Hate to be rude but.... Version 2.0

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Wisdom Seeker
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Hate to be rude but.... Version 2.0

Post by Wisdom Seeker »

It was from one of my very first posts here about a month ago that I ran into the smart-ass apologetic rhetoric which kept me away for a while. In my “Hate to be rude…” post, I asked for dialog with your not so typical smart-ass apologists and for the most part I think it was much more enlightening than seeing who has imaginative photo-shop skills.

On to my next question, and please those smart-ass apologists who were so kind to stay out of the original “Hate to be rude” post, please find other posts to comment on.

Question:
With so many members being incorrectly taught all of their lives that the Prophet was infallible, not necessarily in his life but in running his church, how else should members react when they come to the realization that not only did the Prophet(s) make mistakes in their life but also in the establishment of God’s church?

I think the apologists and critics agreed (from the other post) that God would not step in and correct the mistakes made by the Mormon Prophets in establishing the church. Then why should critics of the church be looked upon with such disregard by members, unless those members actually believe that the Prophet and his church are truly without any error.

ttribe

Re: Hate to be rude but.... Version 2.0

Post by ttribe »

Two things - 1) critics don't always go out of their way to handle these issues in an appropriate manner (see Steve Benson); and 2) we have a cultural problem within the membership of the Church that defaults to believing any one who loses/lost belief must (by definition) be a S-I-N-N-E-R. This second one must change. The first one is an individual issue.

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The Nehor
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Re: Hate to be rude but.... Version 2.0

Post by The Nehor »

Wisdom Seeker wrote:With so many members being incorrectly taught all of their lives that the Prophet was infallible, not necessarily in his life but in running his church, how else should members react when they come to the realization that not only did the Prophet(s) make mistakes in their life but also in the establishment of God’s church?


Wait, when was this taught? My parents did not teach me this and I can't remember any time at Church being taught this.

I think the apologists and critics agreed (from the other post) that God would not step in and correct the mistakes made by the Mormon Prophets in establishing the church. Then why should critics of the church be looked upon with such disregard by members, unless those members actually believe that the Prophet and his church are truly without any error.


I think there is a margin of error allowed that will not allow the saints to go astray while following the Prophet while allowing the Prophet to be human and make mistakes and learn from them.

I will say that these errors are not corrected by the blathering of critics so their criticism is useless. We disregard critics because they don't believe in Priesthood keys or judge the Prophet by what he is, not what critics imagine we think he is.
"Surely he knows that DCP, The Nehor, Lamanite, and other key apologists..." -Scratch clarifying my status in apologetics
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ttribe

Re: Hate to be rude but.... Version 2.0

Post by ttribe »

The Nehor wrote:
Wisdom Seeker wrote:With so many members being incorrectly taught all of their lives that the Prophet was infallible, not necessarily in his life but in running his church, how else should members react when they come to the realization that not only did the Prophet(s) make mistakes in their life but also in the establishment of God’s church?


Wait, when was this taught? My parents did not teach me this and I can't remember any time at Church being taught this.

I think the apologists and critics agreed (from the other post) that God would not step in and correct the mistakes made by the Mormon Prophets in establishing the church. Then why should critics of the church be looked upon with such disregard by members, unless those members actually believe that the Prophet and his church are truly without any error.


I think there is a margin of error allowed that will not allow the saints to go astray while following the Prophet while allowing the Prophet to be human and make mistakes and learn from them.

I will say that these errors are not corrected by the blathering of critics so their criticism is useless. We disregard critics because they don't believe in Priesthood keys or judge the Prophet by what he is, not what critics imagine we think he is.

Agreed.

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Re: Hate to be rude but.... Version 2.0

Post by Wisdom Seeker »

I did say incorrectly taught...... But I believe that you will find many critics who were taught that the church and it's Prophet are without fault. You want to blame the critic for being incorrectly taught?

ttribe

Re: Hate to be rude but.... Version 2.0

Post by ttribe »

Wisdom Seeker wrote:I did say incorrectly taught...... But I believe that you will find many critics who were taught that the church and it's Prophet are without fault. You want to blame the critic for being incorrectly taught?

