Miscellaneous Musings #2 (2/28/2014)

are you in the wrong placeThis blog contains controversial information about the Mormon Church.

The History Essays Addressing Controversial Issues

The LDS Church has begun a series of history essays in an effort to provide an official response to some of the difficult and controversial historical and doctrinal issues that are causing many members of the Church to have a crisis of faith. I first addressed the topic of the LDS Google Apostasy and how the Internet was creating a crisis if faith in many Mormons back in April of 2012

The Google Apostasy Part One

The Google Apostasy Part Two

The Google Apostasy Part Three

The Google Apostasy Part Four

The article quoted Marlin Jensen as saying

The church has assigned a staffer to create “a strategy to get church history onto the Web,” he said. We are also working on an initiative to answer some of these more pressing questions.

Apparently, the initiative to answer some of the “more pressing” questions has materialized in the form of the new history essays that are being published on LDS.org

Predictably, no single general authority is taking credit or responsibility for the content in these essays, but the fact that they are being published on the LDS.org provides the official “stamp of approval” from the brethren. Clearly, the first Presidency of the Church has commissioned this effort and has approved the content thereof even if they have opted to not sign their names to the essays.

This video provides some interesting information about the essays, as given by Elder Steven E. Snow, the relatively new church historian.

He claims that the church has “retained known scholars” that are outside of the LDS historical department to create a draft of each of the essays, which are reviewed by a committee in the Church History Department  and selected General Authorities, and ultimately approved by the Quorum of the Twelve and the First Presidency.

Once approved, each essay is published in “gospel topics” under LDS.org

I was really flattered when I got a call from President Monson’s office asking me if I would be willing to be on a committee that helps to craft some of these essays addressing sensitive subjects. I had no idea the brethren even knew who I was. So you can only imagine how surprised I was when Mrs. Watcher told me that President Monson was on the phone.

I could tell he was quite nervous and trying to gain composure as he asked me how I would feel about participating. I think he was hesitant to ask me since I have been known  to be critical of how the church has avoided addressing some of these sensitive topics.

Of course I was honored to be asked to participate but,  the first thing I asked was, “will I be reimbursed for my efforts?

Actually, I am just have a little bit of fun… (as if it wasn’t blatantly obvious to you)

Naturally, I was disappointed and shocked when the church failed to contact me to be part of this project since I consider my self to be one of the foremost scholars on LDS Church History! LOL

I have a friend who has contacted the church historical department to see if the church is willing to divulge the names of these “known scholars” but and answer to date, has not been forthcoming. If anyone else has any information on this I would be interested in learning who is involved… but we can rest assured that they are “well known”. (Hey, I can’t gripe about this one, after all, I am the one that insists that content should be judged solely on the message, not the messenger!)

I suspect some of my friends involved with FARMS, FAIR and the MORMONINTERPRETER are among the inner elect that are providing illumination on these topics that have previously not been properly researched.

Brother Snow characterizes this project as “ground breaking in a way” because, as he claims, these issues have not had “academic attention” or been “researched properly” in the past.

I am mystified by that statement.

I don’t believe that the research produced in the essays thus far is ground breaking. I do, however, believe that an attempt at authoritative public responses to these issues, in modern times,  with the First Presidency’s stamp of approval, is somewhat ground breaking.

One of the things that Elder Snow pointed out, that I really agree with, (being described as I understood what he was saying) is that if you look at the big picture of LDS history as a tapestry of events that provide a general storyline, it is remarkable and faith-promoting. Yet if you look at some of the individual “threads” having to do with specific events, they can be disconcerting, particularly if viewed out of context.

I agree with that!

Yes there are lots of very disruptive things in LDS Church history, but those who take a contextual look at the overall picture, including a deep search into the content within the scriptures brought forth through the instrumentality of Joseph Smith, it becomes obvious that a higher intelligence was directing the movement despite the follies of EVERY human being involved in the restoration movement.

The Student Review did a review on this topic recently. John Dehlin of MormonStories also did.

Surprisingly, John Dehlin gave a relatively positive review of the church’s current attempt to address these essays that address controversial historical issues which can be found here. I thought I would make a few observations as well.

In my comments section the other day I admitted to a commenter that I waffle back and forth in whether my comments about the church are charitable or condemning depending on which side of the bed I wake up on.

Be advised that I did not sleep well last night and I exited the bed from the wrong side today. Luckily Mrs Watcher had already left the bed, or my anxious exit therefrom might have  left a disgruntled set of tread marks across her pointed but loveable little forehead.

While I agree with most critics that this attempt is a step in the right direction, by virtue of the fact that the attempt is being made at all, and in the sense that the church now desires to publicly and officially address these issues.

Nevertheless, I am absolutely shocked and horrified by some of the disingenuous content within the essays and I think it will backfire on the church with regard to those members who are not sheeple and who don’t check their brains at the door when entering the church and who actually have knowledge of the cursory facts.sheeple2

Let me show you a few of the things that give me indigestion in the essays.

First let me observe that the essays read much more like content created by a PR department than a knowledgeable and authoritative prophet of God.

RACE AND THE PRIESTHOOD:

Here is a quote that alerts the informed reader that a big pile of BS is about to be served.

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints was restored amidst a highly contentious racial culture in which whites were afforded great privilege

The above apologetic statement is of course, true, but should be completely irrelevant, and is meant to soften the view of readers about the past practices and doctrines of the LDS Church in general, and Brigham Young specifically. When a prophet of God is getting their marching orders from God, the culture of the time really doesn’t matter because God does not concern himself with being politically correct.

A true prophet doesn’t either when delivering a message from God.

As the “prophet” of the church that integrated the racial doctrines and practices into the church relative to blacks and the priesthood, the essay attempts to explain that Brigham was the poor victim of a racial culture and he was therefore understandably justified in the false racist policies that he implemented.

