Sunday in Outer Blogness: Rewriting the Scriptures Edition!!

If you haven’t heard, the CoJCoL-dS decided to dust off the old scriptures, polish ‘em up, and give them a slightly different meaning. A bit of additional hedging. The most dramatic change was to shy away from the claim that the Book of Abraham was translated from the papyrus in Joseph Smith’s possession — a controversial idea, as we learned here at MSP!! Many of the faithful applaud this change for obvious reasons, and some are even presenting the old “translating from the papyrus” claim as a straw-man.

Of course, it’s not the first time they’ve changed the BoA’s explanatory intro — see this this history — and it’s not the only part that was changed. (Actually, it’s interesting to note how much Mormon temples changed in purpose during the early days of the church.) The colorful BoA has distracted us from the interesting racial re-explaining plus some interesting polygamy whitewash!

The briefs are mounting for the Supreme Court case against DOMA, and Utah reaffirmed non-discrimination for sexual orientation, with help from some faithful Latter-day Saints who are living in the future.

In the same vein as the breastfeeding in church controversy, excluding half the people from the authority they need to do their jobs doesn’t work. Not Mormon-related, but this is my favorite reaction to the endless refrain that women “can’t have it all”:

Did you notice that somebody’s missing from this story? Somebody else who could have gone to the birthday assembly? Somebody with a penis?

You read articles like this all the time, usually under some heading that says, in many words or few, “Women can’t have it all.” But what these articles call “having it all” and treat as an impossible fantasy – being a good, loving parent without sacrificing work ambition — is what men call “daily life.”

But let’s not just dump on Mormonism. It has its strange bits that even the faithful don’t agree on, but some items encouraged by Mormonism are cool — like this for example! Also, tattoos can be cool — Mormon and otherwise.

I discussion topics, Andrew S has an interesting take on post-Mormon morality — just look at the helpful moral instruction offered by Mormonism! Another person has noticed the frog-in-a-pot/milk-before-meat parallel.

There were quite a number of faith journeys this past week! An apologist figured out that the Mormon Interpreter is not a real academic journal, the last debate before leaving Christianity, a video on gaining perspective, an explanation for joining the church in the first place, embracing asexuality, following in the footsteps of an ancestor, feeling the spirit as evidence it’s not real, keeping the church experience after dumping the myth, and a whole new Mormon-to-atheist blog!!

Also, this humor site looks like a good opportunity to share your talents!

Sorry for the lateness of this post! The good news is that (as of today) there are no more unsorted boxes left in my apartment!!! They’re all in the basement now, and most of them are even sorted!! Oh, and what do you think of our shiny new domain name “mainstreetplaza.com”? Pretty cool, huh?

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9 Comments

  1. 1

    “some interesting polygamy whitewash”??? What does that mean exactly?

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  2. 2
    chanson says:

    We got so focused on the BoA over here that I missed reading the other changes carefully. Wasn’t there also a change to the intro to the first Manifesto, downplaying the practice of polygamy?

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  3. 3
    jenna says:

    Ok wow. The living in the future thing was f*ed up. That is the only technical term appropriate. I am a closet New Order/”Big Tent ” Mormon that is only a little agnostic.,but this made me rethink the compromise I have been attempting. Those comments were even crazier. I hadn’t realized the extent some people were willing to take the whole “when the prophet speaks the thinking is over” thing.

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  4. 4
    chanson says:

    @3 This is one of the points where people who are trying to make Mormonism work might fit better in the Community of Christ. They believe that the whole church receives revelation, not that you can only receive revelation in accordance with your rung on the patriarchal hierarchy.

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  5. 5
    Holly says:

    That living in the future thing is f*ed up. I somehow missed that link in my reading of SiOB…. So, the church’s moral, intellectual, and spiritual agenda is subject entirely to the whims of a bunch of sequestered, privileged, reactionary dudes who are old often to the point of senility and impairment, and that’s just what Mormons are stuck with, and they all need to suck it up and deal, because that’s how God wants it? Sounds like a recipe for a sclerotic society at least half a century behind the rest of the world–which, come to think of it, the church is.

    Why people defend that as a good thing, much less put up with it, I just can’t see.

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  6. 6
    Suzanne Neilsen says:

    I can think of worse things than being sclerotic.
    The problem I have with Mormonism is the idolatry of obedience which brings with it the supreme virtue of not blind faith, but blind loyalty.
    To quote Pascal,”Men never do evil so completely and cheerfully as when they do it from religious conviction.”
    If there is a rigid hierarchical organization, with privileged reactionary dudes at the top, I want them impaired.

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  7. 7
    chanson says:

    @6 It’s true that with this level of unquestioning obedience to whatever the leaders say, it’s probably a good thing that the leaders are just floating along, not really saying anything new…

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  8. 8
    Chris F. says:

    This is the first time I’ve heard of the “Future Prophet” theory. I, personally, don’t rely on future prophets. I just know, revelation or not, that current doctorine is wrong. Tommy Monson himself could say something about gays or women holding the priesthood, one way or the other, and it wouldn’t change my mind about that.

    Of course, I’m not your standard “Prophet’s word is law” kinda guy either. My brain happens to be functioning fairly well, as far as I’m concerned, and I intend to keep it that way by continuing its use.

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  9. 9

    [...] J. Max Wilson has written a couple of posts critiquing liberal believing Mormons. (Well, he has written more than a couple of posts, actually, but these are the latest few). This time, he addresses it from the vantage point of Mormons rejecting present leadership by hoping for future revelation (hat tip to chanson for cluing me in to JMW’s criticism of Latter-day Saints who live in the fu…. [...]

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