Musings on Milk and Meat

by: Hedgehog

February 13, 2014

Poured from the correlated bottle?

What comes to mind when you think about the milk and meat of the gospel? In writing my last post I stumbled across the following in Isaiah:

Whom shall he teach knowledge? and whom shall he make to understand doctrine? them that are weaned from the milk, and drawn from the breasts.” (Isaiah 28:9)

which led me to further pondering on the subject of milk and meat, which had been at the back of my mind since the Sunday School lesson on D&C 76 last year.

The requirement of milk before meat is mentioned in the New Testament:

I have fed you with milk, and not with meat: for hitherto ye were not able to bear it, neither yet now are ye able. For ye are yet carnal: for whereas there is among you envying, and strife, and divisions, are ye not carnal, and walk as men?” (1 Cor 3:2-3)

This verse was written to the saints in Corinth at a time when there were particular divisions amongst them, where the members were aligning themselves with individual teachers or missionaries. Paul felt teaching anything more complicated than the basics was not appropriate at the time, possibly because in such an environment those teachings would be attributed specifically to him, and not accepted by all, as the gospel of Christ. The members needed to understand they were the followers of Christ, not the particular missionary who had baptised them. If these converts were unable to come together as followers of Christ, now was not the time to be digging deeper.

The letter to the Hebrews is traditionally attributed to Paul in LDS circles, though it is more generally accepted that Paul is an unlikely author. In it we find:

For when for the time ye ought to be teachers, ye have need that one teach you again which be the first principles of the oracles of God; and are become such as have need of milk, and not of strong meat. For every one that useth milk is unskilful in the word of righteousness: for he is a babe. But strong meat belongeth to them that are of full age, even those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil.” (Heb 5:12)

It was written to a group of formerly Jewish members, who appeared to be on the verge of leaving their Christian faith. The author deems it unfortunate that he finds it necessary to reteach the basics of the gospel: who Christ is, and his role in the crucifixion and resurrection. The implication is that those members have failed to use their reason, to exercise their senses in discerning good and evil.

In both these examples the continuing requirement for milk on the part of the membership does not seem to be regarded as a good thing. The leaders want them to be in a position to have meat.

The Isaiah verse interests me because meat, whilst not specifically mentioned in that verse, when taken with the others, would seem to be equated with knowledge and understanding of doctrine. It also seems to imply some necessary independence from the supply of milk. However, it seems that the people Isaiah is addressing are also unprepared to receive the meat. In context Isaiah’s statement appears to be a cry of despair. And some of those coming in for the telling off are the prophets and the priests, the ecclesiastical leaders of the day.

But they also have erred through wine, and through strong drink are out of the way; the priest and the prophet have erred through strong drink, they are swallowed up of wine, they are out of the way through strong drink; they err in vision, they stumble in judgment. For all tables are full of vomit and filthiness, so that there is no place clean. Whom shall he teach knowledge? and whom shall he make to understand doctrine? them that are weaned from the milk, and drawn from the breasts. For precept must be upon precept, precept upon precept; line upon line, line upon line; here a little, and there a little: For with stammering lips and another tongue will he speak to this people. To whom he said, This is the rest wherewith ye may cause the weary to rest; and this is the refreshing: yet they would not hear. But the word of the Lord was unto them precept upon precept, precept upon precept; line upon line, line upon line; here a little, and there a little; that they might go, and fall backward, and be broken, and snared, and taken.” (Isaiah 28:7-13)

There is no-one listening to the Lord. The people have mocked that they have been addressed in simplistic terms by Isaiah, as though they were children, yet they are so obviously not ready for further knowledge, when they are in such sore need of repentance. As a result of their mocking attitude they are instead promised a language they won’t understand.

The milk-meat example comes up in the Doctrine & Covenants:

And I command you that you preach naught but repentance, and show not these things unto the world until it is wisdom in me. For they cannot bear meat now, but milk they must receive; wherefore, they must not know these things, lest they perish.” (D&C 19:21-22)

An instruction to Martin Harris in preaching to the people following the publication of the Book of Mormon, which had been funded by Martin. I have a hard time working out what Martin wasn’t meant to be teaching however, since the preceding verses seem to be discussing the necessity of repentance and role of the atonement.

