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17 minutes ago, VideoGameJunkie said:

There's a problem in a church when the pastor is the richest member of the congregation twenty times over.

How true VGJ...how true!

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4 hours ago, Kevin Christensen said:

You could look here:

http://www.mormoninterpreter.com/eye-of-the-beholder-law-of-the-harvest-observations-on-the-inevitable-consequences-of-the-different-investigative-approaches-of-jeremy-runnells-and-jeff-lindsay/#more-5242

and

http://www.mormoninterpreter.com/image-is-everything-pay-no-attention-to-the-man-behind-the-curtain/

for my responses.

Or here for comprehensive responses from FAIR Mormon:

http://en.fairmormon.org/Criticism_of_Mormonism/Online_documents/Letter_to_a_CES_Director

There are several very well informed people who have responded to Runnells.

Joseph's Money Digging is mentioned in the Joseph Smith 1838 History and canonized in the Pearl of Great Price. And it has been the subject of many articles and books since the mid 80s. The multiple First Vision accounts have been published in BYU Studies, and discussed in The Improvement Era in 1970, and several times since, as well as Bachman's First Vision, and several other books readily available from Deseret Book and elsewhere and many essays.  I'm 62 years old and I can't remember when I didn't know about seer stones. 

The important thing about being scandalized by such things, is the sense of entitlement based on the premise that my teachers and manuals all ought to know everything and they are responsible to give me everything without any effort on my part.  I've not scandalized because I don't expect everything to be given to me, and I do not assume that my teachers know everything.  But I have found seeking out of the best books to be continually rewarding.  And I have noticed that which books are the best changes over time.

FWIW

Kevin Christensen

Canonsburg, PA

Thanks Kevin. Ive read your responses and Runnells reply. Are you arguing that the church didn't have only one version of its history taught in sunday school, seminary, institute, and by the missionaries?

I've known about these things for a while too (since the 70's). Nevertheless, i think its clear the church de-emphasized seer stones and cannonized only one version of the first vision, and had only one version of its history that was taught. I never heard about multiple accounts in sunday school. The canonized version was the only one taught and it was assumed that that was the true account.

I was around when Grant Palmer was suddenly removed as our seminary principal because he was teaching Nelson's daughter, Benson's grandson, and other GA kids and grandkids true but "not useful" things (seer stones, multiple first vision accts, etc.).  Too bad because he was a good teacher but didnt want to follow Packer's decree about sanitizing the history.

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1 minute ago, James Tunney said:

Thanks Kevin. Ive read your responses and Runnells reply. Are you arguing that the church didn't have only one version of its history taught in sunday school, seminary, institute, and by the missionaries?

I've known about these things for a while too (since the 70's). Nevertheless, i think its clear the church de-emphasized seer stones and cannonized only one version of the first vision, and had only one version of its history that was taught. I never heard about multiple accounts in sunday school. The canonized version was the only one taught and it was assumed that that was the true account.

I was around when Grant Palmer was suddenly removed as our seminary principal because he was teaching Nelson's daughter, Benson's grandson, and other GA kids and grandkids true but "not useful" things (seer stones, multiple first vision accts, etc.).  Too bad because he was a good teacher but didnt want to follow Packer's decree about sanitizing the history.

This.  Thank you for putting into 3 paragraphs the understanding of all my "whys and what fores",

 

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3 hours ago, Tacenda said:

Exaltation to me never meant be a God I guess. I've really been a dummy all my Mormon life, I've never had missionary discussions, maybe I should have the missionary discussions because I'd like to ask them what exaltation means.

http://www.mormonnewsroom.org/article/mormonism-101#C13

Do Latter-day Saints believe they can become “gods”?

Latter-day Saints believe that God wants us to become like Him. But this teaching is often misrepresented by those who caricature the faith. The Latter-day Saint belief is no different than the biblical teaching, which states, “The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God: and if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together” (Romans 8:16-17). Through following Christ's teachings, Latter-day Saints believe all people can become "partakers of the divine nature" (2 Peter 1:4).

Partakers or actual Gods?

I would recommend that you do take the discussions.  All you need to do is contact your ward mission leader.

I am surprised you missed this teaching.  You may find there are other misunderstandings you have about LDS doctrine.

It would be better to learn from them than on a discussion forum like this.

 

 

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24 minutes ago, Kevin Christensen said:

There was the six volume History of Joseph Smith and the B.H. Roberts Comprehensive History of the Church, the History of Joseph Smith by His Mother, and various manuals, journal articles, Magazine articles, a wide range of histories by a range of LDS historians of varied abilities and temperaments, including for instance, Francis Kirkham's helpful New Witness volumes that gathered many early hostile accounts.

The first publication of Lucy Mack Smith's history of Joseph Smith did not include any mention of the first vision.  It was later inserted (in other editions) after Brigham Young ordered members to destroy their copies of the first edition.

