Monday, June 27, 2016

"When Joseph Smith Saw a Vision of Heavenly Mother" Corrected

LDS Living posted an article claiming that Joseph Smith saw a vision of Heavenly Mother. The same problematic information was related by Fiona Givens (as posted by Jana Riess) at Flunking Sainthood (with Religion News Service). I worry that this little "discovery" will make its rounds throughout the Bloggernacle and be received uncritically. The problem with the assertion, at least in the evidence provided, is that it simply isn't true...not without some unwanted baggage anyways. Both articles provide a quotation from the journal of Abraham H. Cannon (of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles: 1889-1896). Both articles neglect to provide the context for the quotation provided and both authors were apparently unaware of the other accounts of the same event that contradict the details in Cannon's journal. The event described is provided from Zebedee Coltrin, that took place following a conference in New Portage, Ohio, on May 7, 1834 (see HC 2:64). 

Saturday, June 18, 2016

The Book of Mormon "Pride Cycle" and Deuteronomy 8

President Ezra Taft Benson has been a strong influence upon the membership of the Church with respect to appreciation for the Book of Mormon. His enthusiasm for this book of scripture is encouraging and inspiring, and this enthusiasm is apparent in a number of his conference talks. One of his conference talks seems to have permeated Mormon consciousness more than others though and that is his talk, "Beware of Pride."  This particular talk is memorable for its emphasis upon the evils of pride and its cure, humility, and the dissemination of this talk seems to have found its way into just about every discussion regarding the so-called Book of Mormon "pride cycle" (correlated materialsbooks, sacrament talks, etc.). The "pride cycle" is a repeating pattern within the Book of Mormon, wherein, a humble community becomes faithful, is blessed with prosperity by the Lord, begins to develop pride, which culminates in being destroyed once their pride sufficiently separates them from the Lord. Their "destruction" may come in various forms, including war, bondage, famine, or other devastating effects upon the community that humbles them.