Posts Tagged ‘ Joseph Smith ’

209: New LDS Statement on Book of Mormon Translation

January 6, 2014
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209: New LDS Statement on Book of Mormon Translation

The LDS Church has recently published on its website, lds.org, a short article titled “Book of Mormon Translation” that lays out in greater detail than perhaps ever before in an official statement some of the lesser-known aspects of the Book of Mormon translation process, such as Joseph Smith’s use of (and even preference for) a “seer stone” that he had found years before receiving the plates and two clear stones set into a bow that he identified as “Urim and Thummim,” and how little the actual plates were used during translation, with them instead usually covered somewhere in the room…

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199: Untangling Faith, Belief, and the Expectation to “Know”

October 21, 2013
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199: Untangling Faith, Belief, and the Expectation to “Know”

We think we know what it means to “believe” or to “have faith.” But do we? Has the current ways we use these terms remained stable throughout history? No, says Frances Lee Menlove in an important essay in her new book, The Challenge of Honesty: Essays for Latter-day Saints. She argues further that these changes have had a large negative impact for many Christians and Mormons today, but she hopes that through better understanding of these shifts and opening ourselves to the terms original meanings we might begin to undo some of the damage that has been done—damages done by…

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Matters of Perspective 1: “Godwrestling–Physicality, Conflict, and Redemption in Mormon Doctrine”

March 2, 2012
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Matters of Perspective 1: “Godwrestling–Physicality, Conflict, and Redemption in Mormon Doctrine”

“GODWRESTLING–PHYSICALITY, CONFLICT, AND REDEMPTION IN MORMON DOCTRINE” By Rick Jepson In this inaugural episode of “Matters of Perspective,” Rick Jepson reads his November 2005 Sunstone article, “Godwrestling: Physicality, Conflict, and Redemption in Mormon Doctrine,” which explores through many different angles the transformative power of struggle, both physical and spiritual. It contains one of the most complete discussions in all of Mormon writing of the Genesis story of Jacob’s wrestle with the angel, and links Jacob’s transformation from this intense battle with physical ordeals in the lives of other prophets, especially Joseph Smith, as well as Jesus’s struggle to complete the…

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73: “And the Survey Says…!”: Reflections on Mormon Disaffection, Marlin Jensen’s Remarks, Recent Articles on Mormonism’s Challenge in Better Facing Its History

February 8, 2012
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73: “And the Survey Says…!”: Reflections on Mormon Disaffection, Marlin Jensen’s Remarks, Recent Articles on Mormonism’s Challenge in Better Facing Its History

This episode is an attempt to aid in processing the current moment in which various Mormon-watching communities are beginning to digest the preliminary results that have recently been released from the Open Stories Foundation survey about why Mormons leave the church, which comes on the heels of remarks made in December at Utah State University by LDS Church Historian Elder Marlin Jensen and reported on in numerous recent news stories in which he reflects on the current disaffection crisis and the Church’s plans to help address it. What does the survey suggest? How might the LDS Church move ahead more…

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Resolving the Conflict between the TBM and the ExMo

August 12, 2010
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Today’s guest post comes from Ulysseus, a frequent commenter at Mormon Matters and elsewhere in the b’nacle.  His website can be found here. To take a line from Shakespeare — a pox upon both your houses. The Ex-Mos and TBMs continue to argue past each other and never the twain shall meet. While the thought of a kind, loving heavenly being comforts and then closes the ears of the believer, the list of inconsistencies, logical disconnects and “anti-Mormon” cliches assuages and then closes the ears of the non-believer.

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Why Mormon History is Not What They Say

August 2, 2010
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Why Mormon History is Not What They Say

Our controversial guest post today is from Rock Waterman.  Check out the original unabridged post at his blog, Pure Mormonism, so titled from his observation that the organic religion founded by Joseph Smith was nondogmatic and libertarian. A couple of weeks ago Jeff Riggenbach sent me his latest book, Why American History Is Not What They Say: An Introduction To Revisionism. I’ve had a passion for revisionist history for as long as I can remember, but something I read in Riggenbach’s informative volume caught me up short. It was an essential factor that I had never known or considered before,…

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Mormonism: Nature Religion or Social Religion?

June 22, 2010
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Mormonism:  Nature Religion or Social Religion?

“God against Man.  Man against God.  Man against Nature.  Nature against man.  Nature against God.  God against nature–very funny religion!” ~Dr. D. T. Suzuki.  Is Mormonism as a restorationist church a “nature” religion or a “social” religion or something in between?

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Choice Seer, Spokesman, and Scribe

June 12, 2010
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Choice Seer, Spokesman, and Scribe

Guest Post by Christopher C. Smith Chris has a BA from Fresno Pacific University in Biblical Studies, an MA from Wheaton College in History of Christianity, and is pursuing a PhD from Claremont Graduate University in Religions in North America. In the tradition of Jan Shipps, he is a non-Mormon with a particular focus on Mormon Studies and Joseph Smith. The Book of Mormon records in 2 Nephi 3 a very interesting prophecy attributed to the biblical patriarch Joseph of Egypt, according to which a “choice seer” would be raised up from the fruit of Joseph’s loins in the latter…

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The JST of the Bible and Early Christianity

May 26, 2010
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Early Christian Theological Differences I recently read Misquoting Jesus by Bart D. Ehrman. One of the interesting realities on which Ehrman elaborates is that early Christianity was anything but homogeneous. More specifically, there were many factions, some heterodox, some orthodox, some in the middle. Some of the books of the apocrypha, gnostic texts, and other early Christian writings seemed to support various theological ideas not represented, and in fact, even repressed in what became the canonized New Testament.

