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Come Follow Me (April 1-7) - Talk about chastity, no mention of polygamy


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17 hours ago, bluebell said:

According to the bible, some of those plural wives were given by God's prophet, Samuel, right?  (or was it Nathan?).  

...But whichever translation of the book of Samuel you think to be most accurate, the Lord says that it ultimately doesn't change things:

23 But the word of God burdens me because of your grosser crimes. For behold, thus saith the Lord: This people begin to wax in iniquity; they understand not the scriptures, for they seek to excuse themselves in committing whoredoms, because of the things which were written concerning David, and Solomon his son.

24 Behold, David and Solomon truly had many wives and concubines, which thing was abominable before me, saith the Lord.

25 Wherefore, thus saith the Lord, I have led this people forth out of the land of Jerusalem, by the power of mine arm, that I might raise up unto me a righteous branch from the fruit of the loins of Joseph.

26 Wherefore, I the Lord God will not suffer that this people shall do like unto them of old.

So here the Lord says that regardless of what was written down on their plates about David, David having many wives was abominable (-- he's setting the record straight for them --) and that they are not to use anything that had been previously written about David or by David as justification for polygamy.

Edited by PortalToParis
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11 minutes ago, PortalToParis said:

...But whichever translation of the book of Samuel you think to be most accurate, the Lord says that it ultimately doesn't change things:

23 But the word of God burdens me because of your grosser crimes. For behold, thus saith the Lord: This people begin to wax in iniquity; they understand not the scriptures, for they seek to excuse themselves in committing whoredoms, because of the things which were written concerning David, and Solomon his son.

24 Behold, David and Solomon truly had many wives and concubines, which thing was abominable before me, saith the Lord.

25 Wherefore, thus saith the Lord, I have led this people forth out of the land of Jerusalem, by the power of mine arm, that I might raise up unto me a righteous branch from the fruit of the loins of Joseph.

26 Wherefore, I the Lord God will not suffer that this people shall do like unto them of old.

So here the Lord says that regardless of what was written down on their plates about David, David having many wives was abominable (-- he's setting the record straight for them --) and that they are not to use anything that had been previously written about David or by David as justification for polygamy.

It does change things though, because it adds context to the topic and helps us understand the whole better than when we just study a part.  

Monogamy is the rule and polygamy the exception, per the scriptures.  If we take all of the scriptures into account it can be argued that taking wives without authorization from God is an abomination.

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39 minutes ago, PortalToParis said:

...But whichever translation of the book of Samuel you think to be most accurate, the Lord says that it ultimately doesn't change things:

23 But the word of God burdens me because of your grosser crimes. For behold, thus saith the Lord: This people begin to wax in iniquity; they understand not the scriptures, for they seek to excuse themselves in committing whoredoms, because of the things which were written concerning David, and Solomon his son.

24 Behold, David and Solomon truly had many wives and concubines, which thing was abominable before me, saith the Lord.

25 Wherefore, thus saith the Lord, I have led this people forth out of the land of Jerusalem, by the power of mine arm, that I might raise up unto me a righteous branch from the fruit of the loins of Joseph.

26 Wherefore, I the Lord God will not suffer that this people shall do like unto them of old.

So here the Lord says that regardless of what was written down on their plates about David, David having many wives was abominable (-- he's setting the record straight for them --) and that they are not to use anything that had been previously written about David or by David as justification for polygamy.

Iirc, the Jews ( rabbis?) defined “many” as more than four, as that is how many Jacob had, the children of those relationships were the foundation of their people and Jacob was not condemned for having many wives.

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The Gemara qualifies the mishna’s case: No, it is necessary to teach that he has permission to consummate the levirate marriage with all of his yevamot in the case where it is possible for him to provide for all four women. The Gemara asks: If so, then the same should be true even if there are many more women as well; why does the mishna specifically discuss a case of four women? The Gemara explains: The mishna teaches us good advice; in a case of up to four women, yes, if he can provide for them then it is acceptable to marry all of them. But if there are any more than that, no, he should not, in order that he will be able to meet the conjugal rights of each woman at least once in each month. A Torah scholar is expected to provide conjugal relations once a week. If he marries no more than four women, then that will ensure that each of his wives will receive their conjugal rights at least once a month.

https://www.sefaria.org/Yevamot.44a.6?ven=William_Davidson_Edition_-_English&vhe=William_Davidson_Edition_-_Vocalized_Aramaic&lang=bi
 

David and Solomon had quite a few more.  So did Joseph and Brigham, so not saying they get out on that technicality. ;) Just mentioning it as how it was understood back when they wrote it or at least were closer in time.

