You’ve all probably seen the meme of Pam from the Office looking at two identical photos and being asked to choose one. Sometimes at Church, we are told that there is a change to something, but in actual practice, it’s still basically the same thing. It’s just a branding exercise. Other times, we are told that something is totally different, yet it’s not. Or we are told that the “world” does something (bad), but we do something (that’s basically the same thing) that’s the “Lord’s way.”
Here are a few things we are told are different, but let’s be honest; they are basically the same thing.
Law of Consecration vs. Communism. I literally got in trouble in seminary for making this observation, but let’s get real. The United Order is basically communism. This is one of those where some right wing leader is going to say communism is Satan’s version or some such nonsense. I’m not in favor of communism, FYI, but I also don’t want to live the Law of Consecration for similar reasons.
Ministering vs. Visiting/Home Teaching. Basically, these are the same things. The reporting parameters are slightly different, and it’s “officially” okay to count a text (which I did for years before it was cool). But come on, these are the same thing.
Creeds vs. the Articles of Faith. In Primary, these kids are learning these by rote. They are reciting them. They are singing them set to really bad tunes. When I was in Primary, we embroidered them. How are the thirteen Articles of Faith any different from a creed? And yet we are anti-creed.
Vain Repetitions vs. Our Prayers. We are told that other Churches’ prayers are crap because they are full of “vain repetitions,” and yet, we are repeating lots of the same things over and over in our Mormon prayers: “nourish and strengthen,” “the hands that prepared,” and then there’s the obvious hyper-vigilance regarding the sacrament prayers.
There are a few things we are told are one thing, but they are really the opposite, or at least the thing we are calling them isn’t the whole story:
Unpaid Clergy, but….stipends for life.
Women leaders, but…no stipends, temporary roles, and men make all the decisions.
Tithing isn’t used to pay for investments, but…the interest we got from the tithing sure is.
Husbands preside, but….really that just means they ask people to say prayers.
There are things we are currently being told are the same thing that really aren’t.
Policy and doctrine. I have to say, this is a new one with the current administration. It absolutely used to be, not that long ago, that policies were understood to be man-made, not salvation-related, and that disfavored doctrines would eventually be relegated to the category of policy. Now, in the current iteration, we are told that disagreeing with any church policy (which–checks notes–are specifically agreed to be man-made) constitutes apostasy. Riiiight.
Jesus and the Church. This is kind of another new one. Yes, there’s the scripture that says “whether by my mouth or the mouth of my servants the prophets, it is the same.” But that’s not taking things as far as the recent talk did in which we were told that we should just literally substitute Jesus as saying any fool thing any Church leader ever says, even including the Newsroom and PR team.Nice try. I tend to take the scripture’s statement to mean something more like when parents leave the kids with a babysitter. Now, let’s be honest. Some of these babysitters are better than others. As John Mulaney said, it’s putting a slightly larger child in charge of a slightly smaller one, like putting a horse in charge of a dog.
Covenant Path and Spiritual Progression. There’s not actually any spiritual progression required to check all the boxes on the Covenant Path. All you have to do is show up and pay up at the designated times and places and say yes to everything. Not really the same as actually learning and growing as a person or becoming a better disciple of Jesus’ teachings.
President and Prophet. This is one that you could make the case either way, I suppose, but Brigham Young famously said that after the death of Joseph Smith, we didn’t have a capital P prophet anymore, and he didn’t claim that title for himself. Now, he did basically turn Utah into his own fiefdom, acting like a complete autocratic dictator, for sure. It’s kind of a distinction without a different, possibly, but it seems that he was saying that the role went from being spiritual revelator to administrator. But we’ve definitely dialed that one back.
Apostles & “Prophets, Seers, and Revelators.” Also not a super new shift, but not that old either. It used to be that only the top guy was referred to as “prophet, seer and revelator,” and until enough other apostles died to get you into the big chair, you were just an apostle. At some point, that shifted to everyone being everything all the time.
Those are all the examples I could come up with off the top of my head. Now it’s your turn.