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Putting Things on a Shelf

April 29, 2010
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Putting Things on a Shelf

People like to talk about putting things that bother them about the church on a shelf.  Of course, the problem is that for some, the shelf gets pretty full and comes crashing down like Fibber McGee’s closet.  So what’s on your shelf, and is there a better model for dealing with problematic church doctrines?

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Casting Joseph Smith

April 26, 2010
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Casting Joseph Smith

Telling the story of Joseph Smith on film has been the ambition of many artists for a long time.  Joseph’s place and influence in the tapestry of American and World history is undeniably significant, and his story is certainly one worth sharing on the screen. Each filmmaker who undertakes telling his story by dramatic medium is faced with the challenge of finding a suitable actor to play the part of the prophet; to cast Joseph Smith. Many actors have played the part of Joseph, some more convincingly than others.  I’ve compiled a photographic list of many of these actors, so…

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Joseph and Muhammad

April 7, 2010
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Joseph and Muhammad

I have been fascinated by other religions! The cultures, customs, and beliefs vary wildly from religion to religion, and yet, so many have common threads, stories, and ideals. I recently read a biography of Muhammad “Muhammad, A Prophet For Our Time” by Karen Armstrong. It was a fascinating read and I learned a great deal about this ancient prophet. I must admit that most of my thoughts while reading the book revolved around the parallels to Joseph Smith and the early saints. Frankly, I find the similarities startling in one sense, and yet unsurprising in another. On the one hand,…

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What Dreams May Come

March 24, 2010
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What Dreams May Come

OT SS Lesson #12 Whether dreams come from the unconscious mind or directly from God, they are valuable sources of revelation. Dreams can tell us important things about ourselves and our relationships that may remain veiled deep in the psyche if we are unskilled at interpreting the symbolic language from which they present. The great attainment of Joseph of Egypt and the message this scriptural character brings to readers of the Old Testament is the importance of developing an ability to decode symbolic dream messages and using them to integrate our conscious and subconscious knowledge.

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Mormon Myths as Transferable Charisma

March 23, 2010
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Richard Bushman has recently given a presentation on ‘Joseph Smith and the Routinization of Charisma’. One of Bushman’s arguments seems to be that Charisma was located in the office rather than the person. That these divine or supernatural powers were transferred to whoever held a particular office.  Moreover, it was through this coupling of bureaucracy and charisma that Joseph led the early Church and through which it was transferred to Brigham Young. Yet, as the bureaucracy and membership grew it would seem that the ability of both members and leaders to draw upon or demonstrate this office-based charisma became more limited.…

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Bombshell at the BYU Studies Symposium

March 13, 2010
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Bombshell at the BYU Studies Symposium

A small crowd at the BYU Studies Symposium yesterday was on hand to receive Richard Holzapfel’s self-proclaimed Mormon history “bombshell.”  He presented the morning plenary session on Wilford Woodruff’s 1897 recorded testimony, the first sound recording made of an LDS General Authority.  The audience was treated to hearing parts of this recording, which is also available at the BYU Studies website.

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Joseph Smith: Treasure-seeker or Prophet

October 10, 2009
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One of the most controversial aspects of Joseph Smith’s early life—and one not especially well known among most Mormons—is his adventures as a treasure-seeker. His father was likely a treasure-seeker before the family moved to New York from Vermont, where divining rods were the common medium in the search. Sometime in the early 1820s, Joseph was introduced to seer-stones, a common scrying device in western New York. Joseph quickly developed a reputation as a talented seer, and was known to peer into his stone to direct fellow treasure-seekers in their hunts. When Joseph was gaining notoriety as the Book of…

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A Jungian View of the First Vision

October 5, 2009
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A Jungian View of the First Vision

The First Vision is often viewed as a literal visit from two Heavenly beings during Joseph Smith’s waking hours.  Yet, he consistently refers to it as a vision.  Often, visions in scripture are vivid dreams with meaning that is applied to the larger organization rather than just the individual.  What if the First Vision is more like a dream, a foray into the subconscious mind of Joseph Smith?

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Have you read the Sealed Portion of the Book of Mormon Yet?

September 13, 2009
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Have you read the Sealed Portion of the Book of Mormon Yet?

Christopher Nemelka has published the sealed portion of the Book or Mormon and has also translated the 116 pages of missing manuscript.  His website can be found here.  John the Beloved and the Three Nephites use him to present their message to the World.  Joseph Smith, himself, gave Christopher the Gold Plates so that he could translate the sealed portion of the Book of Mormon.  He believes that in 1987 he was called, in the same manner as Joseph Smith, to share a message with the world.  He believes that his organization is the only true message for the World today and…

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Unleashing the Analyst. A Personal Story

August 6, 2009
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Unleashing the Analyst.  A Personal Story

As I have already posted a few times, I think it’s time I introduce myself.  So, this is my story, Mormon Story style (only without the cool podcast, John, and well…okay, it’s nothing like Mormon Stories).  It’s likely familiar to many, so if it sounds like Déjà Vu feel free to move along!

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The Genius of Mormonism: Israel is Back, Baby! (POLL incl.)

July 13, 2009
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The Genius of Mormonism:  Israel is Back, Baby! (POLL incl.)

One of the attractive components to Mormon theology was the notion that Mormons were a chosen people, and both figuratively and literally part of the House of Israel.  The Book of Mormon also offered the idea that Israel was all over the earth throughout time in various times and places and that they are always the chosen people.  Mormon youth (and adults) who receive a Patriarchal Blessing are personally informed of their own lineage as a member of the House of Israel.  So, how does this compare to other religions’ views of Israel and Judaism?

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