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We all pass thru different stages in our lives. I passed thru a stage when I was critical of the brethren. But then I read Nibley's "On Criticizing the Brethren", also I just matured a bit ... and now I don't ever criticize the brethren. It's not that I think they are perfect or they don't make mistakes ... it's just that I've matured and I think that it's also so easy to criticize, especially with hindsight, when the mature thing is to be supportive and positive.

My favorite, or one of my favorite, Joseph Smith quotes, is:

"If the brethren will throw a cloak of charity over my sins, I will do the same for them."

Elder Packer was a good man. He had a hard job to do, and he did it as best he could. This is the way I like to think of him.

Edited by bdouglas
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3 hours ago, stemelbow said:

Again this is a bit misleading.  In Packer's talk he really questions historians who want to tell the truth by saying they want to make a profit or because of their egos.  This podcaster, who I think is Corbin V, turns it around if that's what Packer wants to say of historians.  Because Church leaders too have published works.  But why question a historian for publishing works?  It was a terrible point and effort by Packer. 

 

Not so. BKP was referring to people asking for access to Church history documents.... "Those who seek entrance into restricted church libraries and files to secretly copy materials….and steal it away in hopes of finding some detail that has not been published." Then he questions the motives of those people. Arrington was not one who sought entrance into restricted files so that he could steal away information to publish. 
 

Quote

 “This in order that they may sell it for money, or profit in some way from its publication, or inflate an ego by being first to publish it.” (BKP)

So what he {BKP] wants to do is give and attribute the worst motivation to any historian who is actually doing his or her job by trying to find new information. They must be doing it so that they can get money or profit from it in some way from its publication.

Just a little side note. I got a text message from my son last night where as he was selling all these different books that have been written by General Authorities and the prices that they were selling them for. I think that there are more than just historians who are selling publications for money in this Church or profit in some way from its publication or inflate an ego by being first to publish it - that’s how he closes that book - inflate an ego by being first to publish it.

I can’t speak about a person with inflated egos though some people think I have a very inflated ego. All I can say is that if a person is convinced that they speak for God chances are their ego may be a little inflated as well.

 

Edited by Bernard Gui
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9 minutes ago, James Tunney said:

Why is making money so horrible for Runnells when the apostles, and seventies earn money from what they do?

It's fine, I guess, if he can make his living trying to destroy the church. There are certainly going to be people who will be willing to pay him to do this (even though he is uneducated and has zero professional qualifications as a historian or anything but a computer programmer). But your question was, why was he excommunicated? Of course the church is going to excommunicate someone who is hell-bent on destroying it.

Edited by bdouglas
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18 hours ago, Bernard Gui said:

On a thread that was closed for not supplying a topic for discussion.....

I listened to the podcast. It takes apart Elder Packer's CES address where he defined what is a faithful/faith-promoting history of the Church.

He calls his blog "Radio Free Mormon broadcasting behind enemy lines." Who is his enemy? It appears his enemy is the Church and its leaders.

An hour-long monologue making a case that Boyd Packer was immoral, unethical, and a liar who worshipped a false God based on his CES talk about church history and Leonard Arrington. Also accuses the General Authorities of publishing books for the purpose of making a profit. He doesn't like Elder Packer who is portrayed as an evil man. Also dredges up the Gordon Hinckley's "I don't know" interview to question his integrity. Church leaders are part of a deceptive conspiracy to cover up the truth of church history.

Some here knew Leonard Arrington. I have enjoyed his writings. Is it fair to say he was demoted from his position as Church Historian to a professor at BYU? Is it fair to claim Elder Packer was an unethical liar?

Oh my! Sounds like a podcast dripping with toxicity.

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33 minutes ago, stemelbow said:

Let's just say, then, when I read your OP I felt mislead by what the podcast said.  Your subsequent explanations about the points raised did much better. 

Let's just say that my OP was not misleading and I have backed it up with direct quotes. On the other hand, you jumped to the conclusion that I was prevaricating. I assume you are speaking after having listened to the podcast. It's crystal clear what RFM thinks of Elder Packer. I don't believe he is speaking "over the top" at all. The OP is not about defending Elder Packer, but instead examining the criticizer's message.

