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Johnnie Cake

Bill Reel's Sunstone Presentation and a Path to the Disavowal of D&C 132

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24 minutes ago, Johnnie Cake said:

Anyone with any degree of historical knowledge regarding how Joseph practiced "Celestial Marriage" can read Section 132 and come away knowing that he did not practice it according to 132.  Plain and simple he did not.  The church glosses over 132 in its lesson manuals already...how difficult would it be to simple remove it at some time in the future?  Very easily I believe...but what exactly was the mind set back in the early 20th century when the lectures on faith simply disappeared from scripture? How did members react to or justify its removal?  Certainly there had to be some authoritative justification back then and what about the members following Brigham's death...when John Taylor disavowed Brigham's revelations regarding Adam God?  Did they encounter any cognitive dissonance or push back or relief that they didn't have to reconcile Adam God any longer?

good point.  There seems to be plenty of precedence in just simply excising a piece of scripture.  most of us will get over it, even if there would be some fall out.  But if that ever becomes a reality, you'd have ot ask, why did it take so long? 

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6 minutes ago, drums12 said:

Ummmm no.  Plenty of apologists have admitted that Joseph publicly denied (lied) about plural marriage.  I'm not an apologist but I tire of blanket statements such as yours.  In fact, I tire of blanket statements from critics and defenders not only of Mormonism, but almost every issue/topic under the sun.  

Sounds like you blanket statemented a disavowel of blanket statements.  ;)

I'm with ya though.

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1 hour ago, drums12 said:

I fear Brother Reel is setting himself up for church discipline if he continues on his present course.   Adam God was never canonized.  Lectures on Faith were removed from the cannon but not disavowed.  Shall we press to remove everything from the Standard Works that offends our 21st century sensibilities?  If so there goes most of the Old Testament.

Bill's point is very simple and I think he is spot on. If we know prophets are men and therefore fallible, wouldn't it also stand to reason that some of what they write or say is also fallible? Of course. Does the act of having members raise their hands in common consent change something from right to wrong? Of course not. So the absolute trust in "canonized" scripture is risky. The word of God as found in the canonized scriptures should not be thought to be the words of God directly from his own lips.

So, if I test the word (Plant the seed of D&C 132) and I see that there is more bad fruit than good fruit resulting from that word, I must conclude that the word is not good. The seed did not grow into a good fruit. Should I supplant my experience experimenting with the word because it's in canon and accept the bad fruit? Nope. I can choose to reject what I view to be a bad seed by a fallible man.

It's our obligation not to simply accept anything another person says or teaches because we are responsible for what we accept. I'll also point out that it seems to me Bill's point in this whole line of discussion is finding a way for someone to accept Joseph Smith as a prophet even though he may have been wrong about polygamy and D&C 132. So this is a way to toss away the bad fruit while still keeping the good.

You can listen to it here. http://www.mormondiscussionpodcast.org/2016/07/sunstone-presentation-july-2016-handshakes-drawn-swords/

Edited by HappyJackWagon

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I just read Bill's presentation.  I liked it.  Don't really have any issues with it, and admittedly it's about what I've concluded regarding the issue. 

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7 minutes ago, HappyJackWagon said:

Bill's point is very simple and I think he is spot on. If we know prophets are men and therefore fallible, wouldn't it also stand to reason that some of what they write or say is also fallible? Of course. Does the act of having members raise their hands in common consent change something from right to wrong? Of course not. So the absolute trust in "canonized" scripture is risky. The word of God as found in the canonized scriptures should not be thought to be the words of God directly from his own lips.

So, if I test the word (Plant the seed of D&C 132) and I see that there is more bad fruit than good fruit resulting from that word, I must conclude that the word is not good. The seed did not grow into a good fruit. Should I supplant my experience experimenting with the word because it's in canon and accept the bad fruit? Nope. I can choose to reject what I view to be a bad seed by a fallible man.

It's our obligation not to simply accept anything another person says or teaches because we are responsible for what we accept. I'll also point out that it seems to me Bill's point in this whole line of discussion is finding a way for someone to accept Joseph Smith as a prophet even though he may have been wrong about polygamy and D&C 132. So this is a way to toss away the bad fruit while still keeping the good.

