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#1 of 44 Old 02-11-2005, 06:04 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I was reading about Mormonism last night and it said that Joseph Smith received the plates in 1827. Where are they now?
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#2 of 44 Old 02-12-2005, 04:29 PM
 
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Apparently the doctrine is that the gold plates were "ascended to heaven", meaning that God took the plates back when Joseph Smith was done translating them.

I was raised LDS but I have some serious reservations about this and other LDS doctrine so I might not be the right person to answer the question.

I'll ask some other LDS women to respond...
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#3 of 44 Old 02-12-2005, 08:05 PM
 
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I'll answer as best as I can. The angel Moroni told Joseph when he received the plates that he would only have them for a short time. They were returned to Moroni when the translation was complete.

One page that addresses this question (about halfway down the page) is:
http://www.jefflindsay.com/LDSFAQ/FQ_BMEvidence.shtml

Hope that helps!
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#4 of 44 Old 02-13-2005, 10:38 AM
 
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I think that the site that Nemmer refered you to is awesome.

I just wanted to add that I feel that the biggest reason that the plates were taken is because if they were sitting in the Smithsonian there wouldn't be any FAITH required. Everyone would be walking around saying "DUH! The Mormon Church is true....just go to the museum!" Faith is a very big part of our religion and many others. We must search, ponder, and pray, and decide for ourselves if we believe these things are true.

We don't have Noah's ark in a museum, Moses staff, or the cross Jesus was crucified on, but I can still have the faith to believe that those things happened.

I have read the Book of Mormom cover to cover, and I know it is true....because I had the desire to read it, I studied it, I pondered its contents, and I prayed about it. The answer that I received was that it was true.

Hope this helps!
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#5 of 44 Old 02-14-2005, 05:51 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I guess I just find it interesting that for instance the stone tablets were kept in the ark of the covenant for roughly 480 years-but these golden tablets were not allowed to be seen by anyone other than Joseph Smith? Sure, my belief is by faith, but only because Jesus was physically on the earth roughly 2000 years ago. But for people of that time after his resurrection there were apparently what- 500 eye witnesses?
If this conversation is bothersome there is no need to reply . I just have some questions concerning the Mormon faith.
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#6 of 44 Old 02-14-2005, 07:17 PM
 
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No, others saw the plates and testified of their existence. Eleven others to be exact. Three of the eleven saw the angel and handled the plates, and the other eight only saw the plates. Some of those people were even excommunicated from the church or grew unhappy with the church and fell away, but none of them ever recounted what they had testified about the plates. I think that that is pretty profound. Even his wife handled the plates, though her testimony isn't recorded in the Book of Mormon.

Check out this link its a very interesting read.
http://www.jefflindsay.com/bme12.shtml

One of the things that I find most profound is that Joseph gave his whole (rather short-38 years) life to the translating and distributing of the Book of Mormon and the building up of the church. He was unmercifully persecuted. He was drug out of his house on a freezing cold night. He was stripped, beaten, tarred and feathered. One of his children died as a result of exposure from that night. He was arraigned countless times on false charges. He was jailed over 30 times. Yet, he was NEVER found guilty. He finally lost his life when a mob of 150 stormed the jail where he was being held to face what surely were yet more false charges. I just think that he went through and awful lot. If it wasn't all real, I can't believe that anyone would tolerate everything that he was put through. To lose your children, and your own life...all for what? He didn't do it for fame. It wasn't for money. He gave his life, time, and talents to restore the Lord's church here upon the earth. Joseph left with nothing.
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#7 of 44 Old 02-14-2005, 08:47 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by party_of_six
I just wanted to add that I feel that the biggest reason that the plates were taken is because if they were sitting in the Smithsonian there wouldn't be any FAITH required. Everyone would be walking around saying "DUH! The Mormon Church is true....just go to the museum!" Faith is a very big part of our religion and many others. We must search, ponder, and pray, and decide for ourselves if we believe these things are true.

People could still argue that the plates were not from God. So, the mere existence of the plates wouldn't prove the validity of the church.