The problem with the supposition is that Joseph Smith was also raised in a “highly contentious racial culture”, yet he was unaffected by it and allowed all men of all races to enjoy priesthood privilege.

Therefore, the suggestion that Brigham Young understandably erred in this area because of strong cultural pressure,  in my opinion, does not  provide an acceptable excuse for the second president of the church and most of those that followed him. The first president of the church had already set the standard, according to revelation from God, in the midst of a “highly contentious racial culture”.

To imply that Brigham Young was simply a misguided product of the culture he lived in is ludicrous. He was living right there in Kirtland under the watch of Joseph Smith when Elijah Abel and other Blacks were ordained to the priesthood. He watched as Elijah Abel was called and ordained as a member of the elite 3rd quorum of the Seventy.

Who are we kidding?

Furthermore, Joseph Smith proclaimed that people are called to the priesthood by the gift of prophecy. Elijah Abel had not only the endorsement of Joseph Smith, but also of the Lord, by virtue of his ordination. If not, then the revelatory credibility of the foundation of the LDS restoration must be called into question.

The culture of the time is not the reason that Brigham  Young created a discriminatory doctrine against Blacks. Brigham’s heart was apparently full of hate toward the Black Man. All you need to do is read the words of Brigham Young and it is evident that he despised the black man.

The issues was not simply a cultural issues. Brigham’s rejection of what Joseph had revealed about priesthood is the issue and Brigham Young’s status as a living prophet is the issue.

Brigham Young new full well that the Lord had not restricted the priesthood to the Blacks during the ministry of Joseph Smith.

The truth is that Brigham Young had a deep rooted issue with Blacks. He probably had these racial issues long before he joined the church. It is even possible that these issues had something to do with his decision to hold off on joining the church for two years after the gospel message was delivered to him.

The Blacks and the Priesthood issue has always been a doctrinal issue. If, in fact it was primarily a  cultural issue during the ministry of Brigham Young, as the article suggests, then the validity of Brigham Young’s calling as the President of the Church and the level of inspiration he was laboring under is the real issue in question .

The truth is that Brigham Young was a loose cannon that rejected some of the foundational doctrines and practices established by Joseph Smith and divine revelation. He had been a Free Mason with some pretty strong racial prejudices long before he joined the church.

Albert Pike was also a prominent Freemason at the time. He is believed to have been “..influential in the early Ku Klux Klan, being named in 1905 as “the chief judicial officer” of the Klan… He was cited as the leader of the Arkansas Ku Klux Klan” as well.

I believe that racist Masons like Albert Pike probably had a very strong influence on Brigham Young. It cannot be denied that Brigham’s belief about race paralleled those of Pike and the Ku Klux Klan.

PLURAL MARRIAGE AND FAMILIES IN EARLY UTAH

This is another essay that avoids the real issue and attempts to intoxicate the reader with a bunch of blue smoke.

To the credit of the church PR committee that put their stamp of approval on it, the article begins with this declaration:

The Bible and the Book of Mormon teach that the marriage of one man to one woman is God’s standard, except at specific periods when He has declared otherwise.

That declaration is true, but very misleading, because the First Presidency of the church has not always taught what the Bible and Book of Mormon teach on the topic. For decades the church was teaching contrary to the word of God regarding marriage. The Church taught that a special form of Celestrial polygamy was the Lord’s standard for those desiring admittance in the highest kingdom of heaven.

Brigham Young must be turning over in his grave knowing that such a statement  is being endorsed by those who have succeeded him. He prophesied that if the practice was ever denied, the church would be damned.

He declared countless times that the only way for a man to be exalted in the celestial kingdom was to have multiple wives sealed to him. During Brigham Young’s watch, polygamy was the supreme marital standard that was taught, not monogamy.

The article conveniently omits that very well known fact.

I could go on and on about these essays and the fact that they are a real insult to a persons intelligence, but I shall avoid the temptation.

Tesla and HAARP

I am a huge Tesla fan and came across the following presentation on how HAARP evolved from his research

http://www.brasschecktv.com/page/25971.html

The Bonus Army

For history buffs that are always looking to increase their knowledge of our country’s history, I present this little tid-bit

How does God really feel about Government?

I recently got the following comment from a reader:

“Watcher,

I recently read a very good article I thought you might like. Here is the link: http://www.anti-state.com/redford/redford4.html

It shows from the Bible that Jesus was an “anarchist”. And it follows that His followers should be also.”

The article has some fantastic stuff in it that might cause some people to rethink the way they feel about government. The article seems to substantiate Verlin Anderson’s belief that Government is the Great and Abominable Church of the Devil.

One of the few  things I disagree with in the article is the statement that God does not pick the leaders of nations. The book of Daniel actually teaches that God sets up all of the leaders of nations good and bad. I am of the opinion that God has set up our current President of the US because of our wickedness. Our current Government has been put in place as a judgement against this nation.

The Cultural History of the Book of Mormon

Several high profile LDS bloggers have blogged about Daymon Smith’s series on the Book of Mormon. Because of this and the fact that a few of my readers have encouraged me to read it, I have suffered myself to read the first two pdf’s that he is giving away free… and I mean SUFFER!

The read has been so painful thus far that I am not sure if I can continue. I can find absolutely nothing faith-promoting in it.

Shortly into the first pdf it became apparent to me that Daymon does not believe the revelations contained in the D&C. He omits modern revelation as having any part in the way the content in the Book of Mormon is interpreted from what I can ascertain.

A little further into the pdf I had my next major epiphany about Smith.

Daymon Smith does not believe the Book of Mormon is an inspired revelation from God about the literal ancient inhabitants of America. This, of course, is my opinion and interpretation based on what I have read so far.

