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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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50 minutes ago, bluebell said:

I'm saying that there is nothing in section 132 where it says or implies that God condoned adultery.  Abraham taking concubines is an example of polygamy.  

But it was slavery. Hagar was owned to the point Sarah could pass her around. She was abused by a prophet by any definition supported by the Church today, yet God spoke to her and created a great nation from her. Abraham may get the credit but she saved and raised her boy despite him collaborating with Sarah to kill them. This is what I am talking about in restoring the Church. We only acknowledge the results not the means. I think a true restoration means we can no longer accept the evil along with the good.

 

1 hour ago, HappyJackWagon said:

What does that mean?

This seems like a very defeatist approach. If I don't think the church is likely to disavow despicable practices I shouldn't talk about the need to disavow despicable practices? Maybe the discussion and sunlight on these practices will create a space where the church decides to address it more directly. Isn't that what we've seen with the essays? A need is created so the church decides to address it?

 There is a lesson to be learned from OW and fortunately, I have seen changes in approach since they blew themselves up. You can't have spent any time in the Church at all if you don't know what has a chance of working and what just creates higher walls. No one who expects to go in shouting accusations, condemnation, and just plain meanness is going to be seen as a hero or a helper.  Maybe it should work that way, but it doesn't.  As for the essays, look how long it took for them to appear.  If you don't think those who wrote them haven't been quietly, calmly and effectively doing the hard work, think again. The foundation has to be built first and the people who understand and respect that are the people who will be shaping our future.

Edited by juliann

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40 minutes ago, stemelbow said:

Alrighty.  Genesis has it that Sarai saw Hagar as her mistress.  "And he went in unto Hagar, and she conceived: and when she saw that she had conceived, her mistress was despised in her eyes."

 

Stem, in case someone hasn't corrected this yet, "her mistress" is Sarah (notice your reading has Hagar as the mistress of Sarah, not Abraham, which doesn't make sense given it is the conception that triggers the disrespect) and it is Hagar who is despising Sarah for being barren.

See here for where Hagar is referred to as a wife:

https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Genesis 16

Edited by Calm

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7 minutes ago, juliann said:

There is a lesson to be learned from OW and fortunately, I have seen changes in approach since they blew themselves up. 1-You can't have spent any time in the Church at all if you don't know what has a chance of working and what just creates higher walls. No one who expects to go in shouting accusations, condemnation, and just plain meanness is going to be seen as a hero or a helper.  Maybe it should work that way, but it doesn't.  2- As for the essays, look how long it took for them to appear.  If you don't think those who wrote them haven't been quietly, calmly and effectively doing the hard work, think again. The foundation has to be built first and the people who understand and respect that are the people who will be shaping our future.

1-If you think the goal of OW was to shout for X,Y, or Z in hopes of realistically getting X,Y, or Z then I would agree. But what OW did was ask for a mile so they could gain five yards. I know it's an arguable position, but I think OW caused the church to take a closer look at women's issues in the church. They may have been totally turned off by OW and refused to give what they asked for, but the increased sensitivity to the issue has resulted in some changes.

2- Yes, it took a long time and I have no doubt people were doing heavy lifting in preparation for those essays to be accepted by the church. But this is my point. Maybe challenging D&C 132 now, as unrealistic as it seems to ask the church to decanonize it, is setting the ground work for 30 years down the road? I don't know, but just because I don't think the church will do it, doesn't mean I shouldn't talk about it or hope for it. I think the first stage is for each individual to feel empowered to accept or reject 132 on its merits, not simply because someone tells them they should.

 

 

 

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12 minutes ago, ALarson said:

None of which proves that it was commanded by God.  

I get that.  But D&C is presented as a commandment from God.  In the LDS paradigm, it has all the earmarks of being a commandment.  It A) came from the Presiding High Priest, who B) was acting/writing in his official capacity, and who C) specifically attributes it to God, and D) it was canonized by the body of the Church.

In legal parlance, these things constitute "prima facie evidence."  In my mind, then, I would want to see at least some quantum of countervailing evidence and argument to overcome the presumption created by items A-D above.  I'm willing to consider such evidence.  I'm just not seeing any besides variations on "I don't like polygamy."  Well, that's neither evidence nor argument.

Quote

That men and women faithfully entered into living polygamy and did their best to make it work, is not proof that God commanded it to be lived.

First, I won't niggle about differentiating "proof" and "evidence."  I think you mean the latter, and I will take it that way unless you tell me otherwise.

