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the narrator

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  1. And, of course if "Mormonism" never existed, then some other similar term/name would have been constructed to identify those things that "Mormonism" has been a referent to.
  2. Dude, what's with the strawman? Are you so insecure about your ability to engage actual claims that you instead keep punching at fantasies? Where did I ever suggest "that Christ must approve of “Mormonism” as a name for His Church"? To the contrary, I repeatedly made it explicitly clear that I was saying that "Mormonism" was an apt identifier for those aspects of Mormonism that were *not* the institutional church.*** My appeal to D&C 135 was merely pointing out that from within the traditional and common Mormon understanding of scripture (I use "Mormon" here because it doesn't seem entirely clear that their is an official, institutional--aka Latter-day Saint--understanding of what canonized scripture necessarily means), the inclusion of this language to describe those things beyond the institutional Church implies that it is both inspired and approved of by God. I'm also confident in saying that I am *not* capable of claiming what God actually approves of here. ***
  3. Lolz. Nice strawman. Nobody that I am aware of is claiming that "Mormonism" could be the name of the Church. I certainly haven't. In fact, as I pointed out above, Taylor seems to use "Mormonism" to encompass all those parts of the Restoration that are not the establishment of an institutional church. There is much of Mormonism that is not the institutional church, and while Nelson's campaign to basically excise all that isn't directly related to rituals enacted by the institutional church, the fact remains that Mormonism--that broader category of things beyond the institution--exists in the past, present, and will continue into the future, and that not only does the present formal name of the Church not describe nor delineate them, it would IMO be inappropriate, nonsensical, and at times dishonest to label those with the institutional name. I wrote more about the challenges of not using variations of "Mormon" here. Perhaps you could respond to what people are actually arguing rather than flexing against windmills and the boogeyman.
  4. John Taylor uses Mormonism a couple times in this account of the martyrdom, as well as repeated use of Mormons. Tell that to Joseph Smith, who embraced "Mormonism" here, here, here, here ("Mormonism is the pure doctrine of Jesus Christ; of which I myself, am not asham’d."). Furthermore, it's very obvious from the dozens upon dozens of uses of "Mormonism" by Mormons of the 1840s that it had widely been embraced by this point. If you think Nelson was inspired to demand this change, then that's fine. Let's just not play these weird games to try to make the past in agreement with him.
  5. I like the word that John Taylor used in canonized scripture to describe all the things that Joseph Smith did that were outside explicitly establishing a named organization: "In the short space of twenty years, he has brought forth the Book of Mormon, which he translated by the gift and power of God, and has been the means of publishing it on two continents; has sent the fulness of the everlasting gospel, which it contained, to the four quarters of the earth; has brought forth the revelations and commandments which compose this book of Doctrine and Covenants, and many other wise documents and instructions for the benefit of the children of men; gathered many thousands of the Latter-day Saints, founded a great city, and left a fame and name that cannot be slain." (D&C 135:3) The word that Taylor used to encompass all those things, the word that members ought to assume that God endorsed, since it was canonized into scripture? "Their innocent blood on the floor of Carthage jail is a broad seal affixed to “Mormonism” that cannot be rejected by any court on earth." (D&C 135:7)
  6. Considering the fact that the Bible is full of contradictory claims that cannot all be true, it's incumbent upon the believer(s) to wrestle with the text to understand what they believe to be inspired by God--or perhaps to simply be inspired through the various contributors to the sacred texts. This is basically the point of Julie Smith's excellent As Iron Sharpens Iron: Listening to the Various Voices of Scripture. Ultimately, people don't find inspiration in the scripture because it come from God. They determine that it comes from God because they find inspiration in it.
  7. So that individuals and a community can have a shared text in which to wrestle with and seek inspiration.
  8. Maybe it's just me, but I don't consider the supposed Mosaic authorship of Deuteronomy to be an "eternal truth." Though, I don't think anyone knows what any particular "eternal truth" is.
  9. Considering that we have no idea who "Matthew" even was, I don't see any reason to presume such--especially when "Luke" didn't seem to have the same influencing when adapting Mark and whatever sources he used for his Gospel.
  10. It's not like Jesus had a stenographer following him around. Any report of what he said is based on a chain of oral rehearsals, which any child playing Telephone can tell you is wrought with problems. That said, that general teaching attributed to Jesus certainly seems to be the sort of thing he might have said. Either way, an appeal to a traditional understanding in order to convey new ideas is hardly an endorsement of all traditions.
  11. If Jesus even said that, he would have just been appealing to common tradition of the time.
  12. 1. For nearly two millennia Christian theism has defined God as necessarily and absolutely omnipotent. If one accepts this, then other attributes of God necessarily follow: God's omniscience, being uncreated, being singularly unique, inseparable, etc. However, if one also wants to accept the NT teachings of Christ that (A) Jesus is God and that (B) Jesus is not the Father, then really the only solution is something like the Trinity. Thus, to reject the Trinity is to either reject the absolute omnipotence of God or to reject the NT's teachings on JS's divinity and relationship to the Father. (Of course, one could just reject the absolute omnipotence of God as unscriptural, but to do so would also be rejecting God as God as been defined by Christian theism for nearly 2 millennia.) 2. The Trinity is the secret sauce to most Christian theories of Atonement, because the lawgiver, the judge, and the sacrificial offering are all the same Being. It's not one being demanding that another being suffer/die for the sins for the sins of others, but rather that same Being offering Himself up. In short, the Trinity isn't some tangential doctrine for traditional Christianity, it is THE central doctrine of Christianity. It's the inexplicable miracle and mystery that makes God, Jesus, and atonement all possible. So when a traditional Christian (who understands the theology) says that a Mormon isn't a Christian, they are basically saying, "For two millennia, our identity as Christians has been centered around this one thing, and you reject that one thing. So, no, you aren't a Christian."
  13. And, if pretty much anyone else causes hurt and pain because of their poorly chosen words, they are expected to clarify what they meant and apologize to those they hurt--unless you're an apostle of Jesus Christ. They have nothing to apologize for.
  14. The stated reason is so that members do not feel obligated to pay to learn more about the scriptures--though given the deepening retrenchment the Church seems to be undergoing (along what Armand Maus argues), I would wager that another significant reason is to limit interpreters of scripture in Church-entity-produced books to general authorities.
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