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New Book by Hafens: "Faith is Not Blind"


smac97

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4 minutes ago, Thinking said:

For those who don't believe anymore, stage 2 is where our eyes were opened and discovered that reality didn't match the narrative. Giving up is not the appropriate phrase.

Yes!

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19 minutes ago, Thinking said:

For those who don't believe anymore, stage 2 is where our eyes were opened and discovered that reality didn't match the narrative. Giving up is not the appropriate phrase.

I have it on good authority that you just wanted to sin.

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6 hours ago, smac97 said:

Interesting:

I think I'm going to buy this book.  My children are, I think, doing fairly well in terms of building and maintaining their own testimonies.  But that's now.  Things might change.  And they certainly all have friends who are struggling.

Hmm.  I wish I had known of this class when I was at BYU.

Here's the interesting bit:

So we have:

Stage 1 ("Innocent and Untested") --> Stage 2 ("Juxtaposing the Ideal and the Real") --> Stage 3 ("Informed Perspective of Complexity-Transcending Simplicity Tempered by Time and Experience").

This seems about right.  Stage 2 is, I think, where a lot of members of the Church are struggling and giving up.

So yeah, definitely going to get the book.

Any thoughts?

Thanks,

-Smac

I have not read the book, so cannot comment on its contents, but I certainly agree with these stages. I joined the Church because I was becoming disillusioned with Protestant interpretations of the Bible. It felt incomplete and not quite satisfactory. When I discovered the Church, many of my questioning points were answered - and still are. I joined with a somewhat ideal picture of Joseph Smith and the translation process. I didn't find out his polygamy til later. Nor his teenage indiscretions til much later. So in the language of stage 2 I had to reconcile these juxtaposed inputs. I basically learned to reconcile them by accepting that Joseph Smith was not perfect. If I was thrust into the limelight, I'm sure my past would be scrutinized with a fine tooth comb. It seems to be just human nature, and I suppose there are numerous ways I could "fail" the inspection. Yet, I know my experiences, and what I have chosen to believe and live in my life, and believe the prophets, like me, have been imperfect men, so I can forgive them their imperfections, if I believe their hearts were in the right place. So I suppose I am at stage 3 with occasional visits to stage 2. I certainly do not think these issues are unique to the LDS version of faith. However, I think we have additional issues above and beyond those faced by the typical Christian. Many Christians have left their faith after reaching stage 2 - concluding they cannot reconcile the Bible or at least what they were taught about it with the view of the world they have adopted at school - one with evolution and a world billions of years old. In a lot of ways, however, I find the LDS faith to present fewer of these challenges, and to offer an opportunity to reassess one's interpretation of the Bible. I find the Protestant view of the Bible to be harder to reconcile with science than the LDS teaching of the permanency of matter/energy, and the formation of the earth. I certainly find the Protestant view to have more problems with internal scriptural consistency than LDS interpretations of the same scriptural points. I wonder if this author thought to address such points? 

Anyway, I see nothing new in this process. If Hafen is able to offer unique ways of reconciling or passing through these stages, it may be a good read for people struggling in their testimony. However, simply to identify the stages of this development and realizing - hey their are other people out there like me - doesn't offer me anything that would make me want to buy or recommend the book. If you read it, let us know what you think...

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5 hours ago, Thinking said:

For those who don't believe anymore, stage 2 is where our eyes were opened and discovered that reality didn't match the narrative. Giving up is not the appropriate phrase.

Both reality and narratives are in the eye of the beholder. 

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11 hours ago, smac97 said:

 

Stage 1 ("Innocent and Untested") --> Stage 2 ("Juxtaposing the Ideal and the Real") --> ????????

Any thoughts?

Thanks,

-Smac

 

Doesn't member disaffection go some distance beyond discovering the incongruity between the "ideal and the real"? Obviously I haven't read it but to me this book as described so far, would fall seriously short of addressing the root problem.

