How Long is the 11th Hour??

December 26, 2010

OT SS Lesson #48

Ever since Malachi 3 (ca 455 BC?), covenant Israel has been waiting for the coming of the Lord. Lest any Christian mistake that Old Testament prophecy of the coming of the Lord in glory was fulfilled in the meridian of time, Christ himself taught that he would return and would at that time bring in the millennial reign and the judgment of men. Only — he said that he’d be coming soon. A thorough reading of the New Testament shows that the early Christians expected Jesus to return within a generation of his death. When he didn’t come back, turmoil ensued and strategies began to be adopted to explain why. Was his coming delayed? Was it already fulfilled and no one noticed? Had the prophecies been misunderstood? Or was the coming of the Lord still forthcoming?

Over the generations, scores of believers have preached Christ’s return. The speculations of Nostradamus placed it far, far in the future (1999), but that date has now come and passed. In 1999 Jerry Falwell predicted that Christ would come within 10 years (2009).  Each time a prediction is made and does not come to pass, the wisdom of Matthew 24:36 becomes more and more apparent. Latter-day Saints don’t generally predict specific dates for the Second Coming. But since my youth, I’ve been hearing lessons such as today’s, wherein we recount the many last-days prophecies that have come to pass, and renew our faith in its imminence.

Somehow, the older you get, the less impact these lessons have.  When I was in my 20’s, it was easy to believe that the 11th hour was upon us.  After all, the moon had turned to blood, the gathering of Israel had begun, and there were wars and rumors of war (the World Wars had taken this to an unprecedented level).  But after 50 years pass by, one wonders how long an hour can stretch.  If we are part of the generation that Jesus mentioned would not pass away without seeing the coming of the Son of man, or even part of Joseph Smith’s generation, one must do some creative math to work out the sum.

Now, I wouldn’t dare to suggest that the Second Coming of Christ is anything but at the doors.  We all know what can happen to those who doubt such a scenario. I’m not going to throw away my year’s supply of wheat.  But I don’t take quotes from prophets about the end times as seriously as I used to. I plan for the long term, as I see most of my LDS friends doing. And I confess to watching the recent eclipse of the moon with a bit less fear than I would have as a young adult.

How were the Old Testament prophecies of the Second Coming of Christ presented in your wards today? Are we still being warned that this is the 11th hour?  How seriously do Mormons take these warnings?

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71 Responses to How Long is the 11th Hour??

  1. Mormon Heretic on December 26, 2010 at 5:08 PM

    How about December 21, 2012? That’s the end of the Mayan calendar.

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  2. Justin on December 26, 2010 at 5:10 PM

    The 11th hour received no mention in the lesson I taught today.

    Admittedly, I focused the attention on the historical contexts in which Zechariah and Malachi were written in — emphasizing the message their audience would have received.

    However, no one brought up any of the “signs of the times” things.

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  3. Bored in Vernal on December 26, 2010 at 5:15 PM

    Justin, I’m intrigued — how do you teach the “Great and Dreadful Day of the Lord” without mentioning any end times events? Please elaborate! :)

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  4. Bored in Vernal on December 26, 2010 at 5:16 PM

    MH, I’d just LOVE to know in how many wards that date was mentioned…

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  5. Jeff Spector on December 26, 2010 at 6:40 PM

    I discussed D&C 64 which says that the Savior is coming “tomorrow.” And combining that with D&C 77. We are at the end of the sixth thousandth years. And the Savior will usher in the seventh thousandth years.

    but you have to go back to the scripture that states, “But of that day and hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels of heaven, but my Father only.(Matthew 24:36).

    Things would be very different if we knew the exact day and time.

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  6. Justin on December 26, 2010 at 6:50 PM

    As you said, “A thorough reading of the New Testament shows that the early Christians expected Jesus to return within a generation of his death.” I taught that the same was true for the exiled citizens of Judea in 500-400 BC.

    It sets up quite well for the next year being the NT — since people might wonder why the Jews weren’t expecting the “suffering servant“, but rather the Lord of hosts who would fight for Israel and crush the nations. It is all b/c of how they read their “Great and Dreadful Day of the Lord” lesson. It’s not that they just couldn’t get it — but it’s how they read their scripture.

    Basically, I tried to read the scriptures for what they say — instead of using them as (1) Second Coming (2) Tithing proof texts.

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  7. Douglas Hunter on December 26, 2010 at 7:43 PM

    “How were the Old Testament prophecies of the Second Coming of Christ presented in your wards today? Are we still being warned that this is the 11th hour? How seriously do Mormons take these warnings?”

    Its more than a little problematic to talk about OT prophecies of the second coming of Christ. Taken in context this passages cited in the lesson are largely about YAHWEH’s return to the temple. I’m not entirely sure that the lesson means us to take its radical departure literally or if its acceptable to see it as a metaphor, an extension of the theme of the return.

    Also, an essential element to keep in mind when considering the return, is that its the very structure of the Messianic is to be that which is always to come. This “to come” is essential. Its important to ask what kind of future we are talking about. Are we trying to make the return something we can count on, something that is calculable, something dependable, something that fits a schedule? Is it like going to the dentist: The growing pain in my tooth serves as a prophecy that I will make an office visit?

    One way of addressing the Messianic is to say that its the structure of the “to come” that holds sway over us, that binds us, that insists upon our seeking justice for the poor and the alien, and so on. This is no calculation, its not a schedule, its a structure that asks something from us and can only make this request as long as it is “to come.”

    looking for signs and defining a time, is an attempt to make a calculation, to set an appointment and it is to miss the very significance of the structure of the Messianic itself.

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  8. Bored in Vernal on December 26, 2010 at 7:55 PM

    Douglas, I like it! This fits with what Justin is saying, but takes it further, into our day. I’m much more comfortable with this than with trying to make the OT prophecies fit NT or Latter-day conceptions of the Second Coming.