Edited by Calm
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6 minutes ago, Calm said:

Iirc, the Jews ( rabbis?) defined “many” as more than four, as that is how many Jacob had, the children of those relationships were the foundation of their people and Jacob was not condemned for having many wives.

David and Solomon had quite a few more.  So did Joseph and Brigham, so not saying they get out on that technicality. ;) Just mentioning it as how it was understood back when they wrote it or at least were closer in time.

As you note, the Lord used polygamy as a means to create His chosen people, the House of Israel.  That is another part of the context that has to be considered.

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5 hours ago, ZealouslyStriving said:
6 hours ago, PortalToParis said:

Have you read through the priesthood ordination argument of the Historical Monogamy Doctrine site?: historicalmonogamy.wixsite.com/evidenceofdoctrine

If they lied about plural marriage, why wouldn't they have lied about succession claims?

So, have you had a chance to look through the website? It seemed in our communication that we weren't speaking from an equal baseline of understanding, so a read-through of the site would rectify that.

I do think Brigham Young lied about the Twelve's legitimacy as Joseph Smith's successors (see Section #42 of the site). It was only because most of the members democratically voted for the Twelve that most of the membership ended up following BY to Utah. I 100% do not believe that Brigham Young was chosen by the Lord to lead the membership, whether in Nauvoo or in Utah.

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11 minutes ago, PortalToParis said:

So, have you had a chance to look through the website? It seemed in our communication that we weren't speaking from an equal baseline of understanding, so a read-through of the site would rectify that.

I do think Brigham Young lied about the Twelve's legitimacy as Joseph Smith's successors (see Section #42 of the site). It was only because most of the members democratically voted for the Twelve that most of the membership ended up following BY to Utah. I 100% do not believe that Brigham Young was chosen by the Lord to lead the membership, whether in Nauvoo or in Utah.

Who do you believe was meant?

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10 minutes ago, PortalToParis said:

So, have you had a chance to look through the website? It seemed in our communication that we weren't speaking from an equal baseline of understanding, so a read-through of the site would rectify that.

I do think Brigham Young lied about the Twelve's legitimacy as Joseph Smith's successors (see Section #42 of the site). It was only because most of the members democratically voted for the Twelve that most of the membership ended up following BY to Utah. I 100% do not believe that Brigham Young was chosen by the Lord to lead the membership, whether in Nauvoo or in Utah.

My question remains.

Why stay and try to change a church you believe is flawed from it foundation, instead of joining with one that actually agrees with you?

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6 hours ago, Calm said:

We owe a tremendous debt to George Watt for his shorthand record, which is an invaluable resource in church history and for items he transcribed and published. I cannot overstate that. But while we neither condemn nor excuse Watt’s changes, it is vital that we understand that what was published differs, often significantly, from what the speakers actually said. That what we read in the Journal of Discourses and in the Deseret News (which is the same material) is too often the words of George Watt and other shorthand reporters, not the words of Brigham Young and other speakers.

Also from the HMD website (Section 39):

"I have never yet preached a sermon and sent it out to the children of men [in other words had it transcribed and published], that they may not call scripture."

                                                                                                                                Brigham Young, Journal of Discourses, vol. 13, p. 95

"I say now, when they [his discourses] are copied and approved by me they are as good Scripture as is couched in this Bible..."

                                                                                                                                Brigham Young, Journal of Discourses, vol. 13, p. 264

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Just now, ZealouslyStriving said:

My question remains.

Why stay and try to change a church you believe is flawed from it foundation, instead of joining with one that actually agrees with you?