It is one thing to find that the map you have been given has some topographical errors in it compared to the reality of the landscape you are traversing. It is quite another to highly suspect that the map makers knew better but made a conscious decision to exclude hazards, misrepresenting not only the terrain but also the reward of the Promised Land at the end, knowing that if all truth were included, few if any would venture forth.

"Intent" is a critical question here.

If it is discovered, with adequate validity that there was intent to deceive or misrepresent for odious purposes then the problem is no longer one of "imperfections of men". It now becomes one of man's intentional pursuit of worldly desires at the expense of God's children. A latter day condition well described and prophesied in the 34th chapter of Ezekiel and condemned by the Lord.

So another question might be, how does one convince disaffected members there has been no mendacity? Especially in view of evidence to the contrary. 🤔😒

 

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24 minutes ago, Palerider said:

 

Doesn't member disaffection go some distance beyond discovering the incongruity between the "ideal and the real"? Obviously I haven't read it but to me this book as described so far, would fall seriously short of addressing the root problem.

It is one thing to find that the map you have been given has some topographical errors in it compared to the reality of the landscape you are traversing. It is quite another to highly suspect that the map makers knew better but made a conscious decision to exclude hazards, misrepresenting not only the terrain but also the reward of the Promised Land at the end, knowing that if all truth were included, few if any would venture forth.

"Intent" is a critical question here.

If it is discovered, with adequate validity that there was intent to deceive or misrepresent for odious purposes then the problem is no longer one of "imperfections of men". It now becomes one of man's intentional pursuit of worldly desires at the expense of God's children. A latter day condition well described and prophesied in the 34th chapter of Ezekiel and condemned by the Lord.

So another question might be, how does one convince disaffected members there has been no mendacity? Especially in view of evidence to the contrary. 🤔😒

 

Haven’t read it either, but isn’t the most worthwhile faith faith in the Lord, Jesus Christ?  

If, so aren’t the three steps best understood in connection with the development of that faith, rather than faith in a narrative.

And, if one’s faith includes faith that personal revelation is possible (and eventually experienced on a regular basis) wouldn’t that revelation be the guiding force in someone’s life.

I’m not sure how you define disaffected in this context, but I trust that being disaffected doesn’t preclude someone from pursuing faith in the Lord.  And in the security of a fully-developed faith in Christ with its attendant personal revelation wouldn’t the faith holder be lead as to how to work through their thoughts on the narrative, if indeed any such thoughts were still perceived as important by the faith holder?

 

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44 minutes ago, Palerider said:

Doesn't member disaffection go some distance beyond discovering the incongruity between the "ideal and the real"? Obviously I haven't read it but to me this book as described so far, would fall seriously short of addressing the root problem.

It is one thing to find that the map you have been given has some topographical errors in it compared to the reality of the landscape you are traversing. It is quite another to highly suspect that the map makers knew better but made a conscious decision to exclude hazards, misrepresenting not only the terrain but also the reward of the Promised Land at the end, knowing that if all truth were included, few if any would venture forth.

"Intent" is a critical question here.

If it is discovered, with adequate validity that there was intent to deceive or misrepresent for odious purposes then the problem is no longer one of "imperfections of men". It now becomes one of man's intentional pursuit of worldly desires at the expense of God's children. A latter day condition well described and prophesied in the 34th chapter of Ezekiel and condemned by the Lord.

Ezek 34 is a condemnation on the Shepherds of Israel who have been self-serving liars, and concludes with a prophecy that a Davidic scion will rule righteously and that things will be different, obviously referring to the Jewish people as now or in the near future successfully ensconced in the State of Israel.

The whole burden of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has been to voice God's condemnation of those apostate Shepherds and to replace them with a new dispensation (the final one of several since the prophecy was made).  That is one irony.  The other is that, as Mike Quinn's recent book on Church finances shows, the LDS Church Shepherds have been anything but selfish or insincere.  Human yes, but mistakes are the province of the best intentioned men -- as President Dieter Uchtdorf has emphasized.

