Defending the Faith: The Council of Fifty and Mormon history

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  • sharrona layton, UT
    Sept. 25, 2017 2:59 p.m.

    RE: Craig Clark. “Elohim”.

    The Shema( Deut 6:4). The *LORD our God(Elohim) is one=(echad )* LORD: *Yhovah = "the existing One" A. the proper name of the one true God of Israel “

    let *US”= (poismen) …*OUR =(hÉmeteros)’image’ (Genesis 1:26 LXX) Verse. 27 And God made man, according to the image ’of God=( Theou= singular).

    “Another glimpse into the Trinity provides a dialogue during the period of creation. God speaks to God saying, “Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness”.

    It is significant because this isn’t true of any other created thing. Only man is created in the(moral) image of God. E.g..,

    In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word(Logos=Jesus) was God.. (John 1:1 NIV) What is the origin of the things that are made? ”en arche” meaning as “the first cause.” “In the beginning” is referring to Genesis – “In the beginning.” (Gen1 1:1 LXX)

  • Craig Clark Boulder, CO
    Sept. 25, 2017 1:49 p.m.

    CMTM,
    "In Hebrew the form of the word Elohim, with the ending -im, which normally indicates a masculine plural, however with Elohim the construction is usually grammatically SINGULAR grammatically plural when used of pagan divinities"
    ____________________
    This is only difficult when we complicate it. Simply put, Elohim is a linguistic remnant of pre-Mosaic Israelite religion which was polytheist. Its usage was assimilated into post-Sinai monotheistic belief but its presence there to begin with are the fingerprints of an earlier age.

  • Johnny Triumph Salt Lake City, UT
    Sept. 25, 2017 1:49 p.m.

    This is a fascinating discussion, please continue. I have little to offer on this subject other than my faith leads me in the right direction. I appreciate the comment that yes, it's too easy to Monday Morning QB. I spent several days at Martin's Cove a few weeks ago. It's too easy to second guess the choices made in any situation but, having been there and learned more of those handcart companies, they just wanted to get to Zion and were willing to sacrifice everything in that attempt. I fear that today we have too little that we actually sacrifice for our religion, that it's very easy to appear on the right side of things while we really aren't. Understanding those who faced sacrifice in our past will help us determine where we can and should sacrifice. Seeing Nephi's hesitation to kill Laban, the teaching moment that happened right then, and that he had faith to follow that revelation are a great learning example for us.

    Again, I'm not the theologian so have little to offer. But I'm very glad I've been able to read this comment board.

  • CMTM , 00
    Sept. 25, 2017 8:03 a.m.

    RE: Arcsin Rivos. "things were recorded and presented in Church history." E,g….,

    History of the Church v. 6 p.476,” In the very beginning the bible shows there is a plurality of Gods. Beyond the power of refutation”. Genesis 1:1 Greek LXX In the beginning God (*o Theos, Grk. 2316). Clearly God, not Gods. *Nominative singular article.

    ( H of C, 1844),“Eloheim is from the word Eloi, God is singular number; and by adding the word heim ,it renders it Gods.” ? In Hebrew the form of the word Elohim, with the ending -im, which normally indicates a masculine plural, however with Elohim the construction is usually grammatically SINGULAR grammatically plural when used of pagan divinities (Psalms 96:5; 97:7). See H # 430 Strong’s KJV .E.g…,God (2,346x), god (244x), judge (5x), GOD (1x), goddess

  • marxist Salt Lake City, UT
    Sept. 23, 2017 6:20 p.m.

    Territorial Utah had Council of Fifty government.

  • Arcsin Rivos San Antonio, TX
    Sept. 23, 2017 9:42 a.m.

    Re: CMTM
    Thank you for your comment in the discussion. You are correct in that God uses Abraham's experience as a demonstration of faith. The passage written by Paul in Hebrews highlights that Abraham reasoned (NIV) or accounted (KJV) to be able to raise Isaac from the dead. True and beautiful. Incredible faith. I am just saying that you can have these convictions and still initially or even later question that the interpretations of the revelation was correct. We don't know from the record if Abraham questioned the revelation to slay his son. We do have record that Nephi questioned the revelation to slay Laban. Perhaps that's a better example of what I am trying to say - warning critics of those who were and are leading the Church then and now that just because a revelation seems so clear and fitting does not mean those in the moment getting the revelation those recording and making thought of it that way. In short while it is good to question things - how things happened or how things were recorded and presented in Church history - we must avoid being "Monday morning quarterbacks". Thoughts?

  • CMTM , 00
    Sept. 23, 2017 8:04 a.m.

    RE: Arcsin Rivos . Abraham’s faith was such that, even if he had sacrificed Isaac, he believed the Lord would keep His word and raise Isaac from the dead (Hebrews 11:17–19). e.g..., God uses Abraham’s faith as an example of the type of faith required for salvation “Abram believed the LORD, and he credited it to him as righteousness.” (Genesis 15:6)

    (D&C 132:7) Abraham received concubines, and they bore him children; and it was accounted unto him for righteousness)?
    VS, … Abraham believed God, and it was accounted to him for righteousness .(Gal 3:6)

  • Arcsin Rivos San Antonio, TX
    Sept. 23, 2017 12:18 a.m.

    I feel that many who criticize the Church leaders for how they wrote their manuals, ledgers, and the information within them, are resting the criticisms on some very bold assumptions: that the critic would have done things differently and that God would only do things in a way that is conducive to how the critic would. There must be instances in anyone's history of choices that were wrong or not in accordance with God's will. But there must be instances in anyone's history of choices that, to those outside of that person's mind, seem wrong. Think of this familiar example: Can you imagine being told through revelation to sacrifice one of your children ... like Abraham? As outsiders, we have all this history, doctrine, and frankly distance (in time and culture) from that event that help us look and say, "Wow, that father and son really had faith in God." However, I don't know about you, but I think I would have thought I was crazy if a revelation (be it an impression, vision, dream, or visitation) told me to kill one of my children. I challenge us to question the assumptions we make about how we think God "must" lead his servants and how we "would" do something if we were in charge.

