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Plural marriage, the priesthood, and exaltation


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26 minutes ago, Olmec Donald said:

Well I am definitely NOT a church leader, so this example is just my opinion: The temple endowment ceremony.

Recall how many things in the temple are the "________ of the ________ Priesthood."  Recall the items of clothing which have the word "Priesthood" in their name.  Recall the signs and such given to both men and women patrons which have the word "Priesthood" in their names.  Recall the related actions then performed by both men and women which have the word "Priesthood" in their names.  Recall the thirty-something words which are spoken in a certain place and time, and note specifically the exact wording associated with "Priesthood". 

Are there any differences between how Priesthood is used by men and women in the endowment ceremony?  Nope.  (My apologies to those who have not been through the temple; the point I'm making in the preceding paragraph is that men and women both participate equally and fully in everything involving "Priesthood" in the temple endowment ceremony.)

Now we are leading up to the big question.  Unless "Priesthood" does not mean what we think it means, it would be totally inappropriate for anyone who is not a Priesthood holder to participate in the endowment ceremony.  And indeed, a man who does not hold the Melchizedek Priesthood is not allowed to.  How then can it be appropriate for a woman who is not a Priesthood holder?  Does it make sense that what is an absolute requirement for one-half of the population does not even apply to the other half?  No, that doesn't make sense, especially if the Lord's house is a house of order.  What would make sense, however, is this:

The women who attend the temple actually do hold the Priesthood.  Otherwise, they would be as out of place as a man who is not a Priesthood holder.

But there is NO ordination or other ceremony by which women have Priesthood conferred on them, so how in the world can women ALREADY hold the Priesthood when they go through the endowment ceremony? 

By process of elimination we come to this answer: They have had it all along!

And this sort of thing is not without precedent:  A male literal descendant of Aaron has Priesthood by birthright (D&C 107:16).  Perhaps so too the daughters of Eve have a Priestess birthright.  Just as the world, and probably most church members, know nothing about the Priesthood birthright of a male literal descendant of Aaron, so too we 'know" nothing about the Priestess birthright of the female descendants of Eve. 

But the Priestess birthright is strongly implied, in between the lines of the temple endowment ceremony, wisely hidden in plain sight.

In my opinion.

 

I think that is a great example, and it works better now that there have been certain changes made to the way the endowment is presented and now that the apostles have made it a point to teach about the priesthood, the endowment, and women. In the past it probably would not have been a great option for a woman who was struggling.

There are many women who have gone through the temple in the past for whom the temple is a source of great pain, specifically because of how some parts of it used to be worded and some of actions that were specific to women.  But I hope the changes have helped with that.  If they have been willing to go back and give it another try.  I think for some, the pain is ingrained enough with the endowment that even the changes haven't helped. 

Sometimes we get stuck in our pain.

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59 minutes ago, bluebell said:

There are many women who have gone through the temple in the past for whom the temple is a source of great pain, specifically because of how some parts of it used to be worded and some of actions that were specific to women.

Yes, I'm well aware of that old wording, and I'm glad that it's gone.

For whatever reason the higher truth was hidden in between the lines rather than explicitly included in the wording of the endowment ceremony.  Sometimes the Lord does that sort of thing, perhaps in this case because it was the only way He could weave this higher teaching into the ceremony, given the mindset of the men in charge at the time.

Edit:  Upon further reflection, this explanation does not seem right to me.  So I don't have an explanation for why the higher truth was hidden.  For the record, I do not think the old "obey your husband" language was from God. 

Edited by Olmec Donald
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13 minutes ago, bluebell said:

I think that is a great example, and it works better now that there have been certain changes made to the way the endowment is presented and now that the apostles have made it a point to teach about the priesthood, the endowment, and women. In the past it probably would not have been a great option for a woman who was struggling.

There are many women who have gone through the temple in the past for whom the temple is a source of great pain, specifically because of how some parts of it used to be worded and some of actions that were specific to women.  But I hope the changes have helped with that.  If they have been willing to go back and give it another try.  I think for some, the pain is ingrained enough with the endowment that even the changes haven't helped. 

Sometimes we get stuck in our pain.

I remember my first time in the temple and taking out my endowments and hearing that I needed to say yes to obeying my husband as long as he's righteous, this was a week before getting sealed to him. I was shocked and it showed on my face because it was like a slap in the face, I tried to quickly hide my expression. But that has changed now in the temple, as you well know and maybe you didn't go through when it was worded that way, this was in 1984.

As I age I recall that in early civil marriage ceremonies they said to honor and obey your husband. So that's maybe where it started. 

 

The original wedding vows, as printed in The Book of Common Prayer, are:

Groom: I,____, take thee,_____, to be my wedded Wife, to have and to hold from this day forward, for better for worse, for richer for poorer, in sickness and in health, to love and to cherish, till death do us part, according to God's holy ordinance; and thereto I plight thee my troth.

