Bill Reel v. Apologist Jim Bennett

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Hagoth
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Re: Bill Reel v. Apologist Jim Bennett

Post by Hagoth » Thu Feb 28, 2019 4:54 pm

Rob4Hope wrote:
Thu Feb 28, 2019 3:23 pm
I struggle with the church, not because they are infallible, but because my entire life I was taught, internally to my family and externally, that I had better OBEY or I would go to hell. And, that the leaders WERE infallible. Why?...because "by my own voice or by the voice of my servants, it is the same."
I really hoped they would get into this a little bit more. Jim spent a LOT of time talking about how unremarkable the Q15 are, how we shouldn't expect anything from them, and how they have really screwed up many times in the past. I would like to hear some discussion about the constant stream of commandments to obey them. Also some reflection on Dallin Oaks' statement that we never criticize our leaders, "even when they are wrong" and other injunctions to obey them no matter what because we will be blessed more for our obedience than for acting in accordance with our own conscience.

Also, there was a lot of talk about spiritual personal witness but it didn't touch on my personal concerns (no reason it should) which are: 1) what happens when you don't get the Moroni's Challenge answer after decades of trying (Jim made it sound like it's a simple, always works formula that sets us apart from everyone else), or you get the answer that the Book of Mormon is NOT true? and 2) What about Oaks' condemnation of personal revelation that it must always align with the The Brethren or it comes from Satan. How does that fit with Jim's acknowledgement that they have screwed up in big ways?
“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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Rob4Hope
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Re: Bill Reel v. Apologist Jim Bennett

Post by Rob4Hope » Thu Feb 28, 2019 6:18 pm

Hagoth wrote:
Thu Feb 28, 2019 4:54 pm
What about Oaks' condemnation of personal revelation that it must always align with the The Brethren or it comes from Satan. How does that fit with Jim's acknowledgement that they have screwed up in big ways?
This is a BIG BIG BIG one!!!

Just that one there completely blasts Jim.

Reuben
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Re: Bill Reel v. Apologist Jim Bennett

Post by Reuben » Fri Mar 01, 2019 1:30 am

Rob4Hope wrote:
Thu Feb 28, 2019 6:18 pm
Hagoth wrote:
Thu Feb 28, 2019 4:54 pm
What about Oaks' condemnation of personal revelation that it must always align with the The Brethren or it comes from Satan. How does that fit with Jim's acknowledgement that they have screwed up in big ways?
This is a BIG BIG BIG one!!!

Just that one there completely blasts Jim.
Let me put on my Jim/progmo hat.

"That was one of the things Oaks was wrong about, so there's no contradiction. If we wait on the Lord, eventually he'll help the leaders figure it out. I'm not sure he cares much about this, anyway. Maybe he's content to let a lesser law reign for now, until enough of us are ready for a higher law. It's not like the church is ruining anyone's life. Besides, if it is, the Lord will make up for it."

That was how I used to justify their failure to teach the actual gospel as I found it in the scriptures, anyway. It fell apart when I stopped trusting God to intervene in even small ways. How could I trust that he would swoop in and save everyone? Statements like Oaks's became sinister instead of benign.

Another way out might have been to learn just how much harm the church has caused. I still wonder about that possible universe. I wonder if Jim is moving that way. Different people weigh systematic harm differently, though.
You were born to trust, not fear. It is your birthright.

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Rob4Hope
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Re: Bill Reel v. Apologist Jim Bennett

Post by Rob4Hope » Fri Mar 01, 2019 1:54 am

Reuben wrote:
Fri Mar 01, 2019 1:30 am
Rob4Hope wrote:
Thu Feb 28, 2019 6:18 pm
Hagoth wrote:
Thu Feb 28, 2019 4:54 pm
What about Oaks' condemnation of personal revelation that it must always align with the The Brethren or it comes from Satan. How does that fit with Jim's acknowledgement that they have screwed up in big ways?
This is a BIG BIG BIG one!!!

Just that one there completely blasts Jim.
Let me put on my Jim/progmo hat.

