Comments about ‘Linda & Richard Eyre: Defining ourselves; tell them who we are’

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Published: Friday, June 22 2012 5:00 a.m. MDT

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JoeBlow
Far East USA, SC

Fair enough.

However, the LDS definition will not be taken seriously until it is forthcoming concerning past issues.

You cannot color some pieces of history to suit your narrative and expect to be the go-to source for all things LDS.

There are usually 2 sides to every story, and the truth typically lies somewhere in between.

One can look at Fair and Farms. At least they will acknowledge some of the stickier issues, albeit with an admittedly skewed point of view (which is understandable).

What I do not understand is that there are many LDS who are completely unaware of some of the history which does not paint the LDS church in a good light. How does one dedicate their life (and the staunch LDS certainly do that) to a religion and be content to only look at the positives.

I think the LDS would love to leave it at "the LDS are good people, good neighbors with great families who hold Jesus Christ at the center of their teachings."

Sorry, but people will delve deeper.

skeptic
Phoenix, AZ

JoeBlow is correct, the church needs to let the truth surface and reveal the reality of the church history and Mormonism. Presently the LDS church is one big international corporation political public relations machine that twists and turns issues and truths to its own means to produce shifting contrived models of what will appeal as authoritarian and compelling to members and convert recruits. Tell the truth and let the truth speak for itself. It would be better coming and being told by the church rather from all the other sources in today's electronic information society.

dr.bridell
mclean, VA

Hooray! Finally a website where faithful "regular" members of the LDS Church can tell their stories. There seem to be so many sites where those who have left or become disaffected with the Church have a voice. About time that practicing members can define themselves rather than having others define them incorrectly!

Twin Lights
Louisville, KY

Joe Blow and Skeptic,

I always find it odd that folks find the church unforthcoming on these issues. I have been a member for 37 years now and am aware of about every controversy that makes these posts.

I find the church does address these. From my days in Institute until now. Does it preach these from the pulpit? Depends actually. But the data is available to any and all who want to study.

The church is also active in getting more information out there (e.g. the Joseph Smith Papers). You have already addressed FAIR and FARMS (not official but sanctioned if nothing else).

In as much as I do dedicate my life to the church, do I do so ignorant of the issues? No. Do others? Some perhaps. But most of those I know are well aware of the controversies; they just choose not to focus on them.

They have felt inspired in their association with the church and feel called to serve in whatever capacity they can. Having determined the church is true, they don’t feel the need to constantly be reassessing their position. They just move forward to help where they can.

JoeBlow
Far East USA, SC

Twin,

The LDS are cautioned against looking at non faith-promoting material. These kinds of issues ARE non faith-promoting and are certainly not taught.

Yes, the information is available if one searches it out, but it not readily available (if available at all) from official church sources. If my examples are available, please show me where

A couple of examples.

The Hinkley interview with Larry King is good one. While possibly not inaccurate, the answer(s) given were incomplete, leaving the curious to delve deeper elsewhere.

Here is another example.

A couple of missionaries knocked on my door, and we had some discussions. The issue of polygamy was discussed and they gave the stock church answers. When I used the subject of polyandry to expand on what they had told my, they were unaware of it at all and challenged that this had taken place at all.

another one.

When the end of polygamy was announced, the practice continued by some, and was even presided over by high level church leaders. Easily learned and verified. However, I have been told I was wrong by unknowing members.

I think you will find the official sources less than forthcoming.

Twin Lights
Louisville, KY

Joe Blow,

Sure they are cautioned. But it doesn't mean they don't get a full dose of it anyway from family, friends, the community, the web, etc. Some of my earliest introductions were through Institute. For an official example look at the MMM and the 2007 Ensign article by Richard Turley.

I agree the King interview is incomplete doctrinally (though not surprisingly so). The basic doctrine on this in the scriptures, history, and hymns and is inescapable. The question regarding exactly what that means precisely and when is more open (to which Pres. Hinckley's comments allude).

I do not hold myself out as an historian. I have read a bit about the various instances of polyandry. Most (not likely all) seem to have a separation between the eternal sealing and the mortal marriage.

As to polygamy continuing. Sure. Do folks now still hold opinions or practice contrary to what the prophets teach (even a few in leadership)? Yep. We take it on the chin for being a church with top down management but when someone breaks from the herd it is evidence of duplicity by top leaders. The church can't win on that one.

JoeBlow
Far East USA, SC

Twin,

I understand what you are saying and agree with most.

But I continually hear that "if people want to know about us and what we believe go to mormon dot org."
Certainly, you would agree that you will not get a full picture, you will get the official church positions.

When talking about polygamy, the church would say that it was "revealed" to Joseph Smith. Further digging could lead someone to think that just possibly it was the result of a more basic human need, if you get my drift.

