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Thread: Brother Brigham was one interesting cat

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    Quote Originally Posted by old_gregg View Post
    people are talking past each other here (). the issue is not that prophets are fallible when acting as men. duh--that should be noncontroversial even for the most ardent and orthodox. the problem is that doctrinal concepts (preached and declared as such) are arguably the result of man's fallibility rather than divine revelation. i don't think there's any other way to square 132 or material sections of the journal of discourses, for example. at the point where people are expected to ferret out truth from stuff that's purportedly doctrine, what's the whole point of having prophetic revelation on behalf of the church? sure, the church needs some chief officer by virtue of its hierarchy, but if members have to parse through stuff that's already purportedly the word of god to find what's actually the word of god, i'm not sure that makes sense. the sentiment that we should accept decidedly racist, sexist or other -ist statements because we are also sinners is intellectually lazy and a bunch of hogwash. a racist statement by an 1840s layman is different than a racist statement by a prophet given under the color of revelation.
    I think we are all under the obligation to sort through what is presented to us and determine what we think is the word of God. I am surprised you would think it should be any other way. In my view, as I have said many other times here and so I won't go into detail, its all part of God leaving us a lot more on our own than we like to admit and requiring us to sort through all of our own difficulties. The prophets have the lead; and I think they do get inspiration, but I think God shows up and says how it is supposed to be, word for word, very, very rarely. So we are left with a lot of chaff to deal with, including chaff from leaders. We would like to stamp our feet and insist God give it to us all, right now, with no peas touching the potatoes or meat, but thats just not how it is. We are on our own, with only occasional glimpses of divinity and foundational inspiration to guide us.
    PLesa excuse the tpyos.

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    Quote Originally Posted by old_gregg View Post
    people are talking past each other here (). the issue is not that prophets are fallible when acting as men. duh--that should be noncontroversial even for the most ardent and orthodox. the problem is that doctrinal concepts (preached and declared as such) are arguably the result of man's fallibility rather than divine revelation. i don't think there's any other way to square 132 or material sections of the journal of discourses, for example. at the point where people are expected to ferret out truth from stuff that's purportedly doctrine, what's the whole point of having prophetic revelation on behalf of the church? sure, the church needs some chief officer by virtue of its hierarchy, but if members have to parse through stuff that's already purportedly the word of god to find what's actually the word of god, i'm not sure that makes sense. the sentiment that we should accept decidedly racist, sexist or other -ist statements because we are also sinners is intellectually lazy and a bunch of hogwash. a racist statement by an 1840s layman is different than a racist statement by a prophet given under the color of revelation.
    Valid observations.
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    It is NOT a monkey! creekster's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by old_gregg View Post
    hebrews 13:8
    We dont even know who werote Hebrews.

    Besides, no one here is saying Christ isn't constant. We are saying WE are not constant. We will be judged but what we knew, understood and did in that context, not against the perfection of Christ.
    PLesa excuse the tpyos.

  4. #94

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    Quote Originally Posted by old_gregg View Post
    people are talking past each other here (). the issue is not that prophets are fallible when acting as men. duh--that should be noncontroversial even for the most ardent and orthodox. the problem is that doctrinal concepts (preached and declared as such) are arguably the result of man's fallibility rather than divine revelation. i don't think there's any other way to square 132 or material sections of the journal of discourses, for example. at the point where people are expected to ferret out truth from stuff that's purportedly doctrine, what's the whole point of having prophetic revelation on behalf of the church? sure, the church needs some chief officer by virtue of its hierarchy, but if members have to parse through stuff that's already purportedly the word of god to find what's actually the word of god, i'm not sure that makes sense. the sentiment that we should accept decidedly racist, sexist or other -ist statements because we are also sinners is intellectually lazy and a bunch of hogwash. a racist statement by an 1840s layman is different than a racist statement by a prophet given under the color of revelation.
    As far as I can read, no one is advocating accepting "decidedly racist, sexist or other -ist statements because we are also sinners." What's at issue is the reality that the decidedness you site is coloured by modern views, and it is wise to understand that those modern views do not in fact make us morally superior.

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    Quote Originally Posted by creekster View Post
    We dont even know who werote Hebrews.

    Besides, no one here is saying Christ isn't constant. We are saying WE are not constant. We will be judged but what we knew, understood and did in that context, not against the perfection of Christ.
    As will all children of God who came before us, regardless of whether or not they were a layman or a prophet.

  6. #96

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    Quote Originally Posted by creekster View Post
    We dont even know who werote Hebrews.

