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The Other LDS ( Mormon ) Heroes

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An overview of several non-traditional Mormon heroes.

An overview of several non-traditional Mormon heroes.

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  • 1. LDS Heroes
    • John P. Dehlin
  • 2. Fun LDS Heroes
    • John P. Dehlin
  • 3. Nephi
  • 4. Nephi’s Arm
  • 5. Ammon
  • 6. Ammon’s Chest
  • 7. Abinadi
  • 8. Not bad, eh?
  • 9. Mormon
  • 10. Holy Cow!!!
  • 11. LDS Superheroes
  • 12. Joseph Smith Obadiah Stane Cypher
  • 13. “I am one of the three. I am Nephite.”
  • 14. Traditional LDS Heroes
    • John P. Dehlin
  • 15. Joseph Smith
  • 16. Eliza R. Snow
  • 17. Mary Fielding Smith
  • 18. Brigham Young
  • 19. David O. McKay
  • 20. Gordon B. Hinckley
  • 21. Heroes ... all of them
  • 22. Non-Traditional LDS Heroes
    • John P. Dehlin
  • 23. A few disclaimers...
  • 24. I am not a role model
  • 25. All of the following represents....
    • My limited understanding of LDS history
    • My (changing) version of the narrative(s) Warning: Do not believe ANYTHING I say at face value!!! Study it our for yourselves.
  • 26. “ The Church welcomes inquisitiveness ....[but] not every statement made by a Church leader, past or present, necessarily constitutes doctrine. A single statement made by a single leader on a single occasion often represents a personal, though well-considered, opinion, but is not meant to be officially binding for the whole.” Church.”
    • From “Approaching Mormon Doctrine” LDS Church
    • 4 May 2007
  • 27. “ A man’s called a traitor, or liberator. A rich man’s a thief, or philanthropist. Is one a crusader, or ruthless invader? It’s all in what labels are able to persist. There are precious few at ease with moral ambiguities So we act as though they don’t exist.” So we act as though they don’t exist.” So we act as though they don’t exist.” So we act as though they don’t exist.” So we act as though they don’t exist.” So we act as though they don’t exist.” So we act as though they don’t exist.” So we act as though they don’t exist.”
    • From “Wicked” The Musical
  • 28. “ No black hats, no white hats.” Gregory Prince Gregory Prince
  • 29. Non-Traditional LDS Heroes
    • John P. Dehlin
  • 30. Emma Smith
  • 31. “ Joseph and Emma Smith's marriage of 17 years was blessed with 11 children (2 adopted), 6 of whom died in infancy.” http://JosephSmith.net http://JosephSmith.net http://JosephSmith.net
  • 32. In his journal for 1842, Joseph reflected: "Many were the reverberations of my mind when I contemplated for a moment the many scenes we had been called to pass through. The fatigues, and the toils, the sorrows, and sufferings, and the joys and consolations from time to time [which] had strewed our paths and crowned our board. Oh! What a co-mingling of thought filled my mind for the moment, again she is here . . . undaunted, firm and unwavering, unchangeable, affectionate Emma."
  • 33. Why didn’t I hear much about Emma growing up?
  • 34. "To my certain knowledge, Emma Smith is one of the damnedest liars I know of on this earth. Not six months before the death of Joseph, he called [her] into a secret council.... He told her of the time she undertook to poison him, and he told her that she was a child of hell, and literally the most wicked woman on this earth, that there was not one more wicked than she.” Brigham Young -- Utah Historical Quarterly, vol. 48, Winter 1980, 82 From http://fairlds.org
  • 35. Emma’s Main Issue: Polygamy Polygamy Polygamy
  • 36. The History of Polygamy Is Messy
    • Joseph received revelation in 1831, but apparently others were not informed (Emma & 1st presidency members, etc.)
    • Emma found out about it by finding Joseph with other women
    • The 1835 version of the D&C openly renounces polygamy, and denies its practice by the church
    • In 1838 Oliver Cowdery was excommunicated for accusing Joseph of “adultery” -- not knowing about the revelation
    • Joseph Smith, himself, publicly denied the practice of polygamy until his death.
    • The church did not publicly acknowledge it into the 1850s.
    • Even after we promised to stop (1890), we kept doing it
  • 37. “ I condemn it, yes, as a practice, because I think it is not doctrinal.” President Gordon B. Hinckley on Larry King Live President Gordon B. Hinckley on Larry King Live Aired September 8, 1998 - 9:00 p.m. ET
  • 38. Can we understand Emma’s confusion?
