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Controlling Everything from Headquarters

August 19, 2010

I ran across a curious article that was published last week in Deseret News.  This article claimed to be reporting a change in how the Church History Department collects, preserves, and disseminates the church’s historical information to LDS members.  After reading the article, however, I cannot figure out what the changes were or how the process was “decentralized” as the article claims was the goal.  I will quote the relevant sections and highlight the areas that jumped out at me.  Maybe someone here can help me figure this out.

“Last year, it was decided that they [the Church History Department] needed to implement a decentralized model and start making church history more accessible to the world. Under the direction and approval of area authorities, options will be given to preserve area histories locally — and hopefully, in the future, digitally.

“We wondered, ‘How do we fulfill the commandments of the Lord to keep a history of the church continually and do it in a way that we weren’t asking the brethren for millions more dollars in head count by controlling everything from headquarters?'” Crosby said.

In the world there are 15, if you don’t count the Middle East, international areas in the church. Each one has an area presidency responsible for operating the church within their area, Crosby said. This year, Elder Marlin K. Jensen, the Church Historian Recorder, met with each of the area authority presidencies and invited them to call a local person, or missionary if needed, to be an area church history adviser. The church history adviser would then be responsible for coordinating any church history activities in the area, which would then need to be approved by the area presidency. They can pick two or three areas, such as stake, district and mission annual histories, oral histories, collecting, websites, landmarks, record repositories, publishing, historic sites — to focus on in a given year.”

Okay, so here’s my question:  How has the process of collecting, preserving, and sharing church history been “decentralized”?  According to lds.org, Area Presidencies serve under the direction of the First Presidency, the Quorum of the Twelve, and the Presidency of the Seventy.  It sounds to me like the church history activities are still being monitored directly from Headquarters.  So what has changed?  What is this “new” process?  It sounds like perhaps some time and money has been freed up by delegating some of the control and monitoring to unpaid volunteers? Or perhaps these new church history advisors will be paid for their role in coordinating these activities?  I don’t get it.

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43 Comments leave one →
  1. August 19, 2010 2:36 am

    Beats me.

    Seems like inadequate reporting to me.

  2. Martha permalink
    August 19, 2010 1:05 pm

    Did it say anything in the article about making the information they collect open to the public?

  3. August 19, 2010 2:28 pm

    The story of denial of access is largely an invention of the Tanners.

    All private libraries in the United States closely guard their collections and limit access to those who have good reason to observe the documents. If everyone got to handle the records, they would disintegrate. The LDS Church is pretty much par for the course in this respect.

    I expect that the Tanners spread the word about secrecy and denial of access because THEY were not allowed access. Understandable, given how utterly irresponsible they were in conveying the original source material.

  4. August 20, 2010 12:11 am

    Martha,

    I didn’t see anything in the article about that. If you are curious, you can read the article – I linked to it in the first sentence of my post. They did say they wanted to make their church history more accessible to the world, but no specifics about how they intend to do that. The article was titled “Church updating the way its history is preserved.” I’m not clear on what exactly has been updated. Appears to be business as usual.

  5. August 20, 2010 12:48 am

    I suppose “Irresponsible” is in the eye of the beholder. If one considers responsible handling to be coveying the info in as faith promoting manner as possible, with little regard for the truth, then the Tanners were irresponsible. However, if responsible is defined as delivering the facts truthfully, than they were very responsible.

  6. August 20, 2010 1:31 am

    No, I consider “irresponsible” to be taking half of your Brigham Young quote from the Journal of Discourses page 65 and then placing an ellipses in there and not telling your readership that the ellipses covers whole pages of text until… say… page 67 where you get the second half of your quote. Conveniently – the omitted text in question often seems to (wonder of wonders) significantly soften what Brigham Young actually said.

    But hey – who needs context when you’ve got an agenda, right?

  7. August 20, 2010 1:49 am

    Eye of the beholder Seth. Eye of the beholder.

