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Dave,

In reading this work I fine a boy growing into man and a man growing into a prophet and a Prophet growing into a God.

Being a native New Yorker I find many signs, shadows, types and patterns connected to Joseph, the Book of Mormon, the Church and New York in general.

Even Bushman makes note that Joseph came up with the Zion City design after visiting upper Manhattan.

[edited]

Charley, you have an odd way of speaking, but it's nice you're enjoying Bushman's book.

Thank you Dave. I did truly enjoyed the book and your comments concerning my way of speaking. It is more than odd that you noticed my strange way of speaking. Infact what is really odd is upon joining the church my first ward met in an Odd Fellows Hall. Is it odd or is it a sign? I guess the riddles of life roll on rough stones.

[edited]

I think Bushman ended his thought with Joseph's experience being the driving force behind the man. Your "cult" thought is right on. Most people can't handle the real thing.

Dave, is that really a fair characterization of Protestantism? Perhaps traditional liberal Protestantism. But I'd suggest that Evangelicalism is a rather explicit reaction against the movement you point out in your final paragraphs. No so coincidentally it is the Evangelicals who most want their version of Christianity practiced in all aspects of life who are also most antagonistic to the Church.

Clark it is true the Evangelicals are forward with their beliefs, but their doctrines are so weak that the different denominations unite together to judge others cults.

What I mean by weak doctrines is the simple lip service they give their God. A great Evangelist can rally 250K soul to a sports stadium over a weekend to fall at a altar (stage)and profess a simple principle of faith and be told they are saved forever.

Who is selling what? IMO true religion requires sacrifice and commitment. Joseph Smith asked for people to make covenants to God that required hard things of his converts. Today the LDS Church requires the same and yet the converts keep coming and a large percentage stay working out their salvation over a life time, not a one night stand.

Emma, while theology tends to not be highly valued in evangalicalism, I'm not sure what you say is quite accurate. I'd also suggest that many of those committed to evangelicalism as opposed to superficial commitment do make pretty significant sacrifices, much like us.

But my point was more about the private vs. public nature of practices. It seems to me that evangelicalism is all about making things public and not private.

I wouldn't call 1/3 a "large percentage." Also, growth is, at best, flat.

It is easy to label, but hard to accept and understand the LDS success in changing the hearts and minds of the people.

Clark, I'll concede your point that what I described (the Sunday Christian thing) applies more to Liberal Protestantism than to Evangelicalism, which does attempt to make religion (or at least the religious tokens that Evangelicals treasure) more visible in public spaces.

On the other hand, I do think Evangelical opposition to the LDS Church is partly due to the fact that the LDS Church is a clearly defined religious institution that pursues its own institutional religious mission. Evangelicalsim is an amorphous movement that tries to pursues its own non-institutional religious mission and resents the competition. We're competing for the same shelf space, so of course Evangelicals resent us; we're doing it better, so they really resent us.

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