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rongo

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Everything posted by rongo

  1. I think the more radical temple (and other ordinance) changes we undergo, the more it undercuts our traditional arguments and "evidence" for the Great Apostasy. If God did remove His authority from the earth by not ratifying with the Holy Spirit of Promise, then that is that, but it is harder to demonstrate logically when explaining. We used lists of councils (with dates) and major changes in discussing Catholicism/Protestantism with investigators and members, but as you point out, our own radical changes really blunt making that point with other churches. Our argument remains that perpetuating ordinations don't retain authority if God doesn't acknowledge them, but that is something that each individual has to settle with his own conscience and lights.
  2. I think these ordinations all happened without authorization. Elders in the mission field who felt they could do it* did it. The ones the missionaries to the South disagreed about wouldn't logistically have been able to be approved (no telegraph, etc.). Coltrin and another missionary disagreed strongly in discussing this, and the other guy suggested they settle it by asking Joseph Smith directly. *I don't think any ordinances in the early years of missionary work were "approved" by higher priesthood authority in the sense that we understand it today. People who accepted baptism were baptized, and men whom they thought were ready and worthy to be ordained, were ordained.
  3. Given the very stark changes to the temple, I don't criticize things like baptism by sprinkling. We've had very big changes to the physical ordinances in favor of "symbolic only," which is the change from immersion to sprinkling. It's the authority that is all-important. If the authority is there, then the ordinances are valid, even when they undergo radical changes.
  4. Thanks for that! We can put the "Joseph Smith himself ordained Elijah Able" claim to rest, then. It also shows the Zebedee Coltrin's claim to having ordained him is valid (he reported at the Taylor commission that he had never felt so bad and chastened by the Spirit in his life as after he had ordained him. This is what prompted him and another missionary to the South to ask Joseph Smith about it, and he claimed that Joseph dropped his head and was silent for a long time, and then said that the Lord had revealed that blacks should not be ordained to priesthood office). This is dismissed out of hand by those who insist that Joseph Smith had zero to do with the ban's inception, and the possibility that this is true (that it really happened as Coltrin reported it) is simply unthinkable to them). How many black men were ordained by elders before this was settled? Literally just a few?
  5. Are cargo cults "playing" at worship? https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/1959-cargo-cults-melanesia/ What if their belief is sincere? Improvised airstrips, barracks, offices, coconut-bamboo-tin-can-equipment, passing ritual papers back and forth in the makeshift offices, military drill, ritual USA painted on their chests, etc. All in the belief that the messianic John Frum will return and give them the white man's cargo. Is their belief and ritual on a par with Christianity? Are they playing at worship, or is it real worship in its own right?
  6. Doesn't the Catholic Church's (and ours as well) decision stemming from the Donatist schism come into play here? (page 19, footnote 40)? https://scholarsarchive.byu.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?referer=https://www.google.com/&httpsredir=1&article=1661&context=msr Improper wording on an ordinance can't invalidate all ordinances one performs, or we literally can't be sure of anything by way of authority. If something was, unbeknownst to us, not done properly somewhere up the chain, than you aren't baptized, I'm not baptized, our ordinations are nullified, and none of us are really sealed.
  7. Tangential to this opening post, but relevant to the topic: I'm interested in hearing people's sources for the claim that Joseph Smith ordained Elijah Abel and other black men (or authorized them to be ordained). I'm particularly interested because of Zebedee Coltrin's claim that **he** ordained him, not Joseph Smith (I can conceive of both being correct --- e.g., one ordaining to the Aaronic, and the other to the Melchizedek). I'm interested in the source material. Coltrin's statement is of known provenance (the John Taylor commission to consider the question). Thanks in advance to any and all! --- ETA: How many men are claimed to have been ordained, other than Walker Lewis and Elijah Abel?
  8. Very much enjoying the discussion! There is a lot I'd like to reply to, but we have family in town for my daughter's farewell tomorrow. Realistically, I won't be able to until at least Monday.
