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Showing posts from August, 2015

Oliver Cowdery and Failure to Translate

If you've ever attended institute, Sunday School, or (I'm guessing) seminary, you've heard this story a million times. Oliver Cowdery was acting as Joseph Smith's scribe. He wanted to translate. Joseph inquired of the Lord, and the Lord told him he could (see D&C 8). He failed to. Then they ask God why and he tells them (see D&C 9). The Lord chastises Oliver for not following the pattern he had laid out in the previous revelation. Then all the people in the class are supposed to learn how revelation requires one to study things out and listen in the heart, etc.

Here are the two sections' corresponding D&C manuals:
http://institute.lds.org/manuals/doctrine-and-covenants-institute-student-manual/dc-in-001-8.asp
http://institute.lds.org/manuals/doctrine-and-covenants-institute-student-manual/dc-in-001-9.asp
Why did Oliver fail? The second link above states that "The Lord assigned Oliver’s failure to translate to the fact that he did not translate accord…

The Mormon Newsroom: Reading Between the Lines

The church's top spokesman recently said, "Our task is to find language that most accurately reflects what's in the Brethren's minds." To do this, they have written a creed to encapsulate what they think the brethren might say if they were writing their own material:
We have faith in God, strive to live the principles of the gospel of Jesus Christ and embrace God’s plan for His children, bringing joy into our lives and the lives of others.
We are strong supporters of the family, defenders of strong, enduring marriages and child bearing, and of raising well-educated children with high moral values.
We value and defend freedom, including freedom of religion, respect individual agency and moral choices, freedom to worship and freedom to share our faith.
We hold and try to live by strong moral values, including personal honesty and trustworthiness, and other Christlike attributes.
We serve others, including those in our own faith and those not of our faith. Charity, or l…

Proof Texting: D&C 42:11

Of all people, latter-day Saints ought to expect true messengers from unlikely places. After all, the Book of Mormon provides yet another witness that it is God's rule to call outsiders to call apostate hierarchies to repentance. Joseph Smith himself was an outsider. Jesus was as well.

Opponents state that God operates differently in our dispensation. They state that God has promised that in this dispensation, he will never ask anyone to preach the gospel unless they are sent from church leaders. They use D&C 42:11 as their proof text, which reads:

11 Again I say unto you, that it shall not be given to any one to go forth to preach my gospel, or to build up my church, except he be ordained by some one who has authority, and it is known to the church that he has authority and has been regularly ordained by the heads of the church.

1. Ordained by someone who has authority. Someone who claims that Christ himself ordained him to preach would, if correct in this claim, clearly have…

Church History

Then: “.. there is no authentic statement in the history of the Church which states that the use of such a stone was made in that translation. The information is all hearsay, and personally, I do not believe that this stone was used for this purpose.  ( Joseph Fielding Smith Doctrines of Salvation 3:225-226)

Today: "In fact, historical evidence shows that in addition to the two seer stones known as “interpreters,” Joseph Smith used at least one other seer stone in translating the Book of Mormon, often placing it into a hat in order to block out light. " (Ensign, Oct 2015)

This is only the most recent of very many historical errors from official sources. In the October 2014 General Conference, Elder Nelson stated, "No Prophet has ever been elected."  Yet Brigham Young himself said, "I was unanimously elected President of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints." (Winter Quarters, Dec 27, 1847, Complete Discourses of Brigham Young, Signature Books, …

The World is Not Going to End in Sept 2015

VERY many have made predictions that something big is going to happen next month. I have heard that there will be a financial collapse starting next month and leading into the winter that makes 2008 look like a walk in the park. I have heard other predictions.

My belief: Eventually, there will be extreme financial distress. There will be an end to value of money. There will be an end to the abundance of food that we enjoy. There will be food shortages that cause severe global instability, house to house instability, and martial law.

My knowledge: God has shown me that the tribulations to precede the Second Coming, which have already commenced, will not occur in a flash. He showed me that one way he is warning the world of what is to come is by causing glimpses of the catastrophes to occur and stop short or to occur in miniature. In each case, it is only God's mercy that provides the very unlikely avoidance of the full potential of the disaster. He will provide a specific warning f…

Seers

You should read this:

https://www.lds.org/ensign/2015/10/joseph-the-seer?lang=eng

I thoroughly enjoyed most of that article. It is refreshing that the church is turning the page and becoming more honest and transparent about history. Some things are still not as direct as they should/could be in this article. I appreciate the inclusions of the pictures, but it seems they are doing everything they can to justify the past use of the graphics, instead of dismissing them as historically false. They still don't have/use any of Joseph translating with the hat, though I'm glad the description is included in the article.

Though this is probably the most honest historical article I've seen officially published by the church, there are still omissions and misrepresentations. The most glaring of them refers to the attempt by the author to minimize the need for a seer to use a Urim and Thummim in order to actually be a seer.

"As Elder Pratt watched the Prophet translate, “Joseph, a…