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Tacit Notions/Expectations of Prophetic Infallibility: A Key Ingredient in Faith Crises?

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8 minutes ago, The Nehor said:

I would argue that the narrative they were taught was not false.

As usual you would lose.  

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10 minutes ago, smac97 said:

Hmm.  So not 100% infallibility, but 99%?  95%?

Close enough for jazz.

Really?  Not at all?  Not even little bit?  

Do you likewise reject all scripture?  Paul erred.  So did Peter.  And Moses.  And all the rest.  So does that mean you "no longer trust them as sources" of truth?

This is really illuminating to me.  I had no idea there were so many super-rigid fundamentalists running around (even California Boy - who knew?).

I can see the wisdom of moderating reliance on leaders of the Church.  That's what they want us to do.  They don't want us to be over-reliant on them.  They want us to seek out light and knowledge through our own efforts, through revelations.  

But you haven't moderated reliance on the leaders of Church.  You have utterly obliterated any reliance on them whatsoever.  That seems a bit . . . extreme.

Meanwhile, we see in Ephesians 4: 

And D&C 1:

I am curious how you reconcile 100% rejection of all prophets and apostles as "sources" of "truth" with these passages.

Thanks,

-Smac

I didn't say I reject them.  Your reply to me sounds like it's coming from a super-rigid fundamentalist.  You took what I said an arrived at "100% rejection...".  :)

I still diligently listen to and read from both the modern prophets and apostles and the ancient ones.

I accept their teachings and writings as man's very best attempt at documenting our interaction with the divine.  And when studying those words, I then go to the source and seek confirmation of the truth.

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9 minutes ago, smac97 said:

Unless, of course, "honesty" is defined as "nothing less than 100% honorable in principles, intentions, and actions; upright and fair."

No possibility of accommodation for weakness or error.  No room for errancy.  No room for mistakes, "honest" or otherwise.

Who are you quoting here?  I missed it if someone stated that.

I certainly have not made that claim....just the opposite actually.

9 minutes ago, smac97 said:

Huh?  What does that have to do with the price of tea in China?  "Only one ear piercing" is causing faith crises?

Good grief.   I was answering YOUR question.

You asked:

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I can't help but think you are alluding to specific "teachings and policies."  About the Law of Chastity and same-sex marriage, perhaps?

My response:

25 minutes ago, ALarson said:

That and others (even as simple as the only one ear piercing for example).

 

Edited by ALarson

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15 minutes ago, The Nehor said:

There are degrees of infallibility. Ask the Catholics to explain it to you.

You are expecting infallibility in a specific area: honesty and transparency. I would argue with you though over their actions being correctly characterized as dishonest.

You'll note that I didn't call them dishonest.  So no need to argue with me on that.

And while they have claimed to be transparent, I don't expect infallibility there either.  I don't expect infallibility from any mortal.

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23 minutes ago, stemelbow said:

Sure it can (of course there are tons of us who have lost our connection with the church and yet never did hold that assumption). 

I wonder, though, if that assumption is much more prevalent than we tend to think.  It is tacit, after all.

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Unfortunately many members live as though, speak as though, and act as though the leaders are infallible when they speak. 

Yes.  Jeremy Runnells, for example, was apparently this kind of person.

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The added issue here is when the fallibility mounts at what point do you say, "this is not working"?  

"Fallibility mounts."

"At what point."

This all sounds very subjective.  Subject to interpretation and expectations and assumptions.

This is why Iago was such a brilliant character study.

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Someone may say "well, polygamy was a big problem.  That it was practiced sucks, but the way it was practiced makes it worse.  That it was regarded as god-inspired was foolish.  But, it was a long time ago, it's not really relevant to what I do in my faith now, so I can give them a pass." 

Having qualms about polygamy is understandable from a sociological/cultural perspective is understandable.  My parents recently returned from a mission in Zimbabwe, where polygamy has long been a part of their culture.  Members of the Church seem to have very little unease about the Church's polygamous past.  The discomfort is, in the end, personal and subject and cultural.  That's not, I think, a flaw in the doctrine.

Rejecting the doctrine outright, however, is rather hard to reconcile with D&C 132 (and Jacob 2).

