Junior Ganymede
We endeavor to give satisfaction

A Short Message to the Smug

December 23rd, 2010 by G.

We do not know when Christ was born. It could be December 25th, so relax, Merry Christmas.

The scriptures do not tell us. Recitation of the date in a conventional format is a sign that God uses conventions to communicate with us, nothing more.*

Christmas is not necessarily a pagan holiday in origin.

Neither is it necessarily based on a real tradition of when he was born.

Roll with it.

*As far as I can discover, every LDS source for the April 6 date ultimately traces itself to poetic reformulation of the ‘year of our Lord’ dating formula in the Doctrine and Covenants. If anyone knows of some other source, I would be happy to hear it.

Comments (8)
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December 23rd, 2010 14:28:32

December 23, 2010

My best guess is around Passover in 4 B.C. based on what seems the best Mormon scholarship. But I don’t really know. Anyway, if you’re getting your Christmas theology from a Dark Lord of the Sith, you have other problems.

If I’m smug about anything, it’s my willingness as an otherwise orthodox LDS to believe it might not have been April 6, 1 A.D.

December 24, 2010

It’s still a piddly discussion. The big BIG question is whether the 2000-year 2nd Coming timer started ticking in 1 A.D., 4 B.C. or 33 A.D.

“No man knows the hour or the day.” But do you want to place any bets on the year?

December 24, 2010

The first two would seem to be right out.

My jocular guess is that it’s 2000 years from His death, and a good many LDS will be caught flatfooted on Passover, 2029.

Given the state of my health and the limitations of even the finest powered body suits, I probably won’t still be around for it. But I try to stay prepared anyway. Or at least as prepared as someone with my record can hope to be.

Which is not to say that it wasn’t all Tarkin’s fault. The man was insane.

December 25, 2010

Or as one Sunday School teacher put it: “Jesus is coming when you die.”

Adam G.
January 18, 2011

According to this Deseret News article, the revelation that makes folks think Christ was born on April 6, 1 BC, was actually given on April 10th, and the first verse with the date reference was added by a compiler.


January 18, 2011

If Elder McConkie felt entitled to take a less than literal interpretation of the 6 April 1 A.D. date, then I feel entitled to note take it seriously at all.

Zen, the failed literalist
January 19, 2011

But literalism makes things so much simpler.

One one hand, we do have instances like Samuel the Lamanite prophecying of a certain number of years, and Lehi being told that in 600 years Christ would come.

On the other hand, there are suggestions even in Holy Writ that we take neither the 7000 year (or day) creation as literal, nor the 6000 year history of earth as literal. This suggests that certain things are not yet written in stone, and depend on us. It may well be that other things like the Millennium are not limited to 1000 literal years.

Naive literalism is a soft idolatry that demands nothing of us but pretends to tell us everything. I consider it even below reading entrails, because that at least demands effort and suggests humility in our ability to discern the shape and position of a intestine.

All this said, my daughter was sick yesterday, and when I prayed, I felt she would be better today and so it was. So when is God literal? Best idea I have is to ask him, but I expect that absolving us of intellectual inquiry and effort is not high on His list of priorities.

January 19, 2011

So, literalism is a gutless way of engaging in idolatrous divination?

Sorry, don’t actually disagree. Just could not resist.

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