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Setting aside the rhetoric that some would consider inflammatory, does this article make any good points?


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28 minutes ago, kiwi57 said:

Yes.

Did he? Let's see what Elder Snow actually said, according to the source being quoted:

"I think in the past there was a tendency to keep a lot of the records closed or at least not give access to information."

Elder Snow - and any honest critic of the Church, if such there be - would probably also say that most large organisations have tended to keep most of their records "closed or at least not give access to information" most of the time. If I don't show you my bank statements, it's not because I'm "hiding" any "aspects," but because such things are routinely regarded as confidential, and nobody else's business.

The expected anti-Mormon spin that this amounts to an admission of "hiding" something is, of course, false.

But don't let that slow you down.

Yes, and once again the anti-Mormons have had a field day with that, but it doesn't mean what they (I'm being kind with that pronoun) would so dearly love to think it means. It's simply the rule that, in any teaching situation, teachers select the material that is most relevant to the class and most valuable for teaching.

But hey - go ahead and pretend that it's an admission of some sinister conspiracy. You know you want to.

No. It does not.

Well, I’m not anti-Mormon and I don’t think that there has ever been a sinister conspiracy.  So please don’t ascribe those things to me when you paint with your broad brush.

Keep records closed and not allow access (Snow).  Not all truths should be taught (Packer).  Both sides don’t need to be told (Oaks).  These are all the same as hiding.  They amount to crafting a narrative that hides what you don’t want told and highlights what you do want believed.

Now, it can be argued that the above ideals are appropriate ways for a church to craft a faith-building narrative.  But, Ballard declared that there has been no attempt to hide anything from anybody.  His statement stands in contradiction to what Snow, Packer, and Oaks have said. 

Further, Ballard has now said that being honest and transparent is the Lord’s way and the only way that church leaders can act.  So now he’s set a new standard that doesn’t work with what Packer and Oaks taught long ago. And I hope that new standard will be applied to all aspects of the church. 

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36 minutes ago, Kenngo1969 said:

"Apart from the inflammatory rhetoric" seems to be the equivalent of, "Sure, someone just knocked out all 32 of your teeth, rhetorically speaking, but, trust him, he's still interested in good-faith dialogue with you, in not poisoning the well, stacking the deck, et cetera."  

Rhetoric matters.  Motives matter.  Not automatically imputing bad faith to one's interlocutor(s) matters. 

Do motives always matter? If I talk to you about gravity but am a mass murderer, does gravity become false or questionable? It seems clear that E. Ballard's statement about not hiding anything doesn't hold up regardless of who the messenger is that points that out.

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14 hours ago, cinepro said:

Really?  You want to shift the discussion to the Church's "resources" and how it chooses to spend them?

No, I’m not interested in yet more ignorant and presumptuous gainsaying about how the Church deploys it’s resources. There is more than enough of that as it is, and I find it all quite boring. 

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8 hours ago, Scott Lloyd said:

No, I’m not interested in yet more ignorant and presumptuous gainsaying about how the Church deploys it’s resources. There is more than enough of that as it is, and I find it all quite boring. 

Perhaps the reason you are not interested or find ir boring is because you have no defense???  Calling out ignorance is not a defense.

I have to ask you, Scott,  with respect okay??  How do you follow apostles that don't quite say the same things...who do you follow?

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On 11/27/2017 at 12:33 PM, FearlessFixxer said:

Tough to set aside such inflammatory rhetoric.

Here's an example of, IMO, the right way to approach and write about this issue:

https://wheatandtares.org/2017/11/29/authority-consent-and-transparency/

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1 hour ago, Jeanne said:

Perhaps the reason you are not interested or find ir boring is because you have no defense???  Calling out ignorance is not a defense.

Defense? What needs to be defended?

The attackers always have their own ideas about how the Church's resources should be deployed. So what?

1 hour ago, Jeanne said:

I have to ask you, Scott,  with respect okay??  How do you follow apostles that don't quite say the same things...who do you follow?

Thank you for demonstrating that you, like the authors of that attack piece, would like to undermine trust in the leaders of the Church.

I don't think anyone finds that particularly surprising.

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11 minutes ago, kiwi57 said:

Defense? What needs to be defended?

The attackers always have their own ideas about how the Church's resources should be deployed. So what?

Thank you for demonstrating that you, like the authors of that attack piece, would like to undermine trust in the leaders of the Church.

I don't think anyone finds that particularly surprising.

The only thing I can say is...I was talking to Scott.  P.S.  You don't know me at all.

Edited by Jeanne
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42 minutes ago, kiwi57 said:

Thank you for demonstrating that you, like the authors of that attack piece, would like to undermine trust in the leaders of the Church.

