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'What would dead church leaders think? Short-sighted reasoning


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2 hours ago, Bernard Gui said:

-why did Mormon take such pains to document them? 

My in-laws are bat crazy about end-times conspiracy theories.  They feed on this stuff - they are drawn to it like flies on a turd.  My concern isn't in believing that true conspiracies exist in our day (and almost certainly do), my concern is that a religious search for latter-day Gadianton robbers will most certainly lead some to fall victim to conspiracy theories and become deceived and paranoid, especially considering that there is no way to distinguish true conspiracies from bogus conspiracy theories until there is a smoking gun.  That is kind of the point of "secret combinations", they are "secret" - until they are not.   

My other concern is that these theories are incredibly powerful and influential.  People have learned that they can harness that power for their own purposes and manipulate the public like puppets through the creation and use of conspiracy theories.    

It has become such a problem in the church that a new section has been added to the handbook to address it.  Here is one section of it:

Quote

 

38.8.40

Seeking Information from Reliable Sources

...many sources of information are unreliable and do not edify. Some sources seek to promote anger, contention, fear, or baseless conspiracy theories (see 3 Nephi 11:30; Mosiah 2:32).  They should avoid sources that are speculative or founded on rumor.

 

Conspiracy theories are by nature speculative, promote anger, contention, and fear.  We have been warned against them by the living prophets, yet some continue to justify their belief and promotion of conspiracy theories by use of scripture and belief in latter-day Gadianton robbers.

Mormon certainly didn't include information about the robbers so that we can be deceived and manipulated in the last days with outlandish theories, but that is what is happening. 

Edited by pogi
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2 hours ago, Bernard Gui said:

Schoolyard bullies always have their minions to back them up.

The Satan-inspired secret oath/societies/conspiracies/combinations are a repeated theme in the BoM. Mormon did that for a purpose. I think he did this as a warning for us today. IMO the drug cartels are examples of modern Gadiantons. We should take heed.

You seem loathe to acknowledge the Satanic connection with these secret combinations. Can they not exist today?  Maybe I’m misunderstanding.

Oh, they exist all over the place at every level of society and economic status and Satan originally inspired them but I don't think they are generally overt Satanists. I just don't think that it is a dramatic reveal and Satan probably doesn't have to inspire most of them. The institutions already exist and it is in our cultural upbringing to build them and join in with them.

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2 hours ago, The Nehor said:

Oh, they exist all over the place at every level of society and economic status and Satan originally inspired them but I don't think they are generally overt Satanists. I just don't think that it is a dramatic reveal and Satan probably doesn't have to inspire most of them. The institutions already exist and it is in our cultural upbringing to build them and join in with them.

Sad

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5 hours ago, Bernard Gui said:

Excellent read as usual from BroG.

Bro. Gardner does a great job of contextualizing the Gadiantons and finding similarities in Mesoamerican history, but he does not address the relevance for us today -why did Mormon take such pains to document them? 

The last paragraph would seem to explain that:

"Mormon would have seen the arrival of the Savior in Bountiful as connected to the future arrival of that same Messiah in new circumstances. We may suppose that Mormon’s naming of the Gadiantons in the two time periods tells us of his expectations of the parallels. Mormon is facing the decimation of his own people, yet he retains his optimism in the future. Mormon is saying that in the time of Helaman the destruction of the Nephites by Gadiantons was followed by the coming of the Messiah, a miracle that restored the Nephites. Mormon is expecting that after the destruction of his own people by the new Gadiantons, that the Messiah will come again, and will similarly restore the Nephites. His record will be the guide for that restoration. His optimism lives in his text, even though its fulfillment is taking longer than he would have hoped."

 

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On 7/18/2021 at 11:53 AM, Scott Lloyd said:

I lose patience with the occasional remark about what Joseph Smith or Brigham Young or whoever would think about X if he were alive today. 

