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Priesthood Manual 2008 Joseph Smith


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I have just skimmed through the priesthood manual for 2008. I read the section on JS's ministry. I found that much was left out, ie: polygamy etc. Do you think that such omissions give the antis dry wood to burn? In my opinion it would have been wonderful to see a much more open manual.

Problem: should members who know more about the history of JS keep quiet when details left out of the manual are noticed by those members in priesthood meeting?

Edit. I made a small blunder here. Polygamy is in the manual. I read on an anti site that polygamy was not mentioned. I skimmed through the manual and read the Life and Ministry section. I missed the mentioned of polygamy toward the end of the chapter. It is also mentioned in the introduction. Lesson: don't believe or take with a grain of salt what is written on an exer board. My blunder.

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I have just skimmed through the priesthood manual for 2008. I read the section on JS's ministry. I found that much was left out, ie: polygamy etc. Do you think that such omissions give the antis dry wood to burn? In my opinion it would have been wonderful to see a much more open manual.

Problem: should members who know more about the history of JS keep quiet when details left out of the manual are noticed by those members in priesthood meeting?

The manual could list every mistake (or perceived mistake) that he ever did and they would say it was not critical enough.

Pa Pa

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I think that it is a fine line that the lds church walks in this case. I agree with the two lds posters. However, in this day and age, it might have been wise to mention something here and there. Now the kirkland bank failure is mentioned. That's good. It is mentioned in the apostacy chapter. But perhaps a little more information about other controversial items from an historical perspective could have been good to read in the manual.

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The manual could list every mistake (or perceived mistake) that he ever did and they would say it was not critical enough.

Pa Pa

The manual's content was, no doubt, driven by its purposes. If its purpose is to provide teachings of JS that are applicable to us today, then it should contain only the teachings relevant to our time. If its purpose is to provide a contextual history re significant matters in JS's ministry, then it should contain polygamy and polyandry because of their significance, impact and extraordinary nature. I think the manual's purpose might include both of the above, and one more purpose: to avoid matters that may concern the average church member and that may create doubt where none existed. By adding this third purpose, the manual can avoid certain matters, as it apparently does (although I think lifeonaplate said that it at least mentions polygamy in the introduction, or seomewhere, which is a step).

Now, one can certainly debate what the purposes should be, but I am sure the manual serves the purposes as they are. I think innoculation and full disclosure should have been on the list of purposes, but we are all glad to know that I am not in charge!

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The manual's content was, no doubt, driven by its purposes. If its purpose is to provide teachings of JS that are applicable to us today, then it should contain only the teachings relevant to our time. If its purpose is to provide a contextual history re significant matters in JS's ministry, then it should contain polygamy and polyandry because of their significance, impact and extraordinary nature. I think the manual's purpose might include both of the above, and one more purpose: to avoid matters that may concern the average church member and that may create doubt where none existed. By adding this third purpose, the manual can avoid certain matters, as it apparently does (although I think lifeonaplate said that it at least mentions polygamy in the introduction, or seomewhere, which is a step).

Now, one can certainly debate what the purposes should be, but I am sure the manual serves the purposes as they are. I think innoculation and full disclosure should have been on the list of purposes, but we are all glad to know that I am not in charge!

Wow! I agree completely. Whooda thunk it?

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I agree with Pa Pa. The anti's aren't interested in perfecting the Saints, which is the purpose of the R.S. and Melchizedek priesthood. They want to tear the Church down. They can take their criticisms and . . . . .

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http://www.lds.org/portal/site/LDSOrg/menu...contentLocale=0

I have just skimmed through the priesthood manual for 2008. I read the section on JS's ministry. I found that much was left out, ie: polygamy etc. Do you think that such omissions give the antis dry wood to burn? In my opinion it would have been wonderful to see a much more open manual.

Problem: should members who know more about the history of JS keep quiet when details left out of the manual are noticed by those members in priesthood meeting?

EDIT: I was going in an entirely different direction and suddenly realized that it may seem as if I am implying that polygamy was a mistake, so I've deleted the post.

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I agree with Pa Pa. The anti's aren't interested in perfecting the Saints, which is the purpose of the R.S. and Melchizedek priesthood. They want to tear the Church down. They can take their criticisms and . . . . .

I can see this point too. However, as you know Charity, the common mantra today is: the church lied to me. Now I know that an omission is not a lie but it does seem to encourage people to head in that direction. I don't know the answer to this problem. But it does need to be tackled in some capacity.