One of the major suppositions of the thesis is that the incorrect interpretations of the content in the Book of Mormon that the early members of the restored church were infected with, ( and passed down to us Morons) had infiltrated the church through the likes of people like Sidney Rigdon and Parley Pratt who had been falsely indoctrinated by people like Alexander Campbell and earlier protestant reformers and “restorationists”. Hence the name a “cultural” history of the Book of Mormon.

Naturally, since I am a died in the wool believer in modern revelation, and since God puts his stamp of approval on Sidney Rigdon and Parley Pratt as the most able teachers of doctrine, who were both called by revelation to teach in the school of the prophets, I consider Daymon’s characterizations of Sidney Rigdon and Parley Pratt to be pure bullshit.

(Denver Snuffer seems to love Daymon’s work which makes perfect sense to me)

A very subliminal secondary supposition hiding in the background of the context of Daymon’s work is that the very content of the Book of Mormon itself, also originated from American religious culture , not from God’s inspired Book of Mormon prophets.

Now I may be completely wrong in my assessment. If I am, it certainly will not be the first time I have misjudged something prematurely. I invite and even welcome contrary views with regard to Daymon’s thesis of examples can be provided. I have asked people who are high on his work to explain to me why they love it so much and why it is so profound yet none have been able to respond.

My opinion is that Daymon is a disgruntled ex-employee of the LDS Church that has a vendetta.

I suspect that his “Book of Mammon” is pretty good and pretty eye-opening, based on the unique, up close and personal perspective that Daymon had working within the beast, but I think that his current attempt to use the Book of Mormon to further his agenda is unfortunate. At times one gets the impression that the Book of Mormon is just a footnote in a larger attempt to show forth his historical knowledge of religious history.

It seems to me that anti-Mormon tactics have reached a new high (or low as the case may be) by being administered from within the church. There are now a lot of anti-mormon bloggers and authors that claim membership in the church and by so doing, they are able to gain a greater LDS audience.

John Dehlin is a perfect example. He uses his membership in the church to great advantage in spreading doubt about the authenticity of the restoration movement. Nevertheless, I give credit to John Dehlin for having the integrity to publicly admit he does not believe. It is my understanding that Daymon Smith still claims some degree of belief in the Book of Mormon, even though I have yet to find any serious evidence in his writings.

This brings me to my next topic

“..I have commanded him that he shall Pretend to no Other Gift”

For those who can read the Daymon Smith material on the Book of Mormon and other similar stuff, and still retain some degree of belief in the Book of Mormon, I believe that the natural course many of them have taken or will take, is to reject modern revelation and virtually everything else that Joseph Smith did.

The writings of David Whitmer after he left the church provide a strong argument that leads down that same rabbit hole. I have already blogged about the beliefs of David Whitmer and the content in his “Address to believers in the Book of Mormon”.

It is becoming increasingly common to see fringe Internet bloggers that write exclusively about the Book of Mormon and seldom if ever address the significance of modern revelation. I believe many of them have lost faith in modern revelation.

Many years ago I came upon a website with a very compelling doctrinal narrative that began to shake my own foundation regarding the extent of the calling of Joseph Smith because the logic and supporting scripture was do compelling.

The foundational premise of the site was based on the following passage from the Book of Commandments:

…and he [Joseph Smith, Jr.] has a gift to translate the book and I have commanded him that he shall pretend to no other gift, for I will grant him no other gift.”

When the Doctrine and Covenants was published two years later, the above verse was altered in a way that justifiably causes pause to many people. It was changed to allow Joseph’s ministry to take on a broader scope that would include translating the Bible, recieving a canon of scripture through personal revelation, restoring the law of the gospel, restoring priesthood, re-stablishing the church, building a temple, etc.

The website I came upon back in the day, provided an extensive diatribe that was built upon the premise suggested by the above verse in the Book of Commandments

I am going to provide the link to that website but I want to first WARN my readers that you could loose you testimony of anything Joseph did besides translate the Book of Mormon if you visit the site and if you are not well grounded deeply in the four standard works.

This onewhoiswatching blogsite is dedicated to studying deep issues that can be faith promoting if the reader has the necessary depth of doctrinal understanding and scriptural knowledge, HOWEVER, it can be faith-destroying for those that should stay in shallow waters.

Frankly, if it was not for the prophecies in the Old Testament that I discovered while researching the information contained in the Atonement Statute, which led me to the Biblical prophetic profile of who Joseph Smith really is, what is ministry was to be composed of, and what was to happen during his first commission, I very possibly would have bought into the scenario offered on that site. I spent quite some time debating the owner of the site over these issues.

Ok, after spending a long time trying to find the site, I realized that it must have been taken down.

I don’t know why the author of the site took the website down. I would like to think that he had an epiphany that he was wrong in his conclusions, but I was not born yesterday.

Anyway…  there is an amazing service called the “internet archive waybackmachine” that can provide a saved version of defunct webpages.

Here is the link to the webpage that claims Joseph Smith was never commissioned to do anything except translate the Book of Mormon.

Again, unless you have a sure foundation in scripture, the site can be dangerous to your understanding of Joseph Smith’s mission.

https://web.archive.org/web/20101125071609/http://jsfellowship.com/

Ok now. If you have made it to the end of this post, you’re reward is the link to the next installment of the current series.

It has to do with Joseph Smith’s prophetic letter to N. C. Saxton informing him and the world, that the Gentiles had already broken the everlasting covenant and were about to do it again, causing the heavens to be sealed shut until the Marvelous Work begins.

Enjoy

saxton final

BTW some of the links contained in the pdf to the Saxton letter on the Joseph Smith Papers site have mysteriously been changed since I last addressed the topic.. you may need to do a key word search if you want to read the entire content being reference.

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26 Responses to Miscellaneous Musings #2 (2/28/2014)

  1. Adam says:

    Watcher,

    Thank you for another great post

  2. I just got an amazing email from one of the commenters that had encouraged me to read Daymon Smith’s work on the Book of Mormon many months ago.