And then there’s D&C 76, which covers Joseph Smith’s vision of the three kingdoms of heaven. This apparently caused some problems amongst the early members, who failed to appreciate the finer points of the doctrine, in a historical context of universalism versus a hell and damnation theology. From Revelations in Context:

The prophet learned from this experience just how delicate the testimonies of many new converts could be and counseled missionaries to take a milk-before-meat approach to teaching gospel principles (1 Cor. 3:2). Prior to their departure to England, he urged the Twelve Apostles to “remain silent concerning the gathering. the vision, and the Book of Doctrine and Covenants, until such time as the work was fully established.” However, it proved difficult for some members to contain their enthusiasm for the new revelation.

Heber C. Kimball, echoing Joseph Smith’s counsel, encouraged his fellow missionaries to keep to the introductory principles of the gospel. Kimball had helped convert a minister, Timothy Matthews, in Bedford, England, and established an appointment for his baptism. But another elder, John Goodson, “contrary to my counsel and positive instructions, and without advising with any one, read to Mr. Matthews, the vision … which caused him to stumble.” Matthews failed to keep his appointment and never joined the Church.”

Am I alone in being troubled by this presentation, feeling some sympathy for the English rather than the missionaries, in this instance? Granted, the Victorian era was steeped in paternalism, but Timothy Matthews is a described as a minister, someone with presumably a good knowledge of the Bible, who already has an understanding, albeit perhaps differing in some ways, of faith, repentance and baptism. I dislike the blaming of the sharing of the vision as something that frightened him off. So maybe Timothy Matthews was a hell fire and damnation preacher who didn’t fancy the idea of a piece of heaven going to everyone. And perhaps John Goodson hadn’t recognised that, and had made a poor job of presenting the doctrinal nuance. (The vision was seen more in this universalist light at the time, as opposed to the anything but the top degree of the celestial kingdom is a fail, which seems to be the predominant tone today.) Still, Timothy Matthews was going to hear it at some point. Were I he, I’d be annoyed to discover it later, and particularly annoyed if I found out those teaching me had been specifically instructed to withhold it.

And then there’s the whole issue of correlation and presentation of the gospel to the world by an expanding missionary force seeking to grow the church worldwide. And a feeling amongst many disaffected that the whole milk before meat metaphor has been taken too far, for too long, and in many instances misapplied. Whilst on the other hand apologist accusations abound that this was a matter requiring individual responsibility to seek out knowledge, and less sucking on the correlated teat.

Let the feast begin!

Growing up at a distance from the uncorrelated meats available to many Utah and US members (see my post Growing Up Mormon in Britain), I feel a great deal of sympathy for those now encountering new information widely available on the internet. Often the apologetic group seemingly fail to recognise these members came across troubling information precisely because that individual responsibility was taken, as information became available to them. From famine to feast, as it were, with little or no help and guidance in sorting the good dishes from the bad, the edible from the inedible.

The new topics essays, whilst a baby step in the process of introducing meats more widely from a church source, are not yet embedded in the recognised support structures of Sunday School, RS and Priesthood. Perhaps that’s still a work in progress, which would appear to have begun with the new Church History Seminary manual. In the meantime, can we all please show some kindness and understanding for those like this member here, who are now having to get to grips with new and sometimes troubling information.

  • How have you seen the milk/meat metaphor applied?
  • Do you think it has a place in an internet world? If so, how?


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26 Responses to Musings on Milk and Meat

  1. New Iconoclast on February 13, 2014 at 9:15 AM

    In general, I have to remember that we are all children, and thus we are sometimes (and I most definitely include myself in this) unable to judge when we’re ready for something and when we’re not. We all too often choke down the meat, protesting all the while, “I can handle it! I can handle it!” while stumbling toward the bathroom to ralph it all back up again.

