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My Friendly Friday Questions


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Posted (edited)

Earlier, St. Bonaventure wrote:

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Joseph Smith said that "I will preach on the plurality of gods. I am going to tell you how God came to be God." And yet the Book of Mormon says that there is only one God and that that God doesn't change.

Some recommended reading on the Book of Mormon and what happens if you read in the context it claims for itself, rather than against the assumptions of 19th Century Christians raised on the Trinity:

https://www.fairlatterdaysaints.org/conference/august-2003/monotheism-messiah-and-mormons-book

Also this one by Ari Bruing and David Paulson, "The Development of the Mormon Understanding of God: Early Mormon Modalism and Other Myths"

https://scholarsarchive.byu.edu/msr/vol13/iss2/13/

And for some helpful context, Margaret Barker's "The Second Person," which is a brief preview of arguments and evidence explored at much greater length in The Great Angel: A Study of Israel's Second God.

https://www.theway.org.uk/back/431Barker.pdf

Like the parable of the sower teaches, seed, soil, and nuture can all make a difference in the harvest.

FWIW,

Kevin Christensen

Canonsburg, PA

 

 

Edited by Kevin Christensen
typo
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On 6/24/2022 at 1:30 PM, Saint Bonaventure said:

I'll be in Salt Lake City in October for three nights and four days. Therefore, today's Friendly Friday questions are:

  • What are the LDS historic sites and tourist destinations I should see? I'll have a rental car, so I can travel around the city and surrounding area a little bit. I'm also healthy and am up for a decent walk, so long as the neighborhood is safe.
  • What are the overrated sites I should avoid?

 

The church history museum currently has the church’s international art competition up that happens every 3 years or so. It’s a really good exhibition this year. It gives a little currently cultural window into the experience of church by (albeit artistic) members. It’s right across the street from temple square and the conference center. 


 


 

 

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2 hours ago, Saint Bonaventure said:

Does the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints have a notion of mortal sin and venial sin? 

1 John 5:16-17, which is an important source for understanding that some sin is "unto death" and some sin is "not unto death," isn't usually disputed for accuracy of translation:

 

No not really in a Catholic sense, but we do have an "unpardonable sin" which is "denying the Holy Ghost"

But the language betrays the seriousness of what is being said.  What is implied is that the person performing the unpardonable sin would be one who has had the full revelations of the Holy Ghost to the point of KNOWING with certainty that Jesus is the Christ and then denying His reality.   

You may also find more info under categories describing outer darkness.

But it is generally believed that such a sin has such "requirements" as to be nearly impossible to "qualify for".

Imagine a person who is so close to God as to have had the Beatific Vision and KNOW without a doubt that God exists and then denies the truth of it, while knowing full well that it is a lie that he is committing.

So imagine the MOST holy person you can imagine- pick your favorite saint- who knows God intimately- who then denies God and performs a murder- and sheds "innocent blood" for gain

So think of someone perhaps as near to God as, say, Francis of Assisi, just as an example, who then denies God and murders for gain.

The "role model" for such a being would be Satan/Lucifer himself, or Cain of the Old Testament, who KNOWS God and yet chooses evil deeds and actions despite his knowledge.

So how many humans would even be eligible to know God well enough to do that?

VERY few

https://www.churchofjesuschrist.org/study/manual/teachings-joseph-f-smith/chapter-8?lang=eng

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17 hours ago, BlueDreams said:

The church history museum currently has the church’s international art competition up that happens every 3 years or so. It’s a really good exhibition this year. It gives a little currently cultural window into the experience of church by (albeit artistic) members. It’s right across the street from temple square and the conference center. 


 


 

 

This sounds like a great option. My hotel is only a few blocks from Temple Square.

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  • 2 weeks later...
Posted (edited)

As I'm becoming more acquainted with LDS approaches to living the faith, I see a blend of fundamentalism, relativism, Pelagianism, some ideas that remind me of the Ebionites, maybe a little Swedenborgianism.....

How on earth do you all baptize inquirers after only a few weeks?

