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 Post subject: Email from my GA friend
PostPosted: Wed Apr 01, 2009 7:52 am 
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As some of you may remember, about this time a couple of years ago, I started corresponding with a General Authority who had stumbled across my blog and, as he said, found a kindred spirit. I thought you might find his latest email interesting:

John,

Sorry I haven't been in touch lately but things are busy as you know. Between conferences and training seminars I never seem to have any time to myself but I can't complain. my wife has stuck with me all this time and that makes me happy.

but I think things are about to change in a big way. I just got a call from the secretary to the first presidency saying that pres Monson wants to speak with me about a new assignment and to bring my wife with me.

I have this horrible feeling that its going to be a calling to the quorum of twelve. Since the call I'm paralyzed because I don't know what to do about it. how do I pretend to be a "special witness" when I don't really believe in the first place. Maybe it comes back to what I've always told you - I believe the church can do a lot of good in the world and I have tried to be part of that and doing the good also requires toeing the party line re Joseph Smith and the book of mormon and all that. I think it's worth the sacrifice though you probably disagree.

I'll keep you posted on what happens. Thanks for being a friend and not judging me.

*******

It's difficult to know what to make of this. Is this legit, or is this, like the email a couple of years ago, just an April Fool's joke?

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 Post subject: Re: Email from my GA friend
PostPosted: Wed Apr 01, 2009 7:56 am 
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It sounds like an April Fool's joke, since there aren't any vacancies in the Quorum of the Twelve (right?).

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 Post subject: Re: Email from my GA friend
PostPosted: Wed Apr 01, 2009 8:15 am 
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Dr. Shades wrote:
It sounds like an April Fool's joke, since there aren't any vacancies in the Quorum of the Twelve (right?).



Wrong

Elder Wirthlin died last December of January.

But I do think it is a joke.


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 Post subject: Re: Email from my GA friend
PostPosted: Wed Apr 01, 2009 8:34 am 
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If it was received today it's definitely an April Fool's joke.

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 Post subject: Re: Email from my GA friend
PostPosted: Wed Apr 01, 2009 8:36 am 
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If it's not an April Fool's joke, you'll know this weekend.

Maybe if he gets the call, he can make some much-needed changes. Like opening the financials.

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 Post subject: Re: Email from my GA friend
PostPosted: Wed Apr 01, 2009 8:39 am 
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I suspect that this is an April Fool's joke by Runtu - surely, if he believed that this really came from a GA he would never post it on the Board? Reason: there cannot be many GA's being summoned by Monson in this way and at this time, and it would therefore be easy to identify the person in question.

(I intend no offence to Runtu by saying this - it just seems to me a likely interpretation of the situation, and if Runtu says differently I shall of course believe him).

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 Post subject: Re: Email from my GA friend
PostPosted: Wed Apr 01, 2009 8:51 am 
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Far be it from me to perpetrate an April Fool's joke. :lol:

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 Post subject: Re: Email from my GA friend
PostPosted: Wed Apr 01, 2009 9:00 am 
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Hope springs eternal in the mind of the optimist.

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 Post subject: Re: Email from my GA friend
PostPosted: Wed Apr 01, 2009 9:14 am 
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I think Runtu is channeling the mind of someone (OK, a white LDS older male with a family member related to one of the twelve who is either a CEO or lawyer), soon to get a new calling.

:cool:

~td~

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 Post subject: Re: Email from my GA friend
PostPosted: Wed Apr 01, 2009 10:12 am 
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Runtu is just playing an April Fool's joke on us.

The likelihood of a GA e-mailing anyone and saying, "how do I pretend to be a 'special witness' when I don't really believe in the first place" is statistically zero.

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 Post subject: Re: Email from my GA friend
PostPosted: Wed Apr 01, 2009 10:30 am 
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Quote:
Posted: Today, 6:52 am


That's a good one. But this guy should start a blog....

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 Post subject: Re: Email from my GA friend
PostPosted: Sat Apr 04, 2009 3:15 pm 
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Well, Runtu? If you weren't April Fooling us, is Neil Linden Andersen the guy with whom you've been exchanging e-mails?

