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3DOP

My New Mormonism

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I used an expression, "New Mormonism", a few weeks ago to object to a video wherein it seemed to me like this well-meaning young fellow, who loved being LDS and intends to continue, but was nevertheless in agreement with a lot of claims against the CoJCoLDS. I spent an entire work day off explaining why I doubted that this could be compatible with what Mormons had believed in the past. That was why I chose the expression "New Mormonism". That is the context of a misunderstanding that has come up with mfbukowski, which is somewhat of a derail from a thread that I think will get little more attention. Hopefully, in the course of discussion here, it can be discerned why a Catholic should care whether any kind of Mormonism is "old" or "new". Why would I make it my business? I thought it best to start over, front and center if you will.

I will now address myself to mfbukowski (known as Mark by many here) and take a brief pause before continuing to analyze his complaint against how I explain what I mean by New Mormonism. It is a free forum. Comment as you will. I have about four short articles to tidy up. They should be up in the next hour or two. 

Hi Mark,

I intend to begin a series of replies here that I hope will respond adequately to each of your claims. But first, I want you to know that I sincerely hope that you will reconsider some of your positions. I think it is obvious to each of us, as well as those who have seen us interact, that ideologically, we are like fire and water. On the other hand, I just know that if you could have eyes to see, unblinded by this philosophy of men, that we could be best of friends. Do you not think the same way toward me when you think about it? For my part, I still hope that we could reach some point of agreement. Realizing that this would require a miracle of grace, I lit a candle after Mass this morning, and prayed the appropriate prayers that you would stop being such a stubborn blankety blank. Not really...just that maybe I could have some wisdom to explain why I must profoundly object to your apparent beliefs.

You told me a few days back that, "we love you". I also wish you every opportunity to find the fullness of God's will for you and yours, in this life and the next. If we never find our way to agree, may God forbid that I should be your enemy.

May God bless.

 

Rory

Edited by 3DOP
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In the series of articles that follow, Mark is objecting to the way I answered a question regarding what I meant by “New Mormonism”. This was how I answered the question:  

 

“Its probably an in (sic) internet phenomenon.

But the new Mormonism to which I refer says that the ban on blacks in the priesthood was because of racism. It accepts that the polygamy Joseph Smith practiced allowed him to sleep with other men's wives while they were away on missions. It doubts the historicity of the geography and characters in the Book of Mormon. It is typified by a young man who made a video a week or two ago saying that he is Mormon even while holding to views like those I have just described. In short, the New Mormonism I have in mind accepts anti-Mormon apologetics and remains LDS.

I doubt if ‘new Mormonism’ (my term) uses conference, Scripture study, or their church experience to arrive at their position.”

Hi again Mark…back to talking to you.

 

mfbukowski

You are misinformed.

3DOP

One is misinformed when they have accepted something that is false that someone else communicated. I have only given my personal perception of a change in the LDS approach to certain claims first made by those who were called “anti-Mormons”. I further added the necessary disclaimer which you missed, that "its probably an in (sic) internet phenomenon". My observations are based on around twenty years overall dialoguing with LDS on the internet, including my time here which preceded yours. You weren't in the early days here, or during ZLMB days at all, which began in Sept. 2000. I wouldn't say you are misinformed. But you have no information about my memories at all. I recall a powerful LDS response to anti-Mormon claims about Joseph Smith's polygamy, racism as the reason for priesthood ban, Book of Mormon historicity, and other matters. Not long ago, it was deemed incompatible with being a devout Mormon, to accept these anti-Mormon claims, even on the internet.

Edited by 3DOP

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mfbukowski 

Imagine me describing the New Catholicism and maybe you will understand that taking on the responsibility to explain one's own faith to them while you do not understand it yourself can be risky.

3DOP

Please point out where I "explain one's own (You had to mean "another's own") faith to them". I have pointed out that it is now okay according to some, not all, to be LDS and accept points of view that were once considered anti-Mormon. This is how I have perceived it after twenty years of experience on the internet. If I did not feel welcome as a non-Mormon to express my observations on an LDS internet discussion board without incurring "risk", then I would leave. But no one but you has ever in all these years accused me of explaining the Mormon faith to Mormons. But if a lot of others should join you, Mark, in telling me essentially to be quiet about my observations and mind my own business, I will assess the situation and behave accordingly. I simply don’t believe that, properly understood, the majority of Mormons disagree with what I am saying.     

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mfbukowski

I won't bother to go into it farther- just take my word for it that you did not get it right.

3DOP

I should take your word for it about my own experience and observations? I am afraid I can't do that. Everybody else seems to get that I am simply trying to reconcile an apparently different approach to historical claims. Notice I said "apparently". I think it is apparent to everybody except you that I am innocent of dictating to Mormons what they believe now or used to believe. I suspect that my expression, "New Mormonism", touched a nerve. If I am not mistaken you are a "newer Mormon", if you will, than anyone here. You don't appreciate the old apologetics which defended historical events in a light favorable to Christianity in general amd Mormonism in particular. For you, they are superfluous. I think that is because you take a new, ahistorical  approach to religion. If that should take root, it is a novelty among the Mormons. Furthermore, if it is okay that the Book of Mormon history might be pious fiction, it seems like the Virgin Birth or Bodily Resurrection of Christ, or any other Gospel event might not necessarily have happened either.

You call your belief pragmatism, and it is the same word that I have heard my whole time on the internet to emphasize LDS practice over doctrine. But you give pragmatism another meaning, and it is in my opinion, incompatible with any kind of Mormonism that believes in the necessary historical reality of certain biblical or BOM events. This is my perception of how things are going on the internet only.