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  9. Jeff Spector on December 26, 2010 at 8:44 PM

    I think one must look at the book of Zechariah as well since much of the discussion was centered there. I think that in light of that, it lines up pretty well with the Book of Revelations. This book, to me, had more about the second coming than did Malachi. However, one must take the Book of Malachi seriously because of how often it was quoted by other prophets including the angel Moroni and Joseph Smith.

    In my mind, it is all about being prepared, keeping the commandments and living the gospel in the here and now.

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  10. Bishop Rick on December 26, 2010 at 8:44 PM

    Many generations have passed by over the last 2000 years, all thinking they were in the 11th hour. At what point do you stop and ask, “Is there ever going to be a second coming?”

    Is it after 2000 years, 3000 years, how many years does it take? When the average human life span is less than 100 years, its easy to keep pushing the date out.

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  11. Bored in Vernal on December 26, 2010 at 8:52 PM

    Bishop Rick. EXACTLY. And the ones who only believe there are 7000 years total are REALLY in trouble.

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  12. Steve on December 26, 2010 at 9:44 PM

    To me, the key is the scriptural reference to no one (not even the angels in heaven) know when the Second Coming will arrive.

    Thus, calculations like the 7000 one (and the similar D&C Section 77 reference), the Mayan calendar and every other become something less than a firm prediction.

    The problem is that many of these are by religious figures, general authorities and even scriptural .. how does one explain the large body of what appears to be inaccurate predictions+

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  13. Bishop Rick on December 26, 2010 at 10:10 PM

    Steve, many people choose to emphasize the scriptures that justify the length of the 11th hour, while ignoring the ones that call it into question.

    You can make the scriptures say whatever you want simply by emphasizing some scriptures while ignoring others. This makes it difficult to use scriptures as end all.

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  14. Wonderdog on December 27, 2010 at 5:28 AM

    Then there are those who overreach. One blogger feels that the Gulf oil spill was the “oceans turning to blood”.

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  15. Mike S on December 27, 2010 at 8:23 AM

    There have been dozens and dozens of claims for the date of the return of Christ. As you mentioned, there are even prophesies by Joseph Smith stating: Were I going to prophesy, I would say the end [of the world] would not come in 1844, 5, or 6, or in forty years. There are those of the rising generation who shall not taste death till Christ comes… I prophesy in the name of the Lord God, and let it be written-the Son of Man will not come in the clouds of heaven till I am eighty-five years old

    We have obviously explained all of these specific instances away including the “rising generation”. Similarly, all other previous dates for Christ’s Second Coming have been explained away. I do remember the whole Saturday’s Warrior hype going on in the 1970’s as well. That’s now been 40 years.

    Looking for a Messianic figure isn’t limited to the LDS faith, or even just Christianity, however.
    – One and a half billion Muslims are looking forward to the return of the Mahdi, a redeemer of Islam (who will interestingly fight along side Jesus according to some traditions). Just like false Christs, there have been people who claimed they were the Mahdi falsely.
    – Jews are still looking forward to the return of Messiah.
    – The Baha’i faith suggests the Second Coming has already occurred.
    – According to Hinduism, we live in an evil age. At the end of this age, God will return riding on a white horse and will usher in a “Golden Age”
    – In Buddhism, many believe that Buddha will return in the form of Maitreya who will achieve complete enlightenment and teach pure dharma.

    So, the idea of this being the 11th hour isn’t limited to the LDS Church, or even Christianity. Religions established centuries before as well as centuries after Christ lived on the earth all teach of a “second coming” of sorts which will usher in a golden age.

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  16. Paul on December 27, 2010 at 9:29 AM

    It is great fun to hoot at the over-anxious who have erroneously predicted global catastrophes followed by the second coming. It is not surprising that the scriptures don’t give us a very accurate road map, given our lack of understanding and the fact that the Lord doesn’t tend to overrule prophets’ misconceptions.

    On the other hand, the overall situation is much more precarious than I would prefer. We have the global population growing and utterly dependent (due to its size) on petro-chemical fertilizers. A majority of people would starve if oil was not available to make these fertilizers. We are basically at peak oil, a resource that people tend to fight over. We are undergoing the aging and weakening of the democracies. Global warming seems to be likely to add stress in the coming century. And finally, weapons proliferation mean that a medium-size nuclear conflict between India and Pakistan, for example, would bring a nuclear winter for the whole earth (calculated by world class physicists in Physics Today, 2009). This last point means that the survival of our civilization is to some extent out of our hands, even though it is unpopular to say so. All together, the situation calls for lots of wisdom, humility, understanding, and exceptional leadership. I am not seeing it, though we may get through these upcoming years by developing it. I think the catastrophic warnings match up to our situation better than ever before and call for the development of Christian virtues, which see a people through tough times. Will these times be the ones that lead to the second coming or not? I don’t know.

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  17. FireTag on December 27, 2010 at 3:46 PM

    I tend to agree largely with Paul. History. like the weather. tends to have placid times, great storms, and irreversible shifts. There are a great many important curves like population, environmental impact, weapons capability, communications links, etc. which are growing exponentially.

    Exponentials do not continue for very long without things changing in extreme ways. Humans may not even be the major players in the age to come. Yet, we will still be called upon to be faithful in whatever messiness emerges. Douglas Hunter makes an important point, too.

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  18. Justin on December 27, 2010 at 6:13 PM

    I’m of the opinion that the “11th hour” clock functions like the Liahona — its hands move in accordance with the faith of the people.

    The end really was nigh in the 1st century. The end really was nigh during the late 19th century. The end really is nigh today.

    It’s still the 11th hour b/c people still keep sitting around waiting for the Lord to come — instead of creating the kingdom of among ourselves.

    In general, this is because no one has a clear idea of what the future should look like. Unless we look forward and use our imagination to envision what the future is supposed to look like — how do we expect to remove ourselves from this present, fallen condition into a more exalted, heavenly one?

