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Should "Praise to the Man" stay in the new hymnal?

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6 hours ago, zil said:

It would not surprise me one bit if Joseph Smith were already resurrected (no, I don't think the world needs to know about it or see his grave disturbed, nor do I think it absolutely must wait until the Second Coming), nor if he were mingling with the three Gods of the Godhead, and others who have already received their exaltation - such as Abraham and Moses, regardless of whether he's resurrected or not.

I respect your right to be surprised if any of that is actually the case. :)

Does he need to be resurrected to mingle with Gods?

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1 hour ago, Fether said:

@JohnsonJones

im confused, are you denying that there ever was a seer stone and that Joseph Smith never used a hat to translate???

NO, but, it was stated that the Urim and Thummim were the PRIMARY means of Translating the Book of Mormon.

IT is AMAZING how quickly Mormons forget their own teachings of the past.

The Seer Stone has primarily been a weapon used as something that the Anti-Mormons state against the Church since the 1850s.  The Stone in the Hat story was used to prop up the various other Mormon sects since the 1800s either as evidence that Joseph Smith was a Fraud, OR, to try to convince others that someone was the correct Prophet while Brigham Young was the imposter.

For obvious reasons, the church usually (up until the early 90s even) excommunicated individuals who promoted those stories, some of whom were my personal colleagues.

What is more interesting is that church history now picks and chooses.  The stories that it gets the usage of the Seer Stone from history almost completely also say that the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints led by Brigham Young (though with one account, at least, it was against Joseph Smith) is led by a False Prophet and is not the true church.

So, OBVIOUSLY there were reasons WHY the church did NOT use those stories nor give them veracity in the past.  The normal story was that the Urim and Thummim were the main instruments of translation (or using the Power of God to translate) the Book of Mormon.  Normally, history did NOT go into detail into the translation of the Pearl of Great Price, or at least early history (which, if you know the history of the PoGP is understandable, it wasn't even Canon during that period of the church, or for most of it).

1 hour ago, Fether said:

@JohnsonJones

im confused, are you denying that there ever was a seer stone and that Joseph Smith never used a hat to translate???

No, I am not.

However, the AMOUNT that he used them for translation seems to be exactly 180 degrees counter to the narrative the church gave previously.

The Stone in the Hat story I think for the most part is bollocks, though he could have used it to try to clarify items that he did not understand by trying to see things and to block out distractions either by putting it in a hat OR other means (which people do not normally bring up, probably because a stone in the hat is more sensationalistic for the Anti-Mormons and gets people to disbelieve in Joseph Smith more than saying that he also may have utilized other items to block out distractions and focus on revelation such as blankets or other objects).  The amount that people try to claim he used this method, in my opinion, is not correct.  It was not a primary means nor even the secondary means of translation.

I think the usage of the Seer Stone increased as time passed, but initially with the translation of the Book of Mormon it is exactly as the church has promoted since at least the time of John Taylor (and feasibly it appears could go back to the time of Joseph Smith himself) that the Urim and Thummim were the primary means of translation (though admittedly that narrative has changed over the past 25 years).  I think by the time of the JST it may have been his primary item of usage.  However, generally the Seer Stone was seen to be used for Revelation and the Urim and Thummim for Translation.  That said, it is very possible that he used the Seer Stone as the primary means in the JST and Book of Abraham.

However, THAT IS PERSONAL OPINION...rather than church doctrine, or even the church narrative today. [CLARIFICATION: it has never been made exactly clear as to HOW the translation worked or occurred except through the Power of God, at least with my current knowledge.  That could always increase, but currently from what I know it has never been made exactly specific or clear how it was done]

the IRONY is that I've known people that were excommunicated less then 30 years ago for trying to promote the SAME NARRATIVE that the church seems so eager to promote today.  That's a harder thing to get over with the complete 180 degrees in teaching than you may think when those people remain excommunicated for refusing to say they were wrong, even as the church is now USING THEIR NARRATIVE.

I get by thus...

