brl2833

LDS Only By Name?

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I have been doing some research on Mormon history and, as a non-member/outsider, I can't help to think that the current LDS church is only LDS by name. Through my research, I understand that the Community of Christ is considered a branch off of the LDS church. But the fact is, they are in possession of the Kirkland Temple and all of the Smith properties in Nauvoo. The Community of Christ also seems to be the continuation of the original seed of the LDS prophet, Joseph Smith (of course, until Wallace B Smith left the office of prophet and the Community of Christ stop using the word prophet). Through my research, I have discovered that the Community of Christ uses the Joseph Smith translation of the Bible which they call the Holy Scriptures. I am surprised to see that the Song of Solomon is not included in this translation. However, the present day LDS church doesn't use this translation. I can't seem to find any information as to why that is. I have gone to a few LDS and Community of Christ services and an observation I have made is the use of the Book of Mormon. The Community of Christ church doesn't preach from the Book of Mormon and doesn't even mention it in church services. However, according to official church stance, they believe it to be Scripture.

So, obviously I just have pieces of the puzzle and I am hoping that some members can help me piece together this puzzle. I love American history and Mormon history is such a huge part of American history. I love the model of the LDS church and how they take care of their members. Any info is appreciated. Thanks!!!

 

 

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20 minutes ago, brl2833 said:

I have been doing some research on Mormon history and, as a non-member/outsider, I can't help to think that the current LDS church is only LDS by name.

 

It entire depends on what you consider the vital characteristics that something must have to be considered LDS.  You seem to be focused on lands and property, and by that requirement no it is not.  However that is a very sucky requirement... Under Joseph Smith the LDS church both acquired and was forced out of lots of land.  Did the very moment the Church under Joseph Smith lost land did it become a shell of its former self?  We also have the Book of Mormon translated by Joseph Smith that shows the church of the time being repeatedly driven out of their homeland (starting with initial fleeing from Jerusalem) did they suddenly stop being them because they were forced out of their lands and property?

Clearly we don't consider lands and property to be the defining characteristic so we don't consider ourselves in name only.  

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13 minutes ago, estradling75 said:

It entire depends on what you consider the vital characteristics that something must have to be considered LDS.  You seem to be focused on lands and property, and by that requirement no it is not.  However that is a very sucky requirement... Under Joseph Smith the LDS church both acquired and was forced out of lots of land.  Did the very moment the Church under Joseph Smith lost land did it become a shell of its former self?  We also have the Book of Mormon translated by Joseph Smith that shows the church of the time being repeatedly driven out of their homeland (starting with initial fleeing from Jerusalem) did they suddenly stop being them because they were forced out of their lands and property?

Clearly we don't consider lands and property to be the defining characteristic so we don't consider ourselves in name only.  

That's a very good point and I understand that completely. Can you speak to Joseph Smith's translation of the Bible and the lack of Song of Solomon? Or the lack of use of the Book of Mormon in Community of Christ churches?

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15 minutes ago, brl2833 said:

That's a very good point and I understand that completely. Can you speak to Joseph Smith's translation of the Bible and the lack of Song of Solomon? Or the lack of use of the Book of Mormon in Community of Christ churches?

I can not speak for the Community of Christ or why it does things... You would be best served by asking them.  (We use to have members of that group here but I don't know if they are still active)

When Joseph Smith translated the bible he said the Song of Solomon was not inspired scripture which might explain why.  When he died and the church split... the JST was ruled personal property and stayed with Emma Smith which then became part of the Community of Christ church.  The LDS church did not have the legal right to the JST for a very long time.  More recently the LDS church negotiated with the Community of Christ church for the rights to publish a large part of the JST, which is why the LDS church now has what it has.  Sadly our scholarship of the JST is not as far along because of this.

Edited by estradling75

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28 minutes ago, brl2833 said:

That's a very good point and I understand that completely. Can you speak to Joseph Smith's translation of the Bible and the lack of Song of Solomon? Or the lack of use of the Book of Mormon in Community of Christ churches?

1) Joseph had indicated that the Song of Solomon was not "inspired writing".
2) We don't use the JST because of several reasons.

  1. Joseph never really completed it.  So, it really should just be considered a mass of commentary and footnotes.  And we do have an addendum/appendix in the LDS edition of the KJV that has footnotes to many of the various passages that Joseph wrote.
  2. Joseph's "translation" is not the same as what you'd normally consider translation.  He had no original text to look at.  He added two things. a) commentary (and sometimes rewording for clarity) and b) some missing passages.  The missing passages were only a few.  The mass of his translation included commentary in the form of additional text in the verse.  But most of the time, it was not that there was an error in translation.  It was that he believed that the implied meanings were not inherently obvious to others.  So, he wrote something to clarify it.
  3. Common verses/references and quotation to communicate with other faiths.  Take a look at how the JWs do their Bible.  While they have their scholarly reasons to do so, they simply remove words, phrases, or verses from the Bible.  Often it is because they looked at older writings and find that some words were added in for flow of speech (something that is greatly hampered during the translation process) or other reasons.  But the JWs insist that the verse doesn't exist.  Well, while they do what they need to do in their faith, it makes it difficult to communicate with others who use a different rendering.  So, with the variations that Joseph had, how would the verses change?  Chapters?  Phrases?  If we're quoting very different things, we can't really communicate effectively.  So, the route we choose is that we use a very common standard version (KJV) and we have footnotes and appendices added.

I have no idea why the Community of Christ doesn't use the BoM anymore.  They used to.  Now they don't.  Ask them.

To your original question: LDS in name only?

It's very interesting that you say that.

Quote

 For thus shall my church be called in the last days, even The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

D&C 115:4

This is a reference from another book of scripture which we call the Doctrine and Covenants.  This is a book that all branches of Mormonism at some point believed to be scripture.  We still accept it as scripture.  As for others... ask them.

In this book, we have the Lord Himself telling us what the name of the church shall be.  So, there it is.

Edited by Guest

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The LDS Church is lead by Jesus Christ, through His chosen prophet.  That mantle was passed to Brigham Young, not magically materialized to JSIII over a decade later.   Things like property (land or copyright) or genetics do NOT determine who God has chosen to be His prophet and lead His church.  

2 hours ago, brl2833 said:

I have discovered that the Community of Christ uses the Joseph Smith translation of the Bible which they call the Holy Scriptures. I am surprised to see that the Song of Solomon is not included in this translation. However, the present day LDS church doesn't use this translation. I can't seem to find any information as to why that is.

The JST was never finished nor ratified by God/the Church body.  (They were a little preoccupied by not dying from mobs).  Without that ratification from God and the Church body, a literally work cannot be considered considered official scripture, and hence is not used thus in the LDS church.  We use the KJV, though the JST is included in footnotes when revenant so a person can compare.

2 hours ago, brl2833 said:

The Community of Christ church doesn't preach from the Book of Mormon and doesn't even mention it in church services. However, according to official church stance, they believe it to be Scripture.

The denial of the Book of Mormon (which was ratified scripture) is one of the marks of apostasy of the CoC.  Their official documents say that belief in it or use of it is optional (most do not).  They have also removed sections of the D&C that existed during Joseph Smith's life.  They have also teach falsehoods of what the nature of God is, going from bi-theism to trinitairain in just the last few years (which is false to false, but still).  

 

 

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