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Joseph Smith as Scientist


mercyngrace

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Has annyone ever read Joseph Smith as Scientist by Elder John A. Widtsoe? If so, what did you think of the book?

Also interested in opinions on The Key to the Science of Theology by Parley P. Pratt, so if you have read that one and have opinions, please post them.

Thanks,

MnG

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Has annyone ever read Joseph Smith as Scientist by Elder John A. Widtsoe?

Yup.

If so, what did you think of the book?

Well... I reckon it helped me learn that I should be believing in the "fundamental physical doctrine of universal ether."

It's an interesting look at a snapshot in time (and there are definately worse things you could be spending your time reading), but my overall opinion: Meh.

(Haven't read the Pratt book)

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Well... I reckon it helped me learn that I should be believing in the "fundamental physical doctrine of universal ether."

It's an interesting look at a snapshot in time (and there are definately worse things you could be spending your time reading), but my overall opinion: Meh.

Thanks - that's exactly what I needed to know. I bought it about a year ago and it's been sitting on a shelf ever since. I finally decided I probably wouldn't read it and was going to give it away but thought I'd better have some idea what was in it first.

I started the Pratt book but got derailed with other reads so it's been sitting on the shelf also and I have a stack of things I am presently researching. It doesn't look like I'm going to get back to it anytime soon so unless someone can give me a super inspiring reason to pick it up... it's going to find a new home also.

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...a stack of things I am presently researching.

If it's not an imposition to ask, are you willing to share the gist of what you're currently researching?

...unless someone can give me a super inspiring reason... it's going to find a new home also.

:::raises hand in the air:::

<---willing to provide a loving home to Parley's book

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If it's not an imposition to ask, are you willing to share the gist of what you're currently researching?

The mysteries of Godliness ;-) I'm taking an in-depth look at exalted beings and the path to exaltation as laid out in the scriptures and the teachings of JS. (Polygamy never even comes up ;-)

:::raises hand in the air:::

<---willing to provide a loving home to Parley's book

LOL! You're second in the queue.

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The mysteries of Godliness ;-) I'm taking an in-depth look at exalted beings and the path to exaltation as laid out in the scriptures and the teachings of JS. (Polygamy never even comes up ;-)

I'm intrigued. If you're so inclined, please drop a bread crumb or two for the rest of us. :P

LOL! You're second in the queue.

Newman!!

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Has annyone ever read Joseph Smith as Scientist by Elder John A. Widtsoe? If so, what did you think of the book?

Also interested in opinions on The Key to the Science of Theology by Parley P. Pratt, so if you have read that one and have opinions, please post them.

Thanks,

MnG

Pratt's book is great and worth the read. You will find that he uses a non-standard definition of both theology and science, so the title is a little misleading with the modern understanding of the terms. For Pratt, "Theology" is the physical mechanism behind the actions of God--sort of the way the term "priesthood" or "power of the priesthood" is used today. For example, Pratt would define "theology" as the power by which God created the earth.

In the book, we can see the genesis of some distinctive Mormon ideas such as there really are no miracles, the priesthood is the ultimate and rightful government and governance of day-to-day affairs, and heaven is a very temporal physical place in which we experience the same passions and desires that we have on the earth.

The book is especial interesting to contrast with his brother's writings and the less systematic ideas of Brigham Young.

But it does layout a pretty good version of Mormon belief in the 1850s.

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Pratt's book is great and worth the read.....

Thanks, John, you've successfully piqued my interest. Maybe I'll pick it up again this evening.

I'm intrigued. If you're so inclined, please drop a bread crumb or two for the rest of us.

I wish it were easier to summarize but there is a progression of ideas that you have to follow for everything to make sense. For starters, you have to know the primary attributes of God and what the word "god" means in practical terms. Then you have to know how a god derives His power. Then you have to know why a god is bound by certain laws (which ties into His attributes and that definition of god). Then you understand how our purpose ties into who He is. The next step is understanding how the the various parts of the law, teachings, doctrine, prophetic utterances fit inside the paradigm. It really is kind of a grannd unifying theory explanation.

If you want more, I can email you the class I taught that started the ball rolling.

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