By knowing that the Prophet is called as such, that they are the Prophet and thus even if one does not have a personal revelation of the topic, that you remain by following the prophet and keeping true to the Faith.  One must needs have faith in the Gospel and the Prophet, even if they cannot or do not have a testimony of some certain or specific teaching at that time.  Faithfulness first and hopefully a testimony of certain things will come later.

Edited by JohnsonJones

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3 hours ago, JohnsonJones said:

we take ALL sources of ALL sides to determine what the story may actually be.

Exactly. May be. something most people seem to forget about history. I love it when people say things like, "we know that Joseph [did such-n-such]". As if 3rd and 4th hand accounts constitute any type of proof, and even 2nd and 1st hand accounts are suspect based on a variety of issues -- especially when given hundreds of years ago. Some things are moderately certain of course. But the hat thing is a "maybe" at best. My view is that he probably experimented or played around with it at some point, perhaps not even fully seriously, but that using a hat to block out light was likely not really a means he legitimately used for the "work".

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2 hours ago, MormonGator said:

Thanks bud! 

As a convert (admitingly a stupid one) , I don't understand many things about LDS culture. Why some people have a problem admitting that Smith Jr used a seer stone is beyond my meager intellectual abilities. 

The problem isn't the seer stone. It's the image the hat usage brings with it:

th?id=OIP.pYmLQSDsWtZy-a1QZ_-BFQHaEw&pid

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6 hours ago, pam said:

I guess I kind of see it as a prophet of God, wouldn't he be mingling with gods after death?  Of course we see all 3 members of the Godhead as gods.  

Gods is a term that can mean many things. Gods can be spirits in the spirit world who are acting as GOD, answering prayers and assisting people in mortality. We too hastily try to pin definitions on things that aren't well understood. The Holy Spirit is a GOD and can speak unquestionably for God because He is God in a very real and literal sense. The three can speak for one another because they are so unalterably one in purpose. 

 

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15 minutes ago, JohnsonJones said:

For obvious reasons, the church usually (up until the early 90s even) excommunicated individuals who promoted those stories, some of whom were my personal colleagues.

So... your "colleagues" were excommunicated for promoting stories like:

Quote

 Joseph Smith was a Fraud, OR, to try to convince others that someone was the correct Prophet while Brigham Young was the imposter.

or are you trying to suggest that they were excommunicated for merely sharing accounts of the seer stone in a hat? I believe the first scenario and wholeheartedly doubt the latter as being an accurate/complete picture of what really led to their excommunication.

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19 minutes ago, NeedleinA said:

So... your "colleagues" were excommunicated for promoting stories like:

or are you trying to suggest that they were excommunicated for merely sharing accounts of the seer stone in a hat? I believe the first scenario and wholeheartedly doubt the latter as being an accurate/complete picture of what really led to their excommunication.

Nope, from what I recall they were excommunicated for saying that Joseph Smith used the Seer Stone to translate the Book of Mormon and in many instances in church history the word Seer Stone and the words Urim and Thummim were used interchangeably.

I think they also included in that were claims that the Ban on Blacks was promoted a LOT by racism and prejudice back in the time of Brigham Young.  They also brought up the ideas that Joseph Smith was not just sealed, but actually married and acted as if he was husband and wife to many other women beyond Emma Smith.

Most of these items (if not all) have now been promoted by the church (many in the Church essays) and some of the information seems to be sourced (even if not acknowledged, the wording is suspiciously similar) to their writings.

They were doing it in the historical context of taking both sides of the story and considering that both sides were biased (thus, you take an account from someone who was out to destroy the church as an account just like you would take an account by Oliver Cowdery during the early 1830's before his leaving the church, or put it side by side of an LDS Prophet such as Lorenzo Snow...for example...or Wilford Woodruff) and try to find out what really happened.  In the Historical context, the church is getting closer to what Historians would see as historically accurate from using ALL stories at that time.  However, that means we give anti-Mormon stories equal weight to Faithful Mormon stories.  That makes for a more accurate history.