Edited by Saint Bonaventure
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19 minutes ago, Saint Bonaventure said:

As I'm becoming more acquainted with LDS approaches to living the faith, I see a blend of fundamentalism, relativism, some ideas that remind me of the Ebionites, maybe a little Swedenborgianism.....

How on earth do you all baptize inquirers after only a few weeks?

Simple answer?  We ask them and they say "Yes" :)  

No, seriously now, conversion comes through the Spirit and not a study of theological ideas.  Even though the teachings are presented in the discussions, the teaching is done by the Spirit and the inquirer is asked and expected to pray and seek their own answers from God on the matters.

I think there are several Biblical examples along these same lines, where conversion came immediately through the Spirit... like with Philip and the Ethiopian eunuch in Acts 8:26-39, where the inquirer was baptized immediately.

As it says Paul says in 1 Corinthians 2:1-5:

1 And I, brethren, when I came to you, came not with excellency of speech or of wisdom, declaring unto you the testimony of God.
2 For I determined not to know any thing among you, save Jesus Christ, and him crucified.
3 And I was with you in weakness, and in fear, and in much trembling.
4 And my speech and my preaching was not with enticing words of man’s wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power:
5 That your faith should not stand in the wisdom of men, but in the power of God.

And 1 Thessalonians 1:5:

5 For our gospel came not unto you in word only, but also in power, and in the Holy Ghost, and in much assurance; as ye know what manner of men we were among you for your sake.
 

Edited by InCognitus
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17 hours ago, InCognitus said:

Simple answer?  We ask them and they say "Yes" :)  

No, seriously now, conversion comes through the Spirit and not a study of theological ideas.  Even though the teachings are presented in the discussions, the teaching is done by the Spirit and the inquirer is asked and expected to pray and seek their own answers from God on the matters.

I think there are several Biblical examples along these same lines, where conversion came immediately through the Spirit... like with Philip and the Ethiopian eunuch in Acts 8:26-39, where the inquirer was baptized immediately.

As it says Paul says in 1 Corinthians 2:1-5:

1 And I, brethren, when I came to you, came not with excellency of speech or of wisdom, declaring unto you the testimony of God.
2 For I determined not to know any thing among you, save Jesus Christ, and him crucified.
3 And I was with you in weakness, and in fear, and in much trembling.
4 And my speech and my preaching was not with enticing words of man’s wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power:
5 That your faith should not stand in the wisdom of men, but in the power of God.

And 1 Thessalonians 1:5:

5 For our gospel came not unto you in word only, but also in power, and in the Holy Ghost, and in much assurance; as ye know what manner of men we were among you for your sake.
 

I don't doubt miracles or the Holy Spirit--not in the least. Without sufficient learning, though, I could see problems with either schismatics or people who are in the record book but who don't participate at all.

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Sorry, my error

Edited by mfbukowski
Wrong post
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20 hours ago, InCognitus said:

No, seriously now, conversion comes through the Spirit and not a study of theological ideas.

Not universally true!

My testimony came through philosophy, starting with William James' Varieties of Religious Experience which permitted me to intellectually justify religion itself as a valid and rational path to knowledge BEFORE I would even consider such an option, in my atheist years.

It opened up the door for Moroni 10:4, after I found that, to march right into my mind without the intellectual barriers I normally would have raised.

Without first studying secular philosophy I would not be LDS today, neither would my children, grandchildren, nor others I have helped rise above secular thinking to understand that the worst mistake one can make in life is to disregard the still small voice as being "just in my head", not realizing that so is everyTHING else that a human can perceive or know.

The thing this age needs is that "hunches" and "gut feelings" and the "still small voice" and emotion in general, are given us (or evolved or both) are not only intellectually justified, but central to life itself, and not to be dismissed 

Without that willingness to try it out, no reasonable person would ever even consider something like the "Moroni Challenge"

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20 hours ago, Saint Bonaventure said:

As I'm becoming more acquainted with LDS approaches to living the faith, I see a blend of fundamentalism, relativism, some ideas that remind me of the Ebionites, maybe a little Swedenborgianism.....