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That same person learns more, say, about the priesthood ban.  he/she explains, "the priesthood ban was a big problem.  It was not only not inspired but did nothing but give reason to racist thinking among the members.  It represented a dark era of our religion.  But it's behind us...I mean they were just products of their culture and traditions, so perhaps, as the essay from the Church suggests, it can be a bit explained away by saying everyone was racist back in the day, and they couldn't help themselves.  It's not really relevant to my belief now, so it's ok.  I give the church a pass."

This is generally a good approach.  Unlike polygamy, the ban lacked any known revelatory provenance.

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Later as this person contemplates the issues surrounding LGBT, the Church teaching and history on it, he/she might say, "well, again the leaders were heavily influenced by the world or the culture in which they lived. 

Alas, this is off-the-rails thinking.  The Law of Chastity is not merely the product of leaders being "heavily influenced by the world."

Rather, the acceptance and endorsement of homosexual behavior is undeniably the result of individual members being "heavily influenced by the world."

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It'd be hard to live their whole lives speaking mockingly and acting disgusted at the thought of someone being gay and then turn that around, but they are doing it, to some extent.  I mean none of them are preaching violence against a gay person anymore.  That's good. 

"Anymore?"  

I love the smell of Bearing False Witness in the morning!

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I imagine seeing as the Church is completely wrong on this topic, that someday it'll come around. 

I don't think so.  You might as well say "The Church is complely wrong on adultery and fornication, but it'll come around some day."

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I mean it's been done it before.  They've had to disavow past teachings and practices before.  It'll probably happen some day. 

Wishful thinking.

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When?  I dont' know.  It might take a few generations of turnover.  So I'll tough it out."

But if it doesn't happen?  What if it's not part of the Lord's plan?  What if homosexual behavior is fundamentally incompatible with the Law of Chastity?

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Then comes the revelation that God didn't want children of gay parents baptized and anyone who is gay has to be ex'd if they live with their lover, and then in short time the revelation from God is disavowed.  Mount that with about a thousand different issues, while seeing people being hurt and suddenly the strong believer who never saw any leaders as infallible has decided the level of fallibility is just too much for his/her tastes.   

"The level of fallibility."  An interesting turn of phrase.

So what is that "level?"  99%?  97%?  

The leaders of the Church have made thousands, perhaps millions, of decisions pertaining to the Church during the last 189 years.  What percentage of errors on their part makes them "dishonest?"  What percentage makes them too "fallible?"

Or are we just talking about an expectation of infallibility (or near infallibility), and just calling it by a different name?

Your remarks here bring to mind this statement by Joseph Smith:

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“I will give you one of the Keys of the mysteries of the Kingdom. It is an eternal principle, that has existed with God from all eternity: That man who rises up to condemn others, finding fault with the Church, saying that they are out of the way, while he himself is righteous, then know assuredly, that that man is in the high road to apostasy; and if he does not repent, will apostatize, as God lives.”

This is not the first time that the disciples of Jesus have been asked to live out-of-step with their neighbors, including those who are members of the faith I recognize that many things the Church of Jesus Christ teaches are difficult for its members and others to accept.  I hope each of us finds the happiness we are seeking.  That said, as much as we tend to emphasize the "love-one-another" aspect of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, it's not as though everyone who has ever heard Christ's teachings did not ever have any problems with them.  Sometimes the Lord asks us to do difficult things, to accept difficult things.  Consider the Savior's "Bread of Life" sermon in John 6.  What was the result of it?

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42 And they said, Is not this Jesus, the son of Joseph, whose father and mother we know? how is it then that he saith, I came down from heaven?
 43 Jesus therefore answered and said unto them, Murmur not among yourselves.
...
52 The Jews therefore strove among themselves, saying, How can this man give us his flesh to eat?
...
60 Many therefore of his disciples, when they had heardthis, said, This is an hard saying; who can hear it?
61 When Jesus knew in himself that his disciples murmured at it, he said unto them, Doth this offend you?
...
66 ¶ From that time many of his disciples went back, and walked no more with him.

Jesus Christ said something that was not popular.  Many of those who heard it "murmured at him."  Many of those who heard it "strove among themselves."  Many of those who heard it "went back, and walked no more with him."  

Christ said and did things that were not well-received by the society around Him.  I'm quite okay with that.  I'm also quite okay with His servants doing the same thing.  I am of course interested in the reputation of the Church.  Our reputation affects our ability to fulfill various mandates from God, not the least of which is the Great Commission.  But preserving and ehnancing the Church's "reputation" cannot come at the expense of other mandates, such as upholding and proclaiming and teaching principles pertaining to marriage and the Law of Chastity.

