Handshakes and Drawn Swords

Public forum for those seeking support for their experience in the LDS Church.
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DBMormon
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Re: Handshakes and Drawn Swords

Post by DBMormon » 25 Apr 2015, 21:07

startpoor wrote:I don't understand the apologists position on this one. They want us to believe 132 was spoken by God, AND they want us to believe JS was acting in accordance to Gods commands? How can any sane person believe both of those things? They should be thanking you for giving folks a reasonable way out of that conundrum.


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Bear
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Re: Handshakes and Drawn Swords

Post by Bear » 25 Apr 2015, 23:48

Keep up the good work bill!


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SamBee
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Re: Handshakes and Drawn Swords

Post by SamBee » 26 Apr 2015, 04:46

Ilovechrist77 wrote:Great episode, Bill. However, I have some concerns about the 3 grand keys. I agree that we can't physically touch Satan and his angels because they don't have physical bodies. But couldn't Satan and his angels make it seem like you're touching them, because according to stories in the scriptures they can touch you? Maybe I misunderstood those stories in the scriptures. Hopefully you can help me or somebody can.
I've always found that doctrine weird. Supposedly there are good spirits without bodies, and demons can possess physical bodies too.
DASH1730 "An Area Authority...[was] asked...who...would go to the Telestial kingdom. His answer: "murderers, adulterers and a lot of surprised Mormons!"'
1ST PRES 1978 "[LDS] believe...there is truth in many religions and philosophies...good and great religious leaders... have raised the spiritual, moral, and ethical awareness of their people. When we speak of The [LDS] as the only true church...it is...authorized to administer the ordinances...by Jesus Christ... we do not mean... it is the only teacher of truth."

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Shades of Grey
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Re: Handshakes and Drawn Swords

Post by Shades of Grey » 26 Apr 2015, 12:49

It was a thought provoking Podcast, I'll have to experiment and read more into the different facets around the central idea presented. I particularly enjoyed new thought about Lehi with his experience in dream with false spirit... wether we can parellel that to the material world (many assume that's how Joseph dealt with the heavens/ angels), I'm not sure. I think the assumption is within real rigid apologists circles on JS polygomy is that the angels/ Lord had been working on coaching or promoting with Joseph would have had to been tricked for many years on multiple occasions (regardless if any of those times he shook hands or had any physical contact we do not know. From lds.org Nauvoo Essay:
Joseph told associates that an angel appeared to him three times between 1834 and 1842 and commanded him to proceed with plural marriage when he hesitated to move forward. During the third and final appearance, the angel came with a drawn sword, threatening Joseph with destruction unless he went forward and obeyed the commandment fully.
. Anyway, generally I love essays and podcasts that make me think and expand me (mind and heart)and this one definately did that, thanks Bill
Everybody can be great. Because anybody can serve. You don't have to have a college degree to serve. ...You don't have to know the second theory of thermodynamics in physics to serve. You only need a heart full of grace. A soul generated by love. ~Martin Luther King Jr.

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Roy
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Re: Handshakes and Drawn Swords

Post by Roy » 26 Apr 2015, 13:21

At a minimum it should be acknowledged that we set aside portions of cannon (song of solomon, parts of the law of moses, old D&C section 109, lectures on faith) as not binding and in some cases as not divine truth or from God.

At a minimum it must be acknowledged that we have on occasion discarded what was believed by our prophets to be revelations.

At a minimum it must be acknowledged that we leave room for leaders to think they got info from an angel of God only to have been deceived.

On this basis it appears Mormonism itself may possibly give you permission to personally discard portions of its theology and proposed revelations.
I agree. I dislike that we call books of scripture the "word of God" as that seems to imply inerrancy and IMO is a holdover from Protestantism. JS felt comfortable editing previous revelations as his understanding increased. Can our collective understanding not evolve past what was written back then?

I really do not think that it is that big of a deal that we practiced polygamy in the past. The problem IMO is that we continue to teach that polygamy will be part of heaven (how big of a part is not well understood). I do not think that there would be a major disruption to the church if the Prophet announced that God revealed to him that only monogamy exists in heaven - that there can be polygamy in life for a variety of reasons but that such a condition could only ever be temporary because monogomy is the order of heaven.

My own personal take is that polygamy was part of our past - not our present or our future. It is part of our old self that was symbolically done away as the church was reborn as a new creature (people get reborn, the planet gets reborn, why not the church?). Just as it would be incorrect and counter productive to insist that the law of Moses was to be maintained perpetually, I believe that we shoot ourselves in the foot by teaching that polygamy is to be maintained for the sake of tradition. What does that mean for the state of plural marriages of the past? We do not know but we have faith that God will work it out and that nobody that is found worthy on an individual level will be denied an eternal partner based upon their life circumstances. How is that any different than how we deal with tricky family dynamics now?