    Humans are largely spinning their wheels and letting the future bring what it may, without actually striving to shape it themselves [except for the secret combinations though].

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  19. Bishop Rick on December 27, 2010 at 6:35 PM

    Justin, who is supposed to build this kingdom? If the builders are limited to LDS, then we could be here for several more millennia…based on the .001 percent of the human population that is the LDS church.

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  20. Justin on December 27, 2010 at 8:19 PM

    Tell me — o ye of little faith — how does the sprinkle of yeast leaven the whole lump of bread?

    It wouldn’t take several more millennia if the saints would activate their tribal functions, seek after the best gifts of the Spirit [using faith as a principle of power -- not of action], and organize themselves into multihusband-multiwife tribes [as Joseph had initiated with D&C 132].

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  21. Mike S on December 27, 2010 at 10:33 PM

    Justin:

    I understand your point in theory. In reality, however, it wouldn’t take very long for people following this multi-tribal model to be excommunicated from the LDS Church.

    Do you therefore suggest that this “leavening” take place outside the LDS Church? And if not, do you think that things will actually ever change within the LDS Church? I am genuinely curious about you think this might be implemented on a practical basis.

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  22. Bishop Rick on December 28, 2010 at 12:16 AM

    Justin,

    You don’t make any sense. Your tribal fantasies are isolationist at best, disturbing at worst, and you still haven’t come up with a solution.

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  23. Tom on December 28, 2010 at 1:20 AM

    Justin et al:

    I think your view may be a bit misguided. While living in tribes or fantasizing over better familial living conditions may be of some use, I think an understanding of the 11th hour is better understood when we look closer at Christ’s teachings on the 2nd coming (apologies for the long sentence). Paramahansa Yogananda has some great teachings on this subject (especially his book, “The Second Coming of Christ: The Resurrection of the Christ Within You”). Likewise, others have also discussed this idea inside a Mormon viewpoint.

    My point: if we keep looking for a grand, spectacular “some day” event, then we miss living in the present and will never experience the second coming.

    I like C.S. Lewis’ statement on living in the “present” (from the Screwtape Letters:

    “The humans live in time but our Enemy destines them to eternity. He therefore, I
    believe, wants them to attend chiefly to two things, to eternity itself, and to
    that point of time which they call the Present. For the Present is the point at
    which time touches eternity. Of the present moment, and of it only, humans have
    an experience analogous to the experience which our Enemy has of reality as a
    whole; in it alone freedom and actuality are offered them. He would therefore
    have them continually concerned either with eternity (which means being
    concerned with Him) or with the Present—either meditating on their eternal union
    with, or separation from, Himself, or else obeying the present voice of
    conscience, bearing the present cross, receiving the present grace, giving
    thanks for the present pleasure.
    Our business is to get them away from the eternal, and from the Present. With
    this in view, we sometimes tempt a human (say a widow or a scholar) to live in
    the Past. But this is of limited value, for they have some real knowledge of the
    past and it has a determinate nature and, to that extent, resembles eternity.
    .It is far better to make them live in the Future. Biological necessity makes
    all their passions point in that direction already, so that thought about the
    Future inflames hope and fear. Also, it is unknown to them, so that in making
    them think about it we make them think of unrealities. In a word, the Future is,
    of all things, the thing least like eternity. It is the most completely temporal
    part of time—for the Past is frozen and no longer flows, and the Present is all
    lit up with eternal rays. Hence the encouragement we have given to all those
    schemes of thought such as Creative Evolution, Scientific Humanism, or
    Communism, which fix men’s affections on the Future, on the very core of
    temporality. Hence nearly all vices are rooted in the future. Gratitude looks to
    the past and love to the present; fear, avarice, lust, and ambition look ahead.”

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  24. Justin on December 28, 2010 at 6:26 AM

    Mike S: “I understand your point in theory. In reality, however, it wouldn’t take very long for people following this multi-tribal model to be excommunicated from the LDS Church.
    Do you therefore suggest that this “leavening” take place outside the LDS Church?

    First, while there are serious consequences to consider before attempting to establish a tribe using the multihusband-multiwife marriage system b/c if it is learned that a person is even planning such an activity, he or she will be disciplined. Further, if those entering such marriages plan it right and understand how they are going to present it [or not present it] to the public, to the church and to their children — then the Brethren can’t do anything thing about it. They can’t stop the marriage from happening, they can’t discipline the newlyweds without evidence, witnesses and/or confessions, and they can’t keep the for-time plural spouses unsealed [because eventually all marriages will be sealed in the temple during the Millennium].

    The Lord has, essentially, opened the way for any of His sons and daughters to establish themselves tribally, without repercussions from the state or from the church. The only ones who have power to stop it from happening are the wives.

    So — do I suggest that the “leavening” take place outside of the church? I suggest that it take place among tribes b/c this is the only way things “will actually ever change within the LDS Church.”

    Tom:

    While I agree with your point that “if we keep looking for a grand, spectacular “some day” event, then we miss living in the present and will never experience the second coming.” — b/c in an earlier comment, I said that it’s still the 11th hour b/c people still keep sitting around waiting for the Lord to come — instead of creating the kingdom of among ourselves.

    I also agreed with the link you provided: “The Pharisees were interested in the subject because they envied the kingdom of heaven. They wanted to own it. They wanted to control it. If they could locate it, and usurp it, then they would have power over others who sought it.

    However, there is another end of the spectrum that is just as problematic as idealist, isolationist, and disturbing people like Justin et. al. — and that’s the people who spiritualize away the meaning of concrete things. I don’t think we can personalize every sign of the 2nd coming, do you?

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  25. Justin on December 28, 2010 at 6:52 AM

    Rick — you never answered — how does the sprinkle of yeast leaven the whole lump? Sir, it is you who has not come up with a solution to anything.

