Navajo Belief

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Khadijah
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Joined: 22 Dec 2014, 11:35

Navajo Belief

Post by Khadijah » 29 Apr 2020, 19:26

Planning for a trip to New Mexico IF the Covid 19 thing gets over, and who knows when that is likely to happen. I had planned to drive to Albuquerque, but the way I am feeling today, if it happens, I will likely fly in there, and rent a car for my explorations. It is not firm where I plan to go but Chaco Canyon, Window Rock, Thoreau, and perhaps the Pueblo area? It is sad that there are some very dangerous Uranium and other Mines there.

On the way East on I-40 I found a place called Thoreau. I could not understand how that place could be linked in any way with Navajo belief, and it has only been in the last several years that I have learned more about my Heritage and that It is likely that I am half, or more Navajo, or Apache. People had said that they thought we were Cherokee, but in my own reading, I find that claim to be doubtful.

I've read briefly about Henry David Thoreau, but am by no means an expert. I was very excited to read about Transcendentalism, chiefly because that belief states that God, Earth and Man are tightly intertwined. This is somewhat compatible with Navajo Belief. It is my opinion that Jesus briefly alluded to that idea, but I do not know if it is in the OT. I do not know if the BOM or other Mormon documents contain it or not, but it would not surprise me.

In talking with Native American Brothers and Sisters, it make me sad to hear that Christians generally tried to stamp out their belief, using Manifest Destiny as a rather lame excuse. In talking with a member of the Nez Perce, he went to a church school and if he asked about Tribal belief or language, he was punished. By the time we finished talking about his experiences, I was quite sad. Oddly he and his wife are members of the Mormon Church today. I have no idea if the Mormons tried to discount Native beliefs or not. I did notice that there is a Meeting House across the street from the University of New Mexico.

In my reading, I was surprised to find that HD Thoreau, Joseph Smith, and several other philosophers were relatively close in age.

I'm looking for information so others should feel free.

bluesafyre
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Joined: 27 Feb 2017, 14:20

Re: Navajo Belief

Post by bluesafyre » 30 Apr 2020, 05:17

Hi Khadijah. I read a book last year that you may find of interest as to LDS and Native Americans. It is called The Bear River Massacre: A Shoshone History by Darren Parry. It tells the story of the Shoshone and how they integrated into the LDS Church. It was the first thing I thought of as I read your post. I hope you can find some healing in it.

https://www.amazon.com/Bear-River-Massa ... 168&sr=8-1

Curt Sunshine
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Re: Navajo Belief

Post by Curt Sunshine » 01 May 2020, 16:43

The LDS interactions have been mixed over time.

Obviously, there is a special place in the teachings for "Lamanites" - with the assumption that their descendants include the Native American tribes. However, there also have been conflicting actions. The local tribes were blamed for the Mountain Meadows Massacre; Native children lived with and were schooled by Mormon families - often with negative cultural results (although it was nowhere near as bad as nearly all other American attempts at education, which generally were brutal in many ways).

One of my uncles served his mission on a reservation, and another aunt and uncle currently are serving a senior mission on another reservation. The LDS effort has included extensive missionary work and fairly significant, important social work over time (including education), but, frankly, I have been saddened by how relatively little we have done to make lasting, practical changes to the quality of life on most reservations without any connection to missionary work.
I see through my glass, darkly - as I play my saxophone in harmony with the other instruments in God's orchestra. (h/t Elder Joseph Wirthlin)

Even if people view many things differently, the core Gospel principles (LOVE; belief in the unseen but hoped; self-reflective change; symbolic cleansing; striving to recognize the will of the divine; never giving up) are universal.

"For every complex problem there is an answer that is clear, simple, and wrong." H. L. Mencken

Roy
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Re: Navajo Belief

Post by Roy » 06 May 2020, 11:29

Curt Sunshine wrote:
01 May 2020, 16:43
One of my uncles served his mission on a reservation, and another upaunt and uncle currently are serving a senior mission on another reservation. The LDS effort has included extensive missionary work and fairly significant, important social work over time (including education), but, frankly, I have been saddened by how relatively little we have done to make lasting, practical changes to the quality of life on most reservations withiut any connection to missionary work.
I agree with Curt's statement. I have been employed by a number of different tribes. The LDS church has much to offer individual Native Americans but it seems to do so by supplanting the existing cultural framework and values. It makes it hard for tribal members to have a LDS branch on the reservation with unique cultural values and décor. In other words, the LDS church is almost always seen as white and outsider controlled and almost never seen as locally controlled.
"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