    In my opinion, it is the LDS apologists who are usually textually disingenuous. their efforts to “put in context” usually end up being nothing more than efforts to whitewash the truth.

    In addition, we wouldn’t even know about half the painful church history truths if it weren’t for the Tanners. The have been a blessing from God!

  8. August 20, 2010 2:39 am

    Oh, and as for having an agenda, let us not forget a few words spoken in General Conference just a few years back regarding how church history should be handled and taught.

    I seem to remember it being something to the effect of, “All truth is not good.”

    Yeah, the church doesn’t have any agenda when it comes to church history being disseminated.

  9. August 20, 2010 3:20 am

    OK, let’s give an example shall we?

    This one is from the Tanners book “Mormonism – Shadow or Reality”, pg. 154:

    The Tanners are making the argument that Joseph Smith didn’t really see God the Father in his “First Vision” and that other accounts claim that he saw an angel instead. To support this, they quote Heber C. Kimball as evidence of the confusion about the First Vision after Joseph Smith’s death:

    “Do you suppose that God in person called upon Joseph Smith, our Prophet? God called upon him; But God did not come himself and call…”

    Well gee! Oh my gosh! Heber C. Kimball is claiming that Joseph didn’t see God the Father after all! My word….

    The Tanners continue by stating that “Heber C. Kimball went on to explain that rather than God coming Himself, He sent messengers to Joseph Smith. He went on to state:

    Why did he not come along? Because he has agents to attend to his business, and he sits upon his throne and is established at head-quarters and tells this man, ‘Go and do this,’ and it is behind the vail just as it is here. You have got to learn that.”

    (Heber C. Kimball, Journal of Discourses 6:29.)

    Pretty dang solid. Looks like early Mormons had no clue what Joseph really saw.

    But wait, what if we had a look at the actual QUOTE without those little ellipses they put in there? What, oh what would we find?

    (note, just to be completely accurate – I’m including the entire passage in question here – which is lengthy. But I have put the crucial omitted portions in ALL-CAPS for your reading convenience)

    Do you suppose that God in person called upon Joseph Smith, our Prophet? God called upon him; but God did not come himself and call, BUT HE SENT PETER TO DO IT. DO YOU NOT SEE? HE SENT PETER AND SENT MORONI TO JOSEPH, AND TOLD HIM THAT HE HAD GOT THE PLATES. DID GOD COME HIMSELF? NO HE SENT MORONI AND TOLD HIM THERE WAS A RECORD, and says he, “That record is matter that pertains to the. Lamanites, and it tells when their fathers came out of Jerusalem, and how they came, and all about it; and, says he, “If you will do as I tell you, I will confer a gift upon you.” Well, he conferred it upon him, because Joseph said he would do as he told him. “I want you to go to work and take the Urim and Thummim, and translate this book, and have it published, that this nation may read it.” Do you not see, by Joseph receiving the gift that was conferred upon him, you and I have that record? Well, when this took place, Peter came along to him and gave power and authority, and, says he, “You go and baptise Oliver Cowdery, and then ordain him a Priest.” He did it, and do you not see his works were in exercise? Then Oliver, having authority, baptised Joseph and ordained him a Priest. Do you not see the works, how they manifest themselves?

    WELL, THEN PETER COMES ALONG. Why did not God come? He sent Peter, do you not see? Why did he not come along? Because he has agents to attend to his business, and he sits upon his throne and is established at head-quarters, and tells this man, “Go and do this;” and it is behind the vail just as it is here. You have got to learn that. (emphasis added)

    Hmmm…. Well, it looks to me that Heber C. Kimball wasn’t talking about the First Vision at all. He was talking about the times Joseph talked about Moroni visiting about the gold plates, or Peter coming to restore the Priesthood along with other messengers for other purposes. Nothing about the First Vision at all.

    How could the Tanners have missed that – especially considering it was right there in the same paragraph?

    Just an “honest” mistake, no doubt.

    Would you like some more examples of this kind of academically rigorous and honest behavior Darrell?