"Our task is not to see the future, but to enable it."
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#8 of 44 Old 02-14-2005, 08:48 PM
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Originally Posted by party_of_six
Even his wife handled the plates, though her testimony isn't recorded in the Book of Mormon.

Really? Could you quote this for me please? I thought I remembered reading (though I can't recall where) that she wanted to see the plates, but J.S. wouldn't let her.

"Our task is not to see the future, but to enable it."
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#9 of 44 Old 02-14-2005, 08:49 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by party_of_six
http://www.jefflindsay.com/bme12.shtml

One of the things that I find most profound is that Joseph gave his whole (rather short-38 years) life to the translating and distributing of the Book of Mormon and the building up of the church. He was unmercifully persecuted. He was drug out of his house on a freezing cold night. He was stripped, beaten, tarred and feathered. One of his children died as a result of exposure from that night. He was arraigned countless times on false charges. He was jailed over 30 times. Yet, he was NEVER found guilty. He finally lost his life when a mob of 150 stormed the jail where he was being held to face what surely were yet more false charges. I just think that he went through and awful lot. If it wasn't all real, I can't believe that anyone would tolerate everything that he was put through. To lose your children, and your own life...all for what? He didn't do it for fame. It wasn't for money. He gave his life, time, and talents to restore the Lord's church here upon the earth. Joseph left with nothing.

And he slept with all sorts of young girls, to whom he was secretly "married," over the extreme objections of his wife.........

"Our task is not to see the future, but to enable it."
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#10 of 44 Old 02-14-2005, 10:21 PM
 
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Party_of_Six "Even his wife handled the plates, though her testimony isn't recorded in the Book of Mormon."



A&A "Really? Could you quote this for me please? I thought I remembered reading (though I can't recall where) that she wanted to see the plates, but J.S. wouldn't let her."



From the link I provided:
"Three witnesses saw an angel and the plates, eight others handled the plates and bore formal witness, and a handful of others, including Joseph's wife, Emma, were witnesses to the physical reality of the gold plates and the divinity of the Book of Mormon. "

Emma even acted as a scribe during part of the translation. Even his mother,
Lucy Mack Smith, saw the plates, and it is recorded in her journals.
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#11 of 44 Old 02-14-2005, 11:02 PM
 
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Originally Posted by A&A
And he slept with all sorts of young girls, to whom he was secretly "married," over the extreme objections of his wife.........

Yes, I agree that he had multiple wives....33 to be exact. Yes, some of them were teenagers. Do you discount Abraham, Issac, and Jacob for having plural marriages too? I'm sure they married teenagers as well.

I have read a lot about church history and the early prophets. I have read about Brigham Young and his introduction to the doctrine of plural marriage. It never sounded to me like it was anything that either of them were dying to do.

That said, I do not believe that Joseph Smith, or any prophet was ever perfect. Many prophets of the bible did unsundry things like kill, lie, and get drunk....just to mention a few. If I can accept the things that they wrote then I can accept Joseph.

Joseph told members of the Church that he was but a man and that they could not expect perfection from him any more than he could expect it of them, "but if they would bear with my infirmities and the infirmities of the brethren, I would likewise bear with their infirmities" (History of the Church, Vol. 5, p. 181)

I don't know if my brain can quite wrap around plural marriage. I'm greatful that I am not asked to live it. I am also greatful that I am not asked to live the law of consecration either.
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#12 of 44 Old 02-14-2005, 11:50 PM
 
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A&A, I agree that you cannot think Joseph, Brigham and other leaders were sex fiends and continue to believe the Church is true. Thank you for not being a hypocrite.

We are six: Me : Dh : Ds1('00) Dd('02) Ds2('05) Ds3('08) and, wow! Soon to be seven, Dd2 due 4/23.
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#13 of 44 Old 02-15-2005, 01:26 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KermitMissesJim
A&A, I agree that you cannot think Joseph, Brigham and other leaders were sex fiends and continue to believe the Church is true. Thank you for not being a hypocrite.
Well, maybe the "church" but that has nothing to the with the Book of Mormon and translating the plates, don't you think? All that stuff didn't come until *after* the Book of Mormon came about and the church was established. So I can understand how some of the people would think that they had fallen away, but never took back their testimonies of the Book of Mormon and golden plates.

