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New Game in Town with the Antis

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2 minutes ago, Robert F. Smith said:

Hi, Rev.

It makes no difference to me at all whether someone agrees or disagrees with me, and I do not at all see a disagreement here about the nature of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.  What was at issue were a spate of objectively false claims about history and people who have participated in that history.  When, for example, I have had any disagreements with Rob Bowman or 3DOP, they have always been civil and good natured, even though each is an unbeliever in LDS theology.  Neither of them see it as necessary to bear false witness about history or theology.  That tells us about their character, and we remain friends.  How do you suppose that is possible?  I have spent my life in close relations with non-LDS people and institutions, and have found them deeply respectful and honorable in their comments about my beliefs, and I the same toward them.  That is called mutual respect, and it is a very effective basis for civility and good relations.  When someone (anyone) decides to breach those basic rules, I believe it is time to say so openly.  Navidad's response is an angry one, of course, but in no instance did he provide evidence to back his false claims.  I, on the other hand, was very specific in naming people and sources.

The only thing I can think of that I posted was about Mormons seeking to disrupt revival meetings back in Illinois. Is that what makes me not respectful and honorable? Would you like a citation for that? LDS history is very complex. It is full of kind acts on all parts, as well as occasional acts of meanness on all sides as well. The men you mention specialize in apologetics and doctrine. I don't and never have claimed that. My interest is in LDS history and then tangentially how that history has impacted their (your)doctrine. I don't do apologetics and have never claimed that I do on this forum. In fact, I have been criticized on this forum for believing that we can disagree on all but the core essentials in theology and still have fellowship and be Christian brothers and sisters. I divide systematic theology into essential and non-essential components to the discomfort of both my LDS and non-LDS Christian friends. They think I believe there are more non-essential doctrines than they believe there are. I am not a Christian apologist or polemicist. I am a retired school administrator, pastor, and professor of the integration of psychology and theology. I am a lover of the history of religion and especially of conflict in religion. I have made a significant study of LDS and Mennonite history because I find both fascinating. I read voraciously about the history of religion as conflict. I did say in a post that I thought that Mormons at times, have contributed to their own persecution. I have written the same in the Journal of Mormon History (peer reviewed by LDS and non-LDS historians) and have presented the same at MHA and in several LDS firesides. I also say the exact same thing about Mennonites and have said so on this forum. I have had discussions about my thoughts and research with staff from the Church History Department. I can provide a number of well-known LDS church historians (all faithful Mormons) as references if you need the same.

If I am way off base for what you considered my false allegations, please tell me to what you are referring. Then I can better understand how to respond. Or we can simply move on. That is fine with me as well. I need to get back to my next Journal of Mormon History presentation and article on the Apostles in the Mormon Mexican Colonies (also to be peer reviewed). I don't want to fight, but I love to discuss, as my long posts (and indeed they are) demonstrate. 

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44 minutes ago, Navidad said:

The only thing I can think of that I posted was about Mormons seeking to disrupt revival meetings back in Illinois. Is that what makes me not respectful and honorable? Would you like a citation for that? LDS history is very complex. It is full of kind acts on all parts, as well as occasional acts of meanness on all sides as well. ..........

Mormons at times, have contributed to their own persecution. I have written the same in the Journal of Mormon History (peer reviewed by LDS and non-LDS historians) and have presented the same at MHA and in several LDS firesides

I repeatedly objected to your false claim of moral equivalency, and you have failed to accept your failure -- as though you are essentially saying that the Jews brought the Holocaust upon themselves, thus making a moral equivalency of Judaism and Nazism.  There really are innocent victims in history, even though you are blind to it.  If I am wrong, why haven't you provided hard evidence?  By all means, cite your JMH article.  However, if you are merely speaking about a rare and uncharacteristic event, how would that establish general moral equivalency?

44 minutes ago, Navidad said:

The men you mention specialize in apologetics and doctrine. I don't and never have claimed that. My interest is in LDS history and then tangentially how that history has impacted their (your)doctrine. I don't do apologetics and have never claimed that I do on this forum. In fact, I have been criticized on this forum for believing that we can disagree on all but the core essentials in theology and still have fellowship and be Christian brothers and sisters. I divide systematic theology into essential and non-essential components to the discomfort of both my LDS and non-LDS Christian friends. They think I believe there are more non-essential doctrines than they believe there are. I am not a Christian apologist or polemicist. I am a retired school administrator, pastor, and professor of the integration of psychology and theology. I am a lover of the history of religion and especially of conflict in religion. I have made a significant study of LDS and Mennonite history because I find both fascinating. I read voraciously about the history of religion as conflict. I did say in a post that I thought that.................. I also say the exact same thing about Mennonites and have said so on this forum. I have had discussions about my thoughts and research with staff from the Church History Department. I can provide a number of well-known LDS church historians (all faithful Mormons) as references if you need the same.

