So is magic officially part of the gospel now?

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Hagoth
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So is magic officially part of the gospel now?

Post by Hagoth » Tue Dec 27, 2016 3:37 pm

In the new Revelations in Context addendum to the official lessons there is an article called Oliver Cowdery's Gift which says:
Many Christians in Joseph Smith and Oliver Cowdery’s day similarly believed in divining rods as instruments for revelation. Oliver was among those who believed in and used a divining rod. The Lord recognized Oliver’s ability to use a rod: “Thou hast another gift which is the gift of working with the sprout [or rod].” Confirming the divinity of this gift, the revelation stated: “Behold there is no other power save God that can cause this thing of Nature to work in your hands for it is the work of God.
Either I'm really stupid or the church just declared that divining rods really work and are approved/powered by God.
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Spicy McHaggis
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Re: So is magic officially part of the gospel now?

Post by Spicy McHaggis » Tue Dec 27, 2016 4:03 pm

Just as believable as seer stones.

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MoPag
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Re: So is magic officially part of the gospel now?

Post by MoPag » Tue Dec 27, 2016 4:46 pm

Spicy McHaggis wrote:Just as believable as seer stones.
Or consecrated oil, or bread and water that have been blessed with priesthood power. It's all magic. Just not magic you are familiar with.
...walked eye-deep in hell
believing in old men’s lies...--Ezra Pound

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Brent
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Re: So is magic officially part of the gospel now?

Post by Brent » Tue Dec 27, 2016 5:33 pm

If you're in a Gospel Doctrine class I would offer that most members unwittingly view priesthood ordinances as incantations.

in·can·ta·tion
ˌinkanˈtāSH(ə)n/
noun
a series of words said as a magic spell or charm.
"an incantation to raise the dead"
synonyms: chant, invocation, conjuration, magic spell/formula, charm, hex, enchantment, mojo;

the use of words as a magic spell.
"there was no magic in such incantation"

During my first lap as a member of the EQP we had a brother confirm his son. Unfortunately he neglected to state his authority (nerves). None of us noted the problem in the circle but the SP was on the stand and informed the Bishop when he returned to his seat. We were instructed to go to this brother's home and have him RE-bless his child using the proper authority. How many times have you seen some poor 16 year old knucklehead have to repeat a Sacrament prayer until he got it right? Myself, in all my callings as a quorum/organization president, made sure to be next to "The Voice" so I could lean over and help out if appropriate verbage was missing. What happens if a lock of hair or the tip of a toe breaks the surface of the baptismal waters. (Women aren't trusted with such exactness).

Magic is alive and well in the Church.

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RubinHighlander
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Re: So is magic officially part of the gospel now?

Post by RubinHighlander » Tue Dec 27, 2016 7:45 pm

Hagoth wrote: Either I'm really stupid or the church just declared that divining rods really work and are approved/powered by God.
And the unpainted dry corner on the wet painted deck of the old ship Zion just got smaller. Where will you go?
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Re: So is magic officially part of the gospel now?

Post by wtfluff » Tue Dec 27, 2016 8:02 pm

MoPag wrote:
Spicy McHaggis wrote:Just as believable as seer stones.
Or consecrated oil, or bread and water that have been blessed with priesthood power. It's all magic. Just not magic you are familiar with.
This. ^^

It's ALL based on magic. (Which is why it doesn't work.)
Faith does not give you the answers, it just stops you asking the questions. -Frater Ravus

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Hagoth
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Re: So is magic officially part of the gospel now?

Post by Hagoth » Wed Dec 28, 2016 9:17 am

Brent wrote: How many times have you seen some poor 16 year old knucklehead have to repeat a Sacrament prayer until he got it right?
A couple of weeks ago they made a poor nervous kid redo it three times. After church I asked Mrs. Hagoth if it was really a blessing or a magic spell. If Harry Potter has taught us anything it's that you have to say the words just right for the magic to work. Surely God knows what we're doing when we kneel down to bless the bread and I would think he would care more about the fact that we are doing it than whether or not we get the words of the spell just right. Mrs. Hagoth didn't care for my comparison. She sees it as something that is so important that it needs to be taken seriously and done right. If you care enough to do the whole production in the first you need to go the whole nine yards and do the essential part of it right. It's a respect for God thing.
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Red Ryder
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Re: So is magic officially part of the gospel now?