Bride: I,_____, take thee,_____, to be my wedded Husband, to have and to hold from this day forward, for better for worse, for richer for poorer, in sickness and in health, to love, cherish, and to obey, till death us do part, according to God's holy ordinance; and thereto I give thee my troth.

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44 minutes ago, Rain said:

I really hope not because that would be painful  evidence to me that he values me less as a woman.  

That he wouldn’t have sent a sword in this case but for polygamy to remind Joseph of his duty is problematic. 

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40 minutes ago, bluebell said:

I think that we have been given fewer answers than we realize, and that sometimes the answers we have are championed more than their provenance would dictate is wise, but, I think we have to be careful with assigning motives to imperfect people and with ignoring the value of getting it wrong sometimes. 

When my 7 year old finds out that something someone told them wasn't true, her first reaction is often "you lied" or "they lied".  She wants to be able to trust the answers that she's given and she wants answers to be simple, and finding out that she can't always depend on that is uncomfortable to her.  In her mind, her discomfort is a negative so the reason it exists must be bad as well.    

I think that we all have that tendency when we face discomfort (on any scale) to something that means a lot to us.  Anger wants us to say "you did this to me and you did it on purpose!"  But anger is usually an idiot.

People are complicated and imperfect; being wrong is not the same as lying.  Answers are complicated and imperfect; the reason for an answer might be wrong while the answer itself is right.  We believe that discomfort or pain is a bad thing so we think anything that causes it is must wrong or bad too, but that's not always true either.  

In the end, I think that being willing to embrace discomfort--being willing to sit with it and invite it in--is the only way to actual get at the truth of things.  I think that discomfort is often the bridge to the next leg of the journey or the next set of knowledge. 

I guess what I'm trying to say is that human weaknesses and foibles do affect and impact religious beliefs, and that is not a comfortable part of belief.  It can actually be one of the most painful parts.  But coming to terms with that is, in my opinion, the only way to find our connection to God and learn to trust it. 

Because we aren't just trying to learn to trust God despite imperfect leaders, we are learning to trust God despite our own imperfect, self-centered, control hungry, order-seeking, oppressive selves as well.

If any of that makes any sense.

I think I understand what you are saying although I’m not exactly in agreement.

A lot of harm can be done in and through anger, but I’m not convinced that my argument is necessarily impeded by it.

To what extent do our intentions matter? Why or in what way?

When I read the accounts of Residential School survivors and administrators here in Canada- I can find much evidence of ‘good’ intentions with some pretty fallacious and harmful assumptions/interests underlying these.

Maybe Brigham Young sincerely did believe that Blacks were not divinely sanctioned to receive the church’s saving ordinances in his day.

Maybe Joseph Smith truly did think that God wanted him to marry each and every woman that he did, including accounts of threatening angels and divine rewards/punishments. 
 

There are sexually-abusive and/or racially-prejudiced people today that believe similarly. I’ve met and read a few of these.

But Isn’t it convenient that my country’s attempted assimilation of Indigenous Peoples would have ultimately served colonial interests?

That prophetic, polygamous marriages (often) included sexual relations, and expanded that man’s access to additional partners?

That the priesthood ban supported, and was originally couched through the language of racial supremacy?

~
 

I’m not saying that your argument nec is an example of tone policing, but I struggle to understand how my anger weakens my argument here.

It isn’t enough to have good intentions. We can find examples of people now, and during the age of (many a modern) prophet, who were much more consequential than they their careful study of what can be known re: existence, and/or in serving on behalf of marginalized interests. 

We are all responsible for critically appraising the methodologies and interests by which our claims our built, and then humbly communicating to others how valid/reliable these are relative to other kinds methodologies and claims. 
 

We are also accountable for the consequences of our actions, and must therefore be diligent in considering what these might be.

~
 

There’s another interesting dilemma too though, as the church has often ascribed negative motivations, descriptions, and phenomena to members and nonmembers that think & believe differently. 
 

We are prideful. lazy learners. Overly critical. Disobedient. Commandeers of podiums. Selfish. So-called. 
 

We wanted to sin. Get gain. Destroy the church.
 

While (I think/hope) this language is slowly decreasing, it remains very much present within the church’s current narrative. And this is true, even despite the fact that the church has yet to substantiate the validity and reliability of many of its claims. 
 

“If we have the truth…”

~
 

I acknowledge that we might have to agree to disagree. I would contend that the church’s intentions don’t nec outweigh the consequences, methods, and/or evidences by which it operates, and has operated in the past. Our own self-serving interests can also be gilded over by these seemingly-good intentions, and even then- we again have to examine the methods, evidences, and consequences of what we actually do with these intents.

I struggle to rule out the null hypothesis here. The church just isn’t very distinguishable from any other church in terms of evidentiary-legitimacy, and I’m at the point now where I seriously question divinity’s existence.

(Sorry not meant as an attack. Just wish to be frank)

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On 12/13/2021 at 7:44 PM, juliann said:

More women than men presumes that there is plural marriage. It doesn't provide any need for it, you have started with a premise and given a reason for it that doesn't prove it. You can also call it begging the question. 