Your comments about theology, doctrine, etc., are not germane in any way to failure to provide substantive sources in support of your false claims.  You basically need to acknowledge the extreme persecution suffered by the LDS people through no fault of their own, and to condemn the frequent anti-Mormon tirades against them by people like Walter Martin, without adding the false claim that the LDS did the same.  You need to acknowledge the difference.

44 minutes ago, Navidad said:

If I am way off base for what you considered my false allegations, please tell me to what you are referring.

The time to have provided citations to hard evidence would have been at the time I complained about your false claims.  Go back and take a look.  I was very specific.

44 minutes ago, Navidad said:

Then I can better understand how to respond. Or we can simply move on. That is fine with me as well. I need to get back to my next Journal of Mormon History presentation and article on the Apostles in the Mormon Mexican Colonies (also to be peer reviewed). I don't want to fight, but I love to discuss, as my long posts (and indeed they are) demonstrate. 

Your discussions need to be pointed, and supported by good citations. A good model for you to follow in writing for JMH would be Prof Jan Shipps.  "With malice toward none."

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59 minutes ago, Robert F. Smith said:

I repeatedly objected to your false claim of moral equivalency, and you have failed to accept your failure -- as though you are essentially saying that the Jews brought the Holocaust upon themselves, thus making a moral equivalency of Judaism and Nazism.  There really are innocent victims in history, even though you are blind to it.  If I am wrong, why haven't you provided hard evidence?  By all means, cite your JMH article.  However, if you are merely speaking about a rare and uncharacteristic event, how would that establish general moral equivalency?

Your comments about theology, doctrine, etc., are not germane in any way to failure to provide substantive sources in support of your false claims.  You basically need to acknowledge the extreme persecution suffered by the LDS people through no fault of their own, and to condemn the frequent anti-Mormon tirades against them by people like Walter Martin, without adding the false claim that the LDS did the same.  You need to acknowledge the difference.

The time to have provided citations to hard evidence would have been at the time I complained about your false claims.  Go back and take a look.  I was very specific.

Your discussions need to be pointed, and supported by good citations. A good model for you to follow in writing for JMH would be Prof Jan Shipps.  "With malice toward none."

No thank you. I am done. There is nothing I can say or defend that will satisfy you. This is the very end of the discussion for me. I have enjoyed wonderful relations with the Church History Department. That I don't have the same with you is more a reflection on you, not on me. I have never mentioned Jews or Holocausts, or Nazism. I have no idea what you are talking about. You are welcome to look at my body of scholarship or not. It is available in the public record. I condemn all fundamentalist tirades against Mormonism. Period. I have done that on this forum for the past 15 months. You have not been specific at all. Period. End of "dialogue." Please don't lecture me on writing for JMH. I have successfully done so in the past and will do so in the future. You are so arrogant. 

I am done! 

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3 hours ago, Navidad said:

No thank you. I am done. There is nothing I can say or defend that will satisfy you. This is the very end of the discussion for me. I have enjoyed wonderful relations with the Church History Department. That I don't have the same with you is more a reflection on you, not on me. I have never mentioned Jews or Holocausts, or Nazism. I have no idea what you are talking about. You are welcome to look at my body of scholarship or not. It is available in the public record. I condemn all fundamentalist tirades against Mormonism. Period. I have done that on this forum for the past 15 months. You have not been specific at all. Period. End of "dialogue." Please don't lecture me on writing for JMH. I have successfully done so in the past and will do so in the future. You are so arrogant. 

I am done! 

Just as I thought:  You have no evidence to cite, and claim non-existent JMH articles.  Then you add the blame game, instead of acknowledging your faults.  Out of your own words it is obvious who and what you really are.

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7 hours ago, Robert F. Smith said:

Just as I thought:  You have no evidence to cite, and claim non-existent JMH articles.  Then you add the blame game, instead of acknowledging your faults.  Out of your own words it is obvious who and what you really are.

To all: This morning I sent Brother Smith a private message with a link to my JMH non-existent article. I also provided the name of my bishop and stake president for him to contact. I gave him the name of another stake president who has known me for 30 years. I provided around 13 other names for him to contact, all of whom are prominent members of the Mormon Church History Community including the managing editor of JMH, the executive director of MHA and the current church historian and general authority. I included the name of a former federal senator and congressman from Mexico who is a very prominent and faithful Mormon here in the colonies. I offered to send him other Mormon history-related writings of mine if he sends me his email address. I also sent him the link to my website which has more information about me than anyone would ever care to know.  I do acknowledge my faults, of which there are many. I have done so on this thread over the time I have been active since August of 2017. 

I don't claim to be anybody special. In fact I am pretty much a nobody. But I am a Christian brother who believes in the gospel of Jesus Christ. I believe and testify that my bishop is one of the most Godly men I have ever met. He is my role model for a good man and an example of a Christ-like spirit. This is about all I can do to show Brother Smith who and what I really am. It will most likely neither satisfy or satisfice him. I don't know what else to do except to move on. 

