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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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51 minutes ago, Johnnie Cake said:

I consider myself as one the good fruits of polygamy...had it never been practiced I would not exist :-)  

Really? How could you possibly know that? Even if you come through polygamous family lines, you don't really think you wouldn't exist, do you?

If we're all spirits in heaven waiting to come to earth, and polygamy doesn't exist, would you be stuck up there forever, or would you come to another home? Polygamy may have impacted the place and religious orientation into which you were born but your existence doesn't rely on it, does it? :)

 

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38 minutes ago, ALarson said:

I understand that this is your opinion.  But you cannot know this is true.  I agree that much has to be accepted on faith here, but we do not know that God ever used the practice of polygamy.

I'm using the OT scriptural record-which clearly shows that polygamy produced the House of Israel, God's covenant and chosen people.  I don't think i'm understanding your disagreement with that.  Can you clarify?

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5 minutes ago, HappyJackWagon said:

What about rampant dishonesty? Would that be a bug?

What about coercion or abuses of power? Is that a bug?

What about the angst and fear so many feel when they consider the possibility that they may have to share a spouse against their will? A bug?

What about the plural families which were abandoned when the policy of practicing polygamy changed? A bug?

 

There are plenty of bugs in the fruit of polygamy.

 

Are those things in D&C 132?  I thought that's what we were talking about.

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9 minutes ago, Buckeye said:

Bill,

I've been engaged in side discussions so far. Also, I still haven't listened to the podcast, but I have read over the PDF outline on your site.

Here's what I would add to your discussion: the church's essay on the BOA translation and tacit approval of the catalyst theory. In a nutshell, the church had blessed an argument used by apologists to explain why the historical record shows that Joseph thought he was literally translating fromthe papyrii even though modern scholarship shows that his translation does not come anywhere close to what's actually on the papyrii. The argument is essentially that God allowed Joseph to misunderstand (and misreport) his actual work; that the revelations are true, but Joseph was allowed to mistakenly believe that the source was the papyrii rather than pure inspiration. 

That argument is a reasonable one (IMO) for saving the BOA. However, it also opens the door to rejecting the literalness of Smith's other teachings (and those of subsequent prophets). If Joseph could make a factual mistake as to the papyrii, then he could make a factual mistake as to the literalness of the nephites, getting keys from Moses, or (to finally get my point) ... the angel/sword and section 132.

I raise this because I think you're going to lose a lot of people with the assertion that Joseph was mislead by the devil. That's just too far for most any active member I know and it is unsupported by church statements. I would suggest an alternative - not that Joseph was deceived, but that whatever angelic visitation he thought he received that instructed him to adopt polygamy, he severely misunderstood it. That's why there are a lot of good things still in Section 132 (e.g., the idea of eternal families), but also some serious steps backwards (e.g., law of Sarah). This approach is more defensible and continues the catalyst line of argument that the church has already approved.

My take on Section 132: In any journey, there are going to be some stumbles. That's just par for the course. We shouldn't dismiss the entire journey (restoration in this case) because of the stumbles. But we also do not need to justify, praise, or repeat them. The journey continues. 

 

I would rather stick to the possibility that he could have been deceived by an evil spirit.  The Garden of Eden, Jesus 40 day fast, Moses chapter 1 and possibly 1st Nephi ch 8 each point to a deceiving spirit trying to deceive god's servant and section 129 implies it is entirely possible without the keys of discernment.

Whether we are comfortable or not the question is "Does God indicate that his prophet being deceived is a possibility"?  and "Does the scriptural record show that Satan attempted to do so"?  I think it is a resounding yes to both.

 

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6 minutes ago, bluebell said:

I'm using the OT scriptural record-which clearly shows that polygamy produced the House of Israel, God's covenant and chosen people.  I don't think i'm understanding your disagreement with that.  Can you clarify?

My point is that you are stating the practice of polygamy came from God or was "used" by God.  I don't believe this practice is from God for any purpose at any time.  How do you know that His plan could not have been accomplished without men having plural wives?

Edited by ALarson

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Also notice it seems section 129 may have come after the visits by the angel.