    Besides, no one here is saying Christ isn't constant. We are saying WE are not constant. We will be judged but what we knew, understood and did in that context, not against the perfection of Christ.
    the implicit observation by the dude is whether morality is constant. i think the church's position (or at least the position advanced in a not so subtle way by folks like dallin oaks) is that it is constant, and that's probably supported by doctrine. if morality is constant, then doctrine should be constant except to do away with things that weren't actually doctrine (itself a problematic concept, see my other post). the church obviously does this to some extent, but the proposition that it happens because god changes his mind seems silly to me. note that this is a matter of official church response, not the way the average member balances these scales in their head. d&c 132 is repugnant and should be stricken from the record, and reasonable explanations for much of the church's problematic history should be offered.
    Te Occidere Possunt Sed Te Edere Non Possunt Nefas Est.

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    Quote Originally Posted by tooblue View Post
    those modern views do not in fact make us morally superior.
    what a patently absurd and stupid statement
    Te Occidere Possunt Sed Te Edere Non Possunt Nefas Est.

  8. #98

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    Quote Originally Posted by old_gregg View Post
    what a patently absurd and stupid statement
    It is delusional to believe you are morally superior simply because you are modern.

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    Quote Originally Posted by old_gregg View Post
    what a patently absurd and stupid statement
    Huh? Is he saying that it is not a moral improvement to cease racist or sexist policies?
    "Guitar groups are on their way out, Mr Epstein."

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    Quote Originally Posted by tooblue View Post
    It is delusional to believe you are morally superior simply because you are modern.
    right, we are morally superior because we are morally superior.
    Te Occidere Possunt Sed Te Edere Non Possunt Nefas Est.

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    Quote Originally Posted by old_gregg View Post
    right, we are morally superior because we are morally superior.
    Interesting presentism

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    Quote Originally Posted by old_gregg View Post
    the implicit observation by the dude is whether morality is constant. i think the church's position (or at least the position advanced in a not so subtle way by folks like dallin oaks) is that it is constant, and that's probably supported by doctrine. if morality is constant, then doctrine should be constant except to do away with things that weren't actually doctrine (itself a problematic concept, see my other post). the church obviously does this to some extent, but the proposition that it happens because god changes his mind seems silly to me. note that this is a matter of official church response, not the way the average member balances these scales in their head. d&c 132 is repugnant and should be stricken from the record, and reasonable explanations for much of the church's problematic history should be offered.
    If my posts implied or stated that God changes his mind, then I erred. I do not believe in moral relativity. That said, I also believe in the fallibility of people. Maybe sec 132 will, eventually, be withdrawn or revised. I know no one in current leadership shows any willingness to reinstate it. I also know that I do not personally connect with the doctrine there. But I think that we are looking at this from our own perspectives and not from the perspective of someone who is attempting to safeguard and increase the Kingdom of God on the Earth. Perspective does matter.

    I am curious, though: why do you believe that section 132 is repugnant? ON what moral scheme do you reach that conclusion?

    BTW, This is a narrower thought than the original scope of this topic, in my mind, but I can see why you went there to explain your position.
    PLesa excuse the tpyos.

  13. #103
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    Quote Originally Posted by old_gregg View Post
    people are talking past each other here (). the issue is not that prophets are fallible when acting as men. duh--that should be noncontroversial even for the most ardent and orthodox. the problem is that doctrinal concepts (preached and declared as such) are arguably the result of man's fallibility rather than divine revelation. i don't think there's any other way to square 132 or material sections of the journal of discourses, for example. at the point where people are expected to ferret out truth from stuff that's purportedly doctrine, what's the whole point of having prophetic revelation on behalf of the church? sure, the church needs some chief officer by virtue of its hierarchy, but if members have to parse through stuff that's already purportedly the word of god to find what's actually the word of god, i'm not sure that makes sense. the sentiment that we should accept decidedly racist, sexist or other -ist statements because we are also sinners is intellectually lazy and a bunch of hogwash. a racist statement by an 1840s layman is different than a racist statement by a prophet given under the color of revelation.
    Yes, revelation is not perfect. I discarded that simplistic model a long time ago. It is filtered through and colored by the person receiving it and we have to parse it. Some revelations might be hogwash. Some may contain beautiful and eternal truths. Most are probably a combination of the two. Parsing "through stuff that's already purportedly the word of god to find what's actually the word of god" is part of what makes it interesting and worthy of our best thought and consideration.

