2nd Volume Of Saints - Prophets are blinded by the moment

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2nd Volume Of Saints - Prophets are blinded by the moment

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The freshly released “Saints 1846-1893: No Unhallowed Hand,” the second book to emerge in the church’s four-volume official history, aims to provide a clearer and more complex view of its past and its cast of characters, including Young.

The first volume, “Saints 1815-1846: The Standard of Truth,” was published in September 2018 and sold more than 500,000 copies worldwide. Another million read it online, where the second book also is available.

“What we wanted to do with ‘Saints’ was to write a history that would be totally accurate, that would integrate the most recent and up-to-date scholarship, but would also be very, very readable and with an audience not [just] of educated Latter-day Saints or those who were really interested in their history,” says Matthew Grow, managing director of the church’s History Department.

https://www.sltrib.com/religion/2020/02 ... colonizer/

The volume also addresses some of the most controversial episodes in the faith’s history: the origins of the church’s priesthood/temple ban on black members, the horrific slaughter of 120 men, women and children known as the Mountain Meadows Massacre in 1857, and the saints’ role in pressures that led to the Bear River Massacre.

“The hardest questions in our history aren’t about whether this or that historical claim is true,” Goldberg says. “The hardest question is how people motivated by profound spiritual experience get so blinded by the moment again and again.”

Even modern-day Mormons, he says, “need to ask ourselves that question.

That, rather firmly, kicks opens the door for members to wonder about Nelson & Co. being blinded by the moment on financial matters and matters of gender equality. And conclude in the present (rather than looking back when it's too late to act) that they are as blinded today on those things as Young was on matters of race...
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Re: 2nd Volume Of Saints - Prophets are blinded by the momen

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The volume also addresses some of the most controversial episodes in the faith’s history: the origins of the church’s priesthood/temple ban on black members, the horrific slaughter of 120 men, women and children known as the Mountain Meadows Massacre in 1857, and the saints’ role in pressures that led to the Bear River Massacre.

Mormon Apologetics would address these matters by first saying that these events never occurred. If you were to persist with an evidentiary presentation, they would declare that those people were asking for it and/or God wanted it that way.

These so-called "volumes" admitting to the events simply complicates matters for those defending the Church. However, the righteous defenders can now concentrate on the argument that only those Maxwell usurpers are blinded by the moment.
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Re: 2nd Volume Of Saints - Prophets are blinded by the momen

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I wonder if it makes any significant mention of The Late Corporation of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints v. United States, 136 U.S. 1 (1890) or the beginnings of the doctrinal shift to Jehovah as Christ.
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Re: 2nd Volume Of Saints - Prophets are blinded by the momen

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moksha wrote:Mormon Apologetics would address these matters by first saying ...

Or they could simply run with the unvarnished truth and not feel they have to cover it up in any way. In the end, that would prove to be the best apologetics. Members would adapt and those tapirs would not dread having to pull any steel or obsidian sleds.
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Re: 2nd Volume Of Saints - Prophets are blinded by the momen

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Volume 1 was a disappointment. If this is any better then great.

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Re: 2nd Volume Of Saints - Prophets are blinded by the momen

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I have a question wrote:
The volume also addresses some of the most controversial episodes in the faith’s history: the origins of the church’s priesthood/temple ban on black members, the horrific slaughter of 120 men, women and children known as the Mountain Meadows Massacre in 1857, and the saints’ role in pressures that led to the Bear River Massacre.

“The hardest questions in our history aren’t about whether this or that historical claim is true,” Goldberg says. “The hardest question is how people motivated by profound spiritual experience get so blinded by the moment again and again.”

Even modern-day Mormons, he says, “need to ask ourselves that question.

After doing the chapter-by-chapter look at the first volume of Saints, I don't think I can do it again.

The idea that the hardest question with Mormon history isn't about whether it's true is simply nonsensical - you can see it's not true from the first volume, which makes the second volume just a bunch of rationalizations for what they did in a way that is compatible with how it is taught and perceived today. Nothing more, nothing less.

