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Author Topic: "Saints" new History of the Church books/series  (Read 877 times)

Taalcon

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"Saints" new History of the Church books/series
« on: April 10, 2018, 01:11:28 pm »
It's begun serialization for a few months now, and didn't see anyone mention it. It's a new wide-spanning narrative history of the Church book series to be published eventually in three big volumes, but right now is having a chapter a month released in the Ensign and the Gospel Library App under Church History. It's being translated in several languages as it's being produced. (The full paperback book will be available to pre-order in June)

Frankly? The first chapters are AMAZING. The good this book will do can't be understated. It craftily, simply, and matter-of-factly weaves key parts of the story that are either generally left out or misunderstood in past versions of the story as just simply part of the narrative, and not a big deal.

Local magical culture, Joseph using seer stones, Oliver Cowdery's use of a Dowsing Rod, multiple strands of the First Vision accounts, the role of another minister in getting Joseph's attention to James 1:5, the common-placeness of individuals in that time having claim to visionary experiences (part of what allowed Joseph's experience to be dismissed as nothing spectacular), etc.

The fact that it's being serialized in the Ensign/Liahona is awesome, giving a much wider readership than a compiled-history thick book would get.

Have you been aware of it/read it? What are your thoughts? I love it, and it's a fantastic culmination of what's been happening with the Joseph Smith Papers project, and a willingness to expand understanding and openness about our History!
 
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Randy

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Re: "Saints" new History of the Church books/series
« Reply #1 on: April 22, 2018, 12:33:55 am »
Thank you for the heads up.  I was unaware of this.  I'm delighted that it seems to be written at a third-grade level.  My soul delights in plainness.  I have begun to read.  I will read more.
 
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Taalcon

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Re: "Saints" new History of the Church books/series
« Reply #2 on: September 04, 2018, 09:29:58 am »
This is out today, both on the App, and in other media as well. I've skimmed it, and WOW. They really didn't hold back. The discussion of the dynamics of plural marriage is EXTENSIVE and messy. Discussions of the code words used to allow disingenuous deniability, Joseph hiding things from Emma, includng Emma permitting specific sealings not knowing Joseph was already sealed to them, and then participating in a 'new' ceremony anyway without anyone telling her they were already sealed, Fanny Alger, etc, etc. The additional notes essays go into even more detail, acknowledging how Jane Manning was sealed to Joseph as 'a servant', etc. Seriously. This is a Big Deal.

Be VERY interesting to see how this is received by the general Church membership.
« Last Edit: September 04, 2018, 11:01:35 am by Taalcon »
 
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Iggy

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Re: "Saints" new History of the Church books/series
« Reply #3 on: September 04, 2018, 11:51:46 am »
My Eternal Companion has told me that near the start of the "Last Days", there will be a cleansing of Christ's Church. It has never really mattered to me to seek out references, but to trust him in this.

IF it is indeed one of the things to occur, then perhaps these "tests" of faith is what Hubby has said.In 1890,President Wilford Woodruff issued the Manifesto, which led to the end of plural marriage in the Church. In 1978 when the Priesthood was given to ALL worthy men in the church. In Nov 2018 Handbook 1, section 16.13, that restrict priesthood ordinances for minors apply only to those children whose primary residence is with a couple living in a same-gender marriage or similar relationship. And now this about not only changing the interview with youth to omit the question: Do you obey the law of chasity, but that there should be two adults in each youth class.

Many members have left the church after each of these. My niece left after the No baptizing children ages 8-18 who reside w/a parent who is in a same sex marriage. She flatly refuses to read or hear the why. She is NOT in a same sex marriage.

There are undoubtedly more events, I know of at least one other but I can't find it. Doesn't matter ~ this book, app release will most assuredly shake up a lot of members to the point where they will leave the church. BUT it will also shake up a lot of members and strengthen their faith.

From my personal experience I truly learned that the members of Christ's true church are mortals. They sin. A lot of the time too. WE are not perfect. WE are not saintly as Jesus Christ was/is Saintly. WE all sin. Actually we pretty much sin on a near daily basis. BUT we also repent on a near daily basis too. Our Prophets, Seers and Revelators, Leaders of our Stakes, Wards, Branches, Temples, Etc. are HUMAN, they are MORTAL, they are NOT infallible. All of these events have only reinforced this to me. All of these events have actually STRENGTHENED my faith. For heaven's sake, if these men & women who are human and not infallible have willingly answered the call from our Lord and Savior, who are striving to become perfect as Jesus Christ is perfect. Then By Golly so can I.

