Talk:The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints/Archive 6

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Mormonism by country

I'd dig it if I saw a category or articles that gave history/information on Mormonism as practiced around the world, a la Category:Roman Catholic Church by country. Knowing how China treats Catholics I really wanted information on how China treats mormons. This would be a great expansion project for some dedicated editors. SchmuckyTheCat 04:23, 18 August 2005 (UTC)

I don't know how China treats Mormons, but my guess is that there are very few. The LDS church has a policy of not proselytizing in countries where doing so is illegal, so my guess is that there are very, very few native Chinese converts. There are some branches in China, but they're all English-speaking, and my guess would be that they are primarily foreign diplomats and business people and their families who are temporarily living in China. Mveric 05:56, 9 October 2005 (UTC)

PS: This talk page is massive and desperately needs archiving. SchmuckyTheCat 04:23, 18 August 2005 (UTC)

Au contraire, mon ami! (Forgive my bad french. It's actually more like misplaced ISO characters. Whatever.) The Church has a mission in Hong Kong that (coincidentally?) merged into China when China took Hong Kong back. There's even a temple there. Cernen 20:03, 17 December 2005 (UTC)
And college students. I met a large number of Chinese students at BYU. While not all convert, there is a significant group that does get baptised. In addition, there must be some sort of "recognition" with an LDS temple in Hong Kong, but the church would not be allowed to prostelytize on the mainland... -Visorstuff 13:42, 9 October 2005 (UTC)

Largest Beef Ranch...

I was perusing the article and ran across the statement in the finances section, that the church ownes and operates the largest beef ranch in the US/world. Well that isn't true... The King Ranch in Texas is a 'bit' larger at 825,000 acres. http://www.king-ranch.com/index_ie.htm

I don't know how you would like to correct the information. I don't know if you can say that it is the second largest as there isn't a list of top 10 ranches out there I could find.

It is a very large ranch by any measure but not the largest.

Agree we should change or clarify. Do you know which is larger in production? -Visorstuff 21:55, 19 August 2005 (UTC)

Freemasonry

It is very interesting to find there is no reference in this article to Freemasonry, which is where almost all of the ritual in Mormon worship derives it's origin, even down to the under-garments and the symbolism thereof. Has anyone considered investigating this further, or is such discussion offensive to Mormons? Jachin 14:18, 27 August 2005 (UTC)

... I don't think it's considered offensive, but probably inaccurate. It may be said that, but such a statement lacks any substantiation and is therefore not a Neutral POV. you can say that some people think that "Mormon" rituals derive from freemasonry, but you'd also have to say that Latter day saints themselves believe that their "rituals" come instead by revelation. See also heading: "LDS && Masonry lytourgy/symbols" in Archive 5. Scrupulous Bob 27 August 2005

With as much information as there is on the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Wikipedia, it cannot all be contained on one page. The relationship of Joseph Smith, Jr. with Freemasonry is explored on the endowment article. The similarities that you have brought up are explored on the Mormonism and Freemasonry article. These things have not been ignored. Val42 20:51, August 27, 2005 (UTC)

... [Comment by Trenidor] I don't think it's in anyway related to freemasonry, All of the beliefs are contained in already published and readily accessable sources such as: The Church's Magazines, The Book of Mormon, the Docterin and Covenants, as well as the many Confrence talks and any published work by the church. All of which can be found on the LDS website. The Temple Garment thing is in the D&C, the fact of the matter is that most people don't realize all the things untill someone points them out, which is one of the reasons they are considered sacred.

...[Comment from Keith_M] i understand where you're comming from but it is just as equally plausable for the practice of wearing ritualistic garments to have came from the american indian. being indian myself, spirit shirts are incredibly close to the same practice of undergarment wearing by both LDS members and that of other religions. Considering many of the early church missionaries taught the american indians because they were considered a special people, and thus the practice could have been "borrowed" that way aswell. however it is my belief that the LDS church did not "borrow" their practices from anyone. The church and its practices are restored, what once was is now again. if we think of a glass vase that was dropped and we try to put it back together the way i put it together will be similiar to the way you would have put it back together..much with the same pieces..but with some variation, the LDS church however has been restored to the same church that existed both in the eastern and western continents during Christs life on the earth. logically as the church apostated, practices were changed but others stayed the same. as everyone tries to put the gospel back together from its apostate state, many things will be similiar but not quite exactly the same. The LDS church is whole and contains all the pieces.

To say that nearly all ritual come from freemasonry is ridiculous. Lets name a few mormon rituals. Baptism, Laying on of hands to receive the Holy Spirit, The Sacrament, blessing of the sick, prayer, fasting, etc. Even in the temple most of the rituals don't even resemble masonry, for example, Baptism for the dead, Washings and annointings and Marriage for eternity for the living and the dead. The only one that contains similarities is the endowment. That is a far cry from all. Epachamo 19:47, 25 February 2006 (UTC)

Perpetual Education Fund

From what I know about the Perpetual Education Fund, it is primarily for use by poorer members in poorer areas of the world. Additionally, my perception is that it isn't meant for any members in the United States or Canada. Does anyone have information to support or refute my perceptions? I think that we should discuss it here and filter such information for placing it in the main article. Val42 18:33, September 3, 2005 (UTC)

There is an article in the Deseret News today about the Perpetual Education Fund. It says that the Fund has given 24,000 loans this year.

Regarding what countries funds have been provided to, Elder Carmack gave a lis: "Mexico, Central and South America, the Philippines, the Caribbean, Cambodia, Mongolia and India, with plans to expand into west Africa, central Europe, Russia, Tonga, Samoa and Fiji." http://deseretnews.com/dn/view/0,1249,615154075,00.html Sreed1234 00:40, 1 October 2005 (UTC)

Third Paragraph/sentence deletion

I deleted the following sentence from the one of the introductroy paragraphs:

Some Christian churches do not consider the Church to be a Christian church at all (see Mormonism and Christianity).

In reading the paragraph, which descibes some initial information about the LDS church, there is the statment out of the blue about how other churches view the church. Stating it without explanation or references is irresponsible. Though it is accurate, it is not the appropriate place in the article to bring up any type of explanation or a rebuttal. I agree that the concept belongs and is appropriately referred to later in the article, but it does not belong at the beginning of the article. The article on Catholicism, or most other church related articles, do not introduce counterpoint immediately, if at all, in the main body of the article. They are either referred to other articles or mentioned much later in the article. This topic is sufficiently important that it is an article unto itself and should not be introduced in the leading paragraphs. For these reasons I deleted it. Storm Rider 13:24, 11 September 2005 (UTC)

Well, that paragraph starts with "Members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints consider themselves to be Christian", so I would disagree with your statement that it's out of the blue to mention that other churches disagree with the LDS self-assessment. Perhaps we could merge the sentences, so that the first line of the paragraph would read: "Members of LDS consider themselves to be Christian, although some Christian churches disagree...". If we only present the LDS opinion in the summary, particularly since it's quite disputed, I think we lose NPOV. — Matt Crypto 19:41, 11 September 2005 (UTC)
That would only make sense if we changed the sentence to "Members of LDS consider themselves to be Christian, although some churches that also consider themselves Christian disagree...". Which doesn't make sense. Whether we think Mormons are Christians or not, they think they are, and it's a fact that they think they are. Criticisms of the Mormons are handled just fine at the bottom of the article. TrustTruth 23:08, 14 September 2005 (UTC)
Equally, it is also a fact that many do not hold LDS members to be Christians. You say that this topic is "sufficiently important that it is an article unto itself". Sure, but that only supports the view that the issue deserves a mention in this article. How about we write it like this: "Members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints consider themselves to be Christian, although some critics of the church do not consider the church to be a Christian church at all (see Mormonism and Christianity).". That tells the reader very succinctly that 1) a debate exists and 2) where to go to find out about it. Otherwise the reader might very well be unware, after reading this article, that the LDS view was contentious. — Matt Crypto 23:55, 14 September 2005 (UTC)
This really is a fascinating subject, but its comlexity is one of the reasons I am against introducing it so early without clarification. Those that define the church as non-Christian use some pretty creative redefining of the term Christian to ensure that the LDS chruch does not meet their new definition. However, to the rest of the non-Christian world the LDS chruch is most definitely Christian (Even the name of LDS Church "screams" its affiliation). Most of the critique and the definitions used to make the LDS chruch non-Christian revolves around the church's rejection of the Nicene creed of 325; to do so is to reject orthodoxy and to reject orthodoxy is to be non-Christian d'apres the "orthodox" Christians. Just in stating these things can cause endless discussion. The objective of the article is to state what the LDS church is. How orthodox chritianity views the church is an important viewpoint, but it certainly should not be in the introductory parpgraphs. Storm Rider 00:47, 15 September 2005 (UTC)
Why, then, should the LDS viewpoint be mentioned? This seems to be an obvious place to apply NPOV: you have a group who view themselves as Christian, and many orthodox Christians dispute this. We should present both views or not at all, surely? — Matt Crypto 01:00, 15 September 2005 (UTC)
I agree with that proposal. Let's just delete the statment that Mormons are Christian. Conversely, the LDS church does not have a "viewpoint" about being Christian, it is simply a statement of fact. The viewpoint or opinion is strictly that born by other churches---not a statement of fact, but rather their opinion of another religious organization. Storm Rider 02:02, 15 September 2005 (UTC)

HAHA, Matt - I think Orthodox Christians (Greek, etc.) do consider Mormons Christians, but other Protestant sects do not. Even the Catholic Church considers the LDS Church Christian, but heretical to the point of not accepting baptisms of the LDS Church. Perhaps you meant to say "traditional" or "Nicean?" Let's look at official statements from the various sects - Catholic won't because Mormon views of Christ are too heretical to accept, but does not state that Mormons are not Christian. -Visorstuff 17:22, 15 September 2005 (UTC)

I am actually pretty comfortable deleting the sentence (It has since been reverted, but I contacted Konrad and explained. I am hoping he will understand and revert his own edit). The name of the church and the topic makes it overtly clear that it is Christian. To debate the issue becomes a issue of definition for our dear friends the evangelicals and others of similar thought. I don't think it is appropriate to debate that topic int he first few paragraphs. Though I think it appropriate to state it clearly, if it makes them happy or think that it is somehow NPOV, I have no problems. Further, I still believe it is appropriate to discuss how other groups feel, but they should be handled on those specific pages.

I am often reminded of an analogy. Our mathmatical system is based on the number 10. If we write an article on a mathmatical system based on the number 7 does it make since to give the pros and cons of a 7 based system versus the 10 based system? Of course not!!! The system functions for their respective adherents. Why do we have some religious articles (the catholic chruch article springsg immeditely to mind) that simply state their story with no attacks, no need to state the opinions of every other religious system, but for the Mormon related articles (as well as others) it is imperative and somehow NPOV to state what every other religious system thinks? Principles of NPOV seem to be applied so willy-nilly...and thus become a joke.

How does the belief in Christ some how save all mankind...unless you are Mormon and then it has no saving grace what-so-ever. The saving grace of the Savior for Mormons is surprisingly inactive. To "turn it on" one must believe in the Trinity...a concept that was not explained by the Savior, but rather 325 years after Christ. These are disputes between mortal men that have absolute no eternal merit. Storm Rider 19:23, 15 September 2005 (UTC)

I have to disagree. The fact that they consider themselves Christian is a fact. They also consider Joseph Smith a prophet. We include that without qualifying it. Although many don't consider him a prophet, the alternative viewpoints / criticisms are properly handled at the end of the article. Including a counterpoint to every church belief would be ridiculous, and I can see no reason to single out this particular belief for qualification. TrustTruth 20:17, 19 September 2005 (UTC)

Visorstuff, Orthodox Christians generally don't accept Mormons as Christians, unless it's as neo-Gnostic heretics. I would have thought you would have remembered that from earlier work on the article. That information used to be in this article, but it got removed at some point, thus leaving you and other readers with a false impression. The Catholic Church generally believes that it is the only "church", but recognizes other "ecclesial groups." At best it might recognize the LDS as such an "ecclesial group", though I don't know that this is true, and given your mistaken impression of Orthodoxy's stance I rather doubt it.
To follow up the mathematical system analogy, the hexadecimal article does compare and contrast that numberal system with the more common decimal, and does so quite early in the article. This article doesn't need to spend a lot of time on this, but a simple sentence provides much useful information and should be near the article's beginning. Wesley 17:13, 27 September 2005 (UTC)

Wesley, I thought you had said at one time that there was no "official" stance against the Mormon Church by Orthodox Church? Perhaps I am wrong, but didn't we search for an official stance? Against belief sets of Mormons, but not the specific organization? Also, you had told Hawstom at one time, "when I say "you are wrong" I do *not* mean or equate that with the claim "you are damned." However, you have said elsewhere that those who are not Christians are damned. I think it is right to say that Orthodox as a whole do not accept Mormons as traditional christians and that they are heretical. I fully understand your position that you consider Mormonism in a similar vein as Islam - that we are Jesus-based, but have departed from Christianity, believing that early christianity was apostate. You'd consider us an Abrahamic religion, but not Christian by standard definitions. Please clarify if I'm wrong here... My point above was that the editor used the term "orthodox christians" as compared to "traditional christians" in which case, by explanation should make more sense as it is. I do think that you think I believe in a "different" Jesus based on the same historical figure as the Jesus of traditional christianity. And perhaps that is true. I'm not sure if i have an opinion to that point. That said, do you consider me a Christian, based on my testimony of Jesus Atonement, and his grace that has made me whole? You know of my love for Him and I do consider myself "born again" spiritually, but not unaccountable because of that (as some american protestants believe, which I see as heretical). I think you may consider some Mormons Christians -- but heretical to the point of not accepting Church beliefs as having the ability to exalt or resulting in salvation. Please clarify...? -Visorstuff 19:58, 27 September 2005 (UTC)

No, there is probably not an "official" stance against the Mormon Church as such by name... or against Transcendental meditation or Mahayana Buddhism either. Lack of an official stance does not automatically imply acceptance or affirmation. When I was talking to Hawstom, I was trying to draw a distinction between criticizing or condemning a belief system or religion, and criticizing or condeming an individual person. My membership in the Orthodox Church does not guarantee me a place in Heaven by a long shot, nor does your LDS membership guarantee your salvation, but in broad general terms I believe that the Orthodox Church has most faithfully and fully preserved the truths revealed by God to humanity, whereas the teachings of Mormonism are comparatively rife with error, some of which have particular potential for spiritual injury or disease. The Orthodox Church is a hospital which may hasten my own healing, but my own stubbornness and sinfulness may yet win out. So we seem to agree regarding our ongoing personal accountability, and certainly in many other areas of what might be called moral and upright living. So I do not presume to judge you or anyone else personally. As I said to Tom, may God have mercy on us all, and show us His loving kindness. Wesley \
And as far as presenting a set of teachings without mention of opposition, that principle has certainly not been followed in the Trinity article, which has a substantial subsection covering dissent to the doctrine. I think that section should be there, as it's an important part of understanding the doctrine as it relates to who believes it and why, and who doesn't and why. Wesley 15:04, 1 October 2005 (UTC)

I can't get over the irony of this: "Some Christian churches do not consider the Church to be a Christian church at all". Who certifies the "Christianity" of those "Christian" churches? Let's drop the "Christian" reference to those other churches in this article. If all churches are to come under equal scrutiny, it should be unbiased observers deciding who merits the "Christian" label, not other churches who assert the right to be Christian while denying that privilege to the Mormons. TrustTruth 20:28, 27 September 2005 (UTC)

I understand why you consider it ironic. Those other "Christian" churches are called that because they are visible in the course of history over a period of hundreds, up to two thousand years. So historically, Christianity was understood to mean one set of beliefs (however much internal controversy there may have been at times), whereas the LDS Church was organized (or restored) fairly recently. Frankly, I doubt there is such a thing as an unbiased observer. Wesley 15:04, 1 October 2005 (UTC)

I can tell you for a fact that the Greek Orthodox Church views the Mormon church as being a cult, so do all other Eastern Orthodox Churches. The Catholic Church, most likely, calls them a cult, and so dose the majority of Protestant churches. – Zntrip 18:08, 1 October 2005 (UTC)