- Can you think of any things we are told are different that are really the same?
- Can you think of things that aren’t the same thing that we are told are?
- Can you remember language shifting during your time in the Church from calling something one thing to calling it or defining it differently?
‘“We don’t feel it’s being secret, we feel it’s being confidential.”
The argument that the Law of Consecration and communisim are not the same always cracks me up. In any debate, the final argument is always “In the church our giving is a free-will offering unlike taxes which is mandatory.” Really?! Free-will?! I can choose not to pay taxes just like I can choose not to pay tithing. If I don’t pay taxes I go to prison. If I don’t pay tithing I go to hell (don’t go to the celestial kingdom) Sounds the same to me.
Here’s something we say is different in our church but in reality is the same as other churches: “Our leaders speak directly with God and receive revelation.” Here are a few examples of when that has happened:
1. God told leaders polygamy was the law of heaven and that it would never be taken away until the second coming. Then God changed His mind.
2. God told leaders that black members of the church cannot hold priesthood or attend the temple. Then God changed His mind.
3. God told leaders that same sex couples are apostates and their children should not be peptized. Then God changed His mind.
4. God told leaders that creating shell companies and falsifying documents would be a good idea. Then God changed His mind.
My take away from this? Our leaders don’t speak directly with God and receive revelation any more than leaders in other churches do.
Great observations! Here’s one:
Feelings vs. The Spirit. And this one is especially dangerous when confirmation bias is allowed in.
Ooh ooh, I can play! Here are a few potayto/potahtoes:
– Money from tithing funds vs money from the earnings from invested tithing funds.
– 14 years old vs several months shy of 15.
– Lies vs carefully-worded denials.
Temple ceremonies aren’t secret, they’re sacred (which is why we keep them secret, although less so in the last few years).
Jesus had to kick money changers out of the temple because they were wicked, but clothing rental in our temples is totally okay because . . . um, ah, we said so.
Church Funds being sacred therefore non transparent or secret. I’ve always wondered what part of the word sacred means or is defined as secret.
The Church not being political when trying to talk about social justice but if you talk about guns, book banning, CRT, schools, LGBTQ issues, ,abortion, Biden, Obama, Clinton or any other democrat or worse yet you being a democrat.
Church headquarters having nothing to do with excommunications which are local issues particularly when it involves women in the priesthood or any other controversial issue even when someone has left a ward and moved across the country and the first ward does the action years after the move.
Also, under the category of things we’re told are the same but really aren’t, all kinds of Church stances over time. As many folks on the bloggernacle have noted, and I think there was a T&S post years ago giving an overview of changes, the Church’s stance on LGBTQ people has changed pretty dramatically over the past few decades. I mean, it’s still got a ton of room for improvement, but to someone like Boyd K. Packer, if you were gay, you were an abomination by your very existence, where GAs now are typically more circumspect about airing such views, even if they still hold them.
Along similar lines, the Church has shifted its patriarchal rhetoric from paleo-patriarchy, where women are just lesser beings and they need to deal with it, to chicken patriarchy, where women are pedestalized, and we’re just sure that all the differences in treatment of women and men really boil down to some kind of equality.
“The Relief Society is the oldest women’s organization in the world.”
Do you know of any other women’s organization where men pick the leaders, both on the local and international level? Where men choose the curriculum, their voices are the majority of the lessons, who manage the money, dominate the meetings at the international level, and tell the women what is and is not appropriate spiritually?
Not to mention that when we say the Relief Society is _______ years old, we never mention the years when it was disbanded by Brigham Young.
The Relief Society is not a women’s organization.
An 11 year old is “the same” as a 12 year old – so of course they have the same level of experience and maturity and can be grouped with the rest of the teenagers in the teenager program without any infrastructure changes.
There will be no impact on our youth programs by introducing the youth graduating from Primary at the same time at the beginning of the year (as opposed to staggering throughout the year) while putting the bishop more in charge of the youth program (and diluting the adult leadership of both the church as an organization and the young men’s organization).
