Traveler

Church History - a Paradigm Shift

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I feel that I am in the midst of a paradigm shift.  The wife and I (with a few friends) just completed a self-guided tore of Church history sites.   We started in upstate New York and ended in Missouri – returning back to Utah.  I thought to start a thread to discuss some thoughts and impressions.

During our travels we stopped at Nauvoo.  As we went through a session at the Nauvoo temple I was impressed how the wall murals resembled the Saints moving through the USA (New York, Ohio, Missouri and Illinois) and then being kicked out of the garden green of such places to the lone and dreary wilderness of the western desert (Utah).  I wondered if there is a doctrinal type and shadow in the fall and resurrection in the plan of salvation and the progression of the Saints in preparing for Christ and his millennial reign.

Also, in following the travels of the Saints – None of the witnesses to the Book of Mormon or anyone that saw the plates came west to Utah.  They all either died or fell into apostasy.  (though there may be a debatable exception of one or two).  In looking into why so many apostatized it became apparent that the singular event was the failure of the Kirtland Safety Society.  Without going into all the details it was an economic disaster for the Church and laid the foundation for those that left the church to foster bitter hatred of Joseph Smith.  It was at the core of the excommunication of the two councilors of the first presidency in Missouri and the apostasy of half of the quorum of the 12.

In pondering this great tragedy, it just did not make sense that so many that had endured so much and so spiritually involved would become so bitter.  Great people that has stood in the presents of angles.  How could they be so bitter.  As it turns out, there was not an event of Missouri that these ex-Saints were not involved.  Even in Nauvoo and the martyrdom of Carthage there was hatred generated by fallen Saints still bitter over the Kirtland Safety Society failure.

Sadly – like the lost BofM manuscripts Joseph was enticed by other “Saints” and not by divine revelation but when the worse happened – only Joseph was held accountable.  No one else took responsibility and Joseph – of all involved lost the most wealth.  In hind sight the mistakes are so obvious.  But I pondered over those that became bitter and fell into apostasy.

And now my paradigm shift.  While in Liberty at the jail the sister missionaries reminded me of D&C 121 and the verses

Quote

34 Behold, there are many called, but few are chosen. And why are they not chosen?

35 Because their hearts are set so much upon the things of this world, and aspire to the honors of men, that they do not learn this one lesson—

36 That the rights of the priesthood are inseparably connected with the powers of heaven, and that the powers of heaven cannot be controlled nor handled only upon the principles of righteousness.

37 That they may be conferred upon us, it is true; but when we undertake to cover our sins, or to gratify our pride, our vain ambition, or to exercise control or dominion or compulsion upon the souls of the children of men, in any degree of unrighteousness, behold, the heavens withdraw themselves; the Spirit of the Lord is grieved; and when it is withdrawn, Amen to the priesthood or the authority of that man.

38 Behold, ere he is aware, he is left unto himself, to kick against the pricks, to persecute the saints, and to fight against God.

I am impressed that this revelation has direct relevance to the apostasy of those Saints that fell because of losses incurred from the Kirtland Safety Society.  What are we willing to sacrifice for Zion?  If our prophet, stake president or bishop was involved in our economic ruin – would we turn against them and the Saints?  What trial must I endure to be made worthy to be with Christ – not just at his coming but in eternity?  Is the Kirtland Safety Society a type and shadow of something yet to come?

 

The Traveler

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Marion G Romney said "Our individual exaltation depends upon our proving to the Lord that we will at all hazards and under all circumstances faithfully discharge the trust he has placed in us...This promise is to come, however, only after “the Lord has thoroughly proved him, and finds that the man is determined to serve him at all hazards.””

With all this in consideration, I dropped out of school and jumped into the solar industry and have been given so many opportunities that can only be considered blessings from above. But while doing this, quote a few old people have pressured me to stop what I’m doing and go back to school. I have a slight fear in the back of my mind that an old bishop or EQ president is going to read “The Powers in the Priesthood” by Pres Oaks and feel “inspired” to tell me to go back to school. 

Doing that would be a disastrous decision that would set me back so far. I doubt I would follow that direction.

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4 hours ago, Traveler said:

36 That the rights of the priesthood are inseparably connected with the powers of heaven, and that the powers of heaven cannot be controlled nor handled only upon the principles of righteousness.