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 Post subject: Re: Email from my GA friend
PostPosted: Sun Apr 05, 2009 6:57 am 
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well, if this was an April Fool's joke, then fate certainly has played a helpful hand. I have been listening to Elder Andersen's interview with reporters, and in response to a question about what the calling of apostle meant to him (or something along those lines) he said (paraphrasing, of course), that he could bear certain witness that JC is the Savior. Nothing remarkable there - but he said something like "AT LEAST IN THAT ONE AREA" he could bear that sure witness, and then something about the calling provoking further growth.

Of course, this is hardly any solid evidence, but, as I said, the way it helped the "joke" along is funny.

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 Post subject: Re: Email from my GA friend
PostPosted: Sun Apr 05, 2009 7:05 am 
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I hope his interesting answer does not indicate that he is uncertain about many of the LDS Church's unique claims. I have no desire to see the Utah church go the way the Midwest one did. I have no problem with the CoC, but I like the idea of a diversity of views existing, and I don't like the reduction of Mormonism into yet another flavor of Protestantism. This is one reason why I am not overly fond of the theological arguments of Ostler, Peterson, et al. I found myself much more sympathetic to the views of Eugene England on the nature of Deity. I also like Bushman's discussion of narrative theology. No offense to the philosophers, but there is something about their enterprise that does not appeal to me (and I actually like philosophy).

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 Post subject: Re: Email from my GA friend
PostPosted: Sun Apr 05, 2009 8:08 am 
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Trevor,

Did you listen to his interview yourself and notice the same thing? I'd like to hear from others who heard it to reassure me that it wasn't a preexisting bias that made me "hear" it in the way I did.

I do agree that if the LDS church goes the way of RLDS it will dramatically alter its future. I've thought they've been at a crossroads for a while, and the fork in the road is a more liberalized theology versus standing firm in the trenches. To me, given my area of interest, a lot of this revolves around how the Book of Mormon will be interpreted - or allowed to be interpreted - in the future.

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 Post subject: Re: Email from my GA friend
PostPosted: Sun Apr 05, 2009 8:36 am 
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beastie wrote:
Trevor,

Did you listen to his interview yourself and notice the same thing? I'd like to hear from others who heard it to reassure me that it wasn't a preexisting bias that made me "hear" it in the way I did.



I am sorry, beastie; I did not actually hear the interview. I probably share your bias. It could be that he was simply saying that he pretends to no great knowledge and prophecy beyond his testimony of Christ.

beastie wrote:
do agree that if the LDS church goes the way of RLDS it will dramatically alter its future. I've thought they've been at a crossroads for a while, and the fork in the road is a more liberalized theology versus standing firm in the trenches. To me, given my area of interest, a lot of this revolves around how the Book of Mormon will be interpreted - or allowed to be interpreted - in the future.


You have hit on something that has really got me thinking lately. It seems that the historicity of the Book of Abraham is something that is being increasingly nuanced by the apologists. Recent comments by David Bokovoy were very intriguing. It seems that the most important aspect of the Book of Abraham's historicity is, in the end, the validity of its truths, not in Smith's translation, the precise nature of the documents it was inspired by, etc. Could it be that Book of Mormon historicity will gradually come to be seen in the same way? If apologists disagree, I would like to know what makes the Book of Mormon fundamentally different outside of the vanishing of the plate which, ironically, would seem to make the claim to that book's antiquity more resilient.

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 Post subject: Re: Email from my GA friend
PostPosted: Sun Apr 05, 2009 8:43 am 
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I want to know about this portion of your post, Trevor.

Quote:
You have hit on something that has really got me thinking lately. It seems that the historicity of the Book of Abraham is something that is being increasingly nuanced by the apologists. Recent comments by David Bokovoy were very intriguing. It seems that the most important aspect of the Book of Abraham's historicity is, in the end, the validity of its truths, not in Smith's translation, the precise nature of the documents it was inspired by, etc. Could it be that Book of Mormon historicity will gradually come to be seen in the same way?


Two questions.

