Handshakes and Drawn Swords

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

Post by Roy » 07 Sep 2015, 16:55

I just listened to this podcast.
DBMormon wrote: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.
I think the main problem for the apologists that are giving you a hard time is the following:

IF the angel with the drawn sword is an angel of darkness that dictated section 132 through deception, THEN JS bought the deception and spends the next decade slowly and tentatively introducing the church to what might reasonably be viewed as organized adultery. He reportedly sometimes used very coercive methods to get some women to comply.

It makes it hard to understand how JS can be a prophet and at the same time be so wrong about what God wants. In all the revelations that JS supposedly received from the time of Fanny Alger up until the martyrdom - was there never a moment where God could have interjected that he commands strict monogamy?

It also throws into serious question the idea of "the prophet will never lead us astray." For some the idea that a Prophet of God (while on his personal initiative and not actually acting as God's mouthpiece) could lead his followers to commit deep sins is unfathomable.

Add to that quandary the fact that prophets succeeding JS taught polygamy as almost the defining element of the church for almost an additional 50 years and we might start to question who it is actually running the show. Just how far can the church of God become corrupted before it is no longer the church of God?

On the other hand the church did eventually right itself. If we take the long and evolving view of the restoration as a continuing process we can espouse the view that God is leading us to a better way just as fast as we are prepared to go there. Prophets can still lead the people - but sometimes they lead them through a very circuitous route of 40 years in the wilderness before we are ready to give up our false assumptions and traditions. Has a very OT feel to it. :mrgreen:

The view of the angel with the flaming sword being an angel of darkness IMO would be most helpful for people that love modern Mormonism but just have such a terrible feeling about polygamy. As you have shown, it offers a third alternative between the all or nothing approach.
"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 » 21 Sep 2015, 18:22

I actually find this "3rd alternative" less credible but as you point out it needs to have a seat at the table for those who are prone to be helped by it

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Willhewonder
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Re: Handshakes and Drawn Swords

Post by Willhewonder » 25 Apr 2017, 17:42

Wow. This is a fantastic discussion. Do you think that one of the keys to all this anguish about polygamy is overestimation of the seriousness of sexual sin? What if the reason sexual sin is bad is not because it is so bad inherently, but because it is such a distraction from the real work of the Gospel? And then of course because it hurts tender feelings.

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DarkJedi
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Re: Handshakes and Drawn Swords

Post by DarkJedi » 25 Apr 2017, 17:46

Willhewonder wrote:
25 Apr 2017, 17:42
Wow. This is a fantastic discussion. Do you think that one of the keys to all this anguish about polygamy is overestimation of the seriousness of sexual sin? What if the reason sexual sin is bad is not because it is so bad inherently, but because it is such a distraction from the real work of the Gospel? And then of course because it hurts tender feelings.
I think that sexual sin second only to murder scripture is a misinterpretation and not at all what Alma was talking about.
In the absence of knowledge or faith there is always hope.

Once there was a gentile...who came before Hillel. He said "Convert me on the condition that you teach me the whole Torah while I stand on one foot." Hillel converted him, saying: That which is despicable to you, do not do to your fellow, this is the whole Torah, and the rest is commentary, go and learn it."

My Introduction

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LookingHard
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Re: Handshakes and Drawn Swords

Post by LookingHard » 25 Apr 2017, 18:44

Willhewonder wrote:
25 Apr 2017, 17:42
What if the reason sexual sin is bad is not because it is so bad inherently, but because it is such a distraction from the real work of the Gospel?
Well sex probably causes more people to scream, "Oh God!" more than most sermons. :o

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Willhewonder
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Re: Handshakes and Drawn Swords

Post by Willhewonder » 25 Apr 2017, 18:46

"I think that sexual sin second only to murder scripture is a misinterpretation and not at all what Alma was talking about." DJ

You maybe right about that, but I would need to parse through the words like I've seen Ray do before I can weigh in on it. However, I note a couple of otherwise great inconsistencies on the subject:
1) There is relatively little made of sexual sin for those about to be newly baptized compared to existing members, and 2) We understand that the work has been done for most of our founding fathers, many of whom were known for extramarital sexual activity.

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Willhewonder
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Re: Handshakes and Drawn Swords

Post by Willhewonder » 25 Apr 2017, 19:03

LookingHard wrote:
25 Apr 2017, 18:44
Willhewonder wrote:
25 Apr 2017, 17:42
What if the reason sexual sin is bad is not because it is so bad inherently, but because it is such a distraction from the real work of the Gospel?
Well sex probably causes more people to scream, "Oh God!" more than most sermons. :o
:lol:

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Reuben
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Re: Handshakes and Drawn Swords

Post by Reuben » 26 Apr 2017, 01:27

I think we overemphasize sex in deciding whether polygamy is wrong. We underemphasize lack of emotional intimacy, loneliness, and treating women like property.
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Love before dogma. Truth before loyalty. Knowledge before sanctity or certainty.