I'm really looking forward to when LDS physicists start to turn their attention to this question and try to learn a bit more about the nature of this connection and the means of control.

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1 hour ago, The Folk Prophet said:

What's the shift? What was the previous paradigm?

I have thought that if we "follow" the prophet we will get through any and all difficult circumstances unscathed.  I never thought it possible that we might ever need to forgive our divinyl called and inspired leaders.   Thinking in temporal or in worldly "terms" is not necessarily congruent with eternal spiritual things. 

 

The Traveler

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1 hour ago, Traveler said:

I have thought that if we "follow" the prophet we will get through any and all difficult circumstances unscathed.  I never thought it possible that we might ever need to forgive our divinyl called and inspired leaders.   Thinking in temporal or in worldly "terms" is not necessarily congruent with eternal spiritual things. 

A remember that paradigm shift for me.  When I was a child, I looked to so many of the adults in my life with blind willingness to follow and blind idolization-- they could do no wrong.  

At age 9, I decided to read the Bible cover to cover myself.  By the time I got to Genesis 9, that picture of was thoroughly shattered.  Naked Noah, Lot sleeping with his kids, and all of the other messed up stuff that "my Primary teacher didn't tell me about THAT!".  Come Exodus, the people of Israel... on one hand I was like "can you please stop whining-- God just saved you 1 chapter ago!  And now you're whinging AGAIN.  Got literally sends you food from Heaven...and then you whine that you don't like it?  Quit being such babies!"   But then also...I ..I whine a lot.  I understand the fear of an empty belly, fear not knowing what's going on, fear of incoming danger... I get that.  

The going-into-the-wilderness theme repeats again and again in scripture.  Adam leaving Edem, Lot leaving Sodom, Moses leaving Egypt, Isrealites being scattered, latter-day Saints across the US.  Every time there is GREAT uncertainty of what's going to happen, pain, hungry bellies, death, and shattering outer turmoil.  Leaders during that time are lead by God, but they also are human and make mistakes.  Likewise are the humans that follow them, some growing strong through the fire, and some breaking and deserting.  We're not any different today either.  

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14 minutes ago, Jane_Doe said:

A remember that paradigm shift for me.  When I was a child, I looked to so many of the adults in my life with blind willingness to follow and blind idolization-- they could do no wrong.  

 

 

1 hour ago, Traveler said:

I have thought that if we "follow" the prophet we will get through any and all difficult circumstances unscathed.  I never thought it possible that we might ever need to forgive our divinyl called and inspired leaders.   Thinking in temporal or in worldly "terms" is not necessarily congruent with eternal spiritual things. 

 

The Traveler

You both make great points. I think as we get older we begin to see the "big picture" and realize that all of us, even people we still admire, are human and can make mistakes. 

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4484DC2A-1F2B-46B2-8D5F-F8FA0A106666.thumb.jpeg.aa4269b0973b5f9becde6e7459b06354.jpeg

I would love to have this framed in my home as a reminder of the love of money and apostasy.

Unfortunately, I can’t afford it, as it is worth more than gold.

https://ia800700.us.archive.org/9/items/MormonCurrency2ndEdition2015/MormonCurrency2nd Edition2015.pdf

Edited by mikbone

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3 hours ago, mikbone said:

4484DC2A-1F2B-46B2-8D5F-F8FA0A106666.thumb.jpeg.aa4269b0973b5f9becde6e7459b06354.jpeg

I would love to have this framed in my home as a reminder of the love of money and apostasy.

Unfortunately, I can’t afford it, as it is worth more than gold.

Some years ago, I was listening to one of the professors(of US History) where I worked mention 1837^. What happened in 1837? I asked. 'very serious depression' he answered(Perhaps he said recession, but I got the point ).  Your pic. brought that back. Anyway, interesting discussion, carry on.

Edited by lonetree

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4 hours ago, mikbone said:

4484DC2A-1F2B-46B2-8D5F-F8FA0A106666.thumb.jpeg.aa4269b0973b5f9becde6e7459b06354.jpeg

I would love to have this framed in my home as a reminder of the love of money and apostasy.

Unfortunately, I can’t afford it, as it is worth more than gold.

Seeing that the Kirkland safety society currency is valued at 2,453 times the US dollar makes me want to change to that currency instead.