44 minutes ago, Palerider said:

So another question might be, how does one convince disaffected members there has been no mendacity? Especially in view of evidence to the contrary. 🤔😒.

Mendacity is just something we must all learn to live with.  It is part of life on planet Earth.

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1 hour ago, let’s roll said:

Haven’t read it either, but isn’t the most worthwhile faith faith in the Lord, Jesus Christ?  

If, so aren’t the three steps best understood in connection with the development of that faith, rather than faith in a narrative.

And, if one’s faith includes faith that personal revelation is possible (and eventually experienced on a regular basis) wouldn’t that revelation be the guiding force in someone’s life.

I’m not sure how you define disaffected in this context, but I trust that being disaffected doesn’t preclude someone from pursuing faith in the Lord.  And in the security of a fully-developed faith in Christ with its attendant personal revelation wouldn’t the faith holder be lead as to how to work through their thoughts on the narrative, if indeed any such thoughts were still perceived as important by the faith holder?

 

I agree. 

And since the Lord said that He is the only mediator between men and the Father and sent His Spirit as the Second Comforter to ensure that open line of communication, what need have we of the arm of flesh to tell us God's will?

Especially when we have the Biblical scriptures as a general guide. The church used to say that the Bible also contained the fullness of the Gospel of Christ. Not sure if they still stand by that or not.

But even with it's faults is there insufficient information in the Biblical scriptures for salvation with Christ?

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21 minutes ago, Palerider said:

I agree. 

And since the Lord said that He is the only mediator between men and the Father and sent His Spirit as the Second Comforter to ensure that open line of communication, what need have we of the arm of flesh to tell us God's will?

Especially when we have the Biblical scriptures as a general guide. The church used to say that the Bible also contained the fullness of the Gospel of Christ. Not sure if they still stand by that or not.

But even with it's faults is there insufficient information in the Biblical scriptures for salvation with Christ?

I trust with sufficient faith in Christ you’ll receive personal revelation sufficient to answer the questions you pose, and more.

Godspeed to you in you discipleship.

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2 hours ago, let’s roll said:

Haven’t read it either, but isn’t the most worthwhile faith faith in the Lord, Jesus Christ?  

If, so aren’t the three steps best understood in connection with the development of that faith, rather than faith in a narrative.

And, if one’s faith includes faith that personal revelation is possible (and eventually experienced on a regular basis) wouldn’t that revelation be the guiding force in someone’s life.

I’m not sure how you define disaffected in this context, but I trust that being disaffected doesn’t preclude someone from pursuing faith in the Lord.  And in the security of a fully-developed faith in Christ with its attendant personal revelation wouldn’t the faith holder be lead as to how to work through their thoughts on the narrative, if indeed any such thoughts were still perceived as important by the faith holder?

Except the Church claims that faith in Jesus Christ is just one part of the salvation equation. According to the Church, a person must receive the saving ordinances which are only available in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

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2 hours ago, Robert F. Smith said:

Ezek 34 is a condemnation on the Shepherds of Israel who have been self-serving liars, and concludes with a prophecy that a Davidic scion will rule righteously and that things will be different, obviously referring to the Jewish people as now or in the near future successfully ensconced in the State of Israel.

 

Ezekiel 34 is a latter day prophecy and by no means strictly limited to those of Israeli descent. Being intended for the latter days it must be taken into account that it addresses ALL of the lost sheep of Spiritual Israel which obviously includes the Gentiles as your own heading concurs in Romans 9: "The Gentiles are adopted into the house of Israel".

Therefore, because of the bad behavior of the would be shepherds in the latter days, the Lord concludes that He, Himself will gather all the lost sheep of Israel. Ezekiel 34:11:

"For thus saith the Lord God; Behold, I, even I, will both search my sheep, and seek them out."