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5 hours ago, Navidad said:

To all: This morning I sent Brother Smith a private message with a link to my JMH non-existent article. I also provided the name of my bishop and stake president for him to contact. I gave him the name of another stake president who has known me for 30 years. I provided around 13 other names for him to contact, all of whom are prominent members of the Mormon Church History Community including the managing editor of JMH, the executive director of MHA and the current church historian and general authority. I included the name of a former federal senator and congressman from Mexico who is a very prominent and faithful Mormon here in the colonies. I offered to send him other Mormon history-related writings of mine if he sends me his email address. I also sent him the link to my website which has more information about me than anyone would ever care to know.  I do acknowledge my faults, of which there are many. I have done so on this thread over the time I have been active since August of 2017. 

I don't claim to be anybody special. In fact I am pretty much a nobody. But I am a Christian brother who believes in the gospel of Jesus Christ. I believe and testify that my bishop is one of the most Godly men I have ever met. He is my role model for a good man and an example of a Christ-like spirit. This is about all I can do to show Brother Smith who and what I really am. It will most likely neither satisfy or satisfice him. I don't know what else to do except to move on. 

Who and what a person really is has to do with substantive evidence, not name-dropping (by the way, the Exec Dir of the MHA, Barbara Jones Brown, spoke at the UVU conference on "Women of Mormondom" two days ago, and I got a chance to speak with her afterward).  I am far more interested in your failure to correctly assess the character and work of Walter Martin, or to make it plain that there is no moral equivalency between the Mormons and their persecutors -- just as the Nazis and Jews were not morally equivalent (a good historian knows very well what it means to reason by analogy, and would never call it into question).

I will be happy to evaluate your personal message to me, Navidad.  Thank you.

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49 minutes ago, Robert F. Smith said:

Who and what a person really is has to do with substantive evidence, not name-dropping (by the way, the Exec Dir of the MHA, Barbara Jones Brown, spoke at the UVU conference on "Women of Mormondom" two days ago, and I got a chance to speak with her afterward).  I am far more interested in your failure to correctly assess the character and work of Walter Martin, or to make it plain that there is no moral equivalency between the Mormons and their persecutors -- just as the Nazis and Jews were not morally equivalent (a good historian knows very well what it means to reason by analogy, and would never call it into question).

I will be happy to evaluate your personal message to me, Navidad.  Thank you.

Fair enough. Thanks. 

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1 hour ago, Robert F. Smith said:

Who and what a person really is has to do with substantive evidence, not name-dropping (by the way, the Exec Dir of the MHA, Barbara Jones Brown, spoke at the UVU conference on "Women of Mormondom" two days ago, and I got a chance to speak with her afterward).  I am far more interested in your failure to correctly assess the character and work of Walter Martin, or to make it plain that there is no moral equivalency between the Mormons and their persecutors -- just as the Nazis and Jews were not morally equivalent (a good historian knows very well what it means to reason by analogy, and would never call it into question).

I will be happy to evaluate your personal message to me, Navidad.  Thank you.

Navidad has an overall message about moral equivalency in Christianity. That is clear in his many postings on the forum over the last year. He believes there is no sect that can (or at least should) preach moral superiority over another. Like you I feel that the early saints were unjustly persecuted. Navidad argued that LDS were complicit in that occurring. There really is no way of proving this kind of thing, but there are certainly historic examples of the reaction of others to the LDS immigrants into "their" territories. Rather routinely, other Christians felt the LDS were presenting the idea that they were going to take over the area. This kind of presentation, assuming it existed, was bound to stir up resentment and fear among other Christian locals - something I think history bears out in the irrational reaction received by the LDS pioneers. Now you can say that is false all you want, but there is some historical evidence for it, although such is always open to interpretation. Just because the LDS were unjustly persecuted doesn't mean they could have behaved differently so as to avoid building feelings of resentment and fear in locals and what I feel is the resulting persecution they received. I don't know that we will ever change Navidad's mind about there being a truer gospel of Jesus Christ, but we can (and should) certainly set a better example than others do in this regard, and not manifest antagonism felt out of suspicion and fear. We should not be repeating the mistakes of our early pioneers.

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, RevTestament said:

This kind of presentation, assuming it existed, 

Salt Sermon...

https://byustudies.byu.edu/file/5208/download?token=u8KrRUO5

also:

Quote

In July, 1838, the direction of the new militancy shifted from opposing dissenters to combating Gentile persecution. Henceforth, Rigdon pro- claimed, the Mormons would make their stand with violence of their own. The First Presidency had been militant in attitude since their arrival at Far West, but their intention to fight if necessary was declared to the entire state in Rigdon’s July 4th speech.3 It was called a Mormon declaration of rights. When Rigdon’s address was published in neighboring papers it caused great contention among the Missourians; his Independence Day speech helped polarize both the Mormons and the Missourians, and the stage was set for the Mormon War. 