I do know what circular reasoning is, but I asked you to show me the circularity because I didn't see any in what I have written about the subject. After reading what you wrote here I still don't see it.

"Circular reasoning (Latin: circulus in probando, 'circle in proving'; also known as circular logic) is a logical fallacy in which the reasoner begins with what they are trying to end with."

Here is a symbolic illustration of circular reasoning: "A is true because B is true; B is true because A is true."

I begin with the belief that there will be plural marriage among those who will be exalted, because of D&C 132, and for no other reason. That is the premise. I am not trying to prove that DC 132 is true. I assume that it is divinely given scripture, or in other words, it is true already and I'm not trying to prove it.

My proposal that more women than men will be exalted is merely a deduction based on the premise of D&C 132 that there will be plural marriage among those who will be exalted. In other words, I'm not trying to prove D&C 132 (i.e. plural marriage) by saying more men will be exalted than women, I'm merely suggesting it as a reason why it might be so.

If you want to call that circular reasoning, have at it, but it doesn't satisfy the definition.

On 12/13/2021 at 7:44 PM, juliann said:

There is no scripture that says there will be plural marriage in heaven and no one has provided one.

D&C 132 itself says it, and clearly enough, I think. 

Early in the structure of the section we find the Lord explaining the concept of eternal marriage:

DC 132:19 - And again, verily I say unto you, if a man marry a wife by my word, which is my law, and by the new and everlasting covenant, and it is sealed unto them by the Holy Spirit of promise, by him who is anointed, unto whom I have appointed this power and the keys of this priesthood; and it shall be said unto them—Ye shall come forth in the first resurrection; and if it be after the first resurrection, in the next resurrection; and shall inherit thrones, kingdoms, principalities, and powers, dominions, all heights and depths . . . it shall be done unto them in all things whatsoever my servant hath put upon them, in time, and through all eternity; and shall be of full force when they are out of the world;

This establishes eternal marriage as a post-resurrection feature of exaltation (the part about thrones, principalities, etc.).

Then in verse 37 the Lord goes on to explain that his servants Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob had many wives and concubines, and it was acceptable because they abode in His law:

Abraham received concubines, and they bore him children; and it was accounted unto him for righteousness, because they were given unto him, and he abode in my law; as Isaac also and Jacob did none other things than that which they were commanded; and because they did none other things than that which they were commanded, they have entered into their exaltation, according to the promises, and sit upon thrones, and are not angels but are gods.

I grant you that the Lord doesn't explicit say here that all these wives and concubines will be with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob in their exaltations. But He doesn't need to, because it's covered in later verses.

The Lord then gives the counter-example to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, which is King David. We find this in verse 39:

David’s wives and concubines were given unto him of me, by the hand of Nathan, my servant, and others of the prophets who had the keys of this power; and in none of these things did he sin against me save in the case of Uriah and his wife; and, therefore he hath fallen from his exaltation, and received his portion; and he shall not inherit them out of the world, for I gave them unto another, saith the Lord.

Here it says that the prophet Nathan had the keys of this power, which refers back to the power mentioned in verse 19, which is the power to seal for eternity. And the Lord states that "David's wives and concubines were given unto him of me" and that David did not sin in this except in the case of Bathsheba. And because of that grievous sin, he lost both his exaltation and his wives: "...he shall not inherit them out of the world, for I gave them unto another, saith the Lord." 

Note that the Lord says that He gave David those wives and concubines: "...were given unto him of me". So, like Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, David was under no condemnation for having them. That changed with David's violation of God's law.

There would be no point in saying that he wasn't going to inherit them out of the world, or that he has lost them, unless he was otherwise going to inherit them out of the world, if it hadn't been for that adultery and murder. Or, in other words, he would otherwise have had them in heaven. And I don't believe that Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, and David are subject to a different law of the gospel from the rest of us when it comes to marriage in eternity. 

Finally, we have verses 61 through 65. The passage gives a case where a man is married to ten women, and we read particularly in verse 63:

"...they are given unto him to multiply and replenish the earth, according to my commandment, and to fulfil the promise which was given by my Father before the foundation of the world, and for their exaltation in the eternal worlds, that they may bear the souls of men; for herein is the work of my Father continued, that he may be glorified."

The first part of this refers to multiplying and replenishing the earth, which might be taken as mortal life only, but it goes on to add "...and for their exaltation in the eternal worlds...", which clearly takes the plural marriage relationship into heaven.

This is how I understand this revelation to mean that there will be plural marriage in heaven, or rather, in the Celestial Kingdom. If you disagree, which I assume you will, you are of course welcome to your disagreement. 

On 12/13/2021 at 7:44 PM, juliann said:

I find it interesting that one must set aside every other statement by leaders and go back to some vague claim to scripture to keep polygamy alive. It makes me wonder which you would chose, a religion based on  continuous revelation or polygamy? 