They were doing it in context of HISTORY rather than religion.  They stood by what the wrote from what I understand and thus...they remain excommunicated today (unless something happened and they were rebaptized without me knowing it...as far as I know they remain excomunnicated).  The most notable STILL believes in the church (from what I can tell) and is still a firm believer.

[Just to be clear...what one does as a HISTORIAN does not necessarily mean that one actually has that as their BELIEF.  This applies directly to me.  I may acknowledge how close something is to what we would see as historically accurate in our interpretation today, but that does not mean that I actually BELIEVE that such a thing happened.  This would be a primary example of such.  It's like the 1826 trial...today many feel that it is historically accurate...but as a Believer I see many holes in it...for starters such a trial would be over a misdemeanor and unless it was a felony  or greater it was not recorded in the detail that they state it has been.  It's a big difference between what I may accept as a HISTORIAN vs. what I may accept as a Believer...odd as that may sound].

[Another example of that would be the Life of our Lord in his mortal ministry.  Historically there is VERY LITTLE evidence of him actually existing, much less being who he claimed he was.  From a historical viewpoint, a non-religious viewpoint, we can acknowledge the impact of Christianity, but it's origins are suspect.  As a Believer I truly KNOW that Jesus Christ is our Savior and the Redeemer of the World.  I know that he lived and existed.  He lived here on this earth.  He took upon himself our sins and atoned for us.  I know that his atonement is real and what he teaches is the truth.  It is a very stark contrast between occupation and faith...at least for me].

Edited by JohnsonJones

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7 hours ago, zil said:

It would not surprise me one bit if Joseph Smith were already resurrected (no, I don't think the world needs to know about it or see his grave disturbed,

It hadn’t happened as of 1928, apparently. (Link—note that it includes photos of skeletal remains for Joseph, Hyrum and Emma).

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1 hour ago, Hannah M. Williams said:

Yes!    it's definitely one of the less boring hymns, it also speaks just as much truth as any other.  not to mention it's one of my personal favorites. ;)

Welcome to the forums, Hannah! What part of Wyoming are you from? I served in Star Valley on my mission. Beautiful country.

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6 hours ago, Anddenex said:

Would you then agree that these verses of scripture should be removed also, if they could from the Standard Works pertaining to women who fear the Lord:

 28 Her children arise up, and call her blessed; her husband also,and he praiseth her.

 29 Many daughters have done virtuously, but thou excellest them all.

 30 Favour is deceitful, and beauty is vain: but a woman that feareth the Lord, she shall be praised.

 31 Give her of the fruit of her hands; and let her own works praise her in the gates.

 Or at least never be read in church? ;)

Read those verses sure. Don't sing praise about them and don't worship them. 

1) Come, let us sing for joy to the LORD; let us shout aloud to the Rock of our salvation.

Please show me a verse in the bible that tells us to sing praise to anyone other than the Lord ... 

Personally I choose to praise God in my day to day life, I don't suddenly change on a Sunday and think I hope I praise Joseph Smith today.  

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I haven't read all of the posts, so what I say here might have been said already. I feel that one of the determinants for deciding whether or not a hymn should be included is doctrinal accuracy. On this particular ground, I think there could at least be room to question whether or not this hymn should be retained. To me, some of the wording is, at the least, ambigous. 

he can plan for his brethren

What else is there to plan for? Has God left some things unplanned?

Death cannot conquer the hero again

Death did not get anywhere near conquering Joseph Smith

Plead unto heav'n while the earth lauds his fame.

I understand there are several scriptural references to the idea of the blood of the good and innocent pleading to heaven, but this idea doesn't ring true to me. What are they pleading for? Justice? No need, its already assured. Revenge? Really? The blood of the prophets is pleading for revenge? I think not. 

Ever and ever the keys he will hold.

My understanding is that at some point, the prophets hand the keys back to Michael and he then hands them back to Christ. I'm not aware of any teaching that suggests that prophets will hold the keys forever.

Earth must atone for the blood of that man.