Seems to me there are other issues that Portal sees as closer to his beliefs than other faiths.  If so, it makes sense he stays if the issues are not a dealbreaker for him.

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16 minutes ago, PortalToParis said:

Also from the HMD website (Section 39):

"I have never yet preached a sermon and sent it out to the children of men [in other words had it transcribed and published], that they may not call scripture."

                                                                                                                                Brigham Young, Journal of Discourses, vol. 13, p. 95

"I say now, when they [his discourses] are copied and approved by me they are as good Scripture as is couched in this Bible..."

                                                                                                                                Brigham Young, Journal of Discourses, vol. 13, p. 264

So?  Calling something scripture isn’t calling it infallible. Brigham called Genesis “baby stories” for example.

The first quote left off the need for him to correct the sermon…not even just the transcription, but perhaps what he said himself if he misspoke) and approve it.  Why do you think they did that given they had it in the second quote?

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Well, brethren and sisters, try and be Saints. I will try; I have tried many years to live according to the law which the Lord reveals unto me. I know just as well what to teach this people and just what to say to them and what to do in order to bring them into the celestial kingdom, as I know the road to my office. It is just as plain and easy. The Lord is in our midst. He teaches the people continually. I have never yet preached a sermon and sent it out to the children of men, that they may not call Scripture. Let me have the privilege of correcting a sermon, and it is as good Scripture as they deserve. The people have the oracles of God continually. In the days of Joseph, revelation was given and written, and the people were driven from city to city and place to place, until we were led into these mountains. Let this [discourse] go to the people with "Thus saith the Lord," and if they do not obey it, you will see the chastening hand of the Lord upon them. But if they are plead with, and led along like children, we may come to understand the will of the Lord and he may preserve us as we desire.[1]

 

Quite a few of the JoD sermons were never double-checked by Brigham.

Plus what I pointed out in the post you quoted still stands, he was criticizing himself and Kimball for being deficient in language and mentions most Elders of Zion being moral men, but not all.

Doesn’t sound the least like infallibility to me.

https://www.fairlatterdaysaints.org/answers/Journal_of_Discourses/13/13#95

A fuller context of the second quote makes it pretty obvious Brigham is not talking about any he says or even anything he says across the pulpit…

Quote

Brother Orson Hyde referred to a few who complained about not getting revelations. I will make a statement here that has been brought against me as a crime, perhaps, or as a fault in my life. Not here, I do not allude to anything of the kind in this place, but in the councils of the nations—that Brigham Young has said "when he sends forth his discourses to the world they may call them Scripture." I say now, when they are copied and approved by me they are as good Scripture as is couched in this Bible, and if you want to read revelation read the sayings of him who knows the mind of God, without any special command to one man to go here, and to another to go yonder, or to do this or that, or to go and settle here or there.

 

Edited by Calm
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13 minutes ago, PortalToParis said:

So here the Lord says that regardless of what was written down on their plates about David, David having many wives was abominable (-- he's setting the record straight for them --) and that they are not to use anything that had been previously written about David or by David as justification for polygamy.

This discussion has been going on for at least a couple of thousand years. The reference to David and Solomon having many wives and it being abominable is a reference to Deuteronomy 17:17. The King James Version isn't as close to the Book of Mormon text here as other translations are - here is the NIV of the entire Kingshope code (Deuteronomy 17:14-20 - emphasis added):

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When you enter the land the LORD your God is giving you and have taken possession of it and settled in it, and you say, "Let us set a king over us like all the nations around us," be sure to appoint over you the king the LORD your God chooses. He must be from among your own brothers. Do not place a foreigner over you, one who is not a brother Israelite. The king, moreover, must not acquire great numbers of horses for himself or make the people return to Egypt to get more of them, for the LORD has told you, "You are not to go back that way again." He must not take many wives, or his heart will be led astray. He must not accumulate large amounts of silver and gold. When he takes the throne of his kingdom, he is to write for himself on a scroll a copy of this law, taken from that of the priests, who are Levites. It is to be with him, and he is to read it all the days of his life so that he may learn to revere the LORD his God and follow carefully all the words of this law and these decrees and not consider himself better than his brothers and turn from the law to the right or to the left. Then he and his descendants will reign a long time over his kingdom in Israel.