Arrakeen
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Joined: 25 Aug 2018, 18:49

Re: Navajo Belief

Post by Arrakeen » 06 May 2020, 13:55

Roy wrote:
06 May 2020, 11:29
I agree with Curt's statement. I have been employed by a number of different tribes. The LDS church has much to offer individual Native Americans but it seems to do so by supplanting the existing cultural framework and values. It makes it hard for tribal members to have a LDS branch on the reservation with unique cultural values and décor. In other words, the LDS church is almost always seen as white and outsider controlled and almost never seen as locally controlled.
I think a similar thing happens with the church in other countries. A lot of members don’t realize how many of the church’s values and teachings are grounded in American or European culture. Other less centralized churches have sometimes done better with localization and integrate into the local culture instead of trying to replace it.

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Heber13
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Re: Navajo Belief

Post by Heber13 » 12 May 2020, 09:58

Khadijah wrote:
29 Apr 2020, 19:26
it make me sad to hear that Christians generally tried to stamp out their belief
It is sad in ways, but it really is the whole missionary program based on this belief, with the Abrahamic Covenant, we are called to bring the word to them. Very ethnocentric, which becomes sad, and yet...we send out tens of thousands of missionaries yearly to do this still today. Some things done out of love and charity and God's work can become destructive to others, sometimes it greatly helps others. Not sure what the solution is there.

By the way, if you do get to NM, along I-25 between ABQ and Santa Fe you will find a Mormon Battalion landmark and historical point you should stop and check out.
Luke: "Why didn't you tell me? You told me Vader betrayed and murdered my father."
Obi-Wan: "Your father... was seduced by the dark side of the Force. He ceased to be Anakin Skywalker and became Darth Vader. When that happened, the good man who was your father was destroyed. So what I told you was true... from a certain point of view."
Luke: "A certain point of view?"
Obi-Wan: "Luke, you're going to find that many of the truths we cling to...depend greatly on our point of view."

Minyan Man
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Re: Navajo Belief

Post by Minyan Man » 12 May 2020, 10:46

I hope this isn't off topic: when I decided to join the church & be baptised, I went to my Father (not a member) & told him what I decided
to do. He told me about when he was a teenager, right out of high school (1938) & his first job was working for working for the Bureau of
Indian Affairs on a Navajo Indian Reservation in NM. It was the only time he ever had contact with members of our church.

He said the LDS church had "line riders" who helped the tribe raise livestock & work on other agricultural projects. He said they were
the only "white" people who were invited to participate in tribal council meeting. This had a positive impact in his life. Better than
preaching a gospel lesson would of been, I suspect.

Khadijah
Posts: 40
Joined: 22 Dec 2014, 11:35

Re: Navajo Belief

Post by Khadijah » 20 May 2020, 00:10

Heber13:

If this situation abates enough to somewhat resume normal life, I will try to find the Mormon Battalion marker. Despite circumstances, I still greatly admire Mormon Members, and Missionaries. Heavenly Father used them to save my life and I will never forget it. Sadly, I can not place myself in the position where the GA can further abuse me.

I've learned more about Navajo belief and that is more sensible to me. I don't find it hostile to belief in God, or Jesus the Christ.

Much peace to you all.

Sadly, it seems that the entire Navajo Nation is harshly impacted by Covid 19 and I do not know what the outcome will be. The Yakama nation and the Nez Perce areas are the same

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Heber13
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Re: Navajo Belief

Post by Heber13 » 20 May 2020, 08:30

Khadijah wrote:
20 May 2020, 00:10
Much peace to you all.
Prayers and positive thoughts back to you.
Luke: "Why didn't you tell me? You told me Vader betrayed and murdered my father."
Obi-Wan: "Your father... was seduced by the dark side of the Force. He ceased to be Anakin Skywalker and became Darth Vader. When that happened, the good man who was your father was destroyed. So what I told you was true... from a certain point of view."
Luke: "A certain point of view?"
Obi-Wan: "Luke, you're going to find that many of the truths we cling to...depend greatly on our point of view."

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