Further, it states that the Lord himself will lead the sheep to the place of safety and that they will be gathered by Him personally (After his coming, not before). This refrain of the Lord personally effecting this work is repeatedly stated in the entire chapter. Do you doubt his ability to accomplish this effort by Himself?

How many times in the Old Testament did the Lord tell Israel to stand aside and watch as He accomplished a work by Himself? It is a recurring theme.

Obviously the "Davidic" Prince is Christ himself who will rule in righteousness over the sheep gathered after his 2nd Coming.

There is no mention of the employ of shepherds of men in this effort. No prophets being called to "prepare a people". They have already done enough damage to the flock of God.

As an aside, some men are fed with money, some with adulation, some with power. "Teachers having itching ears." (Ears that love to be massaged with compliments and praise). The Savior said to beware of false prophets that come in sheep's clothing but inwardly are ravening wolves. How would you describe the behavior of someone acting as a sheep??? Would they appear humble? Soft of heart? Weeping for the flock? Saying they had done great things in the name of the Lord? Preaching of the Kingdom? Appearing indeed holy and outwardly spiritually beautiful?

Some men's works go before them...others follow...

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32 minutes ago, Thinking said:

Except the Church claims that faith in Jesus Christ is just one part of the salvation equation. According to the Church, a person must receive the saving ordinances which are only available in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

I trust that with sufficient faith in Christ you’ll receive personal revelation sufficient to answer to your satisfaction whether or not that’s true and act accordingly.  My understanding is that is what the Church invites you to do, inquire of Deity regarding ordinances and respond to the direction you receive.

Godspeed to you in your discipleship.  

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48 minutes ago, let’s roll said:

 My understanding is that is what the Church invites you to do, inquire of Deity regarding ordinances and respond to the direction you receive.

Godspeed to you in your discipleship.  

I appreciate your counsel and sincerity Let's roll.

But it has been my experience that the church encourages members to seek testimony or a witness of the words of their prophets and if ones answer is different from the prophet, you need to pray until you get the correct answer, which is to follow the prophet.

So if the prophet is always right, (unless he's dead which means he can then be wrong, but never very wrong, only a little wrong).....Why bother praying for a witness...???

Don't worry.... it's a rhetorical question...🙃

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1 hour ago, Palerider said:

I appreciate your counsel and sincerity Let's roll.

But it has been my experience that the church encourages members to seek testimony or a witness of the words of their prophets and if ones answer is different from the prophet, you need to pray until you get the correct answer, which is to follow the prophet.

So if the prophet is always right, (unless he's dead which means he can then be wrong, but never very wrong, only a little wrong).....Why bother praying for a witness...???

Don't worry.... it's a rhetorical question...🙃

I understand you pose it as a rhetorical question, hopefully I won’t offend by responding rhetorically.

Why would sincere prayer ever be considered bothersome?

Warm regards.

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2 hours ago, Palerider said:

Ezekiel 34 is a latter day prophecy and by no means strictly limited to those of Israeli descent. Being intended for the latter days it must be taken into account that it addresses ALL of the lost sheep of Spiritual Israel which obviously includes the Gentiles as your own heading concurs in Romans 9: "The Gentiles are adopted into the house of Israel".

Therefore, because of the bad behavior of the would be shepherds in the latter days, the Lord concludes that He, Himself will gather all the lost sheep of Israel. Ezekiel 34:11:

"For thus saith the Lord God; Behold, I, even I, will both search my sheep, and seek them out."

Further, it states that the Lord himself will lead the sheep to the place of safety and that they will be gathered by Him personally (After his coming, not before). This refrain of the Lord personally effecting this work is repeatedly stated in the entire chapter. Do you doubt his ability to accomplish this effort by Himself?