    He is 1/2 the way through volume 3 and he has reassured me that Daymon does sincerely believe the Book of Mormon is true and he has summarized for me many of the concepts that Daymon teaches.

    I actually agree with some of the interesting points he makes although I still disagree with most of it.

    I must say that the narrative Dayom presents, according to the summary provided by this guy, is fascinating and well thought out from what I can see, if this reader is correct in his interpretations of what Daymon is saying, which I highly suspect that he is.

    Because the narrative contained in the email is so well laid out and does such a beautiful and succinct job of articulating Daymon’s beliefs, I am actually going to make a post out of it so that my readers can see for themselves if the writings of Daymon Smith are worthy of their perusal.

    I think Daymon himself would probably benefit from reading the book report from this fellow. LOL

    Interestingly, this next blog post that will cover the concepts within the email, regarding some of the major concepts that Daymon promotes makes for the perfect intro to my next part of the current series where I will show how the Kingdom of the Jews was secretly re-established after the Gentiles broke the everlasting covenant.

  3. Ryan says:

    Amen! I felt the same way after Rock shared how wonderful Daymon’s book was.

  4. Greg says:

    Watcher,

    “The Bible and the Book of Mormon teach that the marriage of one man to one woman is God’s standard, except at specific periods when He has declared otherwise.“

    “That declaration is true”
    I am going to have to disagree on this. If you disregard section 132 which I think we both do, where has God declared “otherwise” in the scriptures? I agree he has allowed the practice just like he allows people to murder, rob and worship false gods like government, but where did he declare “otherwise” ? I also think this is a backhanded reference to Jacob 2:30 which is incorrectly interpreted by the church to justify polygamy, or as they call it plural marriage.
    God never declared marriage is between anything or anybody other than one man to one woman.
    Thanks for another interesting and thought provoking post.

  5. Greg

    You and I are in agreement that we can disregard section 132 as a bogus revelation.

    It is completely without merit and cannot be substantiated in the entirety of the our standard works once it, and one other minor section (that was also canonized without a proper commission by Brigham Young), has been appropriately extracted from the modern canon of scripture, published by the modern church.

    We are also in agreement that there does not appear to be any clearly defined “thus sayeth the Lord” revelation from God in the scriptures in which he commands his people to violate the Law of chastity/monogamy by taking on lots of wives. However, there is a clearly established law in Old Testament times in which God apparently justifies and even commands a man in raising up the seed of a deceased brother by taking on his brothers wife and having a child or children with her.

    You said:

    I also think this is a backhanded reference to Jacob 2:30 which is incorrectly interpreted by the church to justify polygamy, or as they call it plural marriage.

    You are correct, I was making reference to Jacob 2:30.

    For if I will, saith the Lord of Hosts, raise up seed unto me, I will command my people; otherwise they shall hearken unto these things.”

    I would love to be able to correctly interpret that scripture differently than what it says at face value, however, I have not been able to do so, with integrity, up to this point in my studies.

    When I do a word search on the phrase “raise up seed”, it takes me first to the following passage in Genesis 38:

    And Judah said unto Onan, Go in unto thy brother’s wife, and marry her, and raise up seed to thy brother.
    9 And Onan knew that the seed should not be his; and it came to pass, when he went in unto his brother’s wife, that he spilled it on the ground, lest that he should give seed to his brother.
    10 And the thing which he did displeased the LORD: wherefore he slew him also.”

    As you can see, it appears to have been, at the very least, a custom in ancient Israel, for a man to continue raising up seed to his brother with his brothers wife, when the brother dies.

    One can argue that it was just a custom and that it was in violation of God’s laws, however, the next passage that a word search brings up is the following one in Matthew 22:

    3 ¶ The same day came to him the Sadducees, which say that there is no resurrection, and asked him,
    24 Saying, Master, Moses said, If a man die, having no children, his brother shall marry his wife, and raise up seed unto his brother.
    (Matthew 22:24 See also Mark 12:19, Luke 20:28)

    Following that, a scenario is then described that the Sadducees had a question about having to do with which husband the wife would belong to in the resurrection (which brings up other interesting topics that we could discuss)

    According to the Sadducees, the Law of Moses permitted, if not required a man to raise up seed to his deceased brother if the brother died before having offspring.

    Jesus did not challenge or correct the Sadducees when they referred to the ancient law.

    As we dig a little deeper, we can actually read the law of Moses that addresses this issue. The importance of raising up seed is so important that according to the law, if a man refuses to perform the duty of the husband and build up the house of his deceased brother, the brothers wife is to take her husbands brother in front of the council of elders and publicly loose his shoe and spit in his face, bringing disgrace upon the parsimonious fellow:

    If brethren dwell together, and one of them die, and have no child, the wife of the dead shall not marry without unto a stranger: her husband’s brother shall go in unto her, and take her to him to wife, and perform the duty of an husband’s brother unto her.
    6 And it shall be, that the firstborn which she beareth shall succeed in the name of his brother which is dead, that his name be not put out of Israel.
    7 And if the man like not to take his brother’s wife, then let his brother’s wife go up to the gate unto the elders, and say, My husband’s brother refuseth to raise up unto his brother a name in Israel, he will not perform the duty of my husband’s brother.
    8 Then the elders of his city shall call him, and speak unto him: and if he stand to it, and say, I like not to take her;
    9 Then shall his brother’s wife come unto him in the presence of the elders, and loose his shoe from off his foot, and spit in his face, and shall answer and say, So shall it be done unto that man that will not build up his brother’s house.
    10 And his name shall be called in Israel, The house of him that hath his shoe loosed.

    I must admit that with the huge emphasis the scriptures put on the importance of offspring and posterity, it makes perfect sense to me that God would provide an opportunity for a man who dies before having offspring, to still have a posterity in the earth. I don’t find the doctrine offensive in the least. In fact, I find it rather beautiful and compassionate to both the deceased man and his living wife.

