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Does the LDS Church "cover up" its past?


consiglieri

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I believe the answer to this question is an unqualified, "Yes."

For purposes of this thread, I take as a case-in-point Brigham Young's teachings on Adam and God.

Brigham Young taught that Adam is God (not Elohim, but a fully exalted God beneath Elohim) and that Adam is the father of our spirits.

The fact that Brigham Young taught this principle on a host of occasions in a plethora of venues is "covered up" by the LDS Church.

It is officially denied that Brigham Young ever taught such a thing.

And when it turns out upon further investigation that Brigham Young actually did teach it, the official denial turns into an official explanation that he was misquoted.

When it turns out Brigham Young was not misquoted, the official explanation shifts to his being misinterpreted.

When it turns out he was not misinterpreted, the official explanations peter out, unless it is to say that Brigham Young was wrong. (Here I am thinking of a certain letter by Elder McConkie.)

But it is a rare thing for the average Mormon to go past the first official denial that it was ever taught. Hence the "cover-up" serves its purpose of dissuading the average Mormon from getting to any of the other stages.

Any comments on this rather obvious attempt of the LDS Church to cover up its past?

Any thoughts as to why this should be the case?

Any other examples are welcome.

For the record, I am not saying this practice is necessarily an "evil" thing, nor am I saying it is confined to the LDS Church.

But I think we go a long way in coming to grips with reality when we recognize and accept that such is the case.

All the Best!

--Consiglieri

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Brigham Young taught that Adam is God (not Elohim, but a fully exalted God beneath Elohim) and that Adam is the father of our spirits.

Erm... Call for reference that he was not referring to two specific Adam's.

The fact that Brigham Young taught this principle on a host of occasions in a plethora of venues is "covered up" by the LDS Church.

Perhaps because the way people think about it is incorrect...? Kinda similar to the praying to HM thing? It's being viewed by people incorrectly, so it's their responsibility to correct it, no?

It is officially denied that Brigham Young ever taught such a thing.

CFR.

And when it turns out upon further investigation that Brigham Young actually did teach it, the official denial turns into an official explanation that he was misquoted.

How do you know he wasn't misquoted?

When it turns out Brigham Young was not misquoted, the official explanation shifts to his being misinterpreted.

How do you know he wasn't misinterpreted?

When it turns out he was not misinterpreted, the official explanations peter out, unless it is to say that Brigham Young was wrong. (Here I am thinking of a certain letter by Elder McConkie.)

How do you know he wasn't wrong?

But it is a rare thing for the average Mormon to go past the first official denial that it was ever taught. Hence the "cover-up" serves its purpose of dissuading the average Mormon from getting to any of the other stages.

Any comments on this rather obvious attempt of the LDS Church to cover up its past?

Any thoughts as to why this should be the case?

Why this should be the case... because there are more important things to be concerned with.

But you have made some assertions up there that I need proof for before we continue... I believer your assertions are unfounded =/.

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TAO interesting response, it seems to me you prove most of the points made :P

Nah, I just have to CFR the points first, so we can get started. I actually CFRd some of the points I know she can provide reference to already. But it needs be started, so CFRs create the base.

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Consiglieri, why don't you spend your time in putting together some of those really amazing bullseye posts? Now that is something worth reading, rather rehashing stuff which has absolutely nothing to do with your salvation or mine.

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Erm... Call for reference that he was not referring to two specific Adam's.

Are you asking to prove a negative? Honestly, the burden of proof is with those who try to make Brigham mean something none of this contemporaries understood him as saying, and that he himself never specifically said. The Adam Jr, Adam Sr, explanation to try to make Brigham's words fit with hyper conservative neoorthodoxy are highly destructive to attempts to sort out and really understand Brigham and the history of Mormonism, and the nature of the prophetic office.

CFR where Brigham Young makes a clear, unequivicoal statement that he uses Adam interchageably for two different individuals, both God the Father, and a distinct Adam. Linking to Elden Watson's paper doesn't count, because even Watson never presents this, and even admits you have to discount many of Brigham's sermons as being mis-quoted or improperly recorded for his theory to make sense.

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I believe the answer to this question is an unqualified, "Yes."

No, I'd say the qualifier would be, "It used to, but is presently making major progress in not doing nearly as much today, and is in fact being very upfront in presenting unprecedented access to once restricted primary documents"

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the evidence does not suggest he taught Adam-God but rather Adam Sr./Jr.

