I'm here to listen and learn

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Hagoth
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Re: I'm here to listen and learn

Post by Hagoth » Mon Feb 04, 2019 11:44 am

Vlad the Emailer wrote:
Mon Feb 04, 2019 11:18 am
To me, all that is saying is that you're okay with living in denial.
Bingo. Which is actually the new tack they are taking. Don't think about it. If you do think about it ask God to give you sufficient remorse that you won't make that mistake again. Head, sand....go!
“The easy confidence with which I know another man's religion is folly teaches me to suspect that my own is also.” -Mark Twain

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Red Ryder
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Re: I'm here to listen and learn

Post by Red Ryder » Mon Feb 04, 2019 2:42 pm

Let's give Leo a break here guys.

Sometimes it's ok to follow the emotions and ignore the obvious. After all, we weren't there and can't really know for sure if it was all about the sex. It appears sex was involved but not 2018 creepy religious leader sex. Just spiritually defining, God supported and ordained 1830's sex. You know, the ok religious kind regardless of age?

Besides, what if God really commanded JS to have sex with all these women? Wouldn't we have to believe all of it if we conclude Joseph Smith was a Prophet?

Start from the top. If the answer is Joseph Smith was a prophet and restored the church of Christ, then the details and denials don't matter. That is the answer.

We've got to stop looking for evidence of truth and proving it to be true for us to believe again. We just have to feelz good about it, find what we like, and ignore the genital warts.

Isn't that how it works Leo?
Those who do not move do not notice their chains. —Rosa Luxemburg

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wtfluff
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Location: Worshiping Gravity / Pulling Taffy

Re: I'm here to listen and learn

Post by wtfluff » Mon Feb 04, 2019 3:15 pm

Hagoth wrote:
Sun Feb 03, 2019 8:43 pm
Sorry, I didn't intend to go off the rails with this (WTFluff made me do it!). If you want to keep discussing it I will be happy to move it to another topic.
Ha! I'm absolutely giddy that I was able to be a "bad influence" on the Chief.
Faith does not give you the answers, it just stops you asking the questions. -Frater Ravus

Keep the company of those who seek the truth - run from those who have found it -Václav Havel

Who taught you how to hate?

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Hagoth
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Re: I'm here to listen and learn

Post by Hagoth » Tue Feb 05, 2019 7:01 am

wtfluff wrote:
Mon Feb 04, 2019 3:15 pm
Hagoth wrote:
Sun Feb 03, 2019 8:43 pm
Sorry, I didn't intend to go off the rails with this (WTFluff made me do it!). If you want to keep discussing it I will be happy to move it to another topic.
Ha! I'm absolutely giddy that I was able to be a "bad influence" on the Chief.
You disturbed my fluff.
“The easy confidence with which I know another man's religion is folly teaches me to suspect that my own is also.” -Mark Twain

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LeoWinegar
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Re: I'm here to listen and learn

Post by LeoWinegar » Wed Feb 20, 2019 11:15 am

Red Ryder wrote:
Mon Feb 04, 2019 2:42 pm
Let's give Leo a break here guys.

Sometimes it's ok to follow the emotions and ignore the obvious. After all, we weren't there and can't really know for sure if it was all about the sex. It appears sex was involved but not 2018 creepy religious leader sex. Just spiritually defining, God supported and ordained 1830's sex. You know, the ok religious kind regardless of age?

Besides, what if God really commanded JS to have sex with all these women? Wouldn't we have to believe all of it if we conclude Joseph Smith was a Prophet?

Start from the top. If the answer is Joseph Smith was a prophet and restored the church of Christ, then the details and denials don't matter. That is the answer.

We've got to stop looking for evidence of truth and proving it to be true for us to believe again. We just have to feelz good about it, find what we like, and ignore the genital warts.

Isn't that how it works Leo?
Hey everyone, sorry for the slow response!

I'll try to answer in a nuanced way, since that is where I'm currently at in my faith journey. I honestly believe that dynastic sealings (a primary focus on building eternal ties within God's kingdom) can account for some of the historical evidence. We see individuals approaching Joseph asking to be sealed to him. We see women like Helen Mar Kimball writing in defense of the practice. We see a lack of polygynous children produced by Joseph (i.e. no DNA evidence). We also see the general good character of Joseph attested by those people who knew the prophet best, etc.,

Yes, there is some evidence that Joseph consummated some of his marriages, but not all of it is conclusive. Much of it is open to interpretation, and the best scholars today still can't come to a consensus on how active Joseph was in this regard.

The historical record is fragmented and is filled with varying perspectives and strong personalities (I'm thinking of Emma). This leaves us to sort through a wide array of interpretations. So, I'm being genuinely honest when I say one can choose how she/he views Joseph Smith.

I used to view Joseph as a monster, a sexual opportunist. It was easy to do, and to this day I think he probably had some motivation for sex. Like someone else said, most men are highly motivated by sex. I don't dismiss that reality. But, I also have to temper that perspective (Joseph being a monster) with all of the other historical evidence. This isn't a black/white scenario. Joseph was a complex individual, just like you and I are complex individuals. We all have passions, and worries, and challenges, and we're all just trying to get along the best we can, given our circumstances.