One of the major problems with this conversation is the definition of "cult". Christianity was a cult during the first 300 years after the death of Chirst. Today, the term is used to describe some religious organizations such as affiliated with Jones, Manson and Koresh that resulted int he deaths of their adherents. Yet, in the same breath it is used to describe all other religions that are not orthodox. I find it to be the very height of hypocrisy for religious groups to use the term for all religions different from their own. There is nothing in common between those groups such as James Jones and Mormonism and yet our friendly "Christian" brother and sisters delight in using the same term to smear the reputation of the LDS church. Today, there is no common definition of the term "cult"; at best it means different from what ever "I" believe.
Zntrip, tell me how many wierd things you have heard said about the Eastern Orthodox church and Catholicism? Do they cease being cults simply because of the numbers of adherents? How do we have such a vast array churches who all proclaim to worship Chirst and yet all believe something different. Yes, there are commonalities, but they certainly do not agree with each other on all doctrinal questions. From the mouths of some people I take the term cult as a compliment, but from the vast majority I take it to be the slur that it was intended to be. Regardless, say what you will, but one thing you can not ever deny is the name of the chruch proclaims the head of the LDS chruch and the Book of Mormon is here on earth today to proclaim to jew and gentile the divinity of the Jesus Christ. At the end, let's just leave it in God's hands who is "Christian". Remember it is not those who simply repeat his name that are saved, but those whose hearts have accepted Him and keep His commandmants. Storm Rider 23:49, 1 October 2005 (UTC)
Clearly, cult is a loaded term that carries a great deal of baggage in addition to its original usage. Let's not use it in the article's introduction. Of course when it comes to the "Final Judgment" we'll leave it in God's hands who is "Christian", but I don't think there's a practical way to invoke God's help to edit this article. Fortunately, no one's eternal destiny hinges on the wording of this wikipedia article, so that's ok. :-) However, I think the central point of agreement is that the LDS Church is vastly different than most other denominations in both its beliefs and practices; the LDS Church thinks this, and so do most others. Can we agree on this much? Wesley 02:50, 4 October 2005 (UTC)
My good friend, Wesley, I always enjoy your input. My initial premise of deleting the sentence in question was how it did not fit into the introductory paragraphs. The article should be formated similar to the Catholic article; state what is so about the church and then refer to other articles that address those topics of contention. Why do we treat one church article on WIKI different from another. There certainly is no less "anti" conversation about Catholicism than Mormonism. I seek fairness, but it seems the rules of WIKI are applied differently. If contentious statements must be allowed in this article out of a debt to balance, then why is there no balance in the Catholic church article? I use the Catholic church article only as an example, which I happen to admire both the article and the church. However, the conversation is moot; the introductory paragraphs have changed significantly since this thread began and now we have an entire paragraph to appease those whose contention is the LDS church is not Christian. Storm Rider 16:12, 4 October 2005 (UTC)

Wow, I disappear for a few days and look at the progress...very nice. I truly enjoyed reading the thread above. Wesley, there is no doubt in my mind you will be saved (so long as you live your stated views), and am glad I don't have to make those hard decisions. I'm grateful for liberal views in salvation and in a loving God who seeks to exalt rather than deprecate and destroy. I truly believe many more of us will be there than the average church-goer believes...God is not unjust or unmerciful.

That said, I agree with Storm Rider - how many other church articles put "detractions" or critic views in the summary paragraph? Definitely not Catholic, Baptist Methodist, Eastern Orthodox or even Jehovah Witnesses, but yet it does come in here. We are the exception to Wikipedia norms. This should not be so. -Visorstuff 23:57, 4 October 2005 (UTC)

That's a fair point. I don't think Baptists and Methodists generally receive the kind of flak the other groups mentioned do, but still... I guess the question becomes whether to remove such a statement from this article, or add it to the others. (Something like this has been added to the JW article more than once before.) What would such a notice look like; that a few denominations think they're (RCC and EOC) part of the Great Apostasy? And Visorstuff, thank you for your kind words. I would have thought I'd be in trouble since I lack the benefit of a Mormon-style baptism, unless someone's gone and played proxy for me or something. Wesley 16:20, 5 October 2005 (UTC)
Wesley, you will have to pass on first before we play proxy for you, but we would be more than happy if that was a request? :) Storm Rider 17:37, 5 October 2005 (UTC)
I think the statement needs to be added into the other articles, but not in the heading/introductions, unless it is core to current events - such as scientology. Even then I'd rather read from their standpoint first and then delve into the controversy. I believe that most people who come to Wikipedia religious articles come to understand what the religion believes and how it compares to what they believe. If this is true, we should always err on the side of burying the controversy until later in the article. I want to know what is core to Mormonism, Catholics or Methodists first, then what others think of them secondary. This should be adopted for all Latter Day Saint movement and other religous articles in my opinion.
As far as salvation, I think first that God loves his children and will help them as much as possible to receive exaltation. As far as the logistics of salvation, God will make sure that gets taken care of for those who love him, whether by a Mormon baptism for the dead, prayers for those in purgatory or similar ideas, we can only speculate. There seems to always be an exception to the rules, doesn't there? I truly believe that God will take care of those who love him.
My opinion is that more people will be saved than the average mormon or christian believe. God will not condemn those who do not have access to the gospel. Even many Mormons and christians think that their religion is an exclusive club. We are not only "sinners in the hands of an angry god," but his loved childrem. But I'm not saying eat drink and be merry - we must live to the best of the light and truth we are given. I firmly believe that other churches have their purpose, and that I have a responsibility to share the gospel with others (which I do try). I learned a long time ago that a testimony in something, as well as faith in Christ is a spiritual gift - and for some reason some have a more difficult time receiving or even being offered that gift. I'm glad God decides, and I do hope to meet you there someday. -Visorstuff 18:31, 5 October 2005 (UTC)
I was jesting with Wesley, but to elborate on the concept of baptism for the dead...I have never considered that baptism for the dead makes one a Mormon or that it is the intention of Mormons to make all the dead Mormons, but rather through baptism one enters the Kingdom of God. I am continually surprised by some of the Jewish reactions to Baptism for the Dead performed on behalf of jews that died during the Holocaust. Some take it as an affront to the dead's "jewishness" and a belittling of their sacrifice on behalf of being jewish, but given that they don't believe in Mormonism and the intent is that all may enter into God's kingdom, who cares. It is as if one is offended that my Eastern Orthodox friend Wesley would pray for one's soul...who could possibly be offended by the good will of others. Though I am student of religion and admire truth regardless of where it is found, I am ever astonished by the actions of man towards those of differing faiths. God is the author of all truth and though I believe Christ has restored His church upon the earth, faith in His truths will provide saving grace for all. That is not to say that required ordinaces will not be required, but that a way will be provided for all to dwell in His presence.
I agree with you Visor, one reads the articles to garner knowledge abou the subject. However, it is a perversion of the principles of NPOV that contrary or critical information must be introduced immediately in articles. Yes, it has a place, but it should come after much later or better yet, linked to articles that address the specific issue. If Baptists are so committed telling the world about the fraud of Mormonism, put it on the Baptist article. We already have enough articles, (Mormonism & Christianity, etc) that address critical differences between faiths. More information only meets the requirements of those with an axe to grind, rather than serve the readers. Storm Rider 20:02, 5 October 2005 (UTC)
This reminds me of a story told about Joseph F Smith (or was it Joseph Fielding Smith?) - apparently one of his children was born in a catholic hospital, and the child was immediately baptised at birth. His reaction, aside from being stunned by a mormon Apostle's baby being baptized catholic and initially being taken back was, "well, it can be washed off just as easily as it was put on" or something like that. Interesting reaction - I wonder what mine would be??? -Visorstuff 21:00, 5 October 2005 (UTC)

Storm Rider — All I said was that the majority of Christian churches do not view the Mormon faith as being Christian. That is simply a fact and can not be disputed. – Zntrip 05:14, 7 October 2005 (UTC)

Could you please provide a list of these "majority of Christian churches" with documentation that they reject the Christianity of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.AlexEagar 09:49, 7 October 2005 (UTC)

Zntrip, I am aware of only two major christian denominations that has taken any sort of an official stance against Mormons. The major one of these is the Catholic Church, which stated "The Vatican's Congregation for the Doctrine of Faith declared that baptisms in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints are 'not the baptism that Christ instituted,'" according to the LA Times. The Catholic Church went on to say that one of the other points of doctrine they considered heretical was the idea that "God the father had a wife, the Celestial Mother, with whom he procreated Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit," which of course, as you have read on Wikipedia is a controversial topic, and disputed by many within the LDS Church.

The other church is the United Methodist Church, which generally similarly rejects Mormon Baptisms. Not the LDS Church, but the baptism itself. They also reject a number of other church's baptisms, so this is would not normally be as big of a deal. However, they also stated in a summary paper (not doctrine, but a paper), that Mormonism "does not fit within the bounds of the historic, apostolic tradition of Christian faith," and that Mormonism resembles (ironically) a "tri-theistic" rather than than monotheistic faith (ironically as that was a charge against early christians). This document was not voted on, but is generally consistent with Methodist belief.

The US (not world wide) Presbyterian Church stated "the theology and practices [of Mormons] set it apart from the Orthodox, Roman Catholic, and Protestant churches"

Southern Baptist Convention has issued similar assessments of Mormon doctrine, but have stopped short at voting or stating officially or voting that Mormons are not Christian, while noting "vast differences" between the "Mormon version" of Christianity and traditional Christianity. One document I read stated that baptists "regard Mormons in the same category as Jews, Muslims." "All are viewed as non-Christians who are destined to spend eternity in Hell, and need to be 'saved.'" But I have not seen an official statement on this, only statments from convention delegates. However, the convention has been sharply divided on this issue. Even former President Jimmy Carter criticized some within the convention for saying that Mormons are not Christians. He said Southern Baptists "are trying to act as the Pharisees did, who were condemned by Christ, in trying to define who can and cannot be considered an acceptable person in the eyes of God...In other words they are making judgments on behalf of God. I think that's wrong." Other Southern Baptist leaders have similarly criticized conference members for making claims of this sort deciding and "judging who and who is not a Christian." Others have called Mormonism a "heresy," (to me that means their tangent beliefs in core doctrines make them in jeapordy of salvation, but does not mean they are not founded on the same set of beliefs).

Unless I've missed other more recent official statements, these are the official views. Please provide evidence to the contrary, and I'll gladly change my view on this, but I'm not familiar with evidence to the contrary at this point...

Now if you want to discuss official views of teh Mormons by country ogovernments, that is a much more lively debate. Should mormons be recognized in Russia as a religious group? Wow what a debate. They are constantly marred by the Russian Orthodox church, fought against for baptisms for the dead, and criticized by government leaders, but their farming instructions by senior missionaries and other social programs have assisted in rising food production in the former soviet state. The Church's document preseveration and BYU archeaology and research teams that have gone and preserved documents and sites. And then the welfare and humanitarian aid for church members. And the language transfer programs sponsored by church members and chruch affilated groups (english teaching, and other language teaching). There is too much at stake by the russians to denounse the LDS Church, but they sure would love to from a public perception standpoint. Even Yeltsin sent a special delegate to Salt Lake and the LDS Church in the late 1990s to make sure that relations were good with Church leaders (no such delegation has gone to any other church aside from the vatican that I've been able to find). And then on to other countries. Much more lively debate than official stances of Church's on if mormons are christians... -Visorstuff 16:15, 7 October 2005 (UTC)

This information should be included in the Mormonism and Christianity article. Val42 18:01, 7 October 2005 (UTC)
Feel free to add - it belongs here: [1]

What constitutes the 12 million members

Merrill J. Bateman, a member of First Quorum of the Seventy, appeared Wednesday [August 30, 2005] on KUER's RadioWest program to respond to The Salt Lake Tribune series "Mormons in Utah: The Shrinking Majority" published in July. In his interview with Doug Fabrizio, Bateman states: "The twelve million members are those who've been baptized and confirmed, or those who are children of record from zero to eight. So that's the total membership of the church."

As such, it appears that the 12 million number constitutes both baptized members AND "children of record".

TrustTruth 20:29, 27 September 2005 (UTC)

It seems to me that if 'members of record' has always included such children, and - as I think the Church admits - the majority of such children are never baptized, then there are perhaps several million official members who have never been baptized.

--Tobey 21:10, 27 September 2005 (UTC)

If you are familiar with MIS (the church's membership database), you'll notice that when they reach the age of eight they are removed from membership roles if they are not baptized within their eighth year. However, if their parents are still members, their names are kept in MIS (not as members, but part of a family who has a member) with the parents until they are 18. Non-Baptized spouses are also included in the system (but not as members). If I remember the designations for these are "Child of Record," (0-8) "Unbaptized" (9-18) and "Non-Member" (18+). They used to have an "unaccountable" designation as well for those with disabilities who don't need to be baptized, although I've not seen it recently (no "unaccountables" in my last ward that I'm aware of), and they'd also be included with "Child of record" in my opinion. Church statistics are more accurate than most other denomination's "estimates" and the computer system designates and distinguishes quite easily. The Catholic Church for example bases theirs on country statistics - if a country is deemed "catholic" then 90+ percent is counted as being catholic - even if they are not, or if they have had their names removed. See this recent thread [2] and resulting discussion. Also, Tobeyjaggle, I think taking into account the lifelong religiousity of members (~70 percent go inactive at one point in their life according to a study by Stan Albreict, only up to 10 percent actually have names removed) but most will come back at some point in their life - and we are looking at 4 million who self-identify - that means that is about a third of members right now either self-identify as mormons in other studies (Incidentally, duringthe last census I was labeled as "Christian" not "Mormon") or can self-identify as mormons (I do not believe that Saudi Arabia's and India's census allows "Mormon" as a designation nor do some prominent catholic and protestant countries) than the church's 12 million is very accurate. I've more specifics on how I got the 4 million and 30 percent figures in other places. A decent link to look at on this topic and religiousity of Mormons can be found on this exmormon site [3] -Visorstuff 21:45, 27 September 2005 (UTC)

Edits by 71.38.227.189

These have been reverted several times by several different people, all for the same reason: although they may well form the basis of worthwhile additions to the article, they are stated in strongly POV terms. -- Just zis Guy, you know? 10:14, 14 October 2005 (UTC)

Preparedness?

I believe that many people associate the idea of "Emergency preparedness"/"Disaster preparedness"/"Temporal preparedness" with the LDS. I didn't see anything on this in the entry.

Would it be appropriate to add a quick note (perhaps in the section <a href=" http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Church_of_Jesus_Christ_of_Latter-day_Saints#Other_practices ">Other practices</a>?) (Or conversely, is it in the entry already and I missed it?) -- 14 October 2005

Serious Analysis???

That wonderful, in-depth analysis has again been referred to in the article. Most recently by Saint17 and an anon, 67.186.207.85. First of all, the survey was conducted by dialing 50,281 homes in the 47 contiguous United States. Second, it is already referred to towards the bottom of the article. Third, what the survey postulates is "Some groups such as Mormons and Jehovah's Witnesses appear to attract a large number of converts ("in-switchers"), but also nearly as large a number of apostates ("out-switchers")."

PLEASE NOTE: the survey does not say more are leaving than are joining the LDS church. It is limited to 48 states whereas the LDS church is worldwide; in fact there are more outside the US than in the US. If you are not going to read the survey/study, it is best not to attempt to refer to it. Storm Rider 15:51, 23 October 2005 (UTC)

Article on the LDS church has a large factual error

Copied from Wikipedia:General complaints

Overall I am impressed with your article on the LDS church. HOwever, at the very beginning of the article when you are listing the basic beliefs of the church, of the 'Largest sect' as you call it, headquartered in Salt Lake city, you are incorrect in including the practice of Plural Marriage.

The church no longer practices plural marriage, nor does the church endorse the practice of plural marriage today. Those members who engage in this practice are excommunicated from the LDS church. I refer you to the Church's official website www.lds.org

(below is an excerpt taken from the Official Church website) In 1998, President Gordon B. Hinckley made the following statement about the Church's position on plural marriage: "This Church has nothing whatever to do with those practicing polygamy. They are not members of this Church. . . . If any of our members are found to be practicing plural marriage, they are excommunicated, the most serious penalty the Church can impose. Not only are those so involved in direct violation of the civil law, they are in violation of the law of this Church."

At various times, the Lord has commanded His people to practice plural marriage. For example, He gave this command to Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Moses, David, and Solomon (Doctrine and Covenants 132:1).

In this dispensation, the Lord commanded some of the early Saints to practice plural marriage. The Prophet Joseph Smith and those closest to him, including Brigham Young and Heber C. Kimball, were challenged by this command, but they obeyed it. Church leaders regulated the practice. Those entering into it had to be authorized to do so, and the marriages had to be performed through the sealing power of the priesthood. In 1890, President Wilford Woodruff received a revelation that the leaders of the Church should cease teaching the practice of plural marriage (Official Declaration 1).