As a parent of a child with a November birthday – she was not ready for YW when she turned 11.
While I recognize that there may have been “revelation” involved in revamping the Senior Primary – Youth transition, moving the transition point into an en masse January transition instead of a staggered birthday-based transition point solved 1 administration problem (in theory) without any preparation for what the impact of that policy shift was.
Shifting leadership responsibilities at the same time just made the resources available to adapt to the situation even more limited, in my opinion.
I’d never thought of the AofF as a Creed, but then I looked up the definition: “a set of fundamental beliefs”. Nailed it!
19th century: Missionary work is a priesthood activity and one is ordained a seventy (an office of the priesthood) before heading off to preach the gospel. No priesthood, no mission.
20th century, when women now serve as missionaries: … except when women do missionary work, then it’s just teaching and bearing testimony, no priesthood needed. Do the same thing as men, but no priesthood needed (because we couldn’t just give them the priesthood, they’re women, but they make good missionaries, so we’ll just let them do this priesthood activity without the priesthood). Same identical activity, different logic.
Old FSY handbook vs. new FSY handbook. Just this week my 15yo was told by a friend that the rules as characterized in the old one still apply because the “Gospel doesn’t change.” Our stake leadership apparently thinks so too since the signs advertising stake dances still give instructions for the dress code articulated in the old one. Per a member of the stake presidency, they tried just giving the youth the counsel in the new one in the advertisement for the first dance after the new one came out, but because there were several kids who wore clothes that would have violated the rules in the old handbook, they went back to making everyone obey the old rules. For those who don’t know, this is what is in the new one: “Avoid styles that emphasize or draw inappropriate attention to your physical body instead of who you are as a child of God with an eternal future. Let moral cleanliness and love for God guide your choices. Seek counsel from your parents.” The old one had a bunch of very specific clothing restrictions/requirements (mostly applicable to YW, of course).
“We teach them correct principles and let them govern themselves.” . . . No not like that!
“There’s not actually any spiritual progression required to check all the boxes on the Covenant Path. All you have to do is show up and pay up at the designated times and places and say yes to everything. Not really the same as actually learning and growing as a person or becoming a better disciple of Jesus’ teachings.”
In order to ascend we must strive to live up to the covenants we make in the Kingdom. No amount of fibbing about how well we’re doing will open the locks of heaven. And so–no–checking all of the right boxes doesn’t necessarily mean that one is experiencing real progression. Even so, one doesn’t progress spiritually — at least not very far — without striving to live by the covenant making process that the Lord has set before us. And so, IMO, spiritual progression is a result of walking the covenant path.
No, Communism and Consecration are not the same. Simple proof is no one was ever shot for opposing Consecration. You see Communism is inseparable from the totalitarian governments, tyrants and dictators that have enforced Communism.
Now if you mean Communism as the Marxist ideology existing independent of violent coercion than it would be better to use a different label. Perhaps “Utopian”.
The most vivid example of Consecration in LDS history was the United Order that was practiced in parts of 19th century Utah. One of the more successful groups was Orderville Utah. A description here: https://www.deseret.com/2023/1/14/23548724/history-of-orderville-mormon-pioneers-united-order
The order was peacefully formed, peacefully followed and peacefully dissolved. And while it lasted it was a Utopia. In no way did this order compare to any Communist regime.
Observe that a number of non LDS utopias were tried in the 19th century. Again, no violence was involved. Here is a summary: https://www.history.com/news/5-19th-century-utopian-communities-in-the-united-states
The communism of the Communist Manifesto has never been realized or practiced by any society. The “Communist” Countries just used parts of communism to justify their authoritarian governments in the name of Communism/Socialism. The Law of Consecration has also never been practiced in its totality but was always an experiment in various communities that lasted anywhere from a year to maybe 10 years, like in Orderville. There were changes, exceptions, and adjustments in each of the communities based on the people and leaders.