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19 minutes ago, bdouglas said:

You know, back in the day, I was never a big fan of Elder Packer — when I was a young man and he was still relatively young. I was too young to remember Leonard Arrington and "Camelot", but if I had been around then, I would have been sad to see him go. But as others have pointed in other threads, it was Leonard Arrington's vision which ultimately prevailed. The church history dept. was eventually revamped and real historians came on board. We are now getting more of the "whole story" (although this "whole story", for the most part, was always available), and I think overall it is a good thing.

So I say, let's give Elder Packer a pass. When I read his talk to CES people, and I read in context of the times (the 1970s?), I don't see anything that strikes me as ... I dunno ... devious or dishonest. It seems to me, given the time and context, to have been sound counsel and direction.

Sounds good.  I'm happy to give him a pass, but that doesn't keep me from disagreeing with his point.  I don't think he's off to hell or nothing.  I also accept that he was trying his best and saying what he thought was appropriate.  His intention, it seems obvious to me, was to keep people in the Church and so what he said made sense in light of that.  But, I still disagree with the approach and the whole concept of his position.  I'm more of a let people have access, keep things as open as possible and let the chips fall where they may, because either way, chips are going to fall. 

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3 minutes ago, Bernard Gui said:

Let's just say that my OP was not misleading and I have backed it up with direct quotes. On the other hand, you jumped to the conclusion that I was prevaricating. I assume you are speaking after having listened to the podcast. It's crystal clear what RFM thinks of Elder Packer. I don't believe he is speaking "over the top" at all. The OP is not about defending Elder Packer, but instead examining the criticizer's message.

I've stated why I objected to some fo your characterizations in the OP.  I'm happy to let readers, if there be any (particularly of my posts), decide. 

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22 minutes ago, bdouglas said:

So I say, let's give Elder Packer a pass. When I read his talk to CES people, and I read in context of the times (the 1970s?), I don't see anything that strikes me as ... I dunno ... devious or dishonest. It seems to me, given the time and context, to have been sound counsel and direction.

I am old enough to remember those halcyon days. I have some personal knowledge of Elder Packer and am more than willing to give him the benefit of the doubt. In many ways he was the designated spear catcher for the Church, a thankless position, as the above podcast so aptly illustrates. I do not attribute his zealousness to dishonesty, immorality, or lack of integrity.

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13 minutes ago, Bernard Gui said:

 

Not so. BKP was referring to people asking for access to Church history documents.... "Those who seek entrance into restricted church libraries and files to secretly copy materials….and steal it away in hopes of finding some detail that has not been published." Then he questions the motives of those people. Arrington was not one who sought entrance into restricted files so that he could steal away information to publish. 
 

 

I believe he suggested some such people were there, as in in the audience, when he gave the speech.  So that would include Church employees doing research. How anyone would think it stealing for people to have access to documents to copy those documents is beyond me.  But I'd agree in part, I think Elder Packer had folks like the Tanners in mind on this point, moreso than Arrington.  I believe the Tanners often requested access to restricted files for their own efforts to bring down the Church. 

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14 minutes ago, Scott Lloyd said:

Oh my! Sounds like a podcast dripping with toxicity.

You may read some of the lines I have quoted to decide for yourself. 

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2 minutes ago, stemelbow said:

I believe he suggested some such people were there, as in in the audience, when he gave the speech.  So that would include Church employees doing research. How anyone would think it stealing for people to have access to documents to copy those documents is beyond me.  But I'd agree in part, I think Elder Packer had folks like the Tanners in mind on this point, moreso than Arrington.  I believe the Tanners often requested access to restricted files for their own efforts to bring down the Church. 

And make a living at it, which was what BKP was criticizing at that point. To turn it back on BKP, the Church, and other General Authorities  as RFM did is not justified.

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2 minutes ago, Bernard Gui said:

And make a living at it, which was what BKP was criticizing at that point. To turn it back on BKP, the Church, and other General Authorities  as RFM did is not justified.