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  26. Mike S on December 28, 2010 at 8:19 AM

    Tom: Re: “The Second Coming of Christ: The Resurrection of the Christ Within You”

    That’s a great book. I’m only about halfway through the first volume but so far it is very enlightening.

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  27. Thomas on December 28, 2010 at 12:27 PM

    “I think the catastrophic warnings match up to our situation better than ever before and call for the development of Christian virtues, which see a people through tough times. Will these times be the ones that lead to the second coming or not? I don’t know.”

    Leaving aside debating whether or not we’re close to “peak oil” (no), whether catastrophic global warming is likely (ditto) or whether without zero population growth, the rest of us are through (in civilized countries, birthrates are crashing, followed increasingly by uncivilized ones), it will take a lot of convincing to convince me that anything remotely on the horizon promises to compare to the fourteenth century.

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  28. Thomas on December 28, 2010 at 12:32 PM

    “Hence nearly all vices are rooted in the future. Gratitude looks to
    the past and love to the present; fear, avarice, lust, and ambition look ahead.”

    Thanks for the quote.

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  29. Bishop Rick on December 28, 2010 at 1:46 PM

    Justin,

    The solution is to grow the church. Your tribal plan destroys the church. I don’t see how usurping LDS authority and breaking up into tribes, practicing things that will get you excommunicated, does anything to grow the church or establish a Zion on earth. It establishes anarchy, but that seems to be your goal.

    Your yeast analogy doesn’t apply here. People are not yeast. They don’t spread and multiply simply by adding warmth and moisture.

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  30. Justin on December 28, 2010 at 2:41 PM

    Rick:

    I’ll assume that by “church” you mean — the Church(TM) according to the definition outlined in a corporate charter — whereas, when I talk about the church, I have in mind the definition outlined in D&C 10:67-69.

    Activating one’s tribal functions, which includes growing that tribe, grows the church — just not the Church(TM) you refer to.

    Admittedly, the conversation you are having with me does not apply to our original comments concerning the end times. You and I simply have a different understanding of what the priesthood is, what authority is, and how tribes work within the gospel of Jesus Christ. But that has little to do with the “11th hour.”

    So, regarding the OP — my understanding is that the coming of Jesus that will usher in a Millennial area of peace will not come to a people waiting around for time to pass. It will come as the Lord’s people build the kind of community that can accept such a change in the environment.

    Is this still isolationist at best — disturbing at worst?

    Oh yeah, your aversion to yeast analogies made me chuckle. Thanks.

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  31. Andrew S on December 28, 2010 at 2:55 PM

    (Comment fished from filter)

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  32. Justin on December 28, 2010 at 3:42 PM

    Andrew — thanks, I figured that would happen.

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  33. Bishop Rick on December 28, 2010 at 5:48 PM

    “my understanding is that the coming of Jesus that will usher in a Millennial area of peace will not come to a people waiting around for time to pass. It will come as the Lord’s people build the kind of community that can accept such a change in the environment.”

    Justin, I appreciate your opinion of when the second coming will occur, but its not based on anything but your opinion. There is no scripture or precedent to back this up. Additionally, no one is sitting around waiting for time to pass. That notion is folly

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  34. Justin on December 28, 2010 at 6:38 PM

    Rick:

    I appreciate your opinion of when the second coming will occur, but its not based on anything but your opinion. There is no scripture or precedent to back this up.

    Incorrect on two accounts: one, I doubt you appreciated it and two, D&C 105:3-6.

    3 But behold, they have not learned to be obedient to the things which I required at their hands, but are full of all manner of evil, and do not impart of their substance, as becometh saints, to the poor and afflicted among them;
    4 And are not united according to the union required by the law of the celestial kingdom;
    5 And Zion cannot be built up unless it is by the principles of the law of the celestial kingdom; otherwise I cannot receive her unto myself.
    6 And my people must needs be chastened until they learn obedience, if it must needs be, by the things which they suffer.

    “Otherwise I cannot receive her unto myself.” Sorry, but He’s waiting on us — while we sit around and wait for him.

    Additionally, no one is sitting around waiting for time to pass. That notion is folly.

    Sorry, but increasing our membership numbers ["to grow the church"] is not getting the wealthy to impart their surplus to the needy, it is not uniting saints by covenantal bonds, and therefore will not build up Zion.

    Mankind is largely spinning their wheels and letting the future bring what it may, without actually striving to shape it themselves

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  35. Thomas on December 28, 2010 at 7:37 PM

    “Mankind is largely spinning their wheels and letting the future bring what it may, without actually striving to shape it themselves.”

    Whenever mankind (or its self-anointed vanguard) sets out to shape the capital-F Future, as opposed to striving to shape small, discrete parts of it, there’s invariably an epic across-the-board screwup. No single mind, no matter how partially inspired, is capable of processing enough information to Shape the Future.

    The future gets shaped best when shaping it is an unconscious, collective effort, with each man working on his own part of the puzzle. Grand Visions invariably forget to carry a two somewhere in the calculations, and wind up shackling us all to orthodoxies long after it ought to be apparent they’re not living up to their advertising.

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  36. SUNNofaB.C.Rich on December 28, 2010 at 8:12 PM

    I’m constantly actively defending against people trying to take my “surplus”. “”surplus”” maybe the people that want to take people’s “””surplus”””” should quit TALKING about it and actually try and do it.

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  37. Bishop Rick on December 29, 2010 at 2:12 AM

    Justin, surely you can see that these scriptures are talking about the saints not being redeemed from their present trials due to their lack of obeying the law of consecration. This has nothing to do with the second coming. You are trying to shoehorn these scriptures into your limited paradigm, and its not working.

    You say that the second coming is based on building up Zion and the way to do this is thru the united order, but then you say the way to achieve a united order is via polygamous tribes.

    (you do realize that polygamy can’t sustain itself beyond a few generations don’t you? Do Lost Boys mean anything to you?).