I recently gave a talk on the testimony of Joseph Smith as the prophet of this dispensation and I reserved a part of my talk to mention that it is folly to ignore his mistakes and weaknesses, as he himself pointed out that he often screwed up. I intend to speak openly and honestly of his comportment next year in priesthood, and I don't know anyone in my ward who would object.

:P I am with you on this one. I think that there needs to be the spirit of openness in priesthood and relief society. It is my impression of JS that he would have encouraged such a lesson about him. For after all, he was a 'rough stone rolling'.

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EDIT: I was going in an entirely different direction and suddenly realized that it may seem as if I am implying that polygamy was a mistake, so I've deleted the post.

I saw no implication of polygamy in your post. I took it to mean that Joseph was a human being too.

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I don't think the purpose of priesthood is to teach church history, necessarily, but I also don't think it's inappropriate to take a little time to discuss these issues in whatever lessons may glance across these issues. If anything, teachers should make it clear that an open dialogue is definitely available, without necessarily making apologetics the priority. Polygamy is clearly not a contemporary issue, but teachers should not shy away from it should someone have questions.

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If one of the lessons were on polygamy, it should mention it. Otherwise I see no need to include it in the manual. The purpose of the manual is instruction, not a detailed text on church history.

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I saw no implication of polygamy in your post. I took it to mean that Joseph was a human being too.

That's what I meant, but the post I was responding to mentioned polygamy specifically and I responded with "mistakes." I just don't want the implication forced into my post by anyone else.

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We go to Church to learn of Christ, His teachings and ministry. Joseph Smith's role in that part is essential, but what Joseph did outside it is not of our concern.

Since the D&C says that "this generation shall have my word through you" when speaking of Joseph one would think what he did and said is of great concern. Since President Hinckley said this weekend that the Church stands or falls on the validity of Joseph's call as a prophet of God one would think what he said and did matters.

Of course he need not be perfect to be a prophet. But there is much in his history, much of what he said and did, that reflects on what his character was and in turn can reflect on whether we can trust his claims of visions and revelations.

One would think as well that the doctrine of plural marriage that he established and for which the early saints gave up so much for would be addressed in his teachings. Certainly the doctrine of eternal sealing has its base in plural marriage which once was called celestial marriage. D&C 132 is thge base for all of this and if it is not addressed in the new manual then a lot is being left out.

I personally think the modern Church and its leadership is embarrassed mightily over polygamy and really wishes it would go away or never ever happened.

I wonder if the prophets later teaching about God are included as well. I will have to look at it.

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The manual could list every mistake (or perceived mistake) that he ever did and they would say it was not critical enough.

The doctrine of "Celestial Marriage" (in the context of plurality of wives) was a mistake?

We go to Church to learn of Christ, His teachings and ministry. Joseph Smith's role in that part is essential, but what Joseph did outside it is not of our concern.

The doctrine of "Celestial Marriage" (in the context of plurality of wives) is outside the scope of the restored gospel?

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I don't think the purpose of priesthood is to teach church history, necessarily, but I also don't think it's inappropriate to take a little time to discuss these issues in whatever lessons may glance across these issues. If anything, teachers should make it clear that an open dialogue is definitely available, without necessarily making apologetics the priority. Polygamy is clearly not a contemporary issue, but teachers should not shy away from it should someone have questions.

Sure polygamy is a contemporary issue. D&C 132 is in our scripture, the doctrine of eternal marriage is rooted in polygamy and men can still be sealed plurally in the temple in certain situations.

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If one of the lessons were on polygamy, it should mention it. Otherwise I see no need to include it in the manual. The purpose of the manual is instruction, not a detailed text on church history.

Can one not be instructed on Church history? And if not on history what about the teachings and practice of it.

Why is there such an attitude that "Priesthood, RS and or SS is not the place to learn Church history." Are you/we afraid of or embarrassed by the history? Where is the place to learn it? On your own totally? Then when people uncover issues that trouble them they can just let it fester rather then having a good solid place to discuss an share. But nope, no Church history allowed at church lessons. Seem odd to me.

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Sure polygamy is a contemporary issue. D&C 132 is in our scripture, the doctrine of eternal marriage is rooted in polygamy and men can still be sealed plurally in the temple in certain situations.

CFR that eternal marriage is rooted in polygamy. It's actually the other way 'round.

If marriages aren't eternal, then there is no polygamy except in mortality, which would obviate it's relevance.

