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Elder Oaks Settles The Matter Of The History Presented


mms

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I know that DCP was asked about B.H. Roberts as an historian, but I will chime in also. I think Roberts was one of the truly accomplished masters of give and take and debate. His Mormon Doctrine of Deity is fundamentally sound and thrilling reading. His Studies on the Book of Mormon is the same, which when read along with the FARMS materials on it is even better and more interesting! His Truth, Way, and Life is astonishing in its breadth and depth, though sometimes too sparse in some areas. I have never read his complete History ofthe Church, but what I have read of him I give him a hearty two thumbs lovingly UP.

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I think I'm adding that to my "interesting quote" folder, if that's alright, Dan.

I might disagree with Daniel on that self-assessment, if it might be called that.

We are each given certain talents and gifts and are expected to cultivate them to build the Kingdom and to glorify God. One need not regret the time and energy spent in such pursuits.

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I might disagree with Daniel on that self-assessment, if it might be called that.

We are each given certain talents and gifts and are expected to cultivate them to build the Kingdom and to glorify God. One need not regret the time and energy spent in such pursuits.

I think its a matter of moderation, it is guided by the spirit. The reason I added it to my interesting quotes is because it strongly rings true to me, and here's why:

Truly, every member is needed, like in the NT where the Church is compared to a body and all members are needed. Let not the head say to the feet, etc.

However, as Dan said, there are times when there are weightier matters to attend to: pure religion is to visit the fatherless, the sick, etc. to perform acts of service. Since the Jazz season ended I found my addiction to reading brought back to the foreground. It reminded me of a companion I had on my mission who taught me the same principle Dan mentioned, and I hope I'll not forget it. He told me I spent "too much time reading," and that he thought maybe I could spend more time talking to him, or using my time in a more even fashion. I would wake up early to have more study time, spend as little time as possible in companionship study. When we got home for lunch I opened a book. When we got in for the night I'd write in my journal then open a book. book after book, and I realized I had also cost myself valuable time in strengthening companionships, and preparing to be an effective missionary together with someone, not by myself. So while I read a lot, I neglected other things. Learning, reading and writing have their place, an important place, but let's not forget the "pure religion," I think, if I read Dan correctly, that is what he means.

DCP- did you weigh in on B.H. yet?

e=mc: my interest in B.H. was recently kindled when I found "Defender of the Faith," his bio written by Madsen, at the D.I. Come to find out I literally live one block from the blacksmith shop where B.H. apprenticed in Centerville, and down the street from one of his homes. I had already read a few of his works, but my interest was strengthened in that bio, and again when I was looking into his work, The Truth, the Way, and the Life.

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DCP- What think ye of B.H. Roberts as historian; namely, in his Comprehensive History of the Church?

Sorry, I missed this question until now.

I think very highly of B. H. Roberts in all regards. Specifically, his Comprehensive History is still valuable, even after all the decades that have passed. He was an honest, scrupulous, yet faithful historian, and there's much to be said of him as a model.

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I think its a matter of moderation, it is guided by the spirit. The reason I added it to my interesting quotes is because it strongly rings true to me, and here's why:

Truly, every member is needed, like in the NT where the Church is compared to a body and all members are needed. Let not the head say to the feet, etc.

However, as Dan said, there are times when there are weightier matters to attend to: pure religion is to visit the fatherless, the sick, etc. to perform acts of service.

Let us not neglect the other part of that verse from James about pure religion: "to keep [one]self unspotted from the world."

It may be that so keeping oneself spotless entails acquiring knowledge and teaching others (See Doctrine and Covenants 88:118).

The question of balance is always present, and I will grant your point in that regard.

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Let us not neglect the other part of that verse from James about pure religion: "to keep [one]self unspotted from the world."

It may be that so keeping oneself spotless entails acquiring knowledge and teaching others (See Doctrine and Covenants 88:118).

The question of balance is always present, and I will grant your point in that regard.

True that.

I can recall specific instances when I should have been doing other things, but instead continued reading, writing, preparing a lesson, etc. To everything there is a season, etc.