"That was one of the things Oaks was wrong about, so there's no contradiction. If we wait on the Lord, eventually he'll help the leaders figure it out. I'm not sure he cares much about this, anyway. Maybe he's content to let a lesser law reign for now, until enough of us are ready for a higher law. It's not like the church is ruining anyone's life. Besides, if it is, the Lord will make up for it."

That was how I used to justify their failure to teach the actual gospel as I found it in the scriptures, anyway. It fell apart when I stopped trusting God to intervene in even small ways. How could I trust that he would swoop in and save everyone? Statements like Oaks's became sinister instead of benign.

Another way out might have been to learn just how much harm the church has caused. I still wonder about that possible universe. I wonder if Jim is moving that way. Different people weigh systematic harm differently, though.
Yeh...I see the point. Its like political double-speak. TSCC is riddled with it. A prime example is priesthood blessings. "Hey,...I was told that I would be healed. " Answer--"but you weren't, because you didn't have enough faith."

There is always a loophole.

Frankly, I use to engage in this type of stuff as well. I now detest it. You end up not having anything!...whatever is said, if it doesn't work, there is a reason,...and then that reason has another reason, and so on. Nothing is solid, stable, true. Its all just words and sophistry.

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Culper Jr.
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Re: Bill Reel v. Apologist Jim Bennett

Post by Culper Jr. » Fri Mar 01, 2019 6:33 am

Made it through part 4.

Jim keeps going on about how Joseph was under so much pressure to “restore” polygamy without clear instruction. But it had to be done right then.

Compare this with the Word of Wisdom. Apologists say the reason early prophets didn’t live it was that God was patient with them as the WOW was such a dramatic change so it wasn’t required until the early 1900s.

So something as simple as a health code was given tons of latitude for decades, but something as radical as polygamy and polyandry had to be done “right now!” with minimal instruction under threat of an angel with a drawn sword?

Apologists’ arguments only work in isolation.

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Re: Bill Reel v. Apologist Jim Bennett

Post by jfro18 » Fri Mar 01, 2019 6:56 am

Culper Jr. wrote:
Fri Mar 01, 2019 6:33 am
So something as simple as a health code was given tons of latitude for decades, but something as radical as polygamy and polyandry had to be done “right now!” with minimal instruction under threat of an angel with a drawn sword?

Apologists’ arguments only work in isolation.
This is something that just drives me nuts, and Bennett does it a lot because you have to as an apologist.

You make the argument that God allows the prophets to make mistakes and even allows them to carry on those mistakes for over 100 years (banning blacks from the priesthood, for example). Yet when it came to polygamy, God was SO impatient that he sent an angel with a drawn sword to force him to marry and have sex with a bunch of younger women.

There is no way to look at that objectively and reconcile it, which is why you have to create different sets of rules for whatever it is you're defending at the moment -- apologists use a "Choose Your Own Adventure" mentality to weave through these things, but there's just no way to line them up in totality.

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græy
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Re: Bill Reel v. Apologist Jim Bennett

Post by græy » Fri Mar 01, 2019 9:45 am

jfro18 wrote:
Fri Mar 01, 2019 6:56 am
Culper Jr. wrote:
Fri Mar 01, 2019 6:33 am
So something as simple as a health code was given tons of latitude for decades, but something as radical as polygamy and polyandry had to be done “right now!” with minimal instruction under threat of an angel with a drawn sword?

Apologists’ arguments only work in isolation.
You make the argument that God allows the prophets to make mistakes and even allows them to carry on those mistakes for over 100 years (banning blacks from the priesthood, for example). Yet when it came to polygamy, God was SO impatient that he sent an angel with a drawn sword to force him to marry and have sex with a bunch of younger women.
Same for me. The God I was taught in my youth and throughout my life was fair, just, loving. To demand that something as jarring as polygamy be implemented under the threat of your own personal "destruction", even going so far as to send and angel to intimidate you, and then not provide a few details? That's just stupid.

The loving God I always knew wouldn't circumvent your agency by threatening your eternal destruction. The fair and just God I I knew wouldn't expect something as complex as polygamy to be done without a few guidelines. A God that communicated the most minute detail about the layout of the temple wouldn't let Joseph invent and then break EVERY. SINGLE. RULE. that he made up to implement this apparently necessary polygamous law. There is no part of polygamy that makes sense.