Adam Sr./ Adam Jr is poor long-after-the-fact Apologetic construct, and you yourself have said the 'Plain reading' of Brigham's statements can't mean what they actually say or what all Brigham's associates who we have on record discussing (and disagreeing with or agreeing with) his teaching thought they said, because one needs to begin with the assumption that Brigham Young would never disregard or supersede common scriptural texts or doctrines - something which he very specifically did publicly in his sermons.

Adam Sr/Jr 'wrests' Brigham's words, as well as does violence to authentic attempts to understand LDS history and doctrinal and theological development. It's a temporarily safe but ultimately dangerous buffer zone for those unwilling to leave a hyper-conservative view of perpetual doctrinal consistency.

It's just as historically and critically sound as arguments from those who insist that Joseph Smith never participated in Plural Marriage in any way, shape, or form.

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The Adam-God theory has been regurgitated ad nauseam by the outstanding members of the anti-Mormon community don't you think?

It is very revealing when one relies on anti-Mormon mills and "quotes" out of the JOD to try and explain LDS doctrine or history. The so called "issues" and "cover ups" about history and doctrines are not an issue within the Church or even during Sunday school. The issues are only outside of Church by those with a lot of time on their hands and who use a blurry/dirty lens on their microscope in desperately trying to find the elusive "nail in the coffin" for the Lord's Church.

Hence why the Joseph Smith papers will be so invaluable and provide fair, accurate and an unadulterated history that will be the standard. Those that rely on non canon sources like the JOD or our somewhat weak history resources will not be taken seriously in any way.

My 2 cents. rolleyes.gif

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The Adam-God theory has been regurgitated ad nauseam by the outstanding members of the anti-Mormon community don't you think?

It is very revealing when one relies on anti-Mormon mills and "quotes" out of the JOD to try and explain LDS doctrine or history. The so called "issues" and "cover ups" about history and doctrines are not an issue within the Church or even during Sunday school. The issues are only outside of Church by those with a lot of time on their hands and who use a blurry/dirty lens on their microscope in desperately trying to find the elusive "nail in the coffin" for the Lord's Church.

I'd suggest you read this very pro-Mormon paper (from FAIR) on Brigham Young's Teachings on Adam. Anti-Mormon's didn't make up Adam-God. The editor and transciber of the Journal of Discourses didn't, either. Brigham Young did.

And I feel perfectly fine and faithful with both acknowledging this, recognizing he was mistaken, and still being a faithful member of the Church who acknowledges that Brigham faithfully and effectively served in his apostolic and presidential office.

The material can be, and is, very interesting for faithful members who seek to understand historical fact, and divide it from fiction and non-authentic tradition, and to understand faithfully the true nature of revelation and the prophetic office.

The problem is that it is anti-Mormons who often take control by introducing this information to members in a destructive polemical context, instead of faithful and academically informed members sharing it and introducing in a constructive and contextualized setting.

We give the critics the power by ignoring it altogether, or white-washing it with fake explanations to be a reactionary counter to what they are saying.

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Of course the Church covers up its past. All of the leaders and teachers and manual writers, and oversight have a uniform and complete knowledge of all truth, that is knowledge of things as they are, as they were, and as they are to come. By common agreement and malicious intent, these omniscent ones conspire only to spoon feed pablum to those of us who remain nailed to the benches in Sunday School and Seminary classes, who lack all motivation and ability to rise and seek and find and think on our own. The idea that anyone writing a manual could leave out something because they just plain did not know to put it in, or thought that it wasn't important or productive to put it in, is, of course, so absurd as to deserve no consideration whatsover. The fact that the Church leaders work in a big building is itself conclusive evidence that individually, and collectively, they know and control everything that happens, and manipulate every thought. All decisions, from top to bottom, are made by people who have seen, read, handled, comprehended, memorized, and mastered the implications of every primary source document. So nothing ever gets withheld except deliberately, with malice aforethought. And probably some cackling.

And that explains away the rumored presence of such phantoms as the Joseph Smith papers project, Rough Stone Rolling, the Mountain Meadows books, Sunstone, Dialogue, the Mormon History Association, the Joural of Mormon History, BYU Studies, Signature Books, Kofford Books, the FARMS Review, University of Illinois Press, University of Utah Press, the Clairmont program, Deseret book, MSH, the Journal of Discourses and countless other sources in readily available, searchable LDS history database CDs and online repositories, various huge bibliographies of LDS history, diaries, special collections in various libraries, a Bloggernacle, and any other or indivual member or associate of the LDS faith community.