This issue should be placed in the article's discussion tab or errors might be fixed (edited) yourself, with discussions or references where appropriate. This page does not concern content of articles. --moxon 18:00, 18 October 2005 (UTC)

Links, revisited

Okay folks, we have it again. We've been through these discussions before. Official LDS links and then "alternative" Mormon views that have little to do with the LDS Church other than its history?

For example, the new order mormon thing has very little to do the LDS Church, as does Sunstone. Those links are better placed at Mormonism. The Exmormon sites, should appear at Exmormon. I can see leaving in the newly-added IRR site, and possibly exmormon.org. Postmormon doesn't add information about the church, but about Mormonism-related issues. Zarahemla should be removed. Lds-Mormon.com leave in the links.

We need to be clear on the differences between mormonism and the LDS Church. They are seperate, yet intertwined ideas. Thoughts? -Visorstuff 23:54, 26 October 2005 (UTC)

We might want to include links to Exmormon and other such thing within Wikipedia and leave the external links out of the LDS page, while keeping them on the other pages (just a thought)The Scurvy Eye 00:01, 7 November 2005 (UTC)

I just moved all the Exmormon links to Exmormon and apologetic links to Mormon apologetics. I also added a See also section with links to these and other articles. --nihon 08:28, 26 November 2005 (UTC)
The LDS Church has commissioned the creation of a Mormon wiki. While this site is not officially authored by the LDS Church, it is funded by the Church and LDS editorial control is asserted. As such, I am adding it to the LDS sites list. I assume that positions avowedly opposed to the LDS Church will not appear on the Mormon wiki. (That's what Wikipedia is for ;-). --billlund 22:28, 15 December 2005 (UTC)
Thanks for bringing this wiki to the attention of wikipedians. I am a little concerned with your assertion that it is funded by the Church and LDS editorial control is asserted. Having visited it for the first time after seeing your post, that assertion seems inappropriate. It requires registration, but no special requirements (aren't we wikipedians discussing the need to require registration?). The site clearly identifies its source of funds as the More Good Foundation, which is clearly identified as being founded and controlled by members of the LDS Church, but that is very much different than being funded directly by the LDS Church. Trödel|talk 23:56, 15 December 2005 (UTC)
My assertion that it is funded by the LDS Church is based on a presentation I attended today (12/15) at BYU at which a representative from the More Good Foundation explained that they were commissioned and funded by the Church to provide positive web content regarding the Church. This site is owned by them and is one of the activities they are pursuing. Go to the About page. The director for the Church's Internet developments also presented. I wonder if they really understand the power of a wiki and whether they think they can control it? --billlund 03:38, 16 December 2005 (UTC)
I have done additional research on the relationship between the Church and MGF - while basically supportive of their efforts no funding or official recognition from The Church of Jesus Christ of LDS exists. Can you provide any info about this representative that claimed otherwise? Trödel•talk 03:10, 4 January 2006 (UTC)
Interesting - well lets work on getting some verifiable sources for this - I tried googling some information - and tried to identify directors of the non-profit, but was unsuccessful. The about page clearly identifies the More Good Foundation, but the ownership is not that clear. I can think of a few possible explanations, but don't see any need to speculate until we can verify. Did they say anything else interesting at the presentation? If so it probably would be best to continue on one of our talk pages :) or on the LDS Project talk page.
Personally, I find this, and the new openness and availability of documents on http://www.josephsmith.net as very positive developments. Trödel|talk 04:04, 16 December 2005 (UTC)
I was in that meeting also and I can tell you definitively that the Church may even like what MoreGoodFoundation is doing but it's not funding the Foundation. The LDS Church and MoreGoodFoundation obviously have some goal in common but the LDS church is not directly involved or responsible for what MoreGoodFoundation does.

Split this article up (more), to shorten it?

This article is 65 kilobytes, and more than 40,000 characters (50,000+ if you count spaces). Should it be split up, and done more in a more summary style? It could work well with a main article on the beliefs of the Church. Also, shortening the summary of the history (if possible) might help. I know I'm new to the article, but this is a great article, and it looks like its close to featured status. --Trevdna 16:08, 28 October 2005 (UTC)

I personally don't see a compellng enough reason to split it up, especially as it already links to a different page under many headings. However, it could link to additional pages as there are many redundancies between practices and seperate pages on each practice. There are more than 700 articles about the broader Latter Day Saint movement or Mormonism, and this page gives a nice summary of LDS beliefs and overview of the church. It is doing its purpose. Other thoughts from other editors?.
Trevdna, if you have an interest in the LDS church and the broader Mormonism movement, please see List of articles about Mormonism or join the LDS Project at WP:LDS. There are plenty of articles about Latter Day Saints, Latter-day Saints and Mormons needing work much more than this one. -Visorstuff 18:55, 28 October 2005 (UTC)

Hmm... yes, I see that, but to me it doesn't seem like a small hop for this article to featured status. Would it be nessciary to upgrade it to featured article? Probably not. Would it be useful? Probably. Would it be fun? That's debatable. Would it be cool? I think so. Some of these other ones need work, and they can get it, but I'd still like to work on this one.

So if that's the case, can you see anything that needs to be done to this article to make it better? You guys have kinda shot my ideas out of the water pretty quick... --Trevdna 07:06, 29 October 2005 (UTC)

Also, 65 kb is WAY too long, if you ask me. I definately feel that it would be beneficial to add a seperate, offshoot article (or list): Beliefs of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, making the main page much more manageable for people who want an overview of the Church, while directing people who are looking for their beliefs specifically to a new article. --Trevdna 16:06, 31 October 2005 (UTC)

Didn't mean to shoot down your ideas, but it's been discussed a number of times. Is there a presedence for having a Beliefs of the Roman Catholic Church or similar article? If not, I see not reason to move that direction. We already have Articles of Faith and similar articles. Plus, the church teaches more less set doctrines, that having a beliefs page would drive the correlation folks crazy, let alone my own sanity for making sure things are doctrinally correct. I suggest if you want this article as a featured status, then you put it up for peer review and ask what editors outside of Mormonism think about how it can be improved. you are on to something, but I'm not sure how to best get there. . -Visorstuff 16:43, 31 October 2005 (UTC)

Visor is right, having a "beliefs" page would have too much of a tendency to misrepresent the church without people constently watching itThe Scurvy Eye 18:59, 6 November 2005 (UTC)

Misplaced paragraph

Is it just me, or is that second to last paragraph, under History, misplaced? Could it perhaps be merged or moved into the Scriptures section? It reads as follows:


Church members (and others in the Latter Day Saint movement) believe in additional scriptural canon, making them unique among Christian religions. Chief among these is The Book of Mormon, which members testify is a record that was kept by ancient prophets who lived in the Americas and was engraved on gold plates, translated by the power of God through the Urim and Thummim. Eleven witnesses signed testimonies of its divine authenticity, which are now included in the preface to The Book of Mormon. Eight handled the plates when shown them, and three more testified to having seen an angel present them and to have heard God bear witness to its truth. A history of revelations given to the church primarily through Joseph Smith are also published as The Doctrine and Covenants.

Trevdna 03:13, 15 November 2005 (UTC)

Hmmm..., I think it might need to be moved (or merged), but I also think we should wait for a few more editors to weigh in on this.The Scurvy Eye 20:48, 16 November 2005 (UTC)

Since no one has objected, I am going to turn it into a second paragraph in the "Scriptures" section (after I have removed redundancies between it and other paragraphs in that section). Trevdna 03:27, 23 November 2005 (UTC)

Would anyone mind if I added a "major beliefs" section?

The article as it stands is rather windy, with no real rhyme or reason as to the order of things. Also, it feels more than a little hodge-podge - should First Principles really be given the same section as LDS Customs? I might just be being picky, but I think we should add a "major beliefs" section, so it's really flushed out. The ToC would look like so:

Contents [hide]

1 History
2 Name of the church
3 Major Beliefs
3.1 First Principles and Ordinances of the Gospel
3.1.1 Faith
3.1.2 Repentance
3.1.3 Baptism
3.1.4 Gift of the Holy Ghost
3.1.5 Enduring to the End
3.2 The Godhead
3.3 Church leadership and the priesthood
3.4 The Plan of Salvation (note: the current section 3.5 Resurrection and Judgment would be merged with this section.)
3.5 Scriptures

With the remaining sections (8-15) being renumbered appropriately (4-11).

I'll give everyone a little more time to respond, since this is rather drastic (although no content would be significantly altered). Trevdna 04:10, 23 November 2005 (UTC)

Since this page (at 68 kb) is already large for Wikipedia - I think a seperate article with a link from here would be more appropriate. Trödel|talk 11:45, 23 November 2005 (UTC)

I thought about that, but everyone else shot me down. To see their reasoing, look two sections above this one - "Split this article up (more), to shorten it?", and read the whole thing.

So do you think that the ToC thing would be a bad idea? Trevdna 15:58, 23 November 2005 (UTC)

I have a question, is this a new article you're proposing, or a major edit, or what? Please make this a little more clear.The Scurvy Eye 21:34, 25 November 2005 (UTC)
Sorry - I thought I was clear. It would not be a new article, since you guys effectively said 'no' to that one, two sections up. It would simply be a restructuring of the article as it presently stands, so that various sections (First Principles and Ordinances, The Godhead, Church leadership and the priesthood, The Plan of Salvation, and Scriptures), would become subsections under a new section, titled "beliefs". There would be no perceptable changes in the content of the article, except that I would merge "Resurrection and Judgment" into "The Plan of Salvation", rather than a sub-subsection under "First Principles and Ordinances of the Gospel".
As for precedent, the article on Roman Catholic Church has it.
That's it. Trevdna 22:22, 26 November 2005 (UTC)

I like Trevdna's idea. It would add needed structure without otherwise altering the content.--andersonpd 17:23, 27 November 2005 (UTC)

As there has been no arguement or problems (and this has precedent), I'm going to make the proposed changes. Trevdna 19:42, 28 November 2005 (UTC)

Just want to go on record that I'm not in favor of this. Not against it, but not in favor. There are too many issues with nailing down doctrine. There needs to be some incorporation of beliefs, but not sure how. Not sure there is an alternative. Let's see how it works, and we'll watch the progress. -Visorstuff 21:06, 28 November 2005 (UTC)
How about "teachings" instead of "beliefs"? Tom Haws 00:05, 8 December 2005 (UTC)

Okay, it seems that huge chunks (important chunks, IMHO) have been removed with this new article structure. Are they going to be added to other articels, made into new articles, or what? --nihon 22:18, 28 November 2005 (UTC)

I'm not seeing anything gone missing. Can you point out some?--andersonpd 00:05, 29 November 2005 (UTC)
Maybe I'm just reading it wrong, but go look at this edit. It seems that some of the information wasn't put back into the article. --nihon 09:28, 29 November 2005 (UTC)


This is just an idea/question I'm floating out here, but why is the article so long? Wouldn't it be easier to omit much of the smaller details and then splitting it up into several seperate articles? The only problem of mine, however, with having a major beliefs section is that there is a great tendency to misrepresent the LDS Church. A person wanting to know what the Church's major beliefs and teachings could be directed to various web sites. Anyway, just a thought(I hope to hear yours). The Scurvy Eye 00:35, 29 November 2005 (UTC)

I agree with The Scurvey Eye. The Jade Knight 14:54, 29 November 2005 (UTC)

Commenting on myself, but I just realized that I just brought up what Trevdna said in the section before me:-)The Scurvy Eye 22:16, 29 November 2005 (UTC)

However,(hello again) has anyone considered the: One: splitting much of the ariticle into smaller one, and completely removing the beliefs alltogether? Ideas? Anyone???The Scurvy Eye 22:26, 29 November 2005 (UTC)

Umm... why? The beliefs are an integral part of any church, and an encyclopedia article without them would be lacking at best, to pointles at worst. Splitting into a Beliefs of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints page could inspire more vandalism, and has no precedent - all other religions have their beliefs on their own page. The best thing to do (if I get what you're saying) is to expand each individual belief until it becomes large enough to be its own article. But that would take time and work. Trevdna 23:27, 29 November 2005 (UTC)

I actually believe you're right. You'll notice I didn't say I was advocating doing that, I was merely throwing out an idea. Sorry if I seem to do that too much.The Scurvy Eye 04:41, 30 November 2005 (UTC)
However, come to think of it, would that make an appropriate category? since there is quite a lot that the Church (and actually Mormonism in general) believes in, distincitve from other religions. Would a category for Beliefs of Mormonism be applicable? Trevdna 06:18, 30 November 2005 (UTC)
Honestly, I don't know. This seems to be a hard thing to find a solution to. Oh, by the way, I am glad that you tore my terrible idea to bits (it can only make me a better editor). The Scurvy Eye 22:10, 30 November 2005 (UTC)

Joseph Smith Translation

How is it possible that the Community of Christ owns the copyright to the JST? It certainly was written prior to 1920, and should therefore (now) fall in the Public Domain.

If the reasoning is that they originally held the copyright, and the Church simply hasn't migrated to the Inspired Version, this should be rephrased under "Scriptures". The Jade Knight 15:52, 29 November 2005 (UTC)

  • I think another issue was that the LDS church didn't have access to the original manuscripts for many years, and so there was no way to validate the text. wrp103 (Bill Pringle) - [[User talk:Wrp103|Talk]] 19:34, 29 November 2005 (UTC)
Four answers to your question: 1- Which version of the JST? The most recent inspired version is still under copyright. It was not first published until the 1870s, and a revised version (supposedly more accurate) again in the 1920s and then later in the late 70s/80s (which is very accurate - i think actual dates are included at Joseph Smith Translation). 2- Corporations hold copyright longer than individual authors. 3- the bernhiesel transcript varies much differently than the first RLDS printed version - so the inaccuracies as bill stated, were blantant and questioned. As SMith made multiple changes to the same passages on different occasions, printers and compilers had to decide which version of smith's edits to use. This is one reason why the RLDS inspired version differs so greatly between editions. The most accurate is the latest printing, which is still under copyright, as is the second (and I believe third) edition. 4- written and published are two different things. It may have been written prior to 1920, but accurate copies were not. This is like saying that the current version of the BOM is in public domain. It is not. The 1908 version is widely circulated, and the U of Ill. has a printing of this version -which has a lot of problems, printing errors- but is public domain. Copyright is not as easily clear cut as you may have heard, and are renewable in some cases. anyway, I'm going on too much. hope this context helps.
I understand copyright law quite well, thanks. Current US copyright law makes it clear that copyright applies the minute something is written (while it was slightly different previously, anything published before 1923 is automatically in the Public Domain now, and most things written before but published after 1923 would be, as well. None of Joseph Smith's original versions should be under copyright any longer, though CoC (RLDS) versions may. However, this would not prevent the Church of Jesus Christ from using the JST—it would simply be a matter of taking what's in the Public Domain (assuming the texts are available and the CoC is not specifically preventing the original texts from being accessed by others) and compiling a version they find "accurate". Either way, I think more of an explanation is needed in the article. The Jade Knight 19:20, 30 November 2005 (UTC)

I just removed the statement "(because the copyright is owned by The Community of Christ, previously called the Reorganized Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints)" from the main article, since as discussed above copyrights, at least of some versions, have now expired, so this cannot be the primary reason that the JST is not generally used as the Official translation of the Bible. Copyright ownership issues may have played a role, but there were likely other reasons for the church not to adopt the JST, including widespread access to cheap copies of the mostly adequate King James Version (KJV), the usefulness of using the KJV in proslyting members of other christian faiths, and questions about the completeness of the JST. - Matt Stoker, 13 December 2005

I think that's a good move. The Jade Knight 03:24, 14 December 2005 (UTC)

Terrestrial requirements

Jade Knight: You removed some things that you considered undoctrinal. THey are founded doctrinall, and are actively taught by general authorities at the current time. Stephen B OVeson and Boyd K Packer and others have recently taught that Terrestrial is for those who keep the ten commandments, also known as the "law of carnal commandments," hense the quote marks. However, as the scriptures are our guide, lets explore:

To gain celestial kingdom, you must be baptised. THis is the minimum stated in the D&C. THere is debate as to whether or not "keeping all the commandments" is a requirement (ie - will all those in the CK be married and accept their sealings?) or not, but the minimum is baptism.

For telestial (lets skip to the bottom), is for those who do not keep the ten commandments (they do not accept the atonement for one reason or antoher (no other gods), they commit adultry, they murder, they steal and lie (and don't repent), etc.

For Terrestrial you have to do one of two things: be a member of the chruch and not live valiantly, or keep the ten commandments (law of carnal commandments, ie, live a good life, but be blinded by the craftiness of man). See D&C 76: 71-80, D&C 84: 20-28, and http://scriptures.lds.org/gsl/lwfmss.