Thanks, partyofsix, for all of your words.
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#14 of 44 Old 02-15-2005, 10:39 AM
 
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Dh and I have had a recent discussion about faith, and it has occurred to me that even if you get to a point where you accept all of the basic doctrines of the Church _past_ faith, i.e., that your faith is dormant (see Alma 32), there are some things that faith will be required for.

I can accept plural marriage as part of the official teachings of the Church, I can accept that it was lived by some but not all, I am glad we're not living it now, but there are some things about _how_ it was rescinded (gradually, and not enforced) that I wonder about. And so therein is where faith needs to be: I continue to believe in the basic principles, I find uplifting in the doctrines, and I continue to wonder and ponder about the concerns that I have.

As far as the Book of Mormon, the Jeff Lindsay site is a good one for all kinds of answers to questions. For the OP, if you wanted to read the statement of the witnesses, you can read that

here (3 witnesses)
http://scriptures.lds.org/bm/thrwtnss

and here (8 witnesses)
http://scriptures.lds.org/bm/eghtwtns

The Book of Mormon is available online at
http://scriptures.lds.org/bm/

HTH
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#15 of 44 Old 02-15-2005, 08:06 PM
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Originally Posted by KermitMissesJim
A&A, I agree that you cannot think Joseph, Brigham and other leaders were sex fiends and continue to believe the Church is true. Thank you for not being a hypocrite.


Uh, you're welcome?

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#16 of 44 Old 02-15-2005, 10:21 PM
 
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Party of Six, do you mean to say Joseph Smith was never found guilty of the crime of polygamy? Because polygamy was and continues to be a criminal act in the United States.

Can any contributors to this thread say, honestly, on the most basic human level of emotion, that if polygamy was reinstated by the LDS church today, you would not have a problem with it, conceptually or practically?
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#17 of 44 Old 02-15-2005, 10:25 PM
 
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Lavendermama, thank you for posting the thread... thought provoking questions are an opportunity to look deeply at the issues and one's beliefs about these issues... and it takes courage to look deeply. Thanks for the opportunity to discuss one of the most troubling doctrines of the LDS religion.
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#18 of 44 Old 02-16-2005, 12:20 AM
 
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Originally Posted by mothernurture
Can any contributors to this thread say, honestly, on the most basic human level of emotion, that if polygamy was reinstated by the LDS church today, you would not have a problem with it, conceptually or practically?
Of course not. But "on the most basic human level of emotion", there are a lot of teachings that bother me. It's not convenient or logical to pay tithing. I would really rather do other things than read scriptures, go visiting teaching, or whatever. "on the most basic human level." I also have a HUGE amount of discomfort about the idea that Abraham was actually asked to use circumcision as a sign of a covenant. I can think of a lot of other examples, but I think that the point is made.

I have no idea how I'd react to it. I have thought and thought and thought, and I still have no idea. I feel very very protective of my husband's and my relationship. BUT, I believe that Joseph Smith was a prophet of God. And I believe that if he had been leading the people of the church astray, he would have been removed in short order. And so I believe that the doctrine of plural marriage was one that the Lord called on his people to do at that time.

And I can rely on my faith to get through the uncomfortable areas of doctrine, and I can wait for the right time for them to be resolved. Sometimes that can take years. The man came to Jesus and said, "Lord, I believe. Help thou my unbelief."
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#19 of 44 Old 02-16-2005, 02:45 AM - Thread Starter
 
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what about this verse:

There Is Only One Good News
6 I am shocked that you are turning away so soon from God, who in his love and mercy called you to share the eternal life he gives through Christ. You are already following a different way 7 that pretends to be the Good News but is not the Good News at all. You are being fooled by those who twist and change the truth concerning Christ.
8 Let God's curse fall on anyone, including myself, who preaches any other message than the one we told you about. Even if an angel comes from heaven and preaches any other message, let him be forever cursed. 9 I will say it again: If anyone preaches any other gospel than the one you welcomed, let God's curse fall upon that person.
10 Obviously, I'm not trying to be a people pleaser! No, I am trying to please God. If I were still trying to please people, I would not be Christ's servant.

or this one from Revelation 22:18:
18 And I solemnly declare to everyone who hears the prophetic words of this book: If anyone adds anything to what is written here, God will add to that person the plagues described in this book. 19 And if anyone removes any of the words of this prophetic book, God will remove that person's share in the tree of life and in the holy city that are described in this book.

