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I'm with you. The idea that Jesus deemphasized ordinances and stressed ethical living depends on the view that the NT gives us an accurate and complete version of Jesus' teachings. Mr. Palmer, as well as most of the Protestant world, would likely agree that it does. Even the BoM narrative of Jesus visit to the New World (3 Nephi 11) has Jesus talking more in depth about baptism than almost anything in the NT.

The title of the piece is correct enough and the idea that judgment concerned more with how we treat others more than which church we belong to is a very Mormon concept I would say. The obvious undertone of the piece is that Mormons are Pharisees and we are looking beyond the mark, which is made indirectly enough that he doesn't have to back it up. That is the genious of his approach here. I do wonder why Jesus bothered cleansing the temple if he didn't care about ritual though.

Yes, by suggesting Mormons are getting it wrong by acting like Pharisees in adding a thick layer of oral advice to the written Law, what is his countersuggestion? That one should act like a Sadducee? A monastic Essene? Recall that most scholars liken the approach of Jesus to that of the Pharisees, in taking commandments seriously and trying to explain them to the common people.

It seems odd to say that Jesus didn't stress ordinances. Certainly he stressed ethical behavior. But he introduced some new rituals (the sacrament); took over some reasonably novel reinterpretations of existing rituals (baptism) and appears to have emphasized them a great deal; and then used ritual in healing. One can say a lot of things about the portrayal of ritual in the NT but it really isn't de-emphasized.

I think the subtext to the argument is this:

Ordinances = reliance on organized, hierarchical religion

I also wondered about the sentence in the last paragraph:

Jesus is not interested in exclusive claims

So I guess Jesus was just joking or lying when he said that he was the "the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me." Seems like an exclusive claim to me.


Jesus also rejected the claims of the Simaritans to the woman at the well by saying the Jews are the way to salvation. Of course, if you don't believe the words of Jesus were actually said by him then you can say he said whatever you want him to say.

Palmer says:

"Each [Mormon and Catholic churches, respectively]considers itself the sole legitimate holder of divine authority. The pathway to heavenly salvation for both is a series of ordinances and rituals."

I would rephrase here to say something like "The pathway to heavenly salvation for both, [according to Grant Palmer,] is a series of ordinances and rituals."

More ultimately than ordinance and ritual, the pathway to "heavenly salvation" (as opposed to hell-bound salvation?) is the following of Jesus Christ. The LDS Church does not deny this. Ordinance and ritual are tools employed by Christ to help His followers in their daily lives, not simply to achieve the end of "salvation". They serve as vivid covenant-making opportunities which, when participated in, impress one to understand and remember the obligations made and blessings promised. Responsibilities of both God and man are laid out in a setting of ritual to impress upon the participant the nature of the covenant.

The pathway according to Grant Palmer is just a "series of ordinances and rituals." This is not a fair representation of the teachings of Christ and the LDS Church (to say nothing of the Catholic position.)

BHodges,

Why isn't that a fair representation? The church obviously teachings that ordinances are absolutely necessary for exaltation, so important that all the dead must receive them. Granted, living worthy is the means, but the rituals are ends.

And, from the perspective of someone who does not believe the BoM was inspired, it does not seem that Jesus actually taught ritual. According to Ehrman and others, the sacrament ritual was an addition made by church leaders to fight the "heresy" of Christ as a purely spiritual being (not ever having a body). And for all the Christ taught in the Bible, if ritual was the only way to exaltation, it seems he would have said something about it, and his followers would have taken it down.

Granted, living worthy is the means, but the rituals are ends.

I'd disagree with that characterization. Ordinances without Christ-like living are empty and any mainstream Mormon would attest to that.

Sure, I already noted