Jacob's sermon doesn't just deal with the question of having many wives. It points to some of the other issues laid out here as well (Jacob 1:15-16):

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And now it came to pass that the people of Nephi, under the reign of the second king, began to grow hard in their hearts, and indulge themselves somewhat in wicked practices, such as like unto David of old desiring many wives and concubines, and also Solomon, his son. Yea, and they also began to search much gold and silver, and began to be lifted up somewhat in pride.

Some of these other issues are explored again 2 Jacob 2 before we get tot he core issue of many wives - here is Jacob 2:12-13:

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And now behold, my brethren, this is the word which I declare unto you, that many of you have begun to search for gold, and for silver, and for all manner of precious ores, in the which this land, which is a land of promise unto you and to your seed, doth abound most plentifully. And the hand of providence hath smiled upon you most pleasingly, that you have obtained many riches; and because some of you have obtained more abundantly than that of your brethren ye are lifted up in the pride of your hearts, and wear stiff necks and high heads because of the costliness of your apparel, and persecute your brethren because ye suppose that ye are better than they.

So this idea of pride - of having your heart lifted up above your bretheren (the KJV reads: That his heart be not lifted up above his brethren), of acquiring lots of wealth in gold and silver in the land that God gave them, all of this is part of what is going wrong with the Nephites. It culminates with this desire for polygamy. And it is the use of David and Solomon as an example to follow for that polygamy that offends Jacob - because David and Solomon (who were not only Israelites but kings of Israel) were clearly violating the commandments in Deuteronomy when they did this.

The D&C solves it in one way (that is being discussed). The community at Qumran (the dead sea scrolls) resolved it differently. This is from the Cairo Damascus document (called this because it is one of the few non-biblical texts that was previously known from outside the community - copies were found in the Cairo genizah:

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They are Belial's three nets about which Levi, son of Jacob spoke, in which he catches Israel and makes them appear before them like three types of justice. The first is fornication; the second, wealth; the third, defilement of the temple. He who eludes one is caught in another and he who is freed from that, is caught in another.

The builders of the wall who go after Zaw-Zaw is a preacher as it is said Assuredly he will preach - are caught twice in fornication: by taking two wives in their lives, even though the principle of creation is male and female he created them.

And the one who went into the ark went in two by two into the ark. And about the prince it is written: He should not multiply wives to himself. However, David had not read the sealed book of the law which was in the ark, for it had not been opened in Israel since the day of the death of Eleazar and of Jehoshua, and Joshua and the elders who worshiped Ashraroth had hidden the public (copy) until Zadok's entry into office. And David's deeds were praised, except for Uriah's blood, and God allowed them to him.

The D&C goes with the idea that Samuel discusses an alternate explanation (at least for David). The Qumran community argues (in the text above) that we should exempt David (and Solomon) because the book of Deuteronomy was unknown at the time, and wouldn't be discovered until Hilkiah found the text of Deuteronomy in 2 Kings 22:8. God simply allowed it because David didn't know any better. And we can all see that no one wants to justify the relationship with Bathsheba. When the book of Deuteronomy was discovered, there is a large commotion - as 2 Kings 22:13 tells us:

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Go ye, inquire of the Lord for me, and for the people, and for all Judah, concerning the words of this book that is found: for great is the wrath of the Lord that is kindled against us, because our fathers have not hearkened unto the words of this book, to do according unto all that which is written concerning us.

This response is also of interest to us, because of the way that Jacob 2:27 begins -

Quote

Wherefore, my brethren, hear me, and hearken to the word of the Lord: For there shall not any man among you have save it be bone wife; and concubines he shall have none;

So was it good or bad? I think that one thing that becomes clear is that there are different ways to argue this issue. The Book of Mormon and the D&C are not complementary texts in this regard - they take a very different approach to this theological debate - the Book of Mormon insists that it is always bad. Jacob in particular faults the Nephite's lack of obedience with their being driven from their promised land and forced to resettle in the wilderness on a lack of obedience here (and Jacob compares this experience to the Israelites not being allowed to settle in their promised land for forty years - when he quotes from Psalm 95 several times in his book). This is also the view more generally of Judaism (with a sort of final version showing up in Gershom's ban).