I'm not sure what this means and it seems to be capable of multiple interpretations. If "Earth" is referring to the physical space we occupy, then it is clearly incorrect, because the Earth had nothing to do with the death of Joseph Smith, other than to be the place he landed on after he was shot, and the place he was later buried in. If "Earth" is referring to the people of the Earth, it is still incorrect because only a tiny, tiny percentage of the people of the Earth had anything to do with his death. And no matter who "Earth" is referring to, I don't think there is anything that anyone or any thing can do to atone for his blood.

Responding to a previous point, I believe that Joseph Smith may well be mingling with God the Father and God the Son in which case it can be said quite accurately that he is mingling with Gods. 

As noted above, I'm not saying that these are reasons to exclude this hymn. I am saying that if doctrinal accuracy is one of the determinants, then there is at least reason to question it's future inclusion. However, doctrinal accuracy might only be one of many determinants, and when weighed with these many other determinants, some of which were referred to by JAG on the first page of posts, then it may well be that those other determinants would outweigh doctrinal accuracy. 

Perhaps it could be retained with a few word changes. We have at least one hymn in our current hymn book from the previous hymn book where a very short phrase has been changed - hymn 223 Have I done any good in the world today.  

 

 

 

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My vote: keep Praise to the Man, one of the times the Spirit testified to me that Joseph Smith was indeed a prophet was at a meeting where they played this hymn with a photo montage of him.  I felt the Spirit very strong.

If we want to ditch a song, let's ditch "There is Sunshine in my Soul Today."  

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3 hours ago, askandanswer said:

To me, some of the wording is, at the least, ambigous. 

he can plan for his brethren

What else is there to plan for? Has God left some things unplanned?

Death cannot conquer the hero again

Death did not get anywhere near conquering Joseph Smith

Plead unto heav'n while the earth lauds his fame.

I understand there are several scriptural references to the idea of the blood of the good and innocent pleading to heaven, but this idea doesn't ring true to me. What are they pleading for? Justice? No need, its already assured. Revenge? Really? The blood of the prophets is pleading for revenge? I think not. 

Ever and ever the keys he will hold.

My understanding is that at some point, the prophets hand the keys back to Michael and he then hands them back to Christ. I'm not aware of any teaching that suggests that prophets will hold the keys forever.

Earth must atone for the blood of that man.

I'm not sure what this means and it seems to be capable of multiple interpretations. If "Earth" is referring to the physical space we occupy, then it is clearly incorrect, because the Earth had nothing to do with the death of Joseph Smith, other than to be the place he landed on after he was shot, and the place he was later buried in. If "Earth" is referring to the people of the Earth, it is still incorrect because only a tiny, tiny percentage of the people of the Earth had anything to do with his death. And no matter who "Earth" is referring to, I don't think there is anything that anyone or any thing can do to atone for his blood.

Responding to a previous point, I believe that Joseph Smith may well be mingling with God the Father and God the Son in which case it can be said quite accurately that he is mingling with Gods. 

As noted above, I'm not saying that these are reasons to exclude this hymn. I am saying that if doctrinal accuracy is one of the determinants, then there is at least reason to question it's future inclusion. However, doctrinal accuracy might only be one of many determinants, and when weighed with these many other determinants, some of which were referred to by JAG on the first page of posts, then it may well be that those other determinants would outweigh doctrinal accuracy. 

Perhaps it could be retained with a few word changes. We have at least one hymn in our current hymn book from the previous hymn book where a very short phrase has been changed - hymn 223 Have I done any good in the world today.  

I think that you raise some valid points.  I'll attempt to address some of them.

1) He can plan for his brethren - this I have no problems with.   When Joseph Smith passed over and into the spirit world I'm sure his arrival was triumphant.  He no doubt counciled with the other noble and great ones (Abraham 3), and made plans for the arrival of the remainder of those of this dispensation into the spirit world.  It is possible that Joseph Smith has already been resurrected and is assisting Jesus Christ, Adam, and others for the events of the second coming.  (mingling with gods...)