You've nailed the problem I had with the podcast--which is the podcaster was want to make the whole speech about Arrington, when the attempt at context was enlightening it still failed to take into the rest of the context, which in part had to be those like the Tanners.  So I dropped his podcast down to a B.  I'd have given him a B+ if he had at least mentioned the rest of the context, an A- if he weighed the context as a whole, and perhaps an A if he did all that and refrained from making it so much about his dislike for Packer and the Church. 

maybe I'm an easy grader. 

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1 hour ago, bdouglas said:

The church excommunicated Jeremy Runnells because...

Jeremy was not excommunicated.  He resigned because the church attempted to excommunicated him rather than provide official answers to his questions.

Edited by Oliver_Cowdery
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40 minutes ago, stemelbow said:

I've stated why I objected to some fo your characterizations in the OP.  I'm happy to let readers, if there be any (particularly of my posts), decide. 

It would be better to listen to the podcast to make that decision.

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1 hour ago, bdouglas said:

The idea was, we don't give our critics, our enemies, the ammunition they will later use to bloody our noses. It's the same attitude not only Elder Packer had but also J. Rueben Clark and others from that same time.

The attitude of church leaders now is changing. It's a different world, and we must adapt.

No. Same world.  The saints in 1930 or 1970 were just as worthy of this information as we are.  The only difference is they didn't have the internet.

 

Ultimately, the Church is dealing with one eternal truth: there are certain things in Church history that make certain people not want to be members of the Church when they learn about them. 

Until recently, the Church could try to deal with this by minimizing exposure to those things.  Now, they have to deal with it in other ways (by controlling the manner and degree to which Church members are exposed, pretending that this information has always been available etc.)

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31 minutes ago, Oliver_Cowdery said:

Jeremy was not excommunicated.  He resigned because the church attempted to excommunicated him rather than provide official answers to his questions.

Yes, you are right. Sorry.

But I will say re: Mr. Runnells "questions", that he reminds me of a 12 year old who confronts his parents with a set of questions, questions that a 12 year old might ask, questions which in some cases do not have answers or in other cases have answers but answers which a 12 year old is not prepared to understand. Or maybe the parents answer the boy's questions (which is really what the church did, since every question Mr. Runnells asked has been addressed by multiple authors over many years) but the boy doesn't like the answers: "Your answers are unsatisfactory!" he says. And observing his parents' pathetic failure to answer his questions, he says, "OK, I'm done! I'm outa' here!", and he flings out the door never to return again.

I use in my example a 12 year old boy for the simple reason that Mr. Runnells strikes me not only as uneducated but immature — and oblivious to the nuances of the religion he supposedly knows so well.

 

Edited by bdouglas
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2 hours ago, Oliver_Cowdery said:

 

You are absolutely right.  I have since discovered just how wrong I used to be.  I used to trust church leaders and sources. I no longer do.  Knowledge really is power.

And in the future you may just learn how wrong you are today.  

Keep learning :D

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2 hours ago, cinepro said:

But is it honest...?

 

If I tell a lie, is it fair to say that it isn't really a "lie" because the other person could have done research and found out I wasn't telling the whole truth, so it's their fault, not mine?

Are you completely honest?

Is there anything you have left out?

Have you been forthcoming about everything?

Is it even possible to tell the whole truth? Without leaving anything out?

 

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1 hour ago, James Tunney said:

The point is that we just got them. So, obviously they weren't available until now meaning that they were hidden from the public. Is this about semantics? Could you just admit that the church hasnt been open about its history and that in the past it attacked those who brought out the unflattering history? Further, the church just excommunicated Mr. Runnells because he pointed out the troubling history.

Have people cared about the minutes of the Council of 50 in 1920? how many people today even knew it existed let alone the minutes of it? I am aware of Runnells but people knew that stuff long before he ever came along and became. According to Runnells he resigned. I know that you can't always get what you want but it's more of archives issue, not a Church issue. I was just denied a copy of something of my deceased Great Aunt from the city archives, but you move on with life right?!

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2 hours ago, Oliver_Cowdery said:

 

You are absolutely right.  I have since discovered just how wrong I used to be.  I used to trust church leaders and sources. I no longer do.  Knowledge really is power.

