If they had to choose

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Hagoth
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If they had to choose

Post by Hagoth » Sat Jul 18, 2020 2:29 pm

The discussion about the secret 1922 meeting made me think of something that I think I need to break off into a new thread. We were talking about what the GAs know and how/when/if they could ever come clean.

Here's a question that I heard on an IOT podcast:

If Russell M. Nelson announced in conference that the Book of Mormon is a hoax what would members do?

1) Believe him because they have a strong testimony of his authority?

2) Discount him as a fallen prophet because they have a strong testimony of the Book of Mormon?

The 3rd answer is the one that most of us did for a long time, but I'm considering it outside the criteria of an answer to the question, because we were taken there by study and cognitive dissonance, not by an official declaration:

3) Nuance and compartmentalize the hell out of it and try to just keep trudging ahead.
“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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EternityIsNow
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Re: If they had to choose

Post by EternityIsNow » Sat Jul 18, 2020 2:41 pm

That would be too big for the general membership to handle. I think most would be in group 3, but some members would break into factions reflecting those first two choices and probably others. So the church would splinter a bit.

My guess is most members would probably follow their local leadership, because that is how they are conditioned. So the Area Authorities would have a big job keeping everyone in the tent.

I don't think the word 'hoax' will ever be used, but they certainly could find a way to slowly shift the rhetoric towards "an inspired book with much important symbolism for our day". But that will be a very gradual shift. They have to do that eventually, to not be accused of fraud, given what they now know about the history of the book.

Magical beliefs don't die easily. Humans love fantasy. Especially when you get to dress up for it, we love cosplay.

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2bizE
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Re: If they had to choose

Post by 2bizE » Sat Jul 18, 2020 3:42 pm

Hagoth wrote:
Sat Jul 18, 2020 2:29 pm
The discussion about the secret 1922 meeting made me think of something that I think I need to break off into a new thread. We were talking about what the GAs know and how/when/if they could ever come clean.

Here's a question that I heard on an IOT podcast:

If Russell M. Nelson announced in conference that the Book of Mormon is a hoax what would members do?

1) Believe him because they have a strong testimony of his authority?

2) Discount him as a fallen prophet because they have a strong testimony of the Book of Mormon?

The 3rd answer is the one that most of us did for a long time, but I'm considering it outside the criteria of an answer to the question, because we were taken there by study and cognitive dissonance, not by an official declaration:

3) Nuance and compartmentalize the hell out of it and try to just keep trudging ahead.
I’m going with door #3 Alec because that’s what Mormons do.
~2bizE

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alas
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Re: If they had to choose

Post by alas » Sat Jul 18, 2020 4:51 pm

I think the reorganized/community of Christ has a history that shows what people would do. They made some changes, the most significant was to put the BoM into a quasi scripture category. Many people blame the falling away that happened on the idea that they gave women the priesthood, but the membership dealt with that better than the change in belief in BoM.

So, I think, depending on how out of the blue the announcement would be, and depending on if the rest of the presidency and 12 supported the move, some people would follow and others would look at organizing a new church or find another branch of Mormons who still hold the BoM as scripture.

Reuben
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Re: If they had to choose

Post by Reuben » Sat Jul 18, 2020 6:21 pm

I agree with alas. We don't have to do much guessing because the CoC has already been through this. It schismed, and then splintered.

I'll bet the ranks of the Snufferites would swell quite a bit, though.
You were born to trust, not fear. It is your birthright.

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moksha
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Re: If they had to choose

Post by moksha » Mon Jul 20, 2020 4:40 am

When the Reorganized LDS Church declared that belief in the Book of Mormon was optional, they did something unique. They were both honest to their understanding of the book, while at the same time giving members with a fervent belief the option to continue with that belief. The church eventually changed its name and instituted many other changes as well.