    For me, however, I need to be in better touch with, and more trusting of my, Father in Heaven to guide me in my proper diet. I’m not so sure about the menu planners of the Correlation Committee.

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  2. Howard on February 13, 2014 at 11:34 AM

    Growing up at a distance from the uncorrelated meats…I feel a great deal of sympathy for those now encountering new information widely available on the internet. Humm, a reference to Tom Phillips and followers?

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  3. Mormon Heretic on February 13, 2014 at 11:53 AM

    I think the rhetoric of “milk before meat” is a way to silence those we think we’re going to lose a debate with.

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  4. Hedgehog on February 13, 2014 at 1:22 PM

    #1 Great point about reliance on guidance from God for our diet NI. I agree.

    #2 Well Howard, Phillips and co seem pretty capable of fighting their own corner on this. I was thinking more Hans Mattson and the recent post over on KiwiMormon I linked.

    #3 I certainly know people who use it that way MH.

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  5. New Iconoclast on February 13, 2014 at 3:06 PM

    Thanks, Hedgehog,for introducing me to KiwiMormon. In addition to the great post you linked, I read several others and have aspirated my afternoon Coca-Cola (Gasp! The horror!) out my nose at least twice. :)

    I do have to wonder about the bishop’s dilemma, although I understand that some material may not have been as available to him in NZ as it was in the US. I’m not discounting the extent of his discomfort, but I joined the Church long before Al Gore invented the Internet, and I’ve always been an explorer and reader. Some of that stuff was so obviously either Utah cultural baggage, or unimportant, that it didn’t cause a ripple for me when the essays came out. I’ve known for years that Joseph put a stone in a hat. David Whitmer made it perfectly clear, and I never thought those paintings showing him thoughtfully perusing the plates were any more accurate than, say, Friberg’s ideas about Nephite military uniforms. Why would it bother me? I mean, the bishop says, “Exactly how was I to know that Joseph Smith got the words to the Book of Mormon by burying his head in a hat. How was I to know that a stone he found in a well was instrumental in this process of translation?

    Um, read a book, man. Everyone who was actually around Joseph when he translated pretty much told us how he did it. If you limit yourself to the Sunday School manuals, that’s all you get. There’s a wealth of primary source info out there, and it’s hard for me to believe that, especially in the last 20 Internet-happy years, none of it’s been available in NZ.

    Which brings me to the point, I suppose – not to blame this good man for the trust he placed in the Church or to ridicule the betrayal he feels, but simply to emphasize that we are under commandment to “seek … out of the best books words of wisdom,” that we need to “work out our [own] salvation with fear and trembling,” that “[i]t is impossible for a [person] to be saved in ignorance.” If we sit back and wait for the Dairy Committee of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints to bring us the steaks, we’ll starve – there will be “a famine in the land, not a famine of bread, nor a thirst for water, but of hearing the words of the LORD.”

    The Church needs to correlate to lowest common denominator, principles “adapted to the capacity of the weak and the weakest of all saints,” both those who have been members for short times in far-off lands with little or no local leaders to help them, and those who have been members forever in the power and influence centers of the Church. We can’t expect that curriculum to fit all of us perfectly, any better than a temple baptism jumpsuit.

    Ultimately, I am in charge of my progress, my learning, my testimony, and my faithfulness.

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  6. JayJay on February 13, 2014 at 4:57 PM

    New Iconoclast, you seem to be forgetting that we have also been instructed to only teach from the manuals. Some of the church history books have been edited in newer additions to remove the “unsavory” discussions in the past, and many members think that information from any source besides is anti-Mormon.

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  7. Mormon Heretic on February 13, 2014 at 5:32 PM

    “I am in charge of my progress.” True, but haven’t you found that people at church are uncomfortable when your progress is far ahead of the manual? It’s as if they’re like Dumb and Dumber: “la-la-la-la–I can’t hear you! la-la-la-la”

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  8. Howard on February 13, 2014 at 6:06 PM

    Um, read a book, man… simply to emphasize that we are under commandment to “seek … out of the best books words of wisdom,”…we need to “work out our [own] salvation with fear and trembling,” Oh boy! How easy it is to string these otherwise unrelated pears together in retrospect as if being indoctrinated in the church encourages probing and questioning. Sorry New Iconoclast, I enjoy a lot of your comments but I’m calling bull shit on this one!

