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Focus On Family


MorningStar

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I've heard it stated at least a few times that the church wasn't always about family and it was more of a PR move. I thought we could discuss the church's history on this and where these claims come from that it wasn't an emphasis before.

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I've heard [focus on the family] stated at least a few times that the church wasn't always about family and it was more of a PR move. I thought we could discuss the church's history on this and where these claims come from that it wasn't an emphasis before.

Well, lessee:

We don't know much about what happened in the Sacred Grove. The infinitesimal amount of information Joseph recorded in his History can't begin to cover it all. But, we do know much more of what happened in the first (four) visits from Moroni. Among this information, we have the slightly modified quotation from Malachi, you know, "the hearts of the children", and all that.

Of all passages of scripture, only that one, as far as I know, is quoted or paraphrased in every one of the five standard works: the Old Testament, the New Testament, the Book of Mormon, the Pearl of Great Price, and a half dozen times in the Doctrine and Covenants.

Now, it was not well understood, even by Joseph, for a couple of decades after that first modern recitation, and even longer for some of the earlier Saints, but I'd say the focus of God, if not directly echoed by His Church, has been evident from the very beginning. (I suggest that most Saints, even today, do not understand it very well.)

Lehi

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Seems to me our critics throw up that line regarding everything we emphasize. It's all recent, all in response to Issue X, they insist. Our claim to be Christian. Our love for the Bible. The Word of Wisdom.

And the ultimate claim: that the Book of Mormon itself covers every subject that was discussed in upstate New York in the first years of the 19th century. Which is ridiculous. People have been debating the same philosophical and theological issues since the birth of Christianity. What good would the Book of Mormon be if it DIDN't provide answers to some of those questions?

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I've heard criticisms that the church used "familes can be together forever" as a marketing tool and that it didn't always teach that. With how long sealings have been around, I don't know where they get that from.

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I've heard it stated at least a few times that the church wasn't always about family and it was more of a PR move. I thought we could discuss the church's history on this and where these claims come from that it wasn't an emphasis before.

The earliest reference I have heard concerning mormon families having a special bond is from the rewards Smith offered to Helen Mar Kimball for agreeing to be his wife. “If you will take this step, it will ensure your eternal salvation and exaltation & that of your father’s household & all of your kindred."

So I think you would have to start there.

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The earliest reference I have heard concerning mormon families having a special bond is from the rewards Smith offered to Helen Mar Kimball for agreeing to be his wife. “If you will take this step, it will ensure your eternal salvation and exaltation & that of your father’s household & all of your kindred."

So I think you would have to start there.

Even though you meant this as a jab at Joseph, you are very nearly right. The correct wording would have been: "I think you would have to start no later than this."

Lehi

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Even though you meant this as a jab at Joseph, you are very nearly right. The correct wording would have been: "I think you would have to start no later than this."

Lehi

Unless and until you find an earlier reference, my wording works just fine, thanks.

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Jaybear:

1 Corinthians 11:11

Nevertheless neither is the man without the woman, neither the woman without the man, in the Lord.

While that is a nice quote, I see no reference to an eternal bond in that quote, let alone any reference to an eternal family bond.

So I am not sure what is your point to the cite.

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While that is a nice quote, I see no reference to an eternal bond in that quote, let alone any reference to an eternal family bond.

I see no reference to "eternal bond" or "eternal family bond" in the original post. It was just about family.

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I've heard it stated at least a few times that the church wasn't always about family and it was more of a PR move. I thought we could discuss the church's history on this and where these claims come from that it wasn't an emphasis before.

The Church tends to have its own trends (or "fads") that receive especial and come and go over the years. The gospel itself doesn't change, the doctrines stay pretty consistent, but the programs and policies and curriculum tend to vary.

This may be the result of revelation that is needed for a specific time and place, or it may have something to do with the Church's PR firm, or it could be the particular hobby doctrine of an influential GA. I suspect it's a mixture of all three.

As for "families are forever", I think the principle of families being together forever has been around since the 1830s, but it didn't really receive such specific emphasis until the latter half of the 20th century.

I would be curious to see actual data on how much more Temple Marriage and modesty are emphasized with the youth today compared to generations past. I remember those being taught, of course, but nothing like the frequency with which today's youth are "encouraged".

neweralp.nfo:o:1489.jpg

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I see no reference to "eternal bond" or "eternal family bond" in the original post. It was just about family.

Yes, but its Morningstar's OP, and she later clarified the specific criticism the OP addressed: I've heard criticisms that the church used "familes can be together forever" as a marketing tool and that it didn't always teach that. With how long sealings have been around, I don't know where they get that from.

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cinepro:

The idea of "Eternal Family" has a long history going back to at least the time of Christ. So it isn't original with JS. If we are looking a just JS the latest possible date was D&C 132, and probably earlier

Section 132

Revelation given through Joseph Smith the Prophet, at Nauvoo, Illinois, recorded 12 July 1843, relating to the new and everlasting covenant, including the eternity of the marriage covenant, and also the plurality of wives (see History of the Church, 5:501–7). Although the revelation was recorded in 1843, it is evident from the historical records that the doctrines and principles involved in this revelation had been known by the Prophet since 1831.but I propose JS knew about it from reading the Bible.

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The idea of "Eternal Family" has a long history going back to at least the time of Christ. So it isn't original with JS.

It seems that Jesus—if the New Testament is to be trusted—wasn't particularly pro-family. He seems to have chosen celibacy himself (like his mentor John the Baptist perhaps) and he encouraged his unmarried disciples to do the same: "Let the one who is able to receive this receive it" (Matthew 19:12).

(Celibacy "for the sake of the kingdom of heaven" makes sense if you believe the world will end soon, which Jesus apparently did. Obviously it isn't very practical over the long term—just ask the Shakers.)

Jesus emphasized fictive kinship over natural relationships: "Whoever does the will of God, he is my brother and sister and mother" (Mark 3:35).

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I've heard it stated at least a few times that the church wasn't always about family and it was more of a PR move. I thought we could discuss the church's history on this and where these claims come from that it wasn't an emphasis before.

It has been all about Family from the beginning. See D&C 137 received in 1836. He went to his parents home he was so excited that Alvin had received the Gospel, that he wept.

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True we have no direct evidence(we do have circumstantial evidence) that Jesus was married during his mortal ministry. But he was big on marriage, and the Apostles were married.

What evidence is there that Jesus was "big on marriage"?

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Jaybear:

You don't?

It takes both sexes working together to be with the Lord.

Hogwash. A single person, all by herself/himself can "be with" the Lord. You're confusing exaltation in the highest degree of the Celestial Kingdom with "being with" the Lord. Heck, by your definition, Mother Theresa was not "in" with God! :rolleyes:

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It has been all about Family from the beginning.

That's kind of sad. It should have been about God.

Just sayin' ;)

Don't get me wrong, I'm all in favor of families. But that's not what church is supposed to be about.

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Nevo:

Divorce is a sad reality to far too many couples today. Personally I believe, barring murder, any marriage can be saved if both members really want to. That doesn't mean it is easy, just that it can be done.

I really can't speak to the motivation(s) of someone long dead, beyond what they actually wrote. But I do believe God wants to save all of his family too.

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