Posts Tagged ‘ Mormon History ’

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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Temple ceremony, the stabilizer for mystical enthusiasm

December 24, 2008
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I’ve been thinking lately about the differences between the LDS Church we participate in today compared to what attracted and retained early members in the days of Joseph Smith.  Joseph Smith was a religious mystic, recognized as a founding “prophet” of our modern church.  The core of the story of Joseph and the restoration is a number of intense, other-worldly, divine encounters.  He seemed to be ever concerned with bringing the Church into the presence of God.  This took a worldly form in the cause of gathering to Zion, a utopian society perhaps like the City of Enoch.  It also…

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The Problem of History – First a Fake Example

November 24, 2008
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In my past posts I discussed the impossibility of knowing what really happened in history as well as the problem that, believe or disbelieve, we all have much riding on how Mormon history is interpreted. Either way, it’s your personal religion at stake.  The problem with me saying that is that, well, we all know it’s true — for other people. But due to the narrative fallacy, we think we’re the exception not the rule. To prove that, at times, we’re all the rule, I am forced to start with a fake example because it is the only way to…

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History as Narrative Fallacy aka What Type of Apologist Are You?

November 18, 2008
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“History is opaque. You see what comes out, not the script that produces events, the generator of history. There is a fundamental incompleteness in your grasp of such events, since you do not see what’s inside the box, how the mechanisms work. …the minds of the gods cannot be read just by witnessing their deeds. You are very likely to be fooled about their intentions.” (The Black Swan, P. 8 ) In a previous post I discussed the realities of The Black Swan, those improbable events that rule our lives but we pretend don’t and can’t happen. I also discussed how in…

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How Progressive Mormons Are Actually Retro Mormons

May 12, 2008
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How Progressive Mormons Are Actually Retro Mormons

In the year 2035, how will Mormon beliefs compare to previous generations? If “progressive” Mormons have their way, Mormon beliefs in 2035 will more closely resemble Mormon beliefs of a century earlier.

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