Second, we could trade assertions like this all day.  That you don't like polygamy, or that it caused "pain and heartache" in some ways, "is not proof that God commanded it to be lived."

So I propose we put aside assertions and deal with evidence and arguments, such as we can (this predominantly is a matter of religious faith, after all).

Quote

 

And most especially the manner in which young girls were involved and also the deceit that was involved with approaching and convincing women who were already married to become a man's plural wife, was not something God would have commanded a man to do (and behind his wife's back as well).

I believe if you were not defending Joseph Smith's actions here, you'd see this.

 

I'm not defending "Joseph Smith's actions."  That is neither here nor there.  I am speaking of the origin of D&C 132, not how it was implemented and practiced.

So is that where we are?  Polygamy was not ordained by God because you feel it was poorly (wickedly?) implemented by some?  What about the many, many instances where women voluntarily entered into polygamy?  Where they felt blessed by it?  Where they felt that God had commanded them to do it?  You previously discounted such things altogether, and I just don't get that.  It seems like you're loading the deck.  "Polygamy was wrong because everyone who ever practiced it ever was either depraved or coerced, and nothing good of it came, ever."  Except . . . that's not exactly an accurate picture, is it?

And all that aside, we are still left with discerning the origin of D&C 132.

Thanks,

-Smac

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4 hours 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.

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

100% agreed. This is the mature spiritual path. We test out these doctrines using generally applicable principles. An unyielding commitment to fundamentalism retards spiritual growth.

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17 minutes ago, smac97 said:

But no. 1 above doesn't answer my question.  I know you are making an argument "to throw out" D&C 132.  My question was about your "preferred explanation for the origins of D&C 132."  If you are rejecting the the Church's "dominant narrative" (specifically, that D&C 132 was revealed by God to Joseph Smith), and if you are also denying that you are attributing the D&C 132 to Satan, then what are you saying?  

I am not making a preferred explanantion.  Rather I am putting all options on the table and giving people theological and historical room to make up their own mind.  I have no preferred position on 132 though I find it too hard to swallow to simply accept.

17 minutes ago, smac97 said:

Are you claiming that Joseph Smith was not deceived by Satan, and instead just fabricated it on his own and falsely attributed it to God?  If so, then why present all the stuff in your PowerPoint about "deceiving spirits?"

your not following.  I show that he may have been deceived, he may have made it up, or he may have gotten it from God, or he may have gotten it from an angel, or he may have been mentally ill and thought he saw an angel..... (i actually don't argue that last one).  My point is to show that we as a church have precedence to dismiss revelation, doctrine, scripture, canon, and prophetic utterances and hence people have room to do the same.

17 minutes ago, smac97 said:

There appear to be three general options here: Joseph Smith was either A) honest and correct (he received D&C 132 as revelation from God), or B) deceived or a "pious fraud" (Satan tricked him into thinking that D&C 132 was from God, when it really was from Satan), or C) Joseph was consciously fraudulent (he consciously chose to fabricate D&C 132 out of his own imagination and falsely attribute it as a revelation from God).  (I suppose we could also go with D) Joseph Smith was deluded/insane, but I'll let you bring that on up.)

or he was mentally ill and no one visited him but he thought so

17 minutes ago, smac97 said:

Which of these reflects your position as to the origins of D&C 132?  Any?  If not, what is your theory of its origin?

I'm not trying to be obtuse here.  I just don't understand your position.

none of them.  I am giving people room but never share nor impose my position.

17 minutes ago, smac97 said:

Thanks,

-Smac

 

your welcome

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38 minutes ago, ALarson said:

How do we know this?  (I'm not doubting you, I'm just curious....)

ETA:

Here's this, do you agree?:

 

The difference is probably in how one defines "wife".  Mistresses and prostitutes do not exist in a contractual relationship with the man they have a physical relationship with.