The statement is doctrinally sound. Which is saying something coming from me. -Visorstuff 19:51, 29 November 2005 (UTC)

I was referencing those Scriptures as I made the edits. I disagree that they are doctrinal—please show me, specifically, the Scriptural verses which support the interpretations as worded. Moreover, I think the term "minimum requirement" is misleading—it gives the impression that if the "minimum requirement" is met, one is okay. I am sure you are quite aware that this is not the case—so even if the "requirements" are going to be left in the article, the term "minimum requirement" should be rephrased to be more clear. I will wait for further discussion before re-editing the article, however. I also endeavored to find a place in the Scriptures where it specifically states that sons of perdition will be resurrected, and I was unable to find one. While I do not claim that they specifically will not be resurrected, I think that this needs to be Scripturally referenced, as well as the "minimum requirements", even if they are to be left in the article. Alternatively, specific direction on these matters from the current prophet (Gordon B. Hinckley) is acceptable, but clearly, not everything any prophet or apostle has ever said can be automatically "doctrine" (a discussion I'm sure we don't need to go into). The Jade Knight 19:35, 30 November 2005 (UTC)
Actually, you might want to check Mormon Doctrine by Bruce R. McConkie where he states in the article on baptism "How can any man expect a celestial inheritance without an authorized and approved baptism?". Or you can just check John 3:5 which states "Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God". The Scurvy Eye 22:24, 30 November 2005 (UTC)
I'm not questioning the necessity of baptism to gain the Celestial Kingdom (indeed, if you'll notice my edit [4], I simply rephrased that, and left it in), in this case, but rather the use of the term "minimum requirement." In addition, Mormon Doctrine is not LDS doctrine, despite its title, and the Church has never treated it as such. The Jade Knight 08:45, 1 December 2005 (UTC)

Umm. Okay. Maybe I'm misunderstanding Jade Knight. I will show doctrine on this from the scriptures first, and then from teachings of a few modern prophets. Let me address one at a time.

There are more than two parts of the atonement as you know, however, the four main results of the major two parts are forgiveness of sins (both premortal and mortal sins), exaltation, and resurrection and being brought back into the presence of God to be judged according to our works.

All those who repented and accepted the atonement prior to earth life automatically recieve a body, and being brought back into the presence of god to be judged. Only forgiveness and exaltation are for those who do not deny the HG. Please note, those in the TR and TL will receive forgiveness, but not exaltation. ONLY denying the HG recieves no forgiveness.

Please also note there is a difference between Telestial Salvation and Telestial Damnation. See Joseph Fielding Smith Jr., Doctrines of Salvation, Vol.2, p.22

References for Sons of Perdition being resurrected (in addition to TheScurvyEye's and D&C 76):

Now, this restoration shall come to all, both old and young, both bond and free, both male and female, both the wicked and the righteous; and even there shall not so much as a hair of their heads be lost; but every thing shall be restored to its perfect frame, as it is now, or in the body, and shall be brought and be arraigned before the bar of Christ the Son, and God the Father, and the Holy Spirit, which is one Eternal God, to be judged according to their works, whether they be good or whether they be evil. Alma 11: 44

The resurrection consists in the uniting of a spirit body with a body of flesh and bones, never again to be divided. The resurrection shall come to all, because of Christ’s victory over death... All will not be raised to the same glory in the resurrection (1 Cor. 15: 39-42; D&C 76), nor will all come forth at the same time (see 1 Cor. 15: 23; Alma 40: 8). Christ was first; the righteous have precedence over the wicked, and come forth in the first resurrection, whereas the unrepentant sinners come forth in the last resurrection (cf. Rev. 20: 5-13). LDS Bible dictionary: Resurrection

"Jesus will redeem the last and least of the sons of Adam, except the sons of perdition, who will be held in reserve for another time. They will become angels of the Devil. 8:154. Discourses of Brigham Young, p.29

SPECIAL MEANINGS OF REDEMPTION AND SALVATION. Redemption is the act of purchasing back, recovering from captivity, or restoring. So Christ becomes our Redeemer in bringing life back again where it was taken away through the transgression. There will be some individuals who will be redeemed from death -- I am speaking now of the physical death -- and that is all. They will go out as sons of perdition to dwell with the devil and his angels, as set forth in section 76 and other scriptures. They are not redeemed from the spiritual death, which is banishment from the presence of God. - Joseph Fielding Smith Jr., Doctrines of Salvation, Vol.2, p.11 - p.12

DIFFERENCES IN KIND OF RESURRECTED BODIES. In section 88 of the Doctrine and Covenants, we are taught that there is a difference in the kinds of resurrection. Some will be raised with celestial bodies; some with terrestrial bodies, and some with telestial bodies; and yet others will be raised with bodies without any qualification or power of glory, and these will be sons of perdition. Read verses 17-33. - Joseph Fielding Smith Jr., Doctrines of Salvation, Vol.2, p.33

"In many minds there has been a great misapprehension on the question of the resurrection. Some have had the idea and have taught it, that the sons of perdition will not be resurrected at all. They base this idea, and draw this conclusion from the 38th and 39th verses of section 76, of the book of Doctrine and Covenants, where the Lord says: 'Yea, verily, the only ones who shall not be redeemed in the due time of the Lord, after the sufferings of his wrath. For all the rest shall be brought forth by the resurrection of the dead, through the triumph and the glory of the Lamb, who was slain, who was in the bosom of the Father before the worlds were made.' A careful reading of these verses, however, and especially of the preceding paragraphs, will show that the Lord does not, in this language, exclude even the sons of perdition from the resurrection. It is plain that the intention is to refer to them explicitly as the only ones on whom the second death shall have any power `For all the rest shall be brought forth by the resurrection of the dead, through the triumph and the glory of the Lamb.' This excluded class are the only ones on whom the second death shall have any power, and `the only ones who shall not be redeemed in the due time of the Lord, after the suffering of his wrath.' This is by no means to say that they are to have no resurrection. Jesus our Lord and Savior died for all, and all will be resurrected -- good, bad, white and black, people of every race, whether sinners or not; and no matter how great their sins may be, the resurrection of their bodies is sure. Jesus has died for them, and they all will be redeemed from the grave through the atonement which he has made." Joseph Fielding Smith Jr., Doctrines of Salvation, Vol.2, p.277

Those who followed Lucifer in his rebellion in the premortal life and those who in mortality sin against the Holy Ghost are sons of perdition. The ex-mortal sons of perdition will be resurrected, as will everyone else; but they will finally suffer the second death, the spiritual death, for "the are cut off again as to things pertaining to righteousness." (Hel. 14:18.) Spencer W. Kimball, The Miracle of Forgiveness, p.125

There is also a nice chapter on this in Answers to Gospel Questions. I could provide more references if you need. Bruce R. McConkie, Neal A. Maxwell and others, but omitted them as they were not Church presidents.

As for the requirements, they are listed in D&C 76 and the other passages I've listed above.

To dumb it down: here is a List of qualifications for TL from D&C 76: These are they who received not the gospel of Christ, neither the testimony of Jesus. (broke ten commandments 1-4) These are they who are thrust down to hell. These are they who shall not be redeemed from the devil until the last resurrection, until the Lord, even Christ the Lamb, shall have finished his work. These are they who receive not of his fulness in the eternal world, but of the Holy Spirit through the ministration of the terrestrial; These are they who are liars, and sorcerers, and adulterers, and whoremongers, and whosoever loves and makes a lie. (broke ten commandments 5-10) These are they who suffer the wrath of God on earth. These are they who suffer the vengeance of eternal fire.

And I quote Brother McConkie: "Instead, the revelation says that those who so obtain must be "able to abide the law..." (D&C 88:21-24.) In other words, salvation...will come to all who are able to live the full law of Christ, even though they did not have opportunity so to do in the course of a mortal probation."

The bottom line is, if you keep the ten commandments, you are not breaking the Terrestrial law. If you transgress the ten commandments, you are not living a Terrestrial law, you are living a Telestial law, and end up there.

I gotta run for now. Let me know if you need more. -Visorstuff 23:04, 30 November 2005 (UTC)

I was reinfocing your point, Visor, not Jade's. Did you think my comment was directed at you?(I do love the amounts of examples you provide)The Scurvy Eye 00:55, 1 December 2005 (UTC)
Sorry if my comments seemed directed to you - they were very much meant for Jade Knight. My apologies. I'm not sure if you really do love the amount of examples or not, as I tend to be long-winded. But it is how my mind works. So hopefully, someone who wants to know can find the real answers they are looking for. -Visorstuff 23:28, 1 December 2005 (UTC)

As shown, sons of perdition will be resurrected, although I agree with The Jade Knight's point that "minimum requirement" is not ideal wording. Any ideas as to what we could change these to? Cookiecaper 01:11, 1 December 2005 (UTC)

I accept that sons of perdition will be resurrected, then, but I still feel that the reference should be cited in the article.
In regards to the Terrestrial Kingdom, what of those who fail to keep the "10 Commandments" but repent? What of someone who is good in every way, but takes the Lord's name in vain every now and then? What of someone who is good but violates the Sabbath because he is Buddhist? Will be he thrust down to the Telestial? I think to call the ten commandments the minimum requirement of the Terrestrial Kindgom such an oversimplification as to be erroneous.
Finally, as Cookiecaper agrees, "minimum requirement" needs to be rephrased, whether the listed requirements are left in the article or not. The Jade Knight 08:45, 1 December 2005 (UTC)
Jade Knight - Once again, it is not that you DO keep all the ten commandments, it is that you are able and willing to. In the gospel you do not have to "do you best," but rather you have to try to do your best and grace fills in the rest. [Side note - I actually like this little phrase, I may use it again - kinda poetic] (May want to re-read the sacrament prayers - "are willing to keep his commandments"). I would say that many Mormons do not understand this, or the role of grace in salvation. Most have experienced Grace, but doctrinally, they don't understand it.
In the same way, if someone takes the Lord's name in vain (especially if they didn't know better) doesn't mean that they are willing and able to keep the ten commandments - it is that they didn't in that one instant. You CAN repent from every sin, and those in the TL and TR, however, limit themselves because of pride or shame. This is why I included the McConkie quote at the end of my long explanation - let me repeat here:
"Instead, the revelation says that those who so obtain must be "able to abide the law..." (D&C 88:21-24.) In other words, salvation...will come to all who are able to live the full law of Christ, even though they did not have opportunity so to do in the course of a mortal probation."
You can repent from adultery, murder, and so forth, but those who do not fully or knowingly break the laws have a much harder time repenting. It is these people who are unwilling to live a law of respect of mankind, of mankind's souls and of God that go to the TL - or a respect of basic "light of christ" laws - which the ten commandments are.
There are many who do not know the ten commandments. Think of TATBACKATS (clicking sounds) who lives in deepest darkest Africa or the outback of Australia. They do not have the law. But once they do, and understand it they need to be willing to keep it. And by demonstrating respect for life others and developing faith (even in earthen deities) is a step in the right direction to show that willingness. It is that they are ignorant at the present time, and that will change one day, as we cannot be saved in ignorance.
This is one of my main problems with Mormon culture. So many think that Mormonism and the celestial kingdom is an exclusive club. They say that those who reject the missionaries will be kept from the CK. This is not true. Do those who reject missionaries truly understand what they are rejecting? If not, they are not on the same level to be "Judged according to men in the flesh" as those with the gospel. Those who truly understand the gospel are part of the church of the firstborn, the church of enoch and kingdom of God (D&C 76:67). The rest of those who struggle along are on the path, but farther back.
In fact, most Mormons would think that the celestial kingdom would be the smallest of the kingdoms. Again, this is not true either. Not only does this limit God (it is his work and glory to bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of man), but it is a narrow view on who gets salvation, and limits the reasons behind temple work. Those who die without the gospel but would have accepted (which is probably about 80 percent of the earths adult population throughout all of history) will be there. Children who die before the age of accountabilty will be there (again, about 80 percent of the earths total population throughout history given an estimated 80+ percent mortality rate historically), those whose parents/children were faithful to their sealing covenants that brought children/parents back because of the power of the sealing ordinance (excellent talk by President Faust on this, believe portions were reprinted in the last year in the Ensign), and more. It is a big group. God is largely successful in his mission of exalting mankind or at least bringing them "back to his presence to dwell with him eternally."
Finally, some other religions are inspired. Ours is "true." The opposite of "truth" is "error" not "falsity" (think back to the initatiory ordinance). We know that these groups are inspired from the repeated statmetns and proclamations of the first presidency and twelve (One proclamation called Buddha and Muhammed "minor prophets"). Other churches have their place, although we don't fully understand what they are at this time. They do much good. IF those adherents live to the best of their light and knowledge, they are "willing" and will be taken care of.
In saying all of this, please note that we do not preach requirements for the lower kingdoms regularly, as we do not seek to help people get to the TR or TL kingdoms, but rather we teach them about exaltation. We work to be saviors of mankind on mount zion (through the temple, and through our feet - or the preaching of the gospel) and teach them the higher laws. We teach salvation, and the farther they get in this life the better. It is our mission and our responsibiltiy to tirelessly work toward this end as part of the children of abraham, fulfilling the promises made to him. So in this way, I can agree that minimum requirements (although that is the exact wording used by others) may not be the best for wikipedia.
You said you consider this doctrine, "such an oversimplification as to be erroneous." That's fine. You are free to believe that. I do not. I got the words from President Packer at a Priesthood Leadership meeting - and it was re-enforced nearly word-for-word six month later by Elder Oveson of the Seventy (another GA). And I've heard it preached by other of the Brethren. No not in General Conference, but in my mind, I don't consider President Packer erroneous. Nor do I consider the doctrine strange or a stretch, as I understand the role of grace.
Sorry if this seems condescending. I'm not trying to be. I believe this dialogue will make the article better, and I do respect you and understand where you are coming from. Agree that minimum requirements is not the best word, and that we may be able to use scriptural terms for the requirements. Again sorry for the long post. Interested in your response. -Visorstuff 23:28, 1 December 2005 (UTC)
I'm sorry you didn't understand that my examples were rhetorical, intended to show the confusion that could easily arise from the terminology you have chosen to defend (and, indeed, your own response serves to support my case). I believe strongly that the term "minimum requirment", for the average Wikipedia reader, will leave an incorrect impression, particularly in conjunction with the reference to "keeping the ten commandments". One of Wikipedia's primary goals (correct me if I'm wrong) is to provide clear and accurate information. I don't feel that the information presented, as phrased, is such. If it is acceptable to you, I will rewrite it in such a way as to try to keep the information you feel is critical to present, while striving to put it in such a way as to be less misleading or confusing to the reader. And I still feel that (Scriptural) references should be cited (in the article) for the views presented. The Jade Knight 20:50, 2 December 2005 (UTC)
Agree, I look forward to your edit. -Visorstuff 00:25, 3 December 2005 (UTC)
Done; tell me if the new phrasing is acceptable. And if you would, kindly reference (with a citation) the "law of carnal commandments" bit and resurrection of the sons of perdition in the article? (referenced article = good) The Jade Knight 08:05, 3 December 2005 (UTC)

Edits by 68.116.236.198 & 172.133.115.71

The edit by 68.116.236.198 seems to be for self-promotion, so I have reverted it.

172.133.115.71, your edits are clearly not acceptable to many others. If you feel that they are an important contribution and should be included in the article, please state your case here so that it may be discussed before making further edits. The Jade Knight 04:46, 4 December 2005 (UTC)

"as God"

"The idea that mankind has the potential to become as God and inherit all that He has."