There is historical religion and ahistorical religion. Mormonism had always appeared to me to share with Catholicism the necessity of the reality of certain historical events, for either to be true. This is why I oppose what I have called New Mormonism. It moves Mormons and Catholics further away from each other. If it has always been okay within Mormonism to deny Book of Mormon historicity, then I was mistaken about an important piece of common ground between Catholics and Mormons. But the fact is, I have a hunch that your own ahistoricity has not much penetrated into the Church at large, and that there might even be a handful of LDS here who can identify with my misgivings.    

Edited by 3DOP

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mfbukowski

And here you admit you do not know it.

3DOP

Avatar asks me what I mean by the expression "New Mormonism" and objects to it by saying he has been to "...conference and study my scriptures and go to church each week and I see the same Mormonism I see in the sermons of Joseph and Brigham"

I completely understood his objection. I replied by giving my belief that one wouldn't find the ahistorical religion to which I object at conference, by scripture study, or church attendance. I also added for Avatar, that this is at most, “probably an internet phenomenon”. To clarify, I was saying I agreed that my concerns about Mormonism becoming an ahistorical religion does not probably extend to the sources that Avatar cited. How is that an admission that I don't know what I have observed on the internet? I would be surprised if your ahistorical pragmatism has deeply penetrated Mormonism at this time. I doubt if there has ever been a single apostle of your church that believes like you. This video we discussed, and the favorable views of it endorsed by Mormons, appears to me as a new historical skepticism, with religion on top. I cannot help but believe that it is a faithless retreat, not advanced by revelation, caused by doubts about former LDS claims. And that is why, I do not think it is inaccurate to speak of an ahistorical "New Mormonism",  that has appeared on the internet, though probably not in conference, scripture study, or church. 

I took Avatar completely at his word about what goes on in his church because I am not there. I will not take you at "your word" for what has been said by Mormons on the internet for the last twenty years, because I have a lot more experience than you do with it.

--------------------

Okay. That's it. I know it was long. I thought it might work better broken up. Anyway, I eagerly await, any and all replies. If almost everybody disagrees with me, and can't imagine how I could make a distinction between ahistorical and historical religion and apply it to Mormonism as I have experienced it here at MDDB in the present and elsewhere in the past, I will stand corrected. I'd feel a little silly, but it would be great to know I have been wrong about my misgivings.

Regards to all,

Rory

 

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Perhaps you're playing a deeper game than I can see, 3DOP.  But for the life of me, I can't figure out why a Catholic is scandalized by an evolution that's been going on for decades resulting in what you call, "New Mormonism."  Is it because you find it hypocritical and you're exasperated others don't share your sense of scandal? 

I know we dialogued a bit on the previous thread, but I never did grasp your motive.  Isn't it better for the whole country (U.S.) that ~ 2% of the population no longer argues African Americans are inherently inferior (due to a lack of valiancy in a pre-existence, or any other reason) and thereby unworthy of temple participation (regardless of what one thinks of LDS temples & the practices therein)? 

I was taught the Catholic Church played a large role in suppressing the practice polygamy in the Western world, and why it's considered taboo and made illegal in many places to this day.  Do you wish to see this rolled back too?  The changes you oppose actually make the world a better place (regardless of the cognitive dissonance for some LDS). 

You are part of a remarkable tradition.  More than a few Protestants have asked what was lost as well as gained in the Reformation.  But with this seeming nostalgia for "Old Mormonism" you would, like Esau, trade your birthright for a pottage.

--Erik

___________________________________

Tomorrow, remember yesterday

--The Chameleons, "Nostalgia"

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6 hours ago, 3DOP said:

In the series of articles that follow, Mark is objecting to the way I answered a question regarding what I meant by “New Mormonism”. This was how I answered the question:  

 

“Its probably an in (sic) internet phenomenon.

But the new Mormonism to which I refer says that the ban on blacks in the priesthood was because of racism. It accepts that the polygamy Joseph Smith practiced allowed him to sleep with other men's wives while they were away on missions. It doubts the historicity of the geography and characters in the Book of Mormon. It is typified by a young man who made a video a week or two ago saying that he is Mormon even while holding to views like those I have just described. In short, the New Mormonism I have in mind accepts anti-Mormon apologetics and remains LDS.

I doubt if ‘new Mormonism’ (my term) uses conference, Scripture study, or their church experience to arrive at their position.”

Hi again Mark…back to talking to you.

 

mfbukowski

You are misinformed.

3DOP

One is misinformed when they have accepted something that is false that someone else communicated. I have only given my personal perception of a change in the LDS approach to certain claims first made by those who were called “anti-Mormons”. I further added the necessary disclaimer which you missed, that "its probably an in (sic) internet phenomenon". My observations are based on around twenty years overall dialoguing with LDS on the internet, including my time here which preceded yours. You weren't in the early days here, or during ZLMB days at all, which began in Sept. 2000. I wouldn't say you are misinformed. But you have no information about my memories at all. I recall a powerful LDS response to anti-Mormon claims about Joseph Smith's polygamy, racism as the reason for priesthood ban, Book of Mormon historicity, and other matters. Not long ago, it was deemed incompatible with being a devout Mormon, to accept these anti-Mormon claims, even on the internet.

To taste and bear testimony of the spiritual value contained in mormonism while holding the belief that Joseph Smith may have been sexually deviant, that historicity is irrelevant, or that leaders are quite capable of being racist is in no way blasphemous, contradictory, spiritually weak, or anti Mormon. Critics and defenders are engaged in this perpetual, stupid debate over Joseph Smith’s sex life, faces in hats, DNA, etc that is as useful a debate to one’s spirituality as two children arguing whether Batman or Ironman is the better superhero. 