Edited by ALarson
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6 minutes ago, ALarson said:

The first publication of Lucy Mack Smith's history of Joseph Smith did not include any mention of the first vision.  It was later inserted (in other editions) after Brigham Young ordered members to destroy their copies of the first edition.

What?   Why did BY ask them to do this?  I may have heard this before but just can't remember. 

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10 minutes ago, Jeanne said:

What?   Why did BY ask them to do this?  I may have heard this before but just can't remember. 

Here's some information on it:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_Joseph_Smith_by_His_Mother

Lucy only writes about the angel appearing in Joseph's bedroom.  Here is what was in Lucy's first edition (a version of the 1st vision account was inserted in the later editions, but was word for word the same as other accounts by then):

"About this The 3 harvest time had now arrived since we  opened our new farm and all the our sons were actively  employed in assisting their Father to cut down the grain  and storing it away in order, for winter One evening  we were sitting till quite late conversing upon the  subject of the diversity of churches that had risen up  in the world and the many thousand opinions in existence as to the truths contained in scripture  Joseph who never said many words upon any subject  but always seemed to reflect more deeply than common persons of his age upon everything of a religious  nature This After we ceased conversation he went to  bed <and was pondering in his mind which of the churches were the true one.> an but he had not laid there long till <he saw> a bright  <light> entered the room where he lay he looked up and  saw an angel of the Lord stood <standing> by him The angel spoke  I perceive that you are enquiring in your mind which is  the true church there is not a true church on Earth No  not one Nor <and> has not been since Peter took the Keys <of the Melchesidec priesthood after the order of God> into the  Kingdom of Heaven the churches that are now upon the Earth are all man made churches."

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7 minutes ago, ALarson said:

Here's some information on it:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_Joseph_Smith_by_His_Mother

Lucy only writes about the angel appearing in Joseph's bedroom.  Here is what was in Lucy's first edition (a version of the 1st vision account was inserted in the later editions, but was word for word the same as other accounts by then):

"About this The 3 harvest time had now arrived since we  opened our new farm and all the our sons were actively  employed in assisting their Father to cut down the grain  and storing it away in order, for winter One evening  we were sitting till quite late conversing upon the  subject of the diversity of churches that had risen up  in the world and the many thousand opinions in existence as to the truths contained in scripture  Joseph who never said many words upon any subject  but always seemed to reflect more deeply than common persons of his age upon everything of a religious  nature This After we ceased conversation he went to  bed <and was pondering in his mind which of the churches were the true one.> an but he had not laid there long till <he saw> a bright  <light> entered the room where he lay he looked up and  saw an angel of the Lord stood <standing> by him The angel spoke  I perceive that you are enquiring in your mind which is  the true church there is not a true church on Earth No  not one Nor <and> has not been since Peter took the Keys <of the Melchesidec priesthood after the order of God> into the  Kingdom of Heaven the churches that are now upon the Earth are all man made churches."

Thank you.  I had forgotten about this version from Lucy.  I wish that she had given a name of the angel.  That was so confusing too.  Thanks again.

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11 hours ago, ALarson said:

Not quite the same, but I'm sure you know that.  Good tactic though :) 

I'm looking forward to reading your life history. ;)

 

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11 hours ago, Tacenda said:

Exaltation to me never meant be a God I guess. I've really been a dummy all my Mormon life, I've never had missionary discussions, maybe I should have the missionary discussions because I'd like to ask them what exaltation means.

http://www.mormonnewsroom.org/article/mormonism-101#C13

Do Latter-day Saints believe they can become “gods”?

Latter-day Saints believe that God wants us to become like Him. But this teaching is often misrepresented by those who caricature the faith. The Latter-day Saint belief is no different than the biblical teaching, which states, “The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God: and if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together” (Romans 8:16-17). Through following Christ's teachings, Latter-day Saints believe all people can become "partakers of the divine nature" (2 Peter 1:4).

Partakers or actual Gods?

First Presidency Official Declaration 1909 

https://www.lds.org/ensign/2002/02/the-origin-of-man?lang=eng

Quote

Man is the child of God, formed in the divine image and endowed with divine attributes, and even as the infant son of an earthly father and mother is capable in due time of becoming a man, so the undeveloped offspring of celestial parentage is capable, by experience through ages and aeons, of evolving into a God.

 

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On 10/26/2016 at 8:42 PM, bdouglas said:

Now for anyone who was interested in the straight, or factual, history of the church, it was always available. You could get B. H. Roberts history of the church at any Deseret Book, and all of the other “factual” church histories at any library, especially the BYU library and the church’s own library in Salt Lake. So forgive me if I find it funny that the people who were too lazy to seek out these books and instead relied on the church to spoon feed them, now blame the church for “hiding” the truth from them.