    A few related quotes:

    "We can tell when the speakers are 'moved upon by the Holy Ghost' only when we, ourselves are 'moved upon by the Holy Ghost.' In a way, this completely shifts the responsibility from them to us to determine when they so speak." - J. Reuben Clark, 1954
    And since this is a thread dedicated to Brigham Young!:

    BY in Journal of Discourses:

    "What a pity it would be, if we were led by one man to utter destruction! Are you afraid of this? I am more afraid that this people have so much confidence in their leaders that they will not inquire for themselves of God whether they are led by him. I am fearful they settle down in a state of blind self-security, trusting their eternal destiny in the hands of their leaders with a reckless confidence that in itself would thwart the purposes of God in their salvation, and weaken the influence they could give to their leaders, did they know for themselves, by the revelations of Jesus, that they are led in the right way. Let every man and woman know, themselves, whether their leaders are walking in the path the Lord dictates, or not. This has been my exhortation continually." (JD 9:150)
    and Brigham again in JD 4:36

    "How easy it would be for your leaders to lead you to destruction, unless you actually know the mind and will of the spirit yourselves."
    and Brigham again in JD 3:45

    "I do not wish any Latter-day Saint in this world, nor in heaven, to be satisfied with anything I do, unless the Spirit of the Lord Jesus Christ, the spirit of revelation, makes them satisfied...Suppose that the people were heedless, that they manifested no concern with regard to the things of the kingdom of God, but threw the whole burden upon the leaders of the people, saying, 'If the brethren who take charge of matters are satisfied, we are,' this is not pleasing in the sight of the Lord."
    I think I stole those quotes from SiEQ a few years back.
    "There is no creature more arrogant than a self-righteous libertarian on the web, am I right? Those folks are just intolerable."
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    Quote Originally Posted by creekster View Post
    If my posts implied or stated that God changes his mind, then I erred. I do not believe in moral relativity. That said, I also believe in the fallibility of people. Maybe sec 132 will, eventually, be withdrawn or revised. I know no one in current leadership shows any willingness to reinstate it. I also know that I do not personally connect with the doctrine there. But I think that we are looking at this from our own perspectives and not from the perspective of someone who is attempting to safeguard and increase the Kingdom of God on the Earth. Perspective does matter.

    I am curious, though: why do you believe that section 132 is repugnant? ON what moral scheme do you reach that conclusion?

    BTW, This is a narrower thought than the original scope of this topic, in my mind, but I can see why you went there to explain your position.
    Quote Originally Posted by Jeff Lebowski View Post
    Yes, revelation is not perfect. I discarded that simplistic model a long time ago. It is filtered through and colored by the person receiving it and we have to parse it. Some revelations might be hogwash. Some may contain beautiful and eternal truths. Most are probably a combination of the two. Parsing "through stuff that's already purportedly the word of god to find what's actually the word of god" is part of what makes it interesting and worthy of our best thought and consideration.

    A few related quotes:



    And since this is a thread dedicated to Brigham Young!:

    BY in Journal of Discourses:



    and Brigham again in JD 4:36



    and Brigham again in JD 3:45



    I think I stole those quotes from SiEQ a few years back.
    don’t have time to thoughtfully respond at the moment, other than to say 1. thanks and 2. i think everybody agrees in substance, the only disagreement is about whether the outcome is qualitatively valuable enough to overcome the costs of getting there. i think it might not be, but will likely have a different opinion in a few hours or days.

    re 132, the basis of my moral judgment is my experience in relationships (marital and otherwise), which is obviously substantially different than everybody else’s experience. people are generally equals and their judgment should be afforded deference and respect, especially in the case of spouses (who should have the benefit of absolute veto power over any important decision). i don’t think 132 comports with this idea (which is basically the only thing i actually believe (other than the university of utah being a trash institution full of bottom feeding losers))
    Te Occidere Possunt Sed Te Edere Non Possunt Nefas Est.

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    Quote Originally Posted by old_gregg View Post
    don’t have time to thoughtfully respond at the moment, other than to say 1. thanks and 2. i think everybody agrees in substance, the only disagreement is about whether the outcome is qualitatively valuable enough to overcome the costs of getting there. i think it might not be, but will likely have a different opinion in a few hours or days.
    That is a fair response.

    Quote Originally Posted by old_gregg View Post
    re 132, the basis of my moral judgment is my experience in relationships (marital and otherwise), which is obviously substantially different than everybody else’s experience. people are generally equals and their judgment should be afforded deference and respect, especially in the case of spouses (who should have the benefit of absolute veto power over any important decision). i don’t think 132 comports with this idea (which is basically the only thing i actually believe (other than the university of utah being a trash institution full of bottom feeding losers))
    Section 132 is my least favorite section of scripture.
    "There is no creature more arrogant than a self-righteous libertarian on the web, am I right? Those folks are just intolerable."
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    Quote Originally Posted by old_gregg View Post
    donít have time to thoughtfully respond at the moment, other than to say 1. thanks and 2. i think everybody agrees in substance, the only disagreement is about whether the outcome is qualitatively valuable enough to overcome the costs of getting there. i think it might not be, but will likely have a different opinion in a few hours or days.