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1 minute ago, bluebell said:

I'm using the OT scriptural record-which clearly shows that polygamy produced the House of Israel, God's covenant and chosen people.  I don't think i'm understanding your disagreement with that.  Can you clarify?

I think he's saying that polygamy was not a necessary part of the production, even per the OT record, but simply an aspect of OT life at the time. It's the distinction between God intending something vs. allowing it. As another example, consider that the patriarchs had flocks of sheep and goats. The OT record reflects that. But I would not argue that God intended for the covenant and chosen people to come through shepherds; that's just what their livelihood happened to be.

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8 minutes ago, HappyJackWagon said:

What about rampant dishonesty? Would that be a bug?

What about coercion or abuses of power? Is that a bug?

What about the angst and fear so many feel when they consider the possibility that they may have to share a spouse against their will? A bug?

What about the plural families which were abandoned when the policy of practicing polygamy changed? A bug?

 

There are plenty of bugs in the fruit of polygamy.

 

I think we can admit that there were lots of bugs in the way polygamy was practiced without completely dismissing polygamy itself. 

 

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4 minutes ago, Buckeye said:

Agreed. I probably wouldn't design the system that way, but it appears God has more trust in our decision-making ability that I do.

I think that God has more understanding about everything connected with us than we do, and that's why He does things that we wouldn't do.  I shudder to think of how my 11 year old son would choose to govern and raise his younger brothers and sisters, if it were up to him.  

I think that's pretty applicable to our own abilities concerning our abilities to come up with our our own plan of salvation. :) 

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42 minutes ago, juliann said:

132 allows for polyandry. If there is a case to be made for ignoring 132, we have successfully ignored that piece of it to the point it the very words in the verses are denied. We also have the attempt to remove 132 when the church published the most "important" chapters, which it had to step back from due to fundamentalist outrage (per the recent thread on this.)

Reel seems to be riding the coat tails of Carol Lynn Pearson's book. However, the problem isn't 132 anymore than discarded Bible verses are a problem. The problem is the masses of Mormons who keep polygamy alive and say stupid, hurtful, and completely unnecessary things to women. The Church doesn't need to do much beyond equalizing the sealing policy. That is always the fall back for those who do not care about the damage they are doing to the church by creating a polygamist heaven for themselves. 

I think a very beginning step is being taken in the Aug. Ensign where Pres. Erying speaks to worries about the construction of celestial families. 

This seems like a derisive comment. I'd just like to point out that Bill has a podcast from months ago covering this same topic so I don't know that he's riding anyone's coat tails.

Beyond equalizing the sealing policies, I feel the church also needs to disavow the abusive practices involved with polygamy; the abuses of power, the coercive/high pressure practices used to get young girls to marry him, the false doctrines he taught that families would be saved if the daughter or wife married him, the lack of financial support offered to plural wives, dishonesty etc. I think there are a lot of practices the church needs to disavow and say "that is not ok". It could help to prevent similar abuses in the future.

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3 minutes ago, DBMormon said:

Also notice it seems section 129 may have come after the visits by the angel.

Ah, section 129. I love teaching that one to the young men and primary kids. Would love to be a fly on a wall when their parents ask later that day, "so, what did you learn in church today?"

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The church has already taken great strides in reducing polygamy from God's highest standard of marriage to an exception.  This is a place I'm comfortable with for now.

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4 hours ago, Johnnie Cake said:

In Bill's Sunstone presentation http://www.mormondiscussionpodcast.org/2016/07/sunstone-presentation-july-2016-handshakes-drawn-swords/ Bill offers a path by which faithful members of the church who are disturbed by Section 132 of the D&C can maintain faith and yet still disavow it's offending parts.

While this post won't do his presentation justice and I certainly hope Bill's weighs in this post, the jest of the presentation is that prophets are fallible and make mistakes and just as Brigham's Adam God doctrine, D&C Section 109 which originally stated that a man should have one wife; and one woman, but one husband, except in case of death, when either is at liberty to marry again; and the removal of the Lectures on Faith, have all been either removed from scriptural status or disavowed...so can Section 132.  That basically Joseph got it wrong, that the angel with drawn sword was not a messenger from God but from Satan and that Joseph was deceived by said angel and succumbed to his baser instincts when he introduced polygamy.  While I found his reasoning compelling I just can not imagine a day when the church would disavow D&C 132, but maybe Bill has found a logical path whereby faithful members can reject 132 and still remain faithful-believers in all else.  This post is best understood after listening to Bill's podcast...to get his full reasoning and argument.