Anyway, the leadership being able to be honest was a big deal. To hear a church say that Galileo had the right of it and should not have been held under house arrest is important both for the integrity of the Church and the long term retention of its members. Forget the short term gains from continuing with a lie and look toward the end game. When you hear the expression, "Keep your eyes on the prize", please do not envision the Ensign Peak investment fund. Amen.
Good faith does not require evidence, but it also does not turn a blind eye to that evidence. Otherwise, it becomes misplaced faith.
-- Moksha

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Hagoth
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Re: If they had to choose

Post by Hagoth » Mon Jul 20, 2020 7:32 am

The CoC had to choose between truth and wealth. Let's imagine another scenario. In the rare instance when The Brethren tell us how revelation works it is always quite disappointing. For instance, when the priesthood ban ended a few of them talked about how they knelt together in prayer and when they finished they all knew it was the right thing to do. Gordon Hinkley gave the fullest account:
President Kimball himself was voice in that prayer. I do not recall the exact words that he spoke. But I do recall my own feelings and the nature of the expressions of my Brethren. There was a hallowed and sanctified atmosphere in the room. For me, it felt as if a conduit opened between the heavenly throne and the kneeling, pleading prophet of God who was joined by his Brethren. The Spirit of God was there. And by the power of the Holy Ghost there came to that prophet an assurance that the thing for which he prayed was right, that the time had come, and that now the wondrous blessings of the priesthood should be extended to worthy men everywhere regardless of lineage.

Every man in that circle, by the power of the Holy Ghost, knew the same thing.

It was a quiet and sublime occasion.

There was not the sound “as of a rushing mighty wind,” there were not “cloven tongues like as of fire” (Acts 2:2–3) as there had been on the Day of Pentecost. But there was a Pentacostal spirit, for the Holy Ghost was there.

No voice audible to our physical ears was heard. But the voice of the Spirit whispered with certainty into our minds and our very souls.
The was THE biggest revelation of the 20th and 21st centuries, so prophetic revelation nowadays is not the voice of God, it's the same thing as Moroni's promise. You beg for a strong emotion and maybe you get it. It probably helps if you are in a room full of people who all want the same thing and really want their beloved prophet to get the revelation he so desperately desires so they can expand the missionary effort into vast new territories like Brazil.

So, what if they they were troubled enough by the problems with Joseph's scripture that they took to God in the same way but came away with the spiritual impression that all of the restoration scripture is pseudapigrapha.

Would they be as quick to say proclaim it as a Day of Pentecost revelation (albeit without any of the actual manifestations of the Day of Pentecost) or would they shrug it off as mere feelings, like I did when I got the wrong answers to my prayers?
“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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jfro18
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Re: If they had to choose

Post by jfro18 » Mon Jul 20, 2020 8:11 am

The lifting of the priesthood ban on blacks is even worse than that if you read the interview from Legrand Richards about the process.

I have the interview portion on the race/priesthood annotated essay @ https://www.ldsdiscussions.com/priesthood-ban-essay, but it's not too long so I'll paste it here. Walters is the interviewer, Legrand Richards is the apostle who was part of the lifting of the ban:

WALTERS: On this revelation, of the priesthood to the Negro, I’ve heard all kinds of stories: I’ve heard that Christ appeared to the Apostles. I’ve heard that Joseph Smith appeared; and then I heard another story that Spencer Kimball had had a concern about this for some time and simply shared it with the apostles, and they decided that this was the right time to move in that direction. Now are any of those stories true, or are they all…

RICHARDS: Well, the last one is pretty true, and I might tell you what provoked it in a way. Down in Brazil, there is so much Negro blood in the population there that it’s hard to get leaders that don’t have Negro blood in them. We just built a temple down there. It’s going to be dedicated in October. All those people with Negro blood in them have been raising the money to build that temple. And then, if we don’t change, then they can’t even use it. So Brother Kimball worried about it, and he prayed a lot about it.

He asked each one of us of the Twelve if we would pray – and we did – that the Lord would give him the inspiration to know what the will of the Lord was. And then he invited each one of us in his office – individually, because you know when you are in a group, you can’t always express everything that’s in your heart. You’re part of the group, you see – so he interviewed each one of us, personally, to see how we felt about it, and he asked us to pray about it. And then he asked each one of us to hand in all the references we had, for, or against that proposal. See, he was thinking favorably toward giving the colored people the priesthood.