How on earth do you all baptize inquirers after only a few weeks?

My snarky self immediately came out with "Whaddya mean? You guys baptize only a few days after birth!"

Note to snarky self: "Down, boy."

Anyway, AboutCatholics.com has this to say about Confirmation: "Confirmation is a sacrament of initiation which completes baptism through sealing in the Holy Spirit and anoints the recipient as priest, prophet, and king." [emphasis added]

This means that some fairly serious preparation must be taken by instruction and evaluation to complete the baptism by performing the confirmation, and so if the LDS baptize/confirm after a mere week or so, I can see how one might think that we can be too hasty. But I believe that most LDS investigators who are eventually baptized take more than just a few weeks. 

All that aside, when we go back to first principles,

  • On the Day of Pentecost, Peter preached to a large assemblage of people who to that point had never even heard of Jesus Christ, and on that day 3,000 people were baptized (Acts 2:41). Now that seems logistically difficult, so when the scripture says "Then they that gladly received his word were baptized: and the same day there were added unto them about three thousand souls" we can perhaps stretch the point and assume that the baptisms actually occurred over a space of time, with some instruction being given to the candidates before actual baptism. Or is the scripture to be taken literally?
  • Saul of Tarsus was baptized very soon, perhaps days, after his experience on the road to Damascus.
  • When Peter was asked to attend Cornelius and his house, after briefly teaching of Christ and the Spirit coming upon them in response, they were baptized that same day.

When people are ready, they are ready. Of course it would seem to be necessary that some kind of standard be set for investigators to be accepted for baptism. However, I don't think length of instruction should be the standard, necessarily. Degree of commitment would be more appropriate, IMHO.

I baptized exactly one person on my mission. He and his wife took about four months.

 

 

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On 6/13/2022 at 12:58 PM, Saint Bonaventure said:

If Joseph Smith used Adam Clarke's commentary is that a theological or faith-centered problem? Unless he made claims otherwise, couldn't it just be that he was midrashing within the pages of the Bible and was keen on Adam Clarke's commentary? I wouldn't call that sort of thing a translation, but it's not like it hasn't been done before.

I think a lot of these issues could be clarified by the simple fact that the word "translated" has changed its meaning through the years, including its etymological roots which imply change, or transition, not a state of stasis ;).  Assuming of course any of my Augustinian-taught high school latin remains.  ;)

This is clearly shown when looking at the 1828 version of Webster's Dictionary, notice especially that the usage we use most today, was least, apparently, in 1828.

I usually end up posting this whenever anyone brings up this question, so if you have seen this before, I apologize.

https://webstersdictionary1828.com/Dictionary/translate

Quote

 

TRANSLA'TE, verb transitive [Latin translatus, from transfero; trans, over, and fero, to bear.]

1. To bear, carry or remove from one place to another. It is applied to the removal of a bishop from one see to another.

The bishop of Rochester, when the king would have translated him to a better bishoprick, refused.

2. To remove or convey to heaven, as a human being, without death.

By faith Enoch was translated, that he should not see

death. Hebrews 11:15.

3. To transfer; to convey from one to another. 2 Samuel 3:10.

4. To cause to remove from one part of the body to another; as, to translate a disease.

5. To change.

Happy is your grace,

That can translate the stubbornness of fortune

Into so quiet and so sweet a style.

6. To interpret; to render into another language; to express the sense of one language in the words of another. The Old Testament was translated into the Greek language more than two hundred years before Christ. The Scriptures are now translated into most of the languages of Europe and Asia.

7. To explain.

 

 

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Back in the 1950s or 60s, they did a study on converts and if time spent in teaching them made a difference in retention/commitment levels long term. They found that length of study didn’t help, what converted was the experience of the Spirit and those likely to experience a spiritual confirmation of the Restored Gospel experienced it relatively early in their investigation of the faith. This study is why, iirc, they switched to challenging/inviting someone to be baptized in the first or second lesson and went to a short series of lessons as the standard with church participation as soon as possible. The invite to be baptized gets their mind pointed that way, but also gets them seeking the Spirit to determine if they should.   
 