/rant

I'm about half way through part two of this series. Its both refreshing and frustrating at the same time.
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deacon blues
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Re: Bill Reel v. Apologist Jim Bennett

Post by deacon blues » Fri Mar 01, 2019 10:04 am

jfro18 wrote:
Fri Mar 01, 2019 6:56 am
Culper Jr. wrote:
Fri Mar 01, 2019 6:33 am
So something as simple as a health code was given tons of latitude for decades, but something as radical as polygamy and polyandry had to be done “right now!” with minimal instruction under threat of an angel with a drawn sword?

Apologists’ arguments only work in isolation.
This is something that just drives me nuts, and Bennett does it a lot because you have to as an apologist.

You make the argument that God allows the prophets to make mistakes and even allows them to carry on those mistakes for over 100 years (banning blacks from the priesthood, for example). Yet when it came to polygamy, God was SO impatient that he sent an angel with a drawn sword to force him to marry and have sex with a bunch of younger women.

There is no way to look at that objectively and reconcile it, which is why you have to create different sets of rules for whatever it is you're defending at the moment -- apologists use a "Choose Your Own Adventure" mentality to weave through these things, but there's just no way to line them up in totality.
Yup. The Mormon god is so picky, capricious, temperamental, quirky, and fickle, etc. he seems almost as human as a group of old men. Examples that come to mind: white shirts, earrings, "Mormon" semantics, right hands, and the list could go on.
God is Love. God is Truth

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Hagoth
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Re: Bill Reel v. Apologist Jim Bennett

Post by Hagoth » Fri Mar 01, 2019 12:53 pm

jfro18 wrote:
Fri Mar 01, 2019 6:56 am
God was SO impatient that he sent an angel with a drawn sword to force him to marry and have sex with a bunch of younger women.
Come on, jfro, we don't know that he had sex with ALL of them. For some reason that makes it ok that he did have sex with some. I don't get it. I guess that allows you to put situations that really bother you into the no-sex column and leave those that aren't quite as problematic in the maybe-sex category. It also helps you to avoid acknowledging a certainly-sex category.

I really have a problem with the way apologists and the essay insist that Joseph had no instructions while also insisting that he received Section 132 in 1831. But then they have to redefine the language in Section 132, as in Jim's redefining "virgin" just as he does "translate."
“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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Re: Bill Reel v. Apologist Jim Bennett

Post by Rob4Hope » Fri Mar 01, 2019 1:19 pm

jfro18 wrote:
Fri Mar 01, 2019 6:56 am
Culper Jr. wrote:
Fri Mar 01, 2019 6:33 am
So something as simple as a health code was given tons of latitude for decades, but something as radical as polygamy and polyandry had to be done “right now!” with minimal instruction under threat of an angel with a drawn sword?

Apologists’ arguments only work in isolation.
This is something that just drives me nuts, and Bennett does it a lot because you have to as an apologist.

You make the argument that God allows the prophets to make mistakes and even allows them to carry on those mistakes for over 100 years (banning blacks from the priesthood, for example). Yet when it came to polygamy, God was SO impatient that he sent an angel with a drawn sword to force him to marry and have sex with a bunch of younger women.
The only person who saw the angel was old Joe. In fact, the only people who saw angels with their natural eyes were....oops. I must have missed it. Let me try again...the only people who saw angels with their natural eyes were...<thats right...NO ONE!>

Old joe needed an excuse to get his willy involved as well as exert control over the social order of the day. He used this angel story to pressure women to accept his proposals. If they didn't, he lied publically and smeared their character. Thus, a true profit of gawd.

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Re: Bill Reel v. Apologist Jim Bennett

Post by jfro18 » Fri Mar 01, 2019 2:02 pm

Hagoth wrote:
Fri Mar 01, 2019 12:53 pm

I really have a problem with the way apologists and the essay insist that Joseph had no instructions while also insisting that he received Section 132 in 1831. But then they have to redefine the language in Section 132, as in Jim's redefining "virgin" just as he does "translate."
D&C 132 is over 3,200 words full of instructions and guidelines. The idea that JS was given no parameters to do it is so intellectually dishonest and I really believe they know it.