 

Add-on:  I am not suggesting moral equivalency in what happened to early Saints and what early Saints participated in themselves by posting this info, though I do see such inflammatory rhetoric as was reported as a wrong and as contributing to the violence.  Whether or not the violence would have occurred without the Rigdon sermons, I don't have a clue.  Haven't studied that time well enough to speculate.

Edited by Calm
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6 hours ago, RevTestament said:

Navidad has an overall message about moral equivalency in Christianity. That is clear in his many postings on the forum over the last year. He believes there is no sect that can (or at least should) preach moral superiority over another. Like you I feel that the early saints were unjustly persecuted. Navidad argued that LDS were complicit in that occurring. There really is no way of proving this kind of thing, but there are certainly historic examples of the reaction of others to the LDS immigrants into "their" territories. Rather routinely, other Christians felt the LDS were presenting the idea that they were going to take over the area. This kind of presentation, assuming it existed, was bound to stir up resentment and fear among other Christian locals - something I think history bears out in the irrational reaction received by the LDS pioneers. Now you can say that is false all you want, but there is some historical evidence for it, although such is always open to interpretation. Just because the LDS were unjustly persecuted doesn't mean they could have behaved differently so as to avoid building feelings of resentment and fear in locals and what I feel is the resulting persecution they received. I don't know that we will ever change Navidad's mind about there being a truer gospel of Jesus Christ, but we can (and should) certainly set a better example than others do in this regard, and not manifest antagonism felt out of suspicion and fear. We should not be repeating the mistakes of our early pioneers.

I agree.  However, although we can always blame the victims at least in part for the persecution heaped upon them, we are still faced with the very same rationale applied by non-Jews to those evil Jews whom they persecuted.  Many pogroms and a Holocaust later, the fruits of such accusations ought to sober all of us to the reality that such general conspiratorial thinking has real consequences.  I am not suggesting that the Mountain Meadows Massacre did not happen, nor that Mormons have not ignorantly cultivated the ire of their neighbors -- only that such events are exceptional and are a violation of proper Mormon norms (MMM, for example, was a direct violation of Brigham's orders).  They are not, and have not been, characteristic of the Mormons as a people.  The question of moral equivalency is always pertinent, but the claim that a woman who has been raped is partly responsible for that rape by getting drunk or dressing immodestly is a trope which we do not need to cultivate.

Those who exercise their rights under the First Amendment freedom of religion clause should not be subjected to persecution at all, by anyone.  That is a standard which all of us should abide by, regardless of our personal, emotional feelings.

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On 3/9/2019 at 12:56 PM, RevTestament said:

Navidad has an overall message about moral equivalency in Christianity. That is clear in his many postings on the forum over the last year. He believes there is no sect that can (or at least should) preach moral superiority over another. Like you I feel that the early saints were unjustly persecuted. Navidad argued that LDS were complicit in that occurring. There really is no way of proving this kind of thing, but there are certainly historic examples of the reaction of others to the LDS immigrants into "their" territories. Rather routinely, other Christians felt the LDS were presenting the idea that they were going to take over the area. This kind of presentation, assuming it existed, was bound to stir up resentment and fear among other Christian locals - something I think history bears out in the irrational reaction received by the LDS pioneers. Now you can say that is false all you want, but there is some historical evidence for it, although such is always open to interpretation. Just because the LDS were unjustly persecuted doesn't mean they could have behaved differently so as to avoid building feelings of resentment and fear in locals and what I feel is the resulting persecution they received. I don't know that we will ever change Navidad's mind about there being a truer gospel of Jesus Christ, but we can (and should) certainly set a better example than others do in this regard, and not manifest antagonism felt out of suspicion and fear. We should not be repeating the mistakes of our early pioneers.

Wow Rev - You are a better me than I am! Thanks for explaining me to everyone, including me. You are right on. I do believe the gospel of Jesus Christ is true in whatever denomination it is found as long as it is based on the atonement of Christ - Christ crucified, risen, and coming again. That is the essence of the gospel whether found in Mennonite, Mormon, or Methodist doctrine. Of course, individual people can be more or less moral in their conduct, thoughts, and ideals. But the gospel is the same wherever it is found, and is efficacious for all who believe. II Nephi 26:33 is a wonderful passage that may support my thinking. I am not sure of the LDS interpretation of it, so I won't say any more than that. I am sure for some, my list of non-essential doctrines that I have posited on this forum is too broad; for others it may be too restrictive. I believe only God knows who will be in His kingdom and He isn't telling. I am probably in the evangelical inclusivist camp more than the exclusivist camp. Thanks and best wishes. Rev - I am double booked with speaking engagemets in June - can you please take one of them for me! 😄

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On 3/5/2019 at 2:02 AM, Navidad said:

I appreciate that. For me it was Sunday a week ago. Or come to think of it, I think it was about an hour ago. 

