Talk:Sidney Rigdon

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History[edit]

This history within Rigdon's biography portrays him as being excommunicated from the Church and then forming his own faction. Actually, both groups excommunicated each other. The Utah Mormon propoganda does not belong within this article. Both sides should be equally mentioned and addressed. --Jcg5029 16:40, 17 April 2007 (UTC)

It's for the same reason that we say that the Catholic church excommunicated Martin Luther, it's the relative size of the organizations involved. Banaticus 18:26, 17 April 2007 (UTC)
Martin Luther's reasons are clearly talked about within his own section, but ironically Rigdon is completely ignored here. This site is about him, not the Mormon organization from Utah. Yes, according to the Mormons Rigdon had no claim to the Church authority and was excommunicated, but according to Rigdon the Church was out of order for doing so and he therefore excommunicated them. One thing totally unmentioned in this article is that Young took a vote with only five of the 12 present, others being on missionary work. For the 12 to be active it takes a majority vote from within the Church. Rigdon claimed until proper procedures could be done he should be 'governor' of the Church. Saying all is well Rigdon was just out of order is denying the chaos of the time period and Rigdon's own thoughts on the subject. Quoting the Doctrine and Covenants is a POV because not all of the Latter Day Saint movement accepts it as scripture and the version quoted was from a more current version than the one used in that day. It therefore is flawed and has no place within this article. It would be the same as justifying your answer with scripture instead of historical fact. Saying you believe something because the Bible says so doesn't mean it is the correct interpretation to represent the Church organization. Instead, you need outside resources. The Utah mormons use the D&C as scripture making its use irrelevant for this subject. --Jcg5029 18:04, 18 April 2007 (UTC)
Basically what you are saying its a POV issue where the biggest group wins. I disagree and feel the article should be historically accurate. --Jcg5029 18:24, 18 April 2007 (UTC)
You say "Mormon" as though Rigdon wasn't part of the group promulgating the Book of Mormon, which is where the initially derogative term name from. As you have now seen, it is the common Wikipedia/authorial practice to speak of excommunication when a large body excommunicates a group of dissenters. Such is stated on many of the Wikipedia pages that speak about the histories of religions. Such is not necessarily something to be ashamed of. Mention of such sheds greater light on how swiftly/deeply the rift grew between the two groups. Furthermore, in its exploration of the events of those times, the article asserted that Joseph Smith published an earlier statment regarding succession. If he did indeed publish that statement, its existence calls the veracity of Rigdon's claims of succession into question and should likely be at least mentioned in passing on Rigdon's own page. To excise all mention of it especially when references have already been quoted supporting some of the excised statements (see Wikipedia:Verifiability and Wikipedia:WikiProject Fact and Reference Check is to promote what is apparently your own anti-"Utah Mormon" POV. Banaticus 19:31, 18 April 2007 (UTC)

You are right, it should be mentioned and referenced. The problem I have is the Doctrine and Covenants being used as a historical document. It is cannon for many Latter Day Saint Denominations, but not all of them. Assuming its contents as truth would be the same as another group quoting from scripture in order to justify history. I am not saying the statement is untrue, but it needs a better source. Since the church's history is referenced it looks good.Jcg5029 06:25, 26 April 2007 (UTC)

Scripture is historical. One can say "Moses wrote" or "Peter said". That doesn't mean you believe their point of view or hold their writings sacred, but it is historically significant, especially given that they are, as individuals, taken to be authorities for their organizations/movements. Joseph Smith was a leader of the Mormon church, and his pronouncements were considered authoritative for the Mormon church. Therefore when considering internal organizational issues within his organization it makes much sense to say "Joseph Smith said XYZ". Just because XYZ happens to have been also copied into the D&C and canonized does not change its intrinsic value or historicity for the issue at hand.
If you "like" it better because it's cited from a different source, more power to you in this case, (because there happens to be another, more "likable", source) but the reasoning is a faulty one. --Seanmcox 23:10, 10 August 2007 (UTC)

in absentia[edit]

I recently removed the term "in absentia" from the section on the succession crisis and thought the removal deserved some comment. In removing the term "in absentia" I noted that the term was applied to Rigdon's excommunication by Brigham Young, but not Rigdon's excommunication of Brigham Young, the disparity clearly being biased. Putting the term in for both cases just looked silly, so removal seemed best. I further considered that "in absentia" is a legal term and while the situation in question is very much like a legal proceeding, it is not the same. However, considering that the similarity is great enough to make the term meaningful, it's relevance is brought into question by the understanding that, if taken in a legal sense, he had waived his right to be present at the "trial" as he had been informed of it and refused to come. Per "A Journey to Great-Salt-Lake City", p. 412. See also the Wikipedia article, in absentia for further details.

