The scriptures may have been fine in their day. Previous generations were, after all, more primitive than us, and needed more childlike instruction. Besides, their cultural prejudices could not be overcome all at once, and those prejudices permeate the scriptures.
G. mentioned in passing the other day one of those quirky Mormon teachings that I’ve been curious about for a while: “Satan rules over the water.” The origin of this teaching is Doctrine & Covenants Section 61, in which the elders have to halt a river voyage when they see “the destroyer riding in power upon the face of the waters.” The Lord declared to them, “Behold, I, the Lord, in the beginning blessed the waters; but in the last days, by the mouth of my servant John, I cursed the waters.” D&C 61:14. And then later on: “I, the Lord, have decreed, and the destroyer rideth upon the face thereof, and I revoke not the decree.” D&C 61:19
What I wonder is whether “the destroyer” who rode upon the face of the waters was, in fact, Satan, or if it was instead a destroying angel sent by the Lord, as in the days of the Passover. (more…)
After Jesus was resurrected, his Apostles were different men. They were nobodies before. Then they shook the earth. What changed them? They had seen Jesus resurrected, that’s what changed them.
When they changed into Apostles, a crowd of Jesus’ followers also suddenly transformed into a church. What changed them? Most of them probably wouldn’t have seen Jesus alive again.
There is an answer in the scriptures. If we liken the scriptures unto us, we’ll discover it. (more…)
When Joseph Smith gave his witness, “last of all,” of the risen Savior, he was only the first of this dispensation. There have since been many of others, some of whom have given their witness publicly. Some have been collected here.
As Man is, God once was.
As God is, Man may be.
There is lots of scriptural support for the second half of Lorenzo Snow’s couplet. There is little support for the first half, the way President Snow meant it.
There are alternate meanings, though. The couplet is quasi-scriptural. Scripture usually has more than one layer of meaning. (more…)
What do people collectively want? It’s hard to say. Voting gives you one kind of answer, but voting isn’t nuanced. Voters can only say yes or no to ballot questions as phrased and as they understand them. It’s possible that with more explanation they might feel differently, or with even slightly different phrasing they choose the other option. Or else they can only select between candidates. Different voting systems give different answers. Arrow’s Impossibility Theorem says that no voting system can ever perfectly capture voter intent. Polls are even more fallible.
That’s where the concept of the General Will comes in. What if someone knew the people well enough to have an intuitive, almost literary, sense of what they wanted? That’s why dictatorships claim to be democracies. They say they’re giving the nation what it really, collectively, wants.
The reason it’s hard to know what voters want is because it’s hard to know what a voter wants. Individuals are something like a collection of people over time. No man can step in the same river twice, the Greek said, because it’s never the same man. The mind is always engaged in editing memory to fit the needs of the present, which it wouldn’t need to do if we were really fully the same throughout, if we always had the same end in view. (more…)
Senator Thomas Udall of New Mexico, who has already gained notoriety for supporting a constitutional amendment to limit the protections afforded by the First Amendment, has now come out in favor of sweeping new regulations on the chemical industry.
Mormon Christianity has a lot of odd little teachings that don’t seem to add up to anything at first glance. Resurrected beings have bodies of flesh and blood. Heaven has three main degrees. Satan rules over the water. And Christ atoned twice, first in the Garden, second on the cross. (more…)
The presence of God is eternity. (more…)
Filed under: Deseret Review | Tags: all things before my face, atonement, eternity, Jesus Christ, LDS, Mormon, Mormonism, quotation and aphorism
Though not particularly comfortably.
Turns out there was no fistula, just deep-seated infection of uncertain etiology requiring thorough debriding. His Majesty will be sore for a while.
I mean physically. He’s usually sore in the other sense.
Calvinball doesn’t suffer from to few rules. It has too many.
Beyond a certain point, more rules means less order.
Calvinball, anarcho-tyranny, and Tainter’s Complexity-Collapse thesis are all kissing cousins.