I'm sorry.

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13 hours ago, Navidad said:

Wow Rev - You are a better me than I am! Thanks for explaining me to everyone, including me. You are right on. I do believe the gospel of Jesus Christ is true in whatever denomination it is found as long as it is based on the atonement of Christ - Christ crucified, risen, and coming again. That is the essence of the gospel whether found in Mennonite, Mormon, or Methodist doctrine. Of course, individual people can be more or less moral in their conduct, thoughts, and ideals. But the gospel is the same wherever it is found, and is efficacious for all who believe. II Nephi 26:33 is a wonderful passage that may support my thinking. I am not sure of the LDS interpretation of it, so I won't say any more than that. I am sure for some, my list of non-essential doctrines that I have posited on this forum is too broad; for others it may be too restrictive. I believe only God knows who will be in His kingdom and He isn't telling. I am probably in the evangelical inclusivist camp more than the exclusivist camp. Thanks and best wishes. Rev - I am double booked with speaking engagemets in June - can you please take one of them for me! 😄

Thank you Navidad for your graciousness. Now let me step on it - if I am a better you, perhaps I do believe a better (more complete) version of the gospel :) Kidding aside, I am afraid I am a terrible secretary with little tact, who would do terrible violence to your speaking engagement activities. However, perhaps one day the Lord will call me to speak on my own, and you can see what I am talking about. You are of course right about the essence of the gospel, which I believe the Christian sects manage to have in common. If one does not believe these basics, I do not hesitate to say they are not Christian. I would probably put the Urantia believers in this camp for instance. There are some non-trinitarian sects who probably approach this category. Then of course there are some who believe Yeshua  was a prophet, but who are not Christian - like Muslims. However, using the commonality of Yeshua can be fruitful grounds for conversion, and it is rarely going to be fruitful to dwell on differences, although that can have an impact if done with the right tact.

Again, thanks for your kind offer, but in truth, I believe you to be a far better historian of my sect than myself. I consider myself to be more of a scripturian and a general Christian historian - I learn enough of the latter to be better at the former. There are some scriptures which you note imply  a more universal application of the gospel than it seems the Church currently recognizes. In addition to 2 Nephi there is

Doctrine and Covenants 10:67

67 Behold, this is my doctrine—whosoever repenteth and cometh unto me, the same is my church.

However, I would note that these scriptures both imply following Christ, which I proffer is something we all accomplish to various degrees, which I believe is where our main difference of belief comes in. The Church offers what is necessary to accomplish following Christ to the utmost. Cheers :) 

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There are those who don't think the bishop should be allowing my wife and I to do anything in the ward, except maybe vacuum, which we take our turn doing. They don't mean to be unkind to us; they may or may not simply know what to do with us. I am told, in their isolated situation they have never had a non-member in their midst for as long as we have been."

If you are not a member you would not be given a calling, nor should you be. Thats how it works.

 

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Posted (edited)
23 hours ago, mnn727 said:

There are those who don't think the bishop should be allowing my wife and I to do anything in the ward, except maybe vacuum, which we take our turn doing. They don't mean to be unkind to us; they may or may not simply know what to do with us. I am told, in their isolated situation they have never had a non-member in their midst for as long as we have been."

If you are not a member you would not be given a calling, nor should you be. Thats how it works.

 

You make my point that there is no box to check or role for a faithful non-member in a ward of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints after more than a year of consistent and faithful attendance; we may have missed three Sunday in 15 months.  I wasn't referring to receiving a calling per se. We serve as church cleaners. I would simply suggest that cleaning a church is a ministry and that it is as much a ministry as prayer, donating, singing, teaching, etc., especially when members don't seem to flock to being there on Saturday mornings at 8:am to clean.  That's how it works in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints - you are right. I can't agree with you that is how it "should" (to use your word) work.

That is not how it works in any other church in any other denomination I have attended or pastored. If someone clearly had a clear Christian testimony and it was evident they had gifts that would benefit the congregation, they could participate in any way they chose except in leading sacraments. That was restricted to folks ordained to that service. We believed God brought people into our fellowship with the gifts our church needed. That is how the Spirit works. It mattered not whether they chose to formally "join" our membership. I would guess 30% or more of the faithful attendees in churches I have led were not members. That was never very important. I am not saying that is how it "should" be. It is simply how it was in my life of ministry prior to attending a ward. 

Edited by Navidad

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Posted (edited)

There are callings and there is participation.  One can participate without a calling....choir members just volunteer, for example, though Choir leaders are called.  Callings require being set apart, which requires membership.  There are several 'positions' that don't require callings, such as choir member mentioned above.  Iirc, nonmembers can be asked to be participate by being a scout leader, though I doubt they would ever serve on their own back in the day one man or woman could serve as a scout leader on their own.