I'm not sure I follow you.  I haven't been to Sunday School in a long time but I distinctly remember a series of manuals like "The Teachings of Brigham Young" wherein his words were directly applied to a modern context. It seems that there is a lot of precedence for applying dead prophet's words to modern situations.  

On 7/18/2021 at 11:53 AM, Scott Lloyd said:

Why? Because the underlying implication is nearly always that they would be plucked out of the time in which they lived and plunked down in present day without any orientation and would therefore disapprove of the way things are done in the Church today. That is faulty reasoning. And a form of presentism. 

We have to be consistent don't we?  Otherwise we are just picking and choosing which prophetic teachings we like.

On 7/18/2021 at 11:53 AM, Scott Lloyd said:

So, for example, to say that Brigham Young would disapprove of controlled U.S. borders today because he needed free-flowing immigration to feed the gathering to Zion in the 19th century ignores the fact that since the turn of the century (20th, not 21st), the Church has taught and encouraged that converts should remain and build Zion wherever they live instead of physically gathering to one central location.

I have no doubt that BY would welcome anyone to the Promised Land.  The real question is of how this immigration is managed.  There is no reason a compassionate and liberal immigration policy can't be carried out in ways that also set new immigrants up for employment and educational success.  Good immigration policy is a win-win for everyone.

Edited by Ipod Touch
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13 hours ago, Calm said:

I was referring to the age and citizenship requirements for holding office that are in the original document….which uses “person” as the term for individual. In context of that time and place the source was most likely British common law iirc, legally “person” meant something different than it does today…and I was thinking that interpretation of person was included in the text where it wasn’t. 

As far as "person" being something different from what it means today, no it wasn't. Blackstone's commentary on the laws of England (published 1765–1770), which was considered to be the authoritative commentary on the common law at the time of the Revolution, has this to say about persons:

"Persons also are divided by the law into either natural persons, or artificial. Natural persons are such as the God of nature formed us: artificial are such as created and devised by human laws for the purposed of society and government; which are called corporations or bodies politic." (see -> BOOK 1, CHAPTER 1, Of the Absolute Rights of Individuals)

In short, by person the Constitution (and Common Law) clearly meant "human being". 

Now, as to who is granted elective franchise, that's another matter. Which was addressed either in law, or in custom. There may have been laws in the US or the UK at the time which expressly excluded women from the franchise, but I believe it was primarily custom. When Susan B. Anthony was arrested and convicted of "voting while a woman" in 1872, the New York state election laws were silent as to the sex of the voter. A fact that her defense relied upon, but the judge, being a jerk, wouldn't let the case go to jury (because she had talked about "jury nullification" or "jury lawlessness"), and he was apparently afraid enough jurors would be swayed to provoke an acquittal. 

The US Constitution leaves to the states the decision of who may vote. In 1789, the states generally limited this right to property-owning or tax-paying white males. But some states allowed also Black males to vote, and New Jersey also included unmarried and widowed women, regardless of color. Since married women were not allowed to own property under English common law, they could not meet the property qualifications. But property requirements were not universal: in 1789 Georgia removed the property requirement for voting.

I got that last paragraph from information I found on Wikipedia, "Timeline of voting rights in the United States".

 

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1 hour ago, Ipod Touch said:

You are Fake News!

I have trained my brain to take that term to mean “completely factual reporting”. So far this mental correction has never led me astray.

In any case, thank you for the compliment.

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23 hours ago, pogi said:

My in-laws are bat crazy about end-times conspiracy theories.  They feed on this stuff - they are drawn to it like flies on a turd.  My concern isn't in believing that true conspiracies exist in our day (and almost certainly do), my concern is that a religious search for latter-day Gadianton robbers will most certainly lead some to fall victim to conspiracy theories and become deceived and paranoid, especially considering that there is no way to distinguish true conspiracies from bogus conspiracy theories until there is a smoking gun.  That is kind of the point of "secret combinations", they are "secret" - until they are not.   

