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New 4 volume history "transparent, honest, faithful"

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13 hours ago, rodheadlee said:

Surprise, surprise, surprise.

Are you expecting 3 surprises from the new material, or are you just posting a personal attack on me as a poster (which I think results in a ban of sorts if you don’t modify your behaviour)?

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3 hours ago, Marginal Gains said:

Are you expecting 3 surprises from the new material, or are you just posting a personal attack on me as a poster (which I think results in a ban of sorts if you don’t modify your behaviour)?

My behavior has already been modified.

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Posted (edited)

Summaries by Kevin Barney of MHA presentations

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Roundtable on the new Church book Saints volume `. 2008 proposal to update the Comprehensive HoC. Four volume representative history approved. 1st to Nauvoo, 1nd to SL temple, and I missed the demarcation of the other two. Meant to be inclusive, global. Not primarily for MHA goers, but interested in feedback, strengths, weaknesses.

Steven Harper gave overview. He’s the historical editor. Now Scott Hales speaking; he’s the literary editor. Needs to appeal to church members across the globe. Would need a simple, straightforward style. Finding right literary voice a challenge. How to choose what to include or exclude? 

Lisa Olsen Tait, the review editor. First volume draws on over 500 sources. Have scoured archives. Covers well known ground, but even well readers will find new things. Dialogue comes directly from sources word for word. Difficult decisions about what to include and exclude. Factual or narrative importance; representative of larger themes or patterns. Efforts to be balanced and inclusive in terms of gender and nationality. Not a top down history; focused more on people. Translated into 14 languages. Online version a very rich hypertext experience (maps, photographs, etc. that go beyond the narrative, links to primary sources). Outlines created collaboratively. Chapters drafted, goes to review, then polished drafts go out for external reviews. Final drafts reviewed at highest levels of the Church.

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Patrick Mason has reviewed entire manuscript. Doesn’t want to spoil what happens in 1844 (funny!). A big thumb’s up. Meets the criteria that they mentioned. That said, a lot of people will be unhappy. Some for not being academic enough, others for being too revealing of difficult things.

Four things: 1. Narrative. Really well written; very readable. Tone and approach appropriate for target audience. His fear is people won’t read it, not because of quality but because people don’t read as much any more. Found a number of chapters truly dramatic and even effecting in an emotional way. He was affected by violence in Missouri, saving the BoC pages, Mountain Meadows, even though he knew what was coming. At times veers a little too much into Joseph Smith territory, but probably inevitable. No script writer could come up with this; it’s crazy stuff, so rich, so much going on. Death is ever present in this volume, haunts the pages.

2. Difficult issues in LDS history. Reliance on Gospel Topics Essays. Will make substance more acceptable to Church members. Treatment is straightforward. Sometimes shocked by lack of sugar coating. Can almost guaranty that nobody will be satisfied with it, just the nature of the beast.

3. Theology. Theology is embedded. God an active shaper of history, but sometimes absent. Very clear JS the prophet of the restoration. Converts sincere good Christians. The 12 inheritors of the keys of the kingdom. The temple the apex. In this book the prophet not perfect in character; a temper, bad ideas. But revelations entirely trustworthy. Makes a claim for the superiority of the living prophet over scripture.

4. History and historical consciousness. Plenty of heroism, but also plenty of heartache. Humanizes but not demonizes critics of the church. Clear doesn’t want to be academic history, a defensible choice. But on 1V never comes out and says the sources disagree. A possible missed opportunity. A history with warts but not with hanging chads. William Law emerges as a villain in the end, but book treats his reasons fairly.

Could any other church do this? An enormous step.

Posted in comments here:

https://bycommonconsent.com/2018/06/07/mha-conference-boise-2018/

Edited by Calm
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Kevin Barney says:

June 8, 2018 at 1:57 pm

Linda Hoffman Kimball. Tells personal story of her conversion. Husband Chris describes her as being fluent in Mormon but not native.

Delighted to participate in reading the volume. Appreciates little details (which she has been assured have all been thoroughly researched. 

For the first time she recognized what a looming presence Alvin Smith was in the family. At the Pulpit used as a resource. Events of Hawn’s Mill so raw had to step away for awhile.

Vocabulary assumes distinctive Mormon meanings, may be hard for outsiders to follow. Good example is the word “translation,” which can often mean a sort of inspired midrash, something outsiders would not understand from the word used.

Concerned about decision to amalgamate the different versions of the 1V. Didn’t find it clarifying.

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Chris Crowe:

Loved the year without a summer framing at the beginning, but where was that world framing in the rest of the book.

Appreciated detail while also being accessible. Narrative moves forward well.

Like vignettes of common people, not just leaders.

720 pages. Sounded like a long read, but it went quickly. More sources you can explore if you want to. Source notes didn’t feel intrusive.