Especially for those of us who were teenagers in the 1970's and living in the San Fernando Valley. Yep, all that factual history was right at our fingertips.

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On Wednesday, October 26, 2016 at 11:35 PM, Nevo said:

I'm not sure what your definition of "available" is, but to this day BYU restricts access to Fawn Brodie's and Dan Vogel's biographies of Joseph Smith. You can't find them on the shelves or even in the non-circulating reference section. The only copies are squirreled away in Special Collections. To see them, you need to fill out a Reading Privilege Request form and provide photo identification. Approval is "limited to those who show scholarly intent." Assuming you clear all of these hurdles, you are only allowed to read the books in the reading room (after your phone and other personal belongings have been securely stowed in a locker). It's clear to me that BYU doesn't want to make these books readily available to students—otherwise they would just put them on the shelves and let people sign them out.

Umm????

I can get these books, via interlibrary loan, from any public library. 

I can BUY them, used, probably quite cheaply from AbeBooks,  e-Bay, or Amazon, among other venues. 

How is it that BYU's library is so stingy about access to such readily available materials? 

I'm not a fan of material designed to provoke a faith crisis.  But if the post cited accurately reflects BYU policy about these two author's books,  it seems a bit overdone. And, futile.  

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It is possible the books are limited in part for their protection and not for readers' protection, the librarians don't want to keep having to replace them.  BYU Library has had a lot of problems in the past with zealots destroying art and other books the fanatics have labeled unsuitable.  I had not heard it specified for books many see as antiMormon, especially among the highly conservatives of our community and it makes sense that they would be more targeted than even the alleged 'porn'.  Thus the librarians restrict the merely curious because they are the ones who deface the books.  Speculation, would be interesting to see if this is a minor consideration as it is in all libraries or major.

Obviously the phone would not be used by a defacer so defacement would not be the only reason for restriction and might be just a minor consideration.  It is most likely a pretty extensive collection and the rules make more sense with other books in the collection which are not so widely available.

I wonder what the rules are at other libraries regarding tech, etc.

Edited by Calm
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Looks like restriction of cell phones is SOP:

https://libraries.psu.edu/policies/ul-sp01

"PURPOSE:

The following guidelines inform Special Collections patrons of rules and procedures necessary for protecting rare books, archival collections, manuscripts and other materials.  Reading room privileges may be limited or withdrawn for failure to comply with all procedures and any special restrictions on collections.  Mutilation or theft of archival and library materials is illegal under Pennsylvania statutes and University regulations, and offenders will be prosecuted.

ACCESS:

Materials are available to all patrons subject to the following rules and procedures.  Use of archival, manuscript, pictorial, audio-visual, and other unpublished materials may be subject to additional restrictions.  Materials do not circulate; their use is restricted to the reading room.

PERSONAL PROPERTY:

Patrons are required to sign in for a locker key at the reception desk.  Patrons must lock any personal property such as coats, purses, backpacks, briefcases, cell phones, computer cases, notebooks, and books in lockers.  Paper and pencils or a laptop computer are allowed in the reading room and may be inspected upon leaving.  Locker keys must be returned to the reception desk by the end of each day.

RESTRICTIONS:

Eating, drinking, cell phones, and use of tobacco in any form are NOT permitted in the Special Collections Library.

REGISTRATION:

Patrons are required to sign a registration form indicating compliance with the rules and procedures as outlined in this document.

HANDLING:

Handle materials with extreme care, and leave them in the same order and condition in which they were provided.  Make no marks on the materials, write no notes on top of materials, make no tracings of maps or drawings, and rest no books or other objects on the face or surface of items used.  Do not place notepaper on top of materials while taking notes.  Handle loose sheets or book pages by the edge; avoid touching the surface with hands.  Wear gloves at all times when handling unsleeved photographs.  No adhesives, including Post-it notes, may be used on any materials including photographs.  All materials must be kept flat on tables at all times.  Foam book supports and book weights are available to gently hold open tightly-bound books or those in fragile condition.  Use only pencils for taking notes."

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http://guides.library.jhu.edu/c.php?g=202582&p=1335492

This restricts cellphones and scanners, but allows digital cameras...perhaps phone use cause some disturbance or damage if it is tried to use for copying or something else, .I have read of their restriction on many sites, which also allow for copying by librarians or cameras.

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7 hours ago, Bernard Gui said:

First Presidency Official Declaration 1909 

https://www.lds.org/ensign/2002/02/the-origin-of-man?lang=eng

 

And yet, here is what Pres. Hinckley responded with when asked in an interview about our belief that God was once a man and that men can become Gods:

"I don’t know that we teach it. I don’t know that we emphasize it. I haven’t heard it discussed for a long time in public discourse. I don’t know. I don’t know all the circumstances under which that statement was made. I understand the philosophical background behind it. But I don’t know a lot about it and I don’t know that others know a lot about it."

