Come, Follow Me D&C: 2021 February

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nibbler
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Come, Follow Me D&C: 2021 February

Post by nibbler » 03 Feb 2021, 12:53

February 1-7: Doctrine and Covenants 10-11

Section 10: This is the section that gives the reason for not retranslating the 116 lost pages. As such, It's difficult for me to find much that I can extract from the lesson. Maybe that god always prepares a way forward despite what's happened in the past or a proof-texted do not run faster or labor more than you have strength.

Elephants in the room/things I'd never say in a lesson:
1) I'm not sure why section 10 should be elevated to canon status. Why is this in the D&C?
2) The apologetics are weak. If the two manuscripts failed to match it seems like it would be glaringly obvious that someone had attempted to alter the original. Ink smudges, erased sections, different handwriting, etc. It reads like Joseph using the voice of the lord to get out of a jam.
3) Language in this section feels harsh towards Martin Harris.
"...even the man in whom you have trusted has sought to destroy you. And for this cause I said that he is a wicked man, for he has sought to take away the things wherewith you have been entrusted; and he has also sought to destroy your gift.
I always had the impression that Harris was well meaning but perhaps a little bumbling in his actions, of course I don't know the full story. If that's the case I'd call Harris careless, not someone that was out to "destroy."

Since I've already ventured into the realm of speculation...

Martin invested a lot of money in Joseph. Martin may not have come up with a scheme to catch Joseph in a lie but at the same time Martin may have been looking for more tangible proof of Joseph's gift and played along with the plan. That could be one of many plausible reasons for why Martin was so insistent on obtaining the manuscript, separating the manuscript from Joseph's possession was crucial to the plan.

There's also speculation that Lucy Harris burned the 116 pages. Maybe it was an attempt to put an end to the financial relationship between Smith and Harris and there never was a plan to make alterations in an attempt to expose Smith.

4. The end of the section feels like a non sequitur, things that don't have much to do with the subject of the first 50 or so verses.
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Re: Come, Follow Me D&C: 2021 February

Post by nibbler » 03 Feb 2021, 13:02

Section 11:

The interesting bit (to me) is that the section heading says that the revelation was received through the Urim and Thummim. The Urim and Thummim are similar to glasses following the LDS interpretation, spectacles that were looked through to see a translation of text in an unknown language.

It makes me wonder what the process would look like when using the U&T for a dictated revelation presumably without source material to translate.
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Re: Come, Follow Me D&C: 2021 February

Post by nibbler » 19 Feb 2021, 07:07

February 8–14: Doctrine and Covenants 12–13; Joseph Smith—History 1:66–75

Section 13
This section has drawn some criticism in that mention of the priesthood and mention of the appearance of John the Baptist wasn't recorded or talked about until several years after the dates that were given for the restoration of the priesthood.

In Rough Stone Rolling (p75) Bushman plays devil's advocate:
Bushman wrote:The late appearance of these accounts raises the possibility of later fabrication. Did Joseph add the stories of angels to embellish his early history and make himself more of a visionary?
References to John restoring the Aaronic priesthood did not appear in the Book of Commandments (1833). An account of John restoring the AP appears in the 1835 edition of the D&C (p180). Section 13 appears in the 1876 edition of the D&C. In later editions of the D&C (editions after the 1833 Book of Commandments), sections were edited to include references to the priesthood and priesthood restoration.

I find it interesting, similar to the Priestly source (P) in the Torah. In a way history repeating itself, though over a shorter period of time.
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Re: Come, Follow Me D&C: 2021 February

Post by SamBee » 19 Feb 2021, 08:09

nibbler wrote:
03 Feb 2021, 12:53
.

There's also speculation that Lucy Harris burned the 116 pages. Maybe it was an attempt to put an end to the financial relationship between Smith and Harris and there never was a plan to make alterations in an attempt to expose Smith.
I find this very plausible. Didn't Martin help bankroll the printing?

Still, Joseph Smith had many opponents even at this stage.
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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Re: Come, Follow Me D&C: 2021 February

Post by DarkJedi » 20 Feb 2021, 05:28

nibbler wrote:
19 Feb 2021, 07:07
February 8–14: Doctrine and Covenants 12–13; Joseph Smith—History 1:66–75

Section 13
This section has drawn some criticism in that mention of the priesthood and mention of the appearance of John the Baptist wasn't recorded or talked about until several years after the dates that were given for the restoration of the priesthood.

In Rough Stone Rolling (p75) Bushman plays devil's advocate:
Bushman wrote:The late appearance of these accounts raises the possibility of later fabrication. Did Joseph add the stories of angels to embellish his early history and make himself more of a visionary?
References to John restoring the Aaronic priesthood did not appear in the Book of Commandments (1833). An account of John restoring the AP appears in the 1835 edition of the D&C (p180). Section 13 appears in the 1876 edition of the D&C. In later editions of the D&C (editions after the 1833 Book of Commandments), sections were edited to include references to the priesthood and priesthood restoration.