If the church or gospel doesn’t work for a person that’s fine. If some one wants to defend or criticize JS’s behavior, go right ahead. But to argue as if these things are critical to the spiritual value of Mormonism is logically stupid. 

 

Edited by Brother Bear
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@3DOP, the transition you observed over time might be framed in terms of beating swords into plowshares, a form of God’s grace shed upon those who are overwhelmed by an onslaught of information they cannot keep up with coming from powerful media they cannot let go of, sufferers of two counts of co-dependence so prevalent in the digital age. They may not think or feel as independently as those less vulnerable or habituated, but their religious and spiritual thoughts and feelings are nonetheless real to them. Thanks be to God they have a testimony to hold to.

One of my favorite quotes is, “The fundamental principles of our religion are the testimony of the Apostles and Prophets, concerning Jesus Christ, that He died, was buried, and rose again the third day, and ascended into heaven; and all other things which pertain to our religion are only appendages to it. But in connection with these, we believe in the gift of the Holy Ghost, the power of faith, the enjoyment of the spiritual gifts according to the will of God, the restoration of the house of Israel, and the final triumph of truth.” (Joseph Smith).

For such souls, and to the apologists, I think the “anti-Mormon” pieces of information have become less than appendages to appendages; they have become inert vestigials, destined to wither away. They have proven to be ineffectual in leading the body of saints or the Church astray, and especially in leading the  "weak" and "the little ones" away from Christ and the Restoration.

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I really don't have time to respond much if at all after this.

Is this a "private thread"?

Your quotes seem to be out of context, do not use the quote function and so are not linked to the actual quotes, especially the one which begins "And here you admit that you do not know it" which is clearly taken out of context on its face.

I love you too dude and I wish we could talk but there is no comprehension here of what I am saying and I am sorry about that.  You will never understand that all my quoting of Rorty and all my statements about religion actually HELP all religions including Catholicism.  But you refuse to understand my point of view- this is my last shot.

You do not understand William James nor his views on "Pragmatism" and his views on religious experience which is a boon to anyone in the mystic tradition.  It not only justifies visions of  Joseph Smith but it supports Fatima, Lourdes and other religious phenomena as does Rorty's view

Rorty puts forth the same definition of truth Alma does and that Moroni does and that James 1 does.  Yet you say that doctrine as somehow anti-Mormon because it does not fit with Bruce R McConkie's "Mormon Doctrine" and so I become an anti-Mormon because he is the poster child for a direction in the church that the church is now leaving, but was NEVER a part of the restoration as Joseph saw it

BUT you cannot see that.  You do not understand that.

Some how in your mind if a view does not support Cartesian Dualism and Scholasticism it is automatically wrong because it conflicts with Catholic philosophy 

I would strongly suggest that if you are serious about seeking answers to these questions you read some books by Givens, Mason, Bushman and others

If anything what you call "New Mormonism" is a return to "old Mormonism" of Joseph Smith and away from the Protestant- leaning factions of the church.

Sorry dude but you are just uninformed about what was, and what is happening in the church all of which is positive

I am not going to look up the video from the kid that recently started some squabbles but others here will tell you that his view of polygamy was historically..... flawed.  

Let me try this and show you the problem.  This is a quote from New Advent about Pragmatism and seems to gets the point EXACTLY RIGHT- I have added the bold underlining and italics for emphasis

http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/12333b.htm

Quote

 

Pragmatism and religion

It has been pointed out that one of the secrets of the popularity of Pragmatism is the belief that in the warfare between religion and Agnosticism the Pragmatists have, somehow, come to the rescue on the side of religious truth (Pratt, "What is Pragmatism", p. 175). It should be admitted at once that, by temperamental disposition, rather than by force of logic, the Pragmatist is inclined to uphold the vital and social importance of positive religious faith. For him, religion is not a mere attitude of mind, an illumination thrown on facts already ascertained, or a state of feeling which disposes one to place an emotional value on the truths revealed by science. It adds new facts and brings forward new truths which make a difference, and lead to differences, especially in conduct. Whether religions are proved or not, they have approved themselves to the Pragmatist (Varieties of Religious Experience, p. 331). They should be judged by their intent and not merely by their content. James says expressly: "On Pragmatic principles, if the hypothesis of God works satisfactorily in the widest sense of the word, it is true" (Pragmatism, p. 299). This is open to two objections. In the first place, what functions or "works satisfactorily" is not the existence of God, but belief in the existence of God. In the struggle with Agnosticism and religious scepticism the task of the Christian apologist is not to prove that men believe in God but to justify that belief by proving that God exists; and in this task the assistance which he receives from the Pragmatist is of doubtful value. In the second place, it will be remembered that the Pragmatist makes experience synonymous with reality. The consequences, therefore, which follow from the "hypothesis of God" must fall within actual or possible human experience, not of the inferential or deductivekind, but experience direct and intuitional. But it is clear that if we attach any definite meaning at all to the idea of God, we must mean a Being whose existence is not capable of direct intuitional experience, except in the supernatural order, an order which, it need hardly be said, the Pragmatist does not admit. We do not need the Pragmatist to tell us that belief in God functions for good, that it brings order into our intellectual chaos, that it sustains us by confidence in the rationality of things here, and buoys us up with hope when we look towards the things that are beyond. What we need is assistance in the task of showing that that belief is founded on inferential evidence, and that the "hypothesis of God" may be proved to be a fact.

 

LOOK AT THAT

If Fatima is NOT based on "direct intuitive experience"- what IS it based on??  Where are the photos of Mary?  Even the Sun Miracle is based on the testimonies of individuals, and many did NOT see the phenomenon because they were "worldly"

Where is the evidence that God exists which can be shown to others??  NOWHERE!  If it existed all the world would be believers!