The Lord always works through human emissaries, even though poetic and figurative phrases may suggest that he will do it himself.  Since he is in charge, it is in effect he who does it all, but always through human instruments.  The Eschaton or Day of the Lord is not one 24-hour day, but rather the End Time, consisting of many time-consuming facets.  The Lord  himself does come to Israel at the newly cleft Mount Olivet, and they are surprised to find that he is the Messiah Jesus whom they once crucified (D&C 45:42-53, Zech 13:6, 14:4).  As with the modern Jewish state, they have already been gathered (in accord with Apostle Orson Hyde's explicit blessing on Mt Olivet in 1841).  This is a separate event from anything LDS, including the building of the Jewish Temple in Jerusalem.  Narrow ethnocentrism and the false doctrine of supercessionism explain nothing.

2 hours ago, Palerider said:

How many times in the Old Testament did the Lord tell Israel to stand aside and watch as He accomplished a work by Himself? It is a recurring theme.

Obviously the "Davidic" Prince is Christ himself who will rule in righteousness over the sheep gathered after his 2nd Coming.

There is no mention of the employ of shepherds of men in this effort. No prophets being called to "prepare a people". They have already done enough damage to the flock of God.

As an aside, some men are fed with money, some with adulation, some with power. "Teachers having itching ears." (Ears that love to be massaged with compliments and praise). The Savior said to beware of false prophets that come in sheep's clothing but inwardly are ravening wolves. How would you describe the behavior of someone acting as a sheep??? Would they appear humble? Soft of heart? Weeping for the flock? Saying they had done great things in the name of the Lord? Preaching of the Kingdom? Appearing indeed holy and outwardly spiritually beautiful?

Some men's works go before them...others follow...

It does depend on who are the authentic apostates, and a lot of finger-pointing does go on.  But, as I pointed out, a dispassionate examination of the LDS leaders gives no warrant for such condemnation as you apply (Mike Quinn makes that very clear, and he is, as you know, not a member of the LDS Church).  Still, it is a matter of opinion, and everyone brings different assumptions to the table.  Personal testimonies are quite subjective.  The irony is that the LDS Brethren are pointing the finger of apostasy at other organizations, wherein the riches of the world are bestowed on lying pastors.

In addition, Pope Francis has condemned the largesse of the "Princes" of his Church,  and yet it is a church currently in the throes of scandal for sponsoring and not removing manifold bishops and cardinals who have either participated in pedophilia, or have covered it up.  All the complaints of Martin Luther are still with the RC Church, and the Supreme Pontiff is inexplicably dragging his feet.

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16 hours ago, Palerider said:
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Stage 1 ("Innocent and Untested") --> Stage 2 ("Juxtaposing the Ideal and the Real") --> ????????

I'm curious why you deleted Stage 3 ("Informed Perspective of Complexity-Transcending Simplicity Tempered by Time and Experience").

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Doesn't member disaffection go some distance beyond discovering the incongruity between the "ideal and the real"?

Whether a person can transition between and essentially reconcile "the 'ideal and the real'" is, I think, a matter of perspective.  For those who can, it is possible to proceed to Stage 3.  For those who cannot, Stage 2 is the end of the line.

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Obviously I haven't read it but to me this book as described so far, would fall seriously short of addressing the root problem.

Only if you presuppose that "the root problem" is that Stage 3 is not possible.  I think it is.  Very much so, in fact.

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It is one thing to find that the map you have been given has some topographical errors in it compared to the reality of the landscape you are traversing. It is quite another to highly suspect that the map makers knew better but made a conscious decision to exclude hazards, misrepresenting not only the terrain but also the reward of the Promised Land at the end, knowing that if all truth were included, few if any would venture forth.

Again, you are presupposing that Stage 3 is not possible.

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"Intent" is a critical question here.

If it is discovered, with adequate validity that there was intent to deceive or misrepresent for odious purposes then the problem is no longer one of "imperfections of men". It now becomes one of man's intentional pursuit of worldly desires at the expense of God's children.

Joseph Smith pursued "worldly desires at the expense of God's children?"  Is that your assertion?  If so, then you seem to be - as I have said - presupposing that there is no Stage 3, at least as to Joseph Smith's "intent."