Thanks Bill for giving a possibly alternative reading of events/doctrine. I am sorry that some people are attacking you for it.
"It is not so much the pain and suffering of life which crushes the individual as it is its meaninglessness and hopelessness." C. A. Elwood

“It is not the function of religion to answer all the questions about God’s moral government of the universe, but to give one courage, through faith, to go on in the face of questions he never finds the answer to in his present status.” TPC: Harold B. Lee 223

"I struggle now with establishing my faith that God may always be there, but may not always need to intervene" Heber13

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DBMormon
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Re: Handshakes and Drawn Swords

Post by DBMormon » 26 May 2015, 19:47

Got some flack from a few apologists who argued that my shaken hands and drawn swords episode was absurd and not congruent with the facts. I just released a part 2 as a premium episode that addresses the reason they give. Here they are in text so you can chime in

1.) Many folks in the church right now are struggling with 132. Not because of polygamy but because of the details of polygamy. While apologists keep defending that Joseph did indeed follow the rules God lays out in 132, I think many members would disagree and are struggling to see it. simply saying apologists see it and hence it is right seems to ignore that just because apologists/others do doesn't make it so. There are differences of opinion. While I respect many of the apologists I don't find it the best answer.

2.) Man in the white robe leads Lehi to the dark and dreary wasteland and then Lehi rather than depend on the angel that took him there, seems to decide to abandon that path and instead seeks out God dirrectly. While the man in the white robe being good is a valid assumption, the man not being good seems more logical to me and neither assumption changes our testimony of Lehi as a prophet or the Book of Mormon as scripture. In other words both views are valid and neither diminshes faith, hence without further light and knowledge both are permitted a seat at the table of faithful discourse

3.) Just because the dream involves a deceiving spirit does not limit the dream as unable to come from God. No more than Satan's interference in the first vision limits Joseph vision as being not from God.

4.) apologists dismiss the Adam God revelation from Brigham simply because it does not affect salvation. I agree it doesn't, yet it is huge in terms of precedent of dismissing what a past prophet claimed certainty and divine knowledge of a revealed truth. apologists can brush it aside as not important for one reason, but I will push its importance for a whole host of others.

5.) it is claimed without 132 we don't have sealings and eternal nature of families and yet we have sealing keys that come from Elisha in Kirtland and we have other pieces of this puzzle in other places. Also 132 is not one revelation but several placed into one section. This if we throw out part we must throw out all of 132 and if we do that we lose key doctrines in the plan of salvation.

6.) Mary E R Lightner's quote that "Joseph knowingly understood that the angel with the sword was a good angel" is the best defense against this theory by apologists but with her as the only witness and her account coming quite late in age (late 80's) and time passed (62 years after the event), one can easily wonder if multiple events are being conflated into one story. that said this is the best rebuttal point against what I have said. The issue is apologists are also dismissing sources when they come really late and seem to not be substantiated by other witnesses.

7.) To offer others who had a testimony of polygamy as a defense, one will also have to deal with instances where others had a testimony and were wrong. (the brethren on race theories, others who had a testimony of adam-god, others who followed the Wooleys into fundamentalism, Heaven's Gate, Jim Jones, etc... having others who feel led to support a teaching does not demand it be accepted as truth in a scholarly approach

8.) to argue that we must accept 132 because it is in the voice of the Lord is also a strong rebuttal point, though not as strong as one might think as LDS.ORG and Fair both acknowledge that angels can deliver divine messages as if spoken by the Lord himself - "Divine Investiture"
https://www.lds.org/ensign/1978/10/i-ha ... n?lang=eng
http://en.fairmormon.org/Mormonism_and_ ... nd_Jehovah

“Sometimes it seems as if God the Father is speaking and then it seems to be Christ. Even angels speak as if they were Christ.” (SeeRev. 22:8–9, 12–16.)

9.) If Joseph was deceived apologists insinuate that this makes him less of prophet. I disagree as that's making an assumption and one that is not a fact but a point of view. Is Brigham less of a prophet because he was mistaken about Adam God - self proclaimed revelation, how about the brethren in the 40's because they were mistaken about race theories as Doctrine? This argument is weak and also opens a can of worms.

10.) apologists say truth is lost when we let go of hard things. Yet we have let go of any hard things in our faith (race theories, Adam God, Blood atonement, and there are bunches and bunches. Hard things are not necessarily from God. Again this is a opinion that to let go of ANY hard thing is faith diminishing. I know of hundreds of people who would disagree and have found increased faith as the Church has let go of old teachings and doctrines that were uncomfortable.

11.) To say many disagreed with the Adam God would be to open a can of worms as outside of Orson Pratt I am unaware of many leaders who felt Brigham was wrong as Heber Kimball and Wilford Woodruff also were certain he was right.

I think a big issue in Mormonism is to not allow various line of thought and to force people to eat the whole elephant or leave. Mormonism is so full of paradoxes, contradictions, and complexities, that to impose one view as absolutely right and all others must succumb to it leaves little room for for many.