Why does anyone need to start passing around blame? Are we going to start identifying "victims" in this process?

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Re: Hate to be rude but.... Version 2.0

Post by Willy Law »

ttribe wrote:2) we have a cultural problem within the membership of the Church that defaults to believing any one who loses/lost belief must (by definition) be a S-I-N-N-E-R. This second one must change. The first one is an individual issue.


Here here, +1
It is my province to teach to the Church what the doctrine is. It is your province to echo what I say or to remain silent.
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Willy Law
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Re: Hate to be rude but.... Version 2.0

Post by Willy Law »

The Nehor wrote:
Wisdom Seeker wrote:With so many members being incorrectly taught all of their lives that the Prophet was infallible, not necessarily in his life but in running his church, how else should members react when they come to the realization that not only did the Prophet(s) make mistakes in their life but also in the establishment of God’s church?


Wait, when was this taught? My parents did not teach me this and I can't remember any time at Church being taught this.


Seriously you were not taught this?
You did not here over and over that "Joseph was second, only to Jesus, in righteousness"?
It is my province to teach to the Church what the doctrine is. It is your province to echo what I say or to remain silent.
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ttribe

Re: Hate to be rude but.... Version 2.0

Post by ttribe »

Willy Law wrote:Seriously you were not taught this?
You did not here over and over that "Joseph was second, only to Jesus, in righteousness"?

Nope. None of the above that I can recall.

Simon Belmont

Re: Hate to be rude but.... Version 2.0

Post by Simon Belmont »

Wisdom Seeker wrote:Question:
With so many members being incorrectly taught all of their lives that the Prophet was infallible, not necessarily in his life but in running his church, how else should members react when they come to the realization that not only did the Prophet(s) make mistakes in their life but also in the establishment of God’s church?


It is important for each one of us to learn as much as possible about topics which interest us. I learned about World War 2 in elementary school and Jr. High, and, being interested in it I explored the local library. I learned things that were not taught in school, because there either wasn't time, or they were deemed unimportant.

Joseph Smith's fallibility is unimportant when considering the grand scheme of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

I think the apologists and critics agreed (from the other post) that God would not step in and correct the mistakes made by the Mormon Prophets in establishing the church.


Most of the time, no, unless it would affect the establishment of the Church.

Then why should critics of the church be looked upon with such disregard by members, unless those members actually believe that the Prophet and his church are truly without any error.


Because much of the time they skew and distort history to match their already preconceived bigotry (see: Ed Decker).

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Re: Hate to be rude but.... Version 2.0

Post by Wisdom Seeker »

ttribe wrote:
Willy Law wrote:Seriously you were not taught this?
You did not here over and over that "Joseph was second, only to Jesus, in righteousness"?

Nope. None of the above that I can recall.


I would have guessed that most all of us were taught the infalibility of Prophets and the church. Has there ever been a poll on this site about such matters?

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Re: Hate to be rude but.... Version 2.0

Post by just me »

ttribe wrote:
Willy Law wrote:Seriously you were not taught this?
You did not here over and over that "Joseph was second, only to Jesus, in righteousness"?

Nope. None of the above that I can recall.


Hmmm. I remember hearing that we owe more to Joseph than anyone, save Jesus Christ. That he did more for our salvation than anyone except Jesus. But I'm not sure it was ever presented as him being the second most righteous.

Wait. Isn't that in the D&C?

Found it!

