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David Ostler's book Bridges on LDS faith crisis

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4 hours ago, RevTestament said:

Well, fortunately I have never had a neck surgery, but maybe someone did learn some important principle through such an ordeal. You don't believe we learn through life experiences? Maybe the person got a blessing and was relieved of all further pain. You don't think that is faith affirming?

But couldn’t you just say you have a testimony about priesthood blessings? Is the backstory  necessary? I think may testimonies start this way with a long back story and they get caught up in the story and never really get to the testimony. Just a thought. Thanks for your post!

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2 hours ago, changed said:

Yepoers - that is what every religious organization claims.... (btw, google "elevation emotion") 

http://testimoniesofotherfaiths.blogspot.com/2014/10/baptist-testimonies.html?m=1

 

 

Pres. Packer addressed this in 1982,  “The spiritual part of us and the emotional part of us are so closely linked that is possible to mistake an emotional impulse for something spiritual. We occasionally find people who receive what they assume to be spiritual promptings from God, when those promptings are either centered in the emotions or are from the adversary.” https://www.churchofjesuschrist.org/study/ensign/1983/01/the-candle-of-the-lord?lang=eng

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3 hours ago, changed said:

Yepoers - that is what every religious organization claims.... (btw, google "elevation emotion") 

Yep.  We can't even agree on what constitutes a witness of the spirit.

Joseph Smith stated the Holy Ghost had "no effect" other than pure intelligence.   Then there's the concept of the fire of the spirit.  Or perhaps the peaceful feelings.  Basically, if there's a feeling then someone somewhere has attributed it to God at some point.

Edited by JLHPROF
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6 minutes ago, JLHPROF said:

Yep.  We can't even agree on what constitutes a witness of the spirit.

Joseph Smith stated the Holy Ghost had "no effect" other than pure intelligence.   Then there's the concept of the fire of the spirit.  Or perhaps the peaceful feelings.  Basically, if there's a feeling then someone somewhere has attributed it to God at some point.

yep, I can watch the movie "Kangaroo Jack" and cry from laughing too hard, exhibiting emotion but the HG didn't impart new knowledge to me or bear witness to anything. In fact some thing drive the spirit, but you can get these people saying that if you feel emotion that's always the HG but it isn't

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3 hours ago, RevTestament said:

i am sure you realize the scripture I am speaking of:
Doctrine and Covenants 84:6-7

aAnd the bsons of Moses, according to the Holy Priesthood which he received under the chand of his father-in-law, dJethro;I really don't see any other way than to accept that Moses received the priesthood directly through Jethro, his father in law.

Sorry - way I wrote my sentence with the aside in the middle wasn't as clear as it should have been. I agree with you. My point was more that both Moses being set apart and being the head of dispensation can be true.

3 hours ago, RevTestament said:

It did not according to D&C. And Enoch was not a head of a dispensation. Adam was. He began the covenant of the Sabbath and the seven day week in Sumeria - notice their seven day week. Egypt had a 10 day week. 

Many people see either Enoch or Abraham as dispensation heads. (See that lds.org entry I linked to for an example of that) Both were not restoring the gospel when lost. 

I think the idea some have is that dispensations parallel to the seven seals in Revelation that Joseph spoke of with one being the head for each one. My point is just that the meaning of dispensation is more open than I think most assume.

3 hours ago, RevTestament said:

I am not trying to dismiss my teacher as arrogant or a "bad teacher." I know him fairly well, and he actually employed me. I consider him to be a humble member of the Church, who was just trying to stick to the materials. Maybe I sounded a little arrogant to him. I am just giving it as an example of how questions or challenges typically got responded to before the Church changed the SS block materials. He actually hurt my feelings quite badly, and I changed SS classes.

I consider that being a bad teacher. He may have meant well but if you're unnecessarily hurting people's feelings and being dogmatic where it's not appropriate then that's being a bad teach. Good people can be bad teachers and typically they don't intend the consequences of their actions, but it's the actions themselves that keep them from being good teachers. (IMO)

I completely understand why people fall prey to this. But it's something that I think experienced confident teachers don't typically do. (Of course even good teachers are bad teachers sometimes - myself included)

3 hours ago, RevTestament said:

Now, I think "I was offended" is one of the common answers for why people leave the Church. Maybe they don't show up on Ostler's survey in those words, but I think this is a common way people feel offended. It is not just some personal personality conflict. It is the way they were responded to for their questions. That is the reason I gave that example.