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Re: 2nd Volume Of Saints - Prophets are blinded by the momen

Post by Res Ipsa »

Stem wrote:Volume 1 was a disappointment. If this is any better then great.

How so, Stem?
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Re: 2nd Volume Of Saints - Prophets are blinded by the momen

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Res Ipsa wrote:How so, Stem?

Oh man, I don't remember specifics and don't really want to go read it some more to break it down. But, for me the writing was juvenile. I know they tried their best to make it an easy read, and make it available to a very wide audience, but it was over the top. Moreso though, it was tabbed as a honest portrayal of history with warts and all. I think it failed on that front. It was far more geared towards believing then it was towards an honest portrayal of history. As I recall there had to be explanations for any mention of possible questionable happenings, and those explanations were contrived.

I think i'm trying too hard. I just remember feeling disappointed as I read. Likely my biases in play and all of that.

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Re: 2nd Volume Of Saints - Prophets are blinded by the momen

Post by Res Ipsa »

Thanks!
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Re: 2nd Volume Of Saints - Prophets are blinded by the momen

Post by fetchface »

I'm a glutton for punishment, so I'll probably read this and review it.

I actually thought Volume 1 was about as good as I could expect for a devotional history put out by the church, but then I got to the parts discussing William Law and it all went to hell. Anyone, with anything negative to say about Law was used as a source no matter how questionable their claim to firsthand knowledge. Interestingly, any negative information about Joseph Smith was subjected to a much higher level of scrutiny and not included in the narrative unless the evidence was iron-clad and dealt with an issue the church just can't ignore anymore. It just kind of showed me how afraid the church is of telling Law's side of the story. He's a pretty sympathetic character when you finally decide to think critically and understand the events from his point of view.

I suspect to see similar motivated variance of standards of evidence in Volume 2 but I'll give it a shot.
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Re: 2nd Volume Of Saints - Prophets are blinded by the momen

Post by I have a question »

“When we are confronted with evidence that challenges our deeply held beliefs we are more likely to reframe the evidence than we are to alter our beliefs. We simply invent new reasons, new justifications, new explanations. Sometimes we ignore the evidence altogether.” (Mathew Syed 'Black Box Thinking')

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Re: 2nd Volume Of Saints - Prophets are blinded by the momen

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What else can they do but put on some rose colored glasses? The ideal of Joseph Smith super prophet of the restoration (who could fly if God commanded) must be maintained. In contrast, the complete history shows a guy making up a religion. It shows Joseph as more of a charlatan, maybe sincere at times, but charlatan nevertheless. The complete story would cause more disaffection if it were located in a church approved set of volumes, so, that has to be avoided.
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Re: 2nd Volume Of Saints - Prophets are blinded by the momen

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Dr Exiled wrote:What else can they do but put on some rose colored glasses? The ideal of Joseph Smith super prophet of the restoration (who could fly if God commanded) must be maintained. In contrast, the complete history shows a guy making up a religion. It shows Joseph as more of a charlatan, maybe sincere at times, but charlatan nevertheless. The complete story would cause more disaffection if it were located in a church approved set of volumes, so, that has to be avoided.

To me the frustration was that they released this with events with the youth telling them this is the true history that really tackles the problems.

And yet as I went through it, you could see time and time again where they ignored all difficult sources while using very thin sources to promote faithful stories.

If they hadn't framed this as the most complete history of the church, it would just be another church based story. But instead they framed this as a full history, and then the footnotes make it clear that it's only full in the sense that they touch difficult issues but then completely ignore the problems by only using sources that confirm their narrative.

Even the Book of Abraham is barely mentioned, polygamy ignores a lot of the really problematic stuff, and they treat the transfiguration of Brigham as a real thing even though we know it didn't happen.

They don't really explain the problems with the First Vision, they don't explain why the priesthood revelation was retrofitted.

So long story short, if they hadn't promoted it as the most complete history no one would care, but because they gave it the massive rollout to proclaim it so just shows how dishonest they are even in the year 2020.