 

Edited by JulieM
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6 hours ago, Thinking said:

Especially for those of us who were teenagers in the 1970's and living in the San Fernando Valley. Yep, all that factual history was right at our fingertips.

Can we assume that, in the San Fernando valley, they had a post office and delivered mail, including books, to your home.  That your local library participated in interlibrary loan program..... back in the day.  That is, if you get off your lazy rear end, stop whining about being a victim, and actually order the books.

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7 hours ago, Thinking said:

Especially for those of us who were teenagers in the 1970's and living in the San Fernando Valley. Yep, all that factual history was right at our fingertips.

The Packer talk was given in 1981 just as Arrington was on his way out as church historian. In the talk Packer talks about historians/teachers being disloyal and in danger of eternal damnation if they share truths that are not very useful. So just because you had information in the 70's during the Camelot days of church history, doesn't mean it was available to me in the 80's 90's. I feel like part of the generation lost as a casualty of war when this information was really being clamped down on.

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47 minutes ago, HappyJackWagon said:

The Packer talk was given in 1981 just as Arrington was on his way out as church historian. In the talk Packer talks about historians/teachers being disloyal and in danger of eternal damnation if they share truths that are not very useful. So just because you had information in the 70's during the Camelot days of church history, doesn't mean it was available to me in the 80's 90's. I feel like part of the generation lost as a casualty of war when this information was really being clamped down on.

I was still in Salt Lake when Packer gave the talk and visited regularly during the 80s and 90s, often visiting the BYU Library, browsing through bound periodicals, and looking through the Bookstore to xerox and purchase interesting things to add to my growing collection.  FARMS was just starting up, Dialogue, BYU Studies, Sunstone, Journal of Mormon History, Van Hales Mormon Miscellaneous, and such were publishing.  Joseph Smith and the Beginnings of Mormonism came out.  I was finding out all sorts of exciting things, and was so involved and excited about doing so that I didn't notice the clamps. Nor any Danites.

Just saying.

Kevin Christensen

Canonsburg, PA

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52 minutes ago, Kevin Christensen said:

I was still in Salt Lake when Packer gave the talk and visited regularly during the 80s and 90s, often visiting the BYU Library, browsing through bound periodicals, and looking through the Bookstore to xerox and purchase interesting things to add to my growing collection.  FARMS was just starting up, Dialogue, BYU Studies, Sunstone, Journal of Mormon History, Van Hales Mormon Miscellaneous, and such were publishing.  Joseph Smith and the Beginnings of Mormonism came out.  I was finding out all sorts of exciting things, and was so involved and excited about doing so that I didn't notice the clamps. Nor any Danites.

Just saying.

Kevin Christensen

Canonsburg, PA

Packer's entire talk is clamping down against truths that aren't "useful". And keep in mind, this talk was given to seminary, institute, religion teachers who control what is taught in the church education system.

Quote

https://si.lds.org/bc/seminary/content/library/talks/ces-symposium-addresses/the-mantle-is-far-far-greater-than-the-intellect_eng.pdf

Several years ago President Ezra Taft Benson spoke to you and said: "It has come to our attention that some of our teachers, particularly in our university programs, are purchasing writings from known apostates . . . in an effort to become informed about certain points of view or to glean from their research. You must realize that when you purchase their writings or subscribe to their periodicals, you help sustain their cause. We would hope that their writings not be on your seminary or institute or personal bookshelves. We are entrusting you to represent the Lord and the First Presidency to your students, not the views of the detractors of the Church." (The Gospel Teacher and His Message [address to religious educators, 17 Sept. 1976], p. 6.)

I endorse that sound counsel to you.

Remember: when you see the bitter apostate, you do not see only an absence of light, you see also the presence of darkness.

Do not spread disease germs!

Packer is quoting Benson as a means of warning the CES instructors not to "spread disease germs" of the writings. The entire talk is about loyalty in the battle against evil and how sharing information/history that could hurt a person's faith (even though it is true) is a betrayal of God and the CES leaders will be judged for that. This talk is very heavy handed and Packer makes it very clear that even though materials have been previously published, doesn't mean they should be republished or taught, or acknowledged. It sounds to me like Packer is arguing against the point that you seem to be making: ie that the information is readily accessible and that the church never tried to suppress the spread of this information.

Quote

"In the Church we are not neutral. We are one-sided. There is a war going on, and we are engaged in it. It is the war between good and evil, and we are belligerents defending the good. We are therefore obliged to give preference to and protect all that is represented in the gospel of Jesus Christ, and we have made covenants to do it.

Some of our scholars establish for themselves a posture of neutrality. They call it "sympathetic detachment." Historians are particularly wont to do that. If they make a complimentary statement about the Church, they seem to have to counter it with something that is uncomplimentary.