I think you're right, but typically even people offended won't want to say that the reason they left was they were offended. More typically even the offended look for a different description that puts the onus on the Church rather than themselves. Saying you were offended makes it seem like it's your fault, which most people instinctually avoid. To the point that most ex-Mormons get rather offended if you say people might leave because offense.

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1 hour ago, Duncan said:

Pres. Packer addressed this in 1982,  “The spiritual part of us and the emotional part of us are so closely linked that is possible to mistake an emotional impulse for something spiritual. We occasionally find people who receive what they assume to be spiritual promptings from God, when those promptings are either centered in the emotions or are from the adversary.” https://www.churchofjesuschrist.org/study/ensign/1983/01/the-candle-of-the-lord?lang=eng

Looks like a quote from http://www.mormonthink.com/testimonyweb.htm.   When a prophet messes up, they say "oops, guess that wasn't the spirit after all"  ... but I suppose you can tell the difference even when Joseph Smith couldn't...

Screenshot_20190806-211746_Chrome.jpg

and another link

http://testimoniesofotherfaiths.blogspot.com/2014/10/catholic-conversion-stories.html?m=1

and another

http://testimoniesofotherfaiths.blogspot.com/2014/10/muslim-conversion-stories.html?m=1

the above website goes through all the major Faith's and you will find very similar spiritual experiences in all of them.

 

everyone feels the spirit -Mormons do not have the monopoly here.

 

Edited by changed

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6 hours ago, Duncan said:

maybe they never had one to restore or doubted it ever happened, I often think you never lose a witness you just bury it with nonsense or just life gets in the way.

Maybe you should try listening instead of projecting as David Ostler suggests. 

 

Edited to quote proper post

Edited by SeekingUnderstanding
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8 minutes ago, SeekingUnderstanding said:

Maybe you should try listening instead of projecting as David Ostler suggests. 

I read the OP is there an audio?

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26 minutes ago, changed said:

Looks like a quote from http://www.mormonthink.com/testimonyweb.htm.   When a prophet messes up, they say "oops, guess that wasn't the spirit after all"  ... but I suppose you can tell the difference even when Joseph Smith couldn't...

Screenshot_20190806-211746_Chrome.jpg

and another link

http://testimoniesofotherfaiths.blogspot.com/2014/10/catholic-conversion-stories.html?m=1

and another

http://testimoniesofotherfaiths.blogspot.com/2014/10/muslim-conversion-stories.html?m=1

the above website goes through all the major Faith's and you will find very similar spiritual experiences in all of them.

 

everyone feels the spirit -Mormons do not have the monopoly here.

 

So, Joseph Smith got one thing wrong, according to someone who wasn't involved(David Whitmer) therefore nobody ever knows how the HG manifests itself? I think the weight of that assumption is a bit much

we all learn line upon line precept upon precept, which isn't unique to members of the Church

Edited by Duncan
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5 minutes ago, Duncan said:

I read the OP is there an audio?

Many apologies. I meant to respond to this:

“maybe they never had one to restore or doubted it ever happened, I often think you never lose a witness you just bury it with nonsense or just life gets in the way.”

My point being that you should let people speak for themselves rather than project your experience onto them  

 

Edited by SeekingUnderstanding
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4 minutes ago, SeekingUnderstanding said:

Many apologies. I meant to respond to this:

“maybe they never had one to restore or doubted it ever happened, I often think you never lose a witness you just bury it with nonsense or just life gets in the way.”

My point being that you should let people speak for themselves rather than project your experience onto them  

 

I am saying that and David Ostler should do the same for members, regardless of where they are on the faith spectrum

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2 hours ago, Robert F. Smith said:

I see that you have carefully ignored my pointed questions, the implications of which ought to be of some interest, but alas no.