This change in teaching allowed missionaries to teach many more investigators and raise numbers of baptisms (and then we had the problem of baptisms with too little prep time, so I believe they including attending meetings at least once and some other requirements…never been an official missionary, so don’t know the details.)

(This info is in the David O McKay biography iirc, but I can’t check and refresh my memory as all my books are packed away waiting for the library to be painted and newly carpeted…hopefully within two weeks.)

Edited by Calm
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Everything we need is in the bible, there wasn’t a need for anything else. Joseph Smith’s biggest accomplishment was getting people to think the Bible couldn’t be trusted. If you do that then introduce new doctrine people will believe it. That’s what Galatians is all about. They were taught one thing then did their own thing. But you have to believe and trust those were Gods words, if not it’s easy to say they’re not translated correctly. Do not take away from the simplicity of Christ.

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6 hours ago, Stargazer said:

My snarky self immediately came out with "Whaddya mean? You guys baptize only a few days after birth!"

Note to snarky self: "Down, boy."

Anyway, AboutCatholics.com has this to say about Confirmation: "Confirmation is a sacrament of initiation which completes baptism through sealing in the Holy Spirit and anoints the recipient as priest, prophet, and king." [emphasis added]

This means that some fairly serious preparation must be taken by instruction and evaluation to complete the baptism by performing the confirmation, and so if the LDS baptize/confirm after a mere week or so, I can see how one might think that we can be too hasty. But I believe that most LDS investigators who are eventually baptized take more than just a few weeks. 

All that aside, when we go back to first principles,

  • On the Day of Pentecost, Peter preached to a large assemblage of people who to that point had never even heard of Jesus Christ, and on that day 3,000 people were baptized (Acts 2:41). Now that seems logistically difficult, so when the scripture says "Then they that gladly received his word were baptized: and the same day there were added unto them about three thousand souls" we can perhaps stretch the point and assume that the baptisms actually occurred over a space of time, with some instruction being given to the candidates before actual baptism. Or is the scripture to be taken literally?
  • Saul of Tarsus was baptized very soon, perhaps days, after his experience on the road to Damascus.
  • When Peter was asked to attend Cornelius and his house, after briefly teaching of Christ and the Spirit coming upon them in response, they were baptized that same day.

When people are ready, they are ready. Of course it would seem to be necessary that some kind of standard be set for investigators to be accepted for baptism. However, I don't think length of instruction should be the standard, necessarily. Degree of commitment would be more appropriate, IMHO.

I baptized exactly one person on my mission. He and his wife took about four months.

 

 

Thanks for the thoughtful response.

As I read it, I think of the decades following Vatican II when many cradle Catholics weren't catechized very well. We kind of went from "exacting" and "old school" to warm fuzzies and hippie-style praise approaches. It wasn't everyone, and not all the time, but it's contributed to a demand for serious adult education in the Catholic Church.

Nevertheless, I think that adult converts to the Catholic Church tend to be highly involved. They are spouses of reverts and/or people who studied their way in (Newt Gingrich, Gov. Greg Abbott, Mabel Tolkein (JRR's mom), PM Tony Blair, Alec Guiness (we've got Obi-Wan), Sigrid Unset (she won the Nobel Prize in Literature), Marshall McLuhan, Roy Schoeman (Harvard Prof), Elizabeth Fox-Genovese (historian and founder of the Institute of Women's Studies). There are also people who come to the open-door Right of Christian Initiation for Adults classes that parishes usually offer from August or September through Easter Sunday. I'd have to check with the diocese for actual numbers, but I suspect that in the U.S. the Catholic Church keeps a healthy percentage of its adult converts, and that the hopefully-focused lessons, prayer, and Mass attendance that are part of RCIA help.

