Overriding Theme of Gospel Doctrine 2017

This is for discussions of the correlated lessons from Gospel Doctrine, Priesthood, and Relief Society.
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Corsair
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Overriding Theme of Gospel Doctrine 2017

Post by Corsair » Wed Jan 04, 2017 2:36 pm

TL;DR: I have an idea that I want to float with you clever individuals about an underlying theme of virtually every lesson in Gospel Doctrine Church History class this year: The LDS church is painfully constrained by a lot of historical events that leadership hopes we don't look at too closely. Because any one of them can stomp out a testimony in when not viewed through a correlated filter.

Think of what literal truths that a simple, non-denominational Christian church depends on.
  • the resurrection of Jesus
If Jesus the Christ is not risen then Christianity goes from "moral imperative" down to "largely good idea, but not required for salvation". You can debate a lot of biblical teachings and interpretations, but the resurrection is literally required or your church is reduced to a philosophical discussion group. That's not a bad thing, but you won't necessarily dedicate time and tithing to a "good idea" that has to compete with every other classical philosophy.

Catholics are a step further with:
  • the resurrection of Jesus
  • authority of the popes
  • legitimacy of the Roman Catholic church
  • The Original Sin of Adam and Eve needs to be some degree of literal
  • Arguably some biblical authority
Protestants add a few things needed for adherents to take them seriously:
  • the resurrection of Jesus
  • origin of Catholic authority but Protestant doctrine corrects it
  • A lot of Catholic doctrine
  • Biblical authority
Evangelicals depend on possibly an easier list
  • the resurrection of Jesus
  • a lot more literalness of the Bible
Jehovah's Witnesses and Seventh Day Adventists add on some fairly strict biblical interpretations. They lose a lot of foundation when the bible is shown to be less than reliable.

But Mormons depend on a fairly difficult list of literal historical events:
  • the resurrection of Jesus
  • The Great Apostasy
  • First Vision
  • Restoration of Aaronic and Melchizedek Priesthood
  • Restoration of Keys in the Kirtland Temple
  • a strictly defined path of succession through Brigham Young through Tom Monson
  • The LDS version of the Fall of Adam and Eve need to be pretty literal
  • Polygamy must make an appearance somewhere
  • Temples must literally be of supreme importance
  • The singular authority to maintain saving ordinances exclusive of all other churches must literally be true.
I think FairMormon would agree with this list so far. We also have a lot of McConkie style "Mormon Doctrines" that will still get you into trouble if you are too metaphorical about them.
  • Young Earth Creationism
  • Falsity of Evolution
  • Total and Literal Flood of Noah
  • Languages change from the Tower of Babel
  • Doctrine that somhowe explains the dreaded "Curse of Cain"
  • D&C and the Book of Mormon both have tons of addition literal events required for Mormonism to be true
This is not an easy list to sustain. It leads into the inherent problems designing Gospel Doctrine class. What literal historical events are required for the LDS church to claim any authority whatsoever? What have I missed? What are the crucial events that might not get a lot of exposure because any skepticism of them occurring could damage a testimony?

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deacon blues
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Re: Overriding Theme of Gospel Doctrine 2017

Post by deacon blues » Wed Jan 04, 2017 8:44 pm

This is a great summary, Corsair. It points out that it many ways, LDS teachings are more fundamental and extreme than even Evangelical Christians.
God is Love. God is Truth

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Corsair
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Re: Overriding Theme of Gospel Doctrine 2017

Post by Corsair » Wed Jan 04, 2017 11:23 pm

Thanks, Deacon Blues. My subsequent idea is that apologists and the LDS church have a number doctrinal positions that they must hold at all costs or the whole thing falls. The initial list for the church included a bunch of historical events that will be covered this year in Gospel Doctrine class. It's worth emphasizing to believers that these are not negotiable incidents. They also must be definitively proven for the church to make sense.

This past August the FairMormon 2016 conference included a talk by Grant Hardy where he admitted that while he believes in Book of Mormon historicity, he does not believe that it is required for salvation. Missionary lessons still assert historicity, and the book is considered a sign of Joseph's prophetic mantle. We can watch if the church pulls back on the literalness of each of these items like Grant Hardy actually has.

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2bizE
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Re: Overriding Theme of Gospel Doctrine 2017

Post by 2bizE » Sun Jan 08, 2017 3:48 pm

This is a great list and comments Deacon and Corsair. There are so many "prophesies" that must be true for Mormonism to believe in a prophet.
There is also all of the prophesies about the Garden of Eden being in Missouri, the pile of rocks that was an alter of A&E, BOA,
All of the magic,superstitions, and the occult.
~2bizE

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Emower
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Re: Overriding Theme of Gospel Doctrine 2017

Post by Emower » Sun Jan 08, 2017 7:55 pm

I think Marriage between a man and woman only has entered the realm of things that cannot be walked back.

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wtfluff
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Re: Overriding Theme of Gospel Doctrine 2017

Post by wtfluff » Sun Jan 08, 2017 9:02 pm

Emower wrote:I think Marriage between a man and woman only has entered the realm of things that cannot be walked back.
It will be interesting to see if that changes if it ever negatively impacts the bottom line of the LDS Corporation™ in a big way.
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

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Silver Girl
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Re: Overriding Theme of Gospel Doctrine 2017

Post by Silver Girl » Wed Jan 18, 2017 4:12 pm

Thanks for summarizing the theme - I was struck by how many of the points in the LDS list point to The Arm of the Flesh rather than to longstanding Christian scriptures, or even to basic moral values. Most elements and traditions of the LDS religion are manufactured by man (specifically one man), and the connection to traditional Christian beliefs is, I feel, primarily a selling point and an attempt to legitimize widespread sexual abuse, fake translations, temple ceremonies that mimic the Masons, and other things that fly in the face of morality and human values.
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