Christ did not upend the moneychangers' tables in the temple because it was popular.  He did so because it was right.

Christ did not preach the "Bread of Life" sermon in John 6 because it was popular.  He did so because it was right.

Christ preached a gospel that was not going to be popular in the minds of an increasingly wicked world.  He knew that.  But He preached it anyway.  I think He knew beforehand that His message would alienate many people, including some otherwise good and decent people.  But He preached anyway.  I think He did so because those who were ready for His message needed to hear it, and needed to be gathered out of the World.  

Perhaps this is why He said: "Think not that I am come to send peace on earth: I came not to send peace, but a sword."  

Perhaps this is why He also said (several times, actually) : "Behold, I am God; give heed unto my word, which is quick and powerful, sharper than a two-edged sword, to the dividing asunder of both joints and marrow; therefore give heed unto my words."

Christ also said: "He that loveth father or mother more than me is not worthy of me: and he that loveth son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me."  

Christ also said "For if ye will not abide in my covenant ye are not worthy of me."  

My dad and I were talking about these things a while back, some of which have been described as the "dark sayings of Jesus."  My dad noted that some people focus on the "sweetness and light" sayings of the Savior, which is probably fine - unless that focus is exclusionary.  Christ had warnings for us, after all.  Such as this: "If the world hate you, ye know that it hated me before it hated you."  

And this: "The world cannot hate you; but me it hateth, because I testify of it, that the works thereof are evil."   

And this: "Therefore, fear not, little flock; do good; let earth and hell combine against you, for if ye are built upon my rock, they cannot prevail."   

And this: "For by doing these things the gates of hell shall not prevail against you; yea, and the Lord God will disperse the powers of darkness from before you, and cause the heavens to shake for your good, and his name’s glory."

So the hostile reactions of the World (and even some members of the Church) to the inspired leadership of the Brethren are, I think, not surprising.  To the contrary, they are the anticipated responses to prophetic counsel.  In a way, I find it grimly satisfying that the Brethren are saying and doing some things that, in my mind, are A) unpopular in the eyes of the World, and B) plainly in accordance with revealed truths and based on revelation.  

Thanks,

-Smac

Edited by smac97

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Posted (edited)
9 minutes ago, smac97 said:

Members of the Church seem to have very little unease about the Church's polygamous past.

I disagree.

Just try bringing up anything to do with Joseph Smith's polygamy in a class setting and you'll see a great deal of "unease", silence and glares.  I've seen it happen ;)

Polygamy is a huge issue for many members.....

 

Edited by ALarson
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28 minutes ago, rockpond said:

I didn't say I reject them. 

You didn't?

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But when it comes to my search for truth - I no longer trust them as sources for that.

You reject them as "sources" of "truth," right?

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Your reply to me sounds like it's coming from a super-rigid fundamentalist.  You took what I said an arrived at "100% rejection...".  :)

You said "I no longer trust them {leaders of the Church} for that {as "sources" of "truth"}."

That sounds pretty 100% to me.  Are you walking it back?  You do "trust them" as "sources" of "truth," if only for a few things?

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I still diligently listen to and read from both the modern prophets and apostles and the ancient ones.

That sound rather incompatible with your earlier statement that you "no longer trust them {leaders of the Church} for that {as "sources" of "truth"}."

Perhaps the earlier statement was a bit overwrought?  

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I accept their teachings and writings as man's very best attempt at documenting our interaction with the divine.  And when studying those words, I then go to the source and seek confirmation of the truth.

Ah.  Well, I suppose you could try to parse things out that way.  The ultimate "source" of "truth" is revelation from the Spirit.  

Perhaps this is just semantics.  The prophets and apostles are just the conduit through which revelation can flow.  However, then it becomes weird to say "I trust revelation, but not the messengers through which it comes."

Thanks,

-Smac

Edited by smac97
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6 minutes ago, ALarson said:
Quote

Members of the Church seem to have very little unease about the Church's polygamous past.

I disagree.

Oh?  You've been to Zimbabwe recently?

6 minutes ago, ALarson said:

Just try bringing up anything to do with Joseph Smith's polygamy in a class setting and you'll see a great deal of "unease", silence and glares.  I've seen it happen ;)

Polygamy is a huge issue for many members.....

I was speaking of the members in Zimbabwe.

Thanks,

-Smac

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9 minutes ago, smac97 said:

Oh?  You've been to Zimbabwe recently?