Where does the Bible place those events, and where did that Bible come from?  The Book of Abraham does not even include the rivers -- doesn't localize the place.  How is it possible to have more than one version of these things in the LDS Canon?  Need I point out the plethora of contradictions contained in each version?

I'm sorry. I wasn't trying to evade your questions. I don't consider them particularly important, but since you insist. The Bible places those events "eastward." So the question becomes eastward from what? Eastward from either Moses or from David's scribes who recorded the narrative while in Jerusalem - unless you are now going to argue that Egypt where Moses was, was somehow in America too, I don't see any particular relevance to your inquiry. The Book of Abraham is no more authoritative than the Book of Moses. I am losing your train of thought. There is not more than one version of these things in the LDS Canon. BY's words in the JoD are not part of the Canon. There is nothing in the LDS canon to show Eden was in America.

Quote

Almost like a died-in-the-wool evangelical, you are objectifying the text you claim was given by God, who pointedly declares that he speaks to poor fallible humans according to their language and understanding.  Do you know where it says that in both D&C and BofM?  Do you get the implications? 

The locale of the garden of Eden is not revealed in D&C nor the BoM. The implication of that is that we have two canonical sources which agree that one of the heads of the river flowing into Eden started eastward of/in Assyria - which BY ignored in favor of his belief that JS taught that the garden of Eden was in America. There is no contemporaneous source that Joseph taught that. It will not be found in the Joseph Smith papers because JS did not teach that. It is what BY heard. I get that. I don't always hear/understand what a speaker intends. Everything we say gets interpreted in the brains of our listeners. You know that all too well.

Quote

Indeed, all of Scripture has been defined as given by God (2 Tim 3:16).  So how do we decide what the internal (intertextual) contradictions mean?  And why would you favor one Scripture over another?

16 aAll bscripture is given by cinspiration of God, and isdprofitable for edoctrine, for freproof, for correction, for ginstruction in hrighteousness:

Yet the Church stubbornly refuses to be corrected because it seems to believe BY knew better than scripture. I don't see a scriptural conflict. I guess you will have to point it out to me. I will add 

2 Peter 1:20

20 Knowing this first, that ano bprophecy of the cscripture is of any private dinterpretation.

I don't believe BY's private interpretation. The spirit has shown me otherwise. After 20 years I do not really expect the Church to believe me. I have really  given up trying to correct this stubborn Church. I will let God do the speaking for me when He so wishes. I just merely point out one of my issues, and will let the reader pray for understanding like the Church supposedly advises us to do.

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48 minutes ago, clarkgoble said:

Sorry - way I wrote my sentence with the aside in the middle wasn't as clear as it should have been. I agree with you. My point was more that both Moses being set apart and being the head of dispensation can be true.

Many people see either Enoch or Abraham as dispensation heads. (See that lds.org entry I linked to for an example of that) Both were not restoring the gospel when lost. 

I think the idea some have is that dispensations parallel to the seven seals in Revelation that Joseph spoke of with one being the head for each one. My point is just that the meaning of dispensation is more open than I think most assume.

I realize others have other interpretations of the dispensations. I am giving mine. I avoid discussions on them because I don't know anyone who agrees with me... and it is essentially pointless at this time. I am not trying to bash the Church. 

48 minutes ago, clarkgoble said:

I consider that being a bad teacher. He may have meant well but if you're unnecessarily hurting people's feelings and being dogmatic where it's not appropriate then that's being a bad teach. Good people can be bad teachers and typically they don't intend the consequences of their actions, but it's the actions themselves that keep them from being good teachers. (IMO)

I completely understand why people fall prey to this. But it's something that I think experienced confident teachers don't typically do. (Of course even good teachers are bad teachers sometimes - myself included)

Again, I think you may possibly be missing my point that I feel the whole Church in Utah had a rather dogmatic black and white view of doctrine which bred this kind of response. I am not going to pin it all on this one person as being a bad teacher. I think he learned this kind of response from the culture in Utah. If it wasn't him, it was someone else. I'm not sure how different that is elsewhere in the modern Church, but it is elsewhere as well. The Church has only just begun to realize that it had to change, but at least it is starting to try.