My point is that if you ONLY ask the church, or only search on church websites, you will get a very incomplete or sanitized view.

Another example

1) Eleven people claim to have seen the golden plates.

2) Some of those witnesses later left the church. Some later claim that they only saw them with their "spiritual eyes"

See how both statement above are true, but you will not find about about #2 from the LDS Church.

If you were evaluating evidence in a courtroom, both pieces above would be critical.

That's why courts allow testimony from both sides.

sharrona
layton, UT

Twin lights: I always find it odd that folks find the church unforthcoming on these issues. I have been a member for 37 years now and am aware of about every controversy that makes these posts.I find the church does address these. From my days in Institute until now. Does it preach these from the pulpit? Depends actually. But the data is available to any and all who want to study?
Hugh B Brown says in his published memoirs that many church revelations were actually thrashed out by the top authorities. The Brown memoirs provide an authoritative glimpse in to an abortive attempt to lift the ban on blacks in the priesthood nearly a decade before the change was announced as a revelation in 1978. Brown says in his book that it came close in the late 60’s to winning approval

JoeBlow
Far East USA, SC

Sharonna,

That would make perfect sense. The "revelations" as I see them are just some wise decisions that were past due. Any good businessman would have suggested the same things (ie, blacks in the priesthood and the end of polygamy.)

One might think that if they were true revelation, god would have had the wisdom and insight to make them BEFORE there were public outcry's or statehood issues.

I certainly believe that the leaders of the LDS church are for the most part, very wise men. But I have seen no indication that they had any "help"

Twin Lights
Louisville, KY

JoeBlow,

Okay, but it’s kind of the 80/20 rule (maybe 90/10). If you want to know the vast majority of what we believe and act on daily, it's there. The things we are talking about are somewhat on the periphery of LDS belief (as in not things we tend to concern ourselves with daily).

Reference Joseph, it may be that thoughts came before revelation, but I think the revelation was still there (and before the action).

Reference spiritual eyes - I have read that reference Martin Harris (one of the Three Witnesses). Assuming that is what you are talking about, the point that he was unaware if it was with his physical or spiritual eyes is reasonable. Think of Paul in 2 Cor. 12 "whether in the body, I cannot tell; or whether out of the body, I cannot tell".

Sharrona,

Peter had received a vision and the Holy Ghost fell on others reference the Gentiles (Acts 10). But then in figuring out what to require of them (Galations 2) the apostles worked some things out and then reneged. So, they had to talk (thrash) it all out again.

Some things don't change.

sharrona
layton, UT

RE: Twin Lights, he was unaware if it was with his physical or spiritual eyes is reasonable?

2Cor 12,…whether I was in my body or outside my body. But I do know that I was caught up to paradise and heard things so astounding that they cannot be expressed in words, things no human is allowed to tell.

Paul was not sure if there was separation from the body(out of body experience) when he was “caught up” to heaven, He was not allowed to explain it.

RE: A prophet, from the Greek (profétés)"advocate", is an INDIVIDUAL(not corporate) who is claimed to have been contacted by the supernatural or the divine. Like( Genesis 50:33 JST) JS is inspired to prophecize himself.
(Luke 16:16)The law and the prophets were until John. The Office of Prophet ended with John the Baptist.

Apostles(apostolos) messengers ,Peter Paul… etc. The twelve disciples chosen by Jesus for special training.
God has placed in the church First of all apostles, Second prophets, third teachers…(1Cor 12:28)The apostles WERE the first line of authority in the N.T.

shardy
IRVING, TX

Twin lights: I am a life-long member and an active member. I don't think that the church is very forthcoming about its history. It is one thing to mention something in passing... it is another entirely to discuss it. Take polygamy. Think of how many sacrament meetings, seminary lessons (By the way, I teach seminary), sunday school lessons, Priesthood lessons, it must be thousands of meetings and lessons that I have attended. Not one time have I been party to a frank and careful discussion about polygamy. There have been many times that the fact that Mormons practiced polygamy was mentioned and that early Mormons were persecuted for practicing it. We are told to take inspiration from their obedience. But, I don't think that I have ever heard an honest and open discussion of why/who/when, etc. Ask your teenaged kids about it. (Their friends do.) Especially the why. Then there is the African-American Priesthood ban. Yes, we hear all the time about the 1978 relevation, but have you ever been party to a frank, thorough, and careful assessment of why/when? Again the why is the deal. No discussions, ever.

Twin Lights
Louisville, KY

Shardy,

I have been in very wide ranging discussions of both polygamy and the priesthood. Reference the latter, my membership predates the 1978 revelation and we had a black family in our ward. The father had great insights to offer and I went to him for help in understanding the ban (I was a recent convert). I also remember the day of the revelation and the day that man was ordained. It was electric.

Given that neither of these are part of current practice, it would be rather odd for us to focus on them to the exclusion of other things that we need to be sure are part of our day to day life. The rest are really history lessons.

