Posts filed under ‘Community of Christ’
This is an announcement and an invitation.
Nearly all of the permanent bloggers formerly at the Mormon Matters blog have chosen to continue and expand our journey in a new vehicle which we will formally launch on Monday, October 4. That new vehicle is Wheat & Tares.
CROSS-POSTED TO MORMONMATTERS.ORG 5/29/10. JOIN THE DISCUSSION THERE!
Distinctly Mormon doctrines relating the physical appearance of humanity to God’s own “preferred” form grew gradually in early Restoration history rather than springing forth full form. Although there are references in the Book of Mormon (the earliest recorded of Joseph Smith’s prophetic writings) to the Brother of Jared seeing the “finger” and then the full vision of Christ, even the earliest published accounts of the First Vision do not feature descriptions of two personages appearing as does the “official” version eventually recorded several years after formation of the church. This doesn’t mean that later descriptions were contradictory to the first version; it does suggest that certain features of the encounter took on greater significance in light of subsequent experience.
The emphasis on the “physicality of God” even in the spiritual realm grew in concert with notions of the Eternal Family and its role and function in achieving and living in Celestial Glory. The elaboration of this theology is natural as the early church leadership began to push, at first secretly, new forms of marriage and family life, but it was not an inevitable evolution of the theology of the 1830 Restoration. For example, no one in the Community of Christ expects that the afterlife is about progressing to populate new worlds with our own spiritual offspring, as Heavenly Father populated our own world. In one denomination, it is THE Heavenly Father; in the other it is Heavenly Father, with the seldom spoken inference that there may be Heavenly Mother lurking in the theology as well.
Recently I was requested by Mormon Heretic to prepare some posts about the process by which the Community of Christ adds to its Doctrine and Covenants that would be of interest to an LDS audience. MH has now posted the first of these at Mormon Matters.
UPDATE: MH has now posted a second, follow-up post on Mormon Matters that discusses some of the “headlines” from the proposed CofChrist Section 164 that will be most notable to LDS readership.
I am an avid reader of Morgan Deane (see his listing in the Science and Theology section of the blogroll) who studies the Book of Mormon from the perspective of an infantryman who is also a military historian. He recently produced a tactical analysis of the battle for Nephihah (as described in Alma) that induced me to spend time last week extending Morgan’s ideas on Nephihah to the operational and strategic level. He has graciously published my comments as a guest post.
DNA conclusively shows that America was first settled by people who were separated from the rest of humanity approximately 20,000 years ago. The founding population contained 5 human haplotypes (A,B,C,D and X) that imply clear association with a Siberian basis for the settlement. Apologists for a historical basis for the Book of Mormon have tried to find ways to refute this information.
My question is, “Why?” This is the kind of evidence an apologist would want to find to support a historical interpretation of the Book of Mormon.
Really. You have.
In fact, you’ve written this post before. And I’ve commented before on your witty style and clever application of science to theological thought.
That’s the implication of work by cosmologists like Max Tegmark. And although much of the science with theological implications is uncontroversial among scientists, I don’t know that many people in Mormonism are aware of it, or have considered its implications for particular Mormon belief systems. I think it’s time we did, because it may give an entirely new take to what are simultaneously some of the most troubling and the most attractive aspects of the Mormon religious tradition.
Over at Mormon Heretic I made a suggestion about interpreting numbers in military units (like the Sons of Helaman). Initially skeptical, Morgan Deane at Mormon War issued a post this weekend more supportine of the idea.
Morgan also is looking to put together a conference of scholars with interest in the study of what military history can tell us about interpreting the teachings of the Book of Mormon. I urge my “myriads” of readers to look at his post Myriads of Soldiers (linked above) and the other insights he offers on his site. If you are a student of the Book of Mormon, Morgan will suggest some background you may never have suspected might be present.