I earnestly pray that Sam Young will shed his pride so that he can see how far from the Lord he has traveled. That he will turn back to the narrow path and hold on to the Iron Rod with determination to repent. That he will banish the adversary and work to regain the protection, comfort and companionship of the Holy Ghost.

 
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Taalcon

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Re: "Saints" new History of the Church books/series
« Reply #4 on: September 04, 2018, 12:31:45 pm »
I don't think I can emphasize enough how game-changing this book is. Especially as it is available for Missionaries in the Gospel Library app, and will be used in Seminary/Institute curriculum. Fascinated to see how further they roll this out and encourage Church members to read it.

I give MASSIVE props to Church leaders for rolling this out the way they have, and in the form that it exists. It's ... stunning.

 
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cook

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Re: "Saints" new History of the Church books/series
« Reply #5 on: September 04, 2018, 02:14:00 pm »
I think this is great. It's interesting. I hope it may stop some people falling away. But I am pessimistic about it. For many of those who have left this is just another way the church is trying to come clean, when it's too late. For many it will only emphasize how crazy the mormons are, they admit all the things and still believe in God and Church =they're brainwashed and bad people... and there will be other obstacles we maybe can't even think of now.

So I don't think it will actually change anything. Unfortunately.
 
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Taalcon

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Re: "Saints" new History of the Church books/series
« Reply #6 on: September 04, 2018, 03:25:16 pm »
I don't think it will do much if anything for people who have already left. For those who feel they'd been betrayed or culturally punished for trying to deal with the stuff in this book ... I'd say for most, the ship has probably sailed for the time being. It takes a lot to earn back trust once it has been seen as having been violated.

This is, however,  a massive and important PREVENTATIVE work for this and future generations, who won't have whammys dumped on them on their missions, or over a google search of stuff they believe the Church hid from them.

The idea that this is the standard that will be used for curriculum going forward is a BIG deal. The institutional approach to the history of the Church has just officially changed. That's ... massive.
 
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libertygranny

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Re: "Saints" new History of the Church books/series
« Reply #7 on: September 04, 2018, 07:23:15 pm »
First, who is this Sam Young that everyone keeps mentioning? and why should we care about him?

Second, I have never questioned the history of or people within the church in the early days of the restoration. I figured I can not look back and judge them with how they handled things. Different times, different mindsets, different traditions. I look at it this way, the organization of the church has not faltered through all these years, no matter what has been thrown at it. Members have faltered, but they are human.

I also take solace in the fact that I come from pioneer heritage. A lot of my ancestors joined the Church during the Kirtland days, moved to MO then to IL and finally to UT during the exodus from Nauvoo. They lived through all the bad stuff, rumors, etc that is contained in this book. From their journals and oral histories their faith never faltered. They are my example of true faith in the gospel of Jesus Christ. Quite a few of my ancestors knew Joseph Smith personally, one was even a body guard. In later years their testimonies never waived that Joseph Smith was a prophet and they fully sustained Brigham Young, etc.

I suppose the not having a desire to question the early history, but to just know that this is Christ's Church here on the earth today has been one of my spiritual gifts. I was not raised in an active gospel centered home, but through my paternal grandparents/family I was able to go to Church at a young age. My earliest memory of having a witness of the truthfulness of the Book of Mormon (even though I could not yet read) and a testimony that Joseph Smith really did see God the Father and Jesus Christ in the flesh was at about the age of 4 or 5. I grew up knowing that I could not deny that knowledge or I would be denying who I was. And it would be such a disrespect to my ancestors who sacrificed everything for the gospel. 
 
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cook

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Re: "Saints" new History of the Church books/series
« Reply #8 on: September 04, 2018, 11:31:21 pm »
I guess I forgot an important point. I don't think this will be as preventive because a) it would require you read it and remember what you read or heard being taught. That would require you to be intetested in it at the time. I have so many friends who have left who claim about certain things that no one ever told about it. Yet I sat with them on lessons these things have been talked about or read them in church magazines/ literature. Of course not all this stuff, but many of the stuff they at first started them falling away. B) there will come other reasons to leave. Like human rights issues. From my friends, those who left because of historical issues no longer talk or care about those even if they are sometimes mentioned in sidelines. It's all about how badly the church treats groups of people.
 
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Taalcon

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Re: "Saints" new History of the Church books/series
« Reply #9 on: September 05, 2018, 08:26:44 am »
There's a lot of holes in the boat. Nothing wrong with plugging one that's been  there for a while even if it's not the one currently with the most water coming in.

