Comments about ‘LDS Church releases new volume of Joseph Smith documents’

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Published: Wednesday, Sept. 4 2013 2:31 p.m. MDT

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Alex 1
Tucson, AZ

I love this. I can't tell you how many times I've wanted to be able to look at unfiltered source material to gain greater insight. This allows the lay man like myself to do just that. The next project should be to create an academic version of the scriptures with footnotes citing source materials and images, as well editorial changes to the text. For instance, it would be neat to have original text in one font, and editorial changes and additions in italics. All of this, of course, with documentary footnotes and references.

Utes Fan
Salt Lake City, UT

"Although Woodford acknowledged that there are some things in the documents series “that on the surface may seem to be damaging” to faith".

How can this be??? I have been told 10,000 times by critics that the Church just hides and covers up this information.

KellyWSmith
Sparks, NV

I love seeing these papers come to light and reading them for the first time. I know there are those who have criticized the leadership of the church claiming they were "hiding" them all these years. The fact is that it is an enormous project and needed to be done the right way. The Benjamin Franklin Papers project has been going on since around 1954 (I think) and is still not done (as far as I know). It is so great to see things written in Joseph Smith's own handwriting! And the things he dictated are just as profound.

I salute the Church Leadership for bringing these things to light and putting down false ideas and rumors that have been spread around for years. These documents clarify many things that people have wondered about, and now the world will have access to all the information to help them find the answers they are looking for. I hope that this will lead to a better relationship with those who have fought against or left the church.

I know that is a big hope, but I can still hope can't I?

Happy Valley Heretic
Orem, UT

I wonder how many Hoffman originals will be included?

Leo Femedlers
El Paso, TX

I like the statement written in the article....

"You see him trying to figure out how to do this, figuring out how to be a prophet."

It is very insightful--and true. Anyone who has held a leadership position in this church knows that the qualities of leadership including decisionmaking are built upon as maturity within the calling occurs. Detractors would say otherwise.

Faith is an integral component of this religion, including faith in the leaders. They are not perfect and make mistakes. Fortunately for them (and us) the atonement provides second chances.

I look forward to this new insight into Joseph the Prophet's life.

Open Mind
Taylorsville, UT

I've read just a few lines of the Joseph Smith papers and I love the knowledge we gain from them. It is a proven fact that in this Church, the more educated a person is, the more likely he/she will never leave the Church. Knowledge is power. That is why President Hinckley pushed education, that is why we have special programs to fund education in the Church, that is why we are being given access to the Church History.

Sean Jackson
Salt Lake City, UT

I like what Leo said, but in addition to what he said I've been learning this lesson myself lately and I am not even in a leadership position.

It is a perfect work performed by imperfect people. The only reason to judge the work is because of hard feelings, not because of reason or intellect.

Our 'connection' with the spirit is like a computer. Our body is the hardware, our minds are the software, and we make choices that affect our ability to function. Some things cause physical harm, others cause mental harm. Our Heavenly Father may give us a set of instructions to follow in order to perform at 100% capacity. Judging the integrity of His instruction manual based on how much someone decides to follow the instructions isn't rational. As most of us recognize this, we can see that most criticism comes from hard feelings. It quickly becomes apparent how important our own conduct is not only for ourselves, but to help others.

When we correctly understand historical and spiritual truths, we see imperfections as a means to learn, not to harden our feelings or reject the truth.

Hutterite
American Fork, UT

If you accept that this stuff is truth based on faith, reason won't prove otherwise. Every MLM outfit knows that. And that's fine, if you want to buy in. But I do not accept the description of whatever little catch phrase it is can be assigned to those who don't accept this stuff as truth. I am a human being, free of this ideology at birth and free to stay that way, and if our society is delivering its' promise, that's all I need to be. Your party is welcome to continue. The righteousness you assign to it, whether as individuals or a group, is still only an assumption until it can be proven otherwise, and one into which I claim exclusion as my right.

Twin Lights
Louisville, KY

Hutterite,

Did I miss something? Was anyone saying to you (or anyone) that you had to accept this?

No problem remaining excluded if that is your wish. But then why are you here on this site?

donn
layton, UT

RE: Utes Fan, How can this be??? I have been told 10,000 times by critics that the Church just hides and covers up this information.

In my version of the, D&C 17:22,23 describes the communion service. The blessing of the bread and the blessing of the wine.

RE: Twin Lights, Can you show me where I might find verses 10—21?

KellyWSmith
Sparks, NV

@Donn, what version of the D&C are you reading from? There are only 9 verses in Section 17 of the D&C and that section has nothing to do with "the communion service."

And, @TwinLights did not reference any scripture, yet you want him to show you verses 10-21?

Very confusing.

Tators
Hyrum, UT

@ Happy Valley Heretic:

Set your mind and wonderings at ease. Due to the unprecedented level of scrutiny to detail using the very latest technology, there are not, nor will there be any Hoffman papers included.

@ Hutterite:

Having read your posts on many different online Deseret News articles, it's not a surprise that you once again declare your personal exclusion to anything religiously oriented that you deem as ideology. As far as it being a right, the average reader already knows and understands those very basic and inherent rights without further declaration.

Christ himself declared that the gospel He brought to mankind is faith-based and warned about those who are sign-seekers... those needing such "proof" before saying they would believe. That's not how a spiritual rebirth happens, nor will it ever be. Until a person obtains the humility to understand such spiritual principles, they will continue to be left out and will continue to lack those basic but required understandings. It has to come from the heart before it can be added to by the mind.