The Communist Ideology does not need a totalitarian/authoritarian government to work, it just so happens people have used that form of government with violence to justify their own leaders ambitions. So the ideals of the Law of Consecration may not have had direct violence in how they were administered in various communities but then they didn’t last very long either so it’s hard to make a comparison. What is much more apparent is that religion can also be authoritarian and violence can happen without regard to the name of an ideology. From Mountain Meadows through thousands of lynchings to the mass suicide at Jonestown or the killing of a mother and child by the Lafferty Brothers, extreme religious authoritarian looks a lot like authoritarian/totalitarian communist/socialist rule and we haven’t even talked about other religions here, just Christians.
I want to chime in on the issue of “Law of Consecration vs. Communism.” The “A Disciple” person seems to have the same problem as the title of this blog post – “The Same Thing.” Violent murderous communism and merely-freedom-robbing coercive communalism or “law of consecration” are on the same continuum. Either one creates a destructive social class system of the rulers and the ruled. “Political power comes from the barrel of a gun” is an extreme example as used by Mao Tse-tung, and others. It is simply a matter of degree whether you preemptively take things from people, or don’t let them individually own any land or any transportable property, or shoot them and take everything — it is just a matter of degree. Both versions, and all similar versions, are all bad.
“Instereo” also seems to be somewhat pro-communism by saying “real communism has never been tried.” I think the simple answer is that human nature will never allow this so-called utopian idea to go into effect, because if any one central organization gets that kind of power, they always go too far. There is no such thing as “good communism.” It is a utopian’s utopia and can never happen on earth.
Incidentally, Joseph Smith and Brigham Young both thought it was a really terrible idea to bring in even a single element of this communalism or “law of consecration” version of coercive communalism. The whole idea is a total fraud and was only brought into church language by corrupt leftists who were just as much socialists/communists as anyone we see around today. It was wrong then and it is wrong now. Using religion to take away freedom and impose socialism/communism is an old trick that goes back thousands of years. For example, it worked for Pharaoh in ancient Egypt when the Pharaoh was supposedly a god. We should be smart enough today to finally get over that perpetual fraud (although church leaders can’t seem to give it up completely just in case it might prove useful sometime to further enhance their personal power).
My comment does not adress any of the questions asked at the end of this article.
I just wanted to say Great Job to hawkgrrrl, just excellent.
I hope each of these points made here will be expanded in a future article.
They have been expressed well here in just the few sentences given to each of them and I would like to see more written about every single one.
Let’s compare things,:
A. The LDS efforts to practice consecration as it was lived by New Testament Christians. These efforts involved religious / social pressure but did not involve physical coercion or violence. LDS consecration also retained the concept of private property – what was consecrated or shared was the production realized from that property. A person could leave the church and have their property returned to them. If only that were still the case with Tithing!
B. A political system that resulted in the murder and death of 100 million people. A system best known for the fact that the people in it must be walled in to prevent them from leaving, and yet countless people die trying to leave.
C. A utopian system of community sharing based on the idealism of Socialism.
These are all different systems with B the extreme outlier. Communism as it has existed and continues to exist is evil and inhumane. It is one of the most destructive ideologies in world history. Failed efforts to build utopias, whether they be based on religion or on naive idealism are a completely separate thing with different organization, different objectives and different enforcement.
I will concede one point. Consecration and Communism both start with the letter C.
Communism in its “pure” form isn’t doable. Because in order for it to function everyone involved would have to be so selfless that what you’d end up with (theoretically) is Zion. And Zion operates on a different principle that communism. It is one wherein everyone is more concerned about the welfare of their neighbors than with whether or not everyone is getting equal or fair treatment. There’s a fundamental difference between the two ideologies.
And so, the only way that people can be good enough to maintain a Zion-like community is to possess the love of God. And so the irony is: communism is untenable because the very qualities that are necessary for its creation and maintenance are the Christlike attributes that cause people to consecrate. And that brings forth Zion–rather than a cooperative system whose primary purpose is to make sure everyone is getting their just due.
