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The Gospel And Always Giving Up Ground


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http://www.lds-mormon.com/jehovahasfather.shtml

Not sure about the scholarship of this article, but the quotes within it show the evolution of Mormon understanding of the Godhead.  And frankly, it's pretty arrogant to assume that we are more correct now than we were then without new revelation on the subject.

This article shows that:

In the Kirtland days of the Church our Godhead was more protestant.

In the Nauvoo days of the Chruch our Godhead became part of a larger community of Gods

In the late 19th Century in Utah our Godhead was based in Brigham Young's teachings

And today we have the Godhead that started in the early 1900s

Who knows what tomorrow's Godhead might look like? And yes, this applies to how we understand the term "Yaweh/Jehovah". It was applied to many individuals in our history by various prophets. Just as there have been many Adams (including hopefully us one day), there have been many Heavenly Fathers (Elohim) and there have been many Jehovahs. These are offices people fill. To quote the article:

Jehovah is a Priesthood office, is that found in the article?

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I do not think that is the only way.  I think there are many ways, depending on the details and the issue.  But I think you know this, as you say:

 

 

For example, let's take the issue of birth control.  There are many ways to reconcile this.  Here's mine:

 

The brethren, including all Presidents of the Church from Brigham Young to Ezra Taft Benson, made strong statements condemning birth control and encouraging lots of children.

 

However, the membership at large stopped listening.  They drifted away from that.  There was a survey done of BYU students way back in 1935 and 89% of them believed in birth control being OK.

 

So at some point, the leadership said "OK, why keep saying these things?  Clearly no one is listening."  The strong statements were not having any effect, you see?  And as Mormons we are very practical people.  The effect, the reality, the actions of the people -- this is what's important.  And so nowadays they talk up the cheery, positive side about how wonderful children are and you should have as many as you can and put children before career because they're so terrific and etc., rather than "you'll burn forever if you do birth control."  Om fact thjere were multiple talks at the last GenCon about this very thing.  Because what's the actual goal?  The real goal is bigger LDS families with more children.  That's the goal.  Having a letter read annually over the pulpit reminding everyone they can't go to the celestial kingdom if they intentionally restrict their number of children doesn't serve any purpose unless it causes the average family size statistics to go up.

 

What's more, never have they actually said that it is OK to practice birth control.  Never have they contradicted the earlier teachings.  The earlier teachings are all still true.

 

So that would be one example of a reconciliation that doesn't exactly fit neatly into a category like "the old guys were wrong, the new guys fixed things."

 

The idea of having 14 children as the minimal or be damned to Hell MAY have made sense when we could fit every member into the tabernacle in Salt Lake City. Now with roughly 15 million not so much.

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The idea of having 14 children as the minimal or be damned to Hell MAY have made sense when we could fit every member into the tabernacle in Salt Lake City. Now with roughly 15 million not so much.

 

Considering how important the birthrate is to Church growth, I suspect that smaller family sizes will become a huge problem for the Church over the next few decades.

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Considering how important the birthrate is to Church growth, I suspect that smaller family sizes will become a huge problem for the Church over the next few decades.

will become? It might already be a problem and we don't know it.

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Considering how important the birthrate is to Church growth, I suspect that smaller family sizes will become a huge problem for the Church over the next few decades.

 

Not really. Birth rate is incidental to Church growth rate. The reality is that we are far more dependent on converts than on births. Go look at the old graveyards. What we see is many children died before reproductive age. Now with modern medicine far more children survive to reproductive age. Even JS had that problem.

SEE http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Children_of_Joseph_Smith#Children_born_to_Emma_Hale_Smith

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Not really. Birth rate is incidental to Church growth rate. The reality is that we are far more dependent on converts than on births. Go look at the old graveyards. What we see is many children died before reproductive age. Now with modern medicine far more children survive to reproductive age. Even JS had that problem.

SEE http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Children_of_Joseph_Smith#Children_born_to_Emma_Hale_Smith

That's only true if we count members on record. Sadly most members on record aren't active and it is assumed many of those have no interest in the Church at all. real growth is coming from births these days. Don't get confused by the numbers.

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That's only true if we count members on record. Sadly most members on record aren't active and it is assumed many of those have no interest in the Church at all. real growth is coming from births these days. Don't get confused by the numbers.

 

What other way would there be but membership records? The reality is that the LDS are a statistically insignificant but growing fraction of the population of the world. Further we keep better records than any other religion. 