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  9. Howard on February 13, 2014 at 6:07 PM


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  10. Hedgehog on February 13, 2014 at 7:31 PM

    NI, my Growing Up Mormon … post mentioned gives some insight into the books available in Britain pre-Internet days, and I don’t suppose the situation would have been any better in New Zealand.
    And it’s one thing for a weaned adult to be responsible for their own progress, but does the parent not have some responsibility or part to play for the weaning process, or would that be pushing the metaphor too far do you think? At best I think messages from the parent re weaning have been mixed.

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  11. hawkgrrrl on February 13, 2014 at 8:19 PM

    New Iconoclast: I recommend you read Hedgehog’s earlier OP (from August) on Growing Up Mormon in Britain. It was very eye-opening for me. I grew up with plenty of questioning, but from talking to Hedgehog and reading the Kiwi bishop’s experience (and knowing quite a few Brits and Aussies and Kiwis in the church who are a whole lot more McConkie than the US folks I know), I have changed my stance which was essentially the same as yours before I realized that. Information wasn’t available to them in general, was too expensive or difficult to find, and CES instructors and leadership felt beholden to crack down on any deviation from the correlated script. Anything beyond that was deemed “intellectualizing” and was on the road to apostasy. For all exMos complain about this in the US, these non-US places seem to have taken it to an extreme. As evidence, most Americans haven’t been thrown too much by the church’s new essays. Not so in the UK, Australia and NZ. I consider that to be unfortunate evidence to corroborate Tom P’s claim, although I can’t exactly say what the source of the injunction was. The example above where early missionaries were told to withhold information is fairly damning history, but history nonetheless.

    Great OP. But very very disturbing. Well done.

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  12. Kristine A on February 13, 2014 at 10:21 PM

    Growing up I was taught the only sources you look to for information was from the Church. Most family and my friends in my association still live by this rule. When I told my family I wanted to study the history of women in the church, they said, “great, that’s what daughters in my kingdom is for.” (implied that I was to stop there). I didn’t hear the term “mountain meadows massacre” until I was 24, didn’t know it existed. And was taught only to study from documents in correlation, as others would lead you astray. I told my husband about the seer stone/hat last year and he didn’t believe me when I sited historical documents. Yesterday I told him it’s on right now, and he was perplexed to say the least. I’m in Idaho, btw.

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  13. Hedgehog on February 14, 2014 at 2:31 AM

    Kristine, I’m guessing the attitudes and knowledge of local leaders and teachers can be pretty influential on the flavour of a ward or stake too, passed on to the children and youth.

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  14. Nate on February 14, 2014 at 5:24 AM

    I’m not sure we shoul nescessarily interpret “meat” as meaning uncorrolated historical challenges. Those who live entirely within the correlated framework may be eating meat that we can’t percieve, because we are being distracted by doubts and “issues.” These issues might promote advanced spiritual growth, but they might simply be a detour, a temptation to distraction that must be overcome before we get back to the path of spiritual development. Real meat might be “love your enemies” or “pray always” or the law of consecration.

    I think “facing doubts” can be a kind of meat. But maybe its like liver, maybe not for everyone. But maybe another kind of meat would be learning to ignore doubts entirely.

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  15. Hedgehog on February 14, 2014 at 6:36 AM

    I see where you are coming from Nate, and I did ponder the question as to what might qualify as the meat. That would make a whole separate post. However, since ‘milk before meat’ gets used as the excuse for withholding information I decided to go with it for the purposes of this post. Also, I think history can help in understanding doctrine better.

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  16. New Iconoclast on February 14, 2014 at 7:47 AM

    Hedgehog said (#13), in response to Kristine A (#12), “I’m guessing the attitudes and knowledge of local leaders and teachers can be pretty influential on the flavour of a ward or stake too.

