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Elder Oaks Settles The Matter Of The History Presented


mms

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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."

Like I said before, who is "we"? Do you really want to make the claim that no one knows? Really?

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.

Sure they could say it - and if they did, we would then have to judge WHY they said it. There are many potential reasons, one of which might be - that they know it is true. Not likely, I'd agree with you on that. But to state a priori that they are in error? Not me.

HiJolly

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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.

Do you think that all truth should be told?

Think about it.

All truth?

None more important or central than another? What Napoleon had for breakfast three days before the Battle of Waterloo just as important as how the battle ended? The state of Lenin's teeth just as important as his organization of the first concentration camps? Washington's possible cross words to his wife one morning in June 1781 just as important as his behavior at the Battle of Trenton? Churchill's bad taste in socks just as important as his response to Chamberlain's sell-out at Munich?

Do you think that all historical facts ought to be crammed into the few hours available each year for the teaching of Church history?

But that's obviously impossible.

So on what basis should facts be selected for presentation? Which do you think would be more central for presentation in a Sunday school class: Joseph Smith's First Vision, or the minutes of the Nauvoo City Council for 15 May 1844?

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Do you think that all truth should be told?

Think about it.

All truth?

None more important or central than another? What Napoleon had for breakfast three days before the Battle of Waterloo just as important as how the battle ended? The state of Lenin's teeth just as important as his organization of the first concentration camps? Washington's possible cross words to his wife one morning in June 1781 just as important as his behavior at the Battle of Trenton? Churchill's bad taste in socks just as important as his response to Chamberlain's sell-out at Munich?

Do you think that all historical facts ought to be crammed into the few hours available each year for the teaching of Church history?

But that's obviously impossible.

So on what basis should facts be selected for presentation? Which do you think would be more central for presentation in a Sunday school class: Joseph Smith's First Vision, or the minutes of the Nauvoo City Council for 15 May 1844?

Joseph Smith's First Vision--All accounts and reasons that accounts might seem contradictory, as well as reasons that he might not have told the most repeated account for more than a decade after it happened.

I think we might be getting somewhere, here.

I think we should, for example, address the matters that appear on the first dozen or so websites that result from a search on Google for the terms "investigating the mormon church" (without using the quotes in the search engine).

We need to assume, in this day and age, that investigators (at least in this Country) will come across this information. After all, just coming into the Church, they will not have been provided the repeated counsel to stay away from non-faith-promoting materials and may actually read the websites that come up in response to their search.

What do you think? Maybe just address, for example, the origins and practice of polygamy, the "translation" process, the Book of Abraham, the various accounts of the First Vision and blacks and the priesthood. This could be done in a single lesson (I should say, "touched on" in a single lesson, with resources provided to the investigator if he or she has further interest in those matters).

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Like I said before, who is "we"? Do you really want to make the claim that no one knows? Really?

In this particular instance, "we" was the two missionaries, my wife and me. Do you think that missionaries who have prayed about whether Pres. Hinckley speaks to God face to face and believe they received the answer that he does, should incorporate that into their lessons?

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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.

I fear if this is the case, your foundation will always crumble. The rock upon which the Church was built was revelation from God, not just men.

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I fear if this is the case, your foundation will always crumble. The rock upon which the Church was built was revelation from God, not just men.

This seems to indicate that you think he will find that those who revealed the truths are crooked and dishonest. You did not mean that, did you?

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Joseph Smith's First Vision--All accounts and reasons that accounts might seem contradictory, as well as reasons that he might not have told the most repeated account for more than a decade after it happened.

I think we might be getting somewhere, here.

I think we should, for example, address the matters that appear on the first dozen or so websites that result from a search on Google for the terms "investigating the mormon church" (without using the quotes in the search engine).

We need to assume, in this day and age, that investigators (at least in this Country) will come across this information. After all, just coming into the Church, they will not have been provided the repeated counsel to stay away from non-faith-promoting materials and may actually read the websites that come up in response to their search.