If Paul warned against an angel preaching another message why would God send an angel with a different message other than the Gospel?? Or if God knew that there would be more doctrine AFTER the book of Revelation why did he give strong warnings against adding to the message of salvation?
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#20 of 44 Old 02-16-2005, 02:55 AM
 
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Bekka, I appreciate your honesty and hearing your feelings on the subject. Of course you are protective of your marital relationship, and rightly so. You love your husband and the instinct to protect your relationship (and your family unit) is so natural.

LDS youth are taught from a young age to save themselves sexually for ONE person and only within the bounds of marriage. Polygamy seems so inconsistent with these teachings regarding chastity and fidelity within a marital partnership.

Bekka, other than Abraham and circumcision, the other things you listed (scriptures, VTing, tithing, etc.) are not inherently harmful on an emotional or physical level. My personal belief is that polygamy is inherently harmful primarily to women, but also to men, as it violates the sanctity of the marital relationship between two (one man and one woman) partners.

My personal feelings of discomfort regarding plural marriage were a signal to me from my own intuition, gut, and heart that this doctrine was not correct. This discomfort has led me over many years to question, study, search, and struggle over this issue, continually put it on the back burner, ignore it for long periods of time but ultimately, to determine that one man having sexual relations with more than one woman is morally wrong.

Has anyone considered that deep personal feelings of discomfort may be a sign that the doctrine is wrong rather than a sign that the person having discomfort is somehow "not ready" to fully understand the doctrine or not "righteous" enough to understand it in this earthly life.

Is it (even remotely) possible in anyone's minds that Joseph Smith was in fact "removed" by God through his death at a young age?
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#21 of 44 Old 02-16-2005, 10:37 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mothernurture
Party of Six, do you mean to say Joseph Smith was never found guilty of the crime of polygamy? Because polygamy was and continues to be a criminal act in the United States.

Can any contributors to this thread say, honestly, on the most basic human level of emotion, that if polygamy was reinstated by the LDS church today, you would not have a problem with it, conceptually or practically?
No, he was never found guily of polygamy. I don't deny that he did it though.

As for your second question, I would have to say that I really don't know. I need to understand more about why its important spiritually. I would need to pray and receive my own revelation about it. It is a very tough issue.

"My personal feelings of discomfort regarding plural marriage were a signal to me from my own intuition, gut, and heart that this doctrine was not correct. This discomfort has led me over many years to question, study, search, and struggle over this issue, continually put it on the back burner, ignore it for long periods of time but ultimately, to determine that one man having sexual relations with more than one woman is morally wrong.

Has anyone considered that deep personal feelings of discomfort may be a sign that the doctrine is wrong rather than a sign that the person having discomfort is somehow "not ready" to fully understand the doctrine or not "righteous" enough to understand it in this earthly life.

Is it (even remotely) possible in anyone's minds that Joseph Smith was in fact "removed" by God through his death at a young age?"


I understand your discomfort over it. Honestly, I feel uncomfortable about it to. It is possible that Joseph was removed. Like I said before, prophets do not have to be perfect. Prophets have killed, denied God, and lied. I don't think that Joseph or any other prophet for that matter was perfect. I do still believe that he was a true prophet, and the Book of Mormon is true as well.

The reason that I don't dwell so much on plural marriage is because I have put the teachings of the church into pratice in my life and it has brought me incomprehendable joy. I have felt the spirit so strongly.