    So, as you can see, there is a scriptural reason to suppose that Jacob 2:30 can and should be interpreted at face value without wresting it.

    I am, however very much willing to evaluate a more enlightened and correct interpretation of the passage and therefore I invite you to enlighten me as to what Jacob 2:30 is really referring to.

    I will keep watching for a reply

  6. Greg says:

    Not sure if Judah is a good example to cite as evidence of a “clearly established law”. First of all he wanted to sell Joseph into slavery and make money instead of just killing him like the other brothers. I don’t see that as the doings of a righteous man.
    And when he told Onan to go and marry his brothers wife, Tamar, that seems to be something he decided all on his own. I see no evidence God commanded him to tell Onan to do that. Onan didn’t want to do that and he was later killed for ‘spilling his seed on the ground’ during sex it appears. Really strange.
    Judah later has sex with the same woman, his daughter-in-law Tamar, who he thought was a harlot and got her pregnant. Hardly a righteous act.
    The verses you cited in Matthew don’t say whether or not the brother was already married when his brother died childless. We just don’t know. That also seems to have been a b.s. scenario used to try and trap Jesus. He refuted them and told them they didn’t understand the scriptures. There also were no children produced in that scenario.
    As to a literal interpretation of Jacob 2:30 how about this?
    “For if I will, saith the Lord of Hosts, raise up seed unto me, I will command my people; otherwise they shall hearken unto these things.”
    The first part is stating that God raises up his people by giving them commandments. And if He doesn’t command them or if they don’t follow His commandments they will inevitably sin like David and Solomon(SHALL hearken unto these things). What things are being condemned in verses 23-35?
    Given the context of this verse it is clear to me he isn’t granting any exception to having multiple wives here. The Lamanites are subsequently saved from total eradication just because they followed this commandment unlike the Nephites and Jaredites.
    “Jacob 3:6 And now, this commandment they observe to keep; wherefore, because of this observance, in keeping this commandment, the Lord God will not destroy them, but will be merciful unto them; and one day they shall become a blessed people.”

    jmho

  7. “Not sure if Judah is a good example to cite as evidence of a “clearly established law”. First of all he wanted to sell Joseph into slavery and make money instead of just killing him like the other brothers. I don’t see that as the doings of a righteous man…

    Judah later has sex with the same woman, his daughter-in-law Tamar, who he thought was a harlot and got her pregnant. Hardly a righteous act.

    Your categorical discounting of Judah’s understanding of Jewish law because he was an unrighteous man is an interesting platform on which to deny the validity of the evidence provided. Let’s see if you want to extend this logic a little further.

    Do you deny that section 132, which you believe to be a false revelation, has it’s origin with Joseph Smith?

    Do you deny the overwhelming evidence that Joseph Smith appears to have violated the law of monogamy that you and I agree has been established by God?

    If so, then we surely must discount and reject everything Joseph Smith ever taught and did, since he would appear to be an unrighteous man like Judah.

    I think that Judah had issues and he stumbled as well all do. But categorically dismissing him and assuming everything he said and did is not credible and irrelevant is pretty harsh and foolish.

    Why would God give Judah the blessing and posterity he did if Judah was such a worthless individual?

    Judah, thou art he whom thy brethren shall praise: thy hand shall be in the neck of thine enemies; thy father’s children shall bow down before thee.
    9 Judah is a lion’s whelp: from the prey, my son, thou art gone up: he stooped down, he couched as a lion, and as an old lion; who shall rouse him up?
    10 The sceptre shall not depart from Judah, nor a lawgiver from between his feet, until Shiloh come; and unto him shall the gathering of the people be.

    Also Greg, where is your response to the law of Moses that was presented. Although a lesser law, it was still a commandment of God given by Moses the servant of God. What is your response to that?

    I am not presenting it as an eternal principal, suggesting that polygamy takes place in heaven nor am I even suggesting that it represents a higher law of the fulness of the Gospel, but, Jacob 2 :30 was simply addressing the topic of whether or not God EVER allows one man to raise up seed through more than one wife. According to the law of Moses, he does. I might add that the majority of the seed of Lehi in the Book of Mormon was living the Law of Moses, which makes the example given, even more significant, despite the fact that Lehi and his posterity was expressly forbidden by the Lord to live polygamy while living the law of Moses.

    “As to a literal interpretation of Jacob 2:30 how about this?

    “For if I will, saith the Lord of Hosts, raise up seed unto me, I will command my people; otherwise they shall hearken unto these things.”

    The first part is stating that God raises up his people by giving them commandments. And if He doesn’t command them or if they don’t follow His commandments they will inevitably sin like David and Solomon(SHALL hearken unto these things). What things are being condemned in verses 23-35?”

    While I applaud your creativity, it just does not ring true or make sense to me.

    If the first part means what you say it means, then the next part of the verse beginning with OTHERWISE, would be referring to any other people that are not being raise up as God’s people.

    Yet if they are not God’s people, then why would God be speaking to them and commanding them to hearken to his laws?

    It doesn’t seem like a consistent and cohesive interpretation of the verse, particularly when the Lord clearly used a phrase “raise up seed”, which leads to other passages of scripture that perfectly explain what he was talking about in Jacob 2:30.

  8. JennyP1969 says:

    But if we are promised that those who do not marry in this life, or those couples who cannot conceive children will in due time, if they are faithful, enjoy these blessings…….then why the need for a brother to conceive with a woman he doesn’t want to? Was the point to birth as many Jewish babies as possible because they are the chosen people? Or to protect vulnerable married men from having an affair with her? Marriages were arranged back then, weren’t they? So is this just an arrangement for widows? And wasn’t a woman’s entire worth based on bearing children? Thus, Tamar spits in his face and loosens his shoe. Is this not culture at its most extreme?—the traditions of men turned into scripture? Didn’t they blame God for everything back then?—sickness and death were punishments from God? Would Onan have died even if he hadn’t spilled his seed?