What do you think? Maybe just address, for example, the origins and practice of polygamy, the "translation" process, the Book of Abraham, the various accounts of the First Vision and blacks and the priesthood. This could be done in a single lesson (I should say, "touched on" in a single lesson, with resources provided to the investigator if he or she has further interest in those matters).

Why stop there, though? Shouldn't we delve into evolution and the creation, Noah's flood, whether there are grandfather gods, the nature of the resurrection of Christ according to those who said at the time that it was a fraud?

When the missionaries came into the living room of mms, they asked the member and investigator disciples, saying, 'Whom does google say that the Son of man is? And they said, Some say that He is John the Baptist: some, Elias; and others, Jeremias, or one of the prophets. Some say He was a good moral teacher who borrowed teachings from more primitive sources and is now thought of as a God, though he never taught such a thing. The elders saith unto them, But whom say ye that He is? And mms said "well, we just went over that, in the google results, I thought. And the investigator answered and said, He is the Christ, the Son of the living God. And the elders answered and said unto him, Blessed art thou, investigator: for flesh and blood and google hath not revealed it unto thee, but my Father which is in heaven.

This seems to indicate that you think he will find that those who revealed the truths are crooked and dishonest. You did not mean that, did you?

By no means; but offense can be found by anyone at any time. For example; I could take offense that you "put words in my mouth," when in fact you simple misunderstood my point. Would you say we are to build our foundation of faith on men? All of the leaders past, present and future are men with "like passions" as ourselves. If we build our testimony on a foundation of men, we are not setting it upon God; and any other foundation will crumble. While they are inspired, they are not perfect.

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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.

The character of those involved always depends on the perspective of those studying. And since no one is perfect, and everyone makes some significant mistakes, how that character is perceived depends on who is doing the presenting. It is not, in any way, objective.

Let's turn your comment around. It reflects just how out of tune those who demean the LDS Church are with those who have faithfully sought and received the -->foundational<-- witness of the Spirit. You miss the mark when you state that the foundation of the Church is based on the Perceived Character of those who participated in its founding, under the direction of God. The foundational basis is the witness, through the Spirit, that God restored the Church in the latter days.

Critics of the Church are always going to portray Joseph Smith and others as crooked or dishonest; the only "honest" history of the Church is that which reflects their narrow, preconceived viewpoint. It appears that the OP in this case is coming from that critical viewpoint, and wonders why that inaccurate critical point of view is not reflected in LDS Church teachings.

The point, of course, is that LDS sources of Church history (both official and unofficial) in the last 40-50 years are far more balanced and accurate than the revisionist denigration that critics claim is the "real" history. It can be found. It can be studied. All it takes is the desire to do so. And the inference of some that this is not the case bears no relation to reality.

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Why stop there, though? Shouldn't we delve into evolution and the creation, Noah's flood, whether there are grandfather gods, the nature of the resurrection of Christ according to those who said at the time that it was a fraud?

Because, as you know, we have to stop somewhere. I think that I provided a logical approach, but I am certainly open to other ideas. However, just as lawyers innoculate their clients from attack by bringing out the "bad facts" before cross examination, the Church would do well to take a similar approach. How far it goes depdends on the issues of the day, I suppose. Here, you all repeatedly talk about the "tired" and "same old" "anti" issues being brought up over and over again. Make a list of these overused arguments and address them. Is that really such an absurd proposition?

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The point, of course, is that LDS sources of Church history (both official and unofficial) in the last 40-50 years are far more balanced and accurate than the revisionist denigration that critics claim is the "real" history. It can be found. It can be studied. All it takes is the desire to do so. And the inference of some that this is not the case bears no relation to reality.

Read the OP again, Oaks by no means agrees with you that "official" Church history has been "balanced"--rather, it has been "adoring" and unwilling to deal with "anything unfavorable." Should we listen to you or Oaks on the matter?