Some of them, since they are members of the Church, are quite embarrassed with the thought that they might be accused of being partial. They care very much what the world thinks and are very careful to include in their writings criticism of the Church leaders of the past.

Not only is he taking a swipe at Leonard Arrington but he is also arguing against the ethics of history research in general. Again, because he doesn't find all truth useful. The questions must be asked; Useful to what? Useful for whom?

Edited by HappyJackWagon
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16 hours ago, ALarson said:

The first publication of Lucy Mack Smith's history of Joseph Smith did not include any mention of the first vision.  It was later inserted (in other editions) after Brigham Young ordered members to destroy their copies of the first edition.

There is always a subtle hint of derision when people tell this story.
Lucy Mack dictated her story when she was nearly 70.

The implication that her recollections were correct and Brigham had them changed to uphold some official story is not born out in history.
Did Brigham overspeak in his usual bombastic way calling the book a tissue of lies?  Of course.  He wouldn't be Brigham otherwise.
Was he right that there were many mistakes in the work?  History seems to indicate he was.

Conflating the First Vision and the appearance of Moroni (as Oliver Cowdery also did a decade earlier) is as good an example of mistake as any in that both Lucy and Oliver differ in their second hand accounts from the description from the ONLY actual witness of either vision.
Basically, neither Oliver nor Lucy's version of the visions came from Joseph that we know of.
 

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16 hours ago, Kevin Christensen said:

There was the six volume History of Joseph Smith and the B.H. Roberts Comprehensive History of the Church, the History of Joseph Smith by His Mother, and various manuals, journal articles, Magazine articles, a wide range of histories by a range of LDS historians of varied abilities and temperaments, including for instance, Francis Kirkham's helpful New Witness volumes that gathered many early hostile accounts.  Not to mention Joseph Smith and the Beginnings of Mormonism, Bachman's The First Vision, and Matthew Brown's A Pillar of Light, and countless others, including the 1970 Improvement Era article on the First Vision, and at least three similar essays in the Ensign after that.  I could even read No Man Knows My History and The Changing World of Mormonism and Wife No 19.

Only one?  No diversity anywhere, no sources with extra information?  

And since when does Sunday School become the only valid source, and only real measure of information available to the LDS?  I've sat in Sunday School classes in three different countries, including dozens of wards in many different states taught by a wide variety of people of different temperaments and different attitudes and capacities and resources.  And to me, these other sources besides Sunday School and official lesson manuals,  as are just as much "the church" as anyone working in the church office building. The Greek "ekklesia" behind church means "the assembly"  that is, the people.  All of "us" not some exclusive "them".  Not just some office worker given the job of writing a manual.  All of us.  If I seek out of the best books words of wisdom, I'm living among a vastly different set of information streams than if I just sit on a pew and hope for the best.  If I seek out of the best books, I have access to the best minds, most current research, and touch the minds of those in the church who have done more than seek out of the approved manuals words of pedagogically-moderated introductory materials.  If I seek out of the best books, I can learn from Arringington, Bushman, Anderson, Quinn, Nibley, and hundreds of others, none of whom seemed at all handicapped because Elder Packer gave a talk one day. Elder Packer was not the only voice in the church.   And giving a talk and expressing an opinion is not the same as Imposing and Enforcing an Edict on an entire community.

If I sit on a pew and hope for the best, I am subject to the same Law of the Harvest that operates if I seek out of the best books words of wisdom.  It just so happens that I get a much better harvest, and I don't find myself asking why no one told me this or that.  It actually becomes quite obvious why (they didn't know or I didn't ask) and not at all as troubling.  And if some of the best books I read tell me about Personality Types and the various Positions of Cognitive I can understand that not everyone is going to think like me.  I can appreciate the different spiritual gifts that different members bring to the gathering of people, and benefit more fully from those gifts that are available.  If I notice that different teachers have different abilities and backgrounds, I can have a far more tolerant set of expectations.

I read Palmer's book when it came out and was not at all impressed, even without considering the reviews by a healthy sampling of the LDS Historians who he claimed to be representing and who explained in detail why he did not speak for them.  I reviewed it on Amazon.  He may be a nice guy, but he did not produce something to counted as among the best books regarding Joseph Smith and his life and achievements.

The Victim Narrative is important in various circles, and has been so for quite sometime.  But the same information can be handled quite easily in other narratives.  It's the framing that does the ideological work, that guides interpretation.  I have noticed that when I ran across things I did not know, my response has never been, "Why did not one tell me that before!  I've been lied to and betrayed!" but rather, "Oh.. that's interesting, I did not know that.  I wonder where I can go to learn more?"

