Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Making the Bloggernacle a better place

Today, Matt W. posted Simple Rules For Using Social Media. I think his post should be required reading for all bloggernacle bloggers and commenters. I believe we can talk with one another frankly—even disagreeing with scrubbed/correlated things—and still follow the 1 Do and 3 Don't Dos listed by Matt. If we do this, the bloggernacle will be a better place.
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Monday, September 14, 2009

Easy as 1-2-3, Mormons reject evolution

A recurring bloggernacle question is:  Why do so many Mormons reject evolution?  (See also here.)  In my view, the answer is as easy as 1-2-3:

1.  From childhood, Mormons "follow the Prophet."

2.  The Prophet urges "make institute a priority."

3.  Institute's "doctrinal foundation" includes no death before the fall:

"2 Nephi 2:22.  ' All Things'  Were Affected by the Fall of Adam.

"Elder Bruce R. McConkie explained how all things were connected to the Fall of Adam:  ' Then comes the Fall;  Adam falls;  mortality and procreation and death commence.  Fallen man is mortal;  he has mortal flesh;  he is "the first flesh upon the earth."  And the effects of his fall pass upon all created things.  They fall in that they too become mortal.  Death enters the world;  mortality reigns;  procreation commences;  and the Lord's great and eternal purposes roll onward....'

" ' Mortality and procreation and death all had their beginnings with the Fall....

" ' ...An infinite Creator, in the primeval day, made the earth and man and all forms of life in such a state that they could fall. This fall involved a change of status. All things were so created that they could fall or change....

" '...In the primeval and Edenic day all forms of life lived in a higher state than now prevails.... Death and procreation had yet to enter the world.' "  (Book of Mormon Student Manual, Religion 121-122, 2009, pp.53-54.)

This is merely the most recent among many similar passages.  Mormons are taught no death before the fall as children, youth, students, and adults.  Even investigators are taught this doctrine.  The result?

Evolution fails for lack of time.

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Saturday, September 12, 2009

Gospel Doctrine Lesson 35 does NOT promote false doctrine

In an article posted yesterday titled "Before You Teach or Attend Gospel Doctrine 35 on the Handcart Rescue, Read This," Ardis Parshall claims a particular statement from the current Sunday School lesson manual is "false and problematic" and that it promotes "seriously false doctrine." The disputed paragraph says:

" ' Three eighteen-year-old boys belonging to the relief party came to the rescue; and to the astonishment of all who saw, carried nearly every member of that ill-fated handcart company across the snow-bound stream. The strain was so terrible, and the exposure so great, that in later years all the boys died from the effects of it. When President Brigham Young heard of this heroic act, he wept like a child, and later declared publicly, "That act alone will ensure C. Allen Huntington, George W. Grant, and David P. Kimball an everlasting salvation in the Celestial Kingdom of God, worlds without end" ' "

Ardis apparently sees false doctrine in the claim that an act of physical bravery can guarantee celestial glory worlds without end. She apparently feels Brigham Young's promise was based on the idea that a single act can be so heroic that nothing else in the person's life can overshadow it. But, that doctrine doesn't exist. And Brigham Young was not referring to such a doctrine, nor was he creating it.

The "false doctrine" claim is hard to reconcile with the fact that the manual quotes the above paragraph from President Thomas S. Monson's April 1990 general conference talk (Ensign, May 1990, p.46). In addition, President Gordon B. Hinckley (Ensign, Nov 1981, p.40) and President James E. Faust (Ensign, Nov 1992, p.84) in general conference quoted the same Brigham Young declaration regarding the three young men.

If the words "false doctrine" come up in your ward during this lesson, you might want to share the following paragraph:

Brigham Young was NOT declaring doctrine. He spoke of a single event and about three specific young men. As God's Prophet, Brigham Young spoke with authority. And it appears that Presidents Monson, Hinckley, and Faust also think Brigham Young spoke with authority.

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