    Ain’t that the truth. One of my mentors, probably my largest influence, during my first year in the Church was the director of the Institute of Religion at the University of Minnesota, who was also a stake president (later my stake president, and the one who sent me on my mission). I have come to believe through later experience that he was a very rare CES educator, since he had an open, curious mind and a willingness to address real history and difficult Gospel questions from a faithful but honest and open perspective. He was the guy the Lord needed to put in my way at that time, because I think if I had encountered some of the people the rest of you describe, I’d have had trouble. I was a really bright, 20-year-old Aspie studying history and political science, and if anyone ever recommended that I limit my gospel study to Church-produced material, I must have either laughed them out of the room or ignored them completely. I would be slightly more diplomatic today, but my answer would be essentially the same.

    That is a character flaw of mine, BTW.

    Kristine, your response made me very sad, especially since, by what I was able to glean by a quick review of your other blogs, you’re probably 15-18 years younger than me. (You like Kirby Puckett? Awww… gee.) I wonder if the thumbscrews of correlation have tightened that much in the years between 1986 and 2000? Or if they were just that much tighter in Idaho than in Minnesota? Or if I lived in a happy little oasis of openness, either geographic or inside my own head?

    Howard, you can call bullshit if you want, but I’m not saying that “indoctrination in the Church encourages probing and questioning.” Clearly it does not; apparently I’m fortunate that I never underwent indoctrination in the Church since I grew up as a non-member. I’m saying that an honest understanding of doctrine should lead us to probe and question. Understanding you’ve been indoctrinated is the first step to beginning to think independently, which is what a lot of people are doing here and in other forums; just try not to immediately throw the baby out with the bathwater.

    Always IMHO, one of the greatest things for me about the Gospel (as opposed to the institutional Church) is the way in which it helps free you from thinking in tired old patterns. I’ve been “indoctrinated” by many things all of my life (politics, the Marine Corps, “school spirit,” a school of historical thought, my family, etc.), and it’s largely my Spirit-driven adherence to Mormonism that has allowed me to back off and see things somewhat objectively. I’m a lot more likely to ask myself, “What would Joseph do?” than “What would Brigham do?” or, heaven forfend, Joseph Fielding Smith.

    I understand what all of you are saying, and I ask your pardon if I didn’t communicate clearly or with the right tone. I would encourage each of individually and all of us as a people to firmly grasp the iron rod with one hand and gather some good reading with the other. In no way should the history of the Church as an institution of humans damage our testimony of it as a divine institution.

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  17. New Iconoclast on February 14, 2014 at 8:38 AM

    Add-on – An interesting link from BYU’s Religious Education department, courtesy of Ben S. at Times and Seasons:

    [Students] should feel free to raise honest questions, with confidence that they will be treated with respect and dignity and that their questions will be discussed intelligently in the context of faith. Where answers have not been clearly revealed, forthright acknowledgment of that fact should attend, and teachers should not present their own interpretations of such matters as the positions of the Church. Students should see exemplified in their instructors an open, appropriately tentative, tolerant approach to “gray” areas of the gospel. At the same time they should see in their instructors certitude and unwavering commitment to those things that have been clearly revealed and do represent the position of the Church. Teachers should be models of the fact that one can be well trained in a discipline, intellectually vigorous, honest, critical, and articulate, and at the same time be knowledgeable and fully committed to the gospel of Jesus Christ, His Church and Kingdom, and His appointed servants.

    I certainly hope they live this in practice, as I have a son at BYUI and a daughter at BYU-Provo, and they have been raised by their father with a certain tendency to, uh, “raise issues.”

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  18. Howard on February 14, 2014 at 9:20 AM

    …apparently I’m fortunate that I never underwent indoctrination in the Church since I grew up as a non-member. Yes, that is fortunate because you skipped all the subtle and the direct attempts to turn off your mind and your sexuality at a young and impressionable age.

    Stronger personalities (like yours and mine) tend to resist both and continue to question and probe BUT compliant personalities tend to become like children and obey and many go on the become the most active faithful believing members but it leaves them very vulnerable to rapid destruction of their testimonies and psyches resulting in strong feelings of betrayal causing a rejection of up to almost everything church related.