1. When you say "truths" are you thinking in terms of philosophical truths only?

2. If so, what philosophical truths are contained in the Book of Mormon that are not found in the Bible?

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 Post subject: Re: Email from my GA friend
PostPosted: Sun Apr 05, 2009 8:45 am 
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Hi Trevor,

Trevor wrote:
I hope his interesting answer does not indicate that he is uncertain about many of the LDS Church's unique claims. I have no desire to see the Utah church go the way the Midwest one did. I have no problem with the CoC, but I like the idea of a diversity of views existing, and I don't like the reduction of Mormonism into yet another flavor of Protestantism. This is one reason why I am not overly fond of the theological arguments of Ostler, Peterson, et al. I found myself much more sympathetic to the views of Eugene England on the nature of Deity. I also like Bushman's discussion of narrative theology. No offense to the philosophers, but there is something about their enterprise that does not appeal to me (and I actually like philosophy).


I actually do hope the LDS church moves in a direction similar to the CoC or modern Protestantism because I see these religions (and others) progressing toward equality and acceptance. (Not that there isn't some resistence).

Actually, I think there will come a time when the church has to move toward more mainstream values and beliefs to be accepted, just like they had to change their views on blacks, marriage, birth control, Native Americans, Evolution, etc. etc. etc.

You know, further light and knowledge and all that! :wink:

The LDS church moves along with society they just follow behind by a few decades or so.

~td~

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 Post subject: Re: Email from my GA friend
PostPosted: Sun Apr 05, 2009 8:56 am 
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Quote:
You have hit on something that has really got me thinking lately. It seems that the historicity of the Book of Abraham is something that is being increasingly nuanced by the apologists. Recent comments by David Bokovoy were very intriguing. It seems that the most important aspect of the Book of Abraham's historicity is, in the end, the validity of its truths, not in Smith's translation, the precise nature of the documents it was inspired by, etc. Could it be that Book of Mormon historicity will gradually come to be seen in the same way? If apologists disagree, I would like to know what makes the Book of Mormon fundamentally different outside of the vanishing of the plate which, ironically, would seem to make the claim to that book's antiquity more resilient.


About four years ago, in the LDS Sk Conference, there was a rather shocking talk given by a prominent member in our area where he basically came out and said the Book of Mormon was not to be taken literally or historically. Not exactly in those words but close enough; the whole talk was about what one could or could not have a testimony of. It caused quite a bit of interest to many people including my TBM DH who looked at me in shock. (I actually posted this on the FAIR board at the time).

I don't hear many talks from GAs about anything historical in the Book of Mormon anymore; seems to me they are altering their approach to focus on the teachings that are "true" rather than the Book of Mormon as a true book.

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 Post subject: Re: Email from my GA friend
PostPosted: Sun Apr 05, 2009 11:49 am 
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truth dancer wrote:
I actually do hope the LDS church moves in a direction similar to the CoC or modern Protestantism because I see these religions (and others) progressing toward equality and acceptance. (Not that there isn't some resistence).


They are also, arguably, hurdling toward utter irrelevance. I have no problem with values like "equality" and "acceptance." The question is whether simply joining the Protestant fold is the only or best way of going about this. Now, the CoC leadership made a deliberate decision to move in that direction, and I think that even some of them think they went a little too far. I believe it is possible to embrace the same values without becoming more like everyone else in terms of theology and practice.

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 Post subject: Re: Email from my GA friend
PostPosted: Sun Apr 05, 2009 12:01 pm 
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Jersey Girl wrote:
Two questions.

1. When you say "truths" are you thinking in terms of philosophical truths only?

2. If so, what philosophical truths are contained in the Book of Mormon that are not found in the Bible?


In answer to the first question, I would say theological and philosophical.

There are some interesting doctrinal tidbits in the Book of Mormon:

The "sealing power" being conferred upon one whose will is in perfect alignment with God.

"Adam fell that men might be, and men are that they might have joy."

The natural man is an enemy of God, and will remain one unless he yields to the enticings of the Holy Spirit and puts off the natural man.

I am sure that big fans of the Book of Mormon would know much more than I do. It may be that similar ideas can be found in the Bible, but I doubt that it makes the Book of Mormon completely redundant.

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