If this sentence is changed, one cannot simply replace words; the sentence is blatantly untrue (as well as being ill-constructed) if one simply replaces a word. Feel free to bring up discussion about proposed changes regarding this sentence here, however. The Jade Knight 04:45, 6 December 2005 (UTC)

The sentence is blatantly untrue??? If you are going to debate doctrine, please explain yourself. Changing "a" to "as" is a subtle change, but both are accurate. As I understand the Bible, we are to be co-inheritors with Christ; how does that conflict with this sentence?
Children grow to be like their parents. It is the best analogy for us growing to become like our Father in Heaven. I tend to shy away from using the statement of becoming a "god", but it is correct doctrine. However, in stating that it should also be understood that I also believe that we will eternally worship our Father in Heaven through His Son, Jesus. There will never be a time when we will be separate or independent from our Father. Storm Rider 07:16, 6 December 2005 (UTC)
"The idea that mankind has the potential to become a God and inherit all that He has." Note that this is saying that mankind has the potential to become a God. That's untrue for two reasons—mankind is not becoming a single god, any way you cut it, and there's a significant difference between "gods" and "a God" (capitalization is significant here). There are more problems with the sentence, but I'll leave it at this. I agree with Cookiecaper, below. The Jade Knight 08:08, 6 December 2005 (UTC)
I've never been clear if Mormons believe they will become 'as God', meaning, to me, inheriting traits like God or 'a (G)god' meaning, in part, becoming eternal beings who populate a plane of existance with their 'spirit children' and become it's supreme being. I get this meaning from the general idea of Mormon godhood. If it's 'as God', then what are the particular traits that will be inherited? If it's 'a God', big or little 'G', then there are many other questions I have.Gostport 22:16, 16 December 2005 (UTC)
This touches on the issue of divinisation, or theosis. For an exhaustive survey of Latter-day Saint beliefs of theosis in comparison to those of early Christianity, read "Partakers of the Divine Nature": A Comparative Analysis of the Patristic and Mormon Doctrines of Divinization by Father Jordan Vadja, who was a Catholic Priest at the time of writing. Father Vadja makes a strong point that LDS concepts of theosis are strikingly similar to those held by early Christians. To answer your question in brief: I don't thik it's a matter of "what" traits will be inhereted; if we are to become like God, we must likely inherit them all. The Jade Knight 04:11, 17 December 2005 (UTC)

I think as is the best terminology. Details on exaltation and theosis are scant, it's better not to make presumptions. Cookiecaper 07:36, 6 December 2005 (UTC)

Gostport, this is an area where not a lot of information has been revealed. The Bible is clear that we become co-inheritors with Christ; what do you think Christ will inherit. To me, that is pretty unlimited. Joseph Smith taught that we are the spirit children of our Father in Heaven. Through Christ we are given the opportunity to grow to become like the Father. I see both teachings to be in unison. Though the Gospel provides answers to questions, "Where do I come from", "Why am I here", and "Where will I go", those answers are not exhaustive. This may be something you should spend some time in study and prayer. If anything, Latter-day Saints believe in personal revelation. Storm Rider 00:09, 17 December 2005 (UTC)

Separating the ideas of "doctrine" and "truth"

I have read through the discussions on this page, and it seems that there is a lot of friction caused by confusing the idea of "what is true?" with "what does the church teach?" I know as a faithful LDS member drawing this distinction is not entirely comfortable. But as Wikipedia editors we must be capable of doing it. For any point of doctrine, expressing the "truth" may be possible or may not be possible. But expressing either the "general current belief", the "official correlated teaching", or the "scriptural statements" is almost certainly possible. Repenting of adultery, murder, and so forth? Forget what you personally believe and try to simply craft an accurate and relevant statement regarding LDS views on the matter. Becoming as God? Do the same. What the church teaches, or from a different angle, what most Mormons currently seem to believe, is not really that hard to determine. Tom Haws 00:16, 8 December 2005 (UTC)

One of the problems with this is that many editors feel that in order to keep NPOV and be as "truthful" as possible requires not only including what the church teaches, but what the church taught. Many seem to think that anything a General Authority ever says = something the church teaches/taught. The Jade Knight 03:29, 8 December 2005 (UTC)
The root of that problem is in defining the scope of an article and knowing our audience. Why would a reader happen by the article? What would we as the owner of Wikipedia as a whole hope to offer a reader in the article? We have to put on our Wikipedian hat. Tom Haws 03:49, 8 December 2005 (UTC)
Yes, I agree. I think readers may come looking for various things, however. Some people may be interested in learning what the Church is, or its scope. Some may be interested in trying to discover what Mormons truly do and do not believe (having heard many things). Some may be coming to try to dig up "dirt" about the Church to push their view. Some may come trying to verify certain "facts" they have heard (perhaps true, perhaps not). Some may be Latter Day Saints of other denominations trying to learn more about "the Utah Church". How do we fit all of this in an article, keep NPoV, and stay true to the facts and keep everything relevant without some involved discussions? The Jade Knight 05:46, 8 December 2005 (UTC)
Some involved discussions are very very neccessary. It is worth the pain. -Visorstuff 15:13, 8 December 2005 (UTC)
Thank you for that reminder! Most of us need it (I certainly do). The Scurvy Eye 18:35, 8 December 2005 (UTC)

A black mark upon church history

Jade Knight, just want to say that the changes you made were entirely reasonable and improved the quality of the article. One other thing that might be worth mentioning is that the 1979 revelation led to a number of racist Mormons schisming off. These schisms moved in the direction of fundamentalist Mormonism. However, I'd need to find a good citation first. Alienus 16:42, 16 December 2005 (UTC)

I would be interested in hearing about how many LDS members broke away from the Church after the priesthood revelation and how many started their own sect as a result of it. Have you got any definitive numbers or is it supposition from which you speak? I don't know the Fundamentalist groups well, but I am not aware of a significantly preached racist doctrine that brings people to them. Further, having grown up in the US South, I do know some members who were surprised by the revelation, but they accepted it. I do not know one individual who left the church as a result of it.
It is curious that you would call this episode a black mark upon the church. Does God have a black mark upon him that only the tribe Levi officiated in priesthood ordinances in ancient Israel? Is God sexist that he did not allow women to function in the priesthood then or now? Is it possible that we do not always understand God's actions? I think you can readily see that your comments are more a reflection of your personal beliefs than the beliefs of the LDS people. It is a far different thing when a people sit down and create something to discriminate against others and a people that honestly believe they follow God's commands. Storm Rider 21:09, 16 December 2005 (UTC)
As I said, I need to find a good citation first. That's because I no longer remember which source I got it from, except that it was something authoritative. Until I do find a suitable source, I have no intention of changing the article on that matter. If anyone were to make that change without citation, I would be the first to revert it due to lack of verifiability. In fact, I brought this whole thing up because I was hoping someone else might recognize it and point me to the source.
The Mormon church has schismed many, many times, often because the mainstream moved away from orthodoxy but some of the more orthodox members refused to budge. This is exactly the case for these fundamentalist Mormons, who broke off because they feel the LDS church should never have put aside plural marriage. The fundamentalist Mormons are hyper-conservative socially, which means bias on the basis of gender, sexual orientation and race. Therefore, it is entirely plausible that bigots among the mainstream church would flee to the fundie offshoots rather than allow black clergy.
I would definitely call the policy of overt discrimination by the church against blacks in clergy and marriage a black mark. Many people, particularly non-Mormons and fundie Mormons, take the church's reversal on 1978 as retreating from doctrine solely due to legal pressure, rather than moral initiative. If this is so, then that would likewise be a black mark against the church. Note that I've kept this at the sociological, not theological, level. None of what I said is a matter of personal faith, just simple history.
As for my own beliefs, I hold people personally accountable for what they choose to believe and how they act upon those beliefs, so I don't give bigotry a free pass just because some church supports it. All that does is allow the individual's guilt to be shared by the church, not wipe out the guilt in the first place. Alienus 21:48, 16 December 2005 (UTC)
"None of what I said is a matter of personal faith, just simple history."
History, my friend, is almost never a simple matter. It is impossible to avoid historiography. Even in your above comments, you reveal more than you intend—for example, your usage of the term "orthodox" underlies certain assumptions you make about what is "orthodox" and what is not. Certainly, the Fundamentalist Church is not "orthodox" if what you mean by "orthodox" is "adhering closely to an older form of Latter-day Saint theology." I am unaware of it ever being established doctrine, for example, that men must marry at least three wives to enter the Celestial kingdom. Moreover, cessation of polygamy and discrimination against blacks could easily be taken to be more orthodox movements, given LDS history.
Give your opinion, if you like, but please be wary of thinking that it is the same as "simple history". The Jade Knight 08:16, 18 December 2005 (UTC)
If you feel that any part of what I said is not historically accurate, please point it out, with supporting citations. As for my use of the word "orthodox", I think it's quite accurate. My dictionary confirms that orthodoxy is defined in terms of staying with tradition. Whenever a church changes its traditional doctrine, those who resist that change can be fairly termed orthodox.
Plural marriage is a fine example of a tradition that was changed, with some unwilling to accept the change. Even after this practice was put away, some continued to follow it, both within the church and within splinter groups and colonies. Later, some reactionary mainliners took the fundamentalist step of reinstating it, arguing that the doctrine should have remained in force all along.
It is often the case that apparently new doctrines are described as being a reinstatement of old ones, sometimes with some level of justification. For example, you might be saying that, by allowing blacks into the clergy and temple, the church has gone back to the good old days before Brigham Young took over and messed things up. You might even be saying that, by disallowing plural marriage, it's gone back to before the revelation that started it and the policy decision that ended it. For that matter, Joseph Smith said his new religion was just a reinstatement of what Jesus created and the Catholic church messed up.
To this, I say "So what?" The fact that matters is that Mormon fundamentalists see racism and polygamy as valid traditions that they proudly recreate, as per their interpretation and adapted to modern needs. Ask them; they'll confirm it. This is history, as simple as it gets. 10:16, 18 December 2005 (UTC)
You clearly missed my point; I'm not talking about "accuracy" at all (a misleading statement, indeed!) but historiography. Your use of the word "orthodoxy" was merely one example of the bias in your historiography. Originally in the Church, polygamy was forbidden, and blacks were given the Priesthood. Changing "away" from this would constitute, in your definition, unorthodoxy. Furthermore, changing back to these original states would be returning to orthodoxy, on the same note. What I am saying is that it's all a matter of perspective and historiography. You seem to agree with me; history is not plain or simple, particularly when one is using terms like "orthodoxy"; the Fundemantalist Church clearly has a different interpretation of things as do certain others, as you so kindly point out.
Again, it's quite clearly "not simple", and your arrogance about it doesn't serve anyone. The Jade Knight 03:07, 19 December 2005 (UTC)
First, apologize for the personal attack. Now.
Second, think again before you bring up the history of how plural marriage entered into orthodoxy. Do you really want to talk about a pregnant girl named Fanny Alger or the wives of Smith's associates who got pregnant by him? It's not pretty.
Third, it's also irrelevant. These doctrines didn't exist at the start because there was no church at the start. As the church formed, the doctrines came into practice and became orthodox, remaining so until they were put aside. That they were not eternal does not stop them from being orthodox. A dishonest person might pick and choose moments in time that they count while disregarding inconvenient ones, but wouldn't that be terrible historiography?
Fourth, to address a point that I hadn't covered directly, the Mormon fundie doctrine requiring multiple wives for heaven is an exaggeration of the original doctrine that allowed multiple wives while encouraging them only for certain members of the community, such as the leaders. Note also that, according to them, even a bachelor can get into heaven, just not the highest level of it. Of course, they have the opportunity to marry in the afterlife, so all is not lost. I don't endorse this doctrine, just report it. Alienus 16:17, 19 December 2005 (UTC)
The personal attack? Give me another word for your actions other than "arrogant", please. You are ignoring some of the basic principles of modern Historical methodology (recognition of bias), and asserting that you assuredly know better. What would you call this?
Second, that has nothing to do with the discussion (other than to further illustrate my point). Once again, I'm talking about historiography. Please, stay on topic.
Once again, this is your interpretation. Please be mature enough to realize that these issues are disputed, even among brilliant and respected scholars. Or do you have a PhD in Mormon History, and are providing your original research in the field? Certainly, facts should not be ignored, but not everything that makes it into a book is factual; you should already be aware of this.
Your fourth point is irrelevant; compare the beliefs of the Church of Christ (Temple Lot) (and the reasoning behind their organisation and beliefs) to those of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, for example. Again, you're filtering the facts through your own viewpoint. I believe someone once called that "terrible historiography". The Jade Knight 21:05, 19 December 2005 (UTC)
I've read over your response, looking for parts that were not purely ad hominem. Haven't found much. Do you actually have a point or are you just being hostile? If it's the former, make it more clear. If it's the latter, re-read Wikipedia policies on personal attack [5] until they sink in. Alienus 01:07, 20 December 2005 (UTC)
I have iterated my point a great many times. I will do so once more: You are confusing historiography with historical fact. There's nothing personal about that. The Jade Knight 08:36, 20 December 2005 (UTC)

Alienus, you have not answered any questions I posed. Then you go off the deep end stating you can remember your "authoritative" source and then warn everyone else that should they spout opinion different from your you will revert them because they do not have a source?!? So who made you king of WIKI articles. You get to state opinion from some memory of having read it, yet everyone else has to stick to the higher standard of stating sources. This is the kind of tripe that drives good editors from WIKI. Either live by the same standard or resist your egotistical drive to edit. You obviously have a good mind, but your ego is overwhelming your better qualities.

BTW, the church has not retreated from the doctrine of plural marriage as you put it. Get the facts straight. As long as it is the law of the land, plural marriage will not be practiced. Please appreciate that "history" is factual. However, you have taken simple history and rewrote to achieve your objectives and to grind your own axe. Discrimination? Was it discrimination that only Levites hold the priesthood in ancient Israel? You cloak yourself in, "I've kept this at the sociological, not theological, level." Of course you do, becuase to put it in a theological level one understands motivations, reasons, and logic. Can't grind the axe so easily doing that can we! Storm Rider 20:01, 18 December 2005 (UTC)

One of the things I've enjoyed when discussing religion and history with Mormons is that they typically show a genuine desire to understand what I'm saying. They don't always succeed, and they certainly don't always wind up agreeing with me, but they at least make the effort to grasp what I'm saying and give it serious thought before expressing disagreement.
That's been my experience, but you don't fit into this mold. Rather, you repeatedly show a lack of ability to understand me. Therefore, I'm going to correct some of your larger errors, in the interest of setting the record straight. Perhaps you might even calm down long enough to understand why you were wrong. Perhaps not. Either way:
1) Actually, what I said was that I remember this fact from an authoritative source but can't place quite who it was. At this point, I suspect I know, but I'll hold off on any claims until I dig up the book. Now, what I also said was that it would be inappropriate to make the claim until I had support, and I would apply this same standard to anyone else who made this claim, by removing their text insertion. After all, one of the key rules of Wikipedia si that everything must have verifiable sources. I don't know how you failed to understand this, but if you scroll up, it's right there.
2) I was quite clear above in differentiating between the way the practices of plural marriage and sanctioned discrimination against blacks ended. In specific, I pointed out that the second was overturned by a revelation, while the former was a tradition that was changed but not officially removed. The church is still willing to seal multiple women to a man in the afterlife, just not wed them in the here and now. Once again, my statements were accurate and clear, but you failed to understand them. Perhaps your hostility clouded your judgement.
3) You did ask some questions, but they were clearly rhetorical, so I didn't bother answering them directly. I did, however, answer them indirectly by covering the issue they raised. The issue is whether various limitations on priesthood count as discrimination. I answered this above, with my comment about holding people accountable for what they believe.
To make this very specific, if you choose to believe that it's ok to discriminate against women or blacks so as to prevent them from having authority within the church, then I hold you personally accountable for this choice. To the extent thst your own church is democratic instead of authoritarian, you could have stated and protested this policy. Otherwise, there are other churches that lack these discriminatory policies, and you could have joined those instead, or not joined any at all. Saying it's not your fault because you're just going along with the doctrines of the church is, to bring up an ugly but accurate analogy, no more credible than a Nazi at a death camp insisting that he's just being a good German. You don't get to pass the buck to those in authority, ever.
4) I avoid the theological level because there's no way to debate faith. One person can claim faith in one thing, while the next claims faith in its opposite, and there is simply no way to resolve this. Once faith comes in, all debate ends. What doesn't end, however, is responsibility. Alienus 23:58, 18 December 2005 (UTC)
Perhaps what is lacking is your ability to explain, not his ability to understand. I say that purely rhetorically; you are starting to involve ad hominem attacks, and that is particularly unnecessary. The Jade Knight 03:17, 19 December 2005 (UTC)
Need I remind you that this conversation started with my thanking you for your changes and asking you for advice, only to be drawn into a debate by Storm Rider, and then subjected to ad hominems from both of you? You called me arrogant and he called me egotistical, when I'd been quite polite up to that point. Even then, I restrained myself in my response and addressed the issues without making them personal. I suggest you apologize for your own slights and avoid trying to defend Storm Rider for his. Alienus 15:59, 19 December 2005 (UTC)
You have yet to apologize for your own ad hominem assaults; I see no way to describe your actions on this thread other than "arrogance". I am sorry if this term offends you; I will gladly change it for one that is equally descriptive of your approach to this conversation. Perhaps "unreasonable self-confidence" is a more acceptable term? The Jade Knight 21:18, 19 December 2005 (UTC)
I am limited in that I can only apologize for what I've done, not what others incorrectly ascribe to me. You seem more limited, in that you have shown no ability to apologize even for the comments you actually made. Alienus 01:10, 20 December 2005 (UTC)
If only you were willing to take your own advice. Let's drop the issue of apology, eh? It seems that it will only engender more contention. The Jade Knight 08:36, 20 December 2005 (UTC)
Alienus, the LDS church has been run by authority and revelation since it was established. The Manifesto was as much revelatory as the lift of the Priesthood ban. The reasons for both of these changes are unknown and certainly not as clearcut as you try to make them. The decisions God makes aren't up to us, we're just being good humans. Seriously. 70.246.226.161 05:33, 19 December 2005 (UTC)
The world is full of people who say they're just doing what God demands of them, and yet these people often disagree, even to the point of killing each other. Now, you could blame God for this, or you could instead hold them personally responsible for their beliefs and actions. I do the latter. The decisions we make are up to us and only we are accountable for them. Seriously. Search this page for my reference to good Germans.
As for the first manifesto, it did not cite a specific revelation, nor was it a total refutation of plural marriage. It is to this day considered correct doctrine, just not practiced. Actually, there was a history of continued sanctioning of polygamy even after the first Manifesto, but that seemed to have mostly ended with the second. It's not nearly as complicated as some people would make it out to be. Alienus 15:59, 19 December 2005 (UTC)
As nice as your Humanism is, Alenus, this is hardly the place to begin a discussion on the merits of various philosophical approaches to life. The Jade Knight 21:18, 19 December 2005 (UTC)
This is the place to discuss matters of historical fact. Perhaps you'll do that at some point. For example, do you have any comments regarding the two anti-polygamy manifestos? While you're at it, can you guess where the next quote comes from and how it applies?
"Using someone's political affiliations as a means of dismissing or discrediting their views - regardless of whether said political affilitions are mainstream or extreme."
Think it through. Alienus 01:14, 20 December 2005 (UTC)
Yes, this is the place to discuss matters of historical fact. This:
Now, you could blame God for this, or you could instead hold them personally responsible for their beliefs and actions. I do the latter. The decisions we make are up to us and only we are accountable for them. Seriously.
is not exactly what I would call "historical fact". I have no issue with your personal philosophies or beliefs; I am more bothered that you seem to me to be completely oblivious to the concept of historiography and how it affects interpretation of "historical fact". The Jade Knight 08:36, 20 December 2005 (UTC)