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Because, as you know, we have to stop somewhere. I think that I provided a logical approach, but I am certainly open to other ideas. However, just as lawyers innoculate their clients from attack by bringing out the "bad facts" before cross examination, the Church would do well to take a similar approach. How far it goes depdends on the issues of the day, I suppose. Here, you all repeatedly talk about the "tired" and "same old" "anti" issues being brought up over and over again. Make a list of these overused arguments and address them. Is that really such an absurd proposition?

As a missionary I usually informed people they could expect witnesses of the gospel's truthfulness from several sources. Perhaps an inner familiarity, a witness from the Spirit of God, the witness of others who have been converted, past and present, the witness of the adversary, etc.

As far as the adversarial witness, we would sometimes read with them the account of Satan in the Garden of Eden. Satan presented some truth and some error. Satan in the Garden was more "objective" than God in the eyes of the critic; he "said it like it is," rather than trying to "promote faith." We showed how Satan would use truth, but distort it, speak lightly of it, or mix it with lies in order to bring us his direction. It almost never failed with the good investigators. An old pastor would show up that week, a friend whose "buddy used to be one of those Mormons" would call, they'd hear something on the news or online. I sometimes asked these people if they'd thought about the LDS Church in the past; most would say no, but here we are, suddenly, with all this information, and who to believe? I would be candid in my approach, I would tell them "I don't know," if they asked a question I didn't have the answer to; but I could "inoculate" them with the Holy Ghost present more than I could by reading them the "Adam-God theory" or something to that effect.

Again, Whom do men say this Church is? But whom do you say this Church is, and more importantly, how do you know it?

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Read the OP again, Oaks by no means agrees with you that "official" Church history has been "balanced"--rather, it has been "adoring" and unwilling to deal with "anything unfavorable." Should we listen to you or Oaks on the matter?

And you might try reading my quote more carefully; I said it was more balanced than what the critics claim is history.

You quoted Dallin Oaks out of context in leaving out the first part of the sentence, which said "One element is that we're...". When you capitalized the "w" in "we're" in your modified quote, you gave the false impression that it was the beginning of the sentence, when it was not.

Elder Oaks was referring to several elements of LDS history, if you care to read further in his comments. I was not under the impression that he was indicating that ALL Church history was written in the manner you are claiming; certainly some has been, but not all of it. DCP has indicated previously that he felt BH Roberts was particularly forthright in his history of the Church. For you to take an out of context quote and say that Dallin Oaks thinks that all Church history has been "adoring" and "unwilling to deal with anything unfavorable" is just not the case.

As to your final question, they should listen to Elder Oaks - and not to your interpretation of what you think he is saying.

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Do you think that all truth should be told?

Think about it.

All truth?

None more important or central than another? What Napoleon had for breakfast three days before the Battle of Waterloo just as important as how the battle ended? The state of Lenin's teeth just as important as his organization of the first concentration camps? Washington's possible cross words to his wife one morning in June 1781 just as important as his behavior at the Battle of Trenton? Churchill's bad taste in socks just as important as his response to Chamberlain's sell-out at Munich?

Do you think that all historical facts ought to be crammed into the few hours available each year for the teaching of Church history?

But that's obviously impossible.

So on what basis should facts be selected for presentation? Which do you think would be more central for presentation in a Sunday school class: Joseph Smith's First Vision, or the minutes of the Nauvoo City Council for 15 May 1844?

Do you think that all truth should be told?

Think about it.

All truth?

[snip]

Do you think that all historical facts ought to be crammed into the few hours available each year for the teaching of Church history?

But that's obviously impossible.

Precisely, and even more applicable to those who are being asked to convert or have an interest in determining if joining the Lds Church is the right thing for them to do or for their children.

If there is difficulty in, as you put it, the impossibility of providing even more than "a few hours" within a year of Church for these teachings (and I would question why for the very relevant areas of concern), why should we even begin to expect that enough information is provided in the "six weeks or less" education for convert baptism? Instead of raising a "problem of time restraints", why not provide the solution of providing more time to address the issues. Seems to be the most commen sense answer for every other area in life of being more prepared or knowledgable.