    I have seen this psychological phenomenon triggered many times in a clinical setting with non-members either caused by the clumsiness of the psychotherapist or as deliberate psychological surgery as a solution to very abusive parenting. Instead of throwing out the church they throw their parenting or their parents or both out usually because their parenting was at least psychologically abusive and may have been abusive in other ways as well.

    So the so called brainwashing BiC’s (Born in Church) receive is really parenting. But it is unintentionally abusive in at least three ways: 1) it is layered in with great repetition over time (across all the various developmental stages) rather than built in modules making it more difficult for the compliant member to later selectively de-tangle and reject parts of it, so throwing out the church lies sometimes results in throwing the entire church out along with their morality and values as well! 2) Much of it isn’t truthful leaving them very vulnerable to triggering. 3) The source of the patenting purports to be a direct conduit from God but sorely fails to live up to that standard also leaving them very vulnerable to triggering caused by that tension.

    The throwing out psychological phenomenon is triggered by the rapid intrusion of what is recognized as truth invading the member’s (false) belief system in a way that they quickly realize they must have been lied to which results in a near immediate very strong feeling of betrayal. By now you should be getting the idea that it is the speed with which this is realized that triggers betrayal and throwing out. This is why inoculation is so important. Inoculation slows the realization and allows the church to control the message greatly reducing the likelihood of the deconstruction of members psyche via betrayal. Slow fizzes don’t trigger this extreme reaction.

    Be careful to not judge these faithful naive vulnerable people (even when you say you’re not) because their only mistake was to be model LDS members! Your personality and experience is NOT a good example to overlay on them in judgement.

    I’m saying that an honest understanding of doctrine should lead us to probe and question. But it doesn’t in many faithful members because of their indoctrination and the ongoing discouragement of probing and questioning during the 3 hour block..

    Understanding you’ve been indoctrinated is the first step to beginning to think independently Okay I see you’re approaching this logically but good luck psychologically this doesn’t fly. The compliant BiC indoctrinated as a child member will argue with you that they weren’t indoctrinated! And the compliant faithful convert will argue that indoctrination either doesn’t exist or only exists in some positive way! The compliant BiC CANNOT understand they’ve been indoctrinated without doing some introspective work which by implication is discouraged by their patient the church! It is an insidious Gordian knot for some of them.

    The anger, revulsion and embarrassment resulting from this kind of strong betrayal drives the backlash against the church and ironically the entire circle is a unintended construct OF the church! It is blowback!

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  19. Howard on February 14, 2014 at 9:45 AM

    The compliant BiC CANNOT understand they’ve been indoctrinated without doing some introspective work…

    Btw, this is the psychological basis of feminism and Mormon feminism. Mormon men AND Mormon women cannot understand their subconscious chauvinist biases the subtler of which are actually supported by the church’s teachings and actions without some introspective work which is discouraged by the church. This is particularly blinding to faithful Mormon women who tend to be more complaint than their men.

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  20. Howard on February 14, 2014 at 9:57 AM

    So, how does the church respond to this? Well generally not introspectively but there are subtle signs that this may be beginning to change. The historic church default is to circle the wagons in defense and blame the victim they created!

    Think about this. The most compliant, active, faithful member wakes up to realize the church they so blindly trusted with their unquestioning belief is actually a lair and the same church that created their vulnerability then turns on them!

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  21. Jeff Spector on February 14, 2014 at 12:35 PM

    Once again, I come from a totally different place, where I was part of a religion that has as a standard joke, if you have two people, you have three opinions! I joined the Church as an adult and plunged into Anti-Mormon materials within a year. I have also held up both people and other institutions to the same level of scrutiny as some have The Church , as I wrote in my recent post and found both people and institutions tare usually less than honest in a variety of areas.

    While I can see that The Church has, for many years, taught a simplified version of its history and that some members never got out of Primary in their own questioning of things, I am still trying to understand where people think the Church lied.