  • 39. B.H. Roberts
  • 40. B.H. Roberts’ Issue: Organic Evolution Organic Evolution Organic Evolution
  • 41. In B. H. Roberts' The Truth, The Way, The Life , [t]he hottest issue ... was organic evolution. [H]is assertion that countless plants and animals lived long before the biblical chronology was controversial. “ Richard Sherlock and Jeffrey E. Keller “The B. H. Roberts/Joseph Fielding Smith/James E. Talmage Affair”
  • 42. Apostles James E. Talmadge and John A. Widstoe seemed to share B.H. Roberts’ Views on Evolution
  • 43. How did the LDS church become so “anti-Evolution”?
  • 44. "The doctrine of organic evolution which pervades the modern day sciences .... is as false as their author who lives in hell." Joseph Fielding Smith Author of “Man: His Origin and Destiny”
  • 45. “ How weak and puerile the intellectuality which ... finds comfort in the theoretical postulates that mortal life began in the scum of the sea, as it were, and has through eons of time evolved to its present varieties and state! Do those with spiritual insight really think that the infinite Creator of worlds without number would operate in this way? Bruce R. McConkie Mormon Doctrine
  • 46. The answer: Joseph Fielding Smith and Bruce R. McConkie outlived Roberts, Talmadge and Widstoe Joseph Fielding Smith and Bruce R. McConkie outlived Roberts, Talmadge and Widstoe Joseph Fielding Smith and Bruce R. McConkie outlived Roberts, Talmadge and Widstoe
  • 47. DAVID O. McKAY, PRESIDENT February 15, 1957 Professor William Lee Stokes 2970 South 15th East Salt Lake City, Utah Dear Brother Stokes: On the subject of organic evolution the Church has officially taken no position. The book "Man, His Origin and Destiny" [by Joseph Fielding Smith] was not published by the Church, and is not approved by the Church. The book contains expressions of the author's views for which he alone is responsible. Sincerely your brother, [signed] David O. McKay Dialogue: A Journal of Mormon Thought 12:? (Winter 1979): 90–92 , with commentary.. Dialogue: A Journal of Mormon Thought 12:? (Winter 1979): 90–92 , with commentary.. Dialogue: A Journal of Mormon Thought 12:? (Winter 1979): 90–92 , with commentary.. Dialogue: A Journal of Mormon Thought 12:? (Winter 1979): 90–92 , with commentary.. Dialogue: A Journal of Mormon Thought 12:? (Winter 1979): 90–92 , with commentary.. Dialogue: A Journal of Mormon Thought 12:? (Winter 1979): 90–92 , with commentary.. Dialogue: A Journal of Mormon Thought 12:? (Winter 1979): 90–92 , with commentary.. Dialogue: A Journal of Mormon Thought 12:? (Winter 1979): 90–92 , with commentary.. Dialogue: A Journal of Mormon Thought 12:? (Winter 1979): 90–92 , with commentary.. Dialogue: A Journal of Mormon Thought 12:? (Winter 1979): 90–92 , with commentary..
  • 48. Fawn Brodie
  • 49. “ No Man Knows My History”
  • 50. “ No Ma’am That’s Not History” Hugh Nibley Hugh Nibley
  • 51. Why Was Fawn Brodie Was So Controversial? Pt. 1
    • Niece of David O. McKay
    • Lost her testimony of the LDS Church while studying Joseph Smith
    • Portrayed Joseph Smith as a charlatan
    • Used “psychoanalysis” on her subjects
    • Excommunicated 6 months after publication for “Heresy”
  • 52. Other Reasons that Fawn Brodie Was So Controversial (John’s Opinion) (John’s Opinion)
    • Disrupted our monolithic, almost deific views of Joseph Smith.
      • Claimed that Joseph Smith engaged in treasure digging.
      • Discussed “Multiple first vision” stories
      • Acknowledged problems with the historicity of the Book of Mormon (Native Americans as Asians, etc.)
      • Claimed connections between the Masonic Temple ceremony and the LDS temple ceremony.
      • Acknowledged the messiness of Joseph Smith’s practice of polygamy
  • 53. In 2006....Rough Stone Rolling by, Richard Lyman Bushman by, Richard Lyman Bushman
    • Claimed that Joseph Smith engaged in treasure digging.
    • Discussed “Multiple first vision” stories.