"By their fruits ye shall know them"

I know the church is true because of the good fruit it has brought into my life.
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#22 of 44 Old 02-16-2005, 11:13 AM
 
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Pres Kimball taught that ANY kind of sharing of affection (even emotional, or spending too much time with someone else) is marital infidelity. I do not believe that polygamy is an eternal principle. Women and men are co-heirs and equals in Christ and before God. This is impossible with polygamy.

I think it is possible to believe that Joseph Smith and Brigham Young had sexual addictions but still brought much good to people trying to live good lives. Not sure about the "one and only" concept though.

I can totally relate to whoever said about it's really hard to hear stuff preached that totally goes against your individual core beliefs--I've had the exact same reactions to the way childbearing and nursing our discounted and priesthood is declared as the saving life force. I actually believe that Heavenly Mother is the tree of life/ the one who grants "Eternal lives" to Their children in the same way that a mother breathes live into her children by nourishing them in the womb and breastfeeding.
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#23 of 44 Old 02-16-2005, 11:17 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lavendermama
what about this verse:

There Is Only One Good News
6 I am shocked that you are turning away so soon from God, who in his love and mercy called you to share the eternal life he gives through Christ. You are already following a different way
7 that pretends to be the Good News but is not the Good News at all. You are being fooled by those who twist and change the truth concerning Christ.
8 Let God's curse fall on anyone, including myself, who preaches any other message than the one we told you about. Even if an angel comes from heaven and preaches any other message, let him be forever cursed.
9 I will say it again: If anyone preaches any other gospel than the one you welcomed, let God's curse fall upon that person.
10 Obviously, I'm not trying to be a people pleaser! No, I am trying to please God. If I were still trying to please people, I would not be Christ's servant.

or this one from Revelation 22:18:
18 And I solemnly declare to everyone who hears the prophetic words of this book: If anyone adds anything to what is written here, God will add to that person the plagues described in this book. 19 And if anyone removes any of the words of this prophetic book, God will remove that person's share in the tree of life and in the holy city that are described in this book.

If Paul warned against an angel preaching another message why would God send an angel with a different message other than the Gospel?? Or if God knew that there would be more doctrine AFTER the book of Revelation why did he give strong warnings against adding to the message of salvation?
I believe that John was refering to his own book. At the time it was written there was no "bible" the bible was compiled hundreds of years after Jesus death. Even then then it wasn't in the complete form that we use today with the "Old Testament" and "New Testament". It was all complied by men who decided for themselves what was "scripture" and what was not. Heck, even today there are several different "bibles"...each includes the books that certain people decided were to be included. Many things have been taken or added to the bible.

Lets not even get into what the priests and scribes have done over the years with the numerous translations of the text. The bible was not written by God and handed down from heaven.

After being a member of the church for almost 10 years, I don't feel that we believe in anything different than "the Gospel". We believe in the same Jesus, and the same Heavenly Father. We believe that Jesus was crucified and died for our sins. We believe in the same Holy Ghost that testifies to us the truthfulness of all things. Its not a different message. We don't worship our prophet or anything of the sort. No one in the church has added "to the message of salvation." The Book of Mormon is just "another testament" of Jesus Christ....another witness. It describes the Lord's dealings with the people on the American Continent. It is the writtings of their prophets. It describes how they were told to look for the signs of Jesus birth and death. After His resurection he visited them and taught them. His teachings don't differ from the teachings in the New Testament. The Book of Mormon is just another witness. We use it hand in hand with the Bible. They do not contradict each other...they compliment each other.

Matt. 18:16
But if he will not hear thee, then take with thee one or two more, that in the mouth of two or three witnesses every word may be established.
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#24 of 44 Old 02-16-2005, 12:26 PM
 
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You know, it always bugged me that people always said Joseph Smith was harassed and arrested on "false charges" but never said what those charges were. When I found out they included charges of inappropriate sexual behavior with minors, I suddenly didn't feel so persecuted as a Mormon, and could understand why the communities that Mormons lived in were so upset about their presence there, in the same way that Mormons would join together against something they felt was an evil, immoral influence--like a smut shop as an example. Mormons would feel that would undermine the values of the community and put their children at risk of being exposed to innappropriate and potentially damaging material. Likewise, the communities around the Mormons were outraged by polygamy, felt it undermined marriage and family (which I agree), and didn't want Mormons around their kids. Now of course I don't think this justifies "extermination" by legal edict--as state and federal US governments ordered both for Mormons, Native Americans, and others, but I don't feel the same persecution complex that I was taught growing up LDS.