    re 132, the basis of my moral judgment is my experience in relationships (marital and otherwise), which is obviously substantially different than everybody elseís experience. people are generally equals and their judgment should be afforded deference and respect, especially in the case of spouses (who should have the benefit of absolute veto power over any important decision). i donít think 132 comports with this idea (which is basically the only thing i actually believe (other than the university of utah being a trash institution full of bottom feeding losers))
    Has this been canonized yet?
    "I think it was King Benjamin who said 'you sorry ass shitbags who have no skills that the market values also have an obligation to have the attitude that if one day you do in fact win the PowerBall Lottery that you will then impart of your substance to those without.'"
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    Quote Originally Posted by old_gregg View Post
    don’t have time to thoughtfully respond at the moment, other than to say 1. thanks and 2. i think everybody agrees in substance, the only disagreement is about whether the outcome is qualitatively valuable enough to overcome the costs of getting there. i think it might not be, but will likely have a different opinion in a few hours or days.
    I think this is about right and I suspect that most of us giver different answers from time to time. The older I get the closer I get to center but the harder it is to move me (but that might be because I keep gaining weight).

    Quote Originally Posted by old_gregg View Post
    re 132, the basis of my moral judgment is my experience in relationships (marital and otherwise), which is obviously substantially different than everybody else’s experience. people are generally equals and their judgment should be afforded deference and respect, especially in the case of spouses (who should have the benefit of absolute veto power over any important decision). i don’t think 132 comports with this idea (which is basically the only thing i actually believe (other than the university of utah being a trash institution full of bottom feeding losers))
    That's interesting. In fact, then, it would require very little change to sec 132 to escape your moral approbation. Like JL, however, it is not my favorite section.
    PLesa excuse the tpyos.

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    Quote Originally Posted by smokymountainrain View Post
    lol. love me some flystripper.
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    Quote Originally Posted by creekster View Post
    I think this is about right and I suspect that most of us giver different answers from time to time. The older I get the closer I get to center but the harder it is to move me (but that might be because I keep gaining weight).



    That's interesting. In fact, then, it would require very little change to sec 132 to escape your moral approbation. Like JL, however, it is not my favorite section.
    JL and you do a lot of hard work to reconcile everything, and you two are smarter than most. However, if it is the difficult using the best and brightest, how functional is it for run of the mill persons to divine the good stuff from the bad stuff?
    "Guitar groups are on their way out, Mr Epstein."

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    Quote Originally Posted by Topper View Post
    JL and you do a lot of hard work to reconcile everything, and you two are smarter than most. However, if it is the difficult using the best and brightest, how functional is it for run of the mill persons to divine the good stuff from the bad stuff?
    That's what the Holy Ghost is for, right?

    Ask the Father in my name in faith, believing that you shall receive, and you shall have the Holy Ghost, which manifesteth all things which are expedient unto the children of men.
    D&C 18:8

  21. #111

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jeff Lebowski View Post
    What defines morality? How you live relative to the standards and mores of your own time? Or how you live relative to the grand sweep of time, both past and future? Is it really fair to use the second standard? Are you confident that nothing you are currently doing will be considered immoral by future generations?
    I used to have a list of universal mores. They were so profound that I can't remember them anymore. But they were something like no slavery, no murder, no harm to children, universal respect for humanity, something something. I think there are a handful of truths that the whole history of humanity should be judged on. It isn't necessarily fair to judge early man or the beginning of society. But that doesn't mean we shouldn't recognize where/when humanity has gone 'wrong', which unfortunately requires using a current standard. And that standard changes as we get better as humans.

    And no, I'm not confident at all that current humanity will be judged moral by future generations. I'm a big believer in the general direction of the arc of the moral universe. We still have a very long way to go.

    Quote Originally Posted by creekster View Post
    Perhaps. I am not sure we are more moral than they were. I think we struggle a lot in our own way. I know I do. Moreover, aren't you the one who a couple of posts ago urged a nuanced and less-literal view of the scriptures? Did Moses really sanction murder and rape? or was that an oral tradition that developed to justify conduct of others and to make a point about the unique nature of the chosen people? Did Lot really do those things with his daughters? Or is it a gripping fireside tale used to make some points. I am not really sure, although probably some of the better scholars here could shed light on that.
    Moral relativity, baby. Certainly past societies did better in some aspects with humanity than we are doing. But we (I should say most industrialized nations) are at a much better place with racial, gender, and social justice issues than we were just a generation ago. Those are big ones for me.