    • Acknowledged problems with the historicity of the Book of Mormon (Native Americans as Asians, etc.)
    • Claimed connections between the Masonic Temple ceremony and the LDS temple ceremony.
    • Acknowledged the messiness of Joseph Smith’s practice of polygamy.
    • Quotes, and compliments Brodie on her work.
  • 54. Juanita Brooks
  • 55. Initial Church Reactions to MMM
    • George Q. Cannon, then president of the LDS California Mission, responded to initial news reports of involvement by Mormons by charging ... journalists with writing "reckless and malignant slanders", despite knowing that the southern Utah Mormons were "as innocent ... as the child unborn".
    • The Deseret News, was initially slow to comment on the massacre. Several months later, the paper disclaimed Mormon involvement, then remained largely silent until 1869, when it again denied involvement by Mormons.
    • In 1872, Young excommunicated Lee and Haight for their role in the massacre -- 15 years after the event. From http://fairlds.org
  • 56. Initial Church Reactions to MMM
    • In 1877, 20 years after the massacre, John D. Lee was the sole person punished (executed) for the massacre.
    • President Young was then interviewed by a reporter, and [said] that he considered Lee's fate just. He denied personal involvement, and denied that the doctrine of blood atonement played a role in the massacre, but stated that he believed in the doctrine, "and I believe that Lee has not half atoned for his great crime."
    • In the late 1950s, LDS President David O. McKay created a committee, chaired by Delbert L. Stapley to investigate the Mountain Meadows massacre. This committee recommended that McKay restore John D. Lee's church membership, and McKay allowed one of Lee's grandsons to be baptized by proxy for him, and the church restored Lee's priesthood and full fellowship in the church. http://fairlds.org
  • 57. “ Mountain Meadows Massacre” by Juanita Brooks by Juanita Brooks
  • 58. Juanita Brooks on the Mountain Meadow’s Massacre
    • Mormons, and local Mormon church leadership were involved
    • It was unfair to blame MMM on the indians
    • After the MMM, there was a major coverup for 20 years by the church at all levels to avoid punishment and persecution
    • John D. Lee was unfairly scapegoated
    • Wanted to publicize the secret, posthumous re-baptism of Lee
  • 59. Church Reactions....
    • Juanita Brooks was...
      • ...ostracized by local church membership and leadership
      • ...threatened with excommunication by Elder Delbert Stapley
    • David O. McKay ultimately denied the excommunication request, saying “Leave her alone”
  • 60. 2007 Ensign Article “The Mountain Meadows Massacre” by Richard E. Turley Jr. by Richard E. Turley Jr. by Richard E. Turley Jr.
    • Mormons, and local Mormon church leadership were involved
    • It was unfair to blame MMM on the indians
    • Only John D. Lee was punished for the crime
  • 61. 2007 Announcement by the LDS Church on the 150th Anniversary of MMM
    • "We express profound regret for the massacre carried out in this valley 150 years ago today, and for the undue and untold suffering experienced by the victims then and by their relatives to the present time."
    • "A separate expression of regret is owed the Paiute people who have unjustly borne for too long the principal blame for what occurred during the massacre," he said. "Although the extent of their involvement is disputed, it is believed they would not have participated without the direction and stimulus provided by local church leaders and members." Elder Henry B. Eyring LDS Church Apostle September 11, 1857
  • 62. “ [Juanita Brooks] probably helped the church come to grips with something that all of us wish had never happened.” Jeffrey R. Holland LDS Apostle Transcript from PBS “The Mormons” March 4, 2006
  • 63. “ In all of this, Juanita became something larger and greater than simply a respectable historian. For the numerous Mormons who, early or late, have accepted her interpretation of the massacre, she has served as a tragedian and a shriver. She has confronted us with grisly, disillusioning facts, roused us to grief and vicarious contrition, then led us to understanding and forgiveness of our errant ancestors. Equally important, this courageous little housewife inspired and encouraged non-conformists and protesters of all varieties among the Mormons. Unquestionably, Juanita Brooks will remain famous as one of the foremost champions of free inquiry and open debate in the history of Mormonism.” Levi Peterson Sunstone Magazine Issue 73 Issue 73 Issue 73 Issue 73 Issue 73
  • 64. Most inspiring of all.... “She always kept the ironing board up and had a basket of dampened clothes near her desk and when someone came by she’d start ironing so they’d never know that she was really writing. In addition, Brooks would travel on overnight buses to do research in Salt Lake or at the Huntington Library. Claudia Bushman Claudia Bushman Claudia Bushman Claudia Bushman Claudia Bushman