    Oh and let’s not forget that you are defying church leadership in the process. You are going rogue and your plan is a disaster.

    Look if it makes you feel better to justify the length of the 11th hour with elements that will never be achieved, then good on you. As for me, I think its a bunch of hooey.

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  38. Thomas on December 29, 2010 at 4:17 PM

    “you do realize that polygamy can’t sustain itself beyond a few generations don’t you?”

    Depends. All you need to make it sustainable is to adopt a warrior-ethic tribal model, like the Afghans, American Indians (historically), or some of the rougher species of great apes. That has a twofold payoff: You get to raid the next tribe over for their women, plus you get your surplus males killed off. There’s your Sustainable Polygamy model right there.

    Unfortunately, it’s hard to reconcile the old-school warrior ethic with worshipping a Prince of Peace. So Mormon polygamy was probably doomed one way or the other.

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  39. Bishop Rick on December 29, 2010 at 4:57 PM

    Thomas, I have to give you that one.

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  40. Justin on December 29, 2010 at 9:55 PM

    (you do realize that polygamy can’t sustain itself beyond a few generations don’t you? Do Lost Boys mean anything to you?).
    Unfortunately, it’s hard to reconcile the old-school warrior ethic with worshipping a Prince of Peace. So Mormon polygamy was probably doomed one way or the other.

    Thomas and Rick — you should use the term polygyny when that is what you mean. Your comments confused me until I figured out what you were talking about.

    Poly+gamy is many marriages — which would look like a multihusband-multiwife tribe. The mis-matched gender ratio that results with polygyny or polyandry does not apply to polygamy.

    Rick: “You say that the second coming is based on building up Zion and the way to do this is thru the united order, but then you say the way to achieve a united order is via polygamous tribes.

    The scripture I quoted says that: Zion cannot be built up unless it is by the principles of the law of the celestial kingdom; otherwise I cannot receive her unto myself.

    Methinks there is more going on than just, “the saints not being redeemed from their present trials due to their lack of obeying the law of consecration.

    You seem confused on this matter — there are certain covenants given to the Gentile Mormons that are sufficient to establish them in Zion. One is the law of consecration, in which they freely share of their substance. Another is the United Order, in which they bind themselves by covenant to establish Zion. Yet another is the new and everlasting covenant of marriage [plural marriage, not polygyny] in which they freely give of their love and hearts in plural marriages, binding all members together by bonds of kinship [hence the term "tribe"].

    Of the three covenants though — plural marriage is probably the most powerful b/c if one is able to give consent to freely share a spouse with other spouses, effectively eliminating all jealousy and envy, then sharing everything else would be a breeze.

    Also, SUNNofaB.C.Rich:
    Don’t worry — no one is going to stop you from damning yourself by clinging to your surplus and thereby remaining wealthy.

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  41. SUNNofaB.C.Rich on December 29, 2010 at 10:05 PM

    oh, I don’t have any “surplus” (except for a bunch of army surplus) I just wanted to see if you were the guy that siphoned the gas out of my 74 Econoline. Gotta get a locking gas cap! Some crackheads gonna get shot right in the face with a rifle from WWII. I might even bayonet them if I catch em.

    Oh yeah, but when you talk about Mormon polygamy you’re talking about “polygny” exclusively. You and I went over this before. Remember the whole God condemns to hell “til death do you part” Polyandrists but gives the thumbs up to “til death do you part” Polygynists? Round two? let’s go.

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  42. Justin on December 29, 2010 at 10:15 PM

    You and I went over this before. Remember the whole God condemns to hell “til death do you part” Polyandrists but gives the thumbs up to “til death do you part” Polygynists? Round two? let’s go.

    I do remember your point from round one — but remember that no marriages are ever “for time only” because all marriages will be sealed posthumously either now [in the 11th hour] or during the Millennium [I guess we call that the 12th hour?].

    So the marriages you claimed condemn women to hell will become celestial marriages, which do not condemn them. Round two will not be necessary.

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  43. SUNNofaB.C.Rich on December 29, 2010 at 10:21 PM

    gee, then what was the point in clearly specifying that “til death do you part” polyandrist marriages condemn a woman to hell?

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  44. SUNNofaB.C.Rich on December 29, 2010 at 10:49 PM

    D&C 132 is the mumbo jumbo i’m talkin bout, sport. D&C 132:63 “But if one or either of the ten virgins, after she is espoused, shall be with another man, she has committed adultery, and shall be destroyed”

    Dude marries ten chicks, if any of the ten marries another dude. Boom. Destroyed. Read the entire chapter of D&C 132 and tell me that crap is logical. Anybody.

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  45. Bishop Rick on December 30, 2010 at 12:54 AM

    D&C 132 is about as logical as Justin.
    Need I say more?

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  46. Justin on December 30, 2010 at 5:59 AM

    Boy talk about destroying the church and usurping LDS authority (Rick in #29), you (Rick in #45) are quick to dismiss canonized revelation by a sustained prophet — at least when it doesn’t mesh with your personal opinions.

    Telling indeed — you needn’t say more.

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  47. Bored in Vernal on December 30, 2010 at 8:09 AM

    A bit off topic, but you know how I always enjoy discussing polygamy..

    I actually think Justin’s conception of the tribal model is a pretty interesting take on polygamy, including as it does allowance for polyandry and a more equitable system for females. It fits with what we know of Joseph Smith’s marriages, but not so much with D&C 132. I’d like to see Justin’s defense of this, so I think I’ll start another post on the topic.. look for it!

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  48. Justin on December 30, 2010 at 11:13 AM

    BIV — Thanks, I’ll keep my eye out,

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  49. Tom on December 30, 2010 at 2:34 PM

    Justin et al: have you ever stopped to think that perhaps Section 132 just might not be all that it claims to be?