I was speaking of the members in Zimbabwe.

Oh...gotcha!  I just read "members of the church" and thought you meant in general....not specific to just members of the church IN ZIMBABWE :) 

Thanks for clarifying....

Edited by ALarson

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3 minutes ago, smac97 said:

You didn't?

You reject them as "sources" of "truth," right?

You said "I no longer trust them {leaders of the Church} for that {as "sources" of "truth"}."

That sounds pretty 100% to me.  Are you walking it back?  You do "trust them" as "sources" of "truth," if only for a few things?

Why did you leave off this part of what rockpond stated in addition to what you quote?

30 minutes ago, rockpond said:

I still diligently listen to and read from both the modern prophets and apostles and the ancient ones.

I accept their teachings and writings as man's very best attempt at documenting our interaction with the divine.  And when studying those words, I then go to the source and seek confirmation of the truth.

 

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2 minutes ago, ALarson said:

Oh...gotcha!  I just read "member of the church" and thought you meant in general....not specific to just members of the church IN ZIMBABWE :) 

Thanks for clarifying....

No prob.

I have a lot of compassion and empathy for people who are not comfortable with the concept of polygamy.  I'm not particularly comfortable with it.  I do not understand it.  So much of the Restored Gospel comports with my general, gut-level sense of "right" and "wrong," but polygamy . . . doesn't.

However, neither does animal sacrifice.

Neither does Nephi slaying Laban.

Neither does the slaying of Nehor.

Neither do the deaths described in 2 Kings 2 ("Go up, thou bald head...").

And so on.

There are all sorts of things in play here.  Context matters.  A lot.  Historical context.  Social/cultural context.  Scriptural context.  Gospel context.  So does accuracy in conveyed information.  So do my personal life experiences, as well as the importance of properly characterizing those experiences as finite, blinkered, and not altogether accurate (rather than definitive, perfected and utterly, pristinely correct).

In other words, my sense of unease is not the most reliable moral barometer in the world.  So objectivity helps.  So does research.  Lots of research.  And patience.  And humility (at the prospect that my "ick factor" may be more about me than about the thing I find to be "icky").  And a willingness to re-assess previous assumptions.  But most of all . . . faith.  Lots and lots of faith.

Thanks,

-Smac

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4 minutes ago, ALarson said:

Why did you leave off this part of what rockpond stated in addition to what you quote?

 

I didn't leave those parts off.  I quoted them and responded to them.

Thanks,

-Smac

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7 minutes ago, smac97 said:

I didn't leave those parts off.  I quoted them and responded to them.

Thanks,

-Smac

Ok.  But then it seems that you disregarded those words when you ask all the questions I quoted.  I think rockpond has expressed his beliefs very well and in a very respectful manner here.

They mirror how many members now believe and most especially those who have experienced a faith crisis but managed to stay active in the church. (From my experience....)

Edited by ALarson
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3 hours ago, smac97 said:

Kevin Christensen recently posted these verses from D&C 1:

Kevin asks (rhetorically): "So, how should I react if I discover that various LDS leaders made errors in assertions about the New York Cumorah, or what ever else bothers you?  Should I shatter like glass if I run across something that counters my traditions?  (That happens to be Joseph Smith's apt metaphor in discussing an LDS weakness in dealing with information that counters their traditions.)  Or should I first examine my own eye for beams, and consider not what I did expect, but rather always be willing to ask 'What I should expect?'"

Kevin's comments are in response to other comments made by California Boy, who is describing "a total collapse of faith in the trustworthyness of the Church and its leaders" for some members.  CB invokes, by way of illustration, various comments made about the location of the Hill Cumorah.

To the extent CB has a point (and he does), I think there is an implicit assumption in that "total collapse," a key ingredient that is common to most or all such faith crises: prophetic infallibility.

Without such an assumption/expectation/requirement, members of the Church seem to do just fine in accepting and living the Gospel.

But if and when such an assumption/expectation/requirement is present, it can lead to a "cascade failure" of the individual's belief system.

Thoughts?  

Also, I am sure this observation has been made elsewhere.  Can anyone point me in the right direction?  Where have you seen it before?  I would like to consider other perspectives on it.

Thanks,

-Smac

If any member of the Church has their belief system premised on any belief which is not correct their belief system will and should fail on whatever incorrect belief they have.