Visions are based on "actual or possible human experience, not of the inferential or deductivekind, but experience direct and intuitional. " OBVIOUSLY!!  And that is what they say is NO PROOF for God!!

THAT is precisely the atheist point of view - "There is no evidence for God".

Ever heard that one???  WHAT they are looking for is precisely what atheism insists on- they are agreeing with the atheists criteria for proof of God's existence!!

So where is the justification for visions?   The Catholicism they are putting forth appears to deny the importance of "DIRECT EXPERIENCE".  So out with Teresa of Avila, out with any mystical experience at all - out with the truth of "direct and intuitional experience"   Stephan looked into heaven and had a "direct intuitional experience" and did every other Catholic visionary.

And the end of the article criticizing Pragmatism because "Man is the measure of all things"

YEP that is precisely right because GOD is the measure of all things and God IS MAN in Mormonism.  Infinitely refined? Yes of course!   The Man of Holiness has a body exactly like ours.

We must have our own "DIRECT EXPERIENCE" and revelations from God- the Perfect Man.

And catch this- the most perfect statement ever- this article is incredibly accurate within its own universe, predicting its own downfall.  In criticizing Pragmatism - it says this:

Quote

 

For, despite its disclaimer of agreement with the intellectual Idealism of the Bradley type, it is guilty of the fundamental error of Idealism when it makes reality to be co-extensive with experience, and describes its doctrine of perception in terms of Cartesian Subjectivism. It is, in a sense, Anarchistic. Discarding Intellectualistic logic, it discards principles, and has no substitute for them except individual experience. Like the Reformers, who misunderstood or misrepresented the theology of the Schoolmen, it has never grasped the true meaning of Scholastic Realism, always confounding it with Intellectual Realism of the Absolutist type. Finally, by bringing all the problems of life within the scope of Pragmatism, which claims to be a system of philosophy, it introduces confusion into the relations between philosophy and theology, and still worse confusion into the relations between philosophy and religion. It consistently appeals to future prosperity as a Pragmatic test of its truth, thus leaving the verdict to time and a future generation. But with the elements of error and disorganization which it has embodied in its method and adopted in its synthesis, it has done much, so the Intellectualist thinks, to prejudge its case.


 

Yes Mormonism is based on subjective experience.  Ever heard me say that before?  Now you know why.  It is individual testimony and personal revelation- the cornerstone of the church.

Yes it is individualistic because it promotes individual liberty and individual rights- not monarchies.

And thank God it has never grasped "Scholastic Realism" which has given us the Trinity and Transubstantiation.

And YES it closes the blur between philosophy and religion and humanism- as I have said before "When God is Human, humanism becomes Theology" and no, I was not kidding.

Mormons know there IS NO such thing as "showing that that belief is founded on inferential evidence, and that the "hypothesis of God" may be proved to be a fact."  THEY know that it is all based on faith- the "substance of things hoped for and NOT SEEN" except through "intuitional experience"

And yes of course "future prosperity" is the ultimate judge of a faith.  The gospel is to fill the earth, and what is happening now with Catholicism?

And how well is "Scholastic Realism" doing in the world now as opposed to Kuhnian paradigm shifts in the realm of prospering as a world view?  Do paradigm shifts lead to "error and disorganization"?  

Thanks for bringing it up, but I am about out of words and still expect you to not get it.  Sorry but we do not have a good history at this point.  I wanted to get together with you but it did not work out.

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1 hour ago, Brother Bear said:

To taste of and bear testimony of the spiritual value contained in mormonism while holding the belief that Joseph Smith may have been sexually deviant, that historicity is irrelevant, or that leaders are quite capable of being racist is in no way blasphemous, contradictory, spiritually weak, or anti Mormon. Critics and defenders are engaged in this perpetual, stupid debate over Joseph Smith’s sex life, faces in hats, DNA, etc that is as useful a debate to one’s spirituality as two children arguing whether Batman or Ironman is the better superhero. 

If the church or gospel doesn’t work for a person that’s fine. If some one wants to defend or criticize JS’s behavior, go right ahead. But to argue as if these things are critical to the spiritual value of Mormonism is logically stupid. 

 

Nailed it.

And why? Because the perfect beliefs of the imperfect spokesman still yield incredibly good fruit.

In other words, the belief remains "pragmatic" even with a flawed spokesman.

The belief works to improve our lives and brings us closer to God

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42 minutes ago, CV75 said:

They have proven to be ineffectual in leading the body of saints or the Church astray, and especially in leading the  "weak" and "the little ones" away from Christ and the Restoration.

And in keeping with my theme here, in the same spirit, the anti-lifestyle has not itself born "good fruit" and that is the reason they are "ineffectual"

They all hang out here telling us how wrong we are but they cannot leave it alone because they know how well it works

The very existence of Mormon culture and non-believers who cannot give up the "lifestyle" are absolute PROOF that the church WORKS as a way of life regardless of belief in doctrine

We actually have gay people who want their kids to go to church and be taught that their parents are wrong so that the parents can still call themselves "Mormon" and live the lifestyle- they want to be married in a church who refuses to marry them

That is the absolute pragmatic proof of the value of the culture alone.

Edited by mfbukowski
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33 minutes ago, mfbukowski said:

And in keeping with my theme here, in the same spirit, the anti-lifestyle has not itself born "good fruit" and that is the reason they are "ineffectual"

They all hang out here telling us how wrong we are but they cannot leave it alone because they know how well it works

The very existence of Mormon culture and non-believers who cannot give up the "lifestyle" are absolute PROOF that the church WORKS as a way of life regardless of belief in doctrine

We actually have gay people who want their kids to go to church and be taught that their parents are wrong so that the parents can still call themselves "Mormon" and live the lifestyle- they want to be married in a church who refuses to marry them

That is the absolute pragmatic proof of the value of the culture alone.