    If truth is to stand on its own, then why even state, “quick to dismiss canonized revelation by a sustained prophet”. More authority whoring? So if a “sustained prophet” canonizes gay marriage, does that mean that it shouldn’t be dismissed? [Only pointing out something I consider to be a logical fallacy and our cultural penchant for failing to question anything that comes from the COB, even though the COB would have to wait for Moyle and his infamous building plan. Christ's message is His authority. If the message is from Him, it needn't be referenced as a "canonized revelation by a sustained prophet." See this for more on that topic].

    Before assailing me for preaching against “canonized revelations”, I’d at least recommend going here and reading something different on the subject.

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  50. Tom on December 30, 2010 at 2:38 PM

    P.S. It should not be presumed that I think D&C 132 is dubious, or even that I agree with the link I provided – just something different to masticate on today.

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  51. Bishop Rick on December 30, 2010 at 3:51 PM

    Justin, The LDS church has dismissed this “canonized revelation by a sustained prophet” where it pertains to plural marriage. Don’t believe me? Try marrying a second wife in the temple while still married to your first wife…who is still alive.

    Polygamy is a disgusting practice with no merit…tribe or no tribe. The only way to sustain it is by murder, enslavement of neighboring tribes or casting out members of your own tribe.

    That is just utter nonsense. It is an example of de-evolution. You are going backwards, acting more like primitive apes than exhalted beings.

    This mixture of polygyny and polyandry sounds like a big free for all orgy under the guise of religion.

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  52. Justin on December 30, 2010 at 4:01 PM

    Tom: If the message is from Him, it needn’t be referenced as a “canonized revelation by a sustained prophet.

    Well said. No authority whoring — my comment (#46) was said in the spirit of Rick’s comment (#29) that our solution lies in increasing LDS membership records.

    However, a revelation being sustained by the keys of the church as being binding on the church is of a different nature for the church. I agree with “truth is truth” as it relates to personal matters.

    Rick: Try marrying a second wife in the temple while still married to your first wife…who is still alive.

    Try marrying a first wife in the temple without obtaining a state-issued marriage license. What of it?

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  53. LDS Anarchist on December 30, 2010 at 5:31 PM

    Justin et al: have you ever stopped to think that perhaps Section 132 just might not be all that it claims to be?

    I’m a convert to the church, so I had to make the jump from believing only the Bible to believing the Bible plus the BoM, the D&C and the PoGP. I received a witness from the Spirit of the truthfulness of the BoM, the D&C revelations and the Pearl of Great Price, which is why I now believe these books to be scripture. Since receiving these witnesses, I have not “stopped to think that perhaps Section 132 just might not be all that it claims to be.”

    Do you recommend that I begin doubting every revelation that I have ever received? Or only the one concerning D&C 132?

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  54. LDS Anarchist on December 30, 2010 at 5:40 PM

    Btw, my previous question was directed at Tom #49.

    BiV #47, I, also, look forward to your post and to Justin’s defense.

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  55. Bishop Rick on December 30, 2010 at 6:16 PM

    Anarchist, if it is your own personal revelation, then that is up to you to interpret, but my recommendation is to never blanket accept someone else’s revelation based solely on their title or calling. Prophets and Apostles can be (have been) wrong.

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  56. Justin on December 30, 2010 at 7:05 PM

    Rick: Prophets and Apostles can be (have been) wrong.

    I assume that you must mean all but the present ones. Because I had you pegged as someone who sees the solution for building up Zion as to increase LDS membership records numbers (#29), and who would be against tribal worship services because they usurp LDS authority (#29) and defy church leadership (#37) — you sure now seem open to LDSA working by personal revelation and discarding a person’s title or calling. Great!

    FWIW, I’ve enjoyed our off-topic discussion on the Lord’s law for marriage, including the doctrine of multihusband-multiwife plural marriage systems. Oh yeah — and your aversion to anything canonized in D&C 132 and to yeast analogies.

    Cheers.

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  57. SUNNofaB.C.Rich on December 30, 2010 at 7:52 PM

    My whole problem with all this is someone trying to pass off D&C 132 as some form of “free love” ultra-enlightened, gender egalitarian “tribal” utopian marriage system.

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  58. Tom on December 30, 2010 at 8:18 PM

    #53 LDSA:

    So I’m to presume that a revelation that says something is true entails, indeed empiricizes, that everything therein is beyond reproach?

    Sort of like how Hinckley (et al) say that if the first vision is true, then everything that follows is necessarily, yay verily, true and correct and beyond reproach? And, if you go back to my original comment, I can’t say that I had you in mind when I made it, so what of it? Do I have to specifically state who my comments are directed to in order to make a simple comment?

    Are all the “revelations” in the D&C of the same variety, the same source, the same veracity, the same origin? None of them have ever been “revised” since they were originally transcribed by later scribes or whoever it was? If they have been changed, then am I to accept those pre-1835 as divine, or am I to accept the current edition as divine, especially when words or meanings have changed? You can have your “spiritual witnesses” or whatever you choose to call them, but that doesn’t mean that I can’t disagree with blanket assessments. As for me, the Lord has never told me that everything contained in all of our “standard works” is true and of divine origin. Maybe that’s because I like my correlated scriptures too much.

    Until then, the only thing I would likely recommend you do is not to assume too much by the words I right.

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  59. zo-ma-rah on December 30, 2010 at 8:40 PM

    I think Justin’s idea about the 11th hour is interesting. And it does make sense. I don’t know if it is accurate or not, but it is worth pondering.

    SUNNofaB.C.Rich, “Dude marries ten chicks, if any of the ten marries another dude. Boom. Destroyed.”

    But then there is verse 41:
    “And as ye have asked concerning adultery, verily, verily, I say unto you, if a man receiveth a wife in the new and everlasting covenant, and if she be with another man, and I have not appointed unto her by the holy anointing, she hath committed adultery and shall be destroyed.

    But if she is with another man and the Lord HAS appointed her by the holy anointing, then she hasn’t committed adultery and will not be destroyed.