Makes sense, right?  Whatever incorrect and false belief it may be, such as: leaders of the Church are always speaking as prophets of God, the Church (which is the body of believers in the Church) is perfect and without any error, some sins are okay, etc.

Any belief in anything which is not true is good for nothing but to be replaced with what we should believe as the truth, instead.

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1 hour ago, rockpond said:

You'll note that I didn't call them dishonest.  So no need to argue with me on that.

But if you don't think they are "dishonest," why do you utterly reject them as "sources" of "truth"?

Because some have been fallible in some ways?  Isn't that an expection of infallibility?

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And while they have claimed to be transparent, I don't expect infallibility there either.  I don't expect infallibility from any mortal.

There’s an old saying: “Catholics say the pope is infallible but don’t really believe it; Mormons say the prophet is fallible but don’t really believe it.”

Hence the "Tacit" in the title of this thread.

Thanks,

-Smac

Edited by smac97

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55 minutes ago, stemelbow said:

As usual you would lose.  

I would also argue your judgement of my win/loss record is very fallible.

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3 hours ago, smac97 said:

Kevin Christensen recently posted these verses from D&C 1:

Kevin asks (rhetorically): "So, how should I react if I discover that various LDS leaders made errors in assertions about the New York Cumorah, or what ever else bothers you?  Should I shatter like glass if I run across something that counters my traditions?  (That happens to be Joseph Smith's apt metaphor in discussing an LDS weakness in dealing with information that counters their traditions.)  Or should I first examine my own eye for beams, and consider not what I did expect, but rather always be willing to ask 'What I should expect?'"

Kevin's comments are in response to other comments made by California Boy, who is describing "a total collapse of faith in the trustworthyness of the Church and its leaders" for some members.  CB invokes, by way of illustration, various comments made about the location of the Hill Cumorah.

To the extent CB has a point (and he does), I think there is an implicit assumption in that "total collapse," a key ingredient that is common to most or all such faith crises: prophetic infallibility.

Without such an assumption/expectation/requirement, members of the Church seem to do just fine in accepting and living the Gospel.

But if and when such an assumption/expectation/requirement is present, it can lead to a "cascade failure" of the individual's belief system.

Thoughts?  

Also, I am sure this observation has been made elsewhere.  Can anyone point me in the right direction?  Where have you seen it before?  I would like to consider other perspectives on it.

Thanks,

-Smac

It appears to me that when members have a "cascade failure," they try to make up a part of that failure with other stronger parts with the stronger areas of their testimony (e.g. testimony of prayer or testimony of tithing). However, at the same time their weakness, which was the source of the cascade failure is often supported with other weaknesses maybe they have or by witnessing other members weaknesses in the same area and they might adopt those defenses they have or seen in other members with similar weaknesses (cascading failures). These weaknesses in this thread is the failure to accept leaders such as prophets and apostles opinions compared to what is actual truth, even if that truth is an unknown at the time (i.e. Cumorah in New York or Cumorah in mesoamerica, or even a cumorah elsewhere or both.

With my own weakness of cynicism, I often see others as excusing or justifying their cascading failures. Some are smooth and talented in covering up their own disdain for the church or its leaders some are not as talented. Although, I would like to overcome this weakness of cynicism, I place myself as one who is staunchly on our prophets side sometimes blindly so and sometimes I defend the church, its leaders without first thinking of the manner I do it. I have offended some here because of that, I apologize.

I love to read Kevin Christensons posts they are always spot on and informative, I love to read Smac's post he is always balanced and has a mature writing style that allows for his disagreements without the offending tone. I will try to assimilate these two brethrens writing style to improve my own.

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1 hour ago, rockpond said:

I agree with this statement.

But I also don't blame (as having personally failed to live up to this ideal) or hold ill will against those members who become disillusioned after being taught a false narrative their entire lives and determine that the best course for them is to leave the church.

Wow.  "False narrative" here apparently means an "imperfect" or a "fallible" narrative.

Is that a fair statement?