This is a very good  move, and was long in coming.

I personally know people who couldn't care less about the social issues, but felt betrayed by aspects of history. And the betrayal factor - not necessarily the details themselves - was the issue.  One I know chose to have their records removed - but still attends church and lives according to standards! - because they didn't feel they trusted the Church to be custodian of their covenant/standing before God, if they didn't feel they could be honest about Joseph Smith and their own history.

No matter how valid you or I may think these reasons are, there are many members for whom they exist, and it BEGAN the path of 'What else might the Church be wrong/dishonest about?'

For some this will be too little WAY too late - but it is still important and a show of good faith in trying To right some wrongs.  I may be critical of many church policies,  but I can applaud and acknowledge when they fix something or do somethig unexpectedly amazing,

So I applaud this. And will also applaud when 2-hour-block is finally announced this Conference
« Last Edit: September 05, 2018, 08:28:15 am by Taalcon »
 
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AndrewR

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Re: "Saints" new History of the Church books/series
« Reply #10 on: September 05, 2018, 09:57:11 am »
One I know chose to have their records removed - but still attends church and lives according to standards! - because they didn't feel they trusted the Church to be custodian of their covenant/standing before God, if they didn't feel they could be honest about Joseph Smith and their own history.

This is interesting because although I have a calling, and I have a family to take, I go to church each week for one simple reason - to take the sacrament. All the rest is peripheral to this. If I had my name removed I would not be able to take the sacrament.
Don't ask me, I only live here.
Nauvoodle since March 2005 #1412
 
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AndrewR

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Re: "Saints" new History of the Church books/series
« Reply #11 on: September 05, 2018, 10:05:12 am »
Quote
And will also applaud when 2-hour-block is finally announced this Conference

Since you seem to have an "in" somewhere in the organisation, do you have any knowledge as to how this will work.

Sunday School is not going away - or the new Come, Follow Me would be pointless. Neither do I expect RS and Ph to go. Our stake president is of the opinion that it will be alternating weeks for RS/PH and SS. Not sure how this would work for Primary lessons and sharing time.

Alternatively I suppose shortening everything. But that could end up being bad too.

We started Ph opening exercises on time this last Sunday. However we had a new member being ordained a priest, and a hymn, prayer and announcements. Before the council part of Ph we reviewed ordaining someone (partly because the Bishop had omitted something when ordaining the new member) - there were several questions and answers. In the end the council part was about 15 minutes. If we had a shorter time we would never have had any discussion.

Don't ask me, I only live here.
Nauvoodle since March 2005 #1412
 
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Taalcon

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Re: "Saints" new History of the Church books/series
« Reply #12 on: September 05, 2018, 10:58:59 am »
EDIT:
I don't want to derail the discussion of this important book more in this thread - so I've moved the response concerning the 2 Hour Block comment to the other thread here. :)
« Last Edit: September 05, 2018, 06:21:54 pm by Taalcon »
 
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Roper

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Re: "Saints" new History of the Church books/series
« Reply #13 on: September 05, 2018, 08:40:06 pm »
Discussions of the code words used to allow disingenuous deniability, Joseph hiding things from Emma, including Emma permitting specific sealings not knowing Joseph was already sealed to them, and then participating in a 'new' ceremony anyway without anyone telling her they were already sealed, Fanny Alger, etc, etc.
This is why I can't read it.  Not right now, anyway.  I believe, as Marvin J. Ashton taught, that the greatest indicator that we are followers of Christ is the way we treat others. I almost left the church once because of how leaders and members who claim to be disciples treat each other.  I don't think my membership could withstand accounts of our founding prophet lying to his spouse and claiming it was commanded by God.  I'm already at the point that I stay active and engaged because it's important to the people I love.  There will be a time for me to read it in the future.  But not right now.
 

curlybat

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Re: "Saints" new History of the Church books/series
« Reply #14 on: September 06, 2018, 03:26:25 am »
Sounds brutally honest.  Maybe too brutally honest?  I don't even know if the difficult subjects can be handled properly because they are separated from their time and experience. Can we really couch them in their original context?  Do we really know all the facts to even begin to understand what really happened?  I'm not saying we should continue to "hide" the difficult subjects of the past with regard to the Church but we should tread carefully in what we proclaim as truth for these very reasons.
Still TheOne and only me who happens to now be curlybat.

Nauvoodle since September 2001 (#431)
 
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