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Hamilton Porter

Mormon Stories trying to expand its market.

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17 minutes ago, Tacenda said:

You didn't mention JS's style of polygamy, where did you first learn of it? That was my stumbler.

I learned some things about JS and plural marriage that I didn't know before when I read "In Sacred Lonlieness" when it first came out. I found the book fascinating ... and still do today.

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2 minutes ago, bdouglas said:

Reading about Oliver Cowdery is interesting. He was x-d in 1838, and stayed away until 1847. Why? Because he felt he’d been betrayed, treated unjustly. In other words he thought himself a victim.

And year after year he nursed these grudges, waiting for an apology which never came.

Somebody, one of the brethren, reached out to him after JS died and persuaded him to come back. When he finally did come back there was no, “I am owed an apology! I am a victim!” Rather he was humble and contrite and offered his services in any capacity in which the Brethren might see fit to use him.

And then he died before ever making to Salt Lake.

A sad story. Who was to blame for what happened to Oliver? Was Joseph to blame? Some of the other Brethren (who Oliver felt had tarnished his reputation)?

I’m sure there was plenty of fault to go around, but what was the point of Oliver dwelling on it? What did he have to gain by thinking himself betrayed, a victim?

(I don’t know what your story is, so please forgive me if I have offended you.)

I never left and have continued to serve in every capacity to which I’ve been called.  I’m not expecting an apology but I do hope the church will continue to do better than it did in the past. 

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4 minutes ago, bdouglas said:

I learned some things about JS and plural marriage that I didn't know before when I read "In Sacred Lonlieness" when it first came out. I found the book fascinating ... and still do today.

That book shook me, and wasn't able to get to the end. When I told my bishop I was reading it and had some trouble with it, he did something interesting a week or so later. Before church he must have talked to my younger son, because that son came up to me and said I was suppose to listen really well during Sacrament. And lo and behold, it was entirely centered on Joseph Smith. I thought that was very interesting that he dedicated, well not really, but sort of, that meeting to my struggles with JS.

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32 minutes ago, rockpond said:

I have never expected to be spoon-fed the history.

But, having dedicated my entire life to attending church, graduating from seminary, serving a mission, graduating from BYU, attending institute during grad school, studying church publications, etc. I didn't anticipate having been taught a narrative that left out so many critical details.

For my part, when reading church lesson manuals and church magazines, I have always felt it important to remember who the target audience is. The target audience for an Ensign article by a GA is different than the target audience for a 300-level church history class at BYU. (Even so, there have been many challenging articles in the Ensign, for example, the article written by Elder Nelson in 1998 about the seer stone and how it was used by JS.)

I have also found it useful to remember, or keep in mind, that church leaders (in conference and otherwise) have not been teaching history, they have been teaching the Gospel.

To illustrate my point ... does anybody really imagine that the story of Moses and the parting of the Red Sea happened exactly as Moses (or whoever wrote Genesis) says it happened? I sure don't. But when I read Genesis I am not expecting Moses to teach me history (actual, raw history), rather I am expecting him to teach me the Gospel.

If I thought Moses in Genesis was teaching me history, and then one day I find that it never really literally happened the way he said it did ... well then, I guess I might feel betrayed.

Edited by bdouglas
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9 minutes ago, rockpond said:

I have never expected to be spoon-fed the history.

But, having dedicated my entire life to attending church, graduating from seminary, serving a mission, graduating from BYU, attending institute during grad school, studying church publications, etc. I didn't anticipate having been taught a narrative that left out so many critical details.

Yet, in an organization without leaders trained in history and theology, why would anyone expect them to be constantly aware and on point?  Indeed, they were so ignorant of that history that they didn't even bother to destroy the evidence.  Yet we can easily see that, in cases where there has been deep training in history and theology (in Roman Catholicism, for example) there has been real betrayal across a broad range of issues -- a church which covered up centuries of widespread pedophilia by its priests and monks, created a special class of privileged, rich, and august princes of the church, and a church which engaged in large-scale torture and mass murder.

The mistakes made by the LDS Brethren seem paltry and unavoidable in comparison.  As Mike Quinn points out, they don't receive anything like the pay levels afforded Roman Catholic and Protestant pastors and prelates.  In fact they receive so much less that it is astonishing.  Nor do they wear expensive regalia or engage in princely excesses.  They wear themselves out in service to God and in preaching the Gospel of Jesus Christ, and they expect their fellow members to do the same.  There is no indication that they are not completely sincere.  They focus deliberately on the Spirit rather than on scholarship.  That is even a theological norm for them.

You mention LDS seminary and institute training:  Yet that is not usually even remotely professional or scholarly.  For that one ought to go to Yale or Harvard Divinity School, if that is your wont.  That might help provide some sense of perspective to those few who are interested.  There is not likely to be any money in it though, so that it must be a labor of love.  There is even something very monastic about that kind of commitment.  It is more a lifestyle choice than an act of exposure to "betrayal."  Most LDS would rather just raise their families, worship in church and temple, and be good neighbors.  Perhaps that is a major reason for their success.

