Bruce R. McConkie - REDACTED

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Hagoth
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Bruce R. McConkie - REDACTED

Post by Hagoth » Sat Jun 13, 2020 10:55 am

In another thread we were talking about the differences between the actual talk that McConkie gave about the Seven Deadly Heresies in June of 1980 and the written transcript of that talk that can be found on the BYU website: https://speeches.byu.edu/talks/bruce-r- ... -heresies/

I decided to make a comparison of the two treatments. There are many, many differences between the two and I just included the ones that I thought were most significant. You can read that here: https://docs.google.com/document/d/10H2 ... sp=sharing

For starters, here's one of my favorites:

Audio: (12:27)
“There are those who say that revealed religion and organic evolution can be harmonized. This is both false and devilish.”
vs:

Transcript:
“There are those who believe that the theory of organic evolution runs counter to the plain and explicit principles set forth in the holy scriptures as these have been interpreted and taught by Joseph Smith and his associates. There are others who think that evolution is the system used by the Lord to form plant and animal life and to place man on earth.”
Edit: changes googledocs link to "anyone can read."
“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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Ghost
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Re: Bruce R. McConkie - REDACTED

Post by Ghost » Sat Jun 13, 2020 12:08 pm

Thanks for putting this together. I always enjoy reading this type of thing.

It's too bad we don't seem to have anyone in leadership in modern times who really takes the doctrines and their implications seriously like this. At least not publicly. I remember reading Doctrines of Salvation (Joseph Fielding Smith) and Mormon Doctrine (Bruce R. McConkie) as a missionary and wondering whether I was required to take every strongly-worded statement in them at face value.

If you look at old church magazines, even the New Era (and more recently the Religious Educator, which I used to subscribe to even though I was not a CES instructor), you see at least some thoughtful exploration of ideas. But I can imagine that in at least some cases the more intellectually-minded see themselves approaching a point of absurdity or a conflict that just can't be resolved, at which point they must simply surrender and add an item to the list of questions to ask after death.
Last edited by Ghost on Sat Jun 13, 2020 1:34 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Hagoth
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Re: Bruce R. McConkie - REDACTED

Post by Hagoth » Sat Jun 13, 2020 1:08 pm

It feels like the church is just sort of drifting with the current. They want members to be rigorously obedient but it's kind of hard to pin down what you're actually supposed to believe beyond the primary lessons.

In some ways Bruce R. is a lot more admirable in sticking to his guns than whoever decided to soften his message. Why not just let his testimony stand? They even took out the part where he states how strongly he feels about it and why he's giving the message in such straight-forward terms.
“The easy confidence with which I know another man's religion is folly teaches me to suspect that my own is also.” -Mark Twain

Jesus: "The Kingdom of God is within you." The Buddha: "Be your own light."

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Ghost
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Re: Bruce R. McConkie - REDACTED

Post by Ghost » Sat Jun 13, 2020 1:40 pm

Years ago, a guy in my ward lent me Bruck R. McConkie's biography. I wasn't terribly enthusiastic about reading it because at that point I was already leaning NOM (more than I admitted to myself, even) and preferred more nuanced approaches to things. But I ended up enjoying that book.

I'm with you in finding him more admirable than those who hesitate and obfuscate (certain interviews and courtroom scenes come to mind, in addition to this anonymous talk editor). McConkie was more along the lines of how a prophet from the scriptures would act. Whatever I think of the validity of his views, he had the personality he did in the time and place he was in and he ran with it.

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deacon blues
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Re: Bruce R. McConkie - REDACTED

Post by deacon blues » Sat Jun 13, 2020 6:22 pm

Wow!

This is fascinating. Any idea who edited it, and who might have had to approve it? Surely it was done after McConkie died?

I might add that, according to Elder McConkie my "Divine Parable" is a satire that shows I have the intellect of an ant, and the understanding of a clod. :oops: ;)
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Re: Bruce R. McConkie - REDACTED

Post by Hagoth » Sun Jun 14, 2020 8:38 am

Ghost wrote:
Sat Jun 13, 2020 1:40 pm
I'm with you in finding him more admirable than those who hesitate and obfuscate... Whatever I think of the validity of his views, he had the personality he did in the time and place he was in and he ran with it.
It doesn't mean he wasn't an arrogant ass, but he was teaching doctrine rather than juggling. He's like the professor that got fired from BYU for teaching the actual (but uncomfortable) doctrine about race. He failed to play the nod-nod-wink-wink game that the redactors of this McConkie talk are playing and he let people see what's really under the hood.
“The easy confidence with which I know another man's religion is folly teaches me to suspect that my own is also.” -Mark Twain

Jesus: "The Kingdom of God is within you." The Buddha: "Be your own light."