On the down side–because we can’t be good enough to maintain such a community without the love of God there’s an almost irresistible tendency for people to elevate devotion to the “cause” as the cardinal virtue–in lieu of charity, that is. And so, IMO, that phenomenon has played a significant role in generating the horrific atrocities committed by communist regimes.
That said, I’m of the opinion that communism is untenable because where people are good enough to make it happen (theoretically) you end up with something else entirely. And where people aren’t good enough to make it happen–but want it nonetheless–you end up with a ruthless dictator’s boot on everyone’s neck.
Regarding: The LDS efforts to practice consecration as it was lived by New Testament Christians. These efforts involved religious / social pressure but did not involve physical coercion or violence
Now without saying the above is right or wrong, I refer the reader to Acts 5:1-5 in which Ananias presumably dies for withholding a portion of his profits in the era when the saints held all things in common, whatever that means. Back in the dinosaur age my seminary teacher thought that this death was for not keeping the law of consecration. I dunno; I feel supremely unqualified to interpret biblical texts but to me that does seem like a reasonable interpretation in an LDS context. Perhaps some do not consider it violent because no violent act is named. Either way Ananias would be equally dead.
I think Ananias gave up the ghost for the same reason that Sherem (from the book of Jacob) did in that he “lied unto God.” The commitments that he had made relative to consecration (and everything that goes with it) were of such a sacred nature that when he “held back a portion” he was literally mocking God.
At the risk of being irritatingly pedantic, I want to take this communism thing a step further. I have spent an absolutely ridiculous amount of time studying this topic because it seems so important to get right.
First of all, it is a favorite and convenient LDS (and some other Christians) myth that the New Testament Christians lived a communalism known as consecration. That is just nonsense, a myth created long after the fact for political convenience.
Any such organization requires a central leader and a bureaucracy. It’s absolutely impossible to have communism or communalism or any other such “ism” if you don’t have a central all-powerful leader and the bureaucracy to enforce things. The church leaders had zero central leaders and zero central bureaucracy. They did everything spontaneously in the moment. This process is described in Alma 1:26-8.
Tithing, which was most definitely part of the Old Testament church, was most definitely NOT part of the New Testament church. The simple fact that we practice tithing today is a giant and illegitimate step backwards towards the old law of Moses. Christ died to get rid of the smothering old law of Moses, and here we are almost back where it was before He started. It was very convenient to the priests back then, and is just as convenient for the priests today.
Joseph Smith was aware of this problem and he changed one word in the New Testament which changes everything.
Acts 5:13 is the critical verse. It reads “And of the rest [rulers] durst no man join himself to them: but the people magnified them.”
Joseph Smith replaced the word “rest” with the word “rulers.” Without trying to explain the entire background, the central point is that Ananias and Sapphira were not faithful members but were members of the ruling class of the old law of Moses who were trying to buy themselves a position in the new church so that they could continue to practice the priestcraft that they were used to. It was that skulduggery that got them killed, not their bad accounting. If these sneaky leaders could be prevented from joining the new church under false pretenses, that the church would not be instantly corrupted. Therefore, the really sincere people could join the church with confidence that it would continue to be led by good honest people, not just a recycled set the old crooks. If you read further in the account, everyone was scared to death when Ananias and Sapphira were killed. But then they were very happy to learn that this new church was actually being protected from being taken over by the old guard.
It’s very strange that people would be happy to join a church where the slightest misstep could get you killed. But of course, that is based on a complete [intentional] misunderstanding. It is only the imposters who would get themselves killed, and the sincere people had absolutely nothing to worry about. This same problem [of intentional misunderstanding] continued in Joseph Smith’s time and continues today. Apparently human nature will absolutely NEVER get over this attempt to use religion to exercise at least financial power over other people.
Just a quibble–tithing predates the Law of Moses the same way that other current laws and ordinances do. The may come when we will no longer be required to pay tithing–but even so, the fact the we’re paying now need not be viewed as a step backwards.
Here’s my list:
Vain repetitions = the true order of prayer
Cult of personality = follow the prophet
American exceptionalism =A peculiar people
Prosperity gospel =”blessings.”