D&C 135:3 Joseph Smith, the Prophet and Seer of the Lord, has done more, save Jesus only, for the salvation of men in this world, than any other man that ever lived in it. In the short space of twenty years, he has brought forth the Book of Mormon, which he translated by the gift and power of God, and has been the means of publishing it on two continents; has sent the fulness of the everlasting gospel, which it contained, to the four quarters of the earth; has brought forth the revelations and commandments which compose this book of Doctrine and Covenants, and many other wise documents and instructions for the benefit of the children of men; gathered many thousands of the Latter-day Saints, founded a great city, and left a fame and name that cannot be slain. He lived great, and he died great in the eyes of God and his people; and like most of the Lord’s anointed in ancient times, has sealed his mission and his works with his own blood; and so has his brother Hyrum. In life they were not divided, and in death they were not separated!
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ttribe

Re: Hate to be rude but.... Version 2.0

Post by ttribe »

just me wrote:Hmmm. I remember hearing that we owe more to Joseph than anyone, save Jesus Christ. That he did more for our salvation than anyone except Jesus. But I'm not sure it was ever presented as him being the second most righteous.

Wait. Isn't that in the D&C?

Found it!

D&C 135:3 Joseph Smith, the Prophet and Seer of the Lord, has done more, save Jesus only, for the salvation of men in this world, than any other man that ever lived in it. In the short space of twenty years, he has brought forth the Book of Mormon, which he translated by the gift and power of God, and has been the means of publishing it on two continents; has sent the fulness of the everlasting gospel, which it contained, to the four quarters of the earth; has brought forth the revelations and commandments which compose this book of Doctrine and Covenants, and many other wise documents and instructions for the benefit of the children of men; gathered many thousands of the Latter-day Saints, founded a great city, and left a fame and name that cannot be slain. He lived great, and he died great in the eyes of God and his people; and like most of the Lord’s anointed in ancient times, has sealed his mission and his works with his own blood; and so has his brother Hyrum. In life they were not divided, and in death they were not separated!

I'd say that's a little bit different than "second most righteous."

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Re: Hate to be rude but.... Version 2.0

Post by MrStakhanovite »

Simon Belmont wrote:Joseph Smith's fallibility is unimportant when considering the grand scheme of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.


What

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Re: Hate to be rude but.... Version 2.0

Post by xolotl »

From my experience and hearing that of others, the teaching that Joseph Smith was infallible is an exception to those that hear it. Strangely enough and more often, I have heard the idea of infallibility being assumed from the teaching that the prophet will never lead the saints astray. Those two ideas are very different. I don't put much weight into the criticism that the church teaches the prophet is infallible. It doesn't teach that and there are plenty of publications that, if read and comprehended, plainly state otherwise. Infallible does not equate to being incapable of leading the saints astray. You have the D&C, History of the church, Teachings of Joseph Smith, JOD etc. that make it clear Joseph did make mistakes.

Willy, I have never heard that Joseph was second only to Jesus in Righteousness. The church does teach that he has done more for the salvation than any other man except Jesus. I have also heard and read text from leaders that Adam was second to Jesus in righteousness, etc, never Joseph. The only sin Adam ever committed was that in bringing about the fall of man. Though I can certainly believe it has been taught in church.

I think huge problems surface for TBMs that believe the prophet can never lead the saints astray then confront the blatant contradictions, changed doctrines and obvious back stepping done by leaders. History has shown clearly that the church has been led astray by its prophets. So what is to be done about it? We get a little bit of cognitive dissonance here, a little NOM there, some apologetics over here, and apostasy down over there.

I'm not sure how to answer your question wisdom seeker. Members have reacted in many different ways. They have ignored the facts, justified the mistakes, thrown teachings under the bus, acknowledged the mistakes and revised their views on the divinity of the church and its prophetic claims, and apostatized. The church damns itself because it only accepts a black and white conclusion. Either the church is the only true church, literally led by God or it is all a lie. If the church moves onto dark paths and teaches false doctrines, it is in fact God's work, if you accept the foundational claims. God is the author of what his church teaches, how it is led and how it acts. Those that attempt to justify that the prophet leads the church just as a man, making mistakes and not having enough light and knowledge, literally undermine the foundational claims of the restoration. This undermining, makes the church as man made and common as any other faith on the face of the earth.