Is Cafeteria Mormonism where the future of the Church lays?

 

Here is the correct answer to D&C 132, which predates 132 by several thousand years. Why is this so hard to understand?

Jacob 2:

27 Wherefore, my brethren, hear me, and hearken to the word of the Lord: For there shall not any man among you have save it be one wife; and concubines he shall have none;

28 For I, the Lord God, delight in the chastity of women. And whoredoms are an abomination before me; thus saith the Lord of Hosts.

29 Wherefore, this people shall keep my commandments, saith the Lord of Hosts, or cursed be the land for their sakes.

30 For if I will, saith the Lord of Hosts, raise up seed unto me, I will command my people; otherwise they shall hearken unto these things.

Edited by Bernard Gui

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6 minutes ago, bluebell said:

Are those things in D&C 132?  I thought that's what we were talking about.

I'm talking about the practice of polygamy that is not only justified or encouraged, but is commanded in D&C 132. Without the command to practice it, those abuses wouldn't exist.

That's assuming, of course, that you believe the revelation preceded the practice.

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3 minutes ago, Buckeye said:

Ah, section 129. I love teaching that one to the young men and primary kids. Would love to be a fly on a wall when their parents ask later that day, "so, what did you learn in church today?"

Concerning the selling of the copyright, did Joseph ask to shake hands?  how did he learn this little trick?  Did he try it?  Did an unverified messenger tell him? 

It's kind of a funny one.

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2 minutes ago, Buckeye said:

I think he's saying that polygamy was not a necessary part of the production, even per the OT record, but simply an aspect of OT life at the time. It's the distinction between God intending something vs. allowing it. As another example, consider that the patriarchs had flocks of sheep and goats. The OT record reflects that. But I would not argue that God intended for the covenant and chosen people to come through shepherds; that's just what their livelihood happened to be.

Whether or not it was necessary isn't being discussed though.  I said earlier that that question was certainly up for debate.  What I'm discussing is that, necessary or not, it was used to produce God's covenant people.  If polygamy is always adultery then the OT shows that God was fine with His prophets committing it. 

I'm not sure how that can be disputed.  That's why i'm asking for clarification, thinking i must be misunderstanding something.

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4 hours ago, Johnnie Cake said:

Did you listen to or read his presentation?  I'd guess that he's standing on pretty firm ground

What evidence does he provide for his conclusions that, as you put it, "Joseph got it wrong, that the angel with drawn sword was not a messenger from God but from Satan and that Joseph was deceived by said angel and succumbed to his baser instincts when he introduced polygamy"?

Also, how does Bill account for the various accounts of men and women who received independent spiritual experiences confirming the validity of polygamy as a revealed principle?  Does he discount them as liars?  As deceived?  As stupid?

It sounds like Bill (and Carol Lynn Pearson, for that matter) are just making this stuff up as they go along.  They do not appear to be claiming that God has revealed such the falsity of D&C 132 (are they?).  They just really don't like polygamy.  That's their conclusion (I actually have some sympathy for them, as I am not particularly comfortable with it or fully understand it).  So they're making up rationalizations for not only rejecting it for themselves, but also encouraging others in the Church to follow them in doing so.

But the role of revelation appears to be . . . nonexistent.  What God has to say apparently does not matter.  The Church is supposed to capitulate to the preferences of self-selected folks like Bill Reel and Carol Lynn Pearson.

Not gonna happen, I think.

Thanks,

-Smac

 

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5 minutes ago, Bernard Gui said:

 

 

5 minutes ago, Bernard Gui said:

Here is the correct answer to D&C 132, which predates 132 by several thousand years:

30 For if I will, saith the Lord of Hosts, raise up seed unto me, I will command my people; otherwise they shall hearken unto these things.

Let's remove the Book of Jacob from the Book of Mormon.