    Bishop Rick, “The solution is to grow the church…I don’t see how usurping LDS authority,… does anything to grow the church or establish a Zion on earth.”

    I disagree. The Church is simply a vehicle for the spreading of the Gospel. The Stone that will fill the earth is the Gospel, not the Church(Not to mention the L-DS church is not the only legitimate successor to the original Church). It doesn’t matter if the Church has 100 bazillion jillion members. If the members of the Church are not living those things to establish Zion, then Zion will never be established. Zion is not established through numbers but through living Celestial laws. Zion is established through becoming pure in heart, united, holy, and gathering together. We must have all the elements to establish Zion. We must become pure. We must live the Laws of God. We must gather together in Cities of Zion. We can’t have Zion if we do not do have all those things.

    So does the Church teach us to live the Law of Consecration? Does the Church teach us gather to Cities of Zion? No it doesn’t, so we must do it ourselves. If Zion will not purify herself then the Lord will seek another people. We know the gentiles will sin against the Gospel and that is just what is happening in our days. We must live God’s laws, regardless if it is mentioned by a Church leader or not. If we do not we will not be counted among the righteous.

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  60. LDS Anarchist on December 30, 2010 at 9:39 PM

    Tom #58, I know that you were not directing your words to me. I hadn’t even commented on this post when you wrote them. I responded to them in the way I did to show that not everyone approaches D&C 132 in the same way. One accepts it because it is canonized. Another because it makes sense scripturally. Another rejects it because it does not make sense scripturally. Another accepts only part of it (monogamous celestial marriage) while rejecting the rest (polygamy). Others reject the entire thing (CoC, etc.) Some are still out to lunch on it, having never received a witness for or against it, one way or another. Some just don’t want to think about or discuss it, at all. And so on and so forth.

    Your question posed to everyone in general presupposed that D&C 132 might not be a revelation. You stated, “Have you ever stopped to think that perhaps Section 132 just might not be all that it claims to be?” What does it claim to be? The answer is it claims to be a bona fide revelation from God. That is the claim. The only way to think that it is not a revelation from God is if it is unknown that it is a revelation from God, meaning that no one has received personal revelation on this section. Had you asked, “Have you ever stopped to think that perhaps Section 132 just might be all that it claims to be?” this would be a presupposition that it might be a real revelation. But you didn’t do this, you worded your question in the negative (not revelation) and not in the positive (real revelation.)

    Your intention, I’m sure, was to show that our over reliance upon what our leaders say might be responsible for so many accepting this revelation as real, when in fact it may not be. Coming from a position of unsureness, not having received a witness from the Spirit, it is understandable that you phrased the question the way you did. Had you received a witness that the revelation was in fact the word of God, you would never have tried to put doubt in anyone’s mind concerning it, but instead would have tried to encourage people to believe in it.

    I answered as I did because there seemed to be a vacuum on this post of people who asserted that the section was true because of their personal revelation to the same. Many seemed to be approaching it with a big question mark (unsureness of its origin or validity), or with outright negativity.

    If the Book of Mormon is true, and I believe it is, then Moroni 10: 5 should apply equally to D&C 132. If a person doesn’t know that D&C 132 is the word of God, the solution is to find out by the power of the Holy Ghost. And whatever the Holy Ghost says to you, just believe. My comment was not an attack on you, but to merely show that I had applied that verse in Moroni to D&C 132 and had received an answer and was no longer at a crossroads. In other words, to show that it is possible to have the question cleared up affirmatively without simply relying upon what the leaders are saying to us.

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  61. SUNNofaB.C.Rich on December 30, 2010 at 9:58 PM

    Zo Ma Rah:

    nowhere in DC 132 does it say: “But if she is with another man and the Lord HAS appointed her by the holy anointing, then she hasn’t committed adultery and will not be destroyed.”

    youre assuming that’s implied. The only possibly route for polyandry according to DC 132 however, is if a womans husband commits adultery and Joe gives her to another dude. Not quite the polyandry/polygyny free for all is it? DC 132:61 goes on to say that the dude that gets ten virgins (man, where else have I heard the virgins for bein righteous thing…) they belong to him and NO ONE else. So what trumps what. What you think is implied or what is actually written.

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  62. Bored in Vernal on December 30, 2010 at 10:56 PM

    I got a little confused and had to go back to #40 to see just where D&C 132 came into the conversation.. :) Anyway, I bet we can all agree that 132 teaches polygamy. And Justin (correct me if I’m wrong) connects polygamy with consecration. He says that since we are not living the principles of consecration the Lord is delaying his coming. Without getting into the details of polygamy, don’t you all think he has a point here? Aren’t there other places in the D&C where the Lord delays or revokes because of the disobedience of the Saints? I think I might rather believe the Lord is delaying his coming than to give in to the utterly discouraging thought that there is to be no glorious millennial reign..

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  63. SUNNofaB.C.Rich on December 30, 2010 at 11:39 PM

    I very seriously doubt that Mormons not practicing “polygyny” (that’s one dude and a bunch of chicks for those who don’t know.) is what’s keeping Jesus from coming back. so called “anarchist” punks trying to take peoples stuff isn’t going to make him show up any quicker either. It’s going to take a big barn burner to make that dude show up not some sanctimonious wankers pontificating on how cool it is to be an “anarchist” (communist type) or some 1800’s throwbacks admiring their beard with no moustache and all their chickies sporting the “delta claw” hair-do. Call me a cynic but it’s a big planet ya know.

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  64. zo-ma-rah on December 31, 2010 at 12:25 AM

    SUNNofaB.C.Rich

    You’re right it doesn’t say that. But it says the opposite of that.

    “And as ye have asked concerning adultery, verily, verily, I say unto you, if a man receiveth a wife in the new and everlasting covenant, and if she be with another man, and I have not appointed unto her by the holy anointing, she hath committed adultery and shall be destroyed.”