Then we had a meeting where we meet every week in the temple, and we discussed it as a group together, and then we prayed about it in our prayer circle, and then we held another prayer circle after the close of that meeting, and he (President Kimball) lead in the prayer; praying that the Lord would give us the inspiration that we needed to do the thing that would be pleasing to Him and for the blessing of His children. And then the next Thursday – we meet every Thursday – the Presidency came with this little document written out to make the announcement – to see how we’d feel about it – and present it in written form. Well, some of the members of the Twelve suggested a few changes in the announcement, and then in our meeting there we all voted in favor of it – the Twelve and the Presidency. One member of the Twelve, Mark Petersen, was down in South America, but Brother Benson, our President, had arranged to know where he could be reached by phone, and right while we were in that meeting in the temple, Brother Kimball talked with Brother Petersen, and read him this article, and he (Petersen) approved of it.

WALTERS: Now when President Kimball read this little announcement or paper, was that the same thing that was released to the press?

RICHARDS: Yeah.

WALTERS: There wasn’t a special document as a “revelation”, that he had and wrote down?

RICHARDS: We discussed it in our meeting. What else should we say besides that announcement? And we decided that was sufficient; that no more needed to be said.

There is no "revelation" the way that Joseph Smith used to claim it, and they all know it... and if you listen closely you can see little bread crumbs where they tell us that they know it.

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Hagoth
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Re: If they had to choose

Post by Hagoth » Mon Jul 20, 2020 10:41 am

Wow. So even Hinkley was blowing it all out of proportion. It's very telling that they waited until Petersen was out of the country and then basically told him over the phone to get on board.

p.s. Jfro, have you considered adding a link to your site in your signature?
“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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jfro18
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Re: If they had to choose

Post by jfro18 » Mon Jul 20, 2020 10:56 am

Hagoth wrote:
Mon Jul 20, 2020 10:41 am
Wow. So even Hinkley was blowing it all out of proportion. It's very telling that they waited until Petersen was out of the country and then basically told him over the phone to get on board.

p.s. Jfro, have you considered adding a link to your site in your signature?
I hadn't even thought of doing a signature. :lol:

I probably should though, although I try not to promote/push the site here (at least not since the early days) since I enjoy everyone's conversation... so I do that on social media and sometimes Reddit. I guess a signature keeps it more subtle.

But to your point - I really wish every member knew that story about the priesthood ban. When I read it early on it was one of those true "jaw dropping" moments because Richards was honest to a fault and the church today talks about it being this grand revelation when it was nothing of the sort.

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Hagoth
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Re: If they had to choose

Post by Hagoth » Mon Jul 20, 2020 1:52 pm

Richards was my favorite back in the day. He just seemed to be much less prone to self aggrandizement and BS than the rest. I remember a General Conference talk when he was obviously just speaking off the cuff without notes or teleprompter. They were probably blinking lights on the podium to tell him to sit down, and instead of "Inthesacrednameofourlordandsaviorevenjesuschristamen" he just said, "well, I better quit," and sat down.
“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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Not Buying It
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Re: If they had to choose

Post by Not Buying It » Tue Jul 21, 2020 10:44 am

Reuben wrote:
Sat Jul 18, 2020 6:21 pm
I agree with alas. We don't have to do much guessing because the CoC has already been through this. It schismed, and then splintered.

I'll bet the ranks of the Snufferites would swell quite a bit, though.
Yep. Most members of the Church need to have someone to follow. They can't imagine life without having someone to follow. The Chad Daybells hanging around out there would be all over that - you'd have all kinds of people setting themselves up as prophets and trying to attract a following. There would be schisms and splinters all over the place, and the centralized Mormon wackiness would be replaced by a wide variety of decentralized Mormon wackinesses.

Except the back row sitters, they'd all just shrug and enjoy Second Saturday. But the "spiritual" members of most wards would either join a splinter group or start one, depending on their level of charisma.
"The truth is elegantly simple. The lie needs complex apologia. 4 simple words: Joe made it up. It answers everything with the perfect simplicity of Occam's Razor. Every convoluted excuse withers." - Some guy on Reddit called disposazelph

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