    It seems like family dynasties within tribes was a big deal—perhaps the biggest deal. Thus, a dead and childless brother isn’t adding to the dynasty, so get the living brother to do it for him to keep the numbers growing. Isn’t that the ego running things? My dynasty is bigger and more righteous than yours? Wasn’t this the same concept in the early days of the latter-days? Adoption? Dynasties? More priesthood holders? I know many families today who remain in this snare.

    It works. It’s pragmatic. It’s logical. But there is no love in it…..no spirituality……no holiness. The only way I can see God being behind this is for a very wicked, lustful, and prideful people who cannot accept anything holier and loving.

    A most excellent post, Watcher. Anxiously awaiting publication. Just saying….

  9. Waiting says:

    In 2 Samuel 12 it appears the Lord clearly was endorsing polygamy, at least for certain people at a certain time and living under a certain law.

  10. Jenny

    While I share many of the same questions and perhaps even disagreements with the way things used to be anciently in comparison to how I think they should have been, I think you are missing the point.

    The point is that Moses was God’s law giver and he gave a law having to do with a man raising up the seed of his brother.

    As ridiculous and prideful as the law may or may not have been, and whether it was given as a cursing, or a test, or whatever, he gave a law that in my opinion, explains what the verse in Jacob 2:30 is referring to.

  11. Very good point Waiting.

    I find it quite interesting that what was acceptable to the Lord in the chapter was the giving of wives from a deceased person (“thy masters wives”) through the prophet Nathan, to David, but what was not acceptable was David taking it upon himself to take to himself the wife of Uriah (after David orchestrated the death of Uriah).

    The content of the chapter separates out two sins. One was murder. the other was taking another wife that was not given by the Lord.

    It would not surprise me if this situation interrelates somehow to the commandment in the Law of Moses previously spoken.. but regardless, you have brought up additional evidence to support that Jacob 2:30 was indeed speaking of unique situations wherein God DOES allow for an exception to the normal marital law of monogamy and it has to do with raising up seed.

  12. David says:

    Dear Watcher,

    Excellent post as usual! Really enjoyed the piece on Jesus Christ as an anarchist, couldn’t agree more! I also believe that our Lord has a big play in leaders of countries as we are all aware of whose armies are whose!? I have read credible material on John’s involvement in many of histories leaders and forming of governments. I believe that through John the Lord has accomplished much in His many purposes!

    The video on how the Vets were treated after fighting a world war for our country was heart wrenching for me as I am a Vet and was one of the very first to serve in the Persian Gulf in ’79.

    The video with Dr. Begich was very enlightening! Nice to see people who have a deep conviction of this countries potential! To bad the State/Satan is the rule of the day!?

    Also, you mentioned the KKK and I just wanted to ad to the destructiveness of secret societies, in that my Grandfather, Charles Poole was murdered by 8 gunshots in a Detroit suburb on May 12, 1936 by an offshoot of the KKK called the Black Legion. They were responsible for the murder of the father of MalcolmX as well as numerous others, but it was my Grandfathers death that brought down their organization and put 12 of them behind bars for life and 57 other convictions, many for 20 year sentences!

    There was a movie made called the Black Legion with Humphrey Bogart that was centered on my Grandfathers brutal murder by this misfit bunch. Anyway, needless to say, I have had a hard time with any secret organization, including “the very big one” that this blog talks much about!?

  13. I may be completely wrong on this, OWIW, but reading this post and your follow-up comments makes me think that you may have taken a step closer to my own views on certain things. (I say “step” because we still do not see eye-to-eye, obviously.) Have your views on anarchy and polygamy been modified since I first invited you to contribute to the LDS Anarchy blog?

    (It may be that your views have not been modified and I simply did not understand them, or that you have not fully explained them in your posts and so I had a limited understanding of your views on these issues.)

  14. Greg says:

    Watcher,

    I didn’t categorically discount Judah’s understanding of Jewish Law or categorically dismiss him and everything he said. You should know better than to make such a statement, attributed to what I said.
    Obviously he knew far more than I ever will know or even want to know about Jewish law. But I see no law given by God to the Jews commanding polygamy in the scriptures, and your example of Judah, who wasn’t a righteous man in my opinion, as justification for polygamy is very weak. (the argument in 2 Samuel 12 is much stronger though and harder to explain away)
    It says HE told his son to take Tamar as his wife and get her pregnant but it never says his son was was already married. So how is that an argument for polygamy? Judah then wanted to kill Tamar after he found out she was pregnant until he found out it was his child. I don’t think he was a good guy and the blessings he received don’t change that opinion based on what I read in the scriptures. Satan at one time probably got some good blessings also.
    I don’t know if 132 originated with Joseph Smith although it seems likely at least part of it did. But he received false revelations more than once. So what? I think BY and probably a few others conspired together to come up with what is now 132 in the D&C. I don’t think Judah and Joseph Smith are even close in comparing what they did for the gospel. That seems obvious.
    The idea of a man taking his dead brothers wife, marrying her and having kids with her as a way to raise up “seed” to his dead
    brother seems ludicrous to me. That doesn’t even make any sense.
    The kids will be his and hers and not the dead brother who had no part in the process whatsoever. Whether it was a custom or a law seems irrelevant as it fails to raise up any seed of the dead man. Just a foolish tradition in my eyes, likely based on biological ignorance.
    Jacob 2: 23-34 is a clear condemnation of polygamy. Why would God, through Jacob, condemn it unequivocally and then in the middle put a loophole? For what reason? What a confusing message. He told the people listening in verse 23 that they didn’t understand the scriptures when they tried to justify polygamy, which is a whoredom, by using David and Solomon as an excuse.
    Verse 30 isn’t Him saying he will command it if and when He feels like it(although being God he could, I guess) but he is stating he will command his people otherwise they WILL end up doing it. By him commanding them and them obeying they become his seed.
    You can of course disagree but that is how I understand it and that makes perfect sense to me, given the context and all other statements about marriage in the scriptures.
    “Yet if they are not God’s people, then why would God be speaking to them and commanding them to hearken to his laws?”
    Coming from you that is a pretty weak question. When you cease to follow God and His commandments you stop being ‘His people’.
    If he doesn’t give you commandments how could you obey them?
    Plenty of kids, “seed” are born into a normal marriage between one man and one woman so why would God need to resort to polygamy to have to “raise up seed” then? What is the track record of “seed” raised up through traditional marriage versus polygamous ones? Obviously there is no need for polygamous marriages as being necessary to raise up seed.