It's like a friend of mine said 35 years ago. "If it's the truth, why isn't there more truth in it?" After pondering the implications of her statement, I realized that what she was saying, "If it's perfect, why isn't there more perfection in it? If it's ideal, why isn't there more of the absolute ideal in it?" From such a perspective, only perceived flaws matter. They loom large in one's vision, and provide decisive weight by the mere suggestion of their presence.

I remain ensconced in LDS culture because, alas, my question is, "If it is real, why isn't there more reality in it?" And there is. Some reality I like, and some I don't. Looking for what is real is very very different than looking for what is perfect or ideal. Completely different sets of information, inquiry, and evaluation comes into play. And I think that "Church" means "an assembly of people" and I see all different kinds of people who think and behave and act and write and teach in the ways that real people do everywhere. Imperfectly, and constrained by the fashions and values of their time, place, by institutional imperatives, and individual temperaments and stages of spiritual growth. But the variety of diverse sources ensures me that within the LDS culture, I can quickly find out just about anything I want about LDS history, if not right away soon. Because interest and inquiry is wide spread, sources plentiful, and those who know, eager to share what they find.

I also see Joseph Smith acting like a real prophet, recieving real revelation, and producing the Book of Mormon, which I accept as a real revelation. Given that, I'm willing to put up with imperfections I see everywhere every day. I'd better, since I come far short of being able to offer perfection to anyone else. Come to think of it Joseph Smith said some interesting things about that very thing.

FWIW

Kevin Christensen

Bethel Park, PA

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The Adam-God theory has been regurgitated ad nauseam by the outstanding members of the anti-Mormon community don't you think?

It is very revealing when one relies on anti-Mormon mills and "quotes" out of the JOD to try and explain LDS doctrine or history. The so called "issues" and "cover ups" about history and doctrines are not an issue within the Church or even during Sunday school. The issues are only outside of Church by those with a lot of time on their hands and who use a blurry/dirty lens on their microscope in desperately trying to find the elusive "nail in the coffin" for the Lord's Church.

Hence why the Joseph Smith papers will be so invaluable and provide fair, accurate and an unadulterated history that will be the standard. Those that rely on non canon sources like the JOD or our somewhat weak history resources will not be taken seriously in any way.

My 2 cents. rolleyes.gif

Which seems to admirably make the OP's point..

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Words have meanings and to use the term "cover up" is a pejorative that doesn't fit the circumstances. Does the "church" ignore or not speak of things which might have been taught in the past but which were never considered doctrine. Yes. But to call that a cover up is quite misplaced. Why on earth would they teach such esoteric things as Adam-God which most people have never heard, wouldn't understand if they did and in most cases wouldn't care about.

I don't even know that BY was so far off base if he is referring to Adam as the mortal father of us all and as co-creator of the world with Jesus Christ. In any case we don't know what he really meant. Perhaps he was thinking out loud, perhaps there is more to the story we have and perhaps if he were here today he would say "Yeah, I was off the wall on that one." What does it even matter. I simply do not see why the church should spend time on such things when the people are barely grasping the basics (hence back to basics with the new teaching manual).

If people come across such teachings on their own, or because it's being pushed in their faces by some ex-Mo who thinks he needs to "enlighten" people, then they have a choice. They can decide that if a prophet taught something like that then the church must not be true and throw out everything else that they once had a testimony of. We know many who have done that. Or they can look at the big picture, look at the times Brigham lived in and the kind of bombastic speech that was common, look at the truths they do know and decide if they will let such things turn them away from the more glorious truths we do know and understand.

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Heavens.... YOU AGAIN???

No, the Church doesn't "cover-up" it's past to any sort of important degree.

It not "emphasizing" and considering relevant to the Churches Mission and Doctrines every nuance of history and every statement from history is not the same as "covering it up". Please learn the difference, instead of your continued anti-mormon theory's. :P

Frankly, your views of Brigham Young and Adam/God just aren't correct.

The essentials of what he actually taught are still taught in the Temple, thus your speculations don't impress me. And as to some of his other "further" thoughts related to the said idea, some of it is your misunderstanding, and the rest is simply his personal thoughts and reflections, having no bearing on the Church.

LDS leaders used to always be free to give their views and thoughts, some of which didn't necessarily have a scriptural basis, but was personally inspired, though indeed usually from the scriptures. But today, only actual "doctrine" is encouraged to be taught so we know for a certainty what is and isn't doctrine, compared to speculation. In other words, the Church has essentially learned it's lesson so as to not give anti-mormons fodder.

