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Author Topic: Enoch, Kirtland, Sidney Rigdon, and Common Property  (Read 570 times)

Taalcon

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Enoch, Kirtland, Sidney Rigdon, and Common Property
« on: April 25, 2021, 08:47:44 pm »
So I mentioned before how it's helpful to look at the JST in context with Church History and the D&C? In preparing the lesson for the following week, I noted something fascinating.

Joseph began the Enoch sections before Sidney Rigdon arrived, but only as far as the sections talking about Adam and Eve, Baptism & The Holy Ghost, etc.

Basically the moment Rigdon Arrived, he was called to be a scribe for the JST, and the very first thing he took dictation about (and we have it beginning right here in his handwriting) is what is called the Prophecy of Enoch from the JST manuscript, where we first learn about the City of Enoch, Zion, there being no poor among them, it being a refuge, and being taken away - as a city - by the Lord.

Sidney Rigdon already had concerns and questions about having property in common - the Morley Farm was practicing this in Kirtland, somewhat fluidly, basing it on the Christian Community in Acts, and Rigdon didn't know how it fit in with his model of Restoring Ancient Christianity.

This is the same time Joseph is announcing to the Saints that they are to move to Kirtland. So as part of this process, they now have an inspired Story to tell to picture what their goal IS. They can easily see Joseph as Enoch, and them as Enoch's people. It's not just a commandment, there's a story with roles they can picture themselves in. It made the move more logical as part of their goals, and not just a thing to do.

And when Joseph arrives in Kirtland and presents the Law, he establishes a model for allowing for communal property but filtered through a Bishop, and each person will have their own resources licensed back to them. In the Morley Family, communal property was so loose that people were starting to just grab stuff someone else had that they wanted. This way, it all technically belonged to the Lord/Church, but what each had possession of was specifically licensed to them, and not just 'up for grabs'.
« Last Edit: April 25, 2021, 08:49:33 pm by Taalcon »
 
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AndrewR

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Re: Enoch, Kirtland, Sidney Rigdon, and Common Property
« Reply #1 on: April 26, 2021, 06:24:04 am »
Again, thanks for these insights.
Don't ask me, I only live here.
Nauvoodle since March 2005 #1412
 
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Roper

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Re: Enoch, Kirtland, Sidney Rigdon, and Common Property
« Reply #2 on: April 26, 2021, 09:26:12 am »
This is the same time Joseph is announcing to the Saints that they are to move to Kirtland. So as part of this process, they now have an inspired Story to tell to picture what their goal IS. They can easily see Joseph as Enoch, and them as Enoch's people. It's not just a commandment, there's a story with roles they can picture themselves in. It made the move more logical as part of their goals, and not just a thing to do.

Thanks for the insight, Taalcon. Many of the pioneers have recorded in their journals that they considered themselves akin to the children of Israel guided by Moses out of Egypt. Stories inspire us to do things we wouldn't normally consider.
Education is not preparation for life; education is life itself. - John Dewey
 
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Taalcon

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Re: Enoch, Kirtland, Sidney Rigdon, and Common Property
« Reply #3 on: April 26, 2021, 12:50:31 pm »
Some more of why Joseph had some of the reactions he did in Kirtland.

So as a kid, prior to having his First Vision, ecstatic religious experience was all over the place. In fact, many claimed to have had an experience where they 'got the power', where their tongue was bound, or they thrashed around, and this was evidence of God's power cleansing them from sin.

So Joseph is in the woods, he's praying ... and he gets the experience people tell him all about. But he doesn't see it as godly - he sees it as a Satanic obstacle. It tries to keep him from praying by binding his tongue, but he pushes through it, praying for deliverence ... and THAT is when the Theophony occurs.

So you want to know what ticked off ministers around Joseph? Not that he saw God, but that his experience tells them that what THEY declare is God's power is actually a satanic delusion, and that he wasn't decieved by it, and pushed through until he got the truth.

So cut to years later - a ton of people in Kirtland are converted by Missionaries, who then drop a couple copies of the Book of Mormon, ordain a couple Elders, and then leave town to get to their real destination, the Natives in Missouri.

So these new converts don't replace their previous religion with the Book of Mormon - they just ADD it to what they already believed. Morleys keep on with their communal property, they see stories in the Book of Mormon of whole groups falling down under conviction of the Spirit, etc. Some go WAY beyond, they flail around, some re-enact Book of Mormon scenes shouting in the Spirit, some pantomime Scalping 'Lamanites', row pretend canoes, some declare they are recieving Mission Calls and Ordinations from pieces of paper that fly down from heaven, etc, etc.

So the Law, and the revelations surrounding that, swiftly move to harness this authentic enthusiasm, and focus it into productive actions and systems. Joseph knows what it is to get distracted by incomplete or false spiritual experiences, and wants to help them push through it, to get to the reality of the situation - the experiences HE has had.
« Last Edit: April 26, 2021, 12:56:05 pm by Taalcon »
 
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Taalcon

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Re: Enoch, Kirtland, Sidney Rigdon, and Common Property
« Reply #4 on: May 03, 2021, 11:00:37 am »
Now consider this passage from JST Genesis 14, understanding that Rigdon was now his scribe, and it was received right around the same time (either directly before, or almost directly after) as D&C 42, where the instructions were given for consecrating property to the Bishop, who is to keep the 'residue' in a Storehouse:

Quote
36 And this Melchizedek, having thus established righteousness, was called the king of heaven by his people, or, in other words, the King of peace.

37 And he lifted up his voice, and he blessed Abram, being the high priest, and the keeper of the storehouse of God;

38 Him whom God had appointed to receive tithes for the poor.

39 Wherefore, Abram paid unto him tithes of all that he had, of all the riches which he possessed, which God had given him more than that which he had need.


40 And it came to pass, that God blessed Abram, and gave unto him riches, and honor, and lands for an everlasting possession; according to the covenant which he had made, and according to the blessing wherewith Melchizedek had blessed him.

This is also DIRECTLY leading up to the first High Priesthood / Melchizidek Priesthood ordinations in June 1831 in Kirtland:

Quote
25 And Melchizedek lifted up his voice and blessed Abram.

26 Now Melchizedek was a man of faith, who wrought righteousness; and when a child he feared God, and stopped the mouths of lions, and quenched the violence of fire.

27 And thus, having been approved of God, he was ordained an high priest after the order of the covenant which God made with Enoch,

28 It being after the order of the Son of God; which order came, not by man, nor the will of man; neither by father nor mother; neither by beginning of days nor end of years; but of God;

29 And it was delivered unto men by the calling of his own voice, according to his own will, unto as many as believed on his name.

30 For God having sworn unto Enoch and unto his seed with an oath by himself; that every one being ordained after this order and calling should have power, by faith, to break mountains, to divide the seas, to dry up waters, to turn them out of their course;

31 To put at defiance the armies of nations, to divide the earth, to break every band, to stand in the presence of God; to do all things according to his will, according to his command, subdue principalities and powers; and this by the will of the Son of God which was from before the foundation of the world.

32 And men having this faith, coming up unto this order of God, were translated and taken up into heaven.

33 And now, Melchizedek was a priest of this order; therefore he obtained peace in Salem, and was called the Prince of peace.

JST really needs to be chronologically read alongside the D&C!
 
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