  10. August 20, 2010 4:17 am

    If the First Vision was as firmly planted in Heber C. Kimball’s mind as it has been planted in the minds of Mormons today, he would have never said, “Do you suppose that God in person called upon Joseph Smith, our Prophet? God called upon him; but God did not come himself”

    No Mormon today would make that statement. Why? Well, it seems to me it’s because the current version of the First Vision is a far more central part of their paradigm than it was for Heber C. Kimball.

  11. August 20, 2010 4:22 am

    In fact, I think you would have a hard time making a case (from documentation) that Heber C. Kimball believed in the current version of the First Vision….

  12. August 20, 2010 4:39 am

    Seth,

    I own the JOD and have read this (and many of the other talks cited by the Tanners and others) and the quote you cite, when taken into the broader context of the changing views on the First Vision over the early years of the church, is perfectly in line with what the Tanners are asserting. It is only when you force upon the text the current church view that Smith’s First Vision account did not change over time. However, this is precisely the point that the Tanners are challenging. Their position, as I understand it, is that Smith’s account changed over time. Given this perspective, some early church leaders held the view that it was not God the Father and Jesus Christ who appeared to Smith first, but an angel (sometimes referred to as Moroni) and that this First Vision communicated to Smith about the Gold Plates. Interestingly enough, this is exactly what Kimball was saying…. that it was not God appeared to and called Smith, but an angel who then informed him about the Gold Plates.

    Second, you left out the multitude of other sources/talks they cited, which support this point.

    “None of them was right, just as it was when the Prophet Joseph asked the angel which of the sects was right that he might join it. The answer was that none of them are right. What, none of them? No. We will not stop to argue that question; the angel merely told him to join none of them that none of them were right.” – John Taylor – JOD 20:167

    But as it was in the days of our Savior, so was it in the advent of this new dispensation. It was not in accordance with the notions, traditions, and pre−conceived ideas of the American people. The messenger did not come to an eminent divine of any of the so−called orthodoxy, he did not adopt their interpretation of the Holy Scriptures. The Lord did not come with the armies of heaven, in power and great glory, nor send His messengers panoplied with aught else than the truth of heaven, to communicate to the meek the lowly, the youth of humble origin, the sincere enquirer after the knowledge of God. But He did send His angel to this same obscure person, Joseph Smith Jun., who afterwards became a Prophet, Seer, and Revelator, and informed him that he should not join any of the religious sects of the day, for they were all wrong; that they were following the precepts of men instead of the Lord Jesus; that He had a work for him to perform, inasmuch as he should prove faithful before Him. – Young – JOD 2:171

    “When Joseph Smith was about fourteen or fifteen years old, living in the Western part of the State of New York, there was a revival of religion, and the different sects in that portion of the State − principally Presbyterians, Methodists and Baptists − preached the necessity of belief in the Lord Jesus Christ and repentance in order to be saved, declaring that unless men and women did this, and obtained what they termed, “a hope for the future,” they would be cast into a lake of fire and brimstone, and there remain for ever. I have heard men spend hours in endeavoring to explain how long this hell would last. It was frequently
    illustrated in this manner, “Suppose a bid could carry a drop of water from this planet to another, and be gone a year on the journey, and continue this until every drop of water on the earth was carried away, and then should take a particle of sand and go to another planet and be gone a thousand years, and carry one article of sand at a time until every particle of matter of which this globe is composed was carried away, that then this eternal punishment would have just commenced, and that the torture and pain there inflicted were so great that
    no mortal could conceive anything about it.” The general effort in their preaching was to scare men into the road to heaven by such descriptions of eternal punishment. When eloquent men deliver such discourses they produce, especially upon ignorant people, more or less agitation, and when this is pretty general it is called a revival of religion. But when the excitement subsides and the converts have obtained what is termed “a hope,” then the sects who may have united in bringing about such results begin to scramble to secure the converts. it was so at the time to which I have referred in western New York. The Baptists wanted their share, and the Methodists and Presbyterians theirs; and the scramble ended in a very unpleasant and un−Christian state of feeling. Joseph Smith had attended these meetings, and when this result was reached he saw clearly that something was wrong. He had read the Bible and had found that passage in James which says “If any of you lack wisdom let him ask of God that giveth to all men liberally and upbraideth not,” and taking this literally, he went humbly before the Lord and inquired of Him, and the Lord answered his prayer and revealed to Joseph, by the ministration of angels, the true condition of the religious world. When the holy angel appeared, Joseph inquired which of all these denominations was right and which he should join, and was told they were all wrong, − they had all gone astray, transgressed the laws, changed the ordinances and broken the everlasting covenant, and that the Lord was about to restore the priesthood and establish His Church, which would be the only true and living Church on the face of the whole earth.” -George Albert Smith JOD 12:334