The narrative I learned growing up in the Church is:

  • God exists.
  • He has certain attributes and perfections.
  • He is the father of our spirits.
  • He has created a Plan of Salvation for us.
  • Central to this plan is the role of Jesus Christ as our Savior and Redeemer.
  • The plan also involves us coming to earth, to obtain a physical body, and to learn and to grow.
  • The plan also involves God speaking to us, both individually and through prophets and apostles.
  • God spoke to prophets anciently, and continues to speak to them today.
  • Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ appeared to Joseph Smith in 1820. 
  • Later, heavenly messengers restored priesthood authority and keys to Joseph Smith.  Through this authority the Lord's Church was re-established, and that Church houses and administers saving ordinances to those who choose to receive them, and otherwise administers the Church's mandated responsibilities (missionary work, temple work, perfecting the Saints, service to the poor and others, etc.).
  • A significant part of this restoration was the bringing forth of the Book of Mormon, as well as other examples of continuing revelation.
  • Joseph Smith's prophetic mantle passed to Brigham Young, and has been passed down through the years to the current president of the Church.

There are more details, of course.  But these are the main points.  

I think it is absurd to characterize the Church as having taught these things as a "false narrative."

Thanks,

-Smac

 

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If any of you are looking for insight into the process and consequences of apostasy may I suggest an excellent book by E. Marshall Brooks entitled “Disenchanted Lives – Apostasy and Ex-Mormonism among the Latter-day Saints”.

https://www.amazon.com/Disenchanted-Lives-Apostasy-Ex-Mormonism-Latter-day/dp/0813592186

Here is my synopsis of a chapter overview of the book taken from the book itself.

Chapter one situates the phenomenon of Mormon apostasy in a historical and cultural context.  The author frames modern Mormonism’s issue of apostasy in terms of the church’s historical attempts to selectively remember and strategically forget key pieces of its past, leading to what he refers to as a crisis of memory of contemporary Mormonism.

Chapter two examines the “mode of faith” that attempts to stay on the “surface” of church history and defend itself from doubt.  He examines member’s disillusionment as a result of historical convergence of Mormonism’s attempts to mitigate the threat of its past with the contemporary church’s growing self-consciousness as it seeks entry into the mainstream American religious landscape.

Chapter three explores the phenomenological and existential dimensions of religious disenchantment from the perspective of the people who endure it.

Chapter four examines the embodied subject as a site of religious deconversion and transformation.  The author contends with studies of deconversion that focus solely on aspect of belief or identity in order to argue that religious deconversion must be understood as a jointly corporeal and psychosomatic transformation of mind and body.

Chapter five examines the stigmas and stereotypes surrounding apostasy and apostates in Mormonism.  Specifically he discussed the social and political context of apostasy focusing on how, through the circulation of rumours, gossip, and explanations abut why apostates leave the church.  He examines how these stigmas, attached to apostates, function as a projective fantasy through which church members expiate tensions and frustrations circulating within contemporary Mormonism.  He then argues that church members occlude apostates from everyday life in order to maintain these projective fantasies and as a defence against the existential threat they post to the community of faithful.

Chapter six explores several ways ex-Mormon’s attempt to negotiate the stigmas and social marginalization discuss by examining the micro politics of self-labelling.

Chapter sevens explores the complex dynamics of non believing subjectivities. He compares two case studies and discusses how religion is variously identified and disidenrified within the wake of religious disenchantment.

He concludes by pointing to some of the most recent attempts made by the church to stem the tide of disaffection and offers some critiques of Mormonism’s current strategy of “pastoral apologetics” by pointing to key dimension of apostates’ experiences that the church must begin to recognize if relationships of mutual recognition and respect are to be restored.

All the best,

Bob 

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1 hour ago, rockpond said:

I agree with this statement.

But I also don't blame (as having personally failed to live up to this ideal) or hold ill will against those members who become disillusioned after being taught a false narrative their entire lives and determine that the best course for them is to leave the church.

You don't "blame" them for their own course of action?  Maybe that's because of your understanding of what it means to "blame" someone.  Do you at least hold them accountable for their own actions?

As Brigham said, those men, or those women, who know (or knew) no more about the power of God, and the influences of the Holy Spirit, than to be led entirely by another person, suspending their own understanding, and pinning their faith upon another’s sleeve, will never be capable of entering into the celestial glory, to be crowned as they anticipate; they will never be capable of becoming Gods. They cannot rule themselves, to say nothing of ruling others, but they must be dictated to do in every trifle, like a child. They cannot control themselves in the least, but James, Peter, or somebody else must control them. They never can become Gods, nor be crowned as rulers with glory, immortality, and eternal lives. They never can hold scepters of glory, majesty, and power in the Celestial Kingdom.

Such people as that have nobody to blame but their own selves.  God would have helped them had they appealed to Him for guidance.  They simply lacked the initiative to find out from God for themselves.