GBSmith
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Re: Handshakes and Drawn Swords

Post by GBSmith » 26 Apr 2017, 06:12

Reuben wrote:
26 Apr 2017, 01:27
I think we overemphasize sex in deciding whether polygamy is wrong. We underemphasize lack of emotional intimacy, loneliness, and treating women like property.
Points that are well made in Annie Clark Tanner's autobiography, "A Mormon Mother". Eleanor Roosevelt said she could never read it without weeping.

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DarkJedi
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Re: Handshakes and Drawn Swords

Post by DarkJedi » 26 Apr 2017, 10:39

Willhewonder wrote:
25 Apr 2017, 18:46
"I think that sexual sin second only to murder scripture is a misinterpretation and not at all what Alma was talking about." DJ

You maybe right about that, but I would need to parse through the words like I've seen Ray do before I can weigh in on it. However, I note a couple of otherwise great inconsistencies on the subject:
1) There is relatively little made of sexual sin for those about to be newly baptized compared to existing members, and 2) We understand that the work has been done for most of our founding fathers, many of whom were known for extramarital sexual activity.
Not much parsing is required. Read this and tell me what you think the sin was.
And now, my son, I have somewhat more to say unto thee than what I said unto thy brother; for behold, have ye not observed the steadiness of thy brother, his faithfulness, and his diligence in keeping the commandments of God? Behold, has he not set a good example for thee?
For thou didst not give so much heed unto my words as did thy brother, among the people of the Zoramites. Now this is what I have against thee; thou didst go on unto boasting in thy strength and thy wisdom.
And this is not all, my son. Thou didst do that which was grievous unto me; for thou didst forsake the ministry.
Thou shouldst have tended to the ministry wherewith thou wast entrusted.
Know ye not, my son, that these things are an abomination in the sight of the Lord; yea, most abominable above all sins save it be the shedding of innocent blood or denying the Holy Ghost?
For behold, if ye deny the Holy Ghost when it once has had place in you, and ye know that ye deny it, behold, this is a sin which is unpardonable; yea, and whosoever murdereth against the light and knowledge of God, it is not easy for him to obtain forgiveness; yea, I say unto you, my son, that it is not easy for him to obtain a forgiveness.
And now, my son, I would to God that ye had not been guilty of so great a crime. I would not dwell upon your crimes, to harrow up your soul, if it were not for your good.
But behold, ye cannot hide your crimes from God; and except ye repent they will stand as a testimony against you at the last day.
Now my son, I would that ye should repent and forsake your sins; for except ye do this ye can in nowise inherit the kingdom of God. Oh, remember, and take it upon you, and cross yourself in these things.
And I command you to take it upon you to counsel with your elder brothers in your undertakings; for behold, thou art in thy youth, and ye stand in need to be nourished by your brothers. And give heed to their counsel.
And now the Spirit of the Lord doth say unto me: Command thy children to do good, lest they lead away the hearts of many people to destruction; therefore I command you, my son, in the fear of God, that ye refrain from your iniquities;
That ye turn to the Lord with all your mind, might, and strength; that ye lead away the hearts of no more to do wickedly; but rather return unto them, and acknowledge your faults and that wrong which ye have done.
Seek not after riches nor the vain things of this world; for behold, you cannot carry them with you.
Of course that's Alma 39 with the references to Isabel removed, which many will claim is the key to the chapter. On the other hand, we do that all the time - conveniently leave out portions of scripture or isolate lines or verses that prove our point. And it could still be interpreted differently than I interpret it. But it sounds to me like the real sin may have been abandoning the ministry. That said, I also don't thin abandoning the ministry is a sin so serious it's next to murder. Lastly, I'm not sure God grades sins, I think that's a human thing. Our basic theology holds that we can't return to God if we have sinned at all (but that Christ paid for the sins of we believe in him or repent or whatever depending on your point of view). "God cannot look upon sin with the least degree of allowance" is oft repeated, but if taken literally stealing a stick of gum from your grandmother is no worse or better than any other sin.

Oh, and I agree about sexual sin and those being baptized. A couple could have "lived in sin" for 20 years but could be baptized the day they get legally married - unless they happen to be gay.
In the absence of knowledge or faith there is always hope.

Once there was a gentile...who came before Hillel. He said "Convert me on the condition that you teach me the whole Torah while I stand on one foot." Hillel converted him, saying: That which is despicable to you, do not do to your fellow, this is the whole Torah, and the rest is commentary, go and learn it."

My Introduction

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