With respect, I think reasonable minds can disagree about that.  I get that people want to vilify him and accuse him - as you apparently do here - of having evil motives.  But others have studied his life and found ample room to traverse "the ideal" and proceed to "the real" and be convinced of his general character, and his prophetic calling.

Consider, for example, these remarks by Daniel Peterson (addressing whether Joseph Smith's claims about the Plates):

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OK, so let’s look a little more in detail: Joseph had no plates. This is what most critics say; there were none.

All right, the first option is that he knew that he had no plates. OK. Now, this runs into a number of issues. You have to ask first of all, Was this deliberate, was it cynical or was it pious? Was he a cynical fraud, just a con-artist, 19th century con man?

I think you run into issues right there. One of the places you run into issues is with Joseph Smith’s writings, which are now being published, the personal writings of Joseph Smith, the Joseph Smith Papers. If Joseph Smith is not sincere, then I can’t judge sincerity in another human being.

This is a man who in his most personal private writings, letters to his wife, personal journal entries, they’re full of prayers. He’s praying all the time. Oh, Lord, help your servant, help me. Writing to his wife, Emma, praying, expressing prayers for her. Telling his children to be sure they say their prayers at night, this sort of thing. All the time coming across as a believer. There’s nothing, certainly there’s nothing at all in the early Joseph Smith that you could say points to someone who’s a cynical, manipulative deceiver. It’s just not there. He doesn’t let the mask fall at all. If he is one, there’s no evidence for it that I can see.

Now I know some people will come back and they will say what about plural marriage later on? Well that’s a difficult case. And we can argue that. I’m willing to argue that. I don’t want to do it here. That’s quite far afield. But I’m talking about the early Joseph Smith. I don’t think you see the cynical deceiver anywhere in Joseph’s character. But you certainly don’t see it in 1828. You don’t see it in 1830. This is a young man, I mean, you even have descriptions of him going out into the woods to pray, just as he says he did with the First Vision. This was a habit of his. He would go out into the woods to pray when he was concerned about something, when he was worried, when he was upset or indecisive and so on. There’s a continual pattern of this kind of thing. He is a believer. If you can see anything from the writings that are coming out, he really believes that he’s receiving revelations. He’s not a cynical con artist.

And there’s other evidence. Would a cynical con artist have put up with some of the stuff he endured?

Think of Liberty Jail. If you’ve ever been in Liberty Jail, you know how small that area was and how grim and dark it was. I had the occasion, the privilege a couple of years ago, I guess, to go back and speak in Liberty Jail. I never thought I would have that chance. It was for the anniversary of the building of the visitors center, I think. And I stood actually above the space in which Joseph Smith was confined. And what really worried me was I noticed they put the podium in such a place that I was standing on the trap door. And I just wondered, you know, if the talk goes on too long or they don’t like it, does it just open up, woosh, I’m down there with Joseph and Sidney.

But he was genuinely miserable. I think you have to understand that he came close to despair. You can imagine what it must have been like for him there. When he was writing this epistle, the famous epistle in Section 121: “O Lord, where art thou?”, I don’t think you should see that as just literary flourish or play acting. He really is feeling abandoned. This is a terrible time for him.

And it’s made all the more terrible by the fact that, well, I’ve got ahead of myself, by the fact that the saints are being driven out and he’s not able to do anything about it. Can you imagine? If you had any trace of human conscience at all, if you were lying, this would be almost impossible to endure. And he would have reached his absolute low point, but he comes through it faith intact, as does his brother Hyrum, one of the witnesses, so on and so forth.

Think of what else happened to the saints because of his claims. Can you imagine, again, if you were just making up a story and there were people literally dying for you, for this story you’re telling, gosh, you would have to be a sociopath to be able to put up with that, but there’s, again, no evidence that he was anything of the kind.