Concubines by later Jewish law had a contract with their husband, though this may not have applied earlier before it became spelled out (not sure about that).  There were still laws for the handmaid situation apparently, even if it applied more to the mistress than the master/husband (I am assuming here the handmaid is considered the mistress' property, not the master's):

" In one instance, the term concubine is applied to a handmaiden (shifḥah and aʾmah) who had borne children to her mistress' husband (Gen. 35:22). Such a relationship was usually established because the legal wife was barren (Gen. 16). Ancient marriage arrangements often stipulated that if the wife was barren, she must provide a handmaiden for her husband (cf. Code of Hammurapi, paragraphs 144–5 and the adoption contract from Nuzi in Pritchard, Texts, 220). Naming the handmaiden given to the bride by her father in such cases was evidently related to this practice (Pritchard, loc. cit.; Gen. 29:24, 29). If the wife later bore children of her own, they took precedence in the inheritance over those of the handmaiden (Gen. 21:12; cf. Code of Hammurapi, 170), although the latter did receive a share (usually on condition that their father had granted them legal recognition; Code of Hammurapi, 171). Israelite law provided safeguards for the rights of Hebrew girls sold as handmaidens who were to be wed to their purchaser or to his son (Ex. 21:7–11). If the handmaiden bore children for her mistress and then sought to place herself on an equal footing, she normally could not be sold, although she could be reduced to the status of a slave again (Code of Hammurapi, 146; cf. Gen. 21:12–14, where the slave-concubine and her child are both expelled, but only on the advice of a divine oracle.)."

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6 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?

 

I don't think Mormonism is heading this way for the most part 

 

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1 minute ago, Gray said:

100% agreed. This is the mature spiritual path. We test out these doctrines using generally applicable principles. An unyielding commitment to fundamentalism retards spiritual growth.

yes it does

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4 hours ago, 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.

The doctrines of sealing is derived from Matthew, not just D&C 132.

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55 minutes ago, HappyJackWagon said:

Maybe you should try listening to the podcast.

if only they would, it answers much of this and you get a better feel for my perspective.

Edited by DBMormon

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5 hours ago, rodheadlee said:

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

What about section 131?

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You can't get rid of section 132 because it talks about marriage sealing and obtaining godhood and what exaltation entails. Also there are plenty of Old Testament stuff we don't follow or believe in and that stuff is still canonized.

Edited by VideoGameJunkie

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5 hours 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.

 

Plus one rep point!

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13 minutes ago, Calm said:

Stem, in case someone hasn't corrected this yet, "her mistress" is Sarah (notice your reading has Hagar as the mistress of Sarah, not Abraham, which doesn't make sense given it is the conception that triggers the disrespect) and it is Hagar who is despising Sarah for being barren.

See here for where Hagar is referred to as a wife:

https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Genesis 16

A moment of dullness on my part...now I am not sure how you are using "mistress"in the post I was responding to (unmarried ongoing female sexual partner or someone with authority over master/mistress?), are you suggesting because Hagar viewed Sarai as her mistress and not her equal, she could not have been seen as a wife?  If so, this is simply the handmaid situation and how a lower status wife still has to accept that a full status wife had authority over her.  Also, a first wife would generally have authority over the other wives even if they were full status in that time period.  I can find references if you need them.

ALarson, my reference for the above quote in the above post was the earlier link:

http://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/jsource/judaica/ejud_0002_0005_0_04557.html

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57 minutes ago, Calm said:

Stem, in case someone hasn't corrected this yet, "her mistress" is Sarah (notice your reading has Hagar as the mistress of Sarah, not Abraham, which doesn't make sense given it is the conception that triggers the disrespect) and it is Hagar who is despising Sarah for being barren.

See here for where Hagar is referred to as a wife:

https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Genesis 16

Ok.  this is getting difficult because I'm just speeding through with comments.  Let me try and slow down.  It is not said that Hagar was Abraham's concubine--it doesn't even say that she was his wife unless, it appears, that's read into it.  The passage in D&C 132 says Abraham had concubines, this after telling of Hagar's situation, and his having children with concubines (not Hagar and not Sarai) was accounted to him as righteousness--according to D&C 132.  I was trying to point out that Hagar might have been a wife of Abraham, but wife in the language of section 132 seems to be distinct from concubine.  This was in response to Bluebell (I believe) who suggested that concubines themselves were wives--which isn't necessarily the case according to your link. 

And what examples from the OT do we have of Abraham having children with concubines? keturah is one, I suppose. 

I'm not sure how to read this other than to conclude D&C 132 is condoning cases wherein Abraham committed adultery.  I think bluebell responded to my saying that by saying, he did not, because those described as concubines in 132 were his wives.  But, that seems unlikely from what we have.  And I think based on your link alone it appears to say universally, that concubines were wives is mostly inaccurate and probably a little simplistic. 

Hope that helps. 

