Dan is back to discuss how informed, intelligent Mormons can still believe and participate in Mormonism.
1801: Mormon Bible Scholar – Dan McClellan Part 1
1802: 10 Things You Should Know About the Bible – Dan McClellan Part 2
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Thoughtful Mormons stay because they have endless shelves to put their concerns on and they are very good at doubting their doubts.
So I’m mowing the lawn, and had to stop and comment. In part three regarding the first vision discussion, Dan you mention that Joseph perhaps hadn’t developed his concept of “God” or had worked out what “God” is or means. I mean, maybe you’ve been away from traditional belief for a long time but you have to consider how that comes across to questioning Mormons or Mormons fresh out, or even to me who has been out for twenty years, causing me to bicker aloud at your words in my yard at you saying “he didn’t yet have a concept of god” against the backdrop of text from his own hand that he saw and heard god. I mean that’s concept unimaginable for most of not all of us, how much more development has to be done to know if there is one or two figures? My goodness this gets into wordplay that average minds find incredulous and dead fish soft, or maybe from those that are still reconciling the obvious.
The Lorenzo Snow couplet was taught in Relief Society/Priesthood curriculum (Presidents of the Church: Lorenzo Snow, Lesson 5) in 2013. Which is a good decade after Hinckley’s “I don’t know if we teach that” statement.
I don’t think the Church leadership is trying to let go of, or transition doctrine away from it, so much as downplay the language. Most commonly in my lifetime, it is primarily taught most often in the “watered-down” version “we can become like our Heavenly Father”.
I would love to be in Dan’s ward! We need more Dan’s in the church and fast! This notion that mormons have to all be 100% alike in belief and action cant die fast enough IMO. It is more about your relationship with God than your checklist of mormon traditions and policies. All levels and aspects of belief should be welcomed. Yes we are far from it now but I think we will move more towards this. There will always be rules by the org that you must follow to get the complete membership experience ie tithe for temple, adultery may lead to suspension of club privilege’s for a time etc…but the exactness of the “law” didn’t go well back in the bible days, we should not think it will go well today. Not everything in the church has to be believed or followed by everyone all the time! Some call that picking and choosing or cafeteria, I call it simple common sense based on individuals knowledge and experiences in the org and the divine.
Dan if you ever become a bishop let me know, I am moving into you ward!
I would like to comment to John’s “how can you pursue the church with knowing/believing its warts” issue/question. For me, when I had a Pentecostal experience that solidified my belief from faith to knowledge, these “issues” drop off the plate. During this experience, it was clear that this is where God wanted me to be. He may want others to be in the Baptist church. Reading scripture, questioning history, attending the rituals of the church, questioning what past/current leaders did/didn’t do that were correct or not lose its importance for me. I dont care. I find it all interesting for sure, which is why I study church history and bible history. I also get why these issues cause people to leave if they are focused on “if this is wrong it is all bunk”. I am a current member and I probably agree with most xmos regarding the issues. However, my testimony is not in the church, in prophets, in scriptures, in temple, in rituals and ordinances. It is from God to me. I dont care if leaders have warts, as they do, God is ok with it so I am too. Hope this makes sense. I dont expect people to think the same as I do if they have not experienced a Pentecostal event.
John, you were on top of your game, so to speak. Your follow up questions greatly helped bring Dan’s brilliance into focus.
Kudos to both of you
John and Dan,
Thank you so much for these episodes! I’m sure all of this information and perspective will be helpful to many. For me, I am a devout Episcopalian raising my kids in the church and needing to arm them with the tools they’ll need to be able to cultivate a lifelong faith and relationship with and in the church as well as to be educated and knowledgeable on Biblical history. I love Dan’s perspective and admire him for making the LDS faith work for his family.
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