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Sure polygamy is a contemporary issue. D&C 132 is in our scripture, the doctrine of eternal marriage is rooted in polygamy and men can still be sealed plurally in the temple in certain situations.

Yeah, but we don't have any problem at all discussing that. I refer to temporal practice of polygamy, which is the part of our history that people shy away from talking about. I don't think that manifestation of plural marriage is contemporary enough to merit inclusion in the priesthood manual.

The doctrine of "Celestial Marriage" (in the context of plurality of wives) was a mistake?

WHY ME: This is why I edited my post.

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Can one not be instructed on Church history? And if not on history what about the teachings and practice of it.

Why is there such an attitude that "Priesthood, RS and or SS is not the place to learn Church history." Are you/we afraid of or embarrassed by the history? Where is the place to learn it? On your own totally? Then when people uncover issues that trouble them they can just let it fester rather then having a good solid place to discuss an share. But nope, no Church history allowed at church lessons. Seem odd to me.

This is where I agree with you and MMS. There should be some room for history- if only for context.

Yes, there is room for the history and practice of polygamy- when you're discussing polygamy. A general manual teaching the tenets of the faith, however, is a different story.

Unfortunately, Charity is correct. No amount of history will be sufficient to the critics unless it is crafted to convey a negative impression of the Church. No discussion of polygamy will suffice unless it paints Joseph as a lecherous predator.

These people do not care about the education of the Church- at the very core, they are agitating for the Church to teach their propoganda and will settle for nothing less.

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http://www.lds.org/portal/site/LDSOrg/menu...contentLocale=0

I have just skimmed through the priesthood manual for 2008. I read the section on JS's ministry. I found that much was left out, ie: polygamy etc. Do you think that such omissions give the antis dry wood to burn? In my opinion it would have been wonderful to see a much more open manual.

Problem: should members who know more about the history of JS keep quiet when details left out of the manual are noticed by those members in priesthood meeting?

Hey why me--

I hope you'll forgive a dumb question from a never-Mo.

I assume that the Priesthood Manual is for, well, LDS priesthood holders.

But, what is the context in which it is used for instruction? When does it get taught? (During priesthood meetings on Sundays?)

Is it like a "Sunday School" manual for LDS priesthood holders?

Best.

CKS

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Hey why me--

I hope you'll forgive a dumb question from a never-Mo.

I assume that the Priesthood Manual is for, well, LDS priesthood holders.

But, what is the context in which it is used for instruction? When does it get taught? (During priesthood meetings on Sundays?)

Is it like a "Sunday School" manual for LDS priesthood holders?

Best.

CKS

I'm not Why Me, but I'll answer. That's pretty much it.

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I personally think the modern Church and its leadership is embarrassed mightily over polygamy and really wishes it would go away or never ever happened.

I think they are simply tired of trying to explain it to individuals who are not really interested in understanding the answer.

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I'm not Why Me, but I'll answer. That's pretty much it.

Thanks, selek. It seemed straightforward enough, but I really just wasn't sure.

Best.

CKS

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I did not know the manual carried the title "All the Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith" or anything like it. This one is by far the thickest one the Church has produced yet but it would be thicker if we included everything--that is, if we had everything. Then, the historical summary would no longer be as short a summary, would it? Here is the stated purpose of the manual--from the manual:

This book deals with teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith that have application to our day. For example, this book does not discuss such topics as the Prophet's teachings regarding the subject of the law of consecration as applied to stewardship of property. The Lord withdrew this law from the Church because the Saints were not prepared to live it (see D&C 119, section heading). This book also does not discuss plural marriage. The doctrines and principles relating to plural marriage were revealed to Joseph Smith as early as 1831. The Prophet taught the doctrine of plural marriage, and a number of such marriages were performed during his lifetime. ... The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints no longer practices plural marriage.

(Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, xii, bold emphasis mine)

Here is a quote from page 22 (the selfsame section on Joseph's ministry that you apparently skimmed) on the subject of plural marriage:

In 1841 the first sealings of couples were performed, and in 1843 the Prophet dictated the revelation that describes the eternal nature of the marriage covenant (see D&C 132). The doctrines in this revelation had been known to the Prophet since 1831. As commanded by God, he also taught the doctrine of plural marriage.

Nothing there looking whitewashed to me. It's just not relevant to us today per the intent of the manual. Guess that is one of the problems with skimming. Things get lost in the mix.

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