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Re: Bruce R. McConkie - REDACTED

Post by Hagoth » Sun Jun 14, 2020 10:50 am

McConkie said:
“Heresy four: There are those who believe that the doctrine of salvation for the dead offers men a second chance for salvation. This is false, false, false!”
This is a point that has been resurrected recently by Dallin Oaks and David Bednar when they talk about the sealing being powerless for anyone who hasn't remained strictly obedient to the official checklist. The problem is that, according to early church leaders, it is the modern leaders who are perpetrating a heresy.

In August of 1843 Joseph Smith said, "when a seal is put upon the father and mother, it secures their posterity so that they cannot be lost but will be saved by virtue of the covenant of their father and mother." (The Words of Joseph Smith, 242)

Brigham Young said the children who wander "are bound up to their parents by an everlasting tie, and no power on earth or hell can separate them from their parents in eternity. (Journal of Discourses, 11:216).

Apostle Orson F. Whitney said, "The Prophet Joseph Smith declared - and he never taught a more comforting doctrine - that the eternal sealings of faithful parents and the divine promises made to them for valiant service in the Cause of Truth, would save not only themselves but their posterity. Though some of the sheep may wander, the eye of the shepherd is upon them, and sooner or later they will feel the tentacles of Divine Providence reaching out after them and drawing them back to the fold. Either in this life or the life to come, they will return. (Conference Report, April 1929, 110)

When Newell K. Whitney agreed to give Joseph Smith his teenage daughter in trade for eternal exaltation for himself and his family, he made Joseph put it in writing that not only he, his wife, and their daughter would be sealed up to exaltation, but also their son who was likely to leave the church if he ever found out about the bargain Joseph made of promise of rewards after death in trade for the here-and-now marriage to his sister.

It wasn't until Joseph Fielding Smith and James E. Faust that church authorities began to attach caveats and requirements to the original doctrine.

McConkie and others who share his attitude remove all of the specialness from sealing. It is powerless unless you live a near-perfect life according to church standards, which is certainly not going to be the case for those lost sheep children that Joseph and Brigham promised would be saved. Ultimately, temple work is supposed to seal everyone to their parents, but it is meaningless unless it actually forms a seal that no man can put asunder.
“The easy confidence with which I know another man's religion is folly teaches me to suspect that my own is also.” -Mark Twain

Jesus: "The Kingdom of God is within you." The Buddha: "Be your own light."

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Re: Bruce R. McConkie - REDACTED

Post by 2bizE » Sun Jun 14, 2020 1:39 pm

I’m pretty sure Mark E. Petersen earned an honorary doctorate in Racism from KKK university...
~2bizE

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Hagoth
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Re: Bruce R. McConkie - REDACTED

Post by Hagoth » Sun Jun 14, 2020 2:07 pm

2bizE wrote:
Sun Jun 14, 2020 1:39 pm
I’m pretty sure Mark E. Petersen earned an honorary doctorate in Racism from KKK university...
Studying under Delbert Stapley.
“The easy confidence with which I know another man's religion is folly teaches me to suspect that my own is also.” -Mark Twain

Jesus: "The Kingdom of God is within you." The Buddha: "Be your own light."