I don't want to keep polygamy alive. What a curious idea! Why would I? I'm all for having one and only one wife, even in eternity. Given my age and financial condition, even if the practice of plural marriage in mortality were to be resumed by the Church I am pretty sure I'd never be asked to practice it. So I am safe from that. And far from a "vague claim to scripture," you may have noticed this instant post, in which I have set forth how the "claim to scripture" -- it's anything but vague. It's there in black and white, as it were. If you choose to find that I haven't proven my contention, that's up to you. I can't make it any more plain than I have already.

If you think I'm advocating the resumption of the practice of plural marriage in mortality, I've just stated that this is not so at all. So I hope I have dispelled that notion, at least. This is quite apart from the matter of plural marriage in heaven, which seems to me to be quite scriptural, and inevitable.

I am curious as to why you put "continuous revelation" and "polygamy" in opposition to each other. Does this refer to the current law of the church which does not permit the practice of plural marriage? I'm not setting this aside! I endorse it. I hope it stays that way, even during the Millennium. It's not up to me, however.

As to continuing revelation (not continuous, that would indicate that God is dictating every moment, which He doesn't), the Lord revealed to Joseph Smith the principle of plural marriage, commanded it be practiced at that time, and codified it in D&C 132. And then later, the Lord revealed to Wilford Woodruff that it was to be put into abeyance. All in conformity to what the Lord told Jacob, speaking of polygamy/plural marriage:

For if I will, saith the Lord of Hosts, raise up seed unto me, I will command my people; otherwise they shall hearken unto these things. (Jacob 2:26-35)

In other words, righteous plural marriage is to be practiced only when the Lord commands it. And while it was apparently permitted for the Israelites in Jerusalem at the time Lehi and his family were led out of Palestine (no prohibition is recorded in OT scripture), the prophet Lehi had received revelation that commanded him and his descendants to refrain from it:

And now behold, my brethren, ye know that these commandments were given to our father, Lehi; wherefore, ye have known them before; and ye have come unto great condemnation; for ye have done these things which ye ought not to have done. 

In other words, Lehi was the Lord's prophet, and he received a specific commandment from the Lord that his descendants were not to practice plural marriage, and this is why Jacob was spending so much time and effort in chapter 2 making a very plain case of it.

I don't know what else I can write to make my understanding of this more clear than I have already, so I will probably leave you to have the last word, if you want it.

 

 

 

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49 minutes ago, Canadiandude said:

I think I understand what you are saying although I’m not exactly in agreement.

A lot of harm can be done in and through anger, but I’m not convinced that my argument is necessarily impeded by it.

To what extent do our intentions matter? Why or in what way?

When I read the accounts of Residential School survivors and administrators here in Canada- I can find much evidence of ‘good’ intentions with some pretty fallacious and harmful assumptions/interests underlying these.

Good point.  I'll try to clarify.

I think that intentions matter because I think that language matters (whether it's said out loud, written, or just internally to ourselves).  I like to be as accurate as possible because I think we hurt ourselves and others when we paint with too broad of a brush.  It can be hard to heal if we aren't honest about what wounds we are really dealing with. 

Whether someone drives drunk and hits your car and you get hurt or someone drives responsibly and hits some black ice and hits your car and you get hurt, the physical outcome might be exactly the same, but the mental and emotional impact to everyone affected by the accidently will probably different, sometimes vastly so.  The healing will probably take a different path, and could include different emotional and mental work, depending on the intention of the driver who hurt you, because other people's intentions can affect how we internalize, talk about, view, and process our pain.

So from a pragmatic perspective, recognizing the impact of intention is important because it can help us heal more completely.  It's not about giving absolution to the person that caused harm but about aiding ourselves in recovering from the trauma.

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Maybe Brigham Young sincerely did believe that Blacks were not divinely sanctioned to receive the church’s saving ordinances in his day.

Maybe Joseph Smith truly did think that God wanted him to marry each and every woman that he did, including accounts of threatening angels and divine rewards/punishments. 
 

There are sexually-abusive and/or racially-prejudiced people today that believe similarly. I’ve met and read a few of these.

 

This is the other side to the issue, and not one that I really worry about.  I think that recognizing intentions is important when someone's actions have harmed us because that's helpful to us.  Trying to use intention as a way to judge someone just for the sake of judging them isn't all that important to me so I don't spend a lot of time contemplating it.  I believe they will be held accountable by the One who is capable of doing so, so there is no need for me to try to do it.  But again, that's probably my pragmatic side talking.  

People can't hide bad actions behind good intentions.  I believe there is a difference between a sincere goal and a sincerely good intention.  History is full of people who had good goals but were perfectly fine doing things that they knew were horrible to achieve them.  That's not having good intentions, in my opinion.  

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But Isn’t it convenient that my country’s attempted assimilation of Indigenous Peoples would have ultimately served colonial interests?

It is, and I think falls into the whole "good goal but evil way to achieve it" column.   It wasn't a good intention, it was self-serving.

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That prophetic, polygamous marriages (often) included sexual relations, and expanded that man’s access to additional partners?