There is a certain oddity in the practice of polygamy for early LDS members if we consider that the journey to Utah was their trek to their promised land, and once having gotten there, the people began to practice polygamy - and to an extent based that polygamy on the practices of David and other Old Testament figures - exactly the sort of practice and justification that Jacob was so dead set against. Which is part of what makes all of this discussion rather fascinating to me. There is a significant dialogue going on in Jacob that engages both the Nephites and their Old Testament.

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4 hours ago, Calm said:

Why would Joseph seal himself to the matriarch instead of the patriarch of a family?

We have no record of Joseph Smith giving a reason for this. For those who do not contest the occurrence of these sealings, it is presumed that it was because the women were not priesthood holders, and so it was to have everyone not holding the priesthood to be sealed to the priesthood. (BUT WHY NOT SEAL THEM TO THEIR HUSBANDS?) Let's leave that question aside for now, because remember that most pro-monogamists don't believe all, or even perhaps most of these sealings actually occurred (not at the time the LDS church says they did.) The HMD website takes the sealings at face value and doesn't delve into any of them, likely I think to just try to simplify the topic to maintain brevity as an intro site. But most of the sealing ordinances of Joseph Smith are first recorded in the Nauvoo temple records as occurring in 1845... as in after he was dead. Many women were sealed to him posthumously. Remember the wording of the Temple Lot affidavit question: "Were you married or sealed to Joseph Smith?" It doesn't actually specify whether they were sealed to him *while he was alive*. Any woman who was only sealed to him posthumously could have said, "Yes." with it technically not being a lie at all.

The LDS church has said that some of these posthumous sealings were re-sealings. But if that's the case, we still don't have the actual contemporaneous records for the initial sealings.

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51 minutes ago, Calm said:

Iirc, the Jews ( rabbis?) defined “many” as more than four, as that is how many Jacob had, the children of those relationships were the foundation of their people and Jacob was not condemned for having many wives.

This was the most common interpretation - up until Gershom. Four allowed for the theological protection of Jacob. But there are rarely suggestions to more than four (and sometimes a lot more than four). Eight is often considered the number of wives that David had, and is seen occasionally. But, the distribution of these rabbinic statements is linked to local customs as much as the text. In regions dominated by Islam, polygamy was more easily tolerated, while in northern Europe, not so much.

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31 minutes ago, PortalToParis said:

I say now, when they [his discourses] are copied and approved by me they are as good Scripture as is couched in this Bible..."

                                                                                                                                Brigham Young, Journal of Discourses, vol. 13, p. 264

One thing that is an issue is that Brigham Young was not a believe in the inerrancy of the text. For him to say "as good Scripture as is couched in this Bible" is to say that he accepts that his own sermons may be deeply flawed by his own limited knowledge and experience - and that the biblical text is likewise problematic. There is the statement he made about both the Bible and the Book of Mormon:

Quote

When God speaks to the people, he does it in a manner to suit their circumstances and capacities. … Should the Lord Almighty send an angel to rewrite the Bible, it would in many places be very different from what it now is. And I will even venture to say that if the Book of Mormon were now to be rewritten, in many instances it would materially differ from the present translation.

And this puts some context to the idea that he felt that his sermons were as good as scripture. They are inspiration, he suggests, tailored to meet a certain context, and certainly never the final say.

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4 hours ago, Calm said:

Point 69….while a reference is given, no link to where one can examine it for oneself…for example to check to see if dates are ignored as they were in the Sidney Rigdon postmaster point.  Do you have one?

 

The [a] signs throughout the site are all lacking a linked source, either due to faulty formatting or it still needing to be added. Joseph Fielding's journal from those years is here: http://boap.org/LDS/Early-Saints/JFielding.html

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1 hour ago, Calm said:

Iirc, the Jews ( rabbis?) defined “many” as more than four

David and Solomon had quite a few more.  So did Joseph and Brigham, so not saying they get out on that technicality. ;) Just mentioning it as how it was understood back when they wrote it or at least were closer in time.