As I stated above, I don't discount miracles and the Holy Spirit, and I'll add that I'm certainly a believer in the Day of Pentecost. I'm still just a little surprised that the LDS conversion system can work so well even as it can move to adult convert baptism very, very quickly.  

Some Catholic apologists use the 3,000 baptisms on the Day of Pentecost as circumstantial evidence of pouring/sprinkling baptisms right at the beginning. They assert that Jerusalem then, as today, didn't have the water for all those immersions (although Catholics do believe in immersion, along with pouring and sprinkling), and that the time required and logistics of so many immersions also make pouring/sprinkling more likely. Of course, those apologists, and orthodox Catholic teaching hold to a literal "Day" for Pentecost.

I'm having an additional question, though. Perhaps you or others can straighten me up on it. As I understand it, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints does a laying on of hands on newborns. Is this laying on of hands confirmed at the child's baptism at a later date?

Again, thank you for your thoughtful response. I'm learning a lot just hanging around this board. 

 

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5 hours ago, Saint Bonaventure said:

 

I'm having an additional question, though. Perhaps you or others can straighten me up on it. As I understand it, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints does a laying on of hands on newborns. Is this laying on of hands confirmed at the child's baptism at a later date?

 

 

There ARE blessings of newborn babies during a sacrament service, often soon after birth in which the father holds the baby- typically in a circle of other priesthood holders, where the baby is blessed in a prayer as inspired by the one doing the blessing, usually the father unless the father is not available for whatever reason.

It is a prayer and a "naming"- a kind of official notification to the ward of the baby's proper name, but it is not considered an "ordinance"or "sacrament".   It is a traditional practice - a prayer and a blessing. 

After baptism there IS the ordinance of "Confirmation" including a "laying on of hands"- in which Priesthood members also make a circle around the person to be confirmed and at that point the brethren and the Gift of the Holy Ghost is conferred.  So Baptism and Confirmation are saving ordinances in our church, but the blessing of babies is not.

"Confirmation" does not confirm a baby blessing 

Edited by mfbukowski
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12 minutes ago, mfbukowski said:

Former Bishop Bukowski, :)father of four, says there is no laying on of hands on newborns.

There ARE blessings of newborn babies during a sacrament service, often soon after birth in which the father holds the baby- typically in a circle of other priesthood holders, where the baby is blessed in a prayer as inspired by the one doing the blessing, usually the father unless the father is not available for whatever reason.

It is a prayer and a "naming"- a kind of official notification to the ward of the baby's proper name, but it is not considered an "ordinance"or "sacrament".   It is a traditional practice - a prayer and a blessing. 

I think of it like the Lion King, when the cub Simba is introduced to his world and his world to him….minus the marking with juice though.  Unless the baby spits up.

 

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I prefer formal, traditional arrangements and instruments for Mass. This could range from Gregorian chant to acapella singing, to accompaniment by organ, piano, acoustic guitar, or even other woodwinds or strings. Perhaps brass instruments are fine on special occasions, like the Feast of the Annunciation.

But there's something about a drum set and an electric guitar that just doesn't sit right with me at Mass. And combining those with everything being done in a pop style--ugh.

Such are the dangers of catching Mass on vacation.

Which is a long lead up to:

Why do LDS folks rely basically on the organ or piano for worship services? Those are fine, of course, but is there a pioneer heritage with the acoustic guitar or violin being used? 

 

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5 hours ago, Saint Bonaventure said:

I prefer formal, traditional arrangements and instruments for Mass. This could range from Gregorian chant to acapella singing, to accompaniment by organ, piano, acoustic guitar, or even other woodwinds or strings. Perhaps brass instruments are fine on special occasions, like the Feast of the Annunciation.

But there's something about a drum set and an electric guitar that just doesn't sit right with me at Mass. And combining those with everything being done in a pop style--ugh.

Such are the dangers of catching Mass on vacation.

Which is a long lead up to:

Why do LDS folks rely basically on the organ or piano for worship services? Those are fine, of course, but is there a pioneer heritage with the acoustic guitar or violin being used? 