Sharrona,

The obvious point is Paul was not sure how he experienced this.

If the office of prophet ended with John, why are they referred to later in the NT? Also, where are the apostles if not here?

The scripture you cite is reference what is preached the law and the prophets being a way of referring to certain books of the OT. I would assume you know this.

skeptic
Phoenix, AZ

Twin Lights,

Sweeping uncomfortable questions and unexplained history under the rug will not strengthen the church or benefit members believe, it just leaves the church vulnerable to doubt and more question. The church should address the questions and answer its history in truth and fact. In today's information world more and more facts and history is being discovered and shared about Mormonism and its origen. It only makes the church look bad for not having disclosed information and facts. It is similar to the many years that the Catholic church tried to keep information and Bibles from members with the reason that only priest had a need or right to know and they would tell the members what was needed for them to know.

sharrona
layton, UT

Twin Lights:
RE: The scripture you cite is reference what is preached the law and the prophets being a way of referring to certain books of the OT. [Luke 24:44]. No, different context.
All the Prophets and the law prophesied until John.(Mt 11:13) The ministry of John the Baptist was the dividing point between and the O.T. and N.T. . In the past God spoke to our ancestors through the prophets at many times and in various ways, 2 but in these last days(latter days) he has spoken to us by his Son((Hebrew 1:1,2).

RE: Where are the apostles if not here? The wall of the city had twelve foundations, and on them were the names of the (only) twelve apostles of the Lamb.(Rev 21:14). heaven

RE: The obvious point is Paul was not sure how he experienced this. Wrong, Paul entered paradise and was told NOT to talk about the details of his experience. Spiritual eyes, probably a deceiving spirit

Semi-Strong
Louisville, KY

The alter ego of Twin Lights . . .

Sharrona,

I agree that John is the demarcation point. Surely you know there were more than 12 apostles (12 at one time, but more than 12 total). Why not today (if you discount the LDS)? Also, you did not address prophets mentioned in the NT. Both prophets and apostles should still be here among us.

I get that Paul could not talk about it, but he still was not sure exactly how he experienced it. I checked a couple of translations. They all agree.

Skeptic,

In my posts I have been trying to say (perhaps unsuccessfully) that I don't think these things have been swept under the rug. And I agree that doing so can leave folks vulnerable which is why I talk about them.

As to the church answering the questions, some questions change as the discovery of the history changes (a text is found, another is shown to be fraudulent). I think the church makes a broad vs. narrow defense, focuses on the spiritual lives of the members, and leaves the fact finding and arguing to the historians.

BTW, I was raised Catholic. It is nothing like Catholicism was.

skeptic
Phoenix, AZ

Simi-Strong,

Things are not exactly as you present them: The church has not presented all the facts and history that they have documented and access to. As you know these posts are censored by a LDS publication so that any real controversial or too challenging facts are not permitted. Other wise posters could provide you and other readers with information and helpful references, but you can do your own research if you really wish to have a deeper understanding of Mormonism.

You also state: BTW, I was raised Catholic. It is nothing like Catholicism was. You may have been raised in a later generation in the USA. Do a little research of earlier generations in Latin America, etc. Intelligence is the glory of man; too bad there are those who try cloak it for their own purpose.

Semi-Strong
Louisville, KY

Skeptic,

It seems to me the clear trend has been to release more and more electronically. I think that will continue.

I read around. I think I can get any references I need with a quick search. The internet is full of stuff like that. I have seen a good number of the charges made. Most amounts to hyperbole in my estimation.

I am okay with folks being human and (therefore) imperfect. Certainly the original apostles were. Yet, they were the leaders chosen by Christ.

Reference Catholicism. I am well aware of the history via reading, personal experience, and family history. My parents and parents in law lived it as well. I came of age right after Vatican II. My point being the LDS Church is not like the Catholicism you describe.

sharrona
layton, UT

RE:Semi-Strong Surely you know there were more than 12 apostles (12 at one time, but more than 12 total). Why not today (if you discount the LDS)?

3Nephi 28, says three of the disciple are still running around somewhere preaching the true gospel of Christ. They were to remain alive to the coming of the Lord. (D&C 7:1)says the Apostles John is still alive and on the earth somewhere( maybe Canada). So along with the LDS 12+4= 16 Mormon apostles today.

Jesus’s apostles were Jewish,(JoD V. 2 p. 142) Can you make a Christian of a Jew? I tell you Nay, If a Jew comes into this church ,and the blood honestly professes to be a Saint, a follower of Christ, and if the blood of Judah is in his veins, he will apostatize)

RE: but he still was not sure exactly how he experienced it. The difference Peter, confirms Paul,” our beloved brother Paul (2Peter 3:15). Not mystical. Last post by rule.

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