It could be a lascivious practice, and that's why the topic is so fraught.  It really does depend on what JS thought of the practice--what his intentions were in implementing it and whether he was sincerely trying to follow God or was being self-serving--but it's not information that we have access to.

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I’m not saying that your argument nec is an example of tone policing, but I struggle to understand how my anger weakens my argument here.

I think that anger almost always weakens an argument the same way that alcohol almost always makes people less witty even though they think they are actually getting more witty the more they drink.  Anger dulls our ability to use reason and logic and often causes us to do things that we would never do when we weren't angry.  It changes the way we perceive input and how we process information.  It can be primal and in that way make something that was already bad, worse.

It's a valid emotion, just not one that I think is very useful for solving problems.

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There’s another interesting dilemma too though, as the church has often ascribed negative motivations, descriptions, and phenomena to members and nonmembers that think & believe differently. 
 

We are prideful. lazy learners. Overly critical. Disobedient. Commandeers of podiums. Selfish. So-called. 
 

We wanted to sin. Get gain. Destroy the church.

 

Here is a place where I think that accurate language is important.  

For example, did the church ascribe such things, or did members of the church?  Did the church or members ascribe such things to all people who leave, or is it an assumption?  Do some people sometimes leave because of those weaknesses or those desires?

Honest and reasoned answers to those questions are useful in solving the dilemma you are speaking of.  
 

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While (I think/hope) this language is slowly decreasing, it remains very much present within the church’s current narrative. And this is true, even despite the fact that the church has yet to substantiate the validity and reliability of many of its claims. 

From my perspective, this is not so much a fact as it is an assumption, or an opinion based on assumptions, that have not been proven.  I think such assumptions come from a place of pain or hurt but are not very accurate or helpful.

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I acknowledge that we might have to agree to disagree. I would contend that the church’s intentions don’t nec outweigh the consequences, methods, and/or evidences by which it operates, and has operated in the past. Our own self-serving interests can also be gilded over by these seemingly-good intentions, and even then- we again have to examine the methods, evidences, and consequences of what we actually do with these intents.

I struggle to rule out the null hypothesis here. The church just isn’t very distinguishable from any other church in terms of evidentiary-legitimacy, and I’m at the point now where I seriously question divinity’s existence.

 

Because of my experiences with God and the church, I can't say the same.  But all we can do is what we believe is best and right.  It's unreasonable to expect people to believe something is the right thing to do and also expect them not to do because we disagree.

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3 hours ago, bluebell said:

It's unreasonable to expect people to believe something is the right thing to do and also expect them not to do because we disagree.

Did I claim otherwise? 
 

My statement about us having to agree to disagree is my acknowledgement that my argument is unlikely to convince you or anyone here.

We speak of reason. There’s an entire thread already dedicated to that subject. Let be clear:

My anger need not necessarily cloud my judgment if the arguments concerning the evidence (and lack of evidence) hold, and I would warn that your own count-arguments are likewise susceptible to claims of being emotionally charged and more informed by assumptions and biases than fact.

What makes a person’s spiritual, elevated emotions legitimate, but anger disorientating?

I’d argue that neither by themselves necessarily demonstrate much.

What makes the special pleading on behalf of Brigham Young’s racism so sufficient and different so as to legitimate his prophethood despite his racism- as opposed to similar special pleading argued (by the privileged) to this day, on behalf of the legitimacy of planners and agents behind Canada’s residential school system(s)?

Are you really prepared to give Joseph Smith the benefit of the doubt regarding polygamy, and the ecclesiastical pressure he used to accomplish such? On what evidentiary grounds?
 

How does one differentiate Joseph Smith’s behaviour from similar lascivious practices by other self-
proclaimed holy men, and are you prepared to offer them the same benefit of the doubt? Yes, no, on what grounds?

3 hours ago, bluebell said:

From my perspective, this is not so much a fact as it is an assumption, or an opinion based on assumptions, that have not been proven.  I think such assumptions come from a place of pain or hurt but are not very accurate or helpful.

From your perspective my perspective is biased? You’ve mentioned previously how privilege often informs the Latter-Day Saint mansplaining of polygamy.

I would ask you. Why would the consequences of positionality stop there?

You contend my view as likely informed by bias but have you sufficiently examined your own privileges and reasoning?

3 hours ago, bluebell said:

Here is a place where I think that accurate language is important.  

For example, did the church ascribe such things, or did members of the church?  Did the church or members ascribe such things to all people who leave, or is it an assumption?  Do some people sometimes leave because of those weaknesses or those desires?

Honest and reasoned answers to those questions are useful in solving the dilemma you are speaking of. 


My language was specific. ’Lazy learners’, Podium Comandeering, angry disobedient ‘children’, these phrases and tropes are not new. They all have been used extremely recently by church leaders.

What makes a question honest or dishonest? Reasonable or unreasonable?

Asking for falsifiable, valid, & reliable evidence for a claim is reasonable.