 

The fact that they were pioneers does not imply that they were cowboys.

They came from all over the world, primarily Northern Europe in those days.  Many were  highly educated.  No banjos, fiddles or guitars in church.

The use of such instruments would be seen as "irreverant"- the Lord deserves the best we have to give him

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Violins have been okay since I was a child (I have been in several wards with violin prodigies, including a girl my age back in Mutual and recently my niece who is fantastic…love it when she starts to fiddle, very popular at Christmas parties so I suppose you could say she fiddles at church :) ). Guitars used to be okay and then got officially or unofficially banned in the mid 70s iirc (we used guitar for my brother’s farewell in ‘73? for a song from Godspell and it was shortly after I heard it was no longer allowed….my guess is too many Day By Days were sung and everyone got tired of hearing it :P , that was not the song we sang though), but now it depends on the bishop as they do not specify any instrument as not allowed in the handbook anymore, just needs to be in keeping with the spirit and approved by bishop.  I think acoustic guitars got banned more for the type of music they played than the sound just as a violin is technically okay, but fiddling would be not approved at all. 

In the last 20 years, I have heard flute, violin, oboe, cello, piano and organ of course, and even acoustic guitar maybe 15 years ago for a YW’s group performance.  I think it just depends on the flexibility of your bishop or stake leaders  

https://www.churchofjesuschrist.org/study/manual/general-handbook/19-music?lang=eng

My grandson plays mellophone and can play it quite softly, but I don’t think I will ever hear him play in church though flutes, oboes, and clarinets are often allowed. 

Edited by Calm
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On 7/17/2022 at 1:23 AM, Saint Bonaventure said:

As I stated above, I don't discount miracles and the Holy Spirit, and I'll add that I'm certainly a believer in the Day of Pentecost.

As well you should! :D 

On 7/17/2022 at 1:23 AM, Saint Bonaventure said:

I'm still just a little surprised that the LDS conversion system can work so well even as it can move to adult convert baptism very, very quickly.

It's extremely variable. I've seen quick converts go on to be steady, stalwart members, and slow converts go back quickly to "gentiles", as well as vice versa and everything in between. It's the parable of the sower, sure enough. 

As a church, we've had our Day of Pentecost moments. Early on, we had a large influx of converts from the United Kingdom, and though many of them, probably most, were the thoughtful adult converts that took a few weeks or months to gain a testimony and finally get baptized. But there were some remarkably dramatic cases, as well. One of them occurred in Herefordshire primarily among a group calling themselves the United Brethren. They had separated themselves from the Primitive Methodists, and were preaching among themselves, when Elder Wilford Woodruff showed up. One of their meeting houses was this building:

The_oldest_Mormon_Chapel_in_the_world%2C_Gadfield_Elm_-_geograph.org.uk_-_3613.jpg

This is the Gadfield Elm chapel, which happens to be the oldest extant chapel of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. I've visited this building, and it is quite delightful! It had fallen on hard times since the church sold it over a hundred years ago to help pay for British emigration to Zion. In 1994 it was purchased by local members (including some old friends of mine) and renovated, after which it was deeded back to the church.

Anyway, while successfully preaching in Lancashire and Staffordshire, Wilford Woodruff received a revelation from the Lord instructing him to go south, as Woodruff wrote "...for the Lord had a great work for me to perform there, as many souls were waiting for His word." When he discussed his plans with recent converts William and Anne Benbow, they suggested that he visit with William's brother John, who lived in Herefordshire, which is south of Staffordshire. Accordingly, Woodruff traveled down there and met with John, and found that there was a large body of people in several congregations who were open to hearing him. It didn't happen overnight, but within just a few weeks nearly all of the United Brethren had been baptized into the church, as well as a number of Church of England people -- including a constable sent by the local parish rector to arrest Woodruff for preaching (he didn't like it that most of his congregation were meeting with the Mormons), and two parish clerks sent to find out what he was preaching. A fuller version of the story can be found here: Wilford Woodruff: Missionary in Herefordshire

Much, much later, after the 1978 revelation opening the priesthood to all, the church sent two missionary couples to Nigeria and Ghana. The reason for this is that over the years a number of Nigerians and Ghanians had obtained copies of the Book of Mormon and other church literature, and were so interested in the message that because the church was not sending missionaries there, these enterprising and devout people started up their own independent versions of "Mormon churches" among themselves anyway. There were about 20 of them in Nigeria alone, and most of them weren't even aware of each other.