48 minutes ago, clarkgoble said:

I think you're right, but typically even people offended won't want to say that the reason they left was they were offended. More typically even the offended look for a different description that puts the onus on the Church rather than themselves. Saying you were offended makes it seem like it's your fault, which most people instinctually avoid. To the point that most ex-Mormons get rather offended if you say people might leave because offense.

I recall numerous local leaders and even lesson materials about members being offended and trying to reactivate them. You believe they are wrong? Apparently not. My point was that this reason did not seem to come up in Ostler's survey. So I guess he avoided it for the reasons you state. I don't really know. However, I believe a good number of ex-members have had experiences similar to mine, and felt offended whether they say it that way or not. 

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2 hours ago, RevTestament said:

I'm sorry. I wasn't trying to evade your questions. I don't consider them particularly important, but since you insist. The Bible places those events "eastward." So the question becomes eastward from what? Eastward from either Moses or from David's scribes who recorded the narrative while in Jerusalem - unless you are now going to argue that Egypt where Moses was, was somehow in America too, I don't see any particular relevance to your inquiry. The Book of Abraham is no more authoritative than the Book of Moses. I am losing your train of thought. There is not more than one version of these things in the LDS Canon. ............................... There is nothing in the LDS canon to show Eden was in America.

So you are actually unaware of the multiple Creation and Garden stories in the LDS Canon?  I find that hard to believe.  You may as well deny that there is a Bible, Book of Abraham, or Book of Moses, which you haven't yet done.  You seem unable to make accurate statements about elementary first principles.  A discussion cannot proceed when basic facts are denied.  Perhaps you could help me understand why you are taking this very odd approach.

Quote

The locale of the garden of Eden is not revealed in D&C nor the BoM. The implication of that is that we have two canonical sources which agree that one of the heads of the river flowing into Eden started eastward of/in Assyria - .........................I don't always hear/understand what a speaker intends. Everything we say gets interpreted in the brains of our listeners. You know that all too well.

So now you do agree that there are at least two canonical sources on the rivers.  But why do you deny it immediately above?  You even agree on the nature of human interpretation.  So what do you do with those three canonical sources, Genesis in the Bible, and the books of Moses and Abraham?  How do you imagine the Jaredite record (Ether 1:3) dealt with the Creation and Garden story?  Since Assyria did not exist in the time of Abraham and of the Jaredites in Mesopotamia, what might the text have looked like?  Moses himself (Bible and Book of Moses) saw that in his own limited terms, and it was heavily redacted at that, by the time of Ezra & Nehemiah -- both of whom used Classical Hebrew, a language unknown to Moses.  How do you reconcile all that with your monomaniacal attachment to just one of those sources?

Quote

..............................................

I don't believe BY's private interpretation. The spirit has shown me otherwise. After 20 years I do not really expect the Church to believe me. I have really  given up trying to correct this stubborn Church. I will let God do the speaking for me when He so wishes. I just merely point out one of my issues, and will let the reader pray for understanding like the Church supposedly advises us to do.

I did not mention Brigham Young once, although it appears you have a predilection for discussing him here, for what reason escapes me.  Even so, you want to inveigh against him, so have at it.

Edited by Robert F. Smith

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8 hours ago, Duncan said:

So, Joseph Smith got one thing wrong, according to someone who wasn't involved(David Whitmer) therefore nobody ever knows how the HG manifests itself? I think the weight of that assumption is a bit much

we all learn line upon line precept upon precept, which isn't unique to members of the Church

He got more than one thing wrong... 

Line upon line - when new information is found, how many are able to let go of older, incorrect beliefs?  Faith vs. mis-placed faith...  very few are brave or humble enough to admit their faith was misplaced.

I'll grant that people have genuine spiritual experiences mixed in with emotions, and will also agree there are multiple guiding spirits out there - perhaps ancestral spirits... I do not see any single group as having the monopoly on it though, nor do I trust guidance from another if there is no logical or additional personal spiritual confirmation.