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3 minutes ago, Ahab said:

You don't "blame" them for their own course of action?  Maybe that's because of your understanding of what it means to "blame" someone.  Do you at least hold them accountable for their own actions?

As Brigham said, those men, or those women, who know (or knew) no more about the power of God, and the influences of the Holy Spirit, than to be led entirely by another person, suspending their own understanding, and pinning their faith upon another’s sleeve, will never be capable of entering into the celestial glory, to be crowned as they anticipate; they will never be capable of becoming Gods. They cannot rule themselves, to say nothing of ruling others, but they must be dictated to do in every trifle, like a child. They cannot control themselves in the least, but James, Peter, or somebody else must control them. They never can become Gods, nor be crowned as rulers with glory, immortality, and eternal lives. They never can hold scepters of glory, majesty, and power in the Celestial Kingdom.

Such people as that have nobody to blame but their own selves.  God would have helped them had they appealed to Him for guidance.  They simply lacked the initiative to find out from God for themselves.

You're right.  Blame was not the correct word choice.  What I should have said is that I don't assume they have failed to live up to that principle that Brigham Young has taught.

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9 minutes ago, Coop said:

If any of you are looking for insight into the process and consequences of apostasy may I suggest an excellent book by E. Marshall Brooks entitled “Disenchanted Lives – Apostasy and Ex-Mormonism among the Latter-day Saints”.

https://www.amazon.com/Disenchanted-Lives-Apostasy-Ex-Mormonism-Latter-day/dp/0813592186

Here is my synopsis of a chapter overview of the book taken from the book itself.

Chapter one situates the phenomenon of Mormon apostasy in a historical and cultural context.  The author frames modern Mormonism’s issue of apostasy in terms of the church’s historical attempts to selectively remember and strategically forget key pieces of its past, leading to what he refers to as a crisis of memory of contemporary Mormonism.

Chapter two examines the “mode of faith” that attempts to stay on the “surface” of church history and defend itself from doubt.  He examines member’s disillusionment as a result of historical convergence of Mormonism’s attempts to mitigate the threat of its past with the contemporary church’s growing self-consciousness as it seeks entry into the mainstream American religious landscape.

Chapter three explores the phenomenological and existential dimensions of religious disenchantment from the perspective of the people who endure it.

Chapter four examines the embodied subject as a site of religious deconversion and transformation.  The author contends with studies of deconversion that focus solely on aspect of belief or identity in order to argue that religious deconversion must be understood as a jointly corporeal and psychosomatic transformation of mind and body.

Chapter five examines the stigmas and stereotypes surrounding apostasy and apostates in Mormonism.  Specifically he discussed the social and political context of apostasy focusing on how, through the circulation of rumours, gossip, and explanations abut why apostates leave the church.  He examines how these stigmas, attached to apostates, function as a projective fantasy through which church members expiate tensions and frustrations circulating within contemporary Mormonism.  He then argues that church members occlude apostates from everyday life in order to maintain these projective fantasies and as a defence against the existential threat they post to the community of faithful.

Chapter six explores several ways ex-Mormon’s attempt to negotiate the stigmas and social marginalization discuss by examining the micro politics of self-labelling.

Chapter sevens explores the complex dynamics of non believing subjectivities. He compares two case studies and discusses how religion is variously identified and disidenrified within the wake of religious disenchantment.

He concludes by pointing to some of the most recent attempts made by the church to stem the tide of disaffection and offers some critiques of Mormonism’s current strategy of “pastoral apologetics” by pointing to key dimension of apostates’ experiences that the church must begin to recognize if relationships of mutual recognition and respect are to be restored.

 

All the best,

 

Bob 

From an interview with the author of the above book:

Quote

RNS • One of the most interesting chapters of the book deals with sexuality. You say that religion scholars have long understood religion in embodied, physical terms, but have portrayed the loss of religion as a disembodied, hyper-rational process. But ignoring the body makes it harder for scholars to understand ex-Mormons, for whom sexuality has to be completely redefined.

Brooks • Part of what it has meant for them to be Mormon is gender identity, and how they are supposed to use their sexuality to build up an eternal family. There’s something very experiential about that. Every part of their lives has been about controlling their sexuality and avoiding temptation for this one purpose of having an eternal family. If they experience their faith as embodied and experiential vis-à-vis sexuality, then sexuality is also the locus through which faith needs to be undone. What I found fascinating is how sexuality becomes the locus of the undoing of that entrenched feeling of faith.