So at what point does religion just go away, and you become an Atheist?

Polygamy in the Bible.

SEE https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Polygamy_in_Christianity

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Why is everyone ignoring the elephant in the room? If you disavow Doctrine and Covenants 132 then you disavow every sealing ever done.

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Just now, rodheadlee said:

Why is everyone ignoring the elephant in the room? If you disavow Doctrine and Covenants 132 then you disavow every sealing ever done.

You can still have eternal sealings without practicing polygamy.  

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9 minutes ago, stemelbow said:

I just read Bill's presentation.  I liked it.  Don't really have any issues with it, and admittedly it's about what I've concluded regarding the issue. 

I read it too and feel the same way.  As far as other sealings..I feel they are an unnecessary appendix.  We will get to be with our families no matter what. 

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1 minute ago, thesometimesaint said:

So at what point does religion just go away, and you become an Atheist?

Polygamy in the Bible.

SEE https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Polygamy_in_Christianity

How does anything I said sound Atheist?

Religion is an effort by man to understand God. Man will never be perfect in understanding God, therefore it is incumbent on every person to study out and come to their own conclusions about God and the words attributed to Him. If I apply the Alma 32 model of exercising faith and gaining testimony then I have to conclude that I don't have a testimony of polygamy. I see it as a bad fruit. The word is bad.

Instead of attributing the bad fruit to God, I choose to attribute it to a man who I know is fallible. To me it makes much more sense to attribute the fallibility of men to men.

I keep thinking Thou shalt not take the name of the Lord thy God in vain. When any man takes it upon himself to speak for God he is at risk of taking the name of God in vain if he is in error. If we accept the error then we are accepting of God's name being taken in vain. It's up to each of us to decide.

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3 minutes ago, HappyJackWagon said:

How does anything I said sound Atheist?

Religion is an effort by man to understand God. Man will never be perfect in understanding God, therefore it is incumbent on every person to study out and come to their own conclusions about God and the words attributed to Him. If I apply the Alma 32 model of exercising faith and gaining testimony then I have to conclude that I don't have a testimony of polygamy. I see it as a bad fruit. The word is bad.

Instead of attributing the bad fruit to God, I choose to attribute it to a man who I know is fallible. To me it makes much more sense to attribute the fallibility of men to men.

I keep thinking Thou shalt not take the name of the Lord thy God in vain. When any man takes it upon himself to speak for God he is at risk of taking the name of God in vain if he is in error. If we accept the error then we are accepting of God's name being taken in vain. It's up to each of us to decide.

Yes. If we don't like something we should take it out of our Scriptures. Atheists just go to the logical conclusion that it is all bunkum. 

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8 minutes ago, ALarson said:

You can still have eternal sealings without practicing polygamy.  

Not if you disavow Doctrine and Covenants 132. Or are you going to just disavow the part you don't like.

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20 minutes ago, rodheadlee said:

Not if you disavow Doctrine and Covenants 132. Or are you going to just disavow the part you don't like.

I'm just stating that I believe I will be with my wife and those I love in the next life (if they also choose to be with me) and that does not depend on whether or not, Joseph was right to instigate and live polygamy.  I happen to believe it was a mistake for the church to ever teach the principle of plural marriage as one of their doctrines.

.

Edited by ALarson

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24 minutes ago, rodheadlee said:

Not if you disavow Doctrine and Covenants 132. Or are you going to just disavow the part you don't like.

D&C 132; I don't like any of it. Which part do you like?

D&C 131 is the basis for holding onto eternal marriage. D&C 132 is the basis for holding onto plural marriage.

This reminds me of the old Mormon Ad where it show a beautiful ice cream Sunday with a cockroach leg sticking out of it. Would you eat hot fudge sundae even if it had bugs in it? Fortunately, the vast majority of 132 is the cockroach so it's easy to make that decision.

Again, anything good in 132 is also in 131. Can you tell me what is uniquely good about D&C 132?

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1 hour ago, consiglieri said:

I hear what you are saying, Bluebell.