Furthermore, why would the church’s leadership be absolved from consideration or viewed as somehow separate and distinct from the church? 
 

Would we reasonably absolve from examination the language, biases, interests and actions of institutional leaders when examining the phenomenon of systemic discrimination? 

Would we not examine what is both routinely practiced as well as taught?

I grew up in a culture very much influenced by arguments such as those expressed in ‘the mantle is far, far greater than the intellect’.

That ‘to obey is better than to sacrifice’.

That it is ‘wrong to criticize the Brethren even when such criticisms are true’. 
 

That the Lord would remove a prophet before letting them lead the church astray (red flags re: falsifiability?!)

Senior church leadership have an extremely powerful role in determining church practices, teachings, and culture. They claim exclusive & divine authority, as well as insight, so yes, I think it fair to expect them not to be merely be ‘men of their time’, and to act and think in such ways at least as selflessly and as carefully as the best and brightest that their generation has to offer. 
 

But the church and its leaders have not historically been on the forefront in supporting civil rights, human equity, or even equality.
 

The church (and its leaders) have also been fairly resistant to making and updating claims that reflect valid and reliable processes, and what is known so far from the historical record. 

How are we to trust and/or have any good-faith dialogue with a church that does not apologize for its errors, and won’t acknowledge when it misrepresents the historical record? (Oaks and BYU conversion therapy as just one small example)

Why would we discount the leadership’s actions, consequences,  or methodologies when they have such an outsized control over church policies, doctrines, and culture? 

~
 

While I acknowledge your argument in receiving positive, spiritual affirmations in support your faith and it’s legitimacy- without better demonstration as to the validity and reliability of the church’s claims, apologetics on behalf of past/current church doctrines & practices come off as special pleading to those of us looking in.

So what makes my anger disorientating but your elevated emotions evidence?

How do Latter-Day Saint claims and practices compare with those of other institutions? 

~

I say all this without any expectation that my words will convince anyone, but if we’re going to talk about emotions, biases, and failures of reasoning, then let’s discuss these eh?

My emotions are def responses to evidence and the lack thereof, but I don’t treat these emotions as evidences in and of themselves.

 

 

 

 

 

Edited by Canadiandude
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11 hours ago, Calm said:

That he wouldn’t have sent a sword in this case but for polygamy to remind Joseph of his duty is problematic. 

And David lifted up his eyes, and saw the angel of the LORD stand between the earth and the heaven, having a drawn sword in his hand stretched out over Jerusalem. Then David and the elders of Israel, who were clothed in sackcloth, fell upon their faces.

1 Chronicles 21:16

Luckily, the lord stepped in and the city was saved.

And the LORD commanded the angel; and he put up his sword again into the sheath thereof.

1 Chronicles 21:27

We should be grateful that it was only Joseph who was threatened and not Nauvoo.

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13 hours ago, bluebell said:

But all we can do is what we believe is best and right.  It's unreasonable to expect people to believe something is the right thing to do and also expect them not to do because we disagree.

I love your phrasing here. 🙂

I tried to make the same point earlier concerning our own actions.  I like how this adds some responsibility for being reasonable to those viewing actions they disagree with.

Just because we don't accept another's deeply held religious beliefs doesn't mean we should fault their sincere attempts to live up to them.

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14 hours ago, Stargazer said:

D&C 132 itself says it, and clearly enough, I think. 

Early in the structure of the section we find the Lord explaining the concept of eternal marriage:

DC 132:19 - And again, verily I say unto you, if a man marry a wife by my word, which is my law, and by the new and everlasting covenant, and it is sealed unto them by the Holy Spirit of promise, by him who is anointed, unto whom I have appointed this power and the keys of this priesthood; and it shall be said unto them—Ye shall come forth in the first resurrection; and if it be after the first resurrection, in the next resurrection; and shall inherit thrones, kingdoms, principalities, and powers, dominions, all heights and depths . . . it shall be done unto them in all things whatsoever my servant hath put upon them, in time, and through all eternity; and shall be of full force when they are out of the world;

This establishes eternal marriage as a post-resurrection feature of exaltation (the part about thrones, principalities, etc.).

Then in verse 37 the Lord goes on to explain that his servants Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob had many wives and concubines, and it was acceptable because they abode in His law:

Abraham received concubines, and they bore him children; and it was accounted unto him for righteousness, because they were given unto him, and he abode in my law; as Isaac also and Jacob did none other things than that which they were commanded; and because they did none other things than that which they were commanded, they have entered into their exaltation, according to the promises, and sit upon thrones, and are not angels but are gods.

I grant you that the Lord doesn't explicit say here that all these wives and concubines will be with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob in their exaltations. But He doesn't need to, because it's covered in later verses.

The Lord then gives the counter-example to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, which is King David. We find this in verse 39:

David’s wives and concubines were given unto him of me, by the hand of Nathan, my servant, and others of the prophets who had the keys of this power; and in none of these things did he sin against me save in the case of Uriah and his wife; and, therefore he hath fallen from his exaltation, and received his portion; and he shall not inherit them out of the world, for I gave them unto another, saith the Lord.