  • 65. Lowell L. Bennion
  • 66. Contributions to the church
    • Founded the University of Utah LDS Institute of religion with T. Edgar Lyon and taught there for 27 years
    • Published over 100 manuals and articles for the church
    • Founded the Teton Valley Boys Ranch for troubled teens
    • Inspired countless LDS thinkers, including many of the founders of Dialogue and Sunstone
  • 67. “ The biggest problem in the world today...is the need of men of all races ... to feel their own worth and dignity as human beings. [I]t is my belief that white men are not superior to men of other races. If we had faith in Christ, we would be anxiously and voluntarily engaged in seeing that [all races] had equal opportunity for education, culture, employment, and housing as we who are Caucasian.” Lowell L. Bennion 1965 Instructor 1965 Instructor 1965 Instructor 1965 Instructor 1965 Instructor 1965 Instructor
  • 68. “ Withholding the priesthood from the Negro is not a doctrine of the church; it is a church practice, which needs to be justified by church doctrine.” Lowell L. Bennion: Teacher, Counselor, Humanitarian p. 253 Mary Lythgoe Bradford Mary Lythgoe Bradford Mary Lythgoe Bradford Mary Lythgoe Bradford
  • 69. Why was this a problem?
  • 70. "There is a reason why one man is born black and with other disadvantages, while another is born white with great advantage. The reason is that we once had an estate before we came here, and were obedient, more or less, to the laws that were given us there. Those who were faithful in all things there received greater blessings here, and those who were not faithful received less.... There were no neutrals in the war in heaven. All took sides either with Christ or with Satan.....The Negro, evidently, is receiving the reward he merits." Joseph Fielding Smith writes in Doctrines of Salvation, Vol. 1, pages 66-67
  • 71. "Now we are generous with the Negro. We are willing that the Negro have the highest kind of education. I would be willing to let every Negro drive a Cadillac if they could afford it. I would be willing that they have all the advantages they can get out of life in the world. But let them enjoy these things among themselves. I think the Lord segregated the Negro and who is man to change that segregation?" Apostle Mark E. Peterson remarks during a 1954 address given at BYU entitled, "Race Problems - as They Affect The Church" Apostle Mark E. Peterson remarks during a 1954 address given at BYU entitled, "Race Problems - as They Affect The Church" Apostle Mark E. Peterson remarks during a 1954 address given at BYU entitled, "Race Problems - as They Affect The Church"
  • 72. In 1962 was told “change might be good”
    • Reasons given:
      • “ ...consistent failure to ‘actively recruit students’”
      • “‘ quite lax’ in insisting on scholastic requirements, giving only pass/fail grades, with no outside assignments or papers
      • had not “fought for recognition of the institute as a certified school whose credits could be transferred”
      • “ unorthodox position on the ‘Negro Question’”
      • “ criticism of the pressures put on missionaries to hurriedly baptize people into the Church” Lowell L. Bennion: Teacher, Counselor, Humanitarian p. 253 Mary Lythgoe Bradford
  • 73. Was he wrong?
  • 74. “ McMurrin then described that part of his March 1954 conversation with [President David O.] McKay in which [President McKay stated] his own belief that the priesthood ban was policy, not doctrine, and therefore susceptible to change.” David O. McKay and the Rise of Modern Mormonism p. 97 Gregory A. Prince Gregory A. Prince Gregory A. Prince Gregory A. Prince Gregory A. Prince
  • 75. Leonard Arrington
  • 76. Leonard Arrington
  • 77. Adventures of a Church Historian
    • Sustained during General Conference in 1972 as Church Historian
    • Came with the understanding that he would have broad access to church archives, and limited ecclesiastical review of scholarly publications.
    • Over time, some of the brethren became uncomfortable with the representation, and candor, of the history.
    • Access to archives became increasingly limited. Ecclesiastical reviews became more common.
    • After 10 years, the department was dissolved, and Arrington was quietly released in 1982 (not in General Conference)
  • 78. Some of the policies enforced....
    • Eugene England and Lowell Bennion were not permitted to publish with Deseret Book or Bookcraft by direct intervention of 2 members of the Quorum of the 12.
    • Carol Lynn Pearson was blacklisted from church publications until she was able “through prayers and tears” to get one of the Twelve to reverse the decision.