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Re: Bruce R. McConkie - REDACTED

Post by moksha » Mon Jun 15, 2020 12:00 am

Hagoth wrote:
Sun Jun 14, 2020 2:07 pm
Studying under Delbert Stapley.
Elder Stapely was the guy who informed Gov. George Romney (Mitt's father) that the Brethren were none too pleased that he participated in a civil rights march and that he should rethink his support for civil rights.
Good faith does not require evidence, but it also does not turn a blind eye to that evidence. Otherwise, it becomes misplaced faith.
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Hagoth
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Re: Bruce R. McConkie - REDACTED

Post by Hagoth » Mon Jun 15, 2020 6:33 am

moksha wrote:
Mon Jun 15, 2020 12:00 am
Hagoth wrote:
Sun Jun 14, 2020 2:07 pm
Studying under Delbert Stapley.
Elder Stapely was the guy who informed Gov. George Romney (Mitt's father) that the Brethren were none too pleased that he participated in a civil rights march and that he should rethink his support for civil rights.
Yeah, here's the letter Stapley wrote to Romney: https://archive.org/stream/DelbertStap ... r_djvu.txt

My favorite parts are the death threats:
When I reflect upon the Prophet's statements and remember what happened to three of our nation's presidents who were very active in the Negro cause, I am sobered by their demise. They went contrary to the teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith- unwittingly, no doubt, but nevertheless, the prophecy of Joseph Smith, those who are determined to pursue a course, which shows an opposition, and a feverish restlessness against the decrees of the Lord, will learn, when perhaps it is too late for their own good, that God can do His own work, without the aid of those who are not dictated by His counsel," has and will continue to be fulfilled.

In this respect, let me give you a personal experience. A friend of mine in Arizona— not a Church member—a great champion of the colored race came to me after my call into the Twelve, and acknowledged President McKay to be a Prophet of God. He wanted me to ask President McKay to inquire of the Lord to see if the Lord would not lift the curse from the colored race and give them the privileges of the Priesthood. I explained to him that the Lord had placed the curse upon the Negro, which denied him the Priesthood; therefore, it was the Lord's responsibility- -not man's— to change His decision. This friend of mine met a very tragic end by drowning. He was a most enthusiastic advocate of the colored cause and went about promoting for them all the privileges, social opportunities, and participation enjoyed by the Whites.
And the part where he says he agrees with Joseph Smith that we should ship all of the black people back to Africa where they belong and where they can be in the company of people with the same "social instincts."

Like so many other racists, Stapley holds himself up as an advocate for black people, someone who sincerely cares about them, "but not full social benefits nor inter-marriage privileges with the Whites, nor should the Whites be forced to accept them into restricted White areas."
“The easy confidence with which I know another man's religion is folly teaches me to suspect that my own is also.” -Mark Twain

Jesus: "The Kingdom of God is within you." The Buddha: "Be your own light."

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Re: Bruce R. McConkie - REDACTED

Post by Just This Guy » Mon Jun 15, 2020 6:35 am

deacon blues wrote:
Sat Jun 13, 2020 6:22 pm
Wow!

This is fascinating. Any idea who edited it, and who might have had to approve it? Surely it was done after McConkie died?

I might add that, according to Elder McConkie my "Divine Parable" is a satire that shows I have the intellect of an ant, and the understanding of a clod. :oops: ;)

I think it would be interesting to pull up various copies of the transcription of the talk over the years. Were these edits done as soon as the talk was published, or did they happen over time. No idea how hard it would be to find the various sources, but the results would be interesting.
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Re: Bruce R. McConkie - REDACTED

Post by græy » Mon Jun 15, 2020 7:57 am

Hagoth wrote:
Sat Jun 13, 2020 10:55 am
In another thread we were talking about the differences between the actual talk that McConkie gave about the Seven Deadly Heresies in June of 1980 and the written transcript of that talk that can be found on the BYU website: https://speeches.byu.edu/talks/bruce-r- ... -heresies/
Great work Hagoth! I started making my way through the audio a couple years ago and noticed the differences in the transcript then. I started noting the changes as you have done, but it just made me angry and I gave up.

Thank you for doing this!
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oliblish
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Re: Bruce R. McConkie - REDACTED

Post by oliblish » Mon Jun 15, 2020 10:36 am

Infants on Thrones did a series of podcasts about this. They have the original audio of the talk and discussed the MAJOR differences between that and the published text on the BYU website.

Here is the first podcast (It is a re-release of a podcast from 2018)

http://infantsonthrones.com/ep-629-seve ... wn-part-1/

Here is the original audio on Youtube:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IMLH6csjYDQ

And here is the heavily edited transcritpt:

https://speeches.byu.edu/talks/bruce-r- ... -heresies/

They were unable to find out exactly who did the editing of the text. Nor do we know when it happened.
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