The Church leaders don't seem to need any help in undermining themselves.  They are doing fine all on their own.

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11 hours ago, Scott Lloyd said:

No, I’m not interested in yet more ignorant and presumptuous gainsaying about how the Church deploys it’s resources. There is more than enough of that as it is, and I find it all quite boring. 

That's why I was surprised to see you bringing up the possibility that the Church may or may not have the resources to do something, and that we are somehow able to discern the best use for those resources.

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5 minutes ago, cinepro said:

That's why I was surprised to see you bringing up the possibility that the Church may or may not have the resources to do something, and that we are somehow able to discern the best use for those resources.

Sometimes any old excuse works when stuck in one of these conversations.  Saying the Church doesn't have the resources is an easy way to do it.  

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17 hours ago, sunstoned said:

They call out two apostles for false statements.

Yes, they falsely accuse two apostles of making false statements.

17 hours ago, sunstoned said:

That is probably hard for many members to swallow, and a tendency is to shoot the messenger.

Make no mistake: these muck-rakers are not messengers delivering a message; they are agitators trying to propagate agitprop.

17 hours ago, sunstoned said:

But the message is very clear, it is in black and white.  What Ballard and Oaks said was just untrue.  

No.

It is the accusation that is untrue.

The scriptures warn us about those who call evil good and good evil. When I see who likes and dislikes the Face-to-face, and who likes and dislikes this vile little hit piece, the validity of that warning is demonstrated.

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1 hour ago, rockpond said:

The Church leaders don't seem to need any help in undermining themselves.  They are doing fine all on their own.

But of course, there's nothing even remotely anti-Mormon about that standard ideological claim, is there?

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6 minutes ago, kiwi57 said:

Yes, they falsely accuse two apostles of making false statements.

Make no mistake: these muck-rakers are not messengers delivering a message; they are agitators trying to propagate agitprop.

No.

It is the accusation that is untrue.

The scriptures warn us about those who call evil good and good evil. When I see who likes and dislikes the Face-to-face, and who likes and dislikes this vile little hit piece, the validity of that warning is demonstrated.

You sure Ballard's statement is true?

In addition to the fact that the 1832 FV account was hidden, we can look at the hiding of the early practice of polygamy.  From the LDS.org gospel topic on the subject, we read:

"The rumors prompted members and leaders to issue carefully worded denials that denounced spiritual wifery and polygamy but were silent about what Joseph Smith and others saw as divinely mandated “celestial” plural marriage. The statements emphasized that the Church practiced no marital law other than monogamy while implicitly leaving open the possibility that individuals, under direction of God’s living prophet, might do so."

Basically, those who practiced polygamy at the time (including the prophet and some apostles) denied and hid the practice from both the public and membership at large.

Post-manifesto polygamy was hidden.

Salamander Letter.

Apostle involvement in September 6 excommunications.

Church finances are hidden.

On and on.

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10 minutes ago, kiwi57 said:

But of course, there's nothing even remotely anti-Mormon about that standard ideological claim, is there?

Just a simple observation, it is neither anti- or pro-Mormon.  Perhaps we could just stick to discussing facts without your seeming obsession with trying to declare things to be "anti-Mormon" as if that means something.

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1 hour ago, rockpond said:

You sure Ballard's statement is true?

Yes.

1 hour ago, rockpond said:

In addition to the fact that the 1832 FV account was hidden,

That is not a "fact," it is a bogus accusation. The 1832 First Vision account is a unique, and uniquely valuable, hand-written document that was kept in a safe place instead of being handed around. True, it wasn't published, like thousands upon thousands of other documents; but "not published" != "hidden," except in the minds of conspiracy theorists and agitprop artists.

1 hour ago, rockpond said:

we can look at the hiding of the early practice of polygamy.  From the LDS.org gospel topic on the subject, we read:

"The rumors prompted members and leaders to issue carefully worded denials that denounced spiritual wifery and polygamy but were silent about what Joseph Smith and others saw as divinely mandated “celestial” plural marriage. The statements emphasized that the Church practiced no marital law other than monogamy while implicitly leaving open the possibility that individuals, under direction of God’s living prophet, might do so."

Basically, those who practiced polygamy at the time (including the prophet and some apostles) denied and hid the practice from both the public and membership at large.

Are you aware of the rumours that swirled around at the time? Are you aware of the violent propensities of those who disagreed with the practice?

Of course they hid it.

1 hour ago, rockpond said:

Post-manifesto polygamy was hidden.

Yes, I know about that. It was also carefully circumscribed. Nobody needed to know about it except those who were permitted to practice it.

Now, Rockpond: how many of those things happened in your lifetime? How many of them are relevant to your salvation?

1 hour ago, rockpond said:

Salamander Letter.