I have had leaders tell me I had to wear a white shirt, had to interpret tithing as they do, interpret the WOW as they do, that resurrected beings will be white, that I must accept that Joseph never got anything wrong doctrinally while also allowing Brigham to get several doctrines wrong, to follow leaders even when they are wrong, to interpret "true and living" church as they do, and many others... hundreds and hundreds of imposed beliefs and yet I stand here to say the church whether it knows it or not is more flexible than all this nonsense.

This rigid mormonism doesn't work for me and others. We need room. Nothing about the suggested option I speak of in the episode forces one to see the Church as not true or Joseph as a fallen prophet or worse a fraud.... It doesn't. It does force us to see prophets as more fallible and see revelation as more open to error but in reality isn't that already proven with other issues in Church history. It is messy. In the messiness you can't tell people believe it all or leave.... rather in the messiness people need room to think it through and hold onto that which is good. Prove the principles of polygamy are good and you will easily win them to your side. Personally I struggle to see the way the brethren talked about and treated their wives as having God's approval. So until I can make it fit, I set much of 132 on a shelf and worry about other things I know are true or at least good.

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SamBee
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Re: Handshakes and Drawn Swords

Post by SamBee » 27 May 2015, 07:29

What happens if a demon possessing someone else shakes your hand?
DASH1730 "An Area Authority...[was] asked...who...would go to the Telestial kingdom. His answer: "murderers, adulterers and a lot of surprised Mormons!"'
1ST PRES 1978 "[LDS] believe...there is truth in many religions and philosophies...good and great religious leaders... have raised the spiritual, moral, and ethical awareness of their people. When we speak of The [LDS] as the only true church...it is...authorized to administer the ordinances...by Jesus Christ... we do not mean... it is the only teacher of truth."

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LookingHard
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Re: Handshakes and Drawn Swords

Post by LookingHard » 27 May 2015, 08:05

Beyond the defense of the "option" you are getting pushback on, I am glad (and fully agree) that the issue is that the option should be an "allowable" opinion to hold. I think you are spot on with the issue being, "do we want to dictate EVERY opinion we must have as member and limit our membership?" Even if some opinions are a bit off, if they are I would hope over time the spirit could work with us and correct our thinking.

It reminds me of a podcast I heard where someone's dad was a GA. She said he was called into a situation where somehow a stripper had been baptized and she was still in the same occupation after she was baptized. The ward was in turmoil over what to do. The GA thought about and his advice was: do nothing. Most everyone was shocked. He told them to just love her. They generally did and within a few weeks ON HER OWN she decided she needed to change her occupation and she did. Problem solved. I think if they would have tried to push her hard and tell her she had to stop, she could have just said, "I am out of here." Instead she was allowed to grow on her own. I really feel that SHE grew more from doing it on her own and I bet the ward learned to be a bit less judgmental after seeing this.

Roy
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Re: Handshakes and Drawn Swords

Post by Roy » 27 May 2015, 14:46

DBMormon wrote:10.) apologists say truth is lost when we let go of hard things. Yet we have let go of any hard things in our faith (race theories, Adam God, Blood atonement, and there are bunches and bunches. Hard things are not necessarily from God. Again this is a opinion that to let go of ANY hard thing is faith diminishing. I know of hundreds of people who would disagree and have found increased faith as the Church has let go of old teachings and doctrines that were uncomfortable.
This reminds me of the old oaths & penalties from the temple endowment. My old intsitute instructor was big on the symbolism of these. They had some interesting parralels to some of the group covenants going on in the old testement (I remember reading that the priest sprinkled animal blood upon the assembled Isrealites as part of their covenant making). So I had some background in not necessarily taking these literally. OTOH, I also know that these were borrowed wholesale from Masonry and could on the face of them be offensive, cultlike, eye-opening to a pretty substantial majority of first time temple goers.

They were definately not essential to the process and I believe the church made the right call in having the penalties cut from the endowment.
"It is not so much the pain and suffering of life which crushes the individual as it is its meaninglessness and hopelessness." C. A. Elwood

“It is not the function of religion to answer all the questions about God’s moral government of the universe, but to give one courage, through faith, to go on in the face of questions he never finds the answer to in his present status.” TPC: Harold B. Lee 223

"I struggle now with establishing my faith that God may always be there, but may not always need to intervene" Heber13

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Orson
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Re: Handshakes and Drawn Swords

Post by Orson » 27 May 2015, 19:59

You make some very good points Bill. I wrestled with the question of if could have been commanded by God years ago. I settled into focusing on the fruits. It becomes difficult for me to see good fruits of polygamy when it started with public denials of a secret illegal practice. The momentum never turned, to the end it has difficulties.
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I first found faith, and thought I had all truth. I then discovered doubt, and claimed a more accurate truth. Now I’ve greeted paradox and a deeper truth than I have ever known.

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