And Joseph Smith riffing off 3,200+ words without a seer stone/urim & thummim and being able to rattle off all those specifics AND threats to Emma just shows what a mastermind he was at speaking "in the language of God."

Just as Bennett likes to constantly point to how many words the BoM is to say it's a miracle, I'll point to the 3,200 words Joseph put into D&C 132 (without a seer stone or without being in vision/prayer) in the exact style as the other revelations/BoM to show that's exactly how you know he made it up.

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Re: Bill Reel v. Apologist Jim Bennett

Post by Rob4Hope » Fri Mar 01, 2019 2:06 pm

jfro18 wrote:
Fri Mar 01, 2019 2:02 pm

Just as Bennett likes to constantly point to how many words the BoM is to say it's a miracle, I'll point to the 3,200 words Joseph put into D&C 132 (without a seer stone or without being in vision/prayer) in the exact style as the other revelations/BoM to show that's exactly how you know he made it up.
It makes me soooooo angry when the claim that the BoM has so many words, so clearly it couldn't have been done by a human without divine help. There are examples -- more than one -- of automatic writing where people have written some pretty sophisticated stuff. This is one of the cropped up "shore up the faith" ideas apologists and leaders have used to deify JS. And its crap.

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Re: Bill Reel v. Apologist Jim Bennett

Post by jfro18 » Thu Mar 07, 2019 8:32 pm

I am almost done with this - listened to part 5 and most of 6 today while working with boxes @ the warehouse.

Bill has done a really good job in this last part to hit some good points and to not allow Jim to make the absurd claims that the leaders aren't infallible but that they are also not hurting anyone.

One thing that drives me bonkers is that he constantly blames the "assumptions" and "expectations" of both members and critics when measuring the leaders and their truth claims.

For me it's a pretty simple test: If you make truth claims, they should hold up to scrutiny. If you claim to speak for God and cultivate the impression that you literally talk to God, you should not be wrong with doctrines and teachings.

I'm just not sure why that is having too high of expectations. I get that Jim is saying these are just dudes trying to do their best and that they have no more access to heaven than anyone else, but then what is the point of having a prophet, seer, and revelator?

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Re: Bill Reel v. Apologist Jim Bennett

Post by Red Ryder » Thu Mar 07, 2019 9:20 pm

Someone's enjoying their new found fame!

Image
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Culper Jr.
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Re: Bill Reel v. Apologist Jim Bennett

Post by Culper Jr. » Fri Mar 08, 2019 4:04 am

jfro18 wrote:
Thu Mar 07, 2019 8:32 pm
I'm just not sure why that is having too high of expectations. I get that Jim is saying these are just dudes trying to do their best and that they have no more access to heaven than anyone else, but then what is the point of having a prophet, seer, and revelator?
Yes, this!! What is the point of a prophet? If I have a GPS that's right even 80% of the time, I still can't really trust it because 20% of the time it's either getting me lost or telling me to drive into a lake or something. So a GPS that's right 80% of the time is still useless to me because I never know if I can trust it.

But it really goes deeper than that. If I don't follow the flawed guidance of the Q15, there are very real punitive actions that can be taken against me. So I can follow the Q15 and suffer the consequences and dissonance from that flawed direction, or I can not follow the Q15 and have my temple recommend revoked, suffer family ostracism, and all that. I can't just agree to disagree with these guys and go on my merry way; whatever I do has real and negative consequences.

I finally made it through the whole thing. "Assumptions" is now a triggering word for me.

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Re: Bill Reel v. Apologist Jim Bennett

Post by jfro18 » Fri Mar 08, 2019 10:42 am

I just finished... the last part was pretty frustrating but then again as a critic the whole thing was at times.