I can see your reluctance to go overboard on the issue, though, and agree with you and DCP in wishing more Latter-day Saints would take an active role in increasing their knowledge of God and the gospel, or at least showing interest in it on a day other than the Sabbath, eh?

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That's perfectly okay by me. If I can't be good, I'd at least like to be "interesting."

Let me guess - you're a high priest.

I'm an academic, and I value--perhaps overvalue--academic things. But there are other goods, even competing goods, and there are other kinds of people, many of them (a large portion of my critics will happily grant me at least this point) much better people than I am. I resist and resent attempts to turn Christian discipleship into merely some form of theoretical graduate study, and to make of Christianity a movement only for the intellectual elite.

I had a conversation once with a counter-cult apologist who bemoaned the fact that most EVs didn't study enough about their Christian religion and rather relied more heavily on their personal experiences to define their Christianity.

I felt like he was missing the mark with that statement. Where the rubber meets the road is where the real power of Christianity is, bolstered primarily with faith through the Spirit and secondarily with study according to each individual's ability and desire.

It was also interesting to note (and this may be really a stretch in the current context) that Rowling in her last (#7) book on Harry Potter portrays him as an individual who has to know everything up front - and then provides situations demonstrating why that isn't always a good idea. Indeed, I suspect that if we knew everything up front before we had to make any commitment, we wouldn't be very happy with the outcome or the process.

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I have all of the institute manuals and they also present an "adoring" history. Do you disagree? Can you point, in these manuals, to where the difficult (possibly doubt-promoting) issues are addressed? And if they are not found here, what do you think Elder Oaks was talking about in the quote?

Since when is telling the story as things actually happened and not entertaining satan's spin masters and storylines (in the Church itself, not speaking of LDS scholarship which has ALWAYS dealt with anti-mormonism) somehow the Church "keeping the truth away from it's members"?

Also The Church is about educating the people about GOD's TRUTHS so that we might be saved.

It's not about expounding every mortal nuance pro/con from LDS history.

And frankly, go to an LDS bookstore any time in this Churches history and you will have found ALL intellectual and historical things discussed and emphasied.

Note also about your "New Era" quote.

The Church isn't about deliberately leading it's children to hell, they can do it well enough on their own. So, encoraging youth of the Church to stay close to the Faith and away from bad/false stuff while their "fragile" testimony's along with new temptations are expounding for MOST as any good parent would do is wise. Most simply aren't "scholars", so the advice is sound. For your information, you will never hear that advise in LDS Educational Scholastic circles. Understand?

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Let me guess - you're a high priest.

I had a conversation once with a counter-cult apologist who bemoaned the fact that most EVs didn't study enough about their Christian religion and rather relied more heavily on their personal experiences to define their Christianity.

I felt like he was missing the mark with that statement. Where the rubber meets the road is where the real power of Christianity is, bolstered primarily with faith through the Spirit and secondarily with study according to each individual's ability and desire.

It was also interesting to note (and this may be really a stretch in the current context) that Rowling in her last (#7) book on Harry Potter portrays him as an individual who has to know everything up front - and then provides situations demonstrating why that isn't always a good idea. Indeed, I suspect that if we knew everything up front before we had to make any commitment, we wouldn't be very happy with the outcome or the process.

I drew some minor parallels between Harry being a little disenchanted with Dumbledore for a time, and certain people with Joseph Smith.

Ah, Harry Potter, you little devilish rascal, you.

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Well said....

I'm an academic, and I value--perhaps overvalue--academic things. But there are other goods, even competing goods, and there are other kinds of people, many of them (a large portion of my critics will happily grant me at least this point) much better people than I am. I resist and resent attempts to turn Christian discipleship into merely some form of theoretical graduate study, and to make of Christianity a movement only for the intellectual elite.
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Now, if I find statements from official Church publications discouraging one from looking to materials outside of the Church publications for information re the Church, will we then agree that if one simply listened to the counsel of Church leaders, one would not be familiar with the "warts and all"?

According to your post, the Ensign article addressed reading antiMormon publications. You have extended that statement to "materials outside of the Church publications".

Can we get that statement where we are told not to read materials outside of church publications.