 

SEE http://eom.byu.edu/index.php/Vital_Statistics

 

CONVERSION. As a result of missionary efforts, 330,877 convert baptisms were reported in 1990, up from 210,777 in 1980. In 1987-1989, Church membership grew at approximately 4 percent per year because of convert baptisms (Fig. Eight) Conversion rates tend to be higher in areas where the LDS presence is relatively recent than in areas with more extended contact. Growth due to conversion during this period varied from a high of 13 percent in Africa to a low of.5 percent in Utah. Latin America and Asia had rates a little under 10 percent, Europe was a little above 5 percent, the eastern United States and the South Pacific were around 3 percent, and Canada and the western United States were between 1 and 2 percent.

Edited by thesometimesaint
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What other way would there be but membership records? The reality is that the LDS are a statistically insignificant but growing fraction of the population of the world. Further we keep better records than any other religion. 

 

SEE http://eom.byu.edu/index.php/Vital_Statistics

 

CONVERSION. As a result of missionary efforts, 330,877 convert baptisms were reported in 1990, up from 210,777 in 1980. In 1987-1989, Church membership grew at approximately 4 percent per year because of convert baptisms (Fig. Eight) Conversion rates tend to be higher in areas where the LDS presence is relatively recent than in areas with more extended contact. Growth due to conversion during this period varied from a high of 13 percent in Africa to a low of.5 percent in Utah. Latin America and Asia had rates a little under 10 percent, Europe was a little above 5 percent, the eastern United States and the South Pacific were around 3 percent, and Canada and the western United States were between 1 and 2 percent.

1990 seems like a lifetime ago when we talk about this topic. It seems from that year on it became, "Ok we're growing, but not growing as fast as we once did". I think baptisms of 8 years old is about half of that of covert baptisms. Our retention rate has been a big problem for a long time, though. It just doesn't seem to me that your statement that the Church is "far more" dependent on convert baptism is necessarily true.

In 1990 convert baptisms were at 330,000 and baptisms of 8 year olds were more lik 78,000. Now we are around 260,000 converts and 120,000 8 year olds. A much more significant piece of the pie is 8 year olds now. If we could factor in our retention this all might be more telling.

Edited by stemelbow
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The idea of having 14 children as the minimal or be damned to Hell MAY have made sense when we could fit every member into the tabernacle in Salt Lake City. Now with roughly 15 million not so much.

Exhibit A.

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1990 seems like a lifetime ago when we talk about this topic. It seems from that year on it became, "Ok we're growing, but not growing as fast as we once did". I think baptisms of 8 years old is about half of that of covert baptisms. Our retention rate has been a big problem for a long time, though. It just doesn't seem to me that your statement that the Church is "far more" dependent on convert baptism is necessarily true.

In 1990 convert baptisms were at 330,000 and baptisms of 8 year olds were more lik 78,000. Now we are around 260,000 converts and 120,000 8 year olds. A much more significant piece of the pie is 8 year olds now. If we could factor in our retention this all might be more telling.

 

I am an old convert from 1971. So I've seen small changes in the population dynamics of the Church. but overall growth rate has been pretty consistent over the last couple of decades. I agree that retention is a problem and am pleased we're giving it more attention now. But that really isn't related to conversion numbers.

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I just follow what the GAs and prophets say. Or at least I try to.

inspite of the Holy Ghost?  I think anytime any of us say, I follow or try to follow leaders explicitly and leave no room to either dissent if the spirit tells us to or to leave room to not follow them in certain cases is by its definition Blind Obedience.  We are to reason things out and since not every statement said by a leader is Binding on the Church (Elder Christofferson - "Doctrine of Christ") than the Church has essentially told us we are not to follow every thing they say but rather to look for that which they teach unitedly and that which the Holy Ghost leads us to do.

Edited by DBMormon
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I tend to stick with the old beliefs and believe they are true.  Is that bad?  

 

I don't generally have any problem reconciling the words and official teachings of the current leaders with the old ones, either.  To me, it all fits together and is a logical and consistent whole.

 

How do you mesh the teaching by the Church in the 1940 that blacks were fence sitters with the teaching today that it is a disavowed theory?  Please help me fit those two with both being true?

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The Restoration is ongoing.

 

As we continue God will tear down more and more of our superstitions. It is going to be an exciting ride. Then one day I get to learn absolute truth and rule the Universe. Why would anyone want to leave just because we drop some barnacles from the good ship Zion and the ride gets faster and more exciting?Go

Agreed.  The foundation for the restoration has been laid, much of the building builit.  But, it isn't finished yet.  "For behold, thus saith the Lord God: I will give unto the children of men line upon line, precept upon precept, here a little and there a little; and blessed are those who hearken unto my precepts, and lend an ear unto my counsel, for they shall learn wisdom; for unto him that receiveth I will give more; and from them that shall say, We have enough, from them shall be taken away even that which they have..."  In my opinion God can only reveal more to us when we are willing and ready to accept it.  Not that He is limited, but we are.   

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