The fundamental practice that members are called to fill positions by leaders even when they volunteer (I volunteered for almost all my callings, usually in Primary or ward librarian) means we aren't going to match with denominations that solely or primarily choose from volunteers.  The benefit of callings is that it provides opportunities for those who wouldn't consider themselves in those callings on their own.  The drawback of callings is that not everyone may have a chance to serve in areas they might want to...though I think one could volunteer to be an aide easily enough if supporting youth is desired.  My husband always wanted to be in Young Men's, but never got called to such.  I don't think it occurred to him to volunteer though and he has almost always enjoyed his callings, so likely never felt the need to really push his leaders to see him as an option for YM leaders.  

If one assumes neither practice of choosing positions  is wrong or right, but just the way things have been set up to function, then there seems to me to be no reason to see it as rejection or acceptance.  Now some members might see any participation by nonmembers as inappropriate, but I have never encountered someone who has expressed that opinion though I have encountered many who have expressed delight when nonmembers join the choir, are one of the scout leaders, help with service projects or setting up activities, work in the local genealogy library, so I would see it as likely the former opinion in the Church is much less common though it may be dominant in certain locales.

Edited by Calm
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Posted (edited)
21 hours ago, Navidad said:

You make my point that there is no box to check or role for a faithful non-member in a ward of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints after more than a year of consistent and faithful attendance; we may have missed three Sunday in 15 months.  I wasn't referring to receiving a calling per se. We serve as church cleaners. I would simply suggest that cleaning a church is a ministry and that it is as much a ministry as prayer, donating, singing, teaching, etc., especially when members don't seem to flock to being there on Saturday mornings at 8:am to clean.  That's how it works in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints - you are right. I can't agree with you that is how it "should" (to use your word) work.

That is not how it works in any other church in any other denomination I have attended or pastored. If someone clearly had a clear Christian testimony and it was evident they had gifts that would benefit the congregation, they could participate in any way they chose except in leading sacraments. That wasn't restricted to folks ordained to that service. We believed God brought people into our fellowship with the gifts our church needed. That is how the Spirit works. It mattered not whether they chose to formally "join" our membership. I would guess 30% or more of the faithful attendees in churches I have led were not members. That was never very important. I am not saying that is how it "should" be. It is simply how it was in my life of ministry prior to attending a ward. 

Having attended numerous denominations in my youth and young adulthood - You would find it hard to have a position (or calling) at any Church you were not a member of.

Perhaps its time to "get off the fence" ?

Edited by mnn727

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Posted (edited)
3 hours ago, mnn727 said:

Having attended numerous denominations in my youth and young adulthood - You would find it hard to have a position (or calling) at any Church you were not a member of.

Perhaps its time to "get off the fence" ?

Fair enough. My experience as a leader in those churches is different from yours. That is fine. I served in leadership and decision-making in both denominational and inter-denominational community churches. We can both be right, or wrong, especially as we are discussing personal experiences. I have no data at hand for any of this beyond my own anecdotal experience and the teaching I received in preparation to minister. 

On your other point, I have never been on the fence. 😃 I am happily committed to my personal faith affiliation. It happens there is no church we could attend within four hours of here. My wife needs an English-speaking congregation in which she can fellowship and communicate in a spirit of friendship with other women of like Christian faith. I also have studied LDS history for many years and so was delighted to attend a ward for the first time in my life. I did not anticipate the negative reaction I have received from friends and family, nor on the other hand did I anticipate the strident rules for the use of my gifts in a LDS ward. I have always been taught at home, in church, seminary and graduate school that God brings together believers with all the gifts needed for the work of the ministry into a local church. I Cor. 12 makes it all pretty clear. If there was a way I could join the ward as a member without having to be rebaptized I would do it tomorrow. Of course, that is not possible. Although as I have said before on this forum, our bishop does occasionally introduce us with a smile as members of the ward, but not of the Church. If I decided to join the local Catholic church here in town I would not have to be rebaptized. If I joined the local Pentecostal church, I wouldn't have to be rebaptized. If I joined the local Baptist, Methodist, or any other church that I know of in this area, I would not have to be rebaptized. Each and every one, including the Catholic church accepts my baptism by immersion as valid, except of course the one we attend. My father baptized me by immersion and I made very important baptismal covenants that I have memorized and recommit to every sacrament service. So my baptism is very special to me and I don't see ever joining another faith that would require me to be rebaptized. I simply don't see the scriptural rationale for that either. Thanks to this forum I also now know that I have to use my right hand only (a challenge for me with a broken wrist that never healed) to take the sacrament. Perhaps some day we will stop attending the ward, it is getting harder for us to do so. But for now, I firmly believe the Holy Spirit has ministered to both of us that we should be there, even with the loneliness we often feel. We don't know why, but we are sure we are learning through it. That makes it all worthwhile.  