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Re: 2nd Volume Of Saints - Prophets are blinded by the momen

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About 45 years ago, the Church was poised to publish the definitive history of the Church. As I recall, the project was terminated before publication. Too honest, I suppose.
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Re: 2nd Volume Of Saints - Prophets are blinded by the momen

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Res Ipsa wrote:About 45 years ago, the Church was poised to publish the definitive history of the Church. As I recall, the project was terminated before publication. Too honest, I suppose.

Was that what Arrington was working on? The brethren probably killed it when they noticed it failed to make clear that William Law was Satan's only begotten son in the flesh. They fixed that in "The Standard of Truth."
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Re: 2nd Volume Of Saints - Prophets are blinded by the momen

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Res Ipsa wrote:About 45 years ago, the Church was poised to publish the definitive history of the Church. As I recall, the project was terminated before publication. Too honest, I suppose.

Yes, indeed. Marvin S. Hill had to hand off a lot of his work to his sister Donna for publication.

I met Scott Kenney in the COB about this time. They were already smuggling out all kinds of Joseph F. Smith and Woodruff materials they were afraid of losing access to. The Iron Curtain was going up.
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Re: 2nd Volume Of Saints - Prophets are blinded by the momen

Post by grindael »

They (the church hierarchy, etc.) were not "blinded by the moment". It was an ongoing hatred that grew out of Smith's obsession with Zion being located in Jackson County, Missouri. He claims this is so in 1831 and sends people there to "inherit" it. He claims in 1833 that the U.S. will soon be destroyed and the only safe place will be in Jackson County. They are kicked out in 1833 to a neighboring county, but Smith never takes his eye off that ball (Jackson County). He stirs them up in 1834 to "redeem Zion" and take it back from the evil Missourians, and they fail miserably. Smith claims he is a great prophet like Moses who will lead his people to triumph, but instead of performing any Moses like miracles, he attempts to heal his company of cholera and get it himself. He then blames everything on his followers. He returns to Kirtland, tail between legs, and continues to stir them up about "Zion" and tells them all that God told him by way of the Holy Ghost that Zion would be redeemed on September 11, 1836. He got that date from an earlier "revelation" of his which read:

I will not that my servant Frederick G. Williams should sell his farm, for I, the Lord, will to retain a strong hold in the land of Kirtland, for the space of five years, in the which I will not overthrow the wicked, that thereby I may save some. And after that day, I, the Lord, will not hold any guilty that shall go with an open heart up to the land of Zion; for I, the Lord, require the hearts of the children of men. (D&C 64:22-23: "Revelation" given in Kirtland, September 11, 1831 https://books.google.com/books?id=fFEoA ... &q&f=false).


And these,

September 24th 1835 This day the High Council met at my house to take into consid[e]ration the redeem[p]tion of Zion. It was the voice of the spirit of the Lord that we petition to the Governer [of Missouri]. That is those who have been driven out /should/ to do so to be set back on their Lands next spring. We go next season to live or dy [die]{ to this end so the dy is cast – these words crossed out} in Jackson County. We truly had a good time and Covena[n]ted to strug[g]le for this thing u[n]till death shall desolve [dissolve] this union. And if one falls that the rest be not discouraged but pe[r]sue this object until it is a[c]omplished. Which may God grant u[n]to us in the name of Christ our Lord.

September 24th 1835 This day drew up an Arti/c/le of [p.35] inrollment for the redem[p]tion of Zion that we may obtain volunteers to go next spring /to M[iss]o[uri]/. I ask God in the name of Jesus that we may obtain Eight hundred men /or one thousand/ well armed [men] and that they may ac[c]omplish this great work. Even so. Amen. (Scott H. Faulring, An American Prophet's Record, p.34-35, emphasis mine).