But to a greater or lesser degree, don't we already do that with parts of the Old Testament?

Like the part about not suffering a witch to live?  We pretty much disavow that for no other reason than it offends our modern sensibilities.

Or the part about stoning kids who act rudely to their parents?

There is no revelation overturning these parts of the scriptures, and yet we pretty much universally disavow them today.

 

I think this is a problem more for sola scriptura Christians than it is for LDS Christians.  

LDS ignore those things which, in accordance with our doctrine of restoration, haven't been restored. The doctrine that not everything in the bible is the word of God or for us (AoF #8 if i'm remembering right), is the revelation which overturned those parts of scripture (to use your phrase).

Polygamy was specifically restored though.  And even though it is not a commandment any longer, doctrinally it has never been disavowed.  Therefore it can't be dismissed in the same way those scriptures you spoke of can be, because it is fundamentally different than those scriptures.

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8 minutes ago, HappyJackWagon said:

Bill's point is very simple and I think he is spot on. If we know prophets are men and therefore fallible, wouldn't it also stand to reason that some of what they write or say is also fallible? Of course. Does the act of having members raise their hands in common consent change something from right to wrong? Of course not. So the absolute trust in "canonized" scripture is risky. The word of God as found in the canonized scriptures should not be thought to be the words of God directly from his own lips.

So, if I test the word (Plant the seed of D&C 132) and I see that there is more bad fruit than good fruit resulting from that word, I must conclude that the word is not good. The seed did not grow into a good fruit. Should I supplant my experience experimenting with the word because it's in canon and accept the bad fruit? Nope. I can choose to reject what I view to be a bad seed by a fallible man.

It's our obligation not to simply accept anything another person says or teaches because we are responsible for what we accept. I'll also point out that it seems to me Bill's point in this whole line of discussion is finding a way for someone to accept Joseph Smith as a prophet even though he may have been wrong about polygamy and D&C 132. So this is a way to toss away the bad fruit while still keeping the good.

When the church issued both the First and Second Manifesto's didn't they in fact already disavow polygamy at least in part?  Removing D&C 132 would only be taking the next step in a process they've already initiated.

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So to weigh in I show in the presentation that we have precedence to dismiss each of the following.

Revelation:  The Church dismissed and ignored the 1886 john taylor revelation. Also Adam God as Brigham taught this teaching was revealed to him by God

Doctrine: Adam/God, Inter racial Marriage as sin, and blacks less valiant all stated to be Doctrine in their day but later changed to theories then disavowed theories

Canon: old section 101 which became 109 and the lectures on faith

Scripture:  Brigham Young taught that the bible was the word of God but not entirely the words of God.

Prophets: Elder McConkie in his letter to Eugene England states that Brigham taught false Doctrine, that False Doctrine continues to be taught in the Church as part of the sifting process and that "If we choose to believe and teach the false portions of his doctrines, we are making an election that will damn us."  (The last part being very different than following a prophet if he is wrong and being blessed for it." - Not only shall we not be blessed we shall put out exaltation at risk.

 

I then show room to believe that it is possible that 132 was delivered by a deceiving spirit and that in light of section 129 Joseph may not have tested an angel holding a sword.  And use the idea of "Divine Investiture" to explain why 132 is in the voice of Christ which both FairMormon and The Church sees as a valid concept.  And Moses 1 to show that deceiving spirits also do talk in the first person voice of Christ

 

Lastly is Mary Elizabeth Rollings Lightner statement that Joseph told her he did test the angel is countered by the fact her statement is quite vivid and elaborate and to measure that against her age 87 and the years that occur between her telling and when the conversation took place (62 years)

And also the Church acknowledging that 

The LDS Church itself when speaking on evidence that diminishes faith that is a late word of mouth account states “Something told second-hand sixty years after the fact is less verified history than it is vague memory.” https://www.lds.org/ensign/1987/08/the-alvin-smith-story-fact-and-fiction?lang=eng

http://www.mormondiscussionpodcast.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/07/Sunstone-Angel-Drawn-Sword.pdf

http://www.mormondiscussionpodcast.org/2016/07/sunstone-presentation-july-2016-handshakes-drawn-swords/

 

 

 

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4 minutes ago, bluebell said:

Polygamy was specifically restored though.  