    For those who are interested, check out the Tanner’s work, for the cite a multitude of other sources as well.

    Seth, you really need to take an honest look at the Church’s performance in the area of historical and textual accuracy, for they fall woefully short in this area. Looking at the Church History alone, one can find a multitude of changes they have made in order to make their history fall in line with their agenda of being “faith promoting”. Consequently, the truth gets thrown out the window.

    Two quick examples.

    Joseph Smith in History of the Church, Vol. 5, Page 450 “It was reported to me that some of the brethren had been drinking wisky that day in violation of the Word of Wisdom. I called the brethen in and investigated the case, and was satisfied that no evil had been done.”

    However, this originally read, “It was reported to me that some of hte brethren had been drinking wisky that day in violation of the Word of Wisdom. I called the brethren in and investigated the case, and was satisfied that no evil had been done, and gave them a couple of dollars, with directions to replentish the bottle to stimulate them in the fatigues of their sleepless journey.” Millennial Star, Vol. 21, Page 283

    Joseph Smith in History of the Church, Vol. 6, page 424, “Then went to John P. Greene’s, and paid him and another brother $200. Called at William Clayton’s…”

    However, originally this read, “Then went to John P. Greene’s, and paid him and another brother $200. Drank a glass of beer a Moessers. Called at William Clayton’s…” Milennial Star, Vol. 23, page 720

    Wouldn’t want the church to get the idea that Smith wasn’t dogmatic about the Word of Wisdom now would we… that might be true, but it wouldn’t be faith promoting.

    Darrell

  13. August 20, 2010 7:23 am

    Yeah Darrell.

    I figured you’d try to smokescreen this and change the subject to the bigger question of Joseph’s First Vision.

    After all, if you can move on to that bigger topic, you can conveniently ignore that the Tanners basically lied in their use of that quote.

    I have zero interest in debating the broader question of the First Vision. It was just an example. That you are trying to pick a fight over seems more or less a concession that I was right about the Tanners, and they can indeed be placed firmly in the “lying for Jesus” camp.

    Nor do I really give a flying flip whether the LDS Church has done the same thing or not. Why would I care about that? I wasn’t talking about the LDS Church. I was talking about the Tanners being a pair of dishonest hacks.

    We’ve pretty much established that they were in this particular incident, and since you haven’t done anything to refute it, I think we can safely close this topic and move on. Or would you like me to find another example of how the Tanners lie in their books?

    Because believe me – there’s no shortage.

    Or you can do your usual, and try to change the subject with “oh well, maybe they are lying sacks of rubbish, but at least their THESIS was sound!”

    Or maybe – “well, yeah… they were lying to us… but the LDS Church does the same thing!”

    Yeah… good luck with that.

  14. August 20, 2010 7:26 am

    And Jessica, when I see a Mormon whose arguments suck – I don’t try to make excuses for them and ride to the rescue and cover up for them.

    I’d suggest you not do the same on your side of the fence.

  15. August 20, 2010 1:36 pm

    Seth,

    I don’t have a whole lot of time to comment today as it is going to be a CRAZY day at work … got to pay the bills! However, I will say this… your logic stinks becuase you are doing some major question begging.