As I have come to experience, there is a tremendous amount of time dedicated to: home teaching, visiting teaching, relief society, young womens, young mens, scouting, special projects of canning and the likes, service calls and many others that come outside of Sunday services. Is it really that ridiculous or unreasonable to expect the Lds church to provide the same time commitments to addressing the issues of its own history with the same zealous?? Would extending the baptism education process from the 6 week program (or whatever it may be now), to say a 3 month process and devoting 6 to 8 Saturdays of group education, with Q&As on these matters be so detrimental. I for one would have greatly appreciated the time and commitment from the LDS Church in this fashion to explore, investigate, and discuss these issues over such a period of time. I cant think of one negative thing that such a process would have yeilded to prospective members and parent of such members.

So on what basis should facts be selected for presentation? Which do you think would be more central for presentation in a Sunday school class: Joseph Smith's First Vision, or the minutes of the Nauvoo City Council for 15 May 1844?

Sarcasm aside, this is really such a silly and, IMHO, absurd response. Do you really think it would be that difficult to identify the relevant troubling issues of Lds Church history? I hardly think so for reasonable minds. But I do recognize and appreciate the passion of your response.

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When you capitalized the "w" in "we're" in your modified quote, you gave the false impression that it was the beginning of the sentence, when it was not.

Did you not notice the brackets around the "W" or did you simply not understand what bracketing the "W" was intended to indicate? Please do not accuse me of misleading unless you are darn sure of it and if you are, you will find that I will correct my mistake (I do not think this has happened yet, but I will correct myself if it does).

The "out of context" argument is getting old. I posted the context and it simply made the admission even more clear, stating that the Church may ahve been "lagging" behind the times with the way it portrayed its history and stated again the fear the Church has that the full facts will cause doubt.

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I fear if this is the case, your foundation will always crumble. The rock upon which the Church was built was revelation from God, not just men.

The words of a song come to my mind: "Follow the prophet, follow the prophet, follow the prophet, don't go astray...he knows the way!"

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Joseph Smith's First Vision--All accounts and reasons that accounts might seem contradictory, as well as reasons that he might not have told the most repeated account for more than a decade after it happened.

If this is meant to show how the church is not forthcoming then it is a poor example because the various first vision accounts have been presented in the official church magazine.

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If this is meant to show how the church is not forthcoming then it is a poor example because the various first vision accounts have been presented in the official church magazine.

What is the "official Church magazine" and on what basis does one recognize and accept it as "offical"?

The "Times & Seasons" publication during the days in Nauvoo was also a "Church publication" and from what I read in the "History of the Church" designated Joseph Smith as printer, publisher and editor to ensure all things were accurate. Can one place the same "official" reliance on the "Times & Seasons" as you would place on the Ensign ( I am presuming this is what you are referring to)? If not, I would like to know why?

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Did you not notice the brackets around the "W" or did you simply not understand what bracketing the "W" was intended to indicate? Please do not accuse me of misleading unless you are darn sure of it and if you are, you will find that I will correct my mistake (I do not think this has happened yet, but I will correct myself if it does).

The "out of context" argument is getting old. I posted the context and it simply made the admission even more clear, stating that the Church may ahve been "lagging" behind the times with the way it portrayed its history and stated again the fear the Church has that the full facts will cause doubt.

So, why did you leave out the first part of the sentence? As for misleading, why did you misportray what I had quoted? And as for context, why do you persist in claiming the context is clear, but not qualifying that it is based on your opinion and perspective of both Church history and its leaders, which is critical?

You did not respond to my claim that you want to give the impression with your context that Dallin Oaks said ALL Church history has been "adoring", etc. Would you like to correct that or is that accurate?

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In this particular instance, "we" was the two missionaries, my wife and me.

My bad - I thought your comments were more sweeping in scope than you apparently intended. Sorry.

Do you think that missionaries who have prayed about whether Pres. Hinckley speaks to God face to face and believe they received the answer that he does, should incorporate that into their lessons?

I am sure that had that happened to me at that age, I would have said it. Nowadays, I wouldn't, at least, I don't think I would. Could depend on the situation, I suppose.