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Your post reminded me of one of my favorite talks of all time.  

https://speeches.byu.edu/talks/curt-holman/raising-ebenezer-monument-remember/

Wherein the author also shared his reflections from travels to Nauvoo and Palmyra.  The following are 2 particularly insightful quotes from the talk

“In an address given to religious educators, President Spencer W. Kimball said that remember could be the most important word in the dictionary (see “Circles of Exaltation,” BYU summer school devotional address, 28 June 1968, 8). This is a strong statement that gives us pause to reflect on why a modern-day prophet would make such a deliberate and specific reference to the importance of one word. Today my comments will be centered on this very principle—more specifically, on the importance and value of remembering our own spiritual experiences and recognizing that these experiences, given to us by the Lord, have brought us to where each of us is today. In other words, by remembering we are raising our own Ebenezer.”

“Elder Steven E. Snow of the Quorum of the Seventy said:

When it comes to our own gospel progression, we cannot rely alone on our long-term memory. That is why in all our remembering we must remember to renew. Our testimonies must be continually fed with new spiritual experiences. [“Remembering and Renewing,” audio, BYU–Idaho devotional address, 12 September 2006]”  - Emphasis mine

 

 

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On 7/27/2019 at 9:17 PM, lonetree said:

Some years ago, I was listening to one of the professors(of US History) where I worked mention 1837^. What happened in 1837? I asked. 'very serious depression' he answered(Perhaps he said recession, but I got the point ).  Your pic. brought that back. Anyway, interesting discussion, carry on.

This economic disaster hit all of the USA and Europe as well.  I believe it turned many desperate hearts to leave their homelands to come to "Zion".  I believe it fueled both conversions and willingness to build something new.  I have pondered that my Danish ancestors were, in part willing to leave their homeland because of this economic downfall.  Even though it thinned out a great number of the founding Saints - far more came, willing to sacrifice everything to build up Zion.

I wonder if history will repeat itself.  And when it does and I lose everything - will I remain and continue to build up Zion (as @The Folk Prophet recognized - I am quite old) - starting over would not work well for me.  As a side note - The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has become the largest owner of land in Missouri.  I am convinced that not only ought we remember our humble past but to ponder what has been prophesied to come about in the Last-days as well.

 

The Traveler

Edited by Traveler

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Shift:  How about this:

I grew up in a world where it was simply understood that we do not expose children to topics such as homosexuality and transgenderism.  If anything close to that came up in curriculum, schools were required to get a parent's signature for permission to cover such topics.

Today, it is considered evil if you would object to it.  People will burn crosses on your lawn and make death threats via phone, email, and snail mail.  Arsonists burn down churches that preach against such behavior.

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5 minutes ago, Mores said:

Shift:  How about this:

I grew up in a world where it was simply understood that we do not expose children to topics such as homosexuality and transgenderism.  If anything close to that came up in curriculum, schools were required to get a parent's signature for permission to cover such topics.

Today, it is considered evil if you would object to it.  People will burn crosses on your lawn and make death threats via phone, email, and snail mail.  Arsonists burn down churches that preach against such behavior.

That's for sure.  I wish I could post a photo that I saw on Twitter yesterday, but I'd be banned from these forums for life.  An art museum had a feminist display of unclothed female torsos in poses that one would normally see only in a gynecologist's office.  The museum brought in some young boys to teach them something (I have no idea what).  The looks on their faces were highly amusing, sort of like the reaction you'd see if you asked young boys to lick the inside of a horse's ear.  One Twitter post claimed that this display probably turned some of the boys gay.  The low-hanging fruits of progressive teachings can get pretty low indeed.

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On 7/27/2019 at 5:39 PM, Traveler said:

I have thought that if we "follow" the prophet we will get through any and all difficult circumstances unscathed.  I never thought it possible that we might ever need to forgive our divinyl called and inspired leaders.

... unless a prophet/bishop/etc teaches a false doctrine and leads the believers astray.  Then
you must forgive this transgression but remove the error.

Gale

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1 hour ago, GaleG said:

... unless a prophet/bishop/etc teaches a false doctrine and leads the believers astray.  Then
you must forgive this transgression but remove the error.

Gale

I'm not really concerned about false doctrine being taught.  The standard for "false doctrine" today seems to be equivalent to a typo.  I don't let my adherence to prophetic counsel hinge on such minutiae.  I first concern myself with the overall message.  I pray to know that it is taking me closer to the Lord rather than away from it.