Here it says that the prophet Nathan had the keys of this power, which refers back to the power mentioned in verse 19, which is the power to seal for eternity. And the Lord states that "David's wives and concubines were given unto him of me" and that David did not sin in this except in the case of Bathsheba. And because of that grievous sin, he lost both his exaltation and his wives: "...he shall not inherit them out of the world, for I gave them unto another, saith the Lord." 

Note that the Lord says that He gave David those wives and concubines: "...were given unto him of me". So, like Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, David was under no condemnation for having them. That changed with David's violation of God's law.

There would be no point in saying that he wasn't going to inherit them out of the world, or that he has lost them, unless he was otherwise going to inherit them out of the world, if it hadn't been for that adultery and murder. Or, in other words, he would otherwise have had them in heaven. And I don't believe that Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, and David are subject to a different law of the gospel from the rest of us when it comes to marriage in eternity. 

Finally, we have verses 61 through 65. The passage gives a case where a man is married to ten women, and we read particularly in verse 63:

"...they are given unto him to multiply and replenish the earth, according to my commandment, and to fulfil the promise which was given by my Father before the foundation of the world, and for their exaltation in the eternal worlds, that they may bear the souls of men; for herein is the work of my Father continued, that he may be glorified."

The first part of this refers to multiplying and replenishing the earth, which might be taken as mortal life only, but it goes on to add "...and for their exaltation in the eternal worlds...", which clearly takes the plural marriage relationship into heaven.

This is how I understand this revelation to mean that there will be plural marriage in heaven, or rather, in the Celestial Kingdom. If you disagree, which I assume you will, you are of course welcome to your disagreement. 

Very well done. 

I think it's disingenuous for someone to claim D&C 132 doesn't state eternal polygamy will exist for those who choose.

But then there are many who want D&C 132 decanonized, despite it also being the revelatory origin of eternal marriage and the new and everlasting covenant too. 

"D&C 132:4 For behold, I reveal unto you a new and an everlasting covenant; and if ye abide not that covenant, then are ye damned; for no one can reject this covenant and be permitted to enter into my glory"

Pulling at this thread of canon could unravel the entire tapestry of eternal families.  The Church will never allow the first revelation wherein eternal marriage is revealed to be removed because some don't like the polygamy verses.

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13 hours ago, Canadiandude said:

Did I claim otherwise? 
 

I was agreeing with you.

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My anger need not necessarily cloud my judgment if the arguments concerning the evidence (and lack of evidence) hold, and I would warn that your own count-arguments are likewise susceptible to claims of being emotionally charged and more informed by assumptions and biases than fact.

There is no claim that you or I could make, or anyone could make, that is not in some way shaped by our biases.  

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What makes a person’s spiritual, elevated emotions legitimate, but anger disorientating?

I didn't say that anger was illegitimate.  You are looking for a fight where none exists.   Powerful emotions are all likely to override rational thought, regardless if they are positive or negative.  I never said otherwise.

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What makes the special pleading on behalf of Brigham Young’s racism so sufficient and different so as to legitimate his prophethood despite his racism- as opposed to similar special pleading argued (by the privileged) to this day, on behalf of the legitimacy of planners and agents behind Canada’s residential school system(s)?

I don't understand the question.  You'll have to clarify.

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Are you really prepared to give Joseph Smith the benefit of the doubt regarding polygamy, and the ecclesiastical pressure he used to accomplish such? On what evidentiary grounds?

On no grounds that you would find legitimate.  

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From your perspective my perspective is biased? You’ve mentioned previously how privilege often informs the Latter-Day Saint mansplaining of polygamy.

I would ask you. Why would the consequences of positionality stop there?

You contend my view as likely informed by bias but have you sufficiently examined your own privileges and reasoning?

 

As I've said multiple times on this board and earlier in this post, all of our perspectives are biased.

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My language was specific. ’Lazy learners’, Podium Commandeering, angry disobedient ‘children’, these phrases and tropes are not new. They all have been used extremely recently by church leaders.

Your language was specific but the way you applied those statements was sloppy.  You are taking phrases that are meant to speak about specific conditions and arguing that the leaders mean for them to apply to every person who has ever left the church.  That's not a reasonable argument.  Neither is it accurate.

Are you saying that lazy learners don't exist?  That not one person in the church has ever commandeered a podium (despite the video evidence that we've all seen to the contrary)?  That there are no angry disobedient children?    When I heard the lazy learner talk, I instantly knew that he was talking about me.  I had become a lazy learner.  There are all sorts of lazy learners inside and outside of the church. 

If it doesn't apply to someone, then it's not meant to.  There is no reason to be a martyr about it.

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What makes a question honest or dishonest? Reasonable or unreasonable?

Many different things.

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Asking for falsifiable, valid, & reliable evidence for a claim is reasonable.

It can be, but it isn't always.  It depends on the claim that one is trying to understand.  As Richard Feynman said in his 1965 Nobel Prize lecture, "A very great deal more truth can become known than can be proven.”  