I think that such behavior, organized around a Church (or LDS tradition or culture) that cannot condone the apostasy is the result of a codependent sense of what works, but I guess for argument’s sake it still counts!

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23 minutes ago, CV75 said:

I think that such behavior, organized around a Church (or LDS tradition or culture) that cannot condone the apostasy is the result of a codependent sense of what works, but I guess for argument’s sake it still counts!

I am not totally sure what you are saying here but I don't think it is necessarily "codependent" in the sense of enabling those who are addicted to being anti-Mormons if that is what you mean.  I think it shows a genuine appreciation of the culture of Mormonism while also rejecting the doctrine that Joseph had a vision, that belief in the the BOM is justifiable in any sense, that temple work actually helps people etc.

They just actually really do like the sociality, the mutual helping, the sense of family, of service, etc- those are the things they want to keep and "stay Mormon" while still having been excommunicated for apostasy etc.   So for me those folks kind of prove the pragmatic advantage of the lifestyle while still eschewing the doctrinal beliefs.

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5 hours ago, 3DOP said:

mfbukowski 

 

Imagine me describing the New Catholicism and maybe you will understand that taking on the responsibility to explain one's own faith to them while you do not understand it yourself can be risky.

 

3DOP

 

Please point out where I "explain one's own (You had to mean "another's own") faith to them". I have pointed out that it is now okay according to some, not all, to be LDS and accept points of view that were once considered anti-Mormon. This is how I have perceived it after twenty years of experience on the internet. If I did not feel welcome as a non-Mormon to express my observations on an LDS internet discussion board without incurring "risk", then I would leave. But no one but you has ever in all these years accused me of explaining the Mormon faith to Mormons. But if a lot of others should join you, Mark, in telling me essentially to be quiet about my observations and mind my own business, I will assess the situation and behave accordingly. I simply don’t believe that, properly understood, the majority of Mormons disagree with what I am saying.     

 

If you live in Vancouver, do you go to New Heights Church like me ?    

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15 hours ago, 3DOP said:

I used an expression, "New Mormonism", a few weeks ago to object to a video wherein it seemed to me like this well-meaning young fellow, who loved being LDS and intends to continue, but was nevertheless in agreement with a lot of claims against the CoJCoLDS. I spent an entire work day off explaining why I doubted that this could be compatible with what Mormons had believed in the past. That was why I chose the expression "New Mormonism". That is the context of a misunderstanding that has come up with mfbukowski, which is somewhat of a derail from a thread that I think will get little more attention. Hopefully, in the course of discussion here, it can be discerned why a Catholic should care whether any kind of Mormonism is "old" or "new". Why would I make it my business? I thought it best to start over, front and center if you will.

I will now address myself to mfbukowski (known as Mark by many here) and take a brief pause before continuing to analyze his complaint against how I explain what I mean by New Mormonism. It is a free forum. Comment as you will. I have about four short articles to tidy up. They should be up in the next hour or two. 

Hi Mark,

I intend to begin a series of replies here that I hope will respond adequately to each of your claims. But first, I want you to know that I sincerely hope that you will reconsider some of your positions. I think it is obvious to each of us, as well as those who have seen us interact, that ideologically, we are like fire and water. On the other hand, I just know that if you could have eyes to see, unblinded by this philosophy of men, that we could be best of friends. Do you not think the same way toward me when you think about it? For my part, I still hope that we could reach some point of agreement. Realizing that this would require a miracle of grace, I lit a candle after Mass this morning, and prayed the appropriate prayers that you would stop being such a stubborn blankety blank. Not really...just that maybe I could have some wisdom to explain why I must profoundly object to your apparent beliefs.

You told me a few days back that, "we love you". I also wish you every opportunity to find the fullness of God's will for you and yours, in this life and the next. If we never find our way to agree, may God forbid that I should be your enemy.

May God bless.

 

Rory

Hi Rory, I just wanted to let you know that in spite of any differences you have with us as LDS I always enjoy hearing what you have to say and always add meaningful layers to any discussion we have. You strike me as a very kind person. Anyways to respond to your OP, I think it’s important to remember that those who post here and on other discussion boards in my opinion don’t really reflect the mainstream church. I am involved in several Facebook groups that are LDS. One is called “Millenial Mormonism” where millennials such as myself discuss the faith. I find that it’s there, with the rising generation so to speak, that one will most likely find attitudes similar to your concept of New Mormonism. Call it increased interaction with secularism, more exposure to information, or just a new generation trying to figure things out but that’s my observation. I know plenty of people still that would fit criteria for what you were used to in the past.

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I think the bottom line here is that we really DO have an open canon, and that SPIRIT is in the church even when things are not "canonized".

Those who are used to infallibility and who think that new "revelations" cannot exist will never understand that- it is simply a different way of viewing religion.

In the Christian tradition, religion is not supposed to change.   In Mormon tradition, it can and will change.

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The Church Today

Today, the Church disavows the theories advanced in the past that black skin is a sign of divine disfavor or curse, or that it reflects unrighteous actions in a premortal life; that mixed-race marriages are a sin; or that blacks or people of any other race or ethnicity are inferior in any way to anyone else. Church leaders today unequivocally condemn all racism, past and present, in any form.24

 

https://www.lds.org/topics/race-and-the-priesthood?lang=eng

 

 

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21 hours ago, 3DOP said:

In the series of articles that follow, Mark is objecting to the way I answered a question regarding what I meant by “New Mormonism”. This was how I answered the question:  

 

“Its probably an in (sic) internet phenomenon.