Edited by Navidad
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1 hour ago, Navidad said:

Thanks to this forum I also now know that I have to use my right hand only (a challenge for me with a broken wrist that never healed) to take the sacrament.

You do not have to do this, especially if there is a medical reason.  Think of members who have no right hand.  We do not insist they can't take the Sacrament at all or require them to use someone else's righthand.

If it was essential to take it with your righthand, leaders would be having the instruction taught in Primary and youth classes or announced from the pulpit.  Or make as strong a point of it as they do ensuring immersion in baptism is complete.

Taking it with your left hand will not invalidate your experience, especially if it doesn't hold the same symbolic meaning for you as it does members.

https://www.lds.org/study/ensign/1983/03/i-have-a-question/is-it-necessary-to-take-the-sacrament-with-ones-right-hand?lang=eng

Quote

The hand used in partaking of the sacrament would logically be the same hand used in making any other sacred oath. For most of us, that would be the right hand. However, sacramental covenants—and other eternal covenants as well—can be and are made by those who have lost the use of the right hand, or who have no hands at all. Much more important than concern over which hand is used in partaking of the sacrament is that the sacrament be partaken with a deep realization of the atoning sacrifice that the sacrament represents.

That was written by Pres. Nelson a year before he became an apostle.

Edited by Calm

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2 hours ago, Navidad said:

If I decided to join the local Catholic church here in town I would not have to be rebaptized.

This is true. However, you would have to go through adult catechism and then be confirmed. Your beliefs would have to align with the dogmas of the Church for this to happen, and I'm pretty sure some of them currently do not align (or you would already be Catholic :) ). The LDS church is not the only exclusionary church -- Catholicism is, too. The Church accepts your baptism as valid, but you are not able to receive communion. The LDS church does not accept your baptism as valid, but they do allow you to take the sacrament ;) 

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10 minutes ago, MiserereNobis said:

This is true. However, you would have to go through adult catechism and then be confirmed. Your beliefs would have to align with the dogmas of the Church for this to happen, and I'm pretty sure some of them currently do not align (or you would already be Catholic :) ). The LDS church is not the only exclusionary church -- Catholicism is, too. The Church accepts your baptism as valid, but you are not able to receive communion. The LDS church does not accept your baptism as valid, but they do allow you to take the sacrament ;) 

Hi Amigo - Interesting; I have talked to our local priest here in our little village about taking communion. He basically told me he is not allowed to ask anyone who stands in line if they are a faithful Catholic prior to giving that person the wafer. I have never, in lots of masses we have attended seen them pass the wine to any attendee in our church during a mass. The priest takes a sip from a chalice and sets it aside. Is that common? He told us he would never deny us a wafer because he knows we are fine upstanding Christians! Be that as it may, I would never do that. It would be disrespectful to the norms of the Church, regardless of what he would do.

It is also the reason I don't say much any more in any of the meetings in our ward. In fact, this past Sunday several of the men in elder's quorum asked me if I was ok? The only time I said anything is when the teacher singled me out when he read Elder Uchtdorf's comment about if you are a member, do this and if not then come and join (something like that). He called me out by name and said that was just for me. Then he wished me a happy birthday. I mumbled something and thanked him for the birthday wish. I have been taught since a child not to be a "stumbling-block" to anyone's faith. If my participation causes someone in the ward to be offended or to "stumble" in their loyalty and submission to their hierarchy, I won't be part of it. It does create a bit of a lonely and isolated feeling, but we are trying to get used to that. It is our choice to attend. Perhaps instead of being CORs (children of record) we can be FNMORs (faithful non-members of record)! No? I didn't think so. 

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3 hours ago, Navidad said:

. Thanks to this forum I also now know that I have to use my right hand only (a challenge for me with a broken wrist that never healed) to take the sacrament. 

What?!?!?! No, there is nothing that says you MUST use your right hand only.

Edited by mnn727
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Just now, Navidad said:

Hi Amigo - Interesting; I have talked to our local priest here in our little village about taking communion. He basically told me he is not allowed to ask anyone who stands in line if they are a faithful Catholic prior to giving that person the wafer. I have never, in lots of masses we have attended seen them pass the wine to any attendee in our church during a mass. The priest takes a sip from a chalice and sets it aside. Is that common? He told us he would never deny us a wafer because he knows we are fine upstanding Christians! Be that as it may, I would never do that. It would be disrespectful to the norms of the Church, regardless of what he would do.

From what you've shared here and there, it sounds like you've got quite the liberal priest :) 

The general canon law rule states that priests are to distribute communion to whomever presents themselves without question. However, there are exceptions. If the priest truly knows you are not a Catholic (like your priest knows about you), then he should not. Also, if the priest knows that the communicant has been excommunicated, communion should be denied. Finally, if the priest knows and there is common knowledge that the communicant is in a state of grave and persistent sin, then communion should be denied.