  9. Correct. Egyptus is the link to the lineage surviving the flood. ETA: This is recognized, outside of the Pearl of Great Price, in discussing it. Two examples: "There are many instances, from that time forward, of which the scriptures speak of this birthright continuing among the descendants of Seth, until it came to Noah and his sons, of which sons Shem received the blessings pertaining to the priesthood. Abraham came through Shem, and the Savior came through this lineage; and through this blessing of Noah upon Shem, the Priesthood continued through his seed; while the offspring of Ham inherited a curse, and it was because, as a revelation teaches, some of the blood of Cain became mingled with that of Ham's family, and hence they inherited that curse. " (John Taylor, Journal of Discourses 21:370) "When he destroyed the inhabitants of the antediluvian world, he suffered a descendant of Cain to come through the flood in order that he might be properly represented upon the earth." (John Taylor, Journal of Discourses 23:336)
  10. The whiplash on it has been interesting. First, no more Saturday evening sessions of any kind any more. Two weeks later, after backlash, "after much prayer and discussion," an evening session with no targeted demographic is put back in. This time, women's session is back. It's been forever and a day since we've had priesthood session, though!
  11. I don't think it matters, if Canaan was a son of Egyptus. Cain, Canaan --- same line. What is your explanation for the curse in Abraham 1? What lineage is "of that lineage by which he could not have the right of priesthood?" What "curse in the land" was "preserved" by "that race" coming from "that woman?" Abr. 1:26, discussing this Pharaoh, says that "Noah, his father, who blessed him with the blessings of the earth, and with the blessings of wisdom, but cursed him as pertaining to the Priesthood." What is your explanation about this?
  12. I don't believe he did ordain Elijah Abel (Zebedee Coltrin claimed he did, and he said that the Spirit smote him for doing it. People try to assassinate Coltrin as a witness, because he's the one who claimed that Joseph Smith received a revelation about the ban, when he asked him about it). Who else was Joseph Smith supposed to have ordained? There are statements from Joseph Smith that are in full support of the traditional explanations about the priesthood ban. It's also possible that Joseph Smith changed his views on it, or received further light on it (i.e., that he was open to black ordination, and then was taught differently by God).
  13. No ignoring of Genesis necessary. Ham's curse for his descendants ("servant of servants") was literally fulfilled by marrying into Cain's line. The two aren't mutually exclusive, and they actually dovetail. As Latter-day Saints, we believe that it was actually possible for Noah to prophesy the future (well, those of us who believe in a historical Noah, anyway). What curse do you think is being referred to in the Book of Abraham? When it says ""of that lineage by which he could not have the right of priesthood" what lineage is that, then? Again, what "curse in the land" was "preserved" by "that race" coming from "that woman?" If all of this must needs fall by the wayside for modern sensibilities, what is it talking about, then? I take it as a given that you believe the Book of Abraham was given by revelation and was divinely inspired. What is it talking about, then, if the whole Cain/Ham curse is thrown out of court?
  14. I think the authors of scripture involved (including Joseph Smith) didn't see it necessary to plant a flag at every point in the story ("Another one! Still subject to Cain's curse!"). As a descendant of Cain, it was a given that Lamech was also under that lineal curse. Lamech's further curse was due to his diabolical secret combinations activity. I don't think it says anywhere that people can't have further curses added upon them. That wouldn't negate existing ones.
  15. Abraham 1:27 further states that Pharaoh was "of that lineage by which he could not have the right of priesthood." If we're going solely by strict wording --- and excluding Cain's curse perpetuated through Egyptus --- what it this talking about then? It goes on to state that the Pharaohs claimed it (illegitimately) through Ham, and that was one thing that had thrown Abraham's father into idolatry (verse 27).
  16. What other curse would she be perpetuating? Why else (if not that) would the "curse in the land" be "preserved" by "that race" coming from "that woman?" (verse 24). You can continue to say, "But it never says Cain!" and posit an unknown different curse that has nothing to do with Cain, but it's very clear that even Joseph Smith interpreted it this way. And uttered language in dictating the JST (Book of Moses) and Book of Abraham to that effect. Those who were taught by him continued these explanations. There is a studied attempt to pound away at that same key ("But it doesn't specifically say Cain!"), but it's obvious that this reaction is because we run up against the wall of the Pearl of Great Price and Joseph Smith, et. al.'s explanations of it down to the 2000s, when they are avoided out of PC/PR considerations.
