be."

But I'd imagine my Bishop would prefer me to keep the non-correlated version outside of the 3-hour Sunday block. Otherwise I might well fall victim to the "creedal culture" and be kicked out after all.

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While it's probably fair to say the living 'spirit Joseph' in the spirit world is probably fine with the way it has evolved, the point of the question is to discuss how different the church today is compared to the 1840s one.

This leads to two key points in the 'creeds' discussion:

- The church practice and (some) teachings have changed. This happily reminds me that the church isn't (and never has been) perfect. It's a vehicle that's fit for purpose of supporting members in a quest for personal development. The church today is "fit for purpose" of members today. As was the 19thC church to its members.

- With that said, it's still worth identifying the changes (perhaps to better understand ourselves). I've said we're at least "approaching creedal." In addition to the doctrinal aspects of the temple recommend questions being something I "must believe," the more creedal attitude today compared to 19thC is also manifested in: the correlation of church manuals and content, the instruction to not re-quote GAs in stake conference (probably also because they are easily misquoted), the encouragement to avoid conjecture and speculation (and the down-playing of any prophet's statement that is speculation, e.g. King Follett, Adam-God) and the very clear instruction to teachers to ONLY use the approved materials for lesson content.

Having said that, I feel happy to say that despite a "creedal culture" I'm still fairly free to embrace and believe whatever I like and still practice as an LDS in principle and follow Elder Uchtdorf's instruction to "seek for truth, wherever it may be."

But I'd imagine my Bishop would prefer me to keep the non-correlated version outside of the 3-hour Sunday block. Otherwise I might well fall victim to the "creedal culture" and be kicked out after all.

I think you are erroneously equating creeds (as Joseph Smith used the term) with orthodoxy.

Edited to add:

Never mind. A quick check of references shows me that orthodoxy is too close in meaning creed to be useful to me in the point I'm trying to make.

Words and associated connotations are fascinating and, at times, complicated.

Edited by Scott Lloyd

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I think you are erroneously equating creeds (as Joseph Smith used the term) with orthodoxy.

Edited to add:

Never mind. A quick check of references shows me that orthodoxy is too close in meaning creed to be useful to me in the point I'm trying to make.

Words and associated connotations are fascinating and, at times, complicated.

I'd be happy to discuss words, origins and implied meaning for days on end and is one of the things, as mentioned previously, that I appreciate about your contribution to the board.

In the interests of the discussion, I'd be happy to drop the word 'creed' or 'orthodoxy' from the discussion and instead explore 'required beliefs.'

Given we're a church of continued revelation I should have no complaint that there are certain required beliefs that didn't exist in the 1840s.

As mentioned in the previous post, if the church is "fit for purpose," not "perfect" (again a word that can mean one or two things), it's establishing the changes to understand why. What does it tell us about ourselves that correlation (and an interview to take an account of belief) is needed.

Why does a 21stC church need correlation and mandated/restricted lesson content, when an 1840s one embraced speculation?

I suppose, in a 14mn (or 5mn depending on how you count them) global church, a free reign is more likely to lead to 'divergence' (I'll avoid the hot word 'apostacy') than if everyone is living in the same town/valley as in the 1800s.

Given Paul's struggle with divergence in his early travels, it's evident that without a strong hand, divergence is likely. Correlation and a strict behaviour/belief code for advancement to Melch p'hood or temple attendance (and even Bishops can't add or take away from those questions) means there's reduced divergence issues such as the stories of candles appearing on sacrament tables and sisters passing during WW2 (perhaps myth).

Although there does appear to be a required belief and a required approach to instruction, it would also be fair to say that there is some flexibility within that. I can probably say I believe Adam was only a parable and not real while keeping a recommend. I might not if I said the same of a member of the Godhead.

(Apologies for any typos, am on my phone)

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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

Most in his day were held outside, Hymns...without a doubt as most were chosen by Emma. Also I think as a Prophet he saw the Church would fill the earth. Not to mention other Prophets have said he is still involved.

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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.

I bet JS and JS III are still involved with Community of Christ too.

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