My other concern is that these theories are incredibly powerful and influential.  People have learned that they can harness that power for their own purposes and manipulate the public like puppets through the creation and use of conspiracy theories.    

It has become such a problem in the church that a new section has been added to the handbook to address it.  Here is one section of it:

Conspiracy theories are by nature speculative, promote anger, contention, and fear.  We have been warned against them by the living prophets, yet some continue to justify their belief and promotion of conspiracy theories by use of scripture and belief in latter-day Gadianton robbers.

Mormon certainly didn't include information about the robbers so that we can be deceived and manipulated in the last days with outlandish theories, but that is what is happening. 

It’s a good thing that doesn’t describe me, thank you. I gave the example of drug cartels as modern Gadiantons. I’ll add street gangs to that list.

Just remember, though, that even if one is paranoid it doesn’t mean they are not out to get you. 😉

Edited by Bernard Gui
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20 hours ago, Ipod Touch said:

I'm not sure I follow you.  I haven't been to Sunday School in a long time but I distinctly remember a series of manuals like "The Teachings of Brigham Young" wherein his words were directly applied to a modern context. It seems that there is a lot of precedence for applying dead prophet's words to modern situations.  

We have to be consistent don't we?  Otherwise we are just picking and choosing which prophetic teachings we like.

I have no doubt that BY would welcome anyone to the Promised Land.  The real question is of how this immigration is managed.  There is no reason a compassionate and liberal immigration policy can't be carried out in ways that also set new immigrants up for employment and educational success.  Good immigration policy is a win-win for everyone.

I agree with you that good immigration policy is a win-win (if there is emphasis on the word “good”). That’s why I favor immigration that is lawful and orderly, as opposed to an open-borders stance which invites chaos. One need only examine the current horrific child trafficking and crime that attends unchecked border crossings to see that this is so. 
 

Regarding applying prophets’ words in a modern context, I have rejected the presumption that deceased Church leaders would object to what has occurred in the Church over time by means of divine revelation. On the contrary, I’m confident they are totally on board with it, especially if, as Bernard Gui has surmised, they are today “mingling with Gods” (those words alluding to the hymn “Praise to the Man”). Thus, while I agree with you that Brigham Young today would welcome anyone to Utah, I’m confident he would be aligned with prophets over the past many decades who have encouraged converts to build Zion wherever they live. 
 

I stand by my belief that one cannot say with any surety what deceased prophets — or any figure from a prior age — would say about secular issues today. 
 

Incidentally, no big deal, but the “Teachings of Presidents of the Church” series of manuals that you recall from years past were not used in Sunday School, but in priesthood meeting and Relief Society. 

Edited by Scott Lloyd
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On 7/20/2021 at 7:03 PM, Calm said:

Man is that he might have joy. :)

that might to me means maybe, and then there is that precept about how there must needs be opposition in all things and how we need opposition to know both sides of the issue, whatever the issue may be.  Without misery we can't know joy, for example.

i'm currently thinking this opposition and both sides of all issues is going to be going on forever and ever, just not always at the same moment in time.  When we feel sad we don't feel joy at that time but our feelings can switch back and forth, I guess, forever.

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44 minutes ago, Scott Lloyd said:

Thus, while I agree with you that Brigham Young today would welcome anyone to Utah, I’m confident he would be aligned with prophets over the past many decades who have encouraged converts to build Zion wherever they live. 

Not suggesting that you are, but it would be naive to take the call to build Zion wherever converts live as an anti-illegal immigration stance, especially considering one estimate by BYU history Professor Ignacio Garcia, who estimates that, nationwide, 70 percent of all Latino converts in the past 10-15 years are illegal immigrants.  No need to repent for illegal immigration.  No need to go back to their home country before they are baptized. 