  17. I misspoke. Verse 24. It never says "This is the curse of Cain," which is what modern-day people who desperately want there to be no scriptural support cling to and repeat like a mantra, but it's quite obvious that this is what it's referring to. Let me ask you: what "curse in the land" do you think was "preserved" by "that race" coming from "that woman" (verse 24) if it wasn't that? And what scriptural support do you have for your replacement explanation? Why was Pharaoh "cursed as pertaining to the priesthood" if he wasn't descended from Canaan? Where in the scriptures does it tie a priesthood ban to Canaan, anyway? Canaan's curse that you quoted was that he was to be a "servant of servants" --- that's all that the Bible says about Canaan's curse.
  18. It didn't, but it shows how the Brethren interpreted and understood our canon. The plain readings and interpretations have only been under attack in modern times due to PR/PC reasons. The Book of Moses and Book of Abraham (passim). Aren't you overlooking . . . Egyptus' descendants, according to the Book of Abraham? They aren't descendants of Canaan, but they are descendants of Ham (and Egyptus, a descendant of Cain).
  19. It is if you consider the Book of Abraham scripture. Pharaoh wasn't a Canaanite, either, but he was also "cursed as pertaining to the Priesthood" --- specifically because he was Egyptus' son (per the BoA). Canaan was also . . . a descendant of Ham, but the Book of Abraham account doesn't hark back to Canaan. So, when Canaan is cursed CFR that the Book of Abraham is referencing the curse of Canaan. It never mentions Canaan at all; it mentions descent through Egyptus, Ham's wife, and that is the cause in the BoA for Pharaoh's priesthood ban.
  20. Journal of Discourses mentions of this are legion. Here are a couple: "There are many instances, from that time forward, of which the scriptures speak of this birthright continuing among the descendants of Seth, until it came to Noah and his sons, of which sons Shem received the blessings pertaining to the priesthood. Abraham came through Shem, and the Savior came through this lineage; and through this blessing of Noah upon Shem, the Priesthood continued through his seed; while the offspring of Ham inherited a curse, and it was because, as a revelation teaches, some of the blood of Cain became mingled with that of Ham's family, and hence they inherited that curse. " (John Taylor, 21:370) "When he destroyed the inhabitants of the antediluvian world, he suffered a descendant of Cain to come through the flood in order that he might be properly represented upon the earth." (John Taylor, 23:336)
  21. For the same reason Robert pointed out. No descendant of Cain on the ark, the curse dies with the flood. They knew that; it's obvious. (Assuming that the Book of Abraham really is an inspired translation from God), that is the reason for the Egyptus/Ham's children story in the BoA.
  22. I never said it was. What the Brethren taught is that Ham's wife, Egyptus, was a descendant of Cain --- thus "preserving the curse in the land."
  23. It's in the Book of Abraham, and it's hard for people who want to defend the veracity of the Book of Abraham to explain away. 23 The land of Egypt being first discovered by a woman, who was the daughter of Ham, and the daughter of Egyptus, which in the Chaldean signifies Egypt, which signifies that which is forbidden; 24 When this woman discovered the land it was under water, who afterward settled her sons in it; and thus, from Ham, sprang that race which preserved the curse in the land. 25 Now the first government of Egypt was established by Pharaoh, the eldest son of Egyptus, the daughter of Ham, and it was after the manner of the government of Ham, which was patriarchal. --- Unless they are willing to get rid of the Book of Abraham in order to uphold modern racial sensibilities. I hear people online (never in person, luckily) who advocate for the black skin passages in the BoM and BoA to be completely erased from the text. Completely removed --- and many of them would also be happy with a complete removal of the BoA and Book of Moses from the canon.
  24. Egyptus? Ham's wife? Book of Abraham? The Brethren of the 19th century weren't morons. They knew (and believed) in the flood, and they knew that the curse of Cain had to have a way to continue after it.
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