And this letter by Smith,

Kirtland August 16th 1834

Copy from Joseph S to the brethren in Zion

Dear Brethren Lyman Wight Edward Partri[d]ge John Carrill [Corrill] Isaac Morley and others the high council of the Church of the Latter Day Saint——

After so long a time I dictate a few lines to you to let you know that I am in Kirtland and that I found all well on my arival, as pertaining to health &c but found our common advisary had taken the advantage of our brother Sylvest [Sylvester] Smith and others who gave a false colloring to allmost every transaction from the time that we left Kirtland untill we returned, and thereby Stirred up a great difficulty in the Church against me accordingly I was met in the face and eyes as soon as I had got home with a catalogue that was as black as the author himself and the cry was Tyrant,! Pope!! King!!! Usurper!!!! Abuser of men!!!!! Ange[l]!!!!!! False prophet!!!!! Prophecying Lies in the name of the Lord!!!!!!! and taking consecrated monies!!!!!!!! and every other lie to fill up and complete the cattelogue that was necissary to perfect the Church to be meet for the devourer the shaft of the devouring <distroying> Angel! and in consequence of having to combat all these I have not been [p. 84]able to regulate my mind so as to write to give you counsel and the information that you needed, but that God who rules on high and thunders Judgments upon Israel when they transgress has given me power from the time that I was born (into this Kingdom) to stand and I have succeeded in putting all gainsayers and enemies to flight unto the present time and not withstanding the advisary laid a plan which was more subtle than all others, I now swim in good clean pure water with my head out! as you will see by the next star I shall now procede to give you such council as the spirit of the Lord may dictate you will reccollect that your business must be done by your high council: you will recollect that the first elders are to receive their endowment in Kirtland before the redemption of Zion you will reccollect that your high council will have power to say who of the first Elders among the Children of Zion are accounted worthy; and you will also reccollect that you have my testamony in be half of certain ones previously to my departure you will reccollect that the sooner that these ambassadors of the most high are dispatched to bear testamony to lift up a warning voice and to proclaim the everlasting gospel and to use every convincing proof, and facculty with this generation while on their Journey … <to Kirtland*> <*The better it shall be for them and for Zion inasmuch as the indignation of the people sleepeth for a while our time should be employed to the best advantage altho it is not the will of God that any one of these ambassadors should hold their peace after they have started upon their Journey.> They should awaken <the> sympathy of the people. I would reccommend to brother [William W.] Phelps (If he is yet there) to write a petition such as will be approved of by the high council and let there be every signer obtained that can be in the State of Missouri and while they are on their Journey to this country that peradventure we may learn [p. 85] whithe [whether] we have friends or not in these United States,

This petition [is] to be sent to the Govonor of Missouri to solicit him to call on the President of the United States for a guard to protect our brethren in Jackson County upon their own Lands from the insults and abuses of the mob

And I would recomend to brother Wight to enter complaints to the Govonor as often as he receves any insults or injury, and in case that they procede to endeaver to take life or tear down homes, and if the citizens of Clay co, do not befriend us to gather up the little army and be set over Immediately into Jackson County and trust in God and do the worst <best> he can in defending maintaining the ground, but in case the excitement continues to be allayed and peace prevails use every effort to prevail on the churches to gather to those regions and situate themselves to be in readiness to move into Jackson Co. in two years from the Eleventh of September next which is the appointed time for the redemption of Zion, If Verely If I say unto you If the Church with one united effort perform their duties If they do this the work shall be complete If they do not this in all humility making preperation from this time forth like Joseph in Egypt laying up store against the time of famine every man having his tent, his horses, his charrots [chariots] his armory his cattle his family and his whole substance in readiness against the time <when> it shall be said To your tents O Isreal!! and let not this be noised abroad let every heart beat in silence and every mouth be shut

Now my beloved brethren you will learn by this we have a great work to do, and but little time to do it in and if we don't exert ourselves to the utmost in gathering up the strength of the Lords house that this thing may be accomplished behold their remaineth a scorge* <*for the church even that they shall be driven from City to City and but few shall remain to receive an inheritence if these things are not kept there remaineth a scorge> [p. 86] also, Therefore be were [beware] this over O ye children of Zion! and give heed to my council saith the Lord!