But to further it'd be odd for David, for instance, who had wives and concubines, to have lesser wives, if we are treat the reading in that sense.  I'm not sure, as someone noted above, that having lesser wives is a view that should be acceptable to us, no?  Anyway you slice it, it feels like D&C 132 is condoning activities and counting these activities as righteousness.  It really throws a wrench into our perceived morality.  It makes polygamy and how it was practiced by JS seem pretty tame, in another sense. 

Edited by stemelbow

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Just now, VideoGameJunkie said:

You can't get rid of section 132 because it talks about marriage sealing and obtaining godhood. Also there are plenty of Old Testament stuff we don't follow or believe in and that stuff is still canonized.

you can if 132 is a culmination of several revelations...... which some say it is.

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55 minutes ago, Calm said:

Rod, I am curious.  Do you allow for the multiple sealings of women to be eternal based on the same reasoning?

Sure, it is whatever God wants. Thy will be done.

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24 minutes ago, Calm said:

Stem, in case someone hasn't corrected this yet, "her mistress" is Sarah (notice your reading has Hagar as the mistress of Sarah, not Abraham, which doesn't make sense given it is the conception that triggers the disrespect) and it is Hagar who is despising Sarah for being barren.

See here for where Hagar is referred to as a wife:

https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Genesis 16

Either way.   That's not really my concern.  But it does appear that Sarai despised Hagar.  whoever despised first doesn't matter, huh? 

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5 minutes ago, Teancum said:

Plus one rep point!

Plus two!

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4 hours 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.

Polygamy was restored?  

Really?

Please show me where polygamy was ever tied to receiving exaltation and the highest rewards God has for us.  Use the Book of Mormon or the Bible. 

Joseph and Brighams polygamy doctrine was simply unique.  Nothing like it before. 

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15 minutes ago, DBMormon said:

I am not making a preferred explanantion.  Rather I am putting all options on the table and giving people theological and historical room to make up their own mind.  I have no preferred position on 132 though I find it too hard to swallow to simply accept.

your not following.  I show that he may have been deceived, he may have made it up, or he may have gotten it from God, or he may have gotten it from an angel, or he may have been mentally ill and thought he saw an angel..... (i actually don't argue that last one).  My point is to show that we as a church have precedence to dismiss revelation, doctrine, scripture, canon, and prophetic utterances and hence people have room to do the same.

or he was mentally ill and no one visited him but he thought so

none of them.  I am giving people room but never share nor impose my position.

your welcome

So it sounds like apart from rejecting Joseph Smith's and the Church's explanation for D&C 132...

Option (A): It is a revelation from God

... you have no preferred explanation as to its origins.  You are postulating that ...

Option (B): Joseph Smith could have been deceived by Satan, or

Option (C): Joseph Smith could have been mentally ill or otherwise deluded or insane, and hence involuntarily or "piously" defrauded the Church by writing D&C 132 and attributing it to God, or

Option (D): Joseph Smith was a conscious fraud (he may have been a sexual degenerate out to slake his lusts, and he could have had other ungodly/wicked motivations as well), and so defrauded the Church by writing D&C 132 and attributing it to God, or . . .

 . . . well, the list goes on for as long as far as anyone's imagination will take them.

The only possible explanation which you reject as to the origins of D&C 132 is . . . the one given by Joseph Smith and the Church.

I think I am following you now.

Thanks,

-Smac

Edited by smac97

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39 minutes ago, Bernard Gui said:

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.

If God didn't see fit to command plural marriage to raise up seed at the very inception of the Nephite civilization in the New World, when would he?

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4 minutes ago, Calm said:

A moment of dullness on my part...now I am not sure how you are using "mistress"in the post I was responding to (unmarried ongoing female sexual partner or someone with authority over master/mistress?), are you suggesting because Hagar viewed Sarai as her mistress and not her equal, she could not have been seen as a wife?  If so, this is simply the handmaid situation and how a lower status wife still has to accept that a full status wife had authority over her.  Also, a first wife would generally have authority over the other wives even if they were full status in that time period.  I can find references if you need them.

ALarson, my reference for the above quote in the above post was the earlier link:

http://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/jsource/judaica/ejud_0002_0005_0_04557.html

Not at all.  I only referred to mistress because Bluebell said there was no mistress involved here.

I would suggest it feels weird to call Hagar Abraham's wife, but it really doesn't matter, because Hagar is not said to be Abraham's concubine (the term used in section 132).  He had multiple concubines outside of Sarai and Hagar is the claim in section 132.  I think in both cases it is rather questionable to say his concubines were his wives and to claim Hagar was his wife. 

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