2) Death cannot conquer the hero again - likely a reference to scripture: D&C 93:33, D&C 138:17, & Alma 11:45

3) Long shall his blood, which was shed by assassins, Plead unto heav'n while the earth lauds his fame.  -  Again no problem here.  We lament his passing but recognize that his martyrdom sealed his testimony with blood.   I can't compare Joseph's Blood to the Blood of Christ.  But the fact that Joseph was willing to die to defend his beliefs and further proclaim the validity of the Gospel is near divinity.  He consecrated his entire life to the work of the Lord.  

4) Ever and even the keys he will hold - 

Quote

Eschatological Meeting

Dan VII Speaks of the Ancient of days, he means the oldest man, our Father Adam, Michael; he will call his children together, & hold a council with them to prepare them for the coming of the Son of Man. He, (Adam) is the Father of the human family & presides over the Spirits of all men, & all that have had the Keys must stand before him in this great Council. This may take place before some of us leave this stage of action. The Son of Man stands before him & there is given him glory & dominion.--Adam delivers up his Stewardship to Christ, that which was deliverd to him as holding the Keys of the Universe, but retains his standing as head of the human family.  

Instructions delivered sometime in July 1839  Source: Willard Richards Pocket Companion, probably copied in part from notes of John Taylor. The sermon was widely copied in England. See, for example, Samuel W. Richards notebook, MS 1841, Church History Library, Salt Lake City, UT.

 

This has been interpreted as the Keys all being collected and given back to Adam and then to Christ.  I'm not sure that is what Joseph Smith was actually trying to communicate...   Delivering up his Stewardship to Christ may be returning the keys but it may not...  Perhaps for a temporary time Joseph will be without keys...  But it is more likely that he currently has more keys then he did during his mortal probation.  Please see:  https://www.lds.org/general-conference/1977/04/our-great-potential?lang=eng

5) Earth must atone for the blood of that man - here there might be an issue...

Quote

"Praise to the Man" (originally titled "Joseph Smith") is a poem written as a tribute to Joseph Smith by Latter Day Saint leader and hymn writer William W. Phelps. The poem was composed soon after Smith's death, and was later set to music and adopted as a hymn of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS Church). It was first published anonymously in the church newspaper Times and Seasons in August 1844, approximately one month after Smith was killed.[1] The hymn is still used within the LDS Church and is hymn number 27 in the current LDS Church hymnal       From wikipedia    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Praise_to_the_Man

Thanks to a recommendation by @Just_A_Guy, I recently finished a good book The mysteries of Godlineness: A History of Mormon Temple Worship, David John Buerger.  In chapter 6 It is related that during the Reed Smoot hearings that some of the secret oaths within the sacred temple ceremony included an oath or prayer of vengeance.  I won't record the actual covenant that an apostate shared with the hearing but that passage has since been removed from the temple endowment.

also

"Such feelings were institutionalized in the temple rites.  On 21 December 1845 Heber C Kimball recorded in his diary "seven to twelve persons who have met together every day to pray ever since Joseph's death . . . and I have covenanted, and never will rest . . .  until those men who killed Joseph and Hyrum have been wiped out of the earth."

and the following from https://www.sunstonemagazine.com/pdf/120-20-43.pdf   BEFORE THE BEARD: TRIALS OF THE YOUNG JOSEPH F. SMITH By Scott G. Kenney

Quote

When he was twenty-one, Joseph F. Smith returned to Nauvoo for the first time and recalled how as a young boy, he had hidden when strangers came to town, fearing he, too, would be “taken to prison.”8  It was a sorrowful visit. His companions wanted to visit Carthage jail, but it was too much for Joseph. He would wait for them a short distance away. As he told the Twelve many years later, while the others were gone, he met a man who said he had just arrived five minutes too late to see the Smiths killed. Instantly a dark cloud seemed to overshadow Bro. Smith and he asked how this man looked upon the deed. Bro. Smith was oppressed by a most horrible feeling as he waited for a reply. After a brief pause the man answered, “Just as I have always looked upon it—that it was a d----d cold-blooded murder.” The cloud immediately lifted from Bro. Smith and he found that he had his open pocket knife grasped in his hand in his pocket and he believes that had this man given his approval to that murder of the prophets, he would have immediately struck him to the heart.9 “