Polygamy =plural marriage = celestial marriage
Priestcraft =desert book
The principal ancestors =among the ancestors
Boarding schools =the Indian placement program
Indoctrination =primary signing time
Tax deductible donation =paying tithes and offerings
Church Jim Crow = priesthood ban
“Jesus camp” = EFY
Continuing with excessive tenacity 🙂 – In my academic and historical world, tithing does NOT predate the law of Moses. [Just as temples do not predate the law of Moses – please point me to the Temple of Adam and the Temple of Enoch, and the Temple of Noah, etc. Ornate temples were FORBIDDEN before Moses. Only the simplest of altars were allowed. Exodus 20:25-26; Deuteronomy 27:5-6] That single case of Abraham “paying tithes to Melchizedek” (of things which he could not carry with them anyway as a migratory herder (and would probably get him killed if he had wealth other people would surely come and steal)) is a strange aberration. Using that chance later use of the word “tithing” (contributions) is just part of the (intentionally contrived) myths supporting the paying of tithing today.
A church can have real New Testament charity or they can have tithing, but not both. If you pay 10% of tithing, are you then going to pay 10% or 20% for charity? No. It will never happen. So it’s either charity or tithing. Of course, you could have 0.1% charity and 9.9% tithing but you can’t have 10% charity and 10% tithing.
I have yet to figure out the psychology of people clinging so tightly to Old Testament tithing. They imagine that they are buying their salvation, but that is not how it works at all. Paying tithing PREVENTS you from executing charity which is only way you could get to heaven. Works = charity, not tithing. Why does this very effective priestcraft fabrication have such a grip on people? I still don’t get that part.
Come now, my friend. I can pay my mortgage and still give to charity. Paying tithing is a joy–I love doing what little I can for the maintenance of the Kingdom.
Re: Ancient Temples: We’ll have to agree to disagree. However one may argue for or against the construction of actual edifices there’s no question that the motifs involved in temple worship are super ancient. That said, there is plenty of evidence for the construction of ancient sacred sites–though there are varying opinions regarding the specific meaning and usage of such sites by the ancients.
Every so often, a different missionary manual gets introduced. I had a sibling who was leaving on a mission just as a new missionary manual came out (it might have been Come Follow Me but I don’t remember exactly). He was very excited about how now missionaries would be teaching by the spirit! I dunno. I kind of scratched my head about that one. It’s not like the previous manual said to ignore the spirit.
And the prophet manuals that were used in priesthood and relief society lessons. They were supposed to teach us what the different prophets had to say, and yet every lesson was so edited and the quotes so carefully selected that basically every manual was a repeat of every previous manual.
Satan’s Plan vs the Church’s plan – same
Emotionally abusive and manipulative parents vs the way the Church conceptualizes heavenly parents – same
Grace and works – same (it’s all works)
Loving God and loving your neighbor – well, this one IS the same but the church says it’s different
As the story goes, when Leonard Arrington was serving as Church Historian he came up with the idea of putting together a 17-volume history of the Church, involving some of the greatest historians – from both within and outside of the Church – specializing in Mormonism at the time. It would have been amazing, and even though it wasn’t accomplished, it still produced some wonderful books as various historians took their research to publishers on there own. Not surprising, one the biggest objectors to the project was Mark E. Peterson. Although there were supposedly many things he had problems with, it was said that the thing that bugged him most was the use of the word “communalism” by historians to describe the United Order & the LOC. It is actually a great word to describe the practice, since historically the “country was characterized by a blend of individualism and communalism at its founding and in its early decades, when Tocqueville in the 1830s credited the blending of the two with America’s success in creating the world’s first mass democracy.” But it just sounded too much like communism for Elder Peterson’s liking.
I mean, I would say whether a man calls the multiple women he’s having sex with wives, girlfriends, concubines, prostitutes, whatever—it’s all the same “work.” When I read scriptures about how God will judge us, it isn’t whether we had any special authority to do things that others weren’t allowed to do. we’re going to be judged by our works. So having multiple sexual partners is either a good work or not, but isn’t good for some but evil for others.