    You claim that the Tanner’s lied in their use of the quote because they failed to include the comments about about Peter and Moroni and that this part of the comment proves that Kimball was not talking about the First Vision. However, your reasoning is begging the question that Kimball believed that God the Father and Jesus Christ (not Moroni) appeared to Smith in the First Vision in the first place. However, that is the entire point the Tanners are making in this section – that because of Smith’s multiple conflicting accounts of the First Vision, there were conflicting beliefs among the early church regarding who appeared to him in the First Vision, when they appeared to him, and what they said. You are presuming that Kimball believed the way the Church does today, and unfortunately for you, the facts don’t demonstrate this.

    If anything, including the rest of the quote strengthens the Tanners argument, for it ties the fact that Kimball believed God himself did NOT call Smith with the fact that He believed Moroni did call him. Interestingly, this lines up with several accounts that Smith reportedly told others… including his brother.

    Darrell

  16. August 20, 2010 1:45 pm

    And Jessica, when I see a Mormon whose arguments suck – I don’t try to make excuses for them and ride to the rescue and cover up for them.

    Seth, I try to do the same. In this case, however, their argument doesn’t suck. It’s sound and I’m not making excuses or riding to their rescue to cover anything up. I was showing you why their argument works. Your inability to demonstrate that Kimball anywhere acknowledged that God appeared to Joseph Smith amply supports the argument. The FAIR arguments on this are in failure because they are unable to demonstrate any quotes showing Heber C. Kimball believed that God appeared to Joseph Smith.

  17. August 20, 2010 2:36 pm

    And both of you missed the entire point.

    The point was not to argue about the First Vision at all.

    The point was to provide an example of how the Tanners misuse quotes to achieve their objectives.

    That’s it.

    I’m not interested in what Kimball ultimately thought about Joseph’s vision – because it is irrelevant to the ONLY point I was making – how the Tanners misuse quotes. Even if Kimball did have a view of the First Vision in line with what the Tanners claimed – it does not justify them in lying about their source quotes to prove that view.

    Perhaps we do need additional examples here on different topics, to make the point clear. I am pointing out instances of bad scholarly method, and dishonest use of sources. You are distracting from that inquiry by trying to make the argument about the larger point they were trying to make.

    I don’t care about their larger argument.

    A liar making false statements is still a liar – even if his overall point turns out to be true (which I do not acknowledge, by the way).

  18. August 20, 2010 3:04 pm

    I’m not interested in what Kimball ultimately thought about Joseph’s vision – because it is irrelevant to the ONLY point I was making – how the Tanners misuse quotes.

    Not true… it is absolutely relevant because central to your position is the presumption that Kimball WAS NOT TALKING ABOUT THE FIRST VISION. If he was talking about the First Vision, the Tanners DID NOT MISUSE THE QUOTE.

    You have failed to establish, and I would venture to say that you CANNOT ESTABLISH, that he was not talking about the First Vision. His wording makes it painfully obvious that he was, especially when viewed in context with the multiple accounts that Smith shared and the confusion that existed in the early church regarding what the First Vision was, who appeared, and when. Heck, even the prophet Kimball served under, Young, spoke of the First Vision being of an angel.

    Funny how you will attack something like this, but defend your church’s DELIBERATE deletion of history. Talk about the pot calling the kettle black… and in this case, the kettle is most definitely not black.

    Darrell

  19. August 20, 2010 3:16 pm

    Seth,

    “A liar making false statements is still a liar – even if his overall point turns out to be true (which I do not acknowledge, by the way).”

    Is the same true for people that misuse the early Church fathers?

  20. August 20, 2010 3:17 pm

    Well, it’s quite obvious from the quote that he wasn’t talking about the First Vision, but about the time when Peter visited to restore the Melchizedek Priesthood. And the incident when Moroni came to instruct about the plates.

  21. August 20, 2010 3:18 pm

    Gundeck, I don’t really care about the integrity of the LDS Church position here – because it is irrelevant to the isolated point I was making – how the Tanners lie in their writings.