As long as I get a confirmation that it is taking me closer to the Lord, then I do it.  The details?  Blah...  The whole point of getting away from the Law of Moses was that we are guided by principles rather than adherence to the exact wording of a phrase.  The words of which may or may not be important.

Then, after I understand the principles, I pray to know how to apply the principles in my life.  I pray about it.  I compare what I've come to understand vs the words which he spoke.  Then I pray again.

The relationship between Saint, God, and Prophet, is not a direct line.  It is a triangle, with God at the top, and the Saint and the Prophet as partners.

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Sometimes we see things framed around our individual lives.  This is referred to as not seeing "The Big Picture".  Sometimes we see things framed around the moment in which we experience it.  This is referred to as a lack of "eternal" perspective.  We are told in scripture to have faith and be believing and that all things will turn our for our good.  Despite all the hardships and difficulties (failures) of the Saints from New York to Nauvoo - moving west to the Utah (Deseret) territories removed the Saints from the exploits of the civil war that could have been exponentially worse.  The economic depression of 1837 that caused the failure of the Kirtland Safety Society also devastated Europe and was a factor that helped convince thousands of newly converted Saints to leave their homelands, culture, families and kith and kin to journey almost in blind faith to the barron confines of the Western mountain desert to start a new life.

Starting a handcart company late in the summer with minimal provisions was a mistake that costs lives.  But the Willis and Martin handcart companies buried their loved ones and pressed on.  Looking back into history we may wonder why so many apostatised in Kirtland (even among the first presidency and apostles) during the Kirtland Safety Society desister but for those that endured and went on are remembered and revered.  Those that gave up and quit are mostly forgotten.  And so I wonder - how will our great grandchildren and their children remember our generation?  Did we succumb to the moment or will we be among those that achieved the greater prize?

 

The Traveler 

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20 minutes ago, Traveler said:

Starting a handcart company late in the summer with minimal provisions was a mistake that costs lives.  But the Willis and Martin handcart companies buried their loved ones and pressed on.  Looking back into history we may wonder why so many apostatised in Kirtland (even among the first presidency and apostles) during the Kirtland Safety Society desister but for those that endured and went on are remembered and revered.  Those that gave up and quit are mostly forgotten.  And so I wonder - how will our great grandchildren and their children remember our generation?  Did we succumb to the moment or will we be among those that achieved the greater prize?

A very noble thought.  But I wonder if our great-grandchildren will remember our generation at all.  A few years ago I visited Salt Lake City and stopped off at the Family History Library, where a very nice man spent 90 minutes with me helping me dig up my roots.  He confessed that some people came in and didn't even know their grandparents' full names, which I found astonishing.  I'm afraid the generation of 2019 will be known only namelessly as a society of fools who thought we could generate prosperity by borrowing trillions of dollars and paying the interest to rich people and foreign countries.  

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8 minutes ago, Texan said:

A very noble thought.  But I wonder if our great-grandchildren will remember our generation at all.  A few years ago I visited Salt Lake City and stopped off at the Family History Library, where a very nice man spent 90 minutes with me helping me dig up my roots.  He confessed that some people came in and didn't even know their grandparents' full names, which I found astonishing.  I'm afraid the generation of 2019 will be known only namelessly as a society of fools who thought we could generate prosperity by borrowing trillions of dollars and paying the interest to rich people and foreign countries.  

I see from your profile you are Southern Baptist.  I use to think of such as somewhat of an enemy.  I am a scientist and engineer (evolutionists) in the field of industrial automation and robotics as well as devout LDS.  I am a 5 generation Latter-day Saint.  I grew up hearing the stories of my ancestors and I have a very strong spiritual bond with my great grandfather whom I was named after.  Some years ago I worked with a very devout Southern Baptist that was the plant manager of a plant I was brought in to automate.  It was a little rocky at first but we became great friends until he passed.  But he did not know much of his ancestors.  I am convinced that liking youth to their ancestors is critical in our age to keeping them interested in religion.  When I visit with my grandchildren I have found that they all love to hear stories of their ancestors.  I have pictures of all my ancestors back for 5 generations and stories from their journals.  Such treasures are greater than gold.

 

The Traveler 

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