The truth will set you free!

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But still, I wish him well (Mr. Runnells) ... only I wish he did not find it necessary to attack his former religion. How many Catholics are there who, leaving Catholicism, make a career (a paying career!) out of attacking their former religion?

Maybe he will find answers in another religion — the Baptists, maybe, or even Atheism (which is, in fact, a religion). Or maybe he will become New Age, which says, "Just follow your heart!"

I think there is something more going on with Mr. Runnells than supposedly not finding answers to his questions: this was the ostensible reason for his resigning from the church, but not the real reason, I think. To be human is to have questions — and not find answers. Mormonism has more answers to more questions than any other religion on earth, and if Mr. Runnells isn't happy with that — well then, I don't know where is he going to be happy.

(Sorry for the derail.)

Edited by bdouglas
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10 minutes ago, bdouglas said:

I use in my example a 12 year old boy for the simple reason that Mr. Runnells strikes me not only as uneducated but immature — and oblivious to the nuances of the religion he supposedly knows so well.

Frankly, there is way too much of that going on.  Let's stay clear of personal attacks and focus on the meat of the issues.

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2 minutes ago, bdouglas said:

I think there is something more going on with Mr. Runnells than supposedly not finding answers to his questions: this was the ostensible reason for his leaving, but not the real reason, I think. To be human is to have questions — and not find answers. Mormonism has more answers to more questions than any other religion on earth, and if Mr. Runnells isn't happy with that — well then, I don't know where is he going to be happy.

I think he was possibly looking at the quality of the answers more than the quantity.

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I'll say personally I'd rather learn the hard truth about things than be told a comforting lie. The truth really is the best thing for everyone to learn. What the real hard truth is I have no idea, but I'd want to know it. I don't like being lied to.

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      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n2G7k1ggz7k&feature=em-uploademail
      One thing I caught that I hadn't heard before was when Terryl asks her about whether she felt a sense of loss and a sense of jubilation when studying the history of the RS.  Joseph envisioned a more collaborative relationship with the male priesthood, more autonomy, abundance of spiritual gifts, authority to administer ordinances including healing by the laying of hands.  Kate responds that she understands the hyperfocus on this time period, but she feels there is a lost opportunity in recognizing the accomplishments of the women of the 20th century - she then backtracks a bit and says:
      "I don't want to say that their isn't a difference, between - a time when a woman was able to say I have this terrific idea she's say the General RS president and she goes and talks to the president of the church about it.  That is certainly different than now, when she goes and talks to someone in the presiding bishopric, and it has to go through several levels to even get to the president.  There is a loss, and there is a difference."
      I had no idea that the General RS president did not have direct access to the quorum of the 12, and first presidency?  Why in 3 heavens does the general RS president still have such an auxiliary level of access to the presiding apostolic quorum, access to financial influence through Pres Bishopric perhaps, but no real budget to work with?  No seat on the correlation committee?  
      Kate has a great story about how Ardeth Greene Kapp (General YW president 84-92') while receiving a downpour of revelation would use innovative, clever ways and technology to push the ideas upward through the hierarchy.  
    • By FearlessFixxer
      http://www.sltrib.com/opinion/commentary/2017/11/26/commentary-the-gaslighting-within-mormonism-must-stop/
    • By canard78
      Elder Maynes CES devotional went into extensive detail on the first vision accounts last night. 
      Starts at 35:20:
      https://www.lds.org/broadcasts/the-truth-restored?lang=eng&_r=1
      I'm delighted that the essays and these topics are gradually becoming more mainstream. My mum (a primary president) even plans to use parts of the vision essay in sharing time this month (it's the "truth restored" section of the manual). I'll share this talk and article with her too as it's got some useful suggestions.
      A couple of questions: 
      - He said Joseph "wrote or dictated" the four accounts. Is that the best description of how the official account was written? I'll have to look up the Bushman reference I'm thinking of as I seem to remember him saying somewhere that the official version was a bit more of a co-creation or collaboration with Rigdon. I might be misremembering that so will try to check it.
      - He also says that it's the best documented vision in history. I wondered what the other contenders would be. 
      Any other thoughts?
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