I find it interesting, similar to the Priestly source (P) in the Torah. In a way history repeating itself, though over a shorter period of time.
I've always struggled with the priesthood thing, even as a more full on believer. From my own point of view, Joseph has this word-for-word account of the visit of John the Baptist but for the Melchizedek priesthood with Peter, James and John it's "Oh, yeah, we got that too." But the church places a great deal of emphasis on this priesthood (and keys) I think mostly to try to convince itself and others of the "one true church" concept. In the intervening years I have lost any faith in the one true church as an entity, and question not only the priesthood as any power or authority other than as earthly administrative. I have come to understand baptism as a more personal expression of belief and faith and not necessarily as something necessary for salvation (the argument can easily be made either way in the Bible) and not something that needs to be done by anyone with any "authority." And I have read (and thoroughly enjoyed) Rough Stone Rolling and Bushman isn't the only one who casts little shadows of doubt on the whole priesthood story and evolution - Terryl Givens does so as well.

But are we not way off script here? I have not read the manual for the week's reading, but I bet the thought/discussion provoking questions have nothing to do with any doubts that the priesthood exists or that it is absolutely necessary to the mission of the church and to our own salvation/exaltation.
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."

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Re: Come, Follow Me D&C: 2021 February

Post by nibbler » 20 Feb 2021, 06:22

DarkJedi wrote:
20 Feb 2021, 05:28
But are we not way off script here? I have not read the manual for the week's reading, but I bet the thought/discussion provoking questions have nothing to do with any doubts that the priesthood exists or that it is absolutely necessary to the mission of the church and to our own salvation/exaltation.
Yeah, I'm waaaaaay off script, it's just that it's been extremely difficult for me to have any interest at all in the Come, Follow Me lessons. Thus far I'd say that half of each lesson is focused on getting class members to testify of their own personal conviction of the restoration narratives. Lessons with the goal of indoctrinating people to the truthfulness of the church do absolutely nothing for me. I've found it to be a struggle to say anything at all about these lessons.

Here are all the questions from that lesson:

AP related:
What blessings have you received through the ordinances of the Aaronic Priesthood?
What blessings have you received through priesthood ordinances?
What might build your family’s faith in the restoration of the Aaronic Priesthood?
Would they enjoy drawing a picture of the event, based on what they read in Joseph Smith—History 1:68–74?
What impresses members of your family about Oliver Cowdery’s words (JSH 1:71)?

Other:
What does it mean to you “to bring forth and establish the cause of Zion”? (D&C12:6).
How do the principles and attributes in verses 7–9 (D&C 12) help you do this?
Why are the characteristics listed in this verse necessary when we are doing the Lord’s work?
How can we follow the example of Joseph Smith and Oliver Cowdery to find answers to our questions?
What are some of your family’s “days never to be forgotten”?
What effect did the Holy Ghost have on Joseph and Oliver?
When has the Spirit helped your family understand the scriptures and rejoice in the Lord?

So yes, there is plenty of room to talk about other things. I don't find the other things to be particularly engaging either. :oops:

An answer to one of the questions is (reductive) to be humble. That could serve as a launching point to a discussion... but make it less about asking a question where the answer is "be humble" and more about presenting a situation or telling a story and asking the class how we could be humble in that particular situation. Get people thinking about how to be humble.
Cure sometimes, treat often, comfort always.
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Re: Come, Follow Me D&C: 2021 February

Post by nibbler » 20 Feb 2021, 06:55

February 15–21: Doctrine and Covenants 14–17

Sections 14, 15, and 16 are similar; the sections where David, John, and Peter Whitmer to declare repentance unto the people, essentially be missionaries.

The lesson manual highlights D&C 14:2 and how the verse compares the word of god to a sword. It then highlights five other places in scripture where the word of god is being compared to something.

Psalm 119:105 - a lamp lighting the way forward
Isaiah 55:10-11 - rain/water that causes things to grow
Matthew 4:4 - bread, something that sustains life
1 Nephi 15:23–24 - iron rod
Alma 32:28 - seed

Out of all the examples given, the one found in the D&C was the only one that was a weapon, something that takes away life, an instrument of destruction. The others examples were of things that help people or of things that sustain life. Maybe it only stood out to me because I have an aversion to some of the war imagery we use to with respect to the gospel. Hymns like "We Are All Enlisted," "Let Us All Press On," "Hope of Israel," "Onward Christian Soldiers," and on and on.

I'm sure it's meant to be metaphorical, or at least it should be, I know we aren't alone in warlike imagery, and I'm sure there are plenty of war imagery verses in the bible... but Isaiah talked about beating swords into plowshares.