  • joe5 South Jordan, UT
    Sept. 22, 2017 10:58 a.m.

    What recourse do a people have when the state government, instead of protecting citizens from mobbers becomes, in fact, the mobbers themselves. That is what happened in Missouri.

    US Constitution Article 1 Section 8 states that the federal government has power: "To provide for calling forth the Militia to execute the Laws of the Union, suppress Insurrections and repel Invasions." Instead of invoking this power, the federal government, despite five years of pleas, said they could do nothing.

    Historically, this power lay dormant until the 1950s civil rights movement. Finally the feds interceded to protect citizens from the abuses of their state governments.

    In reaction to their Missouri experience, the Mormons negotiated the Nauvoo charter and other concessions to protect their people. But Illinois violated their own agreements, as governments are wont to do, and abetted violence and abuses against its own citizens.

    Today, unfortunately, we see abuses by not only state governments but the feds as well. Who will protect us from them?

  • Bikedude Salt Lake City, UT
    Sept. 22, 2017 10:56 a.m.

    @mhenshaw
    I don't think we should condone violence, whether it is at Mountain Meadows, or Carthage Jail...
    I do take issue with the ongoing "squeaky clean" version of early church history continuing to be front and center. Our young people, find out the real story on the internet, and feel lied to. That feeling of betrayal (real of imagined) becomes more of an impediment to faith than any events from our past.

  • CMTM , 00
    Sept. 22, 2017 10:31 a.m.

    RE: Mhenshaw. “If your "religious views" include polygamy, you are going to have a hard time finding a place where those views are respected, then and now. “
    True,
    D&C 101: 4,”Inasmuch as this Church of Christ(JS) has been reproached with the crime of fornication and polygamy, we declare that we believe that one man should have one wife, and one woman but one husband”, also "(H of C, vol. 2, pg. 247 August 1835.)

    This scripture remained in the LDS canon until 1876,The general body of the church were informed about polygamy in 1852, at which time many practiced it because leaders like Brigham professed the necessity of it for exaltation. Since ( July 1843), contradicted 101:4, It was removed in 1876, when section 132 was placed in the new edition.

  • mhenshaw Leesburg, VA
    Sept. 22, 2017 10:11 a.m.

    >>If your "religious views" include polygamy, you are going to have a hard time finding a place where those views are respected, then and now.

    The Constitution doesn't require you to respect another person's religious beliefs. It does require that you don't become a vigilante and murder a person, or abrogate their liberties and destroy their property because you don't like their religion.

    Disrespecting others' beliefs is no justification for taking the law into one's own hands, then or now.

  • mhenshaw Leesburg, VA
    Sept. 22, 2017 10:04 a.m.

    >>Alarmed that the Legion looked increasingly like Joseph Smith’s private army, Illinois began to reassess the Charter as a bad solution to a very real problem.

    The "very real problem" was that the state and the federal governments themselves were unwilling to do what was necessary to protect an unpopular minority. "Your cause is just but I can do nothing for you."

    Feckless government enforcement of the law is an invitation to mob rule; and when the government outright tells a minority it can't or won't protect their lives, liberties, and property from mob rule, it shouldn't be surprised when that minority tries to protect itself.

  • Bikedude Salt Lake City, UT
    Sept. 22, 2017 9:33 a.m.

    ..."trying to establish a system and a place where the rights of all would be respected, regardless of their religious views. Frontier Illinois was clearly not such a place".

    If your "religious views" include polygamy, you are going to have a hard time finding a place where those views are respected, then and now.

  • Craig Clark Boulder, CO
    Sept. 22, 2017 9:29 a.m.

    Third try screen name,
    “The Nauvoo Charter worked pretty well for the Saints, and it was taken away."
    ____________________
    The Nauvoo Charter was an attempt by the Illinois legislature to avoid the same mistakes Missouri made in dealing with the Mormons which ended in Governor Bogg’s infamous extermination order. The idea was to accommodate Mormons by allowing them a greater degree of self-governing autonomy than other Illinois citizens enjoyed.

    Its intentions were good and seemed like a practical solution. But in time, tensions mounted between Mormons and their new neighbors. The Nauvoo Legion swelled to a force close to 5,000 (twice the size of the Illinois militia). Alarmed that the Legion looked increasingly like Joseph Smith’s private army, Illinois began to reassess the Charter as a bad solution to a very real problem.

  • Third try screen name Mapleton, UT
    Sept. 22, 2017 9:01 a.m.

    In his book, "Spencer's Letters," Orson Spencer concluded with a scathing rebuke of the federal government in his Farewell Address.

    It sums up the sentiment of the times.

    The Nauvoo Charter worked pretty well for the Saints, and it was taken away.

    The problem the Saints had with Washington is with us today. Federal laws are used as weapons against people, but fail to deliver relief when called upon. They would get you for treason, but not provide freedom of worship.

    Even after the Civil War, the Saints didn't feel much love from a more powerful Washington DC.

  • Craig Clark Boulder, CO
    Sept. 22, 2017 8:28 a.m.

    The secrecy under which the council of fifty operated adds to the suspicion that it was a shadow government that in due course would be brought out into the open. That may sound to some like anti-Mormon hysteria but it was not an entirely irrational fear given Joseph’s flare for big ideas and ambitions which some found grandiose if not outright dangerous.