G L W8
SPRINGVILLE, UT

Those who promote reason over faith are, in reality, placing faith in reason or science alone rather than faith in God. Reason alone cannot answer the questions "where did we come from," "why are we here," and "where are we going after death?" There will be those who respond "of course reason can--we came out of an evolutionary state, we are here to live according to our reasoned knowledge, and we are at an end when we die." But they have little basis in fact to prove out their conclusions other than a set of extrapolated "truths" from limited scientific studies.
The fact is, there is no getting away from faith. Faith is all based on what an individual is willing to accept: faith in reason, faith in science, faith in God, or a combination of all three.
Publication of these papers will provide the fuel for all, regardless of where they stand, strengthening the faith of the believer, and giving reason for doubt on those holding faith in reason alone.

donn
layton, UT

RE; KellyWSmith, There are only 9 verses in Section 17 of the D&C and that section has nothing to do with "the communion service."

An earlier D&C 17:23,”O God the Eternal Father, we ask thee in the name of thy Son Jesus Christ to bless and sanctify this wine to the souls of all those who drink of it, that they may do it remembrance of the blood of thy Son which was shed for them, that they may witness unto thee, O God, the eternal Father, that they do always remember him ,that they may have his Spirit to be with them. Amen”

They were edited like ,i.e, The original A of F #8 We believe in the Word of God recorded in the Bible; we also believe the Word of God recorded in the Book of Mormon, and in all other good books. See current #8.

I asked Twin lights about the edited verses in the past he has responded to my questions and might know.

Daniel Leifker
San Francisco, CA

As someone (I forget who) once said, one wonders what the major religions of the world would be like if the founders had lived after the invention of the printing press.

Twin Lights
Louisville, KY

KellyWSmith,

Thank you. I was confused.

Donn,

Check the FairMormon site under Doctrine and Covenants Textural Changes. Should tell you about changes. Please understand, I am no historian.

Reference the sacrament prayers. These are in D&C 20, verses 77 and 79. Check the online version maintained by the church. It is searchable.

zoar63
Mesa, AZ

Donn,

This revelation was given in August of 1830

To:Joseph Smith

Place:Harmony, Pennsylvania

"LISTEN to the voice of Jesus Christ, your Lord, your God, and your Redeemer, whose word is quick and powerful.
For, behold, I say unto you, that it mattereth not what ye shall eat or what ye shall drink when ye partake of the sacrament, if it so be that ye do it with an eye single to my glory--remembering unto the Father my body which was laid down for you, and my blood which was shed for the remission of your sins". D&C 27:1-2

Do you have a month and date on the earlier D&C 17:23?

Diligent Dave
Logan, UT

I am an active and faithful member of the (LDS) Church. That these things in the Joseph Smith Papers Project are now being brought to light, IMO, is wonderful. However, in the last decade or so, being online, discussing, and yes, even disputing with anti-Mormons, whether they previously were LDS or not, I have learned many valuable lessons. One of them is that sometimes (not all of the time, or even necessarily most of the time), but sometimes in their criticisms of the LDS Church and/or members of it, they are correct. Now, that does NOT mean their end conclusions are correct. But, occasionally, here and there, they state the truth, and we as members, and yes, occasionally even the Church's 'official' position can be in error.

Now, again, I do not subscribe to all or even most of what our critics claim. But, there is some "smoothing over", and yes, even some "sanitizing" of accounts so hard to explain things don't have to be explained. That said, while the new tomes are very much welcome and helpful, all, whether on our side, or theirs, is taken on faith, either in man or God.

Cinci Man
FT MITCHELL, KY

@Hutterite
It's only a suggestion, which you will likely choose to continue to ignore, but you choice blocks you from one of the most incredible experiences of life - that of learning to lean on the Spirit for heavenly enlightenment. Even Jesus taught in John 16, that he must leave, so that the Spirit could come to His apostles. He taught them that they must learn to rely on faith and the Spirit to obtain divine knowledge. You can be likened to a horse brought to the water, yet refuses to drink. An ostrich with its head in the ground also comes to mind. We grant you your right to avoid a source of truth, and we appreciate your granting us the privilege of seeking the Spirit, but your position doesn't negate the power and peace that comes to those who follow Christ. If I do not awaken in the next life, I will not know that I was wrong. But your position runs the risk that you can only awaken to a knowledge that you were wrong. If you are right, you'll never know it.

Diligent Dave
Logan, UT

To add to my previous comment, let me say that one reason why what anti-Mormons or just critics of what Mormons do and say, and what the Church does are sometimes valuable is this, they help keep us awake and thinking, and sometimes even helping us correct our thinking, and what we say and do. Truly, there must needs be "opposition in all things".

Yes, by far and away, most of the time that distractors distract, they do so for the purpose of beguiling the naive, and even maligning the upright. But, sometimes, they have a valid point.

One thing I have found interesting to me is that I, as a conservative, and not a typical one at that, am always published in the other SL paper, whereas in this organ, I am not only constrained by word count, but also by censors who assiduously work to make sure "no one is offended", and, IMO, I am often extremely offended. I don't believe, for example, that much of what Jesus of Nazareth said would get through the censors of this organ. And the time drag caused waiting approvals greatly stifles conversation.

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