    If a woman is with another man, and the Lord has not appointed her by the holy anointing, then she has committed adultery. That’s what that verse says.

    So the only way a woman commits adultery here is if she is with another man, and the Lord has not appointed her. So if she is with another man and the Lord HAS appointed her, then she has not commited adultery.

    It’s a simple inversion of the sentence, not implication. It means the exact same thing only the verse is stated in the negative.

    If there was blanket condemnation for any woman who is with another man then why include the condition, “and I have not appointed unto her by the holy anointing”? I don’t think the Lord just thought the phrase looked pretty. It actually means something. The meaning is as a condition regarding the adultery of a woman who is with another man.

    When a woman is with another man there are only two conditions, she has been appointed by the Lord, or she has not been appointed by the Lord. The verse tells us that she is condemned if she is not appointed. If she was still condemned even though she was appointed then the condition would be meaningless and not included. The only choice is that with the Lord’s appointment a woman can be with another man and not commit adultery.

    How do you interpret that verse?

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  65. LDS Anarchist on December 31, 2010 at 12:37 AM

    And Justin (correct me if I’m wrong) connects polygamy with consecration. He says that since we are not living the principles of consecration the Lord is delaying his coming. Without getting into the details of polygamy, don’t you all think he has a point here?

    BiV #62, the principle, as I understand it, is that God only works (and shows Himself) according to the faith of the children of men.

    This means that the timetable is dependent upon us (the children of men), or in other words, it is variable. We can establish Zion now, if we so choose (according to our agency), and become the people who fulfill the prophecies that are spoken of in the scriptures.

    The timetable is also fixed, according to the foreknowledge of the Lord. Regardless of what we do, there will be a people who fulfill the prophecies according to the fixed timetable. So, we can only dilly-dally for so long before the cup of our iniquity runs over and we are swept out of the covenant (destroyed) to be replaced by another people who chooses to fulfill the prophecies every whit according to the fixed 7,000 timetable.

    This doesn’t destroy agency, as it will be the agency of those people (or us) that fulfills the prohecies.

    At any rate, the Lord does not, nor will He, delay His coming. We are not yet at the end of the sixth seal, or sixth thousand years. We still have some time for the prophecies to be fulfilled according to the fixed time.

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  66. LDS Anarchist on December 31, 2010 at 12:40 AM

    er, that should read “7,000 year timetable”.

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  67. Sustainable Polygamy | Wheat and Tares on December 31, 2010 at 3:03 PM

    [...] “lost boys” of the FLDS!  I’ve wanted to do this for quite a while, and in my last post, two scenarios were mentioned.  The first, by commenter Thomas, I mention with tongue in cheek: [...]

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  68. Bishop Rick on December 31, 2010 at 4:03 PM

    Justin,

    I have never seen anyone talk so much without saying anything. Your ability to deflect your own shortcomings is commendable, but you don’t fool me.

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  69. Bishop Rick on December 31, 2010 at 4:28 PM

    zo-ma-rah,

    “I think Justin’s idea about the 11th hour is interesting. And it does make sense.”

    Normally you would have lost me right there, but I fought temptation and continued reading.

    “The Church is simply a vehicle for the spreading of the Gospel. The Stone that will fill the earth is the Gospel, not the Church”

    We are talking about the same thing here. Don’t waste everyone’s time with semantics.

    “Not to mention the L-DS church is not the only legitimate successor to the original Church”

    It is if you believe the first vision.

    “It doesn’t matter if the Church has 100 bazillion jillion members. If the members of the Church are not living those things to establish Zion, then Zion will never be established. Zion is not established through numbers but through living Celestial laws.”

    I can’t tell you on how many levels this statement is wrong. Where do I start. Let’s use an analogy.

    There are 7000 people in the town of Zion. 7 of them are LDS (reasonable percentage). It is up to the 7 to turn Zion into er Zion. The only way to do that is to convert the other 6993 people in Zion to the way of the 7.

    You say all 7000 can be members but it doesn’t matter if they are living the laws. I say if there are only 7 are members the discussion is over, but if there are 7000, we have something to work with.

    “Zion is established through becoming pure in heart, united, holy, and gathering together.”

    And warring, tribal orgies accomplishes this?

    “So does the Church teach us to live the Law of Consecration? Does the Church teach us gather to Cities of Zion? No it doesn’t,”

    Now here is something we can agree on.

    “so we must do it ourselves.”

    Ah, you’ve gone and lost me again. How can you believe the first vision is true, the book of mormon is true, Joseph Smith was the prophet of the restored gospel, and still say that? Now if you were to tell me that you don’t believe all those things, then you might start to pull me back in.

    “If Zion will not purify herself then the Lord will seek another people. We know the gentiles will sin against the Gospel and that is just what is happening in our days.”

    I got news for you. Unless your name is Leibowitz, Lipschitz or some Hebrew name, YOU are a gentile.

    “We must live God’s laws, regardless if it is mentioned by a Church leader or not. If we do not we will not be counted among the righteous.”

    Now you are just showing your ignorance.

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  70. SUNNofaB.C.Rich on December 31, 2010 at 6:03 PM

    Zomarah, actually youre not really saying anything different than I was. I just got ahead of myself and assumed you were going to argue that a woman can just get appointed another husband on a whim. Verse 44 is the only mention of how a woman would possibly get appointed another husband. Husband commits adultery, Joe (or someone else?) appoints her a new husband. (no mention of divorce anywhere in that whole chapter either… huh.)

    So the major difference concerning polyandry/polygyny is that a woman has to be APPOINTED a husband, whereas a man if he desires to espouse ten more chicks go for it. Which is why I said that this notion that DC 132 promotes some sort of gender egalitarian tribal plural marriage utopia nonsense is a complete and total farce. Just call it what it is, the world will respect you more.

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  71. Bishop Rick on December 31, 2010 at 7:35 PM

    I don’t want anyone appointing a wife for me.

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