Post by Red Ryder » Wed Dec 28, 2016 9:25 am

MoPag wrote:
Spicy McHaggis wrote:Just as believable as seer stones.
Or consecrated oil, or bread and water that have been blessed with priesthood power. It's all magic. Just not magic you are familiar with.
Or polyester/mesh pajamas, foundations of frump, clown panties, Brigham Bloomers, polygamy pants, and sex prevention suits!
Those who do not move do not notice their chains. —Rosa Luxemburg

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Hagoth
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Re: So is magic officially part of the gospel now?

Post by Hagoth » Wed Dec 28, 2016 9:33 am

Besides, if you admit that the sacrament is a magic spell then you might consider that the discovery of the gold plates was a treasure digging fantasy and that the rock in the hat was an occult trick and...

So here's what I'm wondering. If Dallin Oaks (or whoever) sees a church member out in a field with a dowsing rod witching for water does he say, "Now there's a man out doing God's work?" What if the water witch is a Seventh Day Adventist? Is it still a godly pursuit? Are some wells found by God and others by Satan?

If I put out a shingle offering to find water for you through my priesthood and spiritual gift will I ruffle feathers with the church? What if I decide to start using my dowsing rod for YM activities to look for treasure? What if I bring it to church and use it to get revalations by asking it yes/no questions, like Oliver Cowdery and Heber C. Kimball did? What if I bring it to the temple and ask to have it anointed with consecrated oil like Brigham Young did?

This is one of those things that works for an apologetic answer as long as you only go one question deep:
Q: Why did Oliver Cowdery use a dowsing rod?
A: God said it was his special spiritual gift.

But if you take it the next step:
Q: Bishop, can I have the Teachers Quorum over to my house so we can use our priesthood power to ask my dowsing rod questions about the Second Coming?
A: Uh...hang on just a minute (secretly dials 911 under the table)
“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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Corsair
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Re: So is magic officially part of the gospel now?

Post by Corsair » Wed Dec 28, 2016 9:34 am

I have seen this concept go two different ways in the church and it is a subtle double standard. First, Richard Bushman addresses this issue in an early Mormon Stories interview with John Dehlin. Bushman states that Joseph's involvement with "folk magic" was just preparation for the real power of the priesthood. Joseph was just figuring out how the priesthood worked and God had to help him along by letting him do these folk magic practices instead of blowing his mind with abruptly showing the actual power of God. This is supposed to be reflected in how Joseph needed the seer stones less and less as time went on and Joseph simply became more spiritually sensitive.

In contrast, I was in the temple with my wife doing sealings back when I was a believer. The sealer was the actual temple president and after we concluded he asked if we would like to ask any questions. I asked him what his biggest challenges were as temple president. He answered that it was making sure the every ordinance is performed exactly the correct way with exactly the correct words every single time. He spent a lot of time personally teaching each sealer and ordinance worker to be precise in the way they performed these sacred ordinances.

So the magic is certainly at work in the minds of Mormons all over the world. Joseph certainly believed in it and his practices were adopted into temple rites today as well as consecrated oil used in priesthood blessings today. We have our authorized bits of "magic" we are allowed to use today. Extrapolating outside of those boundaries will definitely get you censured.

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document
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Re: So is magic officially part of the gospel now?

Post by document » Wed Dec 28, 2016 10:28 am

When a religious person uses the phrase "magic" to describe another religious practice, it is the height of hypocrisy.

I remember as a missionary making fun of Catholics in our apartment because of transubstantiation. I had a vial of consecrated oil with me and was a fully believer in priesthood blessings.

What a hypocrite I was.

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Hagoth
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Re: So is magic officially part of the gospel now?

Post by Hagoth » Wed Dec 28, 2016 10:31 am

Corsair wrote:He answered that it was making sure the every ordinance is performed exactly the correct way with exactly the correct words every single time.
A good followup question would be, "so what if a couple was sealed and the officiator didn't get the words right? Is it still valid?"