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Furthermore, why would the church’s leadership be absolved from consideration or viewed as somehow separate and distinct from the church?  Would we reasonably absolve from examination the language, biases, interests and actions of institutional leaders when examining the phenomenon of systemic discrimination?  Would we not examine what is both routinely practiced as well as taught?

Leaders should be viewed as separate from "The church" because they are.  No one leader constitutes "the church", but I never said we shouldn't consider or examine their words or actions.

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I grew up in a culture very much influenced by arguments such as those expressed in ‘the mantle is far, far greater than the intellect’. That ‘to obey is better than to sacrifice’. That it is ‘wrong to criticize the Brethren even when such criticisms are true’.  That the Lord would remove a prophet before letting them lead the church astray (red flags re: falsifiability?!)

Ok.  Everyone's parents are different.  I did not grow up in that culture, even though I grew up in the church.

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Senior church leadership have an extremely powerful role in determining church practices, teachings, and culture. They claim exclusive & divine authority, as well as insight, so yes, I think it fair to expect them not to be merely be ‘men of their time’, and to act and think in such ways at least as selflessly and as carefully as the best and brightest that their generation has to offer. 

I agree.  

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But the church and its leaders have not historically been on the forefront in supporting civil rights, human equity, or even equality.  The church (and its leaders) have also been fairly resistant to making and updating claims that reflect valid and reliable processes, and what is known so far from the historical record. 

I agree that that is your perspective.

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How are we to trust and/or have any good-faith dialogue with a church that does not apologize for its errors, and won’t acknowledge when it misrepresents the historical record? (Oaks and BYU conversion therapy as just one small example)  Why would we discount the leadership’s actions, consequences,  or methodologies when they have such an outsized control over church policies, doctrines, and culture? 

If that is something that you want to do, then you'd have to go to God to have him help you do it.  That's the only way that I know of.
 

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While I acknowledge your argument in receiving positive, spiritual affirmations in support your faith and it’s legitimacy- without better demonstration as to the validity and reliability of the church’s claims, apologetics on behalf of past/current church doctrines & practices come off as special pleading to those of us looking in.

I know it does.  We both have our biases when looking in at the other.  

Edited by bluebell
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6 hours ago, JLHPROF said:

Very well done. 

I think it's disingenuous for someone to claim D&C 132 doesn't state eternal polygamy will exist for those who choose.

But then there are many who want D&C 132 decanonized, despite it also being the revelatory origin of eternal marriage and the new and everlasting covenant too. 

"D&C 132:4 For behold, I reveal unto you a new and an everlasting covenant; and if ye abide not that covenant, then are ye damned; for no one can reject this covenant and be permitted to enter into my glory"

Pulling at this thread of canon could unravel the entire tapestry of eternal families.  The Church will never allow the first revelation wherein eternal marriage is revealed to be removed because some don't like the polygamy verses.

interestingly, section 132 verse 41 allows a woman to have another man besides her husband if she is appointed to that other man. So, Zina was fine since she was appointed to Joseph. Quite often this is missed by many members who claim that there was no foundation for such plural marriage.

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3 hours ago, why me said:

interestingly, section 132 verse 41 allows a woman to have another man besides her husband if she is appointed to that other man. So, Zina was fine since she was appointed to Joseph. Quite often this is missed by many members who claim that there was no foundation for such plural marriage.

The phrase "appointed to" is connected to the second anointing according to President Woodruff.  It's a mistake to assume that means a regular marriage.

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22 hours ago, JLHPROF said:

The phrase "appointed to" is connected to the second anointing according to President Woodruff.  It's a mistake to assume that means a regular marriage.

I don't think that plural marriage was a normal marriage. It was illegal. However, how that verse is written does speak about adultery and when it would not be adultery when a married woman is appointed to another man. .

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23 hours ago, JLHPROF said:

The phrase "appointed to" is connected to the second anointing according to President Woodruff.  It's a mistake to assume that means a regular marriage.

41 And as ye have asked concerning adultery, verily, verily, I say unto you, if a man receiveth a wife in the new and everlasting covenant, and if she be with another man, and I have not appointed unto her by the holy anointing, she hath committed adultery and shall be destroyed.

The verse specifies that this appointment comes by an anointing not a sealing ceremony.  So this does not reference marriage but is a direct reference to:

"President Young said when a woman was anointed a Queen to a good man and he died & the woman was sealed to another man for time it was not necessary for her to be anointed a Queen again but if she was anointed a Queen to a man who was not worthy of a wife & she is sealed to another man she should be anointed a Queen unto him. When a good man dies & his wives have not been anointed Queens unto him they may be anointed Queens to him after his death without any Proxy."
WW Journal Dec 26, 1866.

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So you are saying if a man dies and his sealed wife marries a nonbeliever or someone she is not sealed in time to, she is committing adultery?  If not, explain where the adultery comes in please.  

Edited by Calm
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