HiJolly

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A man will die of thirst at refusing the opportunity to turn on the faucet and receiving the water until the day the man understands every thing in regards to the plumbing.

A man who is drinking the water by turning on the faucet may do so without ever finding out or reflecting that there IS plumbing.

A man who is drinking the water by turning on the faucet, and who then becomes possessed of the fact that 1) there is plumbing; and 2) the particulars of it, including how to build it oneself -- may be joyous or indifferent to this information -- but may still have the privilege of turning on the faucet and receiving the water (needed for survival!).

Even when a man knows all about the plumbing, it will never change the necessity of turning on the faucet and of drinking the water that is received.

Thirsty?

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So, why did you leave out the first part of the sentence? . . .

You did not respond to my claim that you want to give the impression with your context that Dallin Oaks said ALL Church history has been "adoring", etc. Would you like to correct that or is that accurate?

Hmmmm. So you think I left out the first part of the sentence to mislead? Does this part of the sentence --"One element is that" -- change the meaning of the sentence. I understand your embarrassment for accusing me of misleading because of your lack of understanding what brackets around the "w" indicated, but why not admit your mistake rather than making another ridiculous allegation.

Second, DHO left whatever "impression" he left with his statement. I just read it for what it was. Furthermore, DHO admitted that some history is not told because it could create doubts. I know that most here want to provide other reasons for not telling some history, but he admitted a significant reason-- the history could cause doubts. Deal with it. Or are you going to say I am "spin[ning]" what he said in this regard, also?

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The words of a song come to my mind: "Follow the prophet, follow the prophet, follow the prophet, don't go astray...he knows the way!"

Good call. That song definitely sums up all Church doctrine on the subject. Well done.

By the way, mms, you ask a lot of questions, but you don't answer many. My questions still await a response from you, thanks!

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A man will die of thirst at refusing the opportunity to turn on the faucet and receiving the water until the day the man understands every thing in regards to the plumbing.

A man who is drinking the water by turning on the faucet may do so without ever finding our or reflecting that there IS plumbing.

A man who is drinking the water by turning on the faucet, and who then becomes possessed of the fact that 1) there is plumbing; and 2) the particulars of it, including how to build it oneself -- may be joyous or indifferent to this information -- but may still have the privilege of turning on the faucet and receiving the water (needed for survival!).

Even when a man knows all about the plumbing, it will never change the necessity of turning on the faucet and of drinking the water that is received.

Thirsty?

Maybe but not without caution. For example, I also know of many who have "thirsted for salvation" and, as it would seem from reasonable minds, never asked where the drink came from or what was in it. They merely accepted and seem to be thankful that "a drink" was provided. Those followers of Mr. Applewhite chasing a comment and Mr. Jones chasing and escape come to mind. Their downfall would appear to have been that they obviously refused to use one of the greatest gift God provided us --- intelligence and reason.

Perhaps some basic things we learn and develope over the most basic issues such as plumbing, should be considered, if not at least questioned.

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That kind of rigid fervor- the stark black-and-white of fanaticism is something I've observed in quite a few former Mormons- including the infamous Tal Bachman.

You need to tread softly here. If you remember correctly Pres. Hinckley displayed this exact rigid fervor in General Conference when he said that JS and his story was either the complete truth and the greatest event to come to pass in the latter days or the biggest fraud ever concocted (forgive me for not remembering the exact GC address, but I just recently watched this same address not but a week ago on BYUTV). His statement did not leave any room for gray areas in our beliefs. Are you suggesting that the prophet himself is a fanatic?

I don't think Mormons want to be so black and white, but a combination of tradition and church doctrine has made it so. When I explain to my family or other members that I consider myself a progressive mormon, they instantly try to put me into the exmormon camp or the anti's.

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Good call. That song definitely sums up all Church doctrine on the subject. Well done.

By the way, mms, you ask a lot of questions, but you don't answer many. My questions still await a response from you, thanks!

Your "questions"? I see a single question above re what "you" (maybe that means me?) think of the church and how "you" know it. Is this what you are referring to?

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