I feel that there can only be two honest conclusions. You either believe that the mistakes made were never mistakes at all and the church is true or you recognize the mistakes and conclude the church is false. Those that want to complain that those two conclusions are too simplistic, too black and white, and too lacking, need to get a better understanding of the foundations of Mormonism. Mormonism is its own worst enemy. There is no such thing as a church lead by God himself, that God actually doesn't lead. There is no such thing as a prophet that will never be allowed to lead the church astray, that actually does lead it astray. There is no such thing as divine revelation, when those revelations are actually the opinions of men. There is no such thing as a translation, when a translation never happened. I find the position most apologetics hold is as untenable as that of a NOM. In the end you are only deceiving yourself. Joseph damned the church the minute he declared its foundational claims, which allow no wriggle room.

I suppose the church could be true despite all of the obvious contradictions and problems and sure God could be leading it and letting his prophets try the best they can, making mistakes and teaching false doctrines. Sure God could be keeping those old men in the dark because they are not ready for greater light. I suppose that's a possibility, but this God... I wouldn't trust a word that comes out of his mouth. If the church is really what it claims, then the God leading it is one tricky son of a ____.

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Re: Hate to be rude but.... Version 2.0

Post by Themis »

Wisdom Seeker wrote:
I think the apologists and critics agreed (from the other post) that God would not step in and correct the mistakes made by the Mormon Prophets in establishing the church.


I have argued that if God is at the head of the church he would intervene to correct mistakes that would impact the church in negative ways. This is a common belief among members, excluding I guess apologists. One of the main reasons people believe we have a prophet is so God can communicate to his people, and thus avoid the mistakes and false teachings of other religions.
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Re: Hate to be rude but.... Version 2.0

Post by Joseph »

consider the source: "Joseph Smith's fallibility is unimportant when considering the grand scheme of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints."

Kind of like his Adultery, right?
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Re: Hate to be rude but.... Version 2.0

Post by Wisdom Seeker »

I wonder if my opinions on some of these church matters would be different if I was taught that the Prophet and this church was fallible? I mean, if I were taught that there were mistakes made, but I had to rely more upon my faith, would I have been more like these apologists who seem to be able to throw out reason in defending the church?

Simon Belmont

Re: Hate to be rude but.... Version 2.0

Post by Simon Belmont »

Joseph wrote:consider the source: "Joseph Smith's fallibility is unimportant when considering the grand scheme of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints."

Kind of like his Adultery, right?


Even after repeated tutoring, you are still unable to use the [ quote] feature.

I have demonstrated time and time again that all of your view about Joseph Smith are simply wrong.

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Re: Hate to be rude but.... Version 2.0

Post by Infymus »

ttribe wrote:Two things - 1) critics don't always go out of their way to handle these issues in an appropriate manner (see Steve Benson); and 2) we have a cultural problem within the membership of the Church that defaults to believing any one who loses/lost belief must (by definition) be a S-I-N-N-E-R. This second one must change. The first one is an individual issue.


Wow, I feel dirty... I agree with you on both... Points...

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Re: Hate to be rude but.... Version 2.0

Post by Themis »

I was never taught that Joseph Smith or any other leader were infallible, but we were taught that God would not let in errors that would hurt the church, which makes perfect sense if God is really the one in charge. The LDS church is no different then any other church without this. This is why arguing BY made a mistake of this magnitude which impacts so many people is unrealistic. You may as well go with what members have been taught which is that God instituted the ban, even though it doesn't make the LDS God look good. Same goes for the catalyst theory. The Book of Abraham is tied to the papyri. If it acted as a catalyst then it should not have mentioned the papyri, and Joseph should not have been getting revelation about the facsimiles. If he was then God is involved in deception and misleading Joseph Smith and others about the papyri.
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