  And while I've read things by people like Palmer, Dehlin, Runnells and others who complain "I never heard about his or that" I can't help but notice that I know a great many things that I think are important regarding Joseph Smith the LDS community that the critics never tell me.   The stories they tell, I notice, have been sanitized according to a different set of ideological priorities. Runnells claims, and Dehlin quotes him about "putting everything on the table" but I can't help notice that they fall far short of that ideal themselves.  It would require omniscience which we all lack. Every one selects and prioritizes with respect to available information. 

I notice that in Shakespeare's play, while Othello is strangling his innocent wife, Othello thinks of himself as the betrayed and innocent victim and Desdemona as guilty and deserving what she gets.  Within the world of the play, Othello's pain and anger and sense of betrayal are perfectly understandable, but even so my instinct is not to say "Hey Othello, I feel your pain, and I just want to you know that I sympathize and understand with you, and will love and support you no matter what individual choice you make in response to that understandable pain."  Othello's pain is not the only issue here. Nor is Iago the whole problem. He just happens to play Othello's pride like a harp.  I think Desdemona's pain needs to be addressed, as does Iago's falsity, and Othello's pride and unwillingness to even consider forgiveness as a viable response.

FWIW

Kevin Christensen

Bethel Park, PA

Why you want to continually blame the victims here?  You say that the victims should have studied more.  However, the church continually back then and today has created a boogey man of those lying anti-mormon sources that actually have the whole truth.  So, what are members to do when the church tells them that they should only read church approved sources when said sources don't tell the entire story?  I would think with the recent amnesty change down at BYU, there would be somewhat of a softening of the victim blaming narrative.  The fact of the matter is that the church punished those who taught or disclosed the truths that were not useful.  I saw it first hand with Palmer.  I saw it in my ward growing up where the 70's and an Apostle in the ward continually told us to only trust the church and not to listen to those antis like the Tanners, who had the whole truth, incidentally, and not the whitewashed version.  So, I think it's disingenuous to blame those today who may feel betrayed at trusting the whitewashed version.

You know its the denials of what the church did and does, and victim blaming, and the continual denials of the victim blaming that make people angry.  The entire history itself merely shows that the whitewashed heroes are mortals like the rest of us.  However, denying what happened and then blaming the victim for actually believing the PR laden fluff needs to change.

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2 hours ago, HappyJackWagon said:

The Packer talk was given in 1981 just as Arrington was on his way out as church historian. In the talk Packer talks about historians/teachers being disloyal and in danger of eternal damnation if they share truths that are not very useful. So just because you had information in the 70's during the Camelot days of church history, doesn't mean it was available to me in the 80's 90's. I feel like part of the generation lost as a casualty of war when this information was really being clamped down on.

I think you may have missed my sarcasm.

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    • By Fair Dinkum
      While I'll assume no one in this board is unfamiliar with this subject, I'll still offer a short synopsis just in case. Back Story:  In 1985 the family of B.H. Roberts allowed a collection of his personal papers, still in the private hands of family members, to be published into book form.  The collection was published as "Studies of The Book of Mormon"
      In his papers were discovered notes of a special meeting that was held in early 1922 involving all member's of the First Presidency, The Quorum of the Twelve as well as the 7 Presidents of the Seventy, of which Robert's was a member.  Robert's had been given the assignment by Heber J. Grant to answer questions that had been sent in a letter to the church from a member seeking answers. 
      The questions were quite straight forward:
      when the Jews landed in the New World (600 B.C.) is not enough time to explain the diversity of native Indian languages. Horses were introduced to the Americas by the Spaniards, thus their appearance in the Book of Mormon is an anachronisms. The use of steel in the Book of Mormon is an anachronism. The use of scimitars (an arabian sword) in an anachronism. The use of silk was unknown to the Americas. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Studies_of_the_Book_of_Mormon
      Roberts concerns went unanswered by church authorities which caused him to try and resolve the difficulties himself.  The book represents his attempt to resolve those questions, he was unsuccessful in doing so. 
      Now a new master thesis has been written exploring secret meetings that took place following Robert's failed attempt to find satisfaction from his fellow church authorities.  Robert's formed this band of LDS intelligentsia in a further attempt to resolve his concerns and find answers to Book of Mormon problems.  While I've only just started to read it, this thesis is a fascinating behind the scenes look into the pre-correlation church.
      https://scholarworks.unr.edu/handle/11714/6712
      Despite his failures to resolve his concerns, we owe much to Roberts attempt, for it was from many of these questions that much of today's apologetic theories of a limited footprint, duel Cumorah's and acknowledgement of a pre-populated Asian immigrant America, to name just a few, have emerged.  Since the emergence of the internet, modern day apologetics has completely re-framed how the Book of Mormon is viewed from how it was interpreted in 1922. The problem is that much of the church still views the book in much the same way as it was seen in 1922.
      Mormon historians have debated whether the manuscript/book reflects Roberts's doubts or was a case of his playing a devils advocate. One interesting fact remains, per his instructions, his headstone has a Christian Cross on it, which was even unusual for that time and even more so for a former General Authority of the Church.
       