As it was, the term seemed to be used to imply that the opposite was the case. That is, that his excommunication was the result of some secret contrivance. --Seanmcox 23:30, 10 August 2007 (UTC)

You're reading too much into it. All it means is he wasn't present, and sources reporting on the event often report that it was done "in absentia". If you'd like to rephrase it to simply say he wasn't present, that's fine, but it's clearly relevant that he didn't attend the council meeting where it was done. –SESmith 23:57, 10 August 2007 (UTC)

I expect I will edit it. However, I suggest that you are reading too little into it. As you wrote the phrase in question, I'm not terribly surprised. You must have thought it relevany. However, my assertion was and is that this perceived relevance is a product of bias. How do you support your assertion that his absence was relevant? --Seanmcox 20:40, 13 August 2007 (UTC)

It's relevant because of the nature of disciplinary procedures within the Latter Day Saint movement. The procedures for excommunicating or otherwise disciplining a member will vary greatly depending on whether the subject of the discipline is present or not. For starters, refusal to attend is typically seen as a factor that weighs against the person's favor--the thinking may be that the person is "kicking against the pricks" and is clearly not in a repentant mode, because they refuse to attend the meeting that is meant to help them. In other words, refusal to attend is a small window on the subject's reaction to the suggestion of discipline AND a relevant factor that probably played a role in the disciplinary decision.
It's not just me who thinks this is relevant, I was just accurately reporting the many sources that state he was tried in absentia. You seem to be the only one who has ever had a problem with the language. No one is suggesting that he was tried "in secret". The article makes it clear it was a public meeting. Rigdon was notified of the meeting and he refused to attend, so it was done "in absentia". That being said, I have no problems with the clarifying edits you have made. Next time you might save time by just making the edits and seeing if they stick. –SESmith 22:15, 13 August 2007 (UTC)

"It's relevant because of the nature of disciplinary procedures within the Latter Day Saint movement."

The article is not about "the nature of disciplinary procedures within the Latter Day Saint movement", so while that may be interesting, it's not necessarily relevant. The article is about Sidney Rigdon and as far as it is relevant to him, my contention was that it was accurate, but misleading.

"For starters, refusal to attend is typically ..."

Yes, but "refusal to attend" is not what one typically associates with a term like "in absentia" and even if we ignore our human tendency to read into thing and imagine that the phrase will be read with a purely impassionate and logical distance from the material, "in absentia" does not mean "refusal to attend". So yes, his refusal to attend is quite relevant, but you did not even suggest that he had refused to attend. What does that have to do then with my complaint.

"It's not just me who thinks this is relevant."

So...?

"I was just accurately reporting the many sources that state he was tried in absentia."

The fact that you borrowed the term from numerous sources also says nothing for its accuracy or non-bias and is only barely suggestive of relevance. When it comes to issues such as these, I don't think a non-biased source is easy to come by. There is much that is biased and misleading which is still technically accurate. Such was the application of "in absentia" in this article. The Wikipedia strives for more than technical accuracy, but non-bias as well.

"The article makes it clear it was a public meeting."

It does no such thing. It is now likely that it will be understood to be a public meeting, but nowhere is it explicitly, or clearly described as such. (At least, not in this article.)

"Next time you might save time by just making the edits and seeing if they stick."