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1 hour ago, Robert F. Smith said:

Perhaps he is shifting into high gear (his version of "hastening the work"), with a renewed intent to fully undo the LDS Church by attacking its foundations.  I'd say that it is a fool's errand, but vengeance is a strong motivator.

But to think of a life dedicated to such foolishness, year after year after year. It is amazing that a human being can be so embellished in one idea and have it consume their life.

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2 hours ago, rockpond said:

He believes that he is helping people.  If you listen to him, he says it often.  I'm sure some here disagree but he certainly helped me at a very difficult and dark time.  And I am one of those who he helped stay IN the church.

Feeling that you are helping people is a powerful motivator, perhaps more than money.

I don't know about helping people. However, to have a life dedicated to the destruction of lds church and have it consume every other aspect of living, seems like a waste to me. It seems to become an addiction.

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42 minutes ago, clarkgoble said:

Epistemology, following Descrartes, is typically viewing justification as an issue of justification at a particular time. I agree that's deeply problematic. If you switch from epistemology normally practice to a more process oriented view then there's really no metaphysical incoherence that I can see. You either are doing your duty of inquiry or not. You're a finite being and can't evaluate everything. Inquiry is ultimately an issue of communities rather than just individuals due to large issues of individual finitism. To the degree you and your community are doing their duty, you're inquiring, and your beliefs persist through time that's as close to truth as we're apt to get. I don't see there the incoherence arises. (And of course Peirce only died in 1914   ;))

That's not to say epistemology is useless, mind you. Just that it doesn't capture all that's important.

Sorry, I don't understand this.

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8 minutes ago, Robert F. Smith said:

Yet, in an organization without leaders trained in history and theology, why would anyone expect them to be constantly aware and on point?  Indeed, they were so ignorant of that history that they didn't even bother to destroy the evidence.  Yet we can easily see that, in cases where there has been deep training in history and theology (in Roman Catholicism, for example) there has been real betrayal across a broad range of issues -- a church which covered up centuries of widespread pedophilia by its priests and monks, created a special class of privileged, rich, and august princes of the church, and a church which engaged in large-scale torture and mass murder.

The mistakes made by the LDS Brethren seem paltry and unavoidable in comparison.  As Mike Quinn points out, they don't receive anything like the pay levels afforded Roman Catholic and Protestant pastors and prelates.  In fact they receive so much less that it is astonishing.  Nor do they wear expensive regalia or engage in princely excesses.  They wear themselves out in service to God and in preaching the Gospel of Jesus Christ, and they expect their fellow members to do the same.  There is no indication that they are not completely sincere.  They focus deliberately on the Spirit rather than on scholarship.  That is even a theological norm for them.

You mention LDS seminary and institute training:  Yet that is not usually even remotely professional or scholarly.  For that one ought to go to Yale or Harvard Divinity School, if that is your wont.  That might help provide some sense of perspective to those few who are interested.  There is not likely to be any money in it though, so that it must be a labor of love.  There is even something very monastic about that kind of commitment.  It is more a lifestyle choice than an act of exposure to "betrayal."  Most LDS would rather just raise their families, worship in church and temple, and be good neighbors.  Perhaps that is a major reason for their success.

The Church gainfully employs plenty of people in the creation of curriculum (including BYU professors from whom I took four years of religion courses).  

And yet, the moment I stepped outside of the correlated material I was able to discover that the narrative I had been taught,  over a lifetime of giving the church many hours each week, wasn’t correct. 

 

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4 minutes ago, why me said:

I don't know about helping people. However, to have a life dedicated to the destruction of lds church and have it consume every other aspect of living, seems like a waste to me. It seems to become an addiction.

Not an accurate description of Dehlin’s life.  

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10 minutes ago, rockpond said:

Not an accurate description of Dehlin’s life.  

I don't know. I haven't been on this board for a long time and when I did return to the board there is john again being discussed because of his new project against the lds church. It is endless.

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32 minutes ago, bdouglas said:

For my part, when reading church lesson manuals and church magazines, I have always felt it important to remember who the target audience is. The target audience for an Ensign article by a GA is different than the target audience for a 300-level church history class at BYU. (Even so, there have been many challenging articles in the Ensign, for example, the article written by Elder Nelson in 1998 about the seer stone and how it was used by JS.)

I have also found it useful to remember, or keep in mind, that church leaders (in conference and otherwise) have not been teaching history, they have been teaching the Gospel.

To illustrate my point ... does anybody really imagine that the story of Moses and the parting of the Red Sea happened exactly as Moses (or whoever wrote Genesis) says it happened? I sure don't. But when I read Genesis I am not expecting Moses to teach me history (actual, raw history), rather I am expecting him to teach me the Gospel.

If I thought Moses in Genesis was teaching me history, and then one day I find that it never really literally happened the way he said it did ... well then, I guess I might feel betrayed.

You keep referring to history which makes me feel like you are responding to someone else.  I haven’t mentioned history as being a concern. 

For me, it’s the narrative of truth claims and authority that was problematic. 

Also, I understand the need to target messages to the right audience.  But, like you, I took four years of religion classes at the Church’s flagship university.  I served as a seminary teacher.  I’m a High Priest in the church.  I feel like they had opportunities to share the full narrative with me if they wanted to.