    I was devoted to BRM’s Mormon Doctrine until a friend showed my his copy of the First edition and then my eyes were opened to the fact there are alternative views within the Church and some of them are not too pretty.

    But even a perfunctory reading of the History of the Church will illustrate that in the early days, there were a lot of views that Joseph Smith had to dispel even to the point of excommunicating the dissenters. But, you have to have a level of curiosity about history to even be interested in that.

    To me, the milk is pretty simple: It is that simple testimony of Heavenly Father and Jesus and His Atonement. The meat is comprehending the Atonement in all its aspects. That requires quite a bit of chewing. There is really not much more to it than that. Everything else, including Church history, is an appendage to it.

    I would say we have a lot of spiritual vegetarians, both in and now out of the Church.

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  22. Howard on February 14, 2014 at 1:07 PM

    Simplified? Humm, hasn’t it also been sanitized? Photoshopped as Jared says?

    …some members never got out of Primary in their own questioning of things… So true! But that’s exactly what the church encourages. Become teachable, like little children. “Sorry we don’t have time to go into that question today” or pick one of several canned Pollyanna non-answers and offer that along with a sacrine smile or watch your classmates rush to answer with the approved non-answer they have been trained to. That’s basically the 3 hour block with regard to probing questions. Is it not?

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  23. Hedgehog on February 15, 2014 at 3:34 AM

    Jeff #21, I kind of like that about the Jewish faith, the tradition of disecting of scripture, seeking out whole different meanings.
    So Jeff, temple covenants are appendages?

    Howard, thanks for all the comments. Interesting to get the psychological perspective.

    NI #16, thanks for those further comments clarifying your position. Sounds like you had a great institute director.
    “I wonder if the thumbscrews of correlation have tightened that much in the years between 1986 and 2000?”
    I do think things were clamped down significantly in the early 90s. (eg. September 6) I have a vague memory that the Institute director in London had to clear the Institute library (which had been pretty good for this country) of all unapproved materials around then, though it was a long time ago. Also, ward libraries here were done away with, some time earlier, not that it held much where I grew up – volumes of History of the Church and pictures for lessons mostly.

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  24. Jeff Spector on February 15, 2014 at 10:34 AM


    “So Jeff, temple covenants are appendages?”

    No, because they are specifically tied to Jesus, “if you love me, keep my commandments” and “For this is life Eternal, that they might know thee the only true God and Jesus Christ, whom thou has sent.”

    To me the Temple is directly related to those two ideas. While a deep understanding of the Temple might be meat, the basic teachings and covenants are milk.

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  25. […] Wheat & Tares, Hedgehog thinks about the milk and the meat of the […]

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  26. Stargazer on February 18, 2014 at 7:27 PM

    You know, milk has a lot to offer nutritionally. Relying on it for complete nutrition from infancy to early toddlerhood is to have a reliable stream of nutrition, love, bonding, and building immunity both passively and actively. It comes from a source we trust (mom). It inoculates our gut with the ideal flora to digest the meat we will eventually eat and protects our digestive immune system from complete breakdown. In today’s society of sanitation, it is a good idea to continue taking probiotics throughout life, as supplements or fermented foods, to keep feeding the biome, which gets out of balance so frequently–chlorinated water, antibiotics, sugar…

    It is really ideal to exclusively breastfeed until the baby is literally grabbing food out of your hand and stuffing it in her mouth. Picking things up off the ground. This is her first foray in searching for meat.

    Don’t dis the milk. It is a wonderful metaphor for the basic gospel. Foundation on which to build an understanding of the peaceable things of the gospel of Christ.

    I grew up in the church, Utah etc heritage, with a dad who was frequently frustrated about the rote answers that were not even whipped cream (see what you can do with milk?) In Sunday School and quorum meetings. He led us plunging through the scriptures all my life and I loved it.

    (This is not to make any judgment on infant feeding choices families make, but just some thoughts to extend the metaphor adifferent way). I have retired from leadership in a grassroots breastfeeding support organization. I always perk up when milk is in the discussion.

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