Why did polygamy need to be restored when we have no record of it being commanded by God prior to Joseph's claims?  And why did polyandry need to be restored as part of "restoring" polygamy?  

I believe polygamy has never been specifically commanded by God.  I believe Joseph was in error with his claims and it was a mistake to teach plural marriage as a restored doctrine.

Edited by ALarson

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31 minutes ago, rodheadlee said:

Not if you disavow Doctrine and Covenants 132. Or are you going to just disavow the part you don't like.

If someone embraces the concept of cafeteria mormonism, then it's not really a problem to draw the line all over the place.  You can keep whatever parts of 132 you like and ignore what you don't like.

Doctrine is whatever you agree with and whatever you don't agree with isn't doctrine.  

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5 hours ago, drums12 said:

Ummmm no.  Plenty of apologists have admitted that Joseph publicly denied (lied) about plural marriage.  I'm not an apologist but I tire of blanket statements such as yours.  In fact, I tire of blanket statements from critics and defenders not only of Mormonism, but almost every issue/topic under the sun.  

Apologies, I should have said many, not all. ETA: Wait,  I should apologise about not being concise, what I meant to say is that apologists deny that JS got the revelation wrong or lied about the revelation. I don't think apologists deny JS lied about not living it. 

Edited by Tacenda

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1 hour ago, rodheadlee said:

If D&C 132 is disavowed so will every sealing ever done.

not when one understands that 132 was a culmination of multiple revelations and hence there may be room to discard some and hold onto other

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3 minutes ago, bluebell said:

I think this is a problem more for sola scriptura Christians than it is for LDS Christians.  

LDS ignore those things which, in accordance with our doctrine of restoration, haven't been restored. The doctrine that not everything in the bible is the word of God or for us (AoF #8 if i'm remembering right), is the revelation which overturned those parts of scripture (to use your phrase).

Polygamy was specifically restored though.  And even though it is not a commandment any longer, doctrinally it has never been disavowed.  Therefore it can't be dismissed in the same way those scriptures you spoke of can be, because it is fundamentally different than those scriptures.

In some measure the directives given in D&C 132 about how to conduct polygamy were ignored by Joseph Smith.  He didn't just marry virgins afterall.  If he saw so little value in the revelation, why should we?  Besides, as it's been said here, no one ever brings up polygamy in church, unless as a passing comment.  The section itself is essentially ignored these days, along with tons of other scriptures, sure, but it is one of those that no one really pays attention to.  In that way, rejecting the scripture already happens. 

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1 hour ago, bluebell said:

Sticking with Bill's concept but moving it beyond polygamy-it seems spiritually immature for us to think that if we don't like, don't understand, or don't agree with a doctrine then that means that it's not from God and we can disavow it.

It's a problem when whether or not we like something becomes the measuring stick for deciding whether or not it is from God.  And isn't that what Bill (and others) are doing here?  Arguing something is not of God--while claiming no actual revelation on the subject--because ultimately they don't personally agree with it?

I haven't listened to the podcast (and won't, because i don't do podcasts) so maybe i'm completely misunderstanding Bill's premise.

Actually I argue even if it is from God, one could find room to discard it.... even the LDS Church has done so.  see three posts up

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4 minutes ago, Johnnie Cake said:

When the church issued both the First and Second Manifesto's didn't they in fact already disavow polygamy at least in part?  Removing D&C 132 would only be taking the next step in a process they've already initiated.

No. I don't think the church has disavowed polygamy. Not only is celestial plural marriage still practiced, but the church defends the past practice of polygamy in the early days of the church. The first manifesto was given with a wink, wink, nudge, nudge. The 2nd was more serious, but it didn't disavow the doctrine of polygamy, only the temporal practice as  matter of policy.

The difference between the modern church and the fundamentalist polygamist groups is that the fundamentalists believe it should be practiced here and now as well as in eternity while the church has relegated it to eternity only.

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And Joseph himself said " "Some revelations are of God: some revelations are of men: and some revelations are of the devil." "

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