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on my mission, during an Elders Qurom meeting, the Instrcutor asked "Should we talk about all the things Joseph Smith did" - He was asking if LDS should discuss the "bad" things. I as a missionary said Yes. Several responses from the Elders Quorum where "We don't need to talk about the Devil to know the Devil is real". The general message from each of the person who responded "No" was, that we don't need to know of any "bad" things Joseph Smith may have done (and every please save your cfr, I am paraphrasing the general idea of meeting that took place years ago).

so while I can not say whether the LDS Church Officially seeks "cover up" or hide its past, I can say, that in my opinion many members are willing to cover up, hide or completely ignore the past.

However, does one need to know bad things to determine if God work in being done by and through the LDS Church. I say No, lehi of the Book of Mormon notwithstanding, one does not need to know the "good" and "evil" of Joseph Smith to know if he was a Prophet.

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one does not need to know the "good" and "evil" of Joseph Smith to know if he was a Prophet.

Evil is a word that is entirely inappropriate. That he was a human being with flaws is not the same as being "evil." Hitler was evil. Khadafi is evil. To compare Joseph Smith to them is outrageous, which is what you do when you use the word evil.

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IMO the Church is more forthright and honest about its past than the majority of the world's religions. The fact that it chooses to emphasise the important and relevant part of its history rather than the trivial and peripheral makes perfect sense to me and doesn't constitute "covering up its past".

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Are you asking to prove a negative?

Yah.

Honestly, the burden of proof is with those who try to make Brigham mean something none of this contemporaries understood him as saying, and that he himself never specifically said.

I disagree. Burden of proof is with both sides, since we can't speak to Brother Brigham himself. Conseli interprets it one way. I interpret it another. She is required to prove it just as much as I must prove mine.

The Adam Jr, Adam Sr, explanation to try to make Brigham's words fit with hyper conservative neoorthodoxy are highly destructive to attempts to sort out and really understand Brigham and the history of Mormonism, and the nature of the prophetic office.

I was pointing other theories available.

CFR where Brigham Young makes a clear, unequivicoal statement that he uses Adam interchageably for two different individuals, both God the Father, and a distinct Adam. Linking to Elden Watson's paper doesn't count, because even Watson never presents this, and even admits you have to discount many of Brigham's sermons as being mis-quoted or improperly recorded for his theory to make sense.

"Whether Adam is the personage that we should consider our heavenly Father, or not, is considerable of a mystery to a good many. I do not care for one moment how that is; it is no matter whether we are to consider Him our God, or whether His Father, or his Grandfather, for in either case we are of one species of one family and Jesus Christ is also of our species." (JoD 4:215, Tabernacle, Great Salt Lake City, February 8, 1857)

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Of course the Church covers up its past. All of the leaders and teachers and manual writers, and oversight have a uniform and complete knowledge of all truth, that is knowledge of things as they are, as they were, and as they are to come. By common agreement and malicious intent, these omniscent ones conspire only to spoon feed pablum to those of us who remain nailed to the benches in Sunday School and Seminary classes, who lack all motivation and ability to rise and seek and find and think on our own. The idea that anyone writing a manual could leave out something because they just plain did not know to put it in, or thought that it wasn't important or productive to put it in, is, of course, so absurd as to deserve no consideration whatsover. The fact that the Church leaders work in a big building is itself conclusive evidence that individually, and collectively, they know and control everything that happens, and manipulate every thought. All decisions, from top to bottom, are made by people who have seen, read, handled, comprehended, memorized, and mastered the implications of every primary source document. So nothing ever gets withheld except deliberately, with malice aforethought. And probably some cackling.

And that explains away the rumored presence of such phantoms as the Joseph Smith papers project, Rough Stone Rolling, the Mountain Meadows books, Sunstone, Dialogue, the Mormon History Association, the Joural of Mormon History, BYU Studies, Signature Books, Kofford Books, the FARMS Review, University of Illinois Press, University of Utah Press, the Clairmont program, Deseret book, MSH, the Journal of Discourses and countless other sources in readily available, searchable LDS history database CDs and online repositories, various huge bibliographies of LDS history, diaries, special collections in various libraries, a Bloggernacle, and any other or indivual member or associate of the LDS faith community.

It's like a friend of mine said 35 years ago. "If it's the truth, why isn't there more truth in it?" After pondering the implications of her statement, I realized that what she was saying, "If it's perfect, why is there more perfection in it? If it's ideal, why isn't there more of the absolute ideal in it?" From such a perspective, only perceived flaws matter. They loom large in one's vision, and provide decisive weight by the mere suggestion of their presence.