If the present church leaders are anti-illegal immigration as you seem to think, why don't they come out against it?  Instead, officially, they state that the don't take a position on the issue, while behind the scenes, there seems to be plenty of evidence and testimony from Utah legislators to the contrary:

https://cis.org/Mormon-Church-and-Illegal-Immigration

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10 hours ago, pogi said:

Not suggesting that you are, but it would be naive to take the call to build Zion wherever converts live as an anti-illegal immigration stance, especially considering one estimate by BYU history Professor Ignacio Garcia, who estimates that, nationwide, 70 percent of all Latino converts in the past 10-15 years are illegal immigrants.  No need to repent for illegal immigration.  No need to go back to their home country before they are baptized. 

If the present church leaders are anti-illegal immigration as you seem to think, why don't they come out against it?  Instead, officially, they state that the don't take a position on the issue, while behind the scenes, there seems to be plenty of evidence and testimony from Utah legislators to the contrary:

https://cis.org/Mormon-Church-and-Illegal-Immigration

(Bolded for reference)
I’ve never said or even implied that Church leaders take a position one way or another on immigration policy. 

What I HAVE said is that the 19th century policy of encouraging converts to relocate to the Intermountain West is no longer in force (as the item in your linked content acknowledges). 

Edited by Scott Lloyd
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2 hours ago, Scott Lloyd said:

(Bolded for reference)
I’ve never said or even implied that Church leaders take a position one way or another on immigration policy. 

What I HAVE said is that the 19th century policy of encouraging converts to relocate to the Intermountain West is no longer in force (as the item in your linked content verifies). 

 

On 7/18/2021 at 12:53 PM, Scott Lloyd said:

So, for example, to say that Brigham Young would disapprove of controlled U.S. borders today because he needed free-flowing immigration to feed the gathering to Zion in the 19th century ignores the fact that since the turn of the century (20th, not 21st), the Church has taught and encouraged that converts should remain and build Zion wherever they live instead of physically gathering to one central location. 

Well, if we are to hypothetically suggest that your point is true that ancient prophets would likely align with modern prophets, then we must conclude that Brigham Young's position on immigration would likely be the same today as it was back then, for similar but slightly different reasons (if we are to believe Utah legislators accounts of the church's current influence). 

 

Edited by pogi
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41 minutes ago, pogi said:

 

Well, if we are to hypothetically suggest that your point is true that ancient prophets would likely align with modern prophets, then we must conclude that Brigham Young's position on immigration would likely be the same today as it was back then, for similar but slightly different reasons (if we are to believe Utah legislators accounts of the church's current influence). 

 

Your logic is weak in that it assumes facts not in evidence: 

1. Did Brigham Young in his lifetime ever declare that a nation has no right to control its own borders? Not that I’m aware of. 
 

2. Have the Church leaders in current times ever contradicted the right of a nation to control its own borders? Certainly not. In fact, they have said just the opposite. 
 

Here is a snippet from the Gospel Topics Essays entry on immigration:

We acknowledge that every nation has the right to enforce its laws and secure its borders. All persons subject to a nation’s laws are accountable for their acts in relation to them.

Public officials should create and administer laws that reflect the best of our aspirations as a just and caring society. Such laws will properly balance love for neighbors, family cohesion, and the observance of just and enforceable laws.

Finally, what you have presented regarding the Church pressuring the Utah State Legislature in contravention of the Church’s own stated position strikes me as highly conjectural, not at all settled fact. 

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34 minutes ago, Scott Lloyd said:

Your logic is weak in that it assumes facts not in evidence: 

1. Did Brigham Young in his lifetime ever declare that a nation has no right to control its own borders? Not that I’m aware of. 
 

2. Have the Church leaders in current times ever contradicted the right of a nation to control its own borders? Certainly not. In fact, they have said just the opposite. 
 

Here is a snippet from the Gospel Topics Essays entry on immigration:

We acknowledge that every nation has the right to enforce its laws and secure its borders. All persons subject to a nation’s laws are accountable for their acts in relation to them.