    • By blueglass
      Here is the 2019 end of year seminary assessment my kids received yesterday. Would love to hear your thoughts on the questions, the probable answers, and the doctrine taught.  Don't forget the last 4 questions pertaining to the Explain Doctrine section.  
      https://ibb.co/Dfz4JNr
      Read instructions before you start the test:
      Exam code: 8
      If you have difficulty taking the learning assessment in the traditional way, please talk with your teacher to figure out the best way to help you succeed.
      Use a no. 2 or HB pencil. Indicate your response by completely filling in the bubble on your answer sheet.
      Section name: Multiple Choice
        1.  Who will receive a place in a kingdom of glory? (1 mark)
      a) Every individual born into mortality
      b) All of God's children except the sons of perdition
      c) Only individuals who are worthy of exaltation
        2. Which of the following is a specific responsibility mentioned in the oath and covenant of the priesthood? (1 mar)
      a) To magnify their callings
      b) To pay a generous fast offering
      c) To not be idle
        3. Because of the Atonement of Jesus Christ, in the Resurrection all individuals will receive ____ (1 mark)
      a) at least a terrestrial glory
      b) celestial glory
      c) glory according to the law they obeyed
        4. Which of the following blessings does God offer to those who keep the Word of Wisdom? (1 mark)
      a) They will not be burned at the Second Coming.
      b) Their bodies will be protected from all illness.
      c) They will receive wisdom and great treasures of knowledge.
        5. To be endowed in the temple means to receive ____ (1 mark)
      a) a guarantee of eternal life
      b) spiritual power and knowledge
      c) unique physical gifts from the Lord
        6. What does the existence of the precious truths in the Pearl of Great Pric teach us about the Prophet Joseph Smith? (1 mark)
      a) He no longer needed the power of God to help him translate.
      b) He was a prophet, seer, and revelator.
      c) He is the only prophet of this dispensation that can receive new scripture.
        7. As watchmen on the tower, modern prophets have a responsibility to ____ (1 mark)
      a) warn us of coming dangers
      b) stop Satan from tempting members of the Church
      c) change truth to fit modern times
        8. What is a bishop's or branch president's main responsibility when a teenager confesses sin to him? (1 mark)
      a) To prevent the person from being part of the Church
      b) To help the person receive forgiveness of the sins and regain peace of mind
      c) To inflict severe consequences and punishments from sinning
        9. Who visited the Prophet Joseph Smith and Oliver Cowdery in the Kirtland Temple to restore priesthood keys? (1 mark)
      a) Jeremiah, Isaiah, and Malachi
      b) Moses, Elias, and Elijah
      c) Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob
        10. According to the Doctrine and Covenants, what are tithing funds used for? (1 mark)
      a) They are the main fund the Church uses to support the poor and the needy.
      b) They are used to build temples and to accomplish the work of the Lord.
      c) They are used to pay ward and branch members for serving in the Church.
        11. While the Prophet Joseph Smith was falsely imprisoned in Liberty Jail, the Lord taught him that adversity and affliction
      (1 mark)
      a) will not occur if we trust in God
      b) are always a consequence of our poor choices
      c) can give us experience and be for our good
        12. Which of the following is a true statement about Relief Society? (1 mark)
      a) It was divinely organized to assist in the work of salvation.
      b) It was established during the trek west to help Saints who were suffering.
      c) It did not exist during the lifetime of the Prophet Joseph Smith.
        13. A man and a woman will receive eternal life and glory if _____ (1 mark)
      a) they love each other more than they love themselves
      b) they keep the new and everlasting covenant of marriage they made in the temple
      c) they are married in the temple
        14. Why do our ancestors who die without having a knowledge of the gospel need us to perform ordinances for them in the temple?
      a) Without these ordinances, our ancestors cannot progress toward eternal life. (1 mark)
      b) Without these ordinances, our ancestors cannot be saved in any kingdom of glory.
      c} Without these ordinances, our ancestors will not be resurrected.
        15. Marriage between one man and one woman is the Lord's standing law. Wen is the only time plural marriage is justified?
      a) Wen there are more women than men in the Church (1 mark)
      b) Whenever local laws and traditions allow members to practice it without breaking the law
      c) When the Lord authorizes it through the priesthood keys given to the President of the Church
        16. When the President of the Church dies, which quorum becomes the presiding quorum of the Church? (1 mark)
      a) The Quorum of the Twelve Apostles
      b) The Quorum of the First Presidency
      c) The Presiding Bishopric
        17. Which of the following shows the correct chronological order (first to last) of places the Saints were told to gather to? (1 mark}
      a) A stake in their homeland; Nauvoo, Illinois; Winter Quarters, Nebraska; Salt Lake City, Utah
      b) Nauvoo, Illinois; Winter Quarters, Nebraska; Salt Lake City, Utah; a stake in their homeland
      c) Winter Quarters, Nebraska; Nauvoo, Illinois; Salt Lake City, Utah; a stake in their homeland