  15. Anarchist

    I would like to think that I am always learning and growing and self correcting in my views.

    Having said that, I am not aware that I have changed much on either topic. With regard to Anarchy, I have never considered myself an expert on the topic and don’t remember posting much on the topic on your site. I enjoyed reading several of the articles on the topic on your site.

    I have always had contempt for government and human authority in general and have felt for a long time that I fall somewhere between anarchy and libertarianism. I do not recall ever voting in a presidential election and I am 60 years old! I realize most people will respond to that with disdain but I am proud of it. I have always felt that the whole system is a scam and felt that the concept of voting for the lesser of two evils is a flawed concept.

    Regarding polygamy, I am not aware that I have changed on that either. Even during my Morley Farm series, during the general time frame when I was writing militant articles against the spiritual wife doctrine, I still dedicated a post to the fact that Biblical polygamy as a temporal law during the time of a lesser law was probably justified, might have even been justified during Joseph’s ministry after the dispensation of the gospel of Abraham was secretly ushered in. (I realize that you do not think there are “lesser laws” and “higher laws”, but I do)

    My issue has always been that there is a HUGE difference between Biblical polygamy for raising up seed when God commands it, and the Spiritual Wife heresy that teaches that the sealing of multiple wives to one man is a requisite for the highest kingdom… I believe that fable began with the LDS restoration movement… and yes, you and I are light years apart on it.

    If I have posted contrary to those general beliefs you will need to remind me of what I said and when I said it.. I am slowly going senile so it is very possible that I have simply forgotten something I have said in the past.

    On another topic, my next part of the current series that addresses my views on the secret re-establishment of the kingdom of the Jews, draws on the amazing research you did in the “end of the state of Israel” post that you did many years ago.

    I always thought that was one of the best posts you did and I thank you for saving me many hours of word searching in preparation for the post.

    Lastly, where have you been? Why do you post so seldom anymore? Are you going through deep introspection? Involved in a secret project? Burned out? Being held prisoner by the nefarious forces that run this wicked world?

    Do tell.

  16. Greg

    I appreciate the fact that you have put a lot of thought into this and feel strongly about it. The funny thing is that nobody would be happier than me if your interpretation is correct. For that reason, I am not invested enough to keep arguing this point. I understand how you feel and why you feel the way you do. I hope you are right and I am wrong.

    At this point, I just don’t agree because my reading and interpretation of the scriptures arrives at a different interpretation.

    I will say one last thing, however, I get the feeling from several of my commenters, including you, that you scoff at, and discount Old Testament laws that, on the surface, seem silly and ridiculous to your way of thinking.

    You made the following comment

    That doesn’t even make any sense.
    The kids will be his and hers and not the dead brother who had no part in the process whatsoever. Whether it was a custom or a law seems irrelevant as it fails to raise up any seed of the dead man. Just a foolish tradition in my eyes, likely based on biological ignorance.

    The fact that things don’t make sense to in the scriptures doesn’t mean that we should discount them or consider them foolish traditions, when in fact they may actually be a serious law of God. The world as we see it is largely an illusion. There is a spiritual dimension all around us that we cannot see but it is very real. Probably more real than what we can see. There are many things done in witchcraft having to do with words and signs and enactments and ceremonies, etc., that seem laughable but they are very serious and they have a very real effect on the spiritual world around us.

    I believe the same is true having to do with God’s spiritual laws. There are some things God has us do that seem silly but we probably have no idea the spiritual laws associated with them the tremendous impact they have in the spiritual world around us.

    To negate the declaration that the offspring are given to the dead brother and count as his offspring, based on a law that God has given, just may be a serious and thoughtless thing to say.

    We can also laugh at the thought of a woman who takes her brother-i- law in front of the Elders to loosen his shoe and spit in his face, but that act is probably a very serious act in the eyes of God and will probably be upheld by God and it may bring a curse upon the neglectful brother in law.

    In New Testament times and modern times the elders were commanded to wash their feet and brush the dust off of their heals as a testimony of the unrighteous acts of others.. that may sound silly foolish tradition to some and to the carnal mind, but I suspect that in the spiritual realm, there are some pretty serious spiritual things attached to it.

  17. Greg says:

    Watcher,

    Fair enough.
    I am pretty sold on my position as stated but since I have been wrong about so many things in my life I am always open to being convinced I am wrong. I certainly don’t claim to be an expert or authority on any subject.

    “The fact that things don’t make sense to in the scriptures doesn’t mean that we should discount them or consider them foolish traditions, when in fact they may actually be a serious law of God.”

    Unfortunately I have a lot of problems with many OT laws or traditions as they were so violent and seemingly un-Christlike.
    All the death penalties for all kinds of infractions were far to harsh in my judgement and the killing of women, children and infants took place far to often for my liking, seemingly sanctioned by God. I think God should do His own killing which he could easily do.

    Maybe I just don’t understand like you said which is very possible, but I don’t like the violence in the OT. Don’t see how you can love your neighbor and then stone them when they sin. Or kill babies for the sins of their parents.