Edited by Rivers

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17 minutes ago, Duncan said:

Incoherent? if God did give section 132 then why are you wanting to get rid of it?  if he didn't give it then why would Joseph saying some revelations are of the Devil be a tangent to your theory, wouldn't that prove your theory?

I am saying the Deseret News Article was choppy and incoherent.  I simply found it not well written or clear.

Edited by DBMormon

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5 minutes ago, Rivers said:

I think we can admit that there were lots of bugs in the way polygamy was practiced without completely dismissing polygamy itself. 

 

Lots of bugs in the practice- I definitely agree.

But what is the good fruit of polygamy? What good do we get from it that we wouldn't otherwise have? The stated purpose was to raise up a righteous seed but there is no evidence to suggest that polygamous relationships yielded more children. In fact, if I'm not mistaken, there are studies that state the opposite.

So there must be some good that outweighs all the bad, right? What is it?

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10 minutes ago, ALarson said:

My point is that you are stating the practice of polygamy came from God or was "used" by God.  I don't believe this practice is from God for any purpose at any time.  How do you know that His plan could not have been accomplished without men having plural wives?

Polygamy produced God's covenant people.  How is that not God using polygamy?

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1 minute ago, smac97 said:

What evidence does he provide for his conclusions that, as you put it, "Joseph got it wrong, that the angel with drawn sword was not a messenger from God but from Satan and that Joseph was deceived by said angel and succumbed to his baser instincts when he introduced polygamy"?

Also, how does Bill account for the various accounts of men and women who received independent spiritual experiences confirming the validity of polygamy as a revealed principle?  Does he discount them as liars?  As deceived?  As stupid?

It sounds like Bill (and Carol Lynn Pearson, for that matter) are just making this stuff up as they go along.  They do not appear to be claiming that God has revealed such the falsity of D&C 132 (are they?).  They just really don't like polygamy.  That's their conclusion (I actually have some sympathy for them, as I am not particularly comfortable with it or fully understand it).  So they're making up rationalizations for not only rejecting it for themselves, but also encouraging others in the Church to follow them in doing so.

But the role of revelation appears to be . . . nonexistent.  What God has to say apparently does not matter.  The Church is supposed to capitulate to the preferences of self-selected folks like Bill Reel and Carol Lynn Pearson.

Not gonna happen, I think.

Thanks,

-Smac

 

Didn't say he got it wrong.  Rather what I say is there is theological room and precedence for one to discard 132 for a number of reasons and still be faithful and in the church.  I have never once said he got 132 wrong as an absolute.

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4 minutes ago, HappyJackWagon said:

I'm talking about the practice of polygamy that is not only justified or encouraged, but is commanded in D&C 132. Without the command to practice it, those abuses wouldn't exist.

That's assuming, of course, that you believe the revelation preceded the practice.

Maybe i misunderstood your post, but it seemed like you were speaking specifically about section 132 because you were responding to Rod asking which parts of 132 you would get rid of.  You responded that you'd get rid of the whole thing because it contained cockroach parts (per your analogy) so the entire thing was tainted. 

I'm too lazy to go back and find it and re-read it right now, but maybe i will later to see where things got off course.

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1 minute ago, HappyJackWagon said:

This seems like a derisive comment. I'd just like to point out that Bill has a podcast from months ago covering this same topic so I don't know that he's riding anyone's coat tails.

 

Perhaps. I do intend to listen to his podcast so I should reserve comment. 

Quote

Beyond equalizing the sealing policies, I feel the church also needs to disavow the abusive practices involved with polygamy; the abuses of power, the coercive/high pressure practices used to get young girls to marry him, the false doctrines he taught that families would be saved if the daughter or wife married him, the lack of financial support offered to plural wives, dishonesty etc. I think there are a lot of practices the church needs to disavow and say "that is not ok". It could help to prevent similar abuses in the future.

But you know that isn't going to happen now. Those who won't start where things could happen are not trying to fix anything.

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8 minutes ago, bluebell said:

Polygamy produced God's covenant people.  How is that not God using polygamy?

I simply do not believe that God ever specifically commanded that polygamy be lived.  I do not believe this practice comes from God.  I will possibly concede that in some cases, God may have allowed it or may not have specifically condemned it and this may have been one of those times.

Edited by ALarson

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