But the new Mormonism to which I refer says that the ban on blacks in the priesthood was because of racism.

See post above.  Straight from the church website.

Edited by mfbukowski

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21 hours ago, 3DOP said:

In the series of articles that follow, Mark is objecting to the way I answered a question regarding what I meant by “New Mormonism”. This was how I answered the question:  

 

“Its probably an in (sic) internet phenomenon.

But the new Mormonism to which I refer says that the ban on blacks in the priesthood was because of racism. It accepts that the polygamy Joseph Smith practiced allowed him to sleep with other men's wives while they were away on missions. It doubts the historicity of the geography and characters in the Book of Mormon. It is typified by a young man who made a video a week or two ago saying that he is Mormon even while holding to views like those I have just described. In short, the New Mormonism I have in mind accepts anti-Mormon apologetics and remains LDS.

I doubt if ‘new Mormonism’ (my term) uses conference, Scripture study, or their church experience to arrive at their position.”

Hi again Mark…back to talking to you.

 

mfbukowski

You are misinformed.

So above in earlier posts, I have shown that the church officially acknowledges that there was "racism" in the policies keeping Blacks from the priesthood

Here I will show you what the church officially says about Joseph's polygamy and being sealed to other men's wives

Quote

Most of those sealed to Joseph Smith were between 20 and 40 years of age at the time of their sealing to him. The oldest, Fanny Young, was 56 years old. The youngest was Helen Mar Kimball, daughter of Joseph’s close friends Heber C. and Vilate Murray Kimball, who was sealed to Joseph several months before her 15th birthday. Marriage at such an age, inappropriate by today’s standards, was legal in that era, and some women married in their mid-teens.26 Helen Mar Kimball spoke of her sealing to Joseph as being “for eternity alone,” suggesting that the relationship did not involve sexual relations.27 After Joseph’s death, Helen remarried and became an articulate defender of him and of plural marriage.28

Following his marriage to Louisa Beaman and before he married other single women, Joseph Smith was sealed to a number of women who were already married.29 Neither these women nor Joseph explained much about these sealings, though several women said they were for eternity alone.30 Other women left no records, making it unknown whether their sealings were for time and eternity or were for eternity alone.

There are several possible explanations for this practice. These sealings may have provided a way to create an eternal bond or link between Joseph’s family and other families within the Church.31 These ties extended both vertically, from parent to child, and horizontally, from one family to another. Today such eternal bonds are achieved through the temple marriages of individuals who are also sealed to their own birth families, in this way linking families together. Joseph Smith’s sealings to women already married may have been an early version of linking one family to another. In Nauvoo, most if not all of the first husbands seem to have continued living in the same household with their wives during Joseph’s lifetime, and complaints about these sealings with Joseph Smith are virtually absent from the documentary record.32

These sealings may also be explained by Joseph’s reluctance to enter plural marriage because of the sorrow it would bring to his wife Emma. He may have believed that sealings to married women would comply with the Lord’s command without requiring him to have normal marriage relationships.33 This could explain why, according to Lorenzo Snow, the angel reprimanded Joseph for having “demurred” on plural marriage even after he had entered into the practice.34 After this rebuke, according to this interpretation, Joseph returned primarily to sealings with single women.

Another possibility is that, in an era when life spans were shorter than they are today, faithful women felt an urgency to be sealed by priesthood authority. Several of these women were married either to non-Mormons or former Mormons, and more than one of the women later expressed unhappiness in their present marriages. Living in a time when divorce was difficult to obtain, these women may have believed a sealing to Joseph Smith would give them blessings they might not otherwise receive in the next life.35

The women who united with Joseph Smith in plural marriage risked reputation and self-respect in being associated with a principle so foreign to their culture and so easily misunderstood by others. “I made a greater sacrifice than to give my life,” said Zina Huntington Jacobs, “for I never anticipated again to be looked upon as an honorable woman.” Nevertheless, she wrote, “I searched the scripture & by humble prayer to my Heavenly Father I obtained a testimony for myself.”36 After Joseph’s death, most of the women sealed to him moved to Utah with the Saints, remained faithful Church members, and defended both plural marriage and Joseph.37

 

https://www.lds.org/topics/plural-marriage-in-kirtland-and-nauvoo?lang=eng

So also about this, you were uninformed. 

Edited by mfbukowski
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As in the other posts above, 

3DOP said:

Quote

 

But the new Mormonism to which I refer says that the ban on blacks in the priesthood was because of racism. It accepts that the polygamy Joseph Smith practiced allowed him to sleep with other men's wives while they were away on missions. It doubts the historicity of the geography and characters in the Book of Mormon. It is typified by a young man who made a video a week or two ago saying that he is Mormon even while holding to views like those I have just described. In short, the New Mormonism I have in mind accepts anti-Mormon apologetics and remains LDS.

I doubt if ‘new Mormonism’ (my term) uses conference, Scripture study, or their church experience to arrive at their position.”

 

We have shown that this is not accurate in the case of racism or polygamy, and now let's look at the "historicity of the geography and characters in the Book of Mormon".  Are there official statements which alter the traditional view?