That's what I did. They didn't stick. Are you suggesting I should have used some kind of mythical 20/20 forsight to realize that I should have chosen to make the final edits that I hadn't even thought to make yet? - Or, perhaps you are suggesting that when I made the edit, I should have saved time by not commenting on it to get feedback. Personally, though I find the conversation disagreeable, I must give you the credit of inspiring me to do better than I did before. I think the final product has been served well by my procedure. I don't always comment on my edits, but when I suspect someone's toes might be stepped on, I try to open up a dialog and explain why I did what I did, or sometimes, why I want to do what I want to do.
--Seanmcox 15:54, 14 August 2007 (UTC)

Yawn. Get over it and don't take everything so seriously. Loosen up. –SESmith 21:46, 14 August 2007 (UTC)

Character attacks and rudeness are not hallmarks of enlightened conversation. --Seanmcox 16:05, 15 August 2007 (UTC)
Sean, please don't read too much into Sesmith's words. I think you will find that he is seeking a more collegial approach where you feel confident to move forward with editing without prior discussion. If your edit turns out to be controversial, it can then be discussed on the talk page. Until then, just enjoy the process. Of course, sometimes it is worth tweaking his nose; I have always enjoyed it. Cheers. --Storm Rider (talk) 16:40, 15 August 2007 (UTC)
Arguing over a simple legal term? "Definition: "in absentia: while absent; in the absence of the person or persons concerned." IMO, either using the term or restating it does not denigrate Rigdon in any way. Why fight about it? WBardwin 21:27, 15 August 2007 (UTC)
This seems an odd complaint to make. Terms, especially in context, can be loaded beyond simple, especially legal, definition, like the word "intimate", or "therefore". (and... I didn't really have issues directly with the article's treatment of Rigdon.) Being picky about wording is rather normal in writing and editing. I'm not sure why my concern should be a disparaged. I'm also not sure how you can call any of my edits a "restate" exactly, though even if it were, I can't see that it would be ungrounded, as restatements can change implications. For example, see the recent swap of "assert" in the place of "claim", in this article. I tip my hat to you for that, as I had some similar concern, and hadn't figured yet what step to take. I also tip my hat to you on the rearrangement of the sentences that was made. As it stood, the chronology was quite mixed up and gave a rather biased view of events. I was having alot of trouble figuring out what the original author was referring to in order to either verify or correct the statements made. --Seanmcox 17:03, 16 August 2007 (UTC)

As I said originally, I think too much has been read into the use of "in absentia" and I just didn't feel the need to continue an extended discussion over an individual user's interpretation of an easily definable term. I apologize if I offended you, Seanmcox, but the discussion was venturing into the realm of boring and pointless derivative arguments, which Storm Rider knows that I need to avoid. The best way to avoid being offended on WP is to not take offence, and the best way to do that is to not take things too seriously and just have fun. Perhaps this is impossible after modeling plasmas in the heliosheath. :) –SESmith 05:52, 16 August 2007 (UTC)

You and others are quite right that this seems pointless. I made the changes. By all accounts we seem satisfied with the way the part of the article in question stands. So, perhaps I'll just check to make sure I'm not misunderstanding the case. Are you, in fact, satisfied with the way things stand in the article on this point? --Seanmcox 17:03, 16 August 2007 (UTC)

Unreferenced text removed from article[edit]

I have taken out the following from the section about the Rigdon/Spaulding theory:

Most historians currently reject the theory, stating there is a lack of significant textual similarity between the Book of Mormon and the one extant Spalding manuscript (now on file at Oberlin College).{{Fact|date=December 2008}} Little additional circumstantial evidence exists to support the theory. Rigdon never met Joseph Smith or read the Book of Mormon until after Parley Pratt preached to him from the already published work.{{Fact|date=December 2008}}

This is strikingly claims that must be accompanied by references if they should be allowed into the article. __meco (talk) 07:58, 8 July 2009 (UTC)

Orphaned references in Sidney Rigdon[edit]

I check pages listed in Category:Pages with incorrect ref formatting to try to fix reference errors. One of the things I do is look for content for orphaned references in wikilinked articles. I have found content for some of Sidney Rigdon's orphans, the problem is that I found more than one version. I can't determine which (if any) is correct for this article, so I am asking for a sentient editor to look it over and copy the correct ref content into this article.

Reference named "Melton":

I apologize if any of the above are effectively identical; I am just a simple computer program, so I can't determine whether minor differences are significant or not. AnomieBOT 05:56, 18 November 2013 (UTC)