  22. August 20, 2010 3:48 pm

    And the incident when Moroni came to instruct about the plates.

    And there is the 10 million dollar point Seth. Did he believe that Moroni was the one who appeared to Smith, called him as a prophet and instructed him on the gold plates? From all appearances, given Smith’s multiple contradictory accounts, and given what early church members shared, he may just have believed this. Thus, your accusation of untruth on the Tanner’s part is utter question begging hogwash.

    Darrell

  23. August 20, 2010 3:58 pm

    Darrell. The MODERN LDS Church also believes that Moroni appeared to Joseph Smith, called him as a prophet, and instructed him to find the gold plates.

    What on earth is your point?

  24. August 20, 2010 4:18 pm

    My point Seth is… “Did he believe that Moroni was the one who appeared to Smith, called him as a prophet and instructed him on the gold plates?” In other words, that Moroni WAS the First Vision.

    Have you even read the Tanner’s stuff, or are you just on hear arguing again against something you really haven’t researched… like you did with the Copan and Craig? Because by all appearances you are either being purposely obtuse or you don’t understand the differing views regarding the First Vision.

    Darrell

  25. August 20, 2010 4:40 pm

    “on hear arguing”

    I hate typing in a rush!! 🙂 Obviously, I meant “on here arguing…”

  26. August 20, 2010 5:13 pm

    Darrell. I believe that Moroni visited Joseph and conveyed to him his prophetic calling. This is the position of the LDS Church. This is not news. We do not claim that God the Father gave him his commission at the time of the First Vision. We claim that came later – and always have. That’s the account given in the Joseph Smith History in our scriptures.

    This is not what the Tanners were talking about however. They were trying to make the point that Joseph Smith had contradictions in who he saw in the FIRST VISION. They were trying to support the common criticism that Joseph changed his accounts about the vision, and were trying to use the Kimball quote to back this point up.

    Here is the passage directly from the Tanners’ book:

    “a few examples which show the confusion concerning the FIRST VISION which existed after Joseph Smith’s death”

    They were trying to use Kimball’s quote to make the point that Kimball himself didn’t think that Joseph Smith saw God the Father. Which a full reading of Kimball’s quote amply demonstrates he was NOT saying at all. Kimball was talking about the incidents of Moroni appearing to Joseph and Peter appearing to Joseph. He was not talking about the “First Vision” at all. Yet the Tanners dishonestly try to make it sound like Kimball’s quote was directed at the First Vision alone.

    This is fraud. Either that, or the Tanners were wretchedly incompetent at reading comprehension. Any close reading of Kimball’s quote would have revealed that it did not have anything to do with the First Vision.

    Alas, this isn’t the only time they’ve done stuff like this. So I’m more inclined to simply classify it as another case of “lying for Jesus.”

  27. August 20, 2010 6:05 pm

    Seth,

    Of course you care about the integrity of the LDS Church position. You just don’t want to talk about it.

    But you misunderstood the reason for my question. It is only because of the unprecedented access that everybody has, not just approved scholars, to the documents from the early Church that has made it possible to quickly verify the claims of scholars. If somebody wants to quote the ANCF out of context they will be caught because it is available online for free. Open and free access is the best route to integrity. You can claim that denial of access to LDS archives is an invention of the Tanners and you can insist that denial of access to LDS archives is justified because of the Tanners but if the LDS want to get the real story out, free and open access is the only way to do it.

  28. August 20, 2010 6:10 pm

    Oh Gundeck, what are you trying to take us back to the original point of the post for?

    As it so happens, I’m not generally an apologist for modern LDS Church (except when I think they are being treated unfairly by bad argument). My aim in apologetics is not usually to defend the modern LDS hierarchy or structure. Most of my apologetic work focuses on Mormon theology, scripture, and early Church history.

    I generally leave defense of the modern brethren to other Mormons – given that there are many points on which I don’t see eye to eye with them.