Public officials should create and administer laws that reflect the best of our aspirations as a just and caring society. Such laws will properly balance love for neighbors, family cohesion, and the observance of just and enforceable laws.

Finally, what you have presented regarding the Church pressuring the Utah State Legislature in contravention of the Church’s own stated position strikes me as highly conjectural, not at all settled fact. 

You are conflating the belief that a nation has a right to secure its boarders with a belief that they should.  The church seems to not care if a person is illegal or not. 

Brigham Young didn't seem to regard border laws much, did he?

 

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3 minutes ago, pogi said:

You are conflating the belief that a nation has a right to secure its boarders with a belief that they should. 

There is also the process. Secure borders don’t have to mean limited immigration.  Could have a very efficient, very generous legal immigration policy while having borders that are heavily patrolled, etc. 

Edited by Calm
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12 minutes ago, pogi said:

You are conflating the belief that a nation has a right to secure its boarders with a belief that they should.  The church seems to not care if a person is illegal or not. 

Brigham Young didn't seem to regard border laws much, did he?

 

The phrase is “enforce its laws and secure its borders.” Are you also going to argue that a nation should not enforce its laws? Or that the Church doesn’t care whether a nation enforces its laws? 

Edited by Scott Lloyd
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21 minutes ago, Scott Lloyd said:

The phrase is “enforce its laws and secure its borders.” Are you also going to argue that a nation should not enforce its laws? Or that the Church doesn’t care whether a nation enforces its laws? 

I imagine the Church would prefer China not enforce certain laws it has about religious organizations, same with Russia. 

Edited by Calm
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9 hours ago, Calm said:

I imagine the Church would prefer China not enforce certain laws it has about religious organizations, same with Russia. 

Probably so. 
 

But appealing to extremes and applying them as the rule, not the exception, amounts to a fallacy. One does not have to approve of the extreme to recognize that in the vast majority of instances, the laws governing society — especially a free and democratic society — are beneficial, just and practical and therefore merit conformance. And thus, the prudent course for the Church, generally speaking, is to “render unto Caesar the things which are Caesar’s” and unto God’s the things which are God’s. Hence the policy (and doctrinal) statement: All persons subject to a nation’s laws are accountable for their acts in relation to them (see D&C 134:1). 

Edited by Scott Lloyd
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7 hours ago, Calm said:

There is also the process. Secure borders don’t have to mean limited immigration.  Could have a very efficient, very generous legal immigration policy while having borders that are heavily patrolled, etc. 

I think such a thing would be consistent with the “lawful and orderly” descriptors I’ve used more than once in this thread. 

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9 hours ago, Scott Lloyd said:

The phrase is “enforce its laws and secure its borders.” Are you also going to argue that a nation should not enforce its laws? Or that the Church doesn’t care whether a nation enforces its laws? 

I don’t think the church does care that much if a nation enforces its laws?

2 hours ago, Scott Lloyd said:

I think such a thing would be consistent with the “lawful and orderly” descriptors I’ve used more than once in this thread. 

The “law and order” phrase has a dark history.

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13 hours ago, Scott Lloyd said:

The phrase is “enforce its laws and secure its borders.” Are you also going to argue that a nation should not enforce its laws? Or that the Church doesn’t care whether a nation enforces its laws? 

Just because something is the law doesn't make it right or moral.  I don't think enforcing immoral laws should be supported, by the Church or us.

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4 hours ago, JLHPROF said:

Just because something is the law doesn't make it right or moral.  I don't think enforcing immoral laws should be supported, by the Church or us.

A nation securing its own borders and enacting orderly immigration policy has not been declared immoral by the Church. On the contrary, the Church has acknowledged a nation’s right to do it and its legitimate interest in doing so. 
 

Where the Church has not taken a position on a matter of government law or policy, your opinion in opposition to it is not binding on any other Latter-day Saint. It’s an individual matter of conscience and reasoned consideration. 

Edited by Scott Lloyd
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