And then, of course, there’s his own ultimate martyrdom. He actually thought he was going to die at Liberty, but he did die just a few years later. And he pretty well knew that that was going to be the end result. Richard Anderson published an article years ago, which didn’t get wide circulation, showing Joseph’s awareness of the fact that after about 1838-1839, that he was going to die fairly shortly, that there had been a kind of divine protection over him but he sensed that that had been, or would be shortly, removed, that his work was drawing to its end.

Now it’s easy to sit here and say, well, a con artist might go through it all to the end, but not many would. Again this argues for sincerity rather than cynicism and conscious deceit. He does actually die there and he dies faithful to his testimony. So does Hyrum Smith, and that’s striking to me. That Hyrum, the elder brother, accompanies him to Carthage Jail.

And, of course, there’s also the evidence that even if you decide that Joseph is a conscious deceiver, there are other people who are seeing thing with him. Most of his revelatory experiences are shared. After the First Vision, over and over and over again there are other people there who see things, heft things with him.

So the cynical deception thing just doesn’t cut it. It doesn’t do it.

Do you see what he did here?  As regarding Joseph Smith's character pertaining to accusations of him being a fraud/charlatan, he juxtaposed the "ideal" and the "real" and found that he could proceed to Stage 3.

Now, is Dr. Peterson's assessment here a necessary one?  Is it possible for reasonable minds to disagree with his conclusions?  I think so.  But it's also possible to agree with his conclusions.  To go through similar exercises and reach similar conclusions.

In other words, it is possible to proceed to Stage 3, or not.  It's a matter of perspective and choice.

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A latter day condition well described and prophesied in the 34th chapter of Ezekiel and condemned by the Lord.

Not sure what you mean here.  Are you accusing Joseph Smith and/or his successors of "not...feed[ing] the flocks?"  The validity of this charge is not self-apparent.  At all.

In other words, proceeding to Stage 3 is very, very possible.

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So another question might be, how does one convince disaffected members there has been no mendacity? Especially in view of evidence to the contrary. 🤔😒

Again, not sure what you mean here.  You speak of, but do not explain or demonstrate, "man's intentional pursuit of worldly desires at the expense of God's children."

I don't think Joseph Smith did that.  I don't think his successors have done that.  You speak of, but do not identify, "evidence" of "mendacity" (presumably systemic and deeply-entrenched and pertaining to the truth claims of the Church).

Do you really think that you are aware of a substantial body of such evidence that the rest of us are not?  That only you and people who agree with you have properly evaluated this evidence and come to the only feasible conclusion?  If so, that would be . . . a bit bold.  And if not, then it's possible for reasonable minds to disagree.  And if reasonable minds can disagree about the evidence and the appropriate conclusions to be drawn therefrom, then proceeding to Stage 3 is possible.

Thanks,

-Smac

 

Edited by smac97
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On 11/26/2018 at 8:33 AM, smac97 said:

So we have:

Stage 1 ("Innocent and Untested") --> Stage 2 ("Juxtaposing the Ideal and the Real") --> Stage 3 ("Informed Perspective of Complexity-Transcending Simplicity Tempered by Time and Experience").

This seems about right.  Stage 2 is, I think, where a lot of members of the Church are struggling and giving up.

So yeah, definitely going to get the book.

Any thoughts?

Thanks,

Interesting, thanks for sharing.  I think anything that gets people to explore their religious experience further is a great plus in my mind.  

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21 hours ago, Thinking said:

For those who don't believe anymore, stage 2 is where our eyes were opened and discovered that reality didn't match the narrative. Giving up is not the appropriate phrase.

Well, there is free choice in all this, and that is central to the Gospel.  Real life is hard, and giving up is a response to difficulties.  One can rationalize it and make excuses.  I have known nice people who chose to go another way, rejecting this or that belief in favor of modernism.  Seems perfectly acceptable to me.  I prefer a world in which there is a great deal of diversity, which makes free choice all the more meaningful.  That does not mean, however, that every choice is equal to every other choice.  Ultimate truth may not fit every choice.  Many a choice is just a cop out.

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