    The nuanced view of scriptural historicity/inerrancy isn't my fight anymore. I brought it up when we were talking about BY's doctrines that some of us detest. But let's suppose that JS and BY shared most of our nuanced views of scripture. Would they have justified polygamy just because it was practiced anciently, and frame it as restoring it as the fulness of the gospel? Would they have claimed it was an eternal doctrine? Would we have ended up with section 132, which deals with women as eternal property and threatens destruction or damnation if they don't comply? How about slavery? Of course they were products of their time, so it would have been very hard for them to think progressively on the issue. But had they not had a literal view of scripture, would they have codified the teaching of the superiority of some races as doctrine? And would generations of members have had to struggle with this doctrine as the world passed them by, had it not been taught as gospel truth for so long?

    Look, I got hung up on the insistence of official church teaching that most scripture is literal history or inerrant. Probably too much. I came to the conclusion that section 132 could never have come from a moral god. I decided that he would never curse generations of people with dark skin because of their fathers, in direct contradiction to the 2nd AoF. And from there, it was a slippery slope. No way that a loving god commands people to commit murder, sanction genocide, or other unspeakable acts, even though the church to this day officially teaches he does, for reasons unknowable to man. I know that I wasn't forced to believe all this, and I know I could have maintained some activity in the church by separating my rational and faithful halves. But official church teachings offended my own sense of morality, so my faith in those teachings was destroyed.

    Would it have made a difference had there been official sanction to believe that some of our scripture wasn't doctrinal or true? Probably. I still had big issues with the LGBT doctrine. But If I had felt comfortable enough with unorthodox belief to the point where I could share it with others, without fear of reprisal, I might have lingered longer. Who knows. Anyways, I hope I explained this well enough so you understand why I and others have such a hard time with this.

  22. #112
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    Quote Originally Posted by Northwestcoug View Post
    I used to have a list of universal mores. They were so profound that I can't remember them anymore. But they were something like no slavery, no murder, no harm to children, universal respect for humanity, something something. I think there are a handful of truths that the whole history of humanity should be judged on. It isn't necessarily fair to judge early man or the beginning of society. But that doesn't mean we shouldn't recognize where/when humanity has gone 'wrong', which unfortunately requires using a current standard. And that standard changes as we get better as humans.

    And no, I'm not confident at all that current humanity will be judged moral by future generations. I'm a big believer in the general direction of the arc of the moral universe. We still have a very long way to go.



    Moral relativity, baby. Certainly past societies did better in some aspects with humanity than we are doing. But we (I should say most industrialized nations) are at a much better place with racial, gender, and social justice issues than we were just a generation ago. Those are big ones for me.

    The nuanced view of scriptural historicity/inerrancy isn't my fight anymore. I brought it up when we were talking about BY's doctrines that some of us detest. But let's suppose that JS and BY shared most of our nuanced views of scripture. Would they have justified polygamy just because it was practiced anciently, and frame it as restoring it as the fulness of the gospel? Would they have claimed it was an eternal doctrine? Would we have ended up with section 132, which deals with women as eternal property and threatens destruction or damnation if they don't comply? How about slavery? Of course they were products of their time, so it would have been very hard for them to think progressively on the issue. But had they not had a literal view of scripture, would they have codified the teaching of the superiority of some races as doctrine? And would generations of members have had to struggle with this doctrine as the world passed them by, had it not been taught as gospel truth for so long?

    Look, I got hung up on the insistence of official church teaching that most scripture is literal history or inerrant. Probably too much. I came to the conclusion that section 132 could never have come from a moral god. I decided that he would never curse generations of people with dark skin because of their fathers, in direct contradiction to the 2nd AoF. And from there, it was a slippery slope. No way that a loving god commands people to commit murder, sanction genocide, or other unspeakable acts, even though the church to this day officially teaches he does, for reasons unknowable to man. I know that I wasn't forced to believe all this, and I know I could have maintained some activity in the church by separating my rational and faithful halves. But official church teachings offended my own sense of morality, so my faith in those teachings was destroyed.

    Would it have made a difference had there been official sanction to believe that some of our scripture wasn't doctrinal or true? Probably. I still had big issues with the LGBT doctrine. But If I had felt comfortable enough with unorthodox belief to the point where I could share it with others, without fear of reprisal, I might have lingered longer. Who knows. Anyways, I hope I explained this well enough so you understand why I and others have such a hard time with this.
    No, section 132 gives the 1st wife the opportunity to approve of the new virgin wife (aka. "law of Sarah")... she is only destroyed if she doesn't give her consent or wants to practice polygamy with other men herself.
    "If there is one thing I am, it's always right." -Ted Nugent.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Uncle Ted View Post
    No, section 132 gives the 1st wife the opportunity to approve of the new virgin wife (aka. "law of Sarah")... she is only destroyed if she doesn't give her consent or wants to practice polygamy with other men herself.
    My mistake. It's all good now.