  29. August 20, 2010 7:04 pm

    Seth,

    And that is exactly why you should desire transparency.

    Excuse my infrequency I am making a roux.

  30. August 20, 2010 8:02 pm

    What a renaissance man!

  31. August 20, 2010 11:44 pm

    They were trying to support the common criticism that Joseph changed his accounts about the vision, and were trying to use the Kimball quote to back this point up.

    Yes, they were supporting the fact that Smith had multiple contradictory First Vision accounts which then led to confusion in the early church as to what the First Vision was, when it happened, who appeared to Smith, and exactly what they told him, and Kimball’s comments are a perfect example of this.

    They were trying to use Kimball’s quote to make the point that Kimball himself didn’t think that Joseph Smith saw God the Father. Which a full reading of Kimball’s quote amply demonstrates he was NOT saying at all.

    What you are failing to see is the question begging going on in your argument. In order to take this position, you have to PRESUME that Kimball believed God the Father and Jesus Christ appeared to Smith at another time. However, you have provided no support for this position. Instead, you are simply assuming that Kimball believed what the LDS Church teaches today, and unfortunately, given the diversity of belief about the First Vision amongst early church members, which was due to Smith’s multiple, contradictory accounts, you have no basis to believe.

    In addition, as I mentioned earlier, Kimball’s own prophet (Young) actually said the First Vision was of an angel. To believe that Kimball thought different than the prophet he served under is to strain credulity.

    Darrell

  32. August 21, 2010 1:31 am

    And again Darrell, you are just changing the subject because some of your allies acted like dishonest hacks – violating common standards of academic honesty and integrity.

    Rally for Jesus bud.

    Ends justify the means, right?

  33. August 21, 2010 1:41 am

    Seth,

    For once can you try to look at this from someone else’s perspective?

    Kimball said God never appeared to Joseph Smith.

    It is truly besides the point and completely irrelevant to the point exactly when he said this or what the context was. FAIR throws a big red herring into the argument to even bring up the context. It is so entirely irrelevant to the point being made.

    The point that Kimball said this AT ALL in ANY CONTEXT supports the argument that he did not believe in the modern version of the First Vision.

    As I stated above, NO MODERN MORMON would ever make this statement under any circumstances or any context. They would never say this because they believe in the modern version of the First Vision.

  34. August 21, 2010 1:42 am

    Seth,

    I don’t know what else to say. Your denseness is stunning. But at least others who read this will be able to see the stupidity of your reasoning.

    Have a great night.

    Darrell

  35. August 21, 2010 1:50 am

    No Darrell, you’re reading incomprehension here is truly stunning.

    Heber C. Kimball made it quite plain he was explaining why God would send heavenly messengers to do his work instead of coming himself.

    He never made a categorical statement that God would never appear to anyone.

    And even if Elder Kimball did make such statements elsewhere (I invite you to produce these supposed statements) – that still does not change the fact that the Tanners deliberately altered his quote in order to cover up the parts that were not favorable to their argument.

    Thus the quite well-earned charge of lying.

    One also wonders why the Tanners – if there were such statements – did not use those instead, but rather had to manufacture support for their arguments out of quotes that did not say what they wanted them to say.

  36. August 21, 2010 1:53 am

    I can understand why this line of argument is threatening to you Darrell.

    The Tanners aren’t the only ones who pull this kind of crap.

    Blatant distortion of quotes is something of an epidemic among Evangelicals who publish books against Mormonism.

    If you were to concede on this point, you would really be opening a can of worms undermining a lot of your most treasured sources of information. It’s understandable that you don’t want to go there, but are instead desperately trying to widen the argument here to cover for your buddies.

    I don’t like being lied to Darrell – and I don’t care if it’s an Evangelical or a Mormon doing it.

  37. August 21, 2010 1:55 am

    At any rate, the notion that God the Father would never appear to anyone really doesn’t match with the message of the Bible – which Heber C. Kimball would have been familiar with. So it’s hard to imagine him making a categorical denial of God the Father ever appearing to anyone.