We are way off topic here and there is already an article on Joseph Smith plural wives. However, you brought up Fanny Alger's pregnancy and the pregnant wives of Joseph's associates. I am not aware of any legitmate reserach that has proved Joseph had offspring by other women besides Emma. I am aware of a study where hundreds of thousands of dollars has been spent trying to prove Joseph had other offspring, but nothing has been proved yet. Yes, I am aware of the allegations found in anti-Mormon literature, but it is all specualtion. LDS are not afraid of history and you, Alienus, speak of it as we would be concerned if you brought a topic up. You do not possess some secret knowledge that would shock or disturb other LDS people. In your mind, you might think it is not "pretty", and lies are often not pretty. But please don't go around threatening people with lies that you believe are historic facts. When the DNA research is completed we will all find out if Joseph had other offspring, until then don't assume speculation is truth. And yes, I do hold people to falsehoods they wave as truth.

In closing, I freely admit that I can be a bit of a hothead. I gladly apologize to all that I have offended. I have had my fill of lies paraded as truth and having LDS articles being held to standards not found in other major religion articles (see the Catholic church article and how all "anti" information is related to other articles). For some reason, people feel justified in spouting Anti-Mormon literature as if it were truth without doing any reserach to determine its validity. In addition, I am aware of Mormons who resist admitting historical fact. Though there is fault on both sides, I find a greater fault with those outside the LDS church. They are relentless in their attack while only a few seem to be sincere in their research.

Further, I can misinterpret the meanings of editors and have done that on other occasions as well. I suspect that I will do so in the future. As I tried in this article, I will ask questions first to attempt to gain understanding and if I still do not undersand I will try to continue asking questions. Storm Rider 18:36, 19 December 2005 (UTC)

One technique I've seen by FARMS-trained apologists is to immediately brand any objective history books as "anti-Mormon". I've always found it very dishonest to pretend that, just because a book's conclusions do not favor a rosey view of Mormons, it must be in some way against Mormonism. Having said that, I've always been amazed by how much enmity Mormons have generated, particularly among typical Protestant fundies, so there's no shortage of nonsense out there.
When you put aside this mess of warring partisan groups, the truth is still there to be found. I'm not talking about sort of secret knowledge, just the facts available to all. Some of these facts make Mormons look good, some don't. We do know that Smith married a number of other women, some without his first wife's consent or knowledge. Likewise, the legacy of polygamy is not a pretty one, nor is the amount of concealment and deception that the church engaged in. For that matter, discrimination against blacks is ugly no matter who sanctions it. If recognizing these facts makes me "anti-Mormon" in your eyes, I can live with that. The question is whether you can live with yourself after branding me anti-Mormon just for stating the facts. Alienus 20:17, 19 December 2005 (UTC)
Silly, silly boy. I never said you were anti-Mormon; however, some of the things you cite as facts are typical anti-Mormon propaganda with no basis in reality. It sounds like you claim they are "objective". Let's just agree to disagree on what is responsible research and what is not. In addition, I notice anytime a Mormon claims something is anti-Mormon, the knee jerk reaction is to claim they are closed minded. This is a tool used to discredit the other side and is beneath one of your intellect.
Just to set the record straight, I am certainly not trained by FARMS; I am a simple member of the LDS church. You should be surprised at the enmity against Mormons by Protestants; I am likewise surprised by the amount of literature they put out on an annual basis to discredit another church. It is almost like they are afraid of something. That is another conversation for another day. Lastly, it is interesting that after stating that there was a miscommunication issue that you would so obviously misinterpret what I said...it is almost as if you want to argue. I certain that is not your real desire so let's all move on and stop this nonsense. Storm Rider 01:23, 20 December 2005 (UTC)
I personally doubt that Storm Rider has been trained by FARMS. Furthermore, labelling anything that's critical of Mormonism or the Church "anti-Mormon" is actually a cultural aspect of (LDS) Mormonism, and has nothing to do with being "FARMS-trained". The term "anti-Mormon" (frequently shortened to simply "Anti") is known by virtually every Latter-day Saint (and many who are not); I don't feel that this is the place to argue about whether the term is beneficial or not, however—and I am specifically not implying that it should or should not be upheld here.
To quote Napoleon: "What is history but a fable agreed upon?" It's quite easy for people to publish lies or half-truths and call them "facts", Alienus. Martha Nibley Beck's Leaving the Saints is a particularly obvious example of this. I do not brand you "anti-Mormon", but I will repeat once again that what you are stating is hardly factual. The Jade Knight 21:31, 19 December 2005 (UTC)
I don't remember saying he was FARMS-trained. In fact, I have no compelling reason to believe that he is. I do remember speaking about a habit of those who are. In specific, they tend to immediately brand books as "anti-Mormon". This is a habit he shares with those people.
History is not a fable, it's claims that can be supported by, ultimately, independent contemporaneous accounts. This is necessarily going to leave us with conflicting accounts, which means we have to resolve the conflicts to determine what most likely happened. Some books considered "anti-Mormon" are personal accounts and should be treated as such, while others are scholarly works. We should recognize the difference. Alienus 01:45, 20 December 2005 (UTC)
Then your comment was irrelevant, and served no purpose other than to either at best, congest this page, or, at worst, inflame.
I should have been more clear; I do not personally believe history is a fable at all. I used the quotation rhetorically (and with a pinch of cynicism); I meant to underline the point that historiography makes quite a difference.
You appear to be quick to discount peer-reviewed scholarly works such as those published by FARMS, but quick to support any other book that is self-labelled as "scholarly" that is critical of the Church. Thus I, once again, return to my point about historiography. The Jade Knight 08:36, 20 December 2005 (UTC)

Alienus - I'm suprised that you haven't apologized to StormRider as well. In reading your back-and-forth, I'd say you attacked just as much as he did. Yet he apologized. We all look forward to your citation.

You also wrote: "As for the first manifesto, it did not cite a specific revelation." Umm, perhaps no the "manifesto" document directly - as it was written to the Government. But the rest of the conference in which it was delivered did. And it was suported directly after in the statement by Lorenzo Snow when the people voted to sustain it. And then in the discource by WW directly after (as well as in other conferences - you can read some in the OD #1). He said:

I want to say to all Israel that the step which I have taken in issuing this manifesto has not been done without earnest prayer before the Lord. I am about to go into the spirit world, like other men of my age. I expect to meet the face of my Heavenly Father -- the Father of my spirit; I expect to meet the face of Joseph Smith, of Brigham Young, of John Taylor, and of the apostles, and for me to have taken a stand in anything which is not pleasing in the sight of God, or before the heavens, I would rather have gone out and been shot...I ask my Heavenly Father to pour out his spirit upon me, as his servant, that in my advanced age, and during the few days I have to spend here in the flesh, I may be led by his inspiration. I say to Israel, the Lord will never permit me or any other man who stands as president of this Church to lead you astray. It is not in the program. It is not in the mind of God. If I were to attempt that the Lord would remove me out of my place, and so he will any other man who attempts to lead the children of men astray from the oracles of God and from their duty. God bless you. Amen. -- MS 52:739-741 (1890).

Later he said:

The Latter-day Saints should not get the idea that the Lord has forsaken his people, or that he does not reveal his mind and will; because such an idea is not true. The Lord is with us, and has been with us from the beginning. This Church has never been led a day except by revelation. And he will never leave it. It matters not who lives or who dies, or who is called to lead this Church, they have got to lead it by the inspiration of Almighty God. If they do not do it that way, they cannot do it all. The Lord will not fail in these last days, and He will fulfil all that he has promised through his prophets and apostles, until Zion arises in its glory, and the Bride, the Lamb's wife, is prepared for the coming of the great Bridegroom.
I made some remarks last Sunday at Brigham City upon this same principle -- revelation...It is by that power that we have led Israel. By that power President Young presided over and led the Church. By the same power President John Taylor presided over and led the Church. And that is the way I have acted, according to the best of my ability, in that capacity. I do not want the Latter-day Saints to understand that the Lord is not with us, and that he is not giving revelation to us; for he is giving us revelation, and will give us revelation until this scene is wound up.

Second you wrote: "It is to this day considered correct doctrine, just not practiced." Umm, as it is not taught, it is not considered anything. Any speculation as to polygamy and its future, or anything else, is speculation. Church leaders do not teach plural marriage. Period.

Third, your history of Smith's wives (and children) is strange and non-factual. Very interested in your authoritative sources. -Visorstuff 00:13, 20 December 2005 (UTC)

First, maybe you're seeing something in these quotes that I'm not. Specific revelations speak of God or His messengers expliciting visiting and conveying His will on a matter. These quotes talk about Snow praying a lot and being generally confident that, as leader of the church, he necesarily acts as God desires. In short, it's claiming general revelation, but nothing more specific. Moreover, even if we were to put this on par with a specific revelation, it still wouldn't be equivalent to the turnabout on discrimination against blacks, which is what we're contrasting it against in the first place.
Second, the whole point here is that polygamy is in a strange holding area where it's not sanctioned (or, as you pointed out, taught) and anyone who so much as endorses it has signed their own excommunication, and yet it's also not written out of doctrine. Consider that, to this day, a widower's second wife can be sealed to him, but only one man can be sealed to a woman. Some of this is covered already in the plural marriage article.
Third, if there's something in specific you wish to discuss, please be clear. I used a number of wild and crazy sources, including horrible anti-Mormon tripe, such as "No Man Knows My History". Alienus 01:45, 20 December 2005 (UTC)
Alienus, we still believe that it was correct for blacks not to have received the Priesthood during the period that was disallowed. We do not regret obeying the Lord, the ultimate authority. Cookiecaper 00:36, 20 December 2005 (UTC)
I'm sure some Mormons take the same party line as you do. While it would generally not be fair to hold people accountable for the actions of their ancestors and predecessors, anyone who endorses these practices as having been correct opens themselves up to being held responsible for this. Alienus 01:45, 20 December 2005 (UTC)

After reading the above threads, I am left to wonder why Alienus even brought the subject up when he had no citation. The Scurvy Eye 00:40, 20 December 2005 (UTC)

I thought that was clear. I brought it up here precisely because I was under the mistaken impression that the people who read the Talk page are objective scholars who might be able to help me find a citation. Instead, I've been attacked by Mormon zealots. Alienus 01:45, 20 December 2005 (UTC)
Alienus, while I am not a professional Historian, I do have a degree of training in the field of History, and this is why I am so bothered by your claims of having "simple" and "objective" truth. Unfortunately for you, I suppose, few of us are interested in finding citations for minor schisms in the Church; I, for one, am not even aware of a breakoff sect founded at that time. The Jade Knight 08:48, 20 December 2005 (UTC)
I've already gathered that there was no interest in helping me look this up, thanks. In fact, you didn't even correctly summarize what I was talking about. I wasn't talking about "minor schisms" after 1978, but the movement of certain mainstream Mormons into existing Mormon fundamentalist sects as a result of unwillingness to accept black lay clergy. As for simplicity, I've always found that anyone who wants to make it too simple or too complex is hiding something; the truth is generally somewhere in the middle. Alienus 23:18, 20 December 2005 (UTC)
After divisions like those after Joseph's death and the breakaway groups like the Fundamentalist Church (as well as others), this strikes me as a "minor schism"; usually, when a large body of people in the church have objected to something, they have formed a new sect. This is still true today. The Jade Knight 23:28, 20 December 2005 (UTC)

Alienus - First of all, I'm not sure all of the editors in this particular dialogue are LDS, let alone "zealots." I know I've had my fair share of disagreements with these folks. Second, I was quoting WWoodruff, not Snow. In his diary, there are many pages of revelations that he recieved. I included the specific quotes, hoping that you would look up the sources and learn more. Had you done this, you would have found some of the most detailed expositions on revelation - and how not everything a prophet after joseph smith will be detailed out to the membership of the church in the same way. It even discusses why. Here is an excerpt (by the way, this is all taken from the discources of Wilford Woodruff @215-220).

Read the life of Brigham Young and you can hardly find a revelation that he had wherein he said, "Thus saith the Lord;" but the Holy Ghost was with him; he taught by inspiration and by revelation. But with one exception he did not give those revelations in the form that Joseph did; for they were not written and given as revelations and commandments to the church in the words and name of the Savior. Joseph said, "Thus saith the Lord" almost every day of his life in laying the foundation of this work. But those who followed him have not deemed it always necessary to say "Thus saith the Lord"; yet they have led the people by the power of the Holy Ghost; and if you want to know what that is, read the first six verses of the 68th section of the book of Doctrine and Covenants, where the Lord told Orson Hyde, Luke Johnson, Lyman Johnson and William E. McLellin to go out and preach the gospel to the people as they were moved upon by the Holy Ghost: And whatsoever they shall speak when moved upon by the Holy Ghost shall be scripture, shall he the will of the Lord, shall be the mind of the Lord, shall be the word of the Lord, shall be the voice of the Lord, and the power of God unto salvation. It is by that power that we have led Israel. By that power President Young presided over and led the Church. By the same power President John Taylor presided over and led the Church. And that is the way I have acted, according to the best of my ability, in that capacity.

In Mormonism, a prophet often receives revelation - and it is written down - however, it is not often needed to be shared with all. Joseph Smith is the prophet of the restoration, and his words are standardized. We do have and can study other revelations from Brigham Young, John Taylor, Lorenzo Snow, Wilford Woodruff, Joseph F. Smith, Heber J. Grant, David O. McKay, Spencer Kimball and Howard W. Hunter that I'm aware of, some I have read, others I have not. In any case, revelation does not NEED to be canonized for it to be doctrinal or revelation. In two cases, the manifesto and the revelation on the priesthood, the brethren have seen fit to include a declaration that an revelation has been received, rather than the full revelation. I'm sure that one day we'll find out. In any case, the pages of WW journal during the period of the manifesto contain blank pages, where things were tacked on, and later removed - either by himself or others. Something was received and written, but I haven't been able to read it.

In the Community of Christ branch of Mormonism, the prophet often uses the phrase "thus saith the lord" prior to sharing revelation. This usually and traditionally has occurred in conferences of the church or over the pulpit.