Not just the story of Joseph Smith. He liked that. Story of the Saints, not just Joseph.

Lots of moments of basic humanness, frailty.

Hedged a little bit on age of Fanny Alger as “young woman.”

Lots of amazing villains he had never heard of. (John Bennett.)

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Volume 1 in September, others to follow 12 to 18 months.

Already really long books; difficult to add much more than what’s there.

Rick Turley talked about narraitve v. analytical history. On 1V point, if people click through they’ll get the essay and then all the different versions. So if people are interested they can get more, even though this is a narrative approach.

References to this have already been written into seminaries and institute curriculum. Steven believes momentum will build behind it.

Chapters appear at same time in Liahona as in Ensign.

I think those are  all his contributions for the new volumes.

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, Calm said:

I think those are  all his contributions for the new volumes.

So I take it you are at MHA this year, Calm. This is the first one I’ve missed in over a decade. I’m missing it in more than one sense. 

Is this the first one you’ve attended?

Edited by Scott Lloyd

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Posted (edited)
13 minutes ago, Scott Lloyd said:

So I take it you are at MHA this year, Calm. This is the first one I’ve missed in over a decade. I’m missing it in more sense than one. 

Is this the first one you’ve attended?

No, I was posting Kevin Barney's summaries.  Sorry for the misunderstanding.  English can be so ambiguous,   Hopefully clearer now as I edited it.

Edited by Calm

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3 minutes ago, Calm said:

No, I was posting Kevin Barney's summaries.  Sorry for the misunderstanding.  English can be so ambiguous,   Hopefully clearer now as I edited it.

That makes sense now. Kevin is a faithful attendee at the MHA conferences. At first I thought he was a speaker and that you were giving your own notes from his presentation. 

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Vocabulary assumes distinctive Mormon meanings, may be hard for outsiders to follow. Good example is the word “translation,” which can often mean a sort of inspired midrash, something outsiders would not understand from the word used.

"Distinctive" indeed...

:rolleyes:

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New 4 volume history "transparent, honest, faithful"

Unfortunately it is too late for some of us.

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2 hours ago, Atheist Mormon said:

Unfortunately it is too late for some of us.

As long as you're breathing, it's never too late (and maybe not even after you stop) ;)

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7 hours ago, Atheist Mormon said:

Unfortunately it is too late for some of us.

Why? Did you become a murderer? Did you blaspheme the Holy Spirit? Yeshua can redeem from all other sin. The Book of Mormon has a little surprise for those who thought they believed. The next resurrection cometh quickly as a thief in the night. It lies in plain view of those who did not see it - before the New Jerusalem can be built. Even if you felt the President knew the way - so what? Yeshua knows the way, and will steady the ark - for He will fulfill His words.

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6 hours ago, RevTestament said:

Why? Did you become a murderer? Did you blaspheme the Holy Spirit? Yeshua can redeem from all other sin. The Book of Mormon has a little surprise for those who thought they believed. The next resurrection cometh quickly as a thief in the night. It lies in plain view of those who did not see it - before the New Jerusalem can be built. Even if you felt the President knew the way - so what? Yeshua knows the way, and will steady the ark - for He will fulfill His words.

The answer is yes for some Q's you asked. Ever since I realized the reality I took it upon myself to blaspheme Holy Spirit, but I make sure I do it quietly, not to offend anyone, I have over a million reasons to do so but that's another story. I don't disrespect you by any means for your beliefs though. Otherwise I wouldn't be here. 

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1 hour ago, Atheist Mormon said:

The answer is yes for some Q's you asked. Ever since I realized the reality I took it upon myself to blaspheme Holy Spirit, but I make sure I do it quietly, not to offend anyone, I have over a million reasons to do so but that's another story. I don't disrespect you by any means for your beliefs though. Otherwise I wouldn't be here. 

Ignoring promptings or doing the opposite is not blaspheming the Holy Spirit. Nor is being mad at God. If you cursed His name/title, however, you may be in some trouble, but I think it shows more your belief than your non-belief ie I don't know how you could consider yourself atheist in that circumstance.  I've always known people to use the title of the Lord in vain before they even think about the Holy Spirit. You sound like you ignored promptings because of "reality" of stuff you came to believe about Church history. It seems to me you are saying driving out the Holy Spirit in those circumstances is not a reality.that could compete with the "real facts" you came to believe to the point that you became atheist. Don't you see any contradiction in these positions?

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On 6/9/2018 at 9:09 PM, Calm said:

4. History and historical consciousness. Plenty of heroism, but also plenty of heartache. Humanizes but not demonizes critics of the church. Clear doesn’t want to be academic history, a defensible choice. But on 1V never comes out and says the sources disagree. A possible missed opportunity. A history with warts but not with hanging chads.