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    Quote Originally Posted by mtnbiker View Post
    That's what the Holy Ghost is for, right?
    That assumes one has the ability to understand it.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Uncle Ted View Post
    No, section 132 gives the 1st wife the opportunity to approve of the new virgin wife (aka. "law of Sarah")... she is only destroyed if she doesn't give her consent or wants to practice polygamy with other men herself.
    So she is another woman’s property?
    "Guitar groups are on their way out, Mr Epstein."

    Upon rejecting the Beatles, Dick Rowe told Brian Epstein of the January 1, 1962 audition for Decca, which signed Brian Poole and the Tremeloes instead.

  26. #116
    Trump-hating snowflake Jeff Lebowski's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Northwestcoug View Post
    I used to have a list of universal mores. They were so profound that I can't remember them anymore. But they were something like no slavery, no murder, no harm to children, universal respect for humanity, something something. I think there are a handful of truths that the whole history of humanity should be judged on. It isn't necessarily fair to judge early man or the beginning of society. But that doesn't mean we shouldn't recognize where/when humanity has gone 'wrong', which unfortunately requires using a current standard. And that standard changes as we get better as humans.

    And no, I'm not confident at all that current humanity will be judged moral by future generations. I'm a big believer in the general direction of the arc of the moral universe. We still have a very long way to go.



    Moral relativity, baby. Certainly past societies did better in some aspects with humanity than we are doing. But we (I should say most industrialized nations) are at a much better place with racial, gender, and social justice issues than we were just a generation ago. Those are big ones for me.

    The nuanced view of scriptural historicity/inerrancy isn't my fight anymore. I brought it up when we were talking about BY's doctrines that some of us detest. But let's suppose that JS and BY shared most of our nuanced views of scripture. Would they have justified polygamy just because it was practiced anciently, and frame it as restoring it as the fulness of the gospel? Would they have claimed it was an eternal doctrine? Would we have ended up with section 132, which deals with women as eternal property and threatens destruction or damnation if they don't comply? How about slavery? Of course they were products of their time, so it would have been very hard for them to think progressively on the issue. But had they not had a literal view of scripture, would they have codified the teaching of the superiority of some races as doctrine? And would generations of members have had to struggle with this doctrine as the world passed them by, had it not been taught as gospel truth for so long?

    Look, I got hung up on the insistence of official church teaching that most scripture is literal history or inerrant. Probably too much. I came to the conclusion that section 132 could never have come from a moral god. I decided that he would never curse generations of people with dark skin because of their fathers, in direct contradiction to the 2nd AoF. And from there, it was a slippery slope. No way that a loving god commands people to commit murder, sanction genocide, or other unspeakable acts, even though the church to this day officially teaches he does, for reasons unknowable to man. I know that I wasn't forced to believe all this, and I know I could have maintained some activity in the church by separating my rational and faithful halves. But official church teachings offended my own sense of morality, so my faith in those teachings was destroyed.

    Would it have made a difference had there been official sanction to believe that some of our scripture wasn't doctrinal or true? Probably. I still had big issues with the LGBT doctrine. But If I had felt comfortable enough with unorthodox belief to the point where I could share it with others, without fear of reprisal, I might have lingered longer. Who knows. Anyways, I hope I explained this well enough so you understand why I and others have such a hard time with this.
    Sure, that makes perfect sense. It sounds like you had a very literal, black-and-white faith. That is not sustainable.

    The church is an organization of humans. Every single thing we have, including revelation - including scripture - including "thus saith the lord" statements, is filtered through humans. To me, it seems perfectly natural and OK that all of these things will be a mixture of human and divine. And if you are willing to look for it, you can find plenty of statements by church leaders that acknowledge this. You don't need an official sanction.

    Looking more broadly, all religions are essentially a narrative that a people or culture has created to describe their encounter with the divine. All religions include some beautiful and transcendent teachings along with a fair amount of human baggage. Mormonism is no exception. But if you are willing to wrestle with and suffer through the baggage in your search for the beauty and truth, it can transform your life.
    "There is no creature more arrogant than a self-righteous libertarian on the web, am I right? Those folks are just intolerable."
    "It's no secret that the great American pastime is no longer baseball. Now it's sanctimony." -- Guy Periwinkle, The Nix.
    "Juilliardk N I ibuprofen Hyu I U unhurt u" - creekster

  27. #117

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jeff Lebowski View Post
    Sure, that makes perfect sense. It sounds like you had a very literal, black-and-white faith. That is not sustainable.

    The church is an organization of humans. Every single thing we have, including revelation - including scripture - including "thus saith the lord" statements, is filtered through humans. To me, it seems perfectly natural and OK that all of these things will be a mixture of human and divine. And if you are willing to look for it, you can find plenty of statements by church leaders that acknowledge this. You don't need an official sanction.