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You want to impose endless detailed discussions of Mormon history on people simply because they come to church in order to hear the good word of God and have it taught to their children, even if they've shown no particular interest in historical study during their schooling or in their post-graduation reading?

I find that bizarre.

I would like to have meatier classes and more informed members, but I realize that I'm in a tiny minority. And I also realize that the time I've spent reading and studying might have better been spent working at the cannery or fixing up a widow's yard.

The Church makes historical claims, yes. So does Christianity in general. Do you also call for the suspension of Catholic masses and of Protestant sermons in order to give place for debates about New Testament exegesis and the history of the papacy -- pending the attainment of a broad consensus on all the issues involved?

Most academicians and scholars, I'll wager (based upon a certain amount of experience with the breed), have never given three minutes' sustained thought to any Mormon claim.

You overstate your case.

Investigation is a good thing. I favor it. But please note that 2 Thessalonians doesn't say "Prove all things by means of academic seminars, hold fast that which is deemed good by a consensus of disinterested secular scholars."

The apostles followed him immediately.

You want to impose endless detailed discussions of Mormon history on people simply because they come to church in order to hear the good word of God and have it taught to their children, even if they've shown no particular interest in historical study during their schooling or in their post-graduation reading?

I find that bizarre.

Actually, I never said any such thing. I think you are missing my point entirely. What I was suggesting is for members and potential members, who have questions regarding the historicity claim contained in the BOM and other potentially challenging issues within the Lds Church claims, to have a venue, or Church endorsed information, to openly discuss or explore these issues and the Church's response PRIOR to one's baptism into the Church. As a father of two children who were encouraged to get baptized into the Lds religion, I had many questions regarding these issues that I felt, as a parent, my children should be aware of and investigate. I would hope all here would concur such is admirable counsel from a parent.

I trust you would not find honest and concerned counsel for one's children "bizarre".

I would like to have meatier classes and more informed members, but I realize that I'm in a tiny minority. And I also realize that the time I've spent reading and studying might have better been spent working at the cannery or fixing up a widow's yard.

I would concur that each of us must determine what is the better return on our investment of time. Sounds like you had evaluated your returns.

The Church makes historical claims, yes. So does Christianity in general.

True, but I am differentiating between Christianity in general, and the historicity claim of the BOM specifically. I think a better comparison would be the historicity claim of the BOM and the Bible. I can safely tell my children that, while not all, a plethora of the historical claims of the Bible, the people, places, cultures etc, are validated by historcial evidence that is supported and accepted by both our secular and non-secular academic communities. One needs no faith in Christianity to accept the existence of this history. I don't beleive anywhere in our academic community we can find acceptance of, and support for, the historical claim of virtually anything in the BOM. But if you know of secular academic acceptance and support for the people, places, and cultures mentioned in the BOM, I would be willing to look at it.

Do you also call for the suspension of Catholic masses and of Protestant sermons in order to give place for debates about New Testament exegesis and the history of the papacy -- pending the attainment of a broad consensus on all the issues involved?

There would be no need to as such issues are readily discussed in quite detail for those having an interest in being baptized into those churches. And it is done so without any rush to baptism first.

Most academicians and scholars, I'll wager (based upon a certain amount of experience with the breed), have never given three minutes' sustained thought to any Mormon claim.

Well I was not trying to be so broad. I was focusing the academic interest strickly on the existence of the people, places, and cultures mentioned in the BOM, the legitimacy of a trans-oceanic jewish migration and subsequent huge manifestation of a jewish/hebrew population somewhere in american continent during the periods claimed. If you accept the BOM claim, you have a record of a population and cultures for which there is no equal when compared to the complete lack of credible and convincing evidence. My question is (and was to the missionary president I met with, who was university professor himself - Walt Hill I believe was his name): "Why is there virtually no interest in the claim of history contained in the BOM from those who would and should seemingly have such an interest (ie, historians and archaeologists). " Is it immediatley dismissed because of the obvious by the academic and scholarly communities. Again, things I asked my children to think about and consider, and things I could never get a response from the very church making the claim.

You overstate your case.

I'm curious, why do you say so?