I'd gladly help you find a citation, but what you've referenced does not exist to my knowledge. I consider myself well-read, but you've gone out on a limb that is unsupported from a source perspective, unless its some speculative biased source that guesses rather than uses documentation. Do you have any other suggestions that can help us pinpoint the source? I'm not sure it exists. We are glad to help, but you've been as attacking on StormRider as he has on you. Don't be defensive, we are not trying to gang up on you or offend you, but are trying to understand your point. -Visorstuff 05:08, 20 December 2005 (UTC)

1) Some of you, though not necessarily all, are Mormons. And some of these Mormons, though not necessarily all, are zealots. I didn't mean to suggest that all of you are Mormon zealots, but the term does apply fairly to some. Zealotry is as zealotry does.
2) Thanks for the long quote and explanation, but I think we covered all this in reference to specific and general revelations. In fact, the tendency to move from the former to the latter isn't some recent thing but can be traced right back to Smith. Early on, he offered specific revelations all the time. Later, he relied on his general authority as established by previous revelations. This was mentioned in a few places, most memorably in Brodie's biography. In any case, as I pointed out, neither of the anti-polygamy manifestos actually removed plural marriage from doctrine, just sanctioned practice (and not all that quickly, either).
3) Actually, the source is one of the books in a pile right next to me. I skimmed through them in an attempt to decide which one to read first, and that passage caught my eye. Unfortunately, I don't remember which one of the books it came from. Was it "I Hate All Mormons!!!" or "Mormons Must Die!"? These are all such good, objective sources that I just can't remember. Alienus 06:04, 20 December 2005 (UTC)
Well, if you do manage to find it, look up the citation that will inevitably go with the assertation; that would give us all something to start on. The Jade Knight 08:48, 20 December 2005 (UTC)
It's really more of a when than an if, since I've narrowed it down to a single stack of books. I'll read these books as time permits, keeping an eye out for what struck me last time. Rest assured that, when I modify the article to speak of departures from the mainline church in the wake of black priests, I'll cite the source so that you and all the apologists can look it up. Alienus 23:18, 20 December 2005 (UTC)
Wonderful! I'll be very interested to see further information on the topic; I am quite curious to know just how many people did leave the Church over this issue. The Jade Knight 23:28, 20 December 2005 (UTC)

As would I. I know it was not uncommon for some in the south to go "less active" over the issue, but in fact, church membership grew rapidly after 1978 due to the revelation. Many attribute that change and the block schedule to a rise in cultural mormons who attended sunday meetings, but didn't live the gospel as fully as their pre-block schedule counterparts who were required to sacrifice more for church meetings during the week. I'd love to read evidence to the contrary, but having studied membership numbers, I'm not seeing a mass exodus of any sort. -Visorstuff 23:42, 20 December 2005 (UTC)

In case it's not clear, I think the 1978 policy change was a good thing and would not be the least bit surprised that it helped the church grow. The issue, however, is whether this growth came at the expense of losing some hardliners who didn't want to accept the change. When I hit upon the paragraph that covers this, I'll be back with citations in hand. Until then, I'm not sure I have much to add to this conversation. Alienus 09:00, 21 December 2005 (UTC)

I have been able to find a source about the "outrage" of fundamentalists at the LDS church's position on allowing blacks, but not anything, even in the papers, about people leaving en masse. I'll keep looking however, I don't think a source exists that can document it. -Visorstuff 22:10, 21 December 2005 (UTC)

Questions at end times

Some questions have been raised about Mormon beliefs at Talk:End times. There seems to be no page that discusses Latter Day Saints eschatology generally. I have looked, perhaps too superficially, for LDS beliefs about the Last Judgment and the Second Coming. I am also wondering if any LDS members or groups have been influenced by the sort of dispensationalist end-times beliefs — generally, the belief that the Second Coming may be imminent, and that recent historical events are signs that it is drawing closer — that are prevalent among many Americans generally. Is there a Mormon literature about end-times belief that I should acquaint myself with? Smerdis of Tlön 05:43, 20 December 2005 (UTC)

In short: From its foundation, members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints have generally believed that they lived in the "last days" (thus the appelation "Latter-day Saints"). I am unaware of any single book that discusses Mormon eschatology exhaustively, though I am sure bits and pieces of it can be found in many places. However, this website may be helpful: http://ldslastdays.com/ I have only looked at one or two articles on it, myself, but, if nothing else, the webmaster may be better able to point you in the right direction. The Jade Knight 08:58, 20 December 2005 (UTC)
Thank you, this is most helpful. Smerdis of Tlön 16:13, 20 December 2005 (UTC)
You might want to check out http://www.whyprophets.com as well. Look at The Future section under Beasts and Horns from the "Start Here" contents page and you should be able to get around pretty easily. But remember that a lot of that is just the author's opinion and not official doctrine. There are some good pages with comparison of general Protestantisms views of the end times, the rapture, etc. Cookiecaper 16:45, 20 December 2005 (UTC)

I would also reccomend looking in "Mormon Doctrine" by Bruce R. McConckie or "Doctrines of Salvation" by Joseph Fielding Smith. The Scurvy Eye 22:04, 20 December 2005 (UTC)

"Jesus the Christ" by James E. Talmage would also be a good source. Val42 22:11, 20 December 2005 (UTC)

Agree that "Doctrines of Salvation" is one of the best Mormon eschatology sources available. -Visorstuff 23:12, 20 December 2005 (UTC)

Has it been suggested to write a Latter Day Saints eschatology page? The Scurvy Eye 18:59, 29 December 2005 (UTC) And (if it has not) may I suggest doing so?The Scurvy Eye 19:09, 30 December 2005 (UTC)

Church Name Issues

The name of the LDS Church eventually drove the RLDS to drop a similar name and go by the much shorter "Community of Christ". This was a long and on-going identity issue that anyone familiar with the question "What is the difference between you and the LDS Church?" can relate to.

At about the same time that the RLDS became the Community of Christ, the LDS started encouraging the use of "The Church of Jesus Christ" as a shortened reference. This has resulted in another identity crisis with the Mormon sect known as The Church of Jesus Christ, aka "Bickertonites". Attempts to get the much larger LDS Church to back off of this name infringement have not met with much success. Ben the Bickertonite

I'm not sure how the LDS church "drove" the RLDS and Bickertonites to change their names or have some sort of crisis. The official name of the LDS church has been "The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints" since the 1850s (since 1838 if you drop the hyphenation in the "Latter-day" and the "The"). If they can't handle the LDS church having the same name for 150+ years, then I say that's their problem, not anyone else's. --nihon 02:55, 25 December 2005 (UTC)

I did not say the LDS church drove the RLDS name change. I seriously doubt that any "conspiracy" or intent was at play. It was the name itself and the ensuing confusion. I modified the above to make more clear my intent. However, the subsequent comment by Nihonjoe is typical of the reaction by Utah LDS folk towards other latter day saint group members. Seems like we could do better as christians.

First, I moved this section of discussion down to the bottom because, traditionally, new discussions are at the bottom.

Okay. No malicious intent here.

Second, the point of the discussion: I'm not familiar with the Reorganized Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints issue. But I suspect that the change from RLDS (expanded) to the Community of Christ has more to do with their change in doctrine from the Godhead to the Trinity than with crowding by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

I have to disagree. They did not change their godhead view but have tended to be more open on the godhead interpretations by members. As one who has a large number of Community of Christ latter day saint friends, I have been told by many who voted for the name change that they were just tired of being defined in terms of who they were NOT.

The Bickertonites are a separate issue. The proper name of their church is The Church of Jesus Christ. There is another denomination that also goes by The Church of Jesus Christ, the Cutlerites. Also, preceding (about 1995?) the 2002 Winter Olympic games in Salt Lake City, Utah, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, knowing that some attention would be on itself during the Olympics, made a press release as to what name(s) should be used by the press when reporting on the church.

Actually, the proper name of our church does NOT include the word "Bickertonite" at all. The article got it right. An EXPANDED legal naming adds the location of the church headquarters. The Cutlerite folk add the term "Cutlerite" to their now semi-defunct website.

First usage was supposed to be the full name of the church. After that, the church prefered "The Church of Jesus Christ". After that, I'm not sure but I think that "LDS Church" was acceptable and "Mormon Church" wasn't. However, it was suggested that members could be referred to as "members of ..." or "Mormons".
This second suggested usage is what is currently "squeezing" The Church of Jesus Christ (both denominations). I don't know how much the CoJCoLDS's (expanded) suggestions are used, but I've seen "LDS Church" or "Mormon Church" used in the media where the church's second suggestion would be used. Both denominations probably see their church's name used when the CoJCoLDS (expanded) is meant so they notice it more often. As far as I know, proper distinctions are made on Wikipedia, but I haven't seen everywhere. Val42 05:04, 25 December 2005 (UTC)

From an LDS perspective, your position is satisfying. For those of us who love the Book of Mormon, want to live and let live, and want to be recognized as DISTINCT from the LDS, this stroke of a pen policy has had some big issues.

Case in point: the LDS Church refers to smaller groups of saints who meet together for worship as a "branch". The other churches that trace back to Nauvoo still use this term the way the LDS now use the "newer" (but by no means new!) term "Ward". In Allentown, PA, shorlty after the annoucement about the nickname change, one of the smaller units in that region had their church listed as The Church of Jesus Christ, Allentown Branch in some yellow page-type publications. Since Pennsylvania is a Bickertonite stronghold, this did lead to some confusion and issues. The closest branch of The Church of Jesus Christ is in Levitttown, PA or in New Brunswick, NJ. Similar such cases have occurred in California, another Bickertonite stronghold. Ben the Bickertonite

Thanks for the enlightenment. But what I get from what you have said above is not what I get from what it says in the opening paragraphs of the Church of Jesus Christ (Bickertonite) article. I could modify it based on what you have said here, but I think that I'd missed some subtleties.
Also, from what you have said about branch/ward should be added to the Ward (Mormonism) article. I've structured it towards wards/branches in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints because that is what I have enough information about to add useful information. I'll restructure it, add what information I got from what you've said above, and let you fix the mistakes that I've made. This restructuring may encourage others in the Latter Day Saint movement to add their information about wards as well.
Also, Ben, you should also sign up for an account on Wikipedia. It doesn't require that you use your real name or even fill in any information on your user page. But it does help on these talk pages to know that we're talking to the same person. And once you get your account, you can sign your edits on the talk page(s) by using four tildes. (i.e.: ~~~~) It uses a consistent format and shows more information.
In accordance with what I understand from "Ben the Bickertonite" about other Latter Day Saint movement congregations, I have made Branch (Mormonism) and Ward (Mormonism) separate article with appropriate re-references. If I've made mistakes, please make the corrections. Val42 18:12, 26 December 2005 (UTC)

Second Coming

I don't seem to see much about LDS beliefs regarding the Second Coming. I believe this deserves some attention. However, I'd like to hear your ideas on the matter before doing something about it. The Scurvy Eye 22:25, 3 January 2006 (UTC)

Hmm... I don't know... It seems (to me) like a fairly minor point - first of all, it's not too distinctive from other Chiristian beliefs (except for rejection of the Rapture). Second of all, it's not really that big a deal to mention - shouldn't we be mentioning quite a few other beliefs as well?

Then again, it is a belief of the Church, and it is there nonetheless. Also, there are no limits to included information, since this isn't a paper encyclopedia.

Overall, I'm hesitant to put that into the article. Perhaps a request for an article (on WP:LDS) for Second Coming (Mormonism) would be appropraite? --Trevdna 15:52, 5 January 2006 (UTC)

I think so. Anyone else's thoughts? The Scurvy Eye 20:09, 5 January 2006 (UTC)

I don't think this is a minor point. My vote is to begin drafting it into the main body of the article. I agree...there are no limits to information because we're not dealing with print, here! I believe this issue is entirely relavent and worth including because it's a central (and timely) tenet of LDS faith, especially since many LDS believe they're witnessing the "signs of the times" in the daily news. A Second Coming section should even perhaps rank fairly high in the article matter, too. The very name of the Church implies that the Second Coming is imminent. People visiting Wikipedia ought to know why LDS/Mormons believe so. Not to mention, LDS doctrine regarding the second coming is interpreted somewhat differently from other Christian churches, especially when interpreting the Book of Revelation. --Piewalker 21:27, 16 January 2006 (UTC)

Exactly, that's why I think it deserves a whole article by itself. I intend to start writing soon (I'm a sophomore in high school, with lots of homework:))The Scurvy Eye 04:35, 17 January 2006 (UTC)
Okay, another article would be great and all, but I'm arguing that a good portion of that can also be included in the current LDS Church article. First of all, does anyone know Wikipedia's guidelines on the duplication of information? Let us all know when you start the article so the community can begin editing and expanding on your start and a link can be appropriately placed in the LDS Church article. By the way, homework is terrible excuse. :) Wikipedia is live to the world, man! I propose that we don't abandon the idea of including a Perspective of Second Coming section, and really consider to incorporate it into the current LDS Church article, but I need some support here. Thoughts? --Piewalker 17:28, 17 January 2006 (UTC)
I agree competely that we should add a section on it. What I meant was that a lot of those sections have articles by themselves, so I was suggesting the same thing with this.-The Scurvy Eye 20:10, 17 January 2006 (UTC)
Agreed. Any other opinions? --Piewalker 20:28, 17 January 2006 (UTC)

Mormon/Christian Science question

I moved this to User_talk:206.180.134.162 since it isn't an effort to improve (or discuss improving) the article. Thanks to those who answered!!! Trödel•talk 01:02, 5 January 2006 (UTC)

The "The", again...

Don't wince! I mean specifically in the "Name of..." section, regarding the 1838 announcement. The (modern LDS edition of) D&C includes the "The" in the name, capitalised, but if that was the name at the time, then the remainder of that paragraph, stating that a "The" was added later, at the same time as the change from "Latter Day" to "Latter-day" makes no sense, and needs to be changed. If the name at the time was the-less, it's fine as it stands; if it's not quite clear, some hedging should be added. Can anyone confirm one way or another? Alai 17:28, 18 January 2006 (UTC)

I don't think it's really a big deal - in the revelation in the current D&C (I don't remember which section it was), it says something like "...the name of the church shall be the Church of Jesus Chirst of Latter-day Saints..." I'm probably not quoting that right, but you get the point - it was ambiguous in the revelation as to if the article was included in the official name or not, so I think it's fine the way it stands. PS - I can find the scripture reference online if you want. --Trevdna 19:08, 18 January 2006 (UTC)

It's definitely not a big deal, so I'm feeling kind of anal for bringing the whole thing up on Alai's talk page. But take a look at the wording of D&C 115:3-4 [6]; it specifically capitalizes "The." Alai brought up a good point, though, of whether the capitalization was modernized in the current version of the D&C — so we need to find a version of the revelation as it was received then. Deadsalmon 19:21, 18 January 2006 (UTC)
Notice that that version also uses "Latter-day", which the current article text also claims to have been "Latter Day" in the 1838 org-name. Alai 19:55, 18 January 2006 (UTC)

I'm sure you've all read the archived discussions on this. The punctuation has little meaning compared with the inclusion of the word "the" or "The." As I stated in a request to rename the page discussion [7]:

...the word the has a very slight connotation associated with it. [In other words, Church members] don't belong to "Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints," or "a Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints," rather, [They] belong to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. This emphasizes it is THE Church of Christ, not just a Church. Wikipedia_talk:Naming_conventions_(Mormonism)#Capitalizing_The_in_the_Church_of_Jesus_Christ_of_Latter-day_Saints
I know that this is offensive to many outside of The Church (and may be a self-righteous attitude), but is a core belief of Church members, who feel they belong to the only true church (not that others don't have truths, but they believe that they alone have priesthood authority from God). Very important connotation to most Church members. If this issue is not supported, I'm afraid it will keep coming up and will be voted on again, as many Church members (but not all) who view this will agree with this logic and desire to have the name changed to reflect it's proper title. Hopefully this context helps.

We lost in the request for a move. The word "the" is a very important one, and exists historically. Punctuation may change, but the name is still "The church of...." even if wikipedia doesn't say it. -Visorstuff 20:28, 18 January 2006 (UTC)

... which is all to do with what the current name, Wikipedia naming conventions, etc, etc, and is quite separate from what the name was considered/stated/registered/revealed/other to be in 1838. Alai 22:11, 18 January 2006 (UTC)

Sorry if I wasn't clearer, Alai, that was the original name (there is a source referenced in the thread about the original documents giving the name as "the" church of jesus christ of latter day saints - no punctuation on purpose). The is 1838 reference [8] "the" is part of the name - it is also called "my" church rather than a church, denoting that an article is needed in the proper title. The RLDS church and the LDS church both kept the "the," and highlighted it on buildings while the strangites did not. In 1851, when the church was incorporated in the US (as opposed to non-incorporated, but registered in individual states and territories), it kept the the and added an hyphen (as latter-day is a modifier) for correct punctuation. My point in the above was to show that the the is very important, and has been since 1838.