I don’t think they wanted to. Just like I no longer think you really wanted to know how Dehlin helped people like me, instead it seems you just want to tell me I’m wrong for what I experienced. 

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3 minutes ago, why me said:

I don't know. I haven't been on this board for a long time and when I did return to the board there is john again being discussed because of his new project against the lds church. It is endless.

Perhaps you should read the essays when they are published rather than concluding, a priori, that they are “against the LDS church”. 

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16 hours ago, rockpond said:

Yes.  OSF publishes its finances on their website for all to review.  They have for many years. 

😆😆 He's required by law to do that. How noble of him! You must be part of his lapdog army.

Edited by Hamilton Porter

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22 minutes ago, why me said:

I don't know about helping people. However, to have a life dedicated to the destruction of lds church and have it consume every other aspect of living, seems like a waste to me. It seems to become an addiction.

You think that Dehlin has let “the destruction of the LDS church” consume every aspect of living?

Over the past decade Dehlin has completed a PhD in clinical psychology and built a non-profit with this mission:  To promote understanding, healing, growth, and community for people experiencing or impacted by religious transition. (From the OSF website)

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Just now, Hamilton Porter said:

😆😆 He's required by law to do that. How noble of him!

What law requires him to do that?  The church isn’t required to do so. 

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11 minutes ago, rockpond said:

Perhaps you should read the essays when they are published rather than concluding, a priori, that they are “against the LDS church”. 

No, I don't need to do that. Just read the intro to those essays and you know they're trash.

With all the peer-reviewed material on Mormonism these days, there's no time for redneck bait.

Edited by Hamilton Porter

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1 minute ago, rockpond said:

What law requires him to do that?  The church isn’t required to do so. 

Church is a religious entity, it is exempt.

All other non-profits have to. Are you one of his paid trolls?

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4 minutes ago, Hamilton Porter said:

No, I don't need to do that. Just read the intro to those essays. 

With all the peer-reviewed material on Mormonism these days, there's no time for redneck bait.

Wow.  Just wow. 

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3 minutes ago, Hamilton Porter said:

Church is a religious entity, it is exempt.

All other non-profits have to. Are you one of his paid trolls?

CFR:  what is the law that requires OSF to publish its income statement and balance sheet?

As far as I am aware, nonprofits are only required to publish a form 990 to the IRS.  

Please back up your claim or withdraw it. 

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14 minutes ago, rockpond said:

The Church gainfully employs plenty of people in the creation of curriculum (including BYU professors from whom I took four years of religion courses).  

And yet, the moment I stepped outside of the correlated material I was able to discover that the narrative I had been taught,  over a lifetime of giving the church many hours each week, wasn’t correct. 

All of that is a relatively recent phenomenon, and the religion faculty at BYU was never actually qualified, many of them getting Education degrees instead of degrees in history or theology.  They were dedicated to providing low level curriculum material for the seminaries and institutes (that's what CES is for).  For most of his career at BYU, Hugh Nibley had no one to talk to -- except for pleasantries -- and he told one of his graduate assistants not to seek a degree at BYU, or he would never speak to him again.  That student went on to get his masters in religion at UCSB, and then his PhD at Cornell.  Just like his mentor, Hugh Nibley, that never had a negative effect on his faith.  I can say the same of myself.

A church which has as its focus the Holy Spirit as the primary deliverer of truth and testimony is just not going to honor biblical or archeological scholarship.  I think that there is a lack of balance there, and would like to see the LDS Church officially get behind real scholarship in those areas.  To some degree, that has already taken place, but that will never be enough for those who feel betrayed.  As I have said many times, that indicates a lack of perspective.

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42 minutes ago, why me said:

But to think of a life dedicated to such foolishness, year after year after year. It is amazing that a human being can be so embellished in one idea and have it consume their life.

OCD comes to mind.

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8 minutes ago, rockpond said:

CFR:  what is the law that requires OSF to publish its income statement and balance sheet?

As far as I am aware, nonprofits are only required to publish a form 990 to the IRS.  

Please back up your claim or withdraw it. 

Newsflash: A 990 contains a statement of financial activities (income statement) and assets and liabilities (balance sheet).

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17 minutes ago, rockpond said:

You think that Dehlin has let “the destruction of the LDS church” consume every aspect of living?

Over the past decade Dehlin has completed a PhD in clinical psychology and built a non-profit with this mission:  To promote understanding, healing, growth, and community for people experiencing or impacted by religious transition. (From the OSF website)

This idea that John Dehlin is really doing what he does for purely charitable and altruistic motives is really pretty silly. It’s how he makes his living. Yes, he has a Ph.D, but he is not licensed, and I’d be surprised if he ever does get licensed to practice.

Even sillier is the fiction that he helps people stay in the church.

John Dehlin hates the church and he hates church leaders. This animus comes out, whether he wills it or not, at odd moments in his interviews. We saw it also in his excommunication, his behavior and what he said.

We saw it when he appeared at Bill Reels court, making common cause with “New Name Noah”, the most ridiculous, virulent and hateful of all anti-Mormons.

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