So yes, he is not allowed to ask communicants about their state of grace or their church affiliation. However, with you, he doesn't have to ask, he already knows. If he were to offer you communion he would be breaking canon law, which for him would be a sin. If you were to take it, it would be sacrilege. This is pretty clear Catholic teaching, which is why I stated your priest seems to be on the liberal side of things. Receiving communion is not about being fine upstanding Christians (the reason he gave why it would be ok for you to receive it). Receiving communion is just that: communing with the Real Presence of Jesus Christ's Blood, Body, Soul, and Divinity under the species of bread and wine. If you believe that through the actions of the priest the wafer has been transubstantiated into the Real Presence of Christ, then you should become a Catholic ;) If you don't believe it, then you shouldn't go through the ritual that effectively states you do believe it. I'm glad to hear that you are not receiving communion.

Receiving communion under the species of wine is currently optional (in the traditional Latin Mass, it is actually forbidden for anyone other than the priest). The Blood, Body, Soul, and Divinity of Christ are in both the bread and wine, so one does not need both to have a "complete" communion so to say. In fact, the reason the wine was restricted to the priest in the first place was to counter the heresy that one needed both to have a "complete" communion. The Church adjusted Mass accordingly to teach that one does not need both, thus using the Mass to teach (a big portion of Mass is about teaching, not with words, but with the symbolism of ritual action. The change of Mass in the 1970s took away a lot of that teaching, which is unfortunate).

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1 hour ago, MiserereNobis said:

From what you've shared here and there, it sounds like you've got quite the liberal priest :) 

The general canon law rule states that priests are to distribute communion to whomever presents themselves without question. However, there are exceptions. If the priest truly knows you are not a Catholic (like your priest knows about you), then he should not. Also, if the priest knows that the communicant has been excommunicated, communion should be denied. Finally, if the priest knows and there is common knowledge that the communicant is in a state of grave and persistent sin, then communion should be denied.

So yes, he is not allowed to ask communicants about their state of grace or their church affiliation. However, with you, he doesn't have to ask, he already knows. If he were to offer you communion he would be breaking canon law, which for him would be a sin. If you were to take it, it would be sacrilege. This is pretty clear Catholic teaching, which is why I stated your priest seems to be on the liberal side of things. Receiving communion is not about being fine upstanding Christians (the reason he gave why it would be ok for you to receive it). Receiving communion is just that: communing with the Real Presence of Jesus Christ's Blood, Body, Soul, and Divinity under the species of bread and wine. If you believe that through the actions of the priest the wafer has been transubstantiated into the Real Presence of Christ, then you should become a Catholic ;) If you don't believe it, then you shouldn't go through the ritual that effectively states you do believe it. I'm glad to hear that you are not receiving communion.

Receiving communion under the species of wine is currently optional (in the traditional Latin Mass, it is actually forbidden for anyone other than the priest). The Blood, Body, Soul, and Divinity of Christ are in both the bread and wine, so one does not need both to have a "complete" communion so to say. In fact, the reason the wine was restricted to the priest in the first place was to counter the heresy that one needed both to have a "complete" communion. The Church adjusted Mass accordingly to teach that one does not need both, thus using the Mass to teach (a big portion of Mass is about teaching, not with words, but with the symbolism of ritual action. The change of Mass in the 1970s took away a lot of that teaching, which is unfortunate).

Thanks for the explanation. I am wondering out loud, because I don't know for sure, if the Catholic Church in Mexico might indeed be more liberal than elsewhere? Might that be too broad a brush? Perhaps to survive in a increasingly liberal and secular society? It does seem that the Catholic Church's regulatory agency here is the local priest and he does his best to please the folks. In my years in the village I have seen arguments over the Matachine dancers, non-Catholics being asked to serve as padrinos, the importance of confession, the adult catechism for grown men, blessings of the fields, etc. The response seems to vary by priest. In the Reform Wars, the revolution, and via the anticlerical triad of Protestants (most include Mormons in that category),  Masons, and philosophical liberals, the Church here has experienced a huge upheaval. The Cristero War (mid-twenties), and more importantly here in the north, the Second Cristiada (mid-thirties) might as well have happened yesterday. The governor of Chihuahua in 1935, Rodrigo Quevedo (born ten minutes from where I write this) took advantage of the Constitution of 1917 to limit the Catholic Church in Chihuahua, serving millions of Catholics to one priest! One! This law was never strictly applied against Protestant or Mormon "ministers." The law was to limit the power, influence, and authority of the Catholic Church over the minds and souls of the average Mexican Catholic in the pueblo. I have had the privilege of speaking on the Catholic Church during the Revolution to university and lay audiences several times in the last month. It has been quite an interesting experience. I will have to dig around to find a 21st century assessment by a Catholic scholar on the current state of the Catholic Church in Mexico. That would be a fun read. Take care.

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