And…LDS’s have never understood what Jesus was talking about with the term “vain repetitions”. They emphasize the wrong word. Truth is, Heavenly Father doesn’t need us to be like stand-up comedians, expecting us to bring new material every night. The part that He dislikes is the vanity, and once again, the Pharisees (hypocrites!) were His main target (Matt. 6:5). But the ones who really take the cake were the dudes who went up and down Rameumptom: “Holy God, we believe that thou hast separated us from our brethren…we believe that thou hast elected us to be thy holy children and thou hast elected us that we shall be saved, whilst all around us are elected to be cast by thy wrath down to hell.”(Alma 31) Yah, that could get old.
I actually think that He not only doesn’t have a problem with repetition, my guess is that He likes a lot of it. After all, what dad, hearing his daughter say “you are the greatest dad ever”, reply “don’t you ever say that again!”
Gwendolyn Wyne: excellent point. Looking at the original stories in the early days of the church it’s impossible to distinguish adultery from so called spiritual wifery and “plural marriage.” The only real difference in many cases was if a prominent Church leader had the man’s back when he was accused of misbehavior.
Priestcraft vs the LDS church = same
Health and wealth doctrines vs LDS teachings on tithing = same
Fortune telling vs patriarchal blessings = same
Rameumptom vs fast and testimony meeting = same
Vain repetitions vs most Mormon prayers said in public = same
Homophobia vs Church’s claims to be inclusive of LGBTQs = same
How the church views agency vs emotional manipulation = same
Pharisees vs church’s rules = same
On communism and law of consecration. I can actually see quite a few differences. Communism was about eradicating religion, the law of consecration was for a religious community. Communism was about giving laborers control of the means of production. The law of consecration was about about giving bishops distribution authority of collective produce. Communism was about toppling government power through revolution. The law of consecration didn’t lay out any plans for political revolution. There are quite a few more I could mention as well.
“I can choose not to pay taxes just like I can choose not to pay tithing. If I don’t pay taxes I go to prison. If I don’t pay tithing I go to hell (don’t go to the celestial kingdom) Sounds the same to me.”
It doesn’t sound the same to me. Jail in mortality sounds way easier than hell for eternity. For years I’ve been asking folks which is worse?
I was just looking at the ratings on different posts. Very interesting. Is there some sociological and statistical genius who can take this ratings data along with the associated comments and figure out what the pattern is for the viewers of this site? There seem to be some strong consistencies, but also some confusing inconsistencies? Does that mean we have a general consensus on some points and quite a range of views on other points?
Liking or not liking on a post means different things to different people
Hmm…that Mormonism is mostly a flavor of Protestantism in history and practice.
The idea of restorationism wasn’t something new or unique to Mormonism – there were several restorationist movements before it and many early followers came over from groups like the Stone-Campbell Movement.
Interestingly “Cambellite” is also mildly pejorative like “Mormon”. Similar to Mormonism, they never include “Cambell” in their official name and say, “We follow CHRIST…not Campbell”
Following the theme of the “Pirate Priest” (where did that interesting name come from?) I would offer a twist. I personally believe that it was indeed a serious and authentic restoration that mostly lasted through the lives of Joseph Smith and Brigham Young and John Taylor, and then began a precipitous slide down to what is now merely “a flavor of Protestantism.” Looking on the bright side, that should mean that it should be possible to “restore the restoration” if someone did all the necessary studies.
Does any one else remember entire lessons on the difference between foreordination and predestination? I recall a youth lesson on the topic and I totally bought in to the difference, but a friend called the teacher out on it. “They are exactly the same thing!” He was right.
Rockwell: Yes! I totally remember this exact same conversation. Predestined and foreordained are the same thing, and another one is the explanation we used to be given about blacks & the priesthood, that they were “less valiant” (that was one) or that they descended from Cain (yikes) or Ham (this is stolen from protestantism), and yet the second article of faith says men will be punished for their own sins, not for Adam’s transgression, implying that children are also not punished for the sins of their fathers (except in the Book of Mormon, and except for all women being punished for Eve’s “sin”).