One of these was that the Indians were primarily descendants of the Lamanites.  In responding to DNA research the church says:

Quote

 

Although the primary purpose of the Book of Mormon is more spiritual than historical, some people have wondered whether the migrations it describes are compatible with scientific studies of ancient America. The discussion has centered on the field of population genetics and developments in DNA science. Some have contended that the migrations mentioned in the Book of Mormon did not occur because the majority of DNA identified to date in modern native peoples most closely resembles that of eastern Asian populations.2

Basic principles of population genetics suggest the need for a more careful approach to the data. The conclusions of genetics, like those of any science, are tentative, and much work remains to be done to fully understand the origins of the native populations of the Americas. Nothing is known about the DNA of Book of Mormon peoples, and even if their genetic profile were known, there are sound scientific reasons that it might remain undetected. For these same reasons, arguments that some defenders of the Book of Mormon make based on DNA studies are also speculative. In short, DNA studies cannot be used decisively to either affirm or reject the historical authenticity of the Book of Mormon.

The Ancestors of the American Indians

The evidence assembled to date suggests that the majority of Native Americans carry largely Asian DNA.3 Scientists theorize that in an era that predated Book of Mormon accounts, a relatively small group of people migrated from northeast Asia to the Americas by way of a land bridge that connected Siberia to Alaska.4 These people, scientists say, spread rapidly to fill North and South America and were likely the primary ancestors of modern American Indians.5

The Book of Mormon provides little direct information about cultural contact between the peoples it describes and others who may have lived nearby. Consequently, most early Latter-day Saints assumed that Near Easterners or West Asians like Jared, Lehi, Mulek, and their companions were the first or the largest or even the only groups to settle the Americas. Building upon this assumption, critics insist that the Book of Mormon does not allow for the presence of other large populations in the Americas and that, therefore, Near Eastern DNA should be easily identifiable among modern native groups.

The Book of Mormon itself, however, does not claim that the peoples it describes were either the predominant or the exclusive inhabitants of the lands they occupied. In fact, cultural and demographic clues in its text hint at the presence of other groups.6 At the April 1929 general conference, President Anthony W. Ivins of the First Presidency cautioned: “We must be careful in the conclusions that we reach. The Book of Mormon … does not tell us that there was no one here before them [the peoples it describes]. It does not tell us that people did not come after.”7

Joseph Smith appears to have been open to the idea of migrations other than those described in the Book of Mormon,8 and many Latter-day Saint leaders and scholars over the past century have found the Book of Mormon account to be fully consistent with the presence of other established populations.9 The 2006 update to the introduction of the Book of Mormon reflects this understanding by stating that Book of Mormon peoples were “among the ancestors of the American Indians.”10

 

https://www.lds.org/topics/book-of-mormon-and-dna-studies?lang=eng

This article appears in the official church magazine "Ensign" from 1984- not exactly "new" material.  It was written by John Sorenson, a notable LDS scholar.  You should read the whole article for information which most here already know.  I will quote only the preface, because it captures the spirit of this whole idea of "new Mormonism" and how it changes naturally with new information- quite the contrary to the views of churches with closed canons, as is Catholicism. (my emphasis added)

Quote

 

Introduction

Within the past several decades, professional studies in American archaeology, geography, culture, and language have provided an enormous amount of information of great interest to readers and believers of the Book of Mormon—information that earlier students of the book may not have guessed even existed. The quality and quantity of specialized studies relating to the Book of Mormon are so wide and deep today that no single person can possibly keep up on all aspects of that scholarship.

Indeed, in the past fifty years, much of what earlier generations thought about pre-Columbian American civilizations has been superseded. The sciences that study ancient civilizations have undergone significant changes. In the early decades of this century, science was still thought of as the search for and discovery of permanent and infallible truth. Today, scientists and philosophers admit the nature of their enterprise requires that they regularly reinterpret their theories and data.1 Karl Popper’s view of science as “tentative forever”2 has become widely accepted. So even though perhaps a thousand times as much information now exists about the early cultures of America as was available only half a century ago, nowadays the best scholars are far less dogmatic in picturing what happened in the pre-European New World.

Changes have also occurred in some ideas Latter-day Saints have had of the Book of Mormon. Our faith in the saving principles taught by the prophets from Nephi to Moroni has not changed; if anything, it has grown. But in considering scripture as an ancient document, the careful student is now aware that we have much more than we had suspected. Starting with M. Wells Jakeman, Hugh Nibley, and Sydney B. Sperry, the growing community of LDS researchers began in the late 1940s to uncover some of these details.3 This change of perspective—of seeing new possibilities—is exemplified by John W. Welch’s discovery a mere fifteen years ago that the Near Eastern literary form called chiasmus lay hidden in the Book of Mormon, unrecognized by its readers for almost 140 years after its first publication in 1830.4In recent years, other workers have been finding unsuspected facts, patterns, and implications in the Book of Mormon that had been overlooked in an earlier day.

Many Latter-day Saints have not had access to sources which communicate how recent research has changed our understanding of the Book of Mormon as an ancient document. Many also are unaware of some rather surprising new discoveries supporting the Book of Mormon which have been brought about by the advanced methods of science. The purpose of this article and the one to follow is to sketch a few vivid examples of changes in how some Latter-day Saint scholars view the Book of Mormon in the light of new theories and discoveries about the past. These articles are not intended to be an expression of official Church teachings, but on the basis of my own research and study, I have thought this new information to be worth consideration.

 

https://www.lds.org/ensign/1984/09/digging-into-the-book-of-mormon-our-changing-understanding-of-ancient-america-and-its-scripture?lang=eng

So here you have quoted major scholars and philosophers right in the main church magazine.

Dear 3DOP, I fear that I was right that you were misinformed and that indeed the "New" Mormonism is not new at all, because Mormonism by its very nature is constantly changing with new light and revelation.