Investigation is a good thing. I favor it. But please note that 2 Thessalonians doesn't say "Prove all things by means of academic seminars, hold fast that which is deemed good by a consensus of disinterested secular scholars."

And please note, again, I made no such statement. What time it takes to satisfy oneself with the advice in 2 Thessalonians, and the manner in which they do so, should be similar to the same criteria of deciding of whether to study or work in a cannery. I hope you would agree.

The apostles followed him immediately.

I would submit there is difference between following and "accepting". I don't know how either one of us could define "immediatley" in terms of hours, weeks or months as you are attempting its applicability here. But the more valid point to my issue would really be that they followed, listened, asked questions, learned and then reached their own conclusions. One decided to betray Him, one decided to deny Him and still one express public doubt after his death. But all were able to ask questions where they had questions without being rushed to make a decision. My wife and daughter were told that I was not ready to "hear the gospel" when I asked for the challenging issues to be discussed openly in front of us as a family.

But again if I may ask, can you think of anything detrimental to the Church or potential members, by allowing for longer period of study and investigation into "all the history"? I am not trying to debate Ldch Church policy, just asking for an opinion.

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perhaps he was speaking as a man, and didn't have the okey dokey from the prophet.

Well, PBS is not an official Church publication....:P

But to add to the original poster's statement (and on top of the subject of Church history), I think much blindsiding occurs when one comes into the Church having been taught a watered down version of the gospel and not as the Church itself teaches. Also, I don't think one is really ready to join the Church until they've had the full Gospel Principles course or some equivalent.

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Since when is telling the story as things actually happened and not entertaining satan's spin masters and storylines (in the Church itself, not speaking of LDS scholarship which has ALWAYS dealt with anti-mormonism) somehow the Church "keeping the truth away from it's members"?

"There is a temptation for the writer or the teacher of Church history to want to tell everything, whether it is worthy or faith promoting or not. Some things that are true are not very usefulâ?¦ "

-Boyd K. Packer

So, I ask you, did the Church advocate "keeping the truth away from its members" to some degree? If this quote is not enough, try the one that started this thread. Indeed, the Church did not "deal" with "anything unfavorable." Thus, if it "actually happened" (as you say), the Church did not mention it if it was "unfavorable." I'm not talking about "entertaining Satan's spin masters and storylines" but, rather, simply the actual storyline. No, Joseph did not look at the plates to translate, he put his head in a hat and looked at a stone. Satan's spinmasters? Didn't think so.

Understand?

Understand what?

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"There is a temptation for the writer or the teacher of Church history to want to tell everything, whether it is worthy or faith promoting or not. Some things that are true are not very usefulâ?¦ "

-Boyd K. Packer

Surely you're not claiming that everything that's true is equally useful.

Would you put the number of letters in the West Los Angeles telephone book on the same level with the location of al-Qaâ??ida's chief American operative or the answer to the question of whether there is a life after death?

So, I ask you, did the Church advocate "keeping the truth away from its members" to some degree?

Not in any significant sense, no.

If this quote is not enough, try the one that started this thread.

Neither is enough to make your case.

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"There is a temptation for the writer or the teacher of Church history to want to tell everything, whether it is worthy or faith promoting or not. Some things that are true are not very usefulâ?¦ "

-Boyd K. Packer

Give us the rest of the quote, and the context, MMS. Half-truths are the things you are supposed to be crusading against, not committing.

So, I ask you, did the Church advocate "keeping the truth away from its members" to some degree? If this quote is not enough, try the one that started this thread. Indeed, the Church did not "deal" with "anything unfavorable."

The word anything, in the context above, is hyperbole and exaggeration- it is not a statement that the Church ignored the whole of contradictory history.

You keep spinning, but you still haven't got your indictment yet.

You might wish to consider some of the learned posts that were given in response to your charges. DCP's is excellent.

You might also get around to explaining why your education and exaltation are the Church's responsibilities, rather than your own.

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But again if I may ask, can you think of anything detrimental to the Church or potential members, by allowing for longer period of study and investigation into "all the history"? I am not trying to debate Ldch Church policy, just asking for an opinion.