        18. After the Savior visited the spirit world, what did righteous spirits there begin to do?
      a} They were all resurrected and began entering the highest kingdom of glory.
      b) They began performing ordinances for those who had not received them.
      c) They began teaching the gospel to those in spirit prison.
      (1 mark)
        19. According to Official Declaration 2, the Lord revealed that all worthy male Church members may ___ _ (1 mark)
      a) receive the ordinance of baptism
      b) serve a mission at age 18
      c) receive the priesthood and enjoy temple blessings
        20. What principle is emphasized in Doctrine and Covenants 121:36, 41-2? (1 mark)
      a) Priesthood holders can draw upon the powers of heaven only if they live righteously.
      b) lf we actively seek to learn through study and faith, our faith in Jesus Christ will increase.
      c) If we obey the Lord, He will always keep His promises to bless us.
        21. Which of the following accurately describes Heavenly Father? (1 mark)
      a) He is without feelings or emotions.
      b) He is a personage of Spirit and can dwell in us.
      c) He has a body of flesh and bones as tangible as man's.
        22. Which of the following is a requirement for receiving exaltation in the celestial kingdom? (1 mark)
      a) Bearing testimony of the Savior is all that is needed.
      b) Receiving a patriarchal blessing
      c) Receiving and being valiant in the testimony of Jesus Christ
        23. Of the following groups, who will inherit the celestial kingdom? (1 mark)
      a) All children who die before they reach the age of accountability
      b) All members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints
      c) All individuals who have been baptized
        24. Which eternal truth corrects the following worldly philosophy: "God doesn't care how marriage is defined"? (1 mark)
      a) Ever individual born into morality is a child of God, and God loves each of us.
      b) Marriage between a man and a woman is ordained of God.
      c) God changes truth to meet the circumstances and needs of His children.
        25. Which eternal truth corrects the following worldly philosophy: "It isn't as important for couples to have children today as it used to
      a) Marriage between a man and a woman is the ideal setting for children to be born, reared, and nurtured.
      b) God has commanded that the sacred powers of procreation are to be employed only between a man and a woman who are
      lawfully wedded as husband and wife.
      c) God's commandment fr husbands and wives to have children remains in force today.
        26. Which eternal truth corrects the following worldly philosophy: "As long as two individuals love each other, physical intimacy is
      acceptable"? (1 mark)
      a) Marriage between a man and a woman is the ideal setting for children to be born, reared, and nurtured.
      b) Marriage between a man and a woman is ordained of God.
      c) God has commanded that the sacred powers of procreation are to be employed only between a man and a woman who are
      lawfully wedded as husband and wife.
        27. Which eternal truth corrects the following worldly philosophy: "As governments continue to redefine marriage, God's definition of
      marriage will change to reflect the values of modern society"? (1 mark)
      a) Marriage between a man and a woman is ordained of God.
      b) God has commanded that the sacred powers of procreation are to be employed only between a man and a woman who are
      lawfully wedded as husband and wife.
      c) Changes in the civil law do not change the moral law that God has established.
        28. Which eternal truth corrects the following worldly philosophy: "The only purpose of marriage is for adults to find fulfillment and
      happiness"? (1 mark)
      a) Marriage between a man and a woman is the ideal setting for children to be born, reared, and nurtured.
      b) Marriage between a man and a woman is ordained of God.
      c) God has commanded that the sacred powers of procreation are to be employed only between a man and a woman who are
      lawfully wedded as husband and wife.
      Section name: Explain Doctrine _
      Instructions: Write your answer on a piece of paper. Compare your response with the correct answer received from your teacher. After self-grading the explain-doctrine question, bubble in your answer sheet.
      Self-grade your answer for each question:
      a. Yes, I explained this in my response.
      b. No, I left this out of my response.
        29. What is an example of a truth that was restored through the Prophet Joseph Smith? Explain why the truth you chose can help you receive eternal life. (1 mark)
        30. What is an example of an ordinance that was restored through the Prophet Joseph Smith? Explain why the ordinance you chose can help you receive eternal life. (1 mark)
        31. What is an example of priesthood authority that was restored through the Prophet Joseph Smith? Explain why this authority of the priesthood can help you receive eternal life. (1 mark)
        32. Share your personal thoughts on the importance of the Prophet Joseph Smith. (1 mark)
    • By blueglass
      Really impressed with Kate Holbrook's interview with Terryl Givens.  She's thoughtful, candid, and inspiring as she speaks about her persistence to get a PhD and work full time for the church as a manger of church history.  She's working on a project with Lisa Tate on the history of the young women's organization.  
      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n2G7k1ggz7k&amp;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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