Is this accurate?  Does he portray the loss of religion "as a disembodied, hyper-rational process?"

What does "hyper-rational" mean in this context?

Thanks,

-Smac

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17 minutes ago, Coop said:

If any of you are looking for insight into the process and consequences of apostasy may I suggest an excellent book by E. Marshall Brooks entitled “Disenchanted Lives – Apostasy and Ex-Mormonism among the Latter-day Saints”.

https://www.amazon.com/Disenchanted-Lives-Apostasy-Ex-Mormonism-Latter-day/dp/0813592186

Here is my synopsis of a chapter overview of the book taken from the book itself.

Chapter one situates the phenomenon of Mormon apostasy in a historical and cultural context.  The author frames modern Mormonism’s issue of apostasy in terms of the church’s historical attempts to selectively remember and strategically forget key pieces of its past, leading to what he refers to as a crisis of memory of contemporary Mormonism.

Chapter two examines the “mode of faith” that attempts to stay on the “surface” of church history and defend itself from doubt.  He examines member’s disillusionment as a result of historical convergence of Mormonism’s attempts to mitigate the threat of its past with the contemporary church’s growing self-consciousness as it seeks entry into the mainstream American religious landscape.

Chapter three explores the phenomenological and existential dimensions of religious disenchantment from the perspective of the people who endure it.

Chapter four examines the embodied subject as a site of religious deconversion and transformation.  The author contends with studies of deconversion that focus solely on aspect of belief or identity in order to argue that religious deconversion must be understood as a jointly corporeal and psychosomatic transformation of mind and body.

Chapter five examines the stigmas and stereotypes surrounding apostasy and apostates in Mormonism.  Specifically he discussed the social and political context of apostasy focusing on how, through the circulation of rumours, gossip, and explanations abut why apostates leave the church.  He examines how these stigmas, attached to apostates, function as a projective fantasy through which church members expiate tensions and frustrations circulating within contemporary Mormonism.  He then argues that church members occlude apostates from everyday life in order to maintain these projective fantasies and as a defence against the existential threat they post to the community of faithful.

Chapter six explores several ways ex-Mormon’s attempt to negotiate the stigmas and social marginalization discuss by examining the micro politics of self-labelling.

Chapter sevens explores the complex dynamics of non believing subjectivities. He compares two case studies and discusses how religion is variously identified and disidenrified within the wake of religious disenchantment.

He concludes by pointing to some of the most recent attempts made by the church to stem the tide of disaffection and offers some critiques of Mormonism’s current strategy of “pastoral apologetics” by pointing to key dimension of apostates’ experiences that the church must begin to recognize if relationships of mutual recognition and respect are to be restored.

 

All the best,

 

Bob 

Hi Bob :) 

Thanks for posting some information about this book.  I haven't heard about it and it looks really interesting....I may have to order it!

I agree with what is in the description of the book:

Quote

 

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS or Mormons), often heralded as the fastest growing religion in American history, is facing a crisis of apostasy. Rather than strengthening their faith, the study of church history and scriptures by many members pushes them away from Mormonism and into a growing community of secular ex-Mormons. In Disenchanted Lives, E. Marshall Brooks provides an intimate, in-depth ethnography of religious disenchantment among ex-Mormons in Utah. Showing that former church members were once deeply embedded in their religious life, Brooks argues that disenchantment unfolds as a struggle to overcome the spiritual, social, and ideological devotion ex-Mormons had to the religious community and not out of a lack of dedication as prominently portrayed in religious and scholarly writing on apostasy.  

 

 

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6 minutes ago, rockpond said:

You're right.  Blame was not the correct word choice.  What I should have said is that I don't assume they have failed to live up to that principle that Brigham Young has taught.

Then I agree with you there if you agree that all of us should learn to know more about the power of God and the influences of the Holy Spirit than to think we should be led entirely by another person while suspending our own understanding and pinning our faith upon another mortal man’s sleeve.

It is up to each of us to know or find out if or when a man is speaking as a prophet of God and not to just assume that someone who is called a "prophet" really is a prophet of God.

God is infallible, and any man who is truly speaking as a prophet of God is infallible in what he is saying, too, but we're not to just assume that someone is a prophet of God just because he says so, or another man says so.  We should rely only on God to tell us about that.

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