So, I personally try to assume the best intent in everyone, and that includes Joseph Smith. That also includes people in the former member communities, who have lost belief in our truth claims. I know that y'all intend to seek truth, and are trying to be kind to members of the church who are still fighting to believe.

So, thanks again (to everyone) for this conversation. I know I can't convince anyone to adopt the perspective I have. It's not cut and dry and every perspective has its pro's and con's. But since y'all asked, I thought I would share. Much love and respect to all of you for the good lives you're trying to lead. May you find peace and happiness.

- Leo

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Red Ryder
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Re: I'm here to listen and learn

Post by Red Ryder » Wed Feb 20, 2019 2:47 pm

Thanks for the detailed response.

I apologize for my snarky attitude. I forget that real lives and emotions are attached to making Mormonism work/not work.

A respectful dialogue can go along way.

Again, thanks for explaining yourself.
Those who do not move do not notice their chains. —Rosa Luxemburg

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Stig
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Re: I'm here to listen and learn

Post by Stig » Fri Feb 22, 2019 1:49 pm

I can appreciate Leo's approach on this. It's pragmatic, for sure. But, it seems to me that it starts from an assumption that there is a God, that He actually appeared to Joseph Smith (per his testimony), and that He is interested in being involved in the lives of His children on Earth. However, for me, there were other events that were corroding that core belief in Deity that, when combined with looking at Joseph in comparison to a long list of Self-Proclaimed religious leaders who turned out to be malignant pied pipers, convinced me of two things: 1) if Joseph really did see God, it made him no different than every other charlatan who made the same or similar claim in terms of many of his behaviors towards his flock (in other words, Joseph's brush with Deity seemed to do nothing to make him a better man); and 2) if there really is a God, it seemed He either had very poor taste in who He chose to lead His people, or He wasn't actually a real being.

While I am pleased for Leo that his new perspective enables him to be happy in a renewed belief, for me, there is nothing left to believe in. The evidence suggests, to me, that Joseph was a man very much like many others who, either through delusion or intentional misrepresentation, put forth the claim of being an appointed Messenger of the Divine, but really was only hearing and then communicating his own thoughts and desires.
“Some say he’s wanted by the CIA and that he sleeps upside down like a Bat. All we know is he’s called the Stig.”

“Some say that he lives in a tree, and that his sweat can be used to clean precious metals. All we know is he’s called the Stig.”

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w2mz
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Re: I'm here to listen and learn

Post by w2mz » Fri Feb 22, 2019 10:13 pm

The concept of “sealing” makes no sense. Is god god or not? Can’t he seal whomever he wants to whomever he pleases? I think sealing was JS powerplay. He convinced people that they had to be connected to him to be saved. Gullible, superstitious frontier people believed him. He had bonus sex as his payout. The end.
The church has engineered your eternal family into a commodity that can be purchased with an annual fee. The fact that full tithing payment is a requirement for saving ordinances is the biggest red flag imaginable. Hagoth

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LeoWinegar
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Re: I'm here to listen and learn

Post by LeoWinegar » Sat Feb 23, 2019 1:07 pm

Stig wrote:
Fri Feb 22, 2019 1:49 pm
I can appreciate Leo's approach on this. It's pragmatic, for sure. But, it seems to me that it starts from an assumption that there is a God, that He actually appeared to Joseph Smith (per his testimony), and that He is interested in being involved in the lives of His children on Earth. However, for me, there were other events that were corroding that core belief in Deity that, when combined with looking at Joseph in comparison to a long list of Self-Proclaimed religious leaders who turned out to be malignant pied pipers, convinced me of two things: 1) if Joseph really did see God, it made him no different than every other charlatan who made the same or similar claim in terms of many of his behaviors towards his flock (in other words, Joseph's brush with Deity seemed to do nothing to make him a better man); and 2) if there really is a God, it seemed He either had very poor taste in who He chose to lead His people, or He wasn't actually a real being.

While I am pleased for Leo that his new perspective enables him to be happy in a renewed belief, for me, there is nothing left to believe in. The evidence suggests, to me, that Joseph was a man very much like many others who, either through delusion or intentional misrepresentation, put forth the claim of being an appointed Messenger of the Divine, but really was only hearing and then communicating his own thoughts and desires.
Thank you, and I can also appreciate your approach. It has been very difficult for me to believe in the past, and for a brief period, impossible for me to believe. No hard feelings on my end! I'm just grateful that many of us are learning to talk to one another after such a fallout occurs. Thanks for chilling with me. My time is limited, but I hope to log in and check these forums from time to time. If there is something in particular that y'all want to talk about with me, please email. That might be easier for me to track. Take care! :)

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LeoWinegar
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Re: I'm here to listen and learn

Post by LeoWinegar » Sat Feb 23, 2019 1:09 pm

Red Ryder wrote:
Wed Feb 20, 2019 2:47 pm
Thanks for the detailed response.

I apologize for my snarky attitude. I forget that real lives and emotions are attached to making Mormonism work/not work.

A respectful dialogue can go along way.

Again, thanks for explaining yourself.
It's all good my friend. No hard feelings. Religion and politics are two arenas where I'm trying to model the best behavior in dialogue. Our world needs it. Have a good one :)

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