    • Claudia Bushman and Scott Kenney could not be published or mentioned because of their connection with Exponent II and Sunstone
    • Several Mormon intellectuals were publishing under pseudonyms. Adventures of a Church Historian p. 154 Leonard J. Arrington
  • 79. After 10 years, the LDS Church History department was dissolved in 1982, and Leonard Arrington was quietly released (not in General Conference) (not in General Conference) (not in General Conference)
  • 80. Other important events within this chronology.....
  • 81. Other events....
    • 1966 -- Dialogue “Journal of Mormon Thought” founded by Eugene England and G. Wesley Johnson
    • 1974 -- Sunstone Magazine founded by Scott Kenney (“Faith seeking understanding”)
    • 1974 -- Women’s Exponent II founded by Claudia Bushman and others (Mormon women experiences)
    • 1979 -- Sunstone began annual “sumposia”
    • 1981-1983 -- Seventh East Press runs at BYU
    • 19?? - 19?? -- BYU Student Review runs at BYU
  • 82. Other events....
    • 1989 -- Dallin H. Oaks warns of “ Alternative Voices ” in the Ensign
    • 1991 -- “Statement on Symposia” issued by LDS Church Presidency
    • 1992 -- Church cautions against holding “study groups”
    • May 1993 -- Boyd K. Packer names “the gay-lesbian movement, the feminist movement ... and so-called scholars or intellectuals” as 3 major dangers to church members
    • September 1993 -- Trials of LDS Intellectuals (“September 6”)
      • D. Michael Quinn, Avraham Gileadi, Paul Toscano, Lavina Fielding Anderson, and Maxine Hanks excommunicated
      • Lynn Whitesides disfellowshipped
  • 83. BYU Dismissals
    • 1993 -- BYU denies continuting status to....
      • Professor Cecilia Konchar Farr, who had publicly advocated a pro-choice position on abortion, and
      • David Knowlton, who had discussed the church's missionary system at an independent Mormon forum.
    • 1996 -- BYU dismissed Gail T. Houston, a feminist who advocated prayer to a Heavenly Mother.
    • 2006 -- BYU doesn’t renew contracts for...
      • Darron Smith, vocal critic racism in the church (and black male)
      • Jeffrey Nielsen, who wrote an op-ed piece in the Salt Lake Tribune criticizes the Mormon Church's stance on same-sex marriage.
  • 84. 2007 BYU Alternative Commencement
  • 85. The balance that must be walked (by church leaders)
  • 86. "It is the duty of the General Authorities of the Church to safeguard and protect the membership of the Church from the introduction of controversial subjects and false doctrines which tend to create factions and otherwise disturb the faith of the Latter-Day Saints." Council of the Twelve to Heber J. Grant, 15 May 1930, Clawson Papers Council of the Twelve to Heber J. Grant, 15 May 1930, Clawson Papers Council of the Twelve to Heber J. Grant, 15 May 1930, Clawson Papers
  • 87. "The gospel embraces all truth. Brigham Young especially emphasized the propriety of seeking all truth. The assumption that because a man understands something about the operation of the Universe, he will necessarily be less faithful is a gratuitous assumption contradicted by numberless examples. God, who understands all about the Universe, is apparently, not troubled by this knowledge. Some people drift when they study, but some people drift when they don't study. If the Church espouses the cause of ignorance, it will alienate more people than if it advises man to seek after truth, even at some risk." Henry Eyring Father of Henry B. Eryring
  • 88. Backup
  • 89. Eugene & Charlotte England
  • 90. Peggy Fletcher Stack
  • 91. Elbert Peck & Daniel Rector
  • 92. Darius Gray
  • 93. Her Main Issue: Polygamy
  • 94. “ Our prophets have been given clearly to see the road we should follow and can point the path to the Celestial Kingdom, but being human they too must walk and wait and study in order to partly understand many of God's wonderful works. I can understand "Man--His Origin and Destiny" as the work of a great man who is fallible. It contains many serious scientific errors and much ill humor, which mar the many beautiful things in it. Since the Gospel is only that which is true, this book cannot be more than the private opinion of one of our great men to be admired for the many fine things in it. I find it much less satisfactory in scientific matters than the excellent writings of Brother Talmage and Brother Widtsoe with which it is frequently in disagreement. ” Henry Eyring (Father of Elder Henry B. Eyring) Henry Eyring (Father of Elder Henry B. Eyring) Henry Eyring (Father of Elder Henry B. Eyring)