I ask the same about the sacrament blessing. If it is absolutely essential to get the spell just right, if a kid leaves out a word and it isn't corrected by the Priesthood Overseers, is Jesus' sacrifice invalid for that week? Does the congregation go away with their baptismal covenant un-renewed? I'm sure the answer would be "God will overlook the error and fix everything," which makes you ask again why then is word-perfect recital even necessary.

It's kind of like the punchline of the Nauvoo Polygamy essay where we are reassured that we needn't trouble our little heads about the shenanigans that were going on in Kirtland and Nauvoo because "family relationships will be sorted out in the life to come."

If God just fixes everything anyway, and if it isn't really a magic spell, why be so tightly wound about getting the words just right? Deep down are we protecting ourselves against that Old Testament/3rd Nephi God who wreaks blood and horror on those who don't follow his orders to ultimate exactness?
“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: So is magic officially part of the gospel now?

Post by document » Wed Dec 28, 2016 10:42 am

I've often wondered that myself.

Baptism is invalid if the entire body is not immersed under the water. I've been witness to one child being baptized four times in a row. If it is important enough to do four times to ensure it was done, what if the witnesses missed a toe or a foot that came up? Is the baptism legitimate?

I think it has something to do with the strange relationship between literal and symbolic practices in Mormonism.

* The baptism action is symbolic, you are not literally being buried and being born again
* The baptism covenant is literal, you are literally creating a binding covenant with God

* The sacrament action is symbolic, you are not literally eating the blood and flesh of Christ
* The sacrament renewal of covenants is literal, you are literally re-upping your binding covenant with God

* The temple ritual is symbolic, you are not literally Adam in the garden
* The temple covenants are literal, you are literally creating a bind with God

I can't flush it out, it makes very little sense to me. One of the reasons I find so much peace in religion now is because to me it's all symbolic, nothing is literal. The strange mix between literal and symbolic is just confusing to me.

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Re: So is magic officially part of the gospel now?

Post by RubinHighlander » Wed Dec 28, 2016 11:42 am

I remember a story growing up TBM where some of the brethren found special stones and were using them, only to have JS tell them theirs were wrong, of the devil and they were being deceived. That was certainly convenient for him, maintaining his one-true-seerstone honcho status. It was the same trick he employed on Emma when she wanted a husband because JS was too busy with all his other women to help her around the house; God, via JS, told her no. This same method would be employed on general membership who claim anything magical or supernatural; e.g. asking your own diving rod to find treasure to reveal the mysteries of heaven. These things are reserved for the top brass you see. I can think of several letters read over the pulpit that put the smack down on out-of-church group scripture study or even bunco gatherings (it was okay to cast lots in the old days be gambling of any form is evil!).

There will be no modern day use of the old tools of the restoration, hats, rods, stones and such. Those were fine for those times but not ours. So, don't even think about digging out that old dungeons and dragons game!
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Re: So is magic officially part of the gospel now?

Post by Corsair » Wed Dec 28, 2016 1:24 pm

Hagoth wrote:I ask the same about the sacrament blessing. If it is absolutely essential to get the spell just right, if a kid leaves out a word and it isn't corrected by the Priesthood Overseers, is Jesus' sacrifice invalid for that week? Does the congregation go away with their baptismal covenant un-renewed? I'm sure the answer would be "God will overlook the error and fix everything," which makes you ask again why then is word-perfect recital even necessary.
TL;DR: How would we ever possibly tell how accurate the ordinances of salvation need to be?

Hagoth reminded me about a stake priesthood leadership meeting I attended years ago. I do not at all remember the Area Authority Seventy that presided, but he seemed like a caring, level-headed guy. This Seventy went through a brief overview of the essential parts of performing the sacrament prayer. This Seventy said that if a young priest messes up on the sacrament prayer, the bishop should make him redo the prayer only one additional time and allow a reasonably close second attempt be used. Because by the third attempt at the prayer, the entire congregation will simply be hoping (and praying) that the poor, embarrassed priest will simply make through exactly and thus end this supremely awkward situation. The thought of Jesus will nowhere be found at that point.

This Seventy felt that simply leading people to Christ in the sacrament was sufficient. This is contrasted with the bishop that forces multiple attempts on a verbally stumbling priest. Multiple dunkings of a baptismal candidate are similarly awkward and imply that their is an organic necessity to the verbiage in ordinance prayers.