When the Church's missionaries arrived, and it began to be known among those congregations that the church had finally sent representatives to begin organizing the church in their land, they sometimes found themselves having to apologetically put off imploring messages to "come here and baptize us!" because there were only so many days in a month, and there was a danger in trying to create instant congregations among folks who did not yet understand gospel principles or church administration. In one instance, they arrived at a back country "LDS" chapel on a Saturday, just after the 75-strong congregation had concluded a fast asking the Lord to send missionaries. The leader of the congregation immediately called his people back to meet the results of their fast. They may not have been able to get around to baptisms on that particular day, but as things advanced, matters were taken care of in an orderly fashion. Typically, the locally self-appointed leaders would be called as congregation leaders, after some instruction.

Here's a 1980 Ensign magazine article talking about it: Nigeria and Ghana: a Miracle Precedes the Messengers

Now, after saying all this, I will say that I don't doubt that the Catholic church has had similar success in some areas long denied the preaching of Christ (former Communist countries, for example). This would be because the Word of Christ is universal, and Spirit of God works with all men and women who are prepared and seeking.

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On 7/16/2022 at 12:20 PM, Ranch2727 said:

Everything we need is in the bible, there wasn’t a need for anything else. Joseph Smith’s biggest accomplishment was getting people to think the Bible couldn’t be trusted. If you do that then introduce new doctrine people will believe it. That’s what Galatians is all about. They were taught one thing then did their own thing. But you have to believe and trust those were Gods words, if not it’s easy to say they’re not translated correctly. Do not take away from the simplicity of Christ.

Thanks to him and others that this is so. Anachronism in both the Book of Mormon and the Bible. And probably the Kuran. 

Edited by Tacenda
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22 hours ago, Saint Bonaventure said:

Why do LDS folks rely basically on the organ or piano for worship services? Those are fine, of course, but is there a pioneer heritage with the acoustic guitar or violin being used? 

Converts from England in the 1830's-40's brought with them music and the musical style of Church of England services of the time.  It became dominant.  Before that, if I recall correctly, the music was a little more lively.

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14 hours ago, Calm said:

Violins have been okay since I was a child (I have been in several wards with violin prodigies, including a girl my age back in Mutual and recently my niece who is fantastic…love it when she starts to fiddle, very popular at Christmas parties so I suppose you could say she fiddles at church :) ). Guitars used to be okay and then got officially or unofficially banned in the mid 70s iirc (we used guitar for my brother’s farewell in ‘73? for a song from Godspell and it was shortly after I heard it was no longer allowed….my guess is too many Day By Days were sung and everyone got tired of hearing it :P , that was not the song we sang though), but now it depends on the bishop as they do not specify any instrument as not allowed in the handbook anymore, just needs to be in keeping with the spirit and approved by bishop.  I think acoustic guitars got banned more for the type of music they played than the sound just as a violin is technically okay, but fiddling would be not approved at all. 

In the last 20 years, I have heard flute, violin, oboe, cello, piano and organ of course, and even acoustic guitar maybe 15 years ago for a YW’s group performance.  I think it just depends on the flexibility of your bishop or stake leaders  

https://www.churchofjesuschrist.org/study/manual/general-handbook/19-music?lang=eng

My grandson plays mellophone and can play it quite softly, but I don’t think I will ever hear him play in church though flutes, oboes, and clarinets are often allowed. 

I stand corrected I guess.

Our ward has shrunken so much we no longer have even a pianist so we get to sing with recorded hymns, which DO use violins. 

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