Therefore the following should be re-written:

Then in April 1838, the full name was stated as the "Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints", according to direction recorded in Doctrine and Covenants 115:3-4. In 1851, when the church was incorporated in the United States, the official name changed slightly, picking up the additional corporate first article, "The", and the British hyphenation of "Latter-day".

Rather it should read:

Then in April 1838, the full name was stated as "the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints", according to direction recorded in Doctrine and Covenants 115:3-4. In 1851, when the church was incorporated in the United States, the official name changed slightly, capitalizing the first article, "The", and using the British hyphenation of "Latter-day."

Otherwise, it is incorrect. -Visorstuff 22:28, 18 January 2006 (UTC)

If the 1838 version of D&C had a lowercase "the" (as well as a "Latter Day" rather than "Latter-day"), I don't see how it clarifies matters one way or another, and referring to a revised edition just confuses matters on this point. Is there any other data available on what the "official name" was from 1838-1851? Alai 00:09, 19 January 2006 (UTC)

I think you're right, Visor. --Trevdna 23:07, 18 January 2006 (UTC)

I never thought a single letter would be so important. Now that Visor explains it, I can see why. The Scurvy Eye 00:04, 19 January 2006 (UTC)

Alai - not sure if I understand - I think we are missing each others points. First, capitalizations aside, the point is that "the" is part of the title. That is well-supported. The "official" title of the church included, since 1838 all of the words "the church of jesus christ of latter day saints" - they just struggled with consistency in the punctuation and the capitalization of it. I've never seen it in an official document without the "the."
Now back to caps - the captitalization and punctuation issue is problematic, as my reading of church periodicals of the time are very inconsistent. All use the word "the" but some are capitalized and some are not. In many cases, church is uncapitalized, and in others, "latter day saints" is not capitalized, and the only thing that is is "Jesus Christ." In other cases, there is a comma after "Jesus Christ" in the title, IE The Church of Jesus Christ, Of Latter Day Saints. Sometimes a hypenated "latter-day." Some captitalize the "OF." Some make "latterday" one word. Some capitalize the whole thing.
Here are a couple of examples from Times and Seasons Volume 1: Nov. 1839 - Oct. 1840: "a history of the persecution of the church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints..." "Since last fall, through the goodness and mercies of our God, I have been enabled to organize two branches of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, consisting of about sixty members..." "The church of Jesus Christ of Latter day Saints believes that God has revealed himself, through Jesus Christ to man again" and "A HISTORY, OF THE PERSECUTION, OF THE CHURCH OF JESUS CHRIST OF LATTER DAY SAINTS..." and "By Judge Higbee and Parley P. Pratt Ministers of the gospel, of the Church of Jesus Christ of "Latter-day Saints." to the citizens of Washington, and to the public in general." "a general Conference of the church of Christ, of Latter Day Saints, in Europe..." (I think I demonstrated all the variations mentioned above). (italics added; all other punctuation is verbatim)
In addition, punctuation is atrocious in these early documents. It wasn't until 1888 that Orson Pratt standardized punctuation. It is he that started the consistency of a capital "The," which was the legal name in 1851, when it was incorporated. There are still some consistency problems since that time, but for the most part, we've used the "the" since the two-colum editions. I'll see if I can get a hold of an 1838 D&C and let you know how it is spelled there. Nonetheless, the point is "the" in the title is essential, regardless of if it is capitalized or not. -Visorstuff 01:09, 19 January 2006 (UTC)
I'm not sure I'm any the wiser. Are those italics-in-original, or italics added? If the latter, they don't demonstrate anything much -- note that the one variation you didn't cover was caps-in-running-text "The". One might equally suppose that in each case, the "the" is there for the normal rules of grammar, just as it would be in a similar sentences about the Church of Scotland, or the Church of Ireland, etc. A stronger citation is really needed here -- and I don't say that in defence of the current version, which is equally in need of such. Failing either, I suppose this could be fuzzified to state that the 1851 incorporation "established that" the "the" was part of the name, and capsed, rather than that it was or wasn't changed to be such, though I'm not sure that's at all ideal. Alai 06:15, 19 January 2006 (UTC)

Perhaps the best solution would be to contact Church offices and set the question to them. I'd imagine they may have already resolved the question at an earlier time. Given the high public profile of Wikipedia, they may be willing to provide an "official" response. Deadsalmon 16:52, 19 January 2006 (UTC)

Given how deeply attached they seem to be to their article, one might anticipate a certain amount of "spin" from the church, if you'll pardon my skepticism. Of course, if you can get a citable source from them, that's all to the good. Alai 16:59, 19 January 2006 (UTC)

I'm looking into it. It seems to me that when a business is incorporated from a private entity, the legal name typically stays the same. I'm not sure of what laws were applicable in 1851, but from my asking around today, that is the state of things today. So, when a company changes its name, its legal name stays the same.
For example, KFC's legal name is still Kentucky Fried Chicken, Tandy Electronics is the legal name for Radio Shack, Reorganized Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints is the legal name for Community of Christ. Its not so much what they are called, as what they are named. I think this is what you are getting at, Alai. My thought process is that when it was incorporated, it used its proper name. Brand and legal name are different things.
So, when a company or religious group incorporates rather than be a limited partnership or private entity, the legal name stays the same as it was before. Again, I am unaware of the laws of the 1850s, but incorporation laws and naming laws have been in place for more than 100 years. I think we are firm in what the legal name of the church currently is, but we need to determine if there was a name change - which I can't find evidence for. if we switch around the burden of proof in this case, the "the" is a strong argument. I've still not been able to find a readily-available 1838 D&C. I'll keep looking. -Visorstuff 20:27, 19 January 2006 (UTC)
In the United States, at least, all you have to do to legally change the name of a company is to file new Articles of Incorporation with the state in which you are based and fill out the appropriate paperwork for the Internal Revenue Service. --nihon 23:54, 19 January 2006 (UTC)
Or in other words, dissolve de-activate the corporation, and re-incorporate. That is not what the church did. Rather they went from private to public to protect church properties. -Visorstuff 00:18, 20 January 2006 (UTC)
"Switching around the burden of proof" isn't a verifiability option: a statement either way is equally required to have an independent source. There was clearly a change in the form of the name, and essentially you're speculating as to what the then law was, the precise sequence of events, that a "minor" change wasn't winked at, etc, etc. If your argument is based on how it was incorporated prior to 1838, then surely there are records of that. I'll speculate that the 1838 D&C says "... even the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints", which doesn't help either way (as that could equally be a "grammatical" the as an "integral" one). BTW, the Strangites have the contrary take[9], so all the more careful to be careful about POV here. Alai 02:26, 20 January 2006 (UTC)
I may be entirely confused here: in what form, if any, was the church incorporated prior to 1851? If it wasn't, the concept of an "official name" for that period is that bit fuzzier. Alai 02:42, 20 January 2006 (UTC)

It wasn't incorporated, it was organized. It was still a legal entity, but just had a non-corporated form. The church was a private entity, not an incorporated entity prior to 1851. Meaning, it was organized, but church properties were held by private individuals, and suits against the church were directed solely to church leaders, and the organization could not be sued, etc. For example, Avnet, a fortune 500 company was founded in 1921, but was incorporated in 1955. It went public in 1959. [10]

If you started a business, likely you'd start out and your business would be a private venture, solely owned by you. Funding would be needed, and you'd find a partner - likely you'd form an LLC or an LLP - where both of you had certain rights and divisions of labor. If you became successful, you'd incorporate or you would form a corporation (both different). Later you may decide to sell stock and go public. (obviously, a church wouldn't go public or it would lose its non-profit status)

In a similar way, the church was organized legally in 1830. It was a private entity. It was incorporated in 1851. A trustee-in-trust was formed by Wilford Woodruff for the first presidency in the 1880s. The trustee-in-trust was replaced by the corporation of the presidenct of the church during the administration of Heber J. Grant in the 1920s. It became a non-profit corporation/religious entity in the 1900s. Intellectual Reserve Inc. was formed in the 1990s under the current church leadership to replace much of the role of the corporation of the president of the church. I'm not completely familiar with all the different legal forms of organizations - corporations, private, partnership, limited partnerships, etc., but a good way to think about it is in estate planning a will (private entity) versus a trust (limited partnership public entity), versus a living trust (perpetuating public entity), etc. Hope this helps. -Visorstuff 05:27, 20 January 2006 (UTC)

I'm looking at three different period printings of the revelation in 1838 in church publications (not the D&C). One is capitalized - "The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints" one is not - "the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints," and one is all caps - "THE CHURCH OF JESUS CHRIST OF LATTER DAY SAINTS." Saints without Halos doesn't report any changes to this revelation in the current D&C and has it capitalized [11], but the history of the church has it uncapitalized. My guess is that the 1838 D&C had all caps (like LORD), but am still searching for a copy. In the mean time, is there a way to simplify? Suggestions? -Visorstuff 06:29, 20 January 2006 (UTC)
If it's an organisation of a different character and legal basis in 1838 and in 1851, then the argument that the name mustn't have changed unless it can be proven otherwise is weaker still. If as I'm beginning to suspect, different churches and/or people make different claims about the then-name, then the article should reflect both (not necessarily with equal weight), or avoid making a direct claim at all. By "legal entity" I mean something with a registered existence as a company, partnership, charity, etc, etc, etc, i.e. something that would require a "definitive written-down name" someplace. If there's a 'definitive' version of the 1838 D&C, a longer quote from that, including some context as well as the "the" (rather than asserting directly that the "the" is part of the name, and not the context), might suffice. If that is in itself unclear or disputed, we're in murkier territory still, and we're further into the "report the claims" zone. Alai 12:52, 20 January 2006 (UTC)
Alai, by the way, thanks for this good discussion - I agree we should offer both sides or simplify. You wrote: "If it's an organisation of a different character and legal basis in 1838 and in 1851, then the argument that the name mustn't have changed unless it can be proven otherwise is weaker still." I disagree and see it just the opposite. Because the original organization was still in place and it went from organized to incorporated, it would require a formal de-activation of the previous organization to move to a new name. Changing an organization's legal name is much, much harder than changing an individual's name. ie - See Radio Shack/Tandy Corporation (not Tandy Incorporated) example above. The legal name is still Tandy, even though a google search won't show Tandy Electronics although that is the legal name of the company. In the same way the current legal name of the church is "The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints," meaning it was legally known by that prior to becoming incorporated. To have changed this legally would mean a dissolvment of the original organization. Perhaps we should go back farther than 1838 in search of the name, as the adherent were known as Latter Day Saints or Latter-day Saints in period publications as early as 1830-32 or before. I'll go down that path next, and think it may be more fruitful. As a reminder, LLC's and corporations and incorporations are legal entities that offer legal protection for its leadership, longevity for existence and protects the organizations constituents (ie members, employees, etc.).
We've been relying on the name as documented and explained in the D&C that adherents believe God revealed, and perhaps we should look at the legal documents during the organization of the church in 1830, if they were needed. If they were not needed, then the first legal name should be used, which was applied for and receieved during incorporation in 1851. Let me keep digging around. -Visorstuff 15:00, 20 January 2006 (UTC)

Yes, thanks; I think we're ever-so-slowly getting someplace, even though it doesn't really "show" in the article at present. If the LDS Church provide a direct statement that the name didn't change in 1851, then we might as well cite both that and the Strangite's statement (that it bleedin' well did); if they don't say that directly, then we may have to say something murkier.

Your Tandy example is extremely unpersuasive for several reasons. Firstly, because it conflates far too much into "organisation". Tandy was a company before, and a company afterwards, whereas I have no idea what type of organisation the LDS Church was in 1838. Secondly, one instance of non-renaming does not mean that renaming is always impossible. Thirdly, the actual legal difficulty may or may not be the same in that era as more recently, and even supposed legal impossibility (which has been by no means been demonstrated) does not establish that something didn't occur, extra-legally (or otherwise). Fourthly, Tandy did change its "official name", in 2000; "legal name" I dunno about, but it's clearly not legal names of corporations that concern us in this article, otherwise it wouldn't be at its present title, for one thing. And lastly, as I argued above, it's demonstrably false that the church didn't change the form of its name between 1838 and 1851, the question is only, "what was the nature of that change?". I simply don't buy the assertion that adding a "the" to a title would require the dissolution of the we're-not-quite-sure-what-type-of-organisation, but changing capitalisation and hyphenation would not.

However, all this is largely moot; it doesn't matter which scenario seems the more likely, as what should be in the article isn't what seems likely, but what's verifiable. (BTW, "Corporation" and "Incorporated" in company names are essentially synonyms; in a couple of places you seem to be suggesting some there's distinction.) I also don't see why the situation pre-1838 is material, as clearly the name of the church did change in that period. If it had some legal name that stayed the same this whole period, while the names actually in use changed repeated (which strikes me as unlikely), then it doesn't seem to be especially significant for any practical purposes. Alai 20:53, 20 January 2006 (UTC)

I agree we are making progress. You wrote: "Fourthly, Tandy did change its "official name", in 2000; "legal name" I dunno about, but it's clearly not legal names of corporations that concern us in this article, otherwise it wouldn't be at its present title, for one thing." Actually, it changed its brand. When you look at the official legal documents, it is still named and recognized by the government as Tandy Corporation. MCI Worldcom is another example. Just because a company goes by KFC doesn't mean that the legal name has changed. It is more a trademark and branding issue. Another example is Memorex - there is actually two companies called memorex - Memorex Products and Memorex Electronics. The parent company, Hanny Holdings, just sold the rights to the "brand" and the company to Imation. Then these companies in turn licence out the memorex brand to other companies to stick on their stuff, because of the brand recognition. Just because something goes by a name doesn't mean that is the legal name. Lastly, in many US states/municipalities, there is a difference between a corporation and an incorporporated company. In other places they are simply designated as an S Corporation or a C corporation. Notice in some companies they are Avnet Inc. (Not Avnet Corp.) or Corrent Corp. (Not Corrent Inc.). There are legal reasons for this distinction. But again, this is moot, as I am unsure of the laws governing the time of 1838 to 1851. This does make complete sense to me - I know its muddy to others. But Avnet is a good example as it existed as a company nearly 25 years as a compnay before it was incorporated. The following links may help [12] [13] [14] -Visorstuff 21:56, 20 January 2006 (UTC)

The RadioShack rename of 2000 certainly wasn't simply about brands and tradenames, which had changed before that in any case; it changed its stock market listing, the style of its copyright notices, all visible renderings of its name. (Companies, esp. holding companies regularly change the former, without the latter, as per some of your other examples.) If a church did this (to drift closer back to the original point...) we'd say it'd "changed its official name", regardless of whether it was still registered under the original for purposes of corporate law (for those churches that exist as corporations). Your last point goes to the difference between an LLC and a corporation; my understanding is that (at least in most jurisdictions) the difference in form of the designation (Corp. vs. Inc) has no significance. I'm not clear on what those links are intended to help with.

But I agree entirely about the mootness of most of this, esp. as it's far from clear on what basis the church was operating before 1851. From what we have on the wiki, the 1830 founding involved 30 people in someone's house, and the 1838 renaming simply an annoucement, neither on the face of it sounding as if they involved a trip to the equivalent of Companies House. (Obviously that's not a source, just a disclaimer of what I (don't) know on the topic.) If that really is the case, official documentation on the form of the name may be thin on the ground. Alai 00:30, 21 January 2006 (UTC)

Extended double-take: earlier you said that "it is also called "my" church rather than a church, denoting that an article is needed in the proper title". Actually that implies to me just the reverse, that the "the" is grammatical, and not integral, to be dropped whenever normal sentence formation rules would require. (As one would with say "a Church of Scotland minister", "my local Church of Ireland cathedral".) The juxtaposition with "a church" is totally misleading: who'd ever say that, in any context, with the proper name of any church, with or without an integral "the"? Alai 00:42, 21 January 2006 (UTC)

I've been able to determine that the revelation was not printed in a version of the Doctrine and Covenants until 1844, after the Joseph Smith's death and after leaders began to instruct that the name contain a capital "T" in "The." I'm trying to find an original copy of the revelation, or a version printed under the direction of Smith. -Visorstuff 18:49, 25 January 2006 (UTC)

LDS vs. ERA

I'd like to direct the attention of any interested parties to the section at the bottom of the ERA talk page. I noticed the absence of any mention of the LDS's involvement, and I'd like the gap filled, but I'm not sure I'm the right person to do this. Any takers? Alienus 01:59, 23 January 2006 (UTC)