    Unless you are in the business of making up your own facts out of willful misunderstanding – which seems to be a growth industry these days.

  38. August 21, 2010 2:02 am

    Stop trolling Seth

  39. August 21, 2010 2:05 am

    You’re right. This tangential argument has gone on long enough.

    I will not field any more replies on this topic.

  40. August 21, 2010 2:05 am

    I know you love trolling Darrell but there are really better things to do this fine Friday evening. 🙂

  41. August 21, 2010 2:10 am

    Seth,

    Your four year old temper tantrums and childlike distortion of what people say is getting really old. Perhaps you are working too hard and your reasoning skills are less than sharp, because in our last few conversations your ability to think logically and discuss coherently has really gone downhill.

    First, no one has every asserted that Kimball said, “God the Father would never appear to anyone.” I am not sure where you got that little gem, but you can drop it, because it is just plain ridiculous.

    Second, I will try this one last time to see if you will actually open your mind and let the light come in just a little.

    You assertion that the Tanner’s misused the Kimball quote is ENTIRELY CONTINGENT UPON THE FACT THAT HE WAS NOT TALKING ABOUT HE FIRST VISION. Did you read that Seth? Tell you what, read it again. Stew on it a little. Are you making the connection Sherlock?

    This is not changing the subject. It is speaking right to your point. Unless you can demonstrate that Kimball DID NOT BELIEVE MORONI TO BE THE BEING WHO APPEARED IN THE FIRST VISION, YOUR POINT IS BUNK. Hogwash. Crap.

    Do you have any proof that Kimball believed God the Father and Jesus Christ to be the beings who appeared in the First Vision? If so, show it. If not, save face a little bit and just stop conversing, because your continual blather is getting tiresome.

    Darrell

  42. August 22, 2010 5:10 am

    It isn’t just counter-cultists who have been unable to access materials in the church archives; responsible LDS historians had issues with it in the not-too-distant past. You’ll have to wait until I’m back in Illinois if you want some examples.

    Jessica, as to what’s meant by “de-centralized,” it could possibly mean:

    (1) Collections pertaining to regional church history will be kept locally instead of being shipped off to the archives in Salt Lake City.

    (2) Collections are being digitized and made available over the Internet and in volumes like the Joseph Smith Papers so that researchers don’t have to make trips to Salt Lake City. I know that there’s been a lot of work with putting JS materials online. There’s actually been some corroboration between the people digitizing Jonathan Edwards’ papers and the people digitizing Joseph Smith’s papers because they want access to each other’s collections. All very exciting to someone like me.

    (3) Local area leaders will have more authority for allowing access to these collections so that fewer requests have to be sent to the FP for approval.

    The buck will ulitmately continue to stop at Church HQ, but that’s unlikely to change anytime soon. I do believe that the church is becoming more open with its collections though. I mean, they gave Chris Smith access to the Book of Abraham papyri so that he could measure them and write an article for Dialogue killing the “missing scroll” theory. It doesn’t get much more open than that.

  43. August 6, 2011 5:04 am

    Hello people…. I love how anti-mormons bear false witness….

    Heber C. Kimball most certainly knew the official First Vision story.
    He was one of the original 12 Apostles of the Church and he was a member of the First Presidency from 1947 to his death. Read this an know that Kimball most certainly KNEW the First Vision story, that God DID appear to Joseph.

    It cannot be successfully argued that Heber C. Kimball was not aware of the First Vision story by “1957”, since no less a person than President Brigham Young recorded in his journal that Brother Kimball was present with several other General Authorities about two and a half months earlier (13 August 1857) when they placed a copy of the Pearl of Great Price inside the southeast cornerstone of the Salt Lake Temple.[2]

    This volume contained the 1838 account of the First Vision which was published by the Prophet Joseph Smith in Nauvoo, Illinois in 1842.

    There were also several other publications placed inside the temple cornerstone which rehearsed the First Vision story.

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