Edited by mfbukowski
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16 hours ago, mfbukowski said:

I am not totally sure what you are saying here but I don't think it is necessarily "codependent" in the sense of enabling those who are addicted to being anti-Mormons if that is what you mean.  I think it shows a genuine appreciation of the culture of Mormonism while also rejecting the doctrine that Joseph had a vision, that belief in the the BOM is justifiable in any sense, that temple work actually helps people etc.

They just actually really do like the sociality, the mutual helping, the sense of family, of service, etc- those are the things they want to keep and "stay Mormon" while still having been excommunicated for apostasy etc.   So for me those folks kind of prove the pragmatic advantage of the lifestyle while still eschewing the doctrinal beliefs.

I think all you describe applies in many instances, but I was not being as charitable by recognizing some of this "not letting alone" comes from a kind of codependency in the very broad sense, such as when someone's thinking and behavior is overly organized around an external source (another person, activity -- in this case LDS tradition/culture/family -- or substance). 

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22 hours ago, 3DOP said:

 Imagine me describing the New Catholicism and maybe you will understand that taking o But no one but you has ever in all these years accused me of explaining the Mormon faith to Mormons. But if a lot of others should join you, Mark, in telling me essentially to be quiet about my observations and mind my own business, I will assess the situation and behave accordingly. I simply don’t believe that, properly understood, the majority of Mormons disagree with what I am saying.     

Two sentences here

The first seems to be contradicted by this very thread.  What you are doing in this thread is telling us what we believe, or at least telling me that I do not follow mainstream Mormonism, when I have shown you numerous quotes to the contrary.

The second?  Well time will tell, but if you look at the posts and the "likes" so far I don't have anyone arguing with me, and several agreeing with me.

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22 hours ago, 3DOP said:

I took Avatar completely at his word about what goes on in his church because I am not there. I will not take you at "your word" for what has been said by Mormons on the iOkay. That's it. I know it was long. I thought it might work better broken up. Anyway, I eagerly await, any and all replies. If almost everybody disagrees with me, and can't imagine how I could make a distinction between ahistorical and historical religion and apply it to Mormonism as I have experienced it here at MDDB in the present and elsewhere in the past, I will stand corrected. I'd feel a little silly, but it would be great to know I have been wrong about my misgivings.

Regards to all,

Rory

 

Honestly the hubris here is phenomenal.

First of all, how long I have been "here" is immaterial.  Presuming that I knew nothing about Mormonism or the internet is just absurd.  Go see if you can find me on the Catholic board from before I was "here"

Go find me under other avatars/monikers going back to the aol boards when I was typing away on my old IBM AT with a huge hard drive of 10 whole MEGABYTES!

Go find me when I was going at it on my Texas Instruments computer before there even WAS an "internet".  As if that is even relevant.   Come on dude!   At least think this through before you say silly things about events in my previous life which you could not possibly know.

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23 hours ago, 3DOP said:

3DOP

 

 I doubt if there has ever been a single apostle of your church that believes like you.

 

http://www.nytimes.com/2013/10/06/us/a-top-mormon-leader-acknowledges-the-church-made-mistakes.html

And here is our new prophet repeating my exact position, IF you understand me which apparently you do not.  Yes I think these were "real people" and challenge you to quote me where I have ever said the book is NOT historical.

What I have said is that it doesn't HAVE TO BE HISTORICAL to be true nor does it have to be historical to be scripture.  Big difference which you do not understand.

Quote

 

I would like to add my testimony of the divinity of this book. I have read it many times. I have also read much that has been written about it. Some authors have focused upon its stories, its people, or its vignettes of history. Others have been intrigued by its language structure or its records of weapons, geography, animal life, techniques of building, or systems of weights and measures.

Interesting as these matters may be, study of the Book of Mormon is most rewarding when one focuses on its primary purpose—to testify of Jesus Christ. By comparison, all other issues are incidental.

When you read the Book of Mormon, concentrate on the principal figure in the book—from its first chapter to the last—the Lord Jesus Christ, Son of the Living God.3 And look for a second undergirding theme: God will keep His covenants with the remnants of the house of Israel.4

 

https://www.lds.org/general-conference/1999/10/a-testimony-of-the-book-of-mormon?lang=eng

This is exactly my position and always has been

By comparison to its spiritual value. "all other issues are incidental".  Period.  And that includes historicity which itself is based on testimony.

Non-Mormon scholars do not believe at all in BOM historicity.

Why not?  Because they do not have a testimony the book is "true".   FIRST comes the testimony- all the rest is rationalization that it MUST be "historical"

It does not need to be historical yet I believe, ON FAITH that it is just as I believe the resurrection etc is historical ON FAITH

I am sorry if you are unable to comprehend that.

Bob got it all right in this earlier post.  It's all right there.

He said

Quote

Mark is not claiming that the fundamentals of his religion are ahistorical, only that they are unprovable.  Like me and you, he does believe in "the reality of certain historical events."  By faith.   Like Abraham.

While it is true that no LDS apostle is a trained theologian or historian (though some are acholars), and so would never speak in the terms which Mark speaks, their religious beliefs are basically the same as his, and based on faith.  Of course, none of them would articulate their views the way Mark does.  After all, Mark is a trained philosopher.  But they would understand the focus Mark brings to the pragmatic faith which Mormonism represents.  It is a kind of "can do" Yankee pragmatism, the pioneer spirit, which has so infused recent Mormon history.  It works well, phenomenally well, and every apostle is proud of that fact.

Too often, Mark would say, we are so naive in defining "reality," which is really a social construct, that we miss the obvious nature of truth.  We think that mere words will substitute for "truth," but that is a fantasy.  Reality is so much deeper than mere words and definitions, and that is where pragmatism really shines.

 

So I am perfectly in line with our prophet

"By comparison, all other issues are incidental."

Edited by mfbukowski

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