I remain ensconced in LDS culture because, alas, my question is, "If it is real, why isn't there more reality in it?" And there is. Some reality I like, and some I don't. Looking for what is real is very very different than looking for what is perfect or ideal. Completely different sets of information, inquiry, and evaluation comes into play. And I think that "Church" means "an assembly of people" and I see all different kinds of people who think and behave and act and write and teach in the ways that real people do everywhere. Imperfectly, and constrained by the fashions and values of their time, place, by institutional imperatives, and individual temperaments and stages of spiritual growth. But the variety of diverse sources ensures me that within the LDS culture, I can quickly find out just about anything I want about LDS history, if not right away soon. Because interest and inquiry is wide spread, sources plentiful, and those who know, eager to share what they find.

I also see Joseph Smith acting like a real prophet, recieving real revelation, and producing the Book of Mormon, which I accept as a real revelation. Given that, I'm willing to put up with imperfections I see everywhere every day. I'd better, since I come far short of being able to offer perfection to anyone else. Come to think of it Joseph Smith said some interesting things about that very thing.

FWIW

Kevin Christensen

Bethel Park, PA

FWIW, Kevin, your response is a welcome antidote to Consiglieri's tiresome posts. Well said. Thanks.

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I believe the answer to this question is an unqualified, "Yes."

For purposes of this thread, I take as a case-in-point Brigham Young's teachings on Adam and God.

Brigham Young taught that Adam is God (not Elohim, but a fully exalted God beneath Elohim) and that Adam is the father of our spirits.

The fact that Brigham Young taught this principle on a host of occasions in a plethora of venues is "covered up" by the LDS Church.

It is officially denied that Brigham Young ever taught such a thing.

And when it turns out upon further investigation that Brigham Young actually did teach it, the official denial turns into an official explanation that he was misquoted.

When it turns out Brigham Young was not misquoted, the official explanation shifts to his being misinterpreted.

When it turns out he was not misinterpreted, the official explanations peter out, unless it is to say that Brigham Young was wrong. (Here I am thinking of a certain letter by Elder McConkie.)

But it is a rare thing for the average Mormon to go past the first official denial that it was ever taught. Hence the "cover-up" serves its purpose of dissuading the average Mormon from getting to any of the other stages.

Any comments on this rather obvious attempt of the LDS Church to cover up its past?

Any thoughts as to why this should be the case?

Any other examples are welcome.

For the record, I am not saying this practice is necessarily an "evil" thing, nor am I saying it is confined to the LDS Church.

But I think we go a long way in coming to grips with reality when we recognize and accept that such is the case.

All the Best!

--Consiglieri

Do you mean that they banned and burned all copies of the Journal of Discourses? And there is evidence still that he was misinterpreted or misunderstood.

Glenn

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frankenstein:However, does one need to know bad things to determine if God work in being done by and through the LDS Church. I say No, lehi of the Book of Mormon notwithstanding, one does not need to know the "good" and "evil" of Joseph Smith to know if he was a Prophet.

Evil is a word that is entirely inappropriate. That he was a human being with flaws is not the same as being "evil." Hitler was evil. Khadafi is evil. To compare Joseph Smith to them is outrageous, which is what you do when you use the word evil.

what did lehi teach about in 2 Nephi 2? and what is commonly meant in the English language when one uses quotation marks?

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what did lehi teach about in 2 Nephi 2? and what is commonly meant in the English language when one uses quotation marks?

I do not see the relationship of 2 Nephi to what you are saying.

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To question of the OP.

"Does the LDS Church "cover up" its past?"

I think so.

Don't want to send your thread in the wrong direction.

But I think a good example of it might be that if you were to poll the membership of any given ward as to how many wives Joseph Smith had? Well... what do you think they would say in response to this question about one of the most important figures in the CoJCoLDS.

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Adam Sr./ Adam Jr is poor long-after-the-fact Apologetic construct, and you yourself have said the 'Plain reading' of Brigham's statements can't mean what they actually say or what all Brigham's associates who we have on record discussing (and disagreeing with or agreeing with) his teaching thought they said, because one needs to begin with the assumption that Brigham Young would never disregard or supersede common scriptural texts or doctrines - something which he very specifically did publicly in his sermons.

Adam Sr/Jr 'wrests' Brigham's words, as well as does violence to authentic attempts to understand LDS history and doctrinal and theological development. It's a temporarily safe but ultimately dangerous buffer zone for those unwilling to leave a hyper-conservative view of perpetual doctrinal consistency.

It's just as historically and critically sound as arguments from those who insist that Joseph Smith never participated in Plural Marriage in any way, shape, or form.

Nack you amaze me. If anyone could bring me back to the church.......it might be you.:P

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