After the Lord says that their having many wives and concubines was abominable to Him, He states the number of each that a man is permitted to have -- Wives: 1, Concubines: 0

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1 hour ago, PortalToParis said:

Are you referring to Jacob 2:30? Have you read through Sections 21-25 of the HMD site, in which it explains Jacob 2:30 in a different way? https://historicalmonogamy.wixsite.com/evidenceofdoctrine

I have read other interpretations of it (mainly those used by the CoC).  I don't know if they are the same as the ones in your link.  I acknowledge that other interpretations exist, I just don't find them very convincing when taken as a whole with all the other evidence.

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57 minutes ago, Calm said:

Seems to me there are other issues that Portal sees as closer to his beliefs than other faiths.  If so, it makes sense he stays if the issues are not a dealbreaker for him.

I asked him to elucidate on the reasons, but he never answered that part of my reply from earlier.

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7 minutes ago, ZealouslyStriving said:

I asked him to elucidate on the reasons, but he never answered that part of my reply from earlier.

Sometimes that means they don't want to discuss it.  Other times it's because they missed the question or forgot to answer that part when they replied.  If he continues to not answer then it's probably the first.

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1 minute ago, bluebell said:

Sometimes that means they don't want to discuss it.  Other times it's because they missed the question or forgot to answer that part when they replied.  If he continues to not answer then it's probably the first.

It would be nice to have the context of why the Restorationist RLDS is not a good fit for him. It would help make more sense of his position and this conversation. Because frankly, it confusing.

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1 hour ago, PortalToParis said:

Also from the HMD website (Section 39):

"I have never yet preached a sermon and sent it out to the children of men [in other words had it transcribed and published], that they may not call scripture."

                                                                                                                                Brigham Young, Journal of Discourses, vol. 13, p. 95

"I say now, when they [his discourses] are copied and approved by me they are as good Scripture as is couched in this Bible..."

                                                                                                                                Brigham Young, Journal of Discourses, vol. 13, p. 264

Both of those are often taken out of context to try to assert that all of Brigham Young's talks in the Journal of Discourses are as good as scripture.  The context is important.

For example, the first one from Journal of Discourses, Vol.13, p.95, Brigham Young, January 2, 1870:

"Well, brethren and sisters, try and be Saints.  I will try; I have tried many years to live according to the law which the Lord reveals unto me.  I know just as well what to teach this people and just what to say to them and what to do in order to bring them into the celestial kingdom, as I know the road to my office.  It is just as plain and easy.  The Lord is in our midst.  He teaches the people continually.  I have never yet preached a sermon and sent it out to the children of men, that they may not call Scripture.  Let me have the privilege of correcting a sermon, and it is as good Scripture as they deserve.   The people have the oracles of God continually.  In the days of Joseph, revelation was given and written, and the people were driven from city to city and place to place, until we were led into these mountains."

Did Brigham Young do that?   The second quote also includes the same form of correction and approval process.

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28 minutes ago, ZealouslyStriving said:

It would be nice to have the context of why the Restorationist RLDS is not a good fit for him. It would help make more sense of his position and this conversation. Because frankly, it confusing.

I thought he was pretty clear that he sees the authority going with the democratically voted leadership by the majority of the saints.  Israel did not cease to be Israel just because they insisted on having kings….but in going back and rereading that post, I do see I may have made connections where he did not.

Quote

do think Brigham Young lied about the Twelve's legitimacy as Joseph Smith's successors (see Section #42 of the site). It was only because most of the members democratically voted for the Twelve that most of the membership ended up following BY to Utah. I 100% do not believe that Brigham Young was chosen by the Lord to lead the membership, whether in Nauvoo or in Utah.

 

Edited by Calm
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1 hour ago, PortalToParis said:

The [a] signs throughout the site are all lacking a linked source, either due to faulty formatting or it still needing to be added. Joseph Fielding's journal from those years is here: http://boap.org/LDS/Early-Saints/JFielding.html

But it was her brother Robert you said, did you mean Joseph?  I wondered.  And if you did, can you please quote that part because a few key word searches didn’t bring it up for me.

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