Section 17 is to Oliver Cowdery, David Whitmer, and Martin Harris and is in relation to being the three witnesses.
D&C 17:5 wrote:And ye shall testify that you have seen them, even as my servant Joseph Smith, Jun., has seen them; for it is by my power that he has seen them, and it is because he had faith.
Cure sometimes, treat often, comfort always.
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Re: Come, Follow Me D&C: 2021 February

Post by Roy » 21 Feb 2021, 11:18

nibbler wrote:
03 Feb 2021, 12:53
February 1-7: Doctrine and Covenants 10-11

Section 10: This is the section that gives the reason for not retranslating the 116 lost pages. As such, It's difficult for me to find much that I can extract from the lesson. Maybe that god always prepares a way forward despite what's happened in the past or a proof-texted do not run faster or labor more than you have strength.

Elephants in the room/things I'd never say in a lesson:
1) I'm not sure why section 10 should be elevated to canon status. Why is this in the D&C?
2) The apologetics are weak. If the two manuscripts failed to match it seems like it would be glaringly obvious that someone had attempted to alter the original. Ink smudges, erased sections, different handwriting, etc. It reads like Joseph using the voice of the lord to get out of a jam.
I believe that the translation/revelatory process used by JS (that the church is now acknowledging) did not allow him to generate a word for word reproduction of the original 116 pages. I believe that it is somewhat problematic that JS appears to be making a significant effort to make it appear that he could reproduce the original 116 if he needed to but that it would only be used against him by his enemies. Whereas I believe the more likely scenario is that JS could not reproduce the 116 pages word for word and if he had tried and the original pages were to resurface then the inconsistencies might have destroyed the faith of the early supporters of JS like Martin Harris.
"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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Re: Come, Follow Me D&C: 2021 February

Post by DarkJedi » 22 Feb 2021, 07:45

nibbler wrote:
20 Feb 2021, 06:22
Here are all the questions from that lesson:

AP related:
What blessings have you received through the ordinances of the Aaronic Priesthood?
What blessings have you received through priesthood ordinances?
What might build your family’s faith in the restoration of the Aaronic Priesthood?
Would they enjoy drawing a picture of the event, based on what they read in Joseph Smith—History 1:68–74?
What impresses members of your family about Oliver Cowdery’s words (JSH 1:71)?

Other:
What does it mean to you “to bring forth and establish the cause of Zion”? (D&C12:6).
How do the principles and attributes in verses 7–9 (D&C 12) help you do this?
Why are the characteristics listed in this verse necessary when we are doing the Lord’s work?
How can we follow the example of Joseph Smith and Oliver Cowdery to find answers to our questions?
What are some of your family’s “days never to be forgotten”?
What effect did the Holy Ghost have on Joseph and Oliver?
When has the Spirit helped your family understand the scriptures and rejoice in the Lord?
Even as a true believer I had trouble answering questions like this. Am I more blessed than my non-member neighbors (all of my literal neighbors are non-members) because the priesthood? Even the religious ones (about half my street goes to some church)? They certainly believe their baptisms, marriages, etc., are valid and some in some cases think my baptism is not (although they are respectful of us). I think the majority of my neighbors are "humble and full of love, having faith, hope, and charity, being temperate in all things." My family's days never to be forgotten? We had some great camping/vacation trips and other outings, and our family game days were great (mostly). I'm just going to leave it there because my cynicism could go on for pages.
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."

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Re: Come, Follow Me D&C: 2021 February

Post by DarkJedi » 22 Feb 2021, 07:50

Roy wrote:
21 Feb 2021, 11:18
nibbler wrote:
03 Feb 2021, 12:53
February 1-7: Doctrine and Covenants 10-11

Section 10: This is the section that gives the reason for not retranslating the 116 lost pages. As such, It's difficult for me to find much that I can extract from the lesson. Maybe that god always prepares a way forward despite what's happened in the past or a proof-texted do not run faster or labor more than you have strength.

Elephants in the room/things I'd never say in a lesson:
1) I'm not sure why section 10 should be elevated to canon status. Why is this in the D&C?
2) The apologetics are weak. If the two manuscripts failed to match it seems like it would be glaringly obvious that someone had attempted to alter the original. Ink smudges, erased sections, different handwriting, etc. It reads like Joseph using the voice of the lord to get out of a jam.
I believe that the translation/revelatory process used by JS (that the church is now acknowledging) did not allow him to generate a word for word reproduction of the original 116 pages. I believe that it is somewhat problematic that JS appears to be making a significant effort to make it appear that he could reproduce the original 116 if he needed to but that it would only be used against him by his enemies. Whereas I believe the more likely scenario is that JS could not reproduce the 116 pages word for word and if he had tried and the original pages were to resurface then the inconsistencies might have destroyed the faith of the early supporters of JS like Martin Harris.
Yes, I agree. I think it was more the plan to compare the two rather than alter the original and then point out the differences. They really wouldn't have to work that hard because it seems unlikely that Joseph would have been able to reproduce an exact copy of that size. However, if you're claiming to have translated it it's pretty hard to save face and not come up with some other explanation.
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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