I believe God chooses many imperfect, misguided, and confused leaders to force all of us to think and act for ourselves (rather than fully following any other human being).  Confusing and false "spiritual" guidance also forces us to think for ourself (rather than rely on a faulty spirit).  I think sometimes the best way to support someone is to disagree with them, and refuse to follow.  Study it out, use reason, use our own mind and conscience, in combination with the spirit and suggestions from others - no single earthly source to follow, no perfect actions or decisions either, nothing that is 100% right or perfect in this world, just try to find what is best, live and learn from personal experiences and the combined experiences and teachings of everyone - from all religious faiths.  Seems to be working so far.

Edited by changed

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18 hours ago, churchistrue said:

Anyone read this?   https://gregkofford.com/products/bridges

I think it's fantastic. I rank it up with Mason's Planted as the best book available to understand the LDS faith crisis problem.

Here's my review of it if you want to see a bunch of quotes and get the gist of the book. 

https://www.churchistrue.com/blog/david-ostler-bridges-review/

I loved this book. If you don't know the background, David Ostler is a former mission president...

Are you David?  (Screen name seems to indicate you are involved with this book somehow)

In any event, as some who has/is going through a faith crisis - not sure if it was covered in the book, but is abuse by church leaders covered?  Sam Young issues?  I left because my kids were abused by a bishopric member.  I've met quite a few others who have similar stories.  

As for 

Screenshot_20190807-061928_Chrome.jpg

I still attend as I am in a mixed-faith family.  We have been in our ward for years and years, so many there are like family - not that I trust them (do you trust everyone in your family?)  but I enjoy the company.  To be around anyone is to accept the good and the bad.  Belong?  We belong to what is familiar - to a town we grew up in, or the school we attended.  Not that we agree with the teachers at the school, or feel loved by everyone in the town - but if we were there for enough years, that is what is familiar, it is part of our life, it is just where we happen to live - that is why we are there - familiarity.  

A sage can find meaning in anything... I suppose the lessons I get from church are really different from others - when I hear the testimony of a child, I think how young indoctrination starts, and how real it is, then double efforts to unlearn what is programmed into myself for instance... When people talk about missionary work and service - I am thinking of all the inactive members I hang with who have never been talked to or served in any way, and I re-learn the lesson of spiritual self-reliance, knowing talk is cheap, relearning not to rely on anyone leaving the 99 and coming after the 1 (or is it leave the 40%, and come after the 60% who are inactive LOL - what percentage is it?).... I leave church having been spiritually strengthened - but with very different lessons than what others take away I suppose.  You can learn through disagreeing as well as agreeing.  Any lesson based on principles, those I agree with.  Anything based on prophets, temple, etc - my new temple is nature - I re-interpret it.  When invited to spend more time in the temple, in my mind I am inviting myself to spend more time outside in nature etc.  For prophets?  Martin L King, Mother T, Ghandhi, Buddha, Loa Tzu - they are still human, but people like this are who I choose as my most reliable teachers, and I do read and study their words and try to follow their council.... 

So - see everything at church as a non- literal parable, define things like "prophet" and "temple" as new beliefs dictate them to be - that is one way to remain active while maintaining personal freedoms of thought and belief.

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26 minutes ago, changed said:

Are you David?  (Screen name seems to indicate you are involved with this book somehow)

I

No, I'm not David Ostler. Not related in any way. I'm an active LDS who relates to a lot in the book.

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19 hours ago, Duncan said:

I want to know what is meant by "non traditional testimony? Did the Holy Ghost bear witness to XYZ that Jesus is the Christ or didn't he? it's like saying you are kind of a dentist, well, either you are or you aren't, you can't be kind of, licensed to practice or not (a student let's say) I don't want to hear about someone's beliefs about Church teachings and exclude the Holy Ghost. A testimony is what the HG bears witnesses to, not what you think about something, excluding the HG

Let's start by defining the HG then - see my posts above... what is your response to the spiritual HG experiences those from other belief systems have with regards to their faiths?

No matter what the issue is - LDSers like to ignore additional resources, and fall back on "the HG told me so" so let's start there.  The HG bears witness to a lot of conflicting things.... 

Edited by changed

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2 hours ago, churchistrue said:

No, I'm not David Ostler. Not related in any way. I'm an active LDS who relates to a lot in the book.

It does look like an interesting book with many good messages, thanks for sharing.