Yes, I know about that. I also strongly suspect that you rather desperately wish it had turned out to be authentic, but that's another discussion. Suffice it to say that the Salamander Letter wasn't "hidden" in the way you delight to fantasize.

1 hour ago, rockpond said:

Apostle involvement in September 6 excommunications.

There was none.

1 hour ago, rockpond said:

Church finances are hidden.

Church finances are confidential. That is not the same as "hidden."

1 hour ago, rockpond said:

On and on.

Yes, the chorus of bog-standard anti-Mormon accusations does indeed go on and on.

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6 hours ago, rockpond said:

The Church leaders don't seem to need any help in undermining themselves.  They are doing fine all on their own.

I keep thinking about this passage whenever I see this kind of agitprop:

Proverbs 6:
16 These six things doth the LORD hate: yea, seven are an abomination unto him:
17 A proud look, a lying tongue, and hands that shed innocent blood,
18 An heart that deviseth wicked imaginations, feet that be swift in running to mischief,
19 A false witness that speaketh lies, and he that soweth discord among brethren.

Amen and amen.

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22 hours ago, rockpond said:

Well, I’m not anti-Mormon and I don’t think that there has ever been a sinister conspiracy.  So please don’t ascribe those things to me when you paint with your broad brush.

Keep records closed and not allow access (Snow).  Not all truths should be taught (Packer).  Both sides don’t need to be told (Oaks).  These are all the same as hiding.

No. They are not.

I realise that false equivalence is essential to your tissue of accusations, but it's still false.

Sorry.

22 hours ago, rockpond said:

 They amount to crafting a narrative that hides what you don’t want told and highlights what you do want believed.

Now, it can be argued that the above ideals are appropriate ways for a church to craft a faith-building narrative.  But, Ballard declared that there has been no attempt to hide anything from anybody.  His statement stands in contradiction to what Snow, Packer, and Oaks have said.

No. it does not.

22 hours ago, rockpond said:

Further, Ballard has now said that being honest and transparent is the Lord’s way and the only way that church leaders can act.  So now he’s set a new standard that doesn’t work with what Packer and Oaks taught long ago. And I hope that new standard will be applied to all aspects of the church. 

I'd like to see it apply to those who are so zealously insisting that we follow it.

Starting with your good self.

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4 hours ago, kiwi57 said:

Yes.

That is not a "fact," it is a bogus accusation. The 1832 First Vision account is a unique, and uniquely valuable, hand-written document that was kept in a safe place instead of being handed around. True, it wasn't published, like thousands upon thousands of other documents; but "not published" != "hidden," except in the minds of conspiracy theorists and agitprop artists.

Are you aware of the rumours that swirled around at the time? Are you aware of the violent propensities of those who disagreed with the practice?

Of course they hid it.

Yes, I know about that. It was also carefully circumscribed. Nobody needed to know about it except those who were permitted to practice it.

Now, Rockpond: how many of those things happened in your lifetime? How many of them are relevant to your salvation?

Yes, I know about that. I also strongly suspect that you rather desperately wish it had turned out to be authentic, but that's another discussion. Suffice it to say that the Salamander Letter wasn't "hidden" in the way you delight to fantasize.

There was none.

Church finances are confidential. That is not the same as "hidden."

Yes, the chorus of bog-standard anti-Mormon accusations does indeed go on and on.

Thank you for admitting that polygamy was hid.  That makes Ballard’s statement false. 

And, no, I don’t wish that the Salamander letter was authentic. 

Your other questions are not relevant to the matter at hand and since you insist on ascribing false motivations to me, I won’t waste my time responding to them. 

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1 hour ago, kiwi57 said:

I keep thinking about this passage whenever I see this kind of agitprop:

Proverbs 6:
16 These six things doth the LORD hate: yea, seven are an abomination unto him:
17 A proud look, a lying tongue, and hands that shed innocent blood,
18 An heart that deviseth wicked imaginations, feet that be swift in running to mischief,
19 A false witness that speaketh lies, and he that soweth discord among brethren.

Amen and amen.

I’m not devising wicked imaginations.  And if acknowledging the mistake of a leader and asking for a correction causes you discord, perhaps you should look inward. 

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1 hour ago, kiwi57 said:

No. They are not.

I realise that false equivalence is essential to your tissue of accusations, but it's still false.

Sorry.

No. it does not.

I'd like to see it apply to those who are so zealously insisting that we follow it.

Starting with your good self.

I do my best to be honest and transparent. Including here on these boards where I seek intellectual honesty. 

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3 hours ago, rockpond said:

I’m not devising wicked imaginations.  And if acknowledging the mistake of a leader and asking for a correction causes you discord, perhaps you should look inward. 