In summary, I wouldn't be offended if the 2nd line of the 4th verse was modified.  But then again, I love the history.  And if I had been in Joseph F. Smith similar circumstances and had heard a man boasting of his involvement with the murder of Joseph Smith (or my father) I might have acted with vengeance...

my 2 cents

Edited by mikbone

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And according to Wikipedia the hymn has already gone through changes

Part of the original text of the second verse read: "Long shall his blood, which was shed by assassins, / Stain Illinois, while the earth lauds his fame."[1][4] In 1927, in accordance with its "good neighbor" policy, the LDS Church officially changed the words "Stain Illinois" to "Plead unto heav'n".   -  George D. Pyper, Stories of the Latter-day Saint Hymns, their Authors, and Composers (1939) p. 100.

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Edited by mikbone

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9 hours ago, The Folk Prophet said:

Does he need to be resurrected to mingle with Gods?

You'll note the end of what you quoted - "regardless of whether he's resurrected or not".  I don't think he does, no.

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Meanwhile, I've changed my mind.  Take it out.  The world will end sooner that way, and the world cannot end soon enough.

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9 hours ago, JohnsonJones said:

Nope, from what I recall they were excommunicated for saying that Joseph Smith used the Seer Stone to translate the Book of Mormon and in many instances in church history the word Seer Stone and the words Urim and Thummim were used interchangeably.

I think they also included in that were claims that the Ban on Blacks was promoted a LOT by racism and prejudice back in the time of Brigham Young.  They also brought up the ideas that Joseph Smith was not just sealed, but actually married and acted as if he was husband and wife to many other women beyond Emma Smith.

Most of these items (if not all) have now been promoted by the church (many in the Church essays) and some of the information seems to be sourced (even if not acknowledged, the wording is suspiciously similar) to their writings.

They were doing it in the historical context of taking both sides of the story and considering that both sides were biased (thus, you take an account from someone who was out to destroy the church as an account just like you would take an account by Oliver Cowdery during the early 1830's before his leaving the church, or put it side by side of an LDS Prophet such as Lorenzo Snow...for example...or Wilford Woodruff) and try to find out what really happened.  In the Historical context, the church is getting closer to what Historians would see as historically accurate from using ALL stories at that time.  However, that means we give anti-Mormon stories equal weight to Faithful Mormon stories.  That makes for a more accurate history.

They were doing it in context of HISTORY rather than religion.  They stood by what the wrote from what I understand and thus...they remain excommunicated today (unless something happened and they were rebaptized without me knowing it...as far as I know they remain excomunnicated).  The most notable STILL believes in the church (from what I can tell) and is still a firm believer.

You do realize that getting excommunicated involves a whole lot more than this and there's a whole big unseen story behind each of these?

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6 hours ago, Alia said:

Read those verses sure. Don't sing praise about them and don't worship them. 

1) Come, let us sing for joy to the LORD; let us shout aloud to the Rock of our salvation.

Please show me a verse in the bible that tells us to sing praise to anyone other than the Lord ... 

Personally I choose to praise God in my day to day life, I don't suddenly change on a Sunday and think I hope I praise Joseph Smith today.  

Praise to the Man has nothing to do with worshiping Joseph Smith. Please show me a verse in the Bible, Book of Mormon, Pearl of Great Price, etc... where we are informed by the Lord we can't sing praise to those the LORD called and chose to HIS work?

The first two lines of this song is praise and worship to Jehovah who called Joseph Smith, which sets the whole scenario of this hymn, "Praise to the man who communed with Jehovah!
Jesus anointed that Prophet and Seer."

Why not sing about women who fear the Lord, oh wait, we do, "As Sisters in Zion." Imagine that!

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12 hours ago, SilentOne said:

Nice to see you outside the MormonHub Third Hour Article Discussion subforum. Think we'll see you around here more in the future?

You just might! Seems like a good place to bounce ideas off of people, or to have ideas quickly shut down haha.

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