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8 hours ago, Robert F. Smith said:

So you are actually unaware of the multiple Creation and Garden stories in the LDS Canon?  ...

I asked my stake president what he thought of those who see most of it as parables - take the non-literal approach.  Jesus taught in parables - which is great, because it is not about what did or did not happen- ...

 

You can learn a lot of valuable lessons from Aesop's Fables without fighting through apologetics...

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11 minutes ago, changed said:

Let's start by defining the HG then - see my posts above... what is your response to the spiritual HG experiences those from other belief systems have with regards to their faiths?

No matter what the issue is - LDSers like to ignore additional resources, and fall back on "the HG told me so" so let's start there.  The HG bears witness to a lot of conflicting things.... 

https://rsc.byu.edu/archived/selected-articles/joseph-smith-and-only-true-and-living-church

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11 hours ago, RevTestament said:

I realize others have other interpretations of the dispensations. I am giving mine. I avoid discussions on them because I don't know anyone who agrees with me... and it is essentially pointless at this time. I am not trying to bash the Church. 

Sorry again, wasn't saying anything beyond that in terms of the authoritative texts the theology is pretty open. Everyone has their own interpretation, however tentatively held. My point was just that it's far more open than many suspect in terms of the range of interpretations.

11 hours ago, RevTestament said:

Again, I think you may possibly be missing my point that I feel the whole Church in Utah had a rather dogmatic black and white view of doctrine which bred this kind of response. I am not going to pin it all on this one person as being a bad teacher. I think he learned this kind of response from the culture in Utah. If it wasn't him, it was someone else. I'm not sure how different that is elsewhere in the modern Church, but it is elsewhere as well. The Church has only just begun to realize that it had to change, but at least it is starting to try.

Yeah there I break company. I think there are some people like that no doubt. I find them annoying but I think they're a pretty small minority. I do agree that "the gospel according to McConkie" was a problem back in the 90's but Hinkley successfully tapped that down I think. That's not to say you don't find older people still with that mindset - particularly in more rural wards. (Idaho I'm looking at you) But I don't think it's that common any more. 

11 hours ago, RevTestament said:

I recall numerous local leaders and even lesson materials about members being offended and trying to reactivate them. You believe they are wrong? Apparently not. My point was that this reason did not seem to come up in Ostler's survey. So I guess he avoided it for the reasons you state. I don't really know. However, I believe a good number of ex-members have had experiences similar to mine, and felt offended whether they say it that way or not. 

Umm. No. I said I agreed with you but that many inactive and ex-Mormon people find the idea offensive. Ultimately while I think people were in the past more open about that, the rhetoric has definitely changed over the past 20 years. My personal feeling is that the root causes haven't as much, although again more information about Church history has aggravated it more. So if someone gets offended and they're troubled by some historical event like polyandry, they're more apt to blame the history than the triggering event. That change of focus is significant. But I suspect the underlying root causes aren't as different as some think. Although that may be my bias from growing up in "the mission field" as opposed to Utah/Idaho. We just encountered such things all the time - especially converts. In Utah people were sheltered in a much larger degree from such things and (IMO) didn't need as strong a testimony.

Edited by clarkgoble
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8 hours ago, Robert F. Smith said:

So you are actually unaware of the multiple Creation and Garden stories in the LDS Canon?  I find that hard to believe.  You may as well deny that there is a Bible, Book of Abraham, or Book of Moses, which you haven't yet done.  You seem unable to make accurate statements about elementary first principles.  A discussion cannot proceed when basic facts are denied.  Perhaps you could help me understand why you are taking this very odd approach.

Come on Robert. The Book of Abraham does really nothing to tell us where the garden of Eden was. It agrees that it was "eastward" which I discussed, but this time it would be eastward of where Abraham was. Do you want me to point that out? I don't see it helping your case that Eden was in America. It also agrees that the river has four heads, but is not concerned with helping us locate Eden.That is not why Eden is brought up to Abraham. The story is important because it tells us that at the time of Adam, the creation was reckoned in God's time, and that Adam had not been given a time of reckoning. Abr 5:13. This means that the days of creation are given to us in a form of God's reckoning. Moses agrees with Gen 2 that the days of creation are the generations of the creation of the earth. They are not according to the generations of man. Yeshua said He would return in this generation about 2000 years ago. So man/isa was created in the sixth generation. How was man created? Out of the dust of the earth just like evolution says - with the help of water.