It doesn't cause me discord. Discord is "among," not "within." The intent of your agitprop is to cause the Saints to lose trust in the Lord's anointed servants.

You will fail.

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3 hours ago, rockpond said:

Thank you for admitting that polygamy was hid.  That makes Ballard’s statement false. 

No. It does not.

Please desist and refrain from trying to co-opt me into your campaign of false accusations.

3 hours ago, rockpond said:

And, no, I don’t wish that the Salamander letter was authentic. 

You just repeat the discredited accusations from that period to the effect that the brethren tried to "hide" it.

Nobody who actually knows what went on believes that.

3 hours ago, rockpond said:

Your other questions are not relevant to the matter at hand and since you insist on ascribing false motivations to me, I won’t waste my time responding to them. 

I'll tell you what, Rockpond: since you don't like being on the receiving end, you stop dishing it out at the brethren, and I'll stop dishing it right back to you.

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On 11/28/2017 at 2:38 PM, stemelbow said:

Sure they did.  As I quoted.  "It’s this idea that the Church is hiding something, which we would have to say as two apostles that have covered the world and know the history of the Church and know the integrity of the First Presidency and the Quorum of the Twelve from the beginning of time--there has been no attempt on the part, in any way, of the Church leaders trying to hide anything from anybody."

From the beginning of time, there has been no attempt, in any way. of the church leaders trying to hide anything from anybody.  It was odd they referenced the 1832 first vision account, because we all know that a church leader did try to hide it from not just anybody but everybody.  We're all glad it's out in the open now, at least for history's sake.  I realize you want to dismiss this as misspeaking.  I'm fine with that.  But I don't know why you keep saying they aren't saying exactly what was said.  

 

The point remains--the claim that no Church leaders have withheld information from anybody is false.  I think you agree, but are some reason arguing against Elder Ballard's words.

They were making shockingly wrong statements.  We all know it.  I'm not sure why people are trying to pretend they didn't say what they did say.  It's pretty weird to argue they didn't say that from the beginning of time Church leaders have not, in anyway, tried to hide anything from anybody.  That's what they said.  And when we say that's what they say and quote it, you say I'm misrepresenting what they said. 

That misses my point.  

That's an interesting attempts at spin, for sure.  He says they aren't hiding anything currently, which is closer to true, I'm sure, but then said from the beginning of time no Church leader in anyway, has tried to hide anything from anyone.  Sure, he references the JSP, but that doesn't really satisfy him supporting his claim.  

I question the notion that this is spontaneous. It seems that Ballard when saying what he did, read it off his notes, as someone else noted.  

He referenced the First vision, clark.  We already know that the 1832 account was withheld.  Yet he says, "It’s this idea that the Church is hiding something, which we would have to say as two apostles that have covered the world and know the history of the Church and know the integrity of the First Presidency and the Quorum of the Twelve from the beginning of time--there has been no attempt on the part, in any way, of the Church leaders trying to hide anything from anybody."

It's like you're not willing to hear what he says.  

I'm charitable in that I say they both were really either unprepared and didn't know what they were saying, really, or they were prepared at least to some extent and really did a poor job in conveying the message.  But it's silly to say they didn't say what they did.  I'm surprised to see you continuing this game.  It doesn't sound like you.  

Except that again you are misreading just what Elder Ballard says. Look at the location of that emdash. Clearly what follows after it is a separate thought. He is not saying that "from the beginning of time there has been no attempt". He is saying that he and Elder Oaks, as two apostles, have known of the integrity of the First Presidency and the Quorum of the Twelve from the beginning of time. He is talking in this instance specifically about the leaders that he and Elder Oaks have known since their callings as apostles. He is making it clear that current Church leaders are not trying to hide anything bad from anybody.

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      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&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
      Greetings.

      I was told by a friend that I needed to check this site out and I am super impressed!  I love the commentary, both for and against, the various leaks we have have over the last year.
       
      This is by far the best forum currently discussing the leaks.
       
      Anyway, I thought I would offer myself up to you all and do an AMA (Ask Me Anything).
       
      No questions are off the table, but I reserve the right to say no comment 
       
      If you need proof that this is really me you can PM me at https://www.facebook.com/FearlessFixxer
       
      Cheers
       
      Moderator advice: Welcome to the board, feel free to join in but we do not allow personal ads. 
    • By rockpond
      For anyone out there who has been dying to know how much a temple employee makes <crickets>, some 2006 data is now available!
      MormonLeaks has also created a page where they are compiling all leaks that have to do with church salaries, it's here:
      https://mormonleaks.io/wiki/index.php?title=Mormon_Church_Salaries
      If you were looking to become employed with the church, it appears that (as of 2006) the top salaries there maxed out around $130k.  Likely a bit higher now.
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