What thoughts do you have about this?  From the samples I've read, I can see where this may be a large problem.  The information in the text is presented using an authoritative voice, as if this new retelling of the narrative is authoritatively correct.  To me, this is a huge flaw, because it just sets people up to expect that this new version is the new honest version.  I think they are missing an opportunity to present the story in a more humble way.  To emphasize the difficultly in representing the past, and show some humility about interpretations of sources. 

This can be done with the words chosen in the text, and the overall tone of the writing style.  I think this may be a fatal flaw of these new narrative histories.  The challenge in getting people to read is one thing, but the lack of humility about the interpretations of the history is a flaw that these histories might not be able to overcome.  As soon as people begin to dive deeper into the issues presented, they will see for themselves how complicated interpretation really gets, and I believe this may cause them to distrust these new accounts.  

Here is how I see an orthodox person approaching these new histories, and some possible outcomes. 

1.  The Church releases these new histories on their web site and at distribution centers, but never formally incorporates them into the curriculum, kind of like the Gospel Topics essays.  So they become just supplemental materials that most members don't actually use.  

2.  The Church thoroughly integrates the new histories into all the curriculum, and strongly encourages members to use them, including talking about their importance in general conference and emphasizing their use at the local levels.  

2a. Orthodox members read the histories and find many troubling aspects.  This causes them to do further research into the Gospel Topics essays and other material.  They begin to have a crisis of trust and faith, as they learn about the complexities and controversies of church history and they feel lied to with these new narrative histories and the old correlated materials. 

2b. Orthodox members start to read the histories, find troubling aspects, and this causes them to shut these histories down and retreat to the older correlated materials.  These members stick with what they are comfortable with and resist the new information, essentially stuck in the earlier stages of grief like denial and never reaching the acceptance stage.   

 

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Posted (edited)
6 hours ago, hope_for_things said:

What thoughts do you have about this?  From the samples I've read, I can see where this may be a large problem.  The information in the text is presented using an authoritative voice, as if this new retelling of the narrative is authoritatively correct.  To me, this is a huge flaw, because it just sets people up to expect that this new version is the new honest version.  I think they are missing an opportunity to present the story in a more humble way.  To emphasize the difficultly in representing the past, and show some humility about interpretations of sources. 

I agree that's a problem but I think you have to realize the target audience which does't appreciate nuance and really doesn't appreciate complexity. To emphasize what you want emphasized would require making it much longer and less readable. Hopefully this is the introduction that gets people more appreciative of complexity and more importantly how the same data can be interpreted in so many ways depending upon what you bring to the discussion. But my experience is that is really hard to communicate to people who don't already have a background in scholarship and particularly the messy sausage making aspects of it. 

My sense is that these histories are being written with an emphasis of being read. That's a non-trivial problem that I think far too many discount.

Edited by clarkgoble
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On ‎5‎/‎16‎/‎2018 at 11:59 AM, rongo said:

I don't think Roberts's analysis has been superseded by the new scholarship. I think his is still superior. 

Example: the Toronto copyright incident. 

I also don't believe anything modern will come close to his history of the political intrigues (e.g., Colfax-Taylor debate, Ulysses S. Grant "I have been most foully gulled," etc.). 

Roberts's history was serialized and ran for a very long time in the American Historical Magazine (renamed Americana, and increased to a monthly to accommodate his history. It was commissioned because of his disembowelment of the Spaulding Theory). 

I wish people would read his and compare it to the new one. I'm confident that most would agree that his is better. But, we're not readers anymore, and LDS read hardly any of the "classics." 

I read the HC/DHC version as well as B.H. Robert's version, which expanded on the former, after buying a collection of the classics contained In the Personal Gospel Library sold by Deseret for pocket pc's in the 90's.  I carried my pocket pc everywhere with me in my shirt pocket and would read whenever I had time to read, usually during my commutes to and from work.  I'd still be reading it if I could figure out how to download all of that stuff to my smart phone, which doesn't seem compatible with the software.

I liked certain parts of the HC/DHC a little more than Robert's addition to it, and if my memory serves correctly Robert's didn't include some of what Joseph wrote, like the intro, but Robert's said some things that I didn't see Joseph mention.  Both were worth reading.

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9 hours ago, RevTestament said:

Ignoring promptings or doing the opposite is not blaspheming the Holy Spirit. Nor is being mad at God. If you cursed His name/title, however, you may be in some trouble, but I think it shows more your belief than your non-belief ie I don't know how you could consider yourself atheist in that circumstance.  I've always known people to use the title of the Lord in vain before they even think about the Holy Spirit. You sound like you ignored promptings because of "reality" of stuff you came to believe about Church history. It seems to me you are saying driving out the Holy Spirit in those circumstances is not a reality.that could compete with the "real facts" you came to believe to the point that you became atheist. Don't you see any contradiction in these positions?