  18. OWIW, thanks for clearing up my confusion. And I look forward to reading your Jewish kingdom post. Also, I’m glad my post could be of help. Oh, and no, I am not imprisoned, engaged in a secret experiment, burnt out, meditating or any other fabulous reason for not posting. I’ve just been plain ol’ busy with boring, mundane distractions. I wish it were otherwise…

  19. Fusion says:

    Anarchist-

    Just read your post on the state of Israel. Indeed, it is one of your best. A ton to gain in that one.

    Lehi in China (or called something similar) was one that stands out too.

    Have you got any thoughts on what Lehi’s party got upto in those 8 years, and their route? What about the Beit Lehi discoveries in Palestine?

    Fusion

  20. JLC says:

    Watcher,

    Just went to a “fireside” where Dayman spoke for a couple of hours. I can’t defend him in some of the things you brought up against him but he most certainly believe the book of Mormon as the word of God written by prophets who once walked the promise land. In fact, I would say, I have never heard a person speak that didn’t believe the Book of Mormon more literally than he does.

    I thought he made some brilliant comments on how he understands the scriptures. I don’t except all that he laid out but he made great arguments of why he believes the way he does.

    Thanks you for what you offer me to consider.

  21. JLC

    Thank you very much for briefing us on the fireside.

    Any other details would be helpful. As I read the pdf’s I also felt that he offers some great insights and interpretations. However, after getting a second email from my contact that was the first to encourage me to read his stuff, I am even more disturbed at the ultimate bottom-line and at the disgraceful characterizations that he makes regarding Pratt and Rigdon, etc.

    I would be curious to know if he divulged the fact that he completely rejects most of the revelations in the D&C. If my contact is correct in what he is telling me, that is a fact. It appears to me from what I have heard, that he actually does believe something very similar to the storyline on the link I provided in my last post. I will be sharing more info in my next post, but any other info that you can provide would be appreciated.

    Thanks

    Watcher

  22. JLC says:

    Watcher,

    I don’t want to say something about Daymon that may not be true so I can only tell you what he said in relation to the D&C.

    He truly believes the Book of Mormon and the Pearl of GP to the letter. That was very apparent.

    When asked about the D&C he said he didn’t trust it as much because of how it was added and changed by others after the fact. I asked him about Sidney. He believes he was, indeed, influenced greatly by Cambell but he also believes he saw the vision (Section 76) although he doesn’t necessarily think he saw it as Joseph did even if the phrase, “do you see what I see” was use during the revelation. I don’t recall why he believed that so I won’t speculate.

    He trust the bible the least but interesting enough, he said there is much good in it but we just don’t know what parts to believe. He takes that belief because of what Nephi had to say about it.

    His talk was on the Book of the Lamb and the 12 apostles of the Lamb. He believes, like I have for some time now, that the 12 apostles of the lamb are not the 12 that followed him while he lived on earth. I found it most interesting. Not that I believed everything he said but he opened my mind to new possibilities.

    The talk was recorded and I believe will be on his blog soon.

  23. Very interesting JLC.

    Thanks

  24. sfort says:

    A note on Parley P. Pratt. I my readings of his life, he was a true believer in the early restoration. My great great grandfather was a blind harpist that walked across the plains in 1856. His wife died, his children also perished and he was left by the wayside left for dead. Who comes along, but Parley who gives him a blessing and states he will arrive in Salt Lake safely, get married again and have posterity; of which I come from, and determined the day he will die. It all came to pass. Regardless of what anyone thinks of Parley P. Pratt, he was valiant and sacrificed without guile. I believe judgement is very easy, especially when the whole rebirth was enfolding. It was new, different, and they were mortals. In and of itself, if would have put ourselves in their moccasins, how would we have framed the outcome?

  25. That is a great story sfort. Thank you for sharing it.

    There is no question but what many remarkable things continued to happen among the saints after the Kirtland and Nauvoo years, because of their faith.

    VERILY I say unto you my friends, I speak unto you with my voice, even the voice of my Spirit, that I may show unto you my will concerning your brethren in the land of Zion, many of whom are truly humble and are seeking diligently to learn wisdom and to find truth.
    2 Verily, verily I say unto you, blessed are such, for they shall obtain; for I, the Lord, show mercy unto all the meek, and upon all whomsoever I will, that I may be justified when I shall bring them unto judgment.
    3 Behold, I say unto you, concerning the school in Zion, I, the Lord, am well pleased that there should be a school in Zion, and also with my servant Parley P. Pratt, for he abideth in me.
    4 And inasmuch as he continueth to abide in me he shall continue to preside over the school in the land of Zion until I shall give unto him other commandments.
    5 And I will bless him with a multiplicity of blessings, in expounding all scriptures and mysteries to the edification of the school, and of the church in Zion.
    6 And to the residue of the school, I, the Lord, am willing to show mercy; nevertheless, there are those that must needs be chastened, and their works shall be made known.”

    Above you have the testimony from the Lord God of Israel regarding Parley Pratt. The Lord promised that he would “bless him with a multiplicity of blessings, in expounding all scriptures and mysteries to the edification of the school, and of the church in Zion

    Regardless of the fact that the church went into apostasy in the later years, the early teachings of Sidney and Parley were in sync with what God wanted taught.

    For some strange reason, I find the testimony of GOD to be a little more credible and compelling than the testimony of Daymon Smith and the way he spins the LDS restoration movement.

  26. Hi, Fusion. I haven’t gotten any new insights concerning that topic. I suppose that they just walked and camped and hunted, and also taught whoever they came in contact with, for the eight year trek. And I haven’t given Beit Lehi enough thought or research to have any opinion on that. I do find the church’s recent LDS Topics post on the Book of Mormon and DNA possibly supporting of a China route, since it admits that Asian DNA is found among the American Indian populations.

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