This makes very good sense to me. Why not take some more time with it? Numbers might go down, but retention would certainly go up.

Let me shock you all -- Selek, especially. An investigator was recently taught in my home (yes, my home, which I (and the bank) own) and was baptized (within the last month). I know, "trolls make up stories like that all of the time." I did not let my recent doubts get in the way of missionaries teaching this investigator. They answered some questions inaccurately (such as told this investigator that Pres. Hinckley communicates with God face to face and that is the difference between a modern prophet talking to God and us talking to God). I simply let them do their job and this investigator decided to be baptized and was. I could not help but be concerned that this investigator may someday experience a trial of faith, as I have recently, and come to me and ask why I did not tell certain things during the course of the visits with the missionaries in my home. I do not have a really good answer, as it seems there is no reason to withhold information when asking someone to commit their life to a cause. I would have been much more comfortable if the process was longer and more thorough, including areas of controversy and the Church's position on those matters.

Does the end justify the means? Maybe.

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Give us the rest of the quote, and the context, MMS. Half-truths are the things you are supposed to be crusading against, not committing.

Selek, there is no point in debating whether certain members of the Twelve have taken the position that not all truth should be told. I do not think this is disputed. Just look at the Oaks statements above.

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They answered some questions inaccurately (such as told this investigator that Pres. Hinckley communicates with God face to face and that is the difference between a modern prophet talking to God and us talking to God).

And you know this as fact because.....?

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This makes very good sense to me. Why not take some more time with it? Numbers might go down, but retention would certainly go up.

Let me shock you all -- Selek, especially. An investigator was recently taught in my home (yes, my home, which I (and the bank) own) and was baptized (within the last month). I know, "trolls make up stories like that all of the time." I did not let my recent doubts get in the way of missionaries teaching this investigator. They answered some questions inaccurately (such as told this investigator that Pres. Hinckley communicates with God face to face and that is the difference between a modern prophet talking to God and us talking to God). I simply let them do their job and this investigator decided to be baptized and was. I could not help but be concerned that this investigator may someday experience a trial of faith, as I have recently, and come to me and ask why I did not tell certain things during the course of the visits with the missionaries in my home. I do not have a really good answer, as it seems there is no reason to withhold information when asking someone to commit their life to a cause. I would have been much more comfortable if the process was longer and more thorough, including areas of controversy and the Church's position on those matters.

Does the end justify the means? Maybe.

how would those missionaries know that pres hinckley talks to god face to face?

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They answered some questions inaccurately (such as told this investigator that Pres. Hinckley communicates with God face to face and that is the difference between a modern prophet talking to God and us talking to God).

You've gotta be kidding. "inaccurately"? And how is it that you know this? Keep in mind, it's YOU that is making the claim that it is in error. I mean, it's one thing to doubt it, but entirely another to claim its inaccurate. Sheesh!

HiJolly

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Indeed, we do not know, which was the accurate answer. (Were you serious?)

Who's "we"? Seriously. As you might can tell, one of my favorite pet peeves is when a doubter says "you can't know that". Well, I guess if God doesn't exist, or doesn't reveal things to His children, then maybe so. BUT in this Church, He does.

HiJolly

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You've gotta be kidding. "inaccurately"? And how is it that you know this? Keep in mind, it's YOU that is making the claim that it is in error. I mean, it's one thing to doubt it, but entirely another to claim its inaccurate. Sheesh!

HiJolly

How hard is this to understand? I think it must be semantics. The accurate answer is, as stated above in my prior reply to another who asked the same question, "We do not know whether Pres. Hinckley has spoken to God face to face."

The missionaries also could have said that God and Jesus visit the SLC Temple every night at midnight. Would that have been "accurate"? By your reasoning it would, because we do not know, so therefore it is accurate.

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Also The Church is about educating the people about GOD's TRUTHS so that we might be saved.

It's not about expounding every mortal nuance pro/con from LDS history.

And it's comments like that that show just how out of tune you are with those who are questioning the faith. Don't you understand that a lot depends on the character and actions of those who REVEALED God's truth. If it turns out they are crooked or dishonest, the whole foundation falls apart.

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