    Looking more broadly, all religions are essentially a narrative that a people or culture has created to describe their encounter with the divine. All religions include some beautiful and transcendent teachings along with a fair amount of human baggage. Mormonism is no exception. But if you are willing to wrestle with and suffer through the baggage in your search for the beauty and truth, it can transform your life.
    My 'literal' faith was that God and Jesus lived, that JS restored their one true church, and that a prophet leads it today. It also included members could trust what prophets said and wrote as scripture, which also included polygamy. Until relatively recently my faith allowed a decent helping of nuance when it came to the thorny issues. It never included the infallibility of church leaders, but when it came down to siding with god over man with the icky doctrines, it was god with unknowable purposes every time. As in, polygamy was really effed up, and I choose to believe it won't be practiced in heaven, but god knew that the members needed that trial to help the members grow closer.

    I don't think that literal faith is very different than what has been displayed here over the years. When you can default to god every time, even in the face of prophet and scripture fallibility, that's a sustainable faith. It worked well for over 2 decades of my adult life. It could have sustained me more, but life got in the way.

    I think this is the question that this whole discussion is leading to: despite all the foibles of church leaders and very questionable teachings that used to be eternal doctrine, is there, at the end of the day, a specific reward for members who persist in faith? I am not discounting the reward members get remaining in the tribe and working together to make their community better. This is a huge benefit that is overlooked by ex-mos. But is there an eternal reward for those who nuance the hell out of their faith? If so, then sticking with it is worth everything.

    So about that 'official sanction' I would have liked: what level faith does the church require members to have, to gain their reward? I suppose the last thing members who struggle with church doctrine fall back on is the existence of a loving god, a redeemer, and essential ordinances. Pretty much everything else can fall by the wayside. I had this, at the end. But could I have believed in a church governance that was more influenced by human factors rather than the divine, for a large part of its history? Because with regards to polygamy and race, that is what became pretty clear to me. Could it have included a very non-literal view of scripture, since I arrived at the conclusion that section 132 is antithetical to what the church teaches about family now, even though it was/is eternal doctrine?

    You say if you look hard enough, you can find 'official sanction' for many nuanced beliefs. No doubt. I trotted out the JS statement that kids who die outside of the faith will in the end be welcomed back to the eternal family to my worried grandparents and parents many times. This is antithetical to scripture and modern interpretation of it. But does the church want members to have such a malleable faith that allows them to believe and reject doctrine as it suits them? I don't think so. I have the temple recommend interview, recent essays, and decades of teachings and manuals that define the official standards of faith members in good standing are expected to have.

    I'm not ignorant of the reality of the church today. I know a significant proportion of members finesse their faith as it suits them, like you and many others here. They do it because they value their membership in the church, and they continue to work together to do good in this world. That is to be commended. That is a cost-benefit analysis those of us who have left have also worked through. It's difficult to write in words the struggle I had with issues of integrity and morality deciding what to do about the church.
    Faith, in and of itself, was not enough for me. I've said this before: I hope that someday a principled decision to leave the church is viewed as favorably as a principled decision to stay.

  28. #118
    Trump-hating snowflake Jeff Lebowski's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Northwestcoug View Post
    My 'literal' faith was that God and Jesus lived, that JS restored their one true church, and that a prophet leads it today. It also included members could trust what prophets said and wrote as scripture, which also included polygamy. Until relatively recently my faith allowed a decent helping of nuance when it came to the thorny issues. It never included the infallibility of church leaders, but when it came down to siding with god over man with the icky doctrines, it was god with unknowable purposes every time. As in, polygamy was really effed up, and I choose to believe it won't be practiced in heaven, but god knew that the members needed that trial to help the members grow closer.

    I don't think that literal faith is very different than what has been displayed here over the years. When you can default to god every time, even in the face of prophet and scripture fallibility, that's a sustainable faith. It worked well for over 2 decades of my adult life. It could have sustained me more, but life got in the way.

    I think this is the question that this whole discussion is leading to: despite all the foibles of church leaders and very questionable teachings that used to be eternal doctrine, is there, at the end of the day, a specific reward for members who persist in faith? I am not discounting the reward members get remaining in the tribe and working together to make their community better. This is a huge benefit that is overlooked by ex-mos. But is there an eternal reward for those who nuance the hell out of their faith? If so, then sticking with it is worth everything.

    So about that 'official sanction' I would have liked: what level faith does the church require members to have, to gain their reward? I suppose the last thing members who struggle with church doctrine fall back on is the existence of a loving god, a redeemer, and essential ordinances. Pretty much everything else can fall by the wayside. I had this, at the end. But could I have believed in a church governance that was more influenced by human factors rather than the divine, for a large part of its history? Because with regards to polygamy and race, that is what became pretty clear to me. Could it have included a very non-literal view of scripture, since I arrived at the conclusion that section 132 is antithetical to what the church teaches about family now, even though it was/is eternal doctrine?