Bill made a great point about how worthless "priesthood power" is, but Jim kept turning that into measuring miracles. If I am Bill I take it down from miracles - we don't expect MIRACLES... but look at survival rates of cancer in Utah hospitals against comparable areas of the country... look at rates of pregnancy complications, fertility rates, flu deaths... whatever. Just compare the basic medical stats that we know are out there and you will see there is no increased rate.

I know it's easy to be a Monday morning QB, but Jim took some easy outs there as one must to make it all work. I also thought his answers about spiritual witnesses were absolutely stupid- especially when he said Catholics don't do it the same way because they lack confidence. I would reply to that and say that if the leaders of the LDS church had confidence in this church being true, they would tell members to research it and study all sources because it will stand up.

And I would love to have been a fly on the wall when Jim met with Jeremy... the tone of his reply and the way he talks about Jeremy in it... would've been fun to see. :lol:

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Re: Bill Reel v. Apologist Jim Bennett

Post by Hagoth » Fri Mar 08, 2019 12:54 pm

Culper Jr. wrote:
Fri Mar 08, 2019 4:04 am
I finally made it through the whole thing. "Assumptions" is now a triggering word for me.
How about, "that's a lot to unpack."
“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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Re: Bill Reel v. Apologist Jim Bennett

Post by RubinHighlander » Fri Mar 08, 2019 2:13 pm

Culper Jr. wrote:
Fri Mar 01, 2019 6:33 am
Made it through part 4.

Jim keeps going on about how Joseph was under so much pressure to “restore” polygamy without clear instruction. But it had to be done right then.

Compare this with the Word of Wisdom. Apologists say the reason early prophets didn’t live it was that God was patient with them as the WOW was such a dramatic change so it wasn’t required until the early 1900s.

So something as simple as a health code was given tons of latitude for decades, but something as radical as polygamy and polyandry had to be done “right now!” with minimal instruction under threat of an angel with a drawn sword?

Apologists’ arguments only work in isolation.
Obviously Jim is very unfamiliar, as are 99.99% of all TBMs, with how the WOW actually evolved. So here it is, right from BYU studies:

https://www.dialoguejournal.com/wp-cont ... N03_80.pdf
An understanding of the way in which the current interpretation of the Word of Wisdom developed is significant because it provides a case study of the usual method of revelation and hence of doctrinal and policy development in the Church.
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1smartdodog
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Re: Bill Reel v. Apologist Jim Bennett

Post by 1smartdodog » Sun Mar 10, 2019 9:01 pm

Could not finish all of it. This Bennet guy just makes up stuff left and right to make it all fit. I get Bill had to play the diplomat but it was slow pitch softball most of the time.
“Five percent of the people think; ten percent of the people think they think; and the other eighty-five percent would rather die than think.”
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græy
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Re: Bill Reel v. Apologist Jim Bennett

Post by græy » Tue Mar 12, 2019 8:42 am

I'm about half way through part 6 now. (I know, I'm slow.) This just keeps getting more and more frustrating.

The church that Bennett grew up in, the church that he describes and believes in is different than the church that 90% of the members experience. He's been going on and on about the Q15 being regular people. He's mentioned several times how men from his own ward could step in and replace the Q15 because they are just as righteous and have just as much access to the divine mandates of heaven.

So why do we teach our children to "follow the prophet" if they'd do just as well with anyone else? Why are we punished, or at very least judged negatively when we voice any level of disagreement with anything they teach or say?

Bennett reverts again and again to blaming the inability of church leaders to make any substantial positive social changes on the members themselves. As if our "false assumptions" and "baseless expectations" of actual prophetic counsel and foresight somehow make it harder for the Q15 to be what they themselves claim to be!

No! I agree with Bill on this one. Manuals, lessons, the church authorities themselves have set the Q15 up to be more than mere men. They are "prophets, seers, and revelators" and God himself told us that when they speak it is the same as when He speaks. The fact of the matter is, after 250 years, there is no proof that they are speaking for anyone besides themselves and the church that feeds their egos.

I am called upon and do sustain my leaders, but in the same way that I sustained injury in my shoulder. It is a pain in my life that I have to deal with.

I know I'm not bringing anything new to this conversation, but I need to rant. Thank you for listening.
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