I would inform bro Edward that the bill I received of him was good and when I can get <our> other money changed for another I will mail it to him the brethren as yet have generally been arived from Clay Co, in health notwithstanding the warm season. I would also in form bro Edward that I am not satisfied with bro Hulett conserning the colt and so long as unrig hteousness acts are suffered in the Church it can not [be] sanctified neither Zion be redeemed.

And also, that I was obliged to leave the consecrated horn in Illinois also bro William E. McLel[l]in who was sick we expect when he recovers that he will come to Kirtland— he was humble, and I entertain no doubt as to his standing while he continues so we have a desire to Learn conserning the Cholera and whether sister Bunnel is yet alive; as well as all deaths, the names and standing of those who are called away &c. The Choler[a] is raging in Detroit Cleaveland Fairport Buffalow and other places, We found it in Chariton [Missouri] as we came through and almost every other place, it <is> an awful and solomn day, but this is only the forebodings of what is to come, The church seems to be in a languid cold disconsolate state, and as the revolution of the earth is once in 24 hours so we may look for revolutions among this wicked and perverse generation and also in the Church of Christ! When the head is sick the whole body is faint, for when the church lifts up the head the Angel will bring us good tidings even so Amen

Joseph Smith Jr., Joseph Smith, letter, Kirtland, OH, to Lyman Wight, Edward Partridge, John Corrill, Isaac Morley, and others, Clay County, MO, 16 Aug. 1834; handwriting of Frederick G. Williams; in Joseph Smith Letterbook 1, pp. 84–87; Joseph Smith Collection, CHL.


This entry in 1835:

Saturday, April 2d Transacted business (although of a temporal nature) in company with S[idney] Rigdon, O[liver] Cowdery, J[ohn] Whitmer, F[rederick] G. Williams, D[avid] Whitmer, and W[illiam] W. Phelps which was to have a bearing upon the redemption of Zion. The positive manner in which he [Joseph Smith] expressed himself on this, /his/ favorite theme, was directly calculated to produce conviction in the minds of those who heard him, that his whole soul was engaged in it, notwithstanding on a superficial view of the same subject they might differ from him in judgement. It was determined in council, after mature deliberation, that he and O[liver] Cowdery should act in concert in raising funds for the accomplishment of the aforesaid object. As soon as the above plan was settled, he and O[liver] Cowdery set out together, and their success was such in one half day as to give them [p.157] pleasing anticipations assuring them that they were doing the will of God and that his work prospered in their hands. (Scott H. Faulring, An American Prophet's Record, p.156, April 3, 1836)


The date of the Mountain Meadows Massacre was SEPTEMBER 11, 1857. This was no spur of the moment decision by Young and the others. It was a simmering hatred for those they deemed had taken Zion away from them and this was their REVENGE. You will never see the real connections given in any "faithful" histories.

At 11 o'clock A.M. Presidents Joseph Smith, Jun[ior], Frederick G. Williams, Sidney Rigdon, Hyrum Smith, and Oliver Cowdery met in the Most Holy Place in the Lord's House and sought for a revelation from Him to teach us concerning our going to Zion and other {page 185} important matter[s]. After uniting in prayer, the voice of the Spirit was that we should come into this place three times, and also call the other Presidents, the two Bishops and their councils (each to stand in his place) and fast through the day and also the night and that during this, if we would humble ourselves, we should receive further communication from Him. (Scott H. Faulring, An American Prophet's Record, p.152 29 March 1836)

The Seventies are at liberty to go to Zion if they please or go wheresoever they will and preach the gospel and let the redem[p]tion of Zion be our object, and strive to affect it by sending up all the strength of the Lord's House wherever we find them. I want to enter into the following covenant, that if any more of our brethren are slain or driven from their lands in Missouri by the mob that we will give ourselves no rest until we are avenged of our enimies to the uttermost. This covenant was sealed unaminously [unanimously] by a hosanna and Amen. (Scott H. Faulring, An American Prophet's Record, p.155 March 30, 1836)

Is it any wonder that there was a WAR in Missouri in 1838?
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