Another point to consider is that just because someone endures great suffering or even is willing to give their life for something doesn't necessarily mean their cause is just. It probably means they really believe in their cause. But people are willing to die for some really wacked out things. I think you HAVE to consider that/ shouldn't just believe something because of the intensity of adherent's beliefs when deciding what to believe yourself and not be convinced simply by suffering, or you'd have to believe every religion and dogma in the known universe!
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#25 of 44 Old 02-16-2005, 03:02 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I was interested to hear your thoughts on this verse:

Quote:
8 Let God's curse fall on anyone, including myself, who preaches any other message than the one we told you about. Even if an angel comes from heaven and preaches any other message, let him be forever cursed.
Why would Paul write this if God intended to send a "new and improved" message of salvation thousands of years later? Wasn't Joseph Smith indeed visited by an angel?

Quote:
I don't feel that we believe in anything different than "the Gospel". We believe in the same Jesus, and the same Heavenly Father.
So you too believe that Jesus is God (John 1:1)? That salvation is by faith and NOT works?

What about this verse?
For the time will come when men will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around with a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear. They will turn their ears away from the truth adn turn aside to myths.
2 Timothy 4:3


What would your argument for the Mormon faith be for someone deciding between Mormonism and becoming a Jehovah Witness? Didn't both founders receive a supposed revelation from God in relative recent history?
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#26 of 44 Old 02-16-2005, 03:07 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I know the church is true because of the good fruit it has brought into my life.
a person from any faith can say this. Buddhists claim it, Mormons claim it, Christians claim it, Muslims claim it, etc. Does this mean there is in fact no true way-that all paths lead to God?
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#27 of 44 Old 02-16-2005, 03:17 PM
 
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Leaves, thanks for your posts. I am still so amazed that the indoctrination we received in the most recent decades, includes what you describe in President Kimball's statements about the topic of fidelity, is so contrary to the earlier church teachings regarding polygamy. I simply don't understand how we are supposed to believe in modern counsel regarding appropriate sexuality and not have a problem with the apparent hypocracy regarding the practice of polygamy. The cognitive dissonance I have felt over this issue often been too strong to ignore.

I concur with your thoughts on Heavenly Mother. She is not only life saving but life giving. We should be allowed to develop a relationship with her as we have Heavenly Father.

The discussion of Joseph Smith's following and his last days reminded me of the cult figure David Koresh and how his life ended in Waco, Texas several years ago. Koresh felt persecuted for his beliefs. There is evidence to suggest he practiced polygamy and had children by different wives.
It would be interesting to read legal documents about Joseph Smith and also about David Koresh, to see the similarities and differences between their experiences.
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#28 of 44 Old 02-16-2005, 03:19 PM
 
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Lavendermama, I believe that there are many paths to God and to living a good, moral life. I don't believe there is any single religion that is the one and only true way or path.
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#29 of 44 Old 02-16-2005, 03:21 PM
 
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Lavendermama, my personal belief is that works is as important as faith. Faith may inform a person's decision regarding good works but ultimately, living a peaceful life and giving/serving humanity (in love) is what God is all about.
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#30 of 44 Old 02-16-2005, 04:29 PM
 
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lavendarmom, what Bible translation are you using? It seems a bit different than what I'm used to.

I've read so many different "theories" out there about Joseph Smith or polygamy. I'm not sure how we got talking about polygamy yet again when this was a thread about the gold plates.
For me, I have two core beliefs that I'm able to hold on to, which is the knowledge that Christ appeared to the people in the american continent and they made of record of the teachings of Christ, and that record contains many truths and is my central classic book that I can read over and over again and still learn deeper truths from it each time-and Joseph Smith translated these records. Also, that we have a modern prophet that I believe is good and led by God.
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