    You say if you look hard enough, you can find 'official sanction' for many nuanced beliefs. No doubt. I trotted out the JS statement that kids who die outside of the faith will in the end be welcomed back to the eternal family to my worried grandparents and parents many times. This is antithetical to scripture and modern interpretation of it. But does the church want members to have such a malleable faith that allows them to believe and reject doctrine as it suits them? I don't think so. I have the temple recommend interview, recent essays, and decades of teachings and manuals that define the official standards of faith members in good standing are expected to have.

    I'm not ignorant of the reality of the church today. I know a significant proportion of members finesse their faith as it suits them, like you and many others here. They do it because they value their membership in the church, and they continue to work together to do good in this world. That is to be commended. That is a cost-benefit analysis those of us who have left have also worked through. It's difficult to write in words the struggle I had with issues of integrity and morality deciding what to do about the church.
    Faith, in and of itself, was not enough for me. I've said this before: I hope that someday a principled decision to leave the church is viewed as favorably as a principled decision to stay.
    Thanks for that. First and foremost, let me say that I think you are a kind, thoughtful, sincere, and principled person. I respect your decision to leave and wish you nothing but the best. I apologize if my posts indicated otherwise.

    A few comments:

    I honestly don't do a cost-benefit analysis. Based on my life experiences, I simply cannot deny the existence and love of God. And the church is the vehicle whereby I have had these experiences.

    I have always felt like marriage is the perfect metaphor for someone's relationship with the church:

    - it can be the source of great joy or great heartache
    - it requires commitment and the ability to overlook faults
    - in some cases, a divorce may be healthy
    - when the marriage is going well, you tend to focus on the good times and what you love in your spouse. when it is going poorly, you tend to focus on the faults.
    - if you have to do a cost/benefit analysis to justify staying, that is a good sign your marriage is not doing well.
    "There is no creature more arrogant than a self-righteous libertarian on the web, am I right? Those folks are just intolerable."
    "It's no secret that the great American pastime is no longer baseball. Now it's sanctimony." -- Guy Periwinkle, The Nix.
    "Juilliardk N I ibuprofen Hyu I U unhurt u" - creekster

  29. #119

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jeff Lebowski View Post
    Thanks for that. First and foremost, let me say that I think you are a kind, thoughtful, sincere, and principled person. I respect your decision to leave and wish you nothing but the best. I apologize if my posts indicated otherwise.

    A few comments:

    I honestly don't do a cost-benefit analysis. Based on my life experiences, I simply cannot deny the existence and love of God. And the church is the vehicle whereby I have had these experiences.

    I have always felt like marriage is the perfect metaphor for someone's relationship with the church:

    - it can be the source of great joy or great heartache
    - it requires commitment and the ability to overlook faults
    - in some cases, a divorce may be healthy
    - when the marriage is going well, you tend to focus on the good times and what you love in your spouse. when it is going poorly, you tend to focus on the faults.
    - if you have to do a cost/benefit analysis to justify staying, that is a good sign your marriage is not doing well.
    No need to apologize. I didn't take offense to your post. I was just hashing out my feelings towards yours.

    And I really appreciate your analogy with marriage. I think there's a lot of wisdom there.

  30. #120
    Trump-hating snowflake Jeff Lebowski's Avatar
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    Just finished the section on BY attitudes toward blacks, slavery, miscegenation, priesthood, etc. I can't imagine how anyone could do some serious historical research and maintain that that there was a divine origin to the priesthood ban. It was clearly organic and a product of the time and environment. The problem is that BY doubled down and gave everything a thus-saith-the-lord stamp (which he added to almost everything he said) and that made it more difficult to backtrack later. From the book:

    Given the racial context of the mid-nineteenth century United States and the attitudes of other Mormon leaders, it makes little sense to lay the entire blame for the church's discriminatory policies at the feet of Brigham Young. Only a leader with an ardent commitment to racial egalitarianism, which Young did not possess, would have maintained the church’s early relative openness to Black Americans. Ecclesiastical discrimination was the norm among white American Protestants and it is no surprise that the Latter Day Saints followed suit. However Young's adamant contention that such discrimination rested on eternal principles fostered the policy of exclusion that his successors saw little choice but to perpetuate.
    "There is no creature more arrogant than a self-righteous libertarian on the web, am I right? Those folks are just intolerable."
    "It's no secret that the great American pastime is no longer baseball. Now it's sanctimony." -- Guy Periwinkle, The Nix.
    "Juilliardk N I ibuprofen Hyu I U unhurt u" - creekster

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