I ignored promptings? Is that what you think? 

Sorry...I don't think so......I know so. I don't have any belief in an invisible God. "the "reality" is all you, I and the rest of universe got. Either you deal with it or fall into fantasies. Your choice.

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20 minutes ago, Atheist Mormon said:

I ignored promptings? Is that what you think? 

Sorry...I don't think so......I know so. I don't have any belief in an invisible God. "the "reality" is all you, I and the rest of universe got. Either you deal with it or fall into fantasies. Your choice.

I am not telling you what you did. I am just trying to interpret what you are saying. How do you reconcile the above statements with your statement below that you blasphemed the Holy Spirit? 

11 hours ago, Atheist Mormon said:

The answer is yes for some Q's you asked. Ever since I realized the reality I took it upon myself to blaspheme Holy Spirit, but I make sure I do it quietly, not to offend anyone, I have over a million reasons to do so but that's another story. I don't disrespect you by any means for your beliefs though. Otherwise I wouldn't be here. 

If you don't believe in the Holy Spirit how did you blaspheme Him? Did you curse his title or just mumble against things you were taught growing up? It seems from your comments I have read over the course of time you once believed in the Holy Spirit, but became overwhelmed by "facts" about Church history that caused you to reject the Holy Spirit, and doubt everything about scriptures and the Church. I am just telling you that if that is so, that is not blaspheming the Holy Spirit.  he is your brother like Yeshua is, and is capable of forgiveness too. He has returned to prompt sinning people many times towards the truth.

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15 hours ago, clarkgoble said:

I agree that's a problem but I think you have to realize the target audience which does't appreciate nuance and really doesn't appreciate complexity. To emphasize what you want emphasized would require making it much longer and less readable. Hopefully this is the introduction that gets people more appreciative of complexity and more importantly how the same data can be interpreted in so many ways depending upon what you bring to the discussion. But my experience is that is really hard to communicate to people who don't already have a background in scholarship and particularly the messy sausage making aspects of it. 

My sense is that these histories are being written with an emphasis of being read. That's a non-trivial problem that I think far too many discount.

I agree that the target audience has been conditioned to not appreciate nuance and complexity, but I'm not convinced those are necessarily immutable traits that the church should cater the messages to.  

Also, I'm not sure it would be a much longer narrative, I do think the style and tone would change.  

I also think people are hungry for information in the form of new story telling, and that they are much more open to more complicated portrayals of historical figures.  Look at the Hamilton play as evidence of this phenomenon.  

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16 hours ago, RevTestament said:

I am not telling you what you did. I am just trying to interpret what you are saying. How do you reconcile the above statements with your statement below that you blasphemed the Holy Spirit? 

If you don't believe in the Holy Spirit how did you blaspheme Him? Did you curse his title or just mumble against things you were taught growing up? It seems from your comments I have read over the course of time you once believed in the Holy Spirit, but became overwhelmed by "facts" about Church history that caused you to reject the Holy Spirit, and doubt everything about scriptures and the Church. I am just telling you that if that is so, that is not blaspheming the Holy Spirit.  he is your brother like Yeshua is, and is capable of forgiveness too. He has returned to prompt sinning people many times towards the truth.

Good question....I'm 99.999% sure it doesn't (HolySpirit). But in case I hit the Jackpot of 000001% I want to make sure that I'm the first person on line for Hell, where my 85% ancestors went for just sticking with Christ. I simply have no genology after my grandparents, all of them were gone to defend their faith. I don't find  Church History that offensive, Brigham Young was excessive about wielding power but that was Wild West then and we never repeated MMM. 

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Just got sent a link to it by the Church, available in hard copy (Vol 1) in September.  Additional online resources associated with each chapters as well (I hope this is something they keep current if applicable).

https://www.lds.org/languages/eng/content/history/saints-v1/01-ask-in-faith?cid=email-IN_062218_CTA1

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The rich tapestry of the Restoration unfolds in a powerful new book series, Saints: The Story of the Church of Jesus Christ in the Latter Days. Written under the direction of the First Presidency, Saints tells the story of ordinary women and men who made great sacrifices and overcame weaknesses to establish the Church across the globe. 

The stories are real, engaging, and inspiring. Each chapter is based on the latest research, providing new details and insights. Reading Saints will not only give you a better understanding of Church history—it will help you see and remember the Lord's hand in your own life. Volume 1 will be available in September, but you can read the first chapters now in the Ensign, Liahona,Gospel Library app, and at saints.lds.org. 

Read Now

Additional resources are rolling out with each new chapter. 
See more at saints.lds.org.

 

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