The biggest confusion I had after attending the temple the first time was why i was taught so concertedly that secret combinations are the root of all evil…. It’s the same thing.
I always thought that too… I can’t help but think of the Gadianton robbers. Nice to know I am not the only one thinking that
Reading the posts and comments from the last five days – I won’t single anyone out as a frequent and contrarian flier here whose tone leaves me nonplussed when read in one sitting but it makes me miss the sanctimonious musings of our beloved JCS.
I hope everyone has a great holiday weekend full of hotdogs, 7-11 and/or Dairy Queen, the wearing of crocs, TikTok and the irreverent music of your choosing.
Oldest women’s org? I can’t imagine how! What about all the continuously operating nunneries originating from the medieval era or the Renaissance now internally-based?
What about the various Asian (Buddhist) ordained nuns?
Largest? If we compared ourselves to Methodist women, Catholic women, etc, we would one again be minorities.
*And sadly, orders for nuns defer to the Catholic Patriarchy, so we aren’t the only ones whose doctrine, leadership, budget, etc. is controlled by men.
I don’t know. Reading through the OP and comments I can’t help wonder how many of us would have short-lived careers in counterfeit departments of law enforcement agencies.
“The United Order is basically communism.”
I thought that for a long time, until I saw someone take the time to do a multipage side by side comparison of the two. Eye-opening. I liken the United Order more to Capitalism, but with laziness and greed voluntarily removed. You’ll still have people with more, and some with less, but it largely depends on how much of a stewardship you can, want, or are willing to handle. You’d never ever see that with communism. I suppose communism with greed and laziness voluntarily removed might also come close, but then you’ve largely removed the need for it in the first place.
Josh H wrote: “Feelings vs. The Spirit”
You and others have expressed this sentiment frequently. I’ve said before that I sometimes feel the most charitable position to take on the former believer is to assume they haven’t experienced what I have. Statements like this only fuel that mindset, faulty as it may be. I was never taught in a manner that would confuse the two. Feelings could accompany the Spirit, feelings might come after the Spirit, but the Spirit was so much more. If you could do a software upload directly to the brain, transfer information to the mind across sunlight, or transfer intelligence from one point to another as if it was a substance that could be exchanged between beakers, that would more aptly describe some of my greatest experiences with the Holy Ghost, and still not do it justice. You can chalk it up to self-hypnosis or any other number of things, but experience and reason has led me to accept the reality of the Spirit. To be fair, even with this distinction, the majority of us have probably struggled with this from time to time. If you associate enough feelings with the Spirit, you may make some false associations once in a while.
As far as the OP goes, we had a very interesting combined Priesthood/RS meeting this last week. Nearly half the lesson was on war, and how militaries have had to change multiple things over the years to get ahead of the enemy, including equipment and tactics. The second half basically showed how the Church isn’t all that different (still a more spiritual lesson than you might think), and it occurred to me that even simple rebranding may be an effective tactic at times, though not everyone may see it. But if it throws the enemy off, I imagine that’s enough.
The Torah = ‘the smothering old law of Moses’ (as referenced above.)
I think many Jews, both now and then, would disagree that they are the same thing…
I’m late to the game as usual but I enjoyed this post and many of the comments but I have a question that’s been nagging me lately. I’ve been hearing the phrase “The doctrine of Jesus Christ” and I’m wondering if this is the latest in the ilk of “The covenant path”. It made me realize that in all my many years in the church that I don’t know what Christ’s Doctrines are. Are they written down somewhere? What we have knowledge of is more about his ministry not all the hoopla of rites and rituals. Oftentimes it seems that it’s suggested that the way things are done in the church are doctrine but I’m not seeing that explicitly stated anywhere – such as why do only men have the priesthood, or why can’t LGBTQ + people receive all the same covenants as heterosexual people. It seems more plausible to me that many of our practices are passed down through centuries of cultural biases.