This leads to crucial problem that appears to be unresolvable. How would we tell that the "loose" vs. "tight" translation of prayers/scripture/ordinances is correct? Mormons are incessantly concerned about the supreme importance of ordinances. How could we possibly detect that some "ordinance" did not work? If exact verbiage is crucial for salvation, then exact policing of ordinances needs to be controlled and somehow "tested" for accuracy. If some loose variance is allowed, then why are Mormons so profoundly confident that other baptisms are wrong? How could we determine that Catholics, Methodists, Baptists, and those polygamous FLDS are wrong and the ordinances must be performed by the explicit authority of the institutional LDS church headed by Tom Monson? How would we ever actually know?

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deacon blues
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Re: So is magic officially part of the gospel now?

Post by deacon blues » Wed Dec 28, 2016 3:57 pm

Another question......if the person who ordained you to the priesthood is unworthy do you really have the priesthood? What about people you ordain. This is one thing I think most Protestants get right. It's between you and God..... anyone who tries to intervene has an agenda.
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Re: So is magic officially part of the gospel now?

Post by FiveFingerMnemonic » Wed Dec 28, 2016 5:28 pm

deacon blues wrote:Another question......if the person who ordained you to the priesthood is unworthy do you really have the priesthood? What about people you ordain. This is one thing I think most Protestants get right. It's between you and God..... anyone who tries to intervene has an agenda.
This is covered under the umbrella insurance policy known as "The Holy Spirit of Promise". Which brings up the question about why we need to perform ordinances in the first place. I recall from John Hamer's presentation about the different theological approach to sealing that the RLDS church takes. Basicially the linking of generations is already inherent in the gospel so therefore no need to go into large white buildings and say special words to make it efficacious.

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moksha
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Re: So is magic officially part of the gospel now?

Post by moksha » Wed Dec 28, 2016 6:42 pm

Dr. Daniel C. Peterson earlier this year confirmed that divining rods work for him. However, as the chief apologist for the LDS Church, he might have some insider information into the mechanism and usage of such divining rods. For instance, if you recite the following incantation while dowsing, it can dramatically boost your water, gold, aluminum can detection rate:

"Salagadoola mechicka boola bibbidi-bobbidi-boo!"

Hope that helps.
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: So is magic officially part of the gospel now?

Post by Hagoth » Wed Dec 28, 2016 6:54 pm

moksha wrote:Dr. Daniel C. Peterson earlier this year confirmed that divining rods work for him. However, as the chief apologist for the LDS Church, he might have some insider information into the mechanism and usage of such divining rods. For instance, if you recite the following incantation while dowsing, it can dramatically boost your water, gold, aluminum can detection rate:

"Salagadoola mechicka boola bibbidi-bobbidi-boo!"

Hope that helps.
Another appropriate incantation: "Ohwha tana ssiam" Repeated over and over until the message sinks in.
“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: So is magic officially part of the gospel now?

Post by SincereInquirer » Wed Dec 28, 2016 7:32 pm

Hagoth wrote:In the new Revelations in Context addendum to the official lessons there is an article called Oliver Cowdery's Gift which says:
Many Christians in Joseph Smith and Oliver Cowdery’s day similarly believed in divining rods as instruments for revelation. Oliver was among those who believed in and used a divining rod. The Lord recognized Oliver’s ability to use a rod: “Thou hast another gift which is the gift of working with the sprout [or rod].” Confirming the divinity of this gift, the revelation stated: “Behold there is no other power save God that can cause this thing of Nature to work in your hands for it is the work of God.
Either I'm really stupid or the church just declared that divining rods really work and are approved/powered by God.
It is also interesting to me that they give a brief history in the footnote to the text of changing the word "sprout" (original revelation) to "rod" (Book of Commandments) to "Gift of Aaron" (D&C). Too bad they don't explain why there were all of the changes to God's originally revealed word, or how "sprout" = "Gift of Aaron".

Challenge for anyone that still attends Sunday School: volunteer to read these verses and use the original word "sprout" rather than "Gift of Aaron". Return and Report.
"I don't need the Mormon church to be true, I just need it to not be verifiably false." - something I read somewhere...(help me give proper citation credit if you know where this came from)

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