8 hours ago, Robert F. Smith said:

So now you do agree that there are at least two canonical sources on the rivers.  But why do you deny it immediately above?  You even agree on the nature of human interpretation.  So what do you do with those three canonical sources, Genesis in the Bible, and the books of Moses and Abraham?  How do you imagine the Jaredite record (Ether 1:3) dealt with the Creation and Garden story?  Since Assyria did not exist in the time of Abraham and of the Jaredites in Mesopotamia, what might the text have looked like?  Moses himself (Bible and Book of Moses) saw that in his own limited terms, and it was heavily redacted at that, by the time of Ezra & Nehemiah -- both of whom used Classical Hebrew, a language unknown to Moses.  How do you reconcile all that with your monomaniacal attachment to just one of those sources?

There is one version in two canonical sources which locate the garden of Eden. They agree completely. Are you expecting the plates of Ether to disagree? Is that why you bring up the subject? Do you not believe that Mormon knew the story of Genesis and may have brought it up if it disagreed? But seeing as how Mormon did not see fit to bring it up, I don't see it supporting you in any way. It's time to give up Robert. I don't believe Moses wrote the Torah. He came down from Sinai with tablets, and his experience of 40 days of what God had told him. He would have written down something more if he was commanded - otherwise it was passed down in oral form. I believe our Torah was written by David and his scribes. So they used names they were familiar with like Rameses. However, that city was quickly destroyed/carted off to build Tunis, and was not the city of Rameses in Moses' day. What language Moses wrote things down in is unknown to us. It may have been proto-sinaitic/Hebrew, cuneiform or some form of Egyptian writing. Whatever the case, I believe David's scribes had a little difficulty with understanding the numerical forms.  

8 hours ago, Robert F. Smith said:

I did not mention Brigham Young once, although it appears you have a predilection for discussing him here, for what reason escapes me.  Even so, you want to inveigh against him, so have at it.

Because BY is the source of your apparent belief that Eden was in the Americas. Had he not claimed that, I don't believe we would be having this conversation. Of course you are welcome to find a source contemporaneous with or directly from Joseph Smith, and I will consider it, but I have to say the spirit of revelation has shown me otherwise. Have a great day Robert.

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18 minutes ago, clarkgoble said:

Sorry again, wasn't saying anything beyond that in terms of the authoritative texts the theology is pretty open. Everyone has their own interpretation, however tentatively held. My point was just that it's far more open than many suspect in terms of the range of interpretations.

Yeah there I break company. I think there are some people like that no doubt. I find them annoying but I think they're a pretty small minority. I do agree that "the gospel according to McConkie" was a problem back in the 90's but Hinkley successfully tapped that down I think. That's not to say you don't find older people still with that mindset - particularly in more rural wards. (Idaho I'm looking at you) But I don't think it's that common any more. 

Umm. No. I said I agreed with you but that many inactive and ex-Mormon people find the idea offensive. Ultimately while I think people were in the past more open about that, the rhetoric has definitely changed over the past 20 years. My personal feeling is that the root causes haven't as much, although again more information about Church history has aggravated it more. So if someone gets offended and they're troubled by some historical event like polyandry, they're more apt to blame the history than the triggering event. That change of focus is significant. But I suspect the underlying root causes aren't as different as some think. Although that may be my bias from growing up in "the mission field" as opposed to Utah/Idaho. We just encountered such things all the time - especially converts. In Utah people were sheltered in a much larger degree from such things and (IMO) didn't need as strong a testimony.

Confess I Am GIF by Kathryn Dean

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12 hours ago, Duncan said:

I am saying that and David Ostler should do the same for members, regardless of where they are on the faith spectrum

I’m sorry this makes no sense to me. David Ostler is projecting his own experience onto others? Your statement would be the equivalent of me saying that people’s testimony and feelings of the spirit are nothing more than indigestion. 

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