Monthly Archives: May 2009

The Fanny Alger Marriage

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One of strangest trends in recent plural marriage publications by cultural Mormons has been to regress back to Fawn Brodie’s portrayal of Joseph Smith’s first plural marriage with Fanny Alger as an adulterous affair. This despite Todd Compton’s seminal treatment and a wide array of evidence in favor of a marriage from both hostile and friendly sources. I don’t wish to recap all this here as it would be a retread of G. L. Smith’s recent FARMS Review (I was thrilled to receive a shout out in the footnotes). Suffice it to say, the distorted version of Joseph Smith as a womanizer has really taking a beating and I have recently uncovered some additional information that will further vindicate the Prophet on that score, but that will have to wait for another post. Continue reading

A SERIOUS treatment of LDS Disciplinary Councils!

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UPDATE: I know this paper isn’t Friedman’s. Hat tip to Keri Brooks. This is acknowledged in my comment, below, but Peter R of LDSLaw pointed out that I hadn’t actually made a correction. Since my comment appears to not be sufficient, and I DON’T want to appear to not acknowledge my mistakes, I write this update.

Recently, I wrote a posted about a gross misrepresentation of LDS belief–including getting our disciplinary councils wrong, here:

http://www.fairblog.org/2009/04/11/fun-house-mirrors/

Moreover, on 15 March 2009, the HBO TV series, “Big Love,” screwed things up so badly that the Temple scenes were the LEAST inaccurate and the LEAST objectionable part of the programme. It is recounted by others here:

http://www.cliqueclack.com/tv/2009/03/17/big-love-the-mormon-temple-endowment-ceremony-isnt-what-they-got-wrong/

We Latter-day Saints are often subjected to such gross misrepresentations. While it is annoying, like unwanted step-children, we ARE getting used to the abuse.

What is unusual is a portrayal by somebody unsympathetic to our faith who actually tries to get things right. It is on the site of Dr. David D. Friedman (son of Nobel laureate, Milton), or Santa Clara University. Though his field is Law and Economics, he may well be the next Jan Shipps:

http://www.daviddfriedman.com/Academic/Course_Pages/legal_systems_very_different_06/papers_05/LDS.htm

The Apostolic Foundation

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For my home teaching lesson last month, instead of giving a message from the First Presidency, I decided to give a message about the First Presidency. Actually it is more about the Twelve Apostles as a whole (and not just the central three pillars that lead them), Jesus, the restoration of Israel, the temple as a symbol for God’s kingdom, and revelation. These concepts are all intimately intertwined, especially in imagery that presents the Twelve (as delegated by Christ) as foundational rocks or seer stones.

The closest precedent the Old Testament offers to the apostles are the Twelve tribal princes that Moses designated along with 70 elders. These princes were in turn modeled after the Twelve Patriarchs or the sons of Israel that were the founding fathers of each tribe. William Horbury has a book chapter (“The Twelve and the Phylarchs” p. 157-188) available on Google books that explores the concept further. This priestly position fell into obscurity as the nation of Israel went through vast political changes and scattering. The concept of the Seventy fared much better, but that is a different story. Suffice it to say, when Christ restored the office of the Twelve, it began to meet Messianic expectations that Israel would be restored to her former glory. Continue reading

“Mormon Derangement Syndrome”

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I suppose that the rescue of the US-flag ship Maersk Alabama is old news by now.  As we all know, President Obama ordered US Navy Seals to take out the pirates who attacked that undefended ship.  Like Jonah Goldberg, I praise the President for allowing the US Navy to take quick, effective action on those who would harm the defenceless. While I didn’t vote for President Obama [I DID, however, vote for Alan Keyes in the 2000 GOP Primary in my home State!], and I think that his economic policies will merely bring about what he tries to avert, it is only right to acknowledge his proper actions as they occur.

Moreover, I think that those who fault President Obama in this are merely applying a mirror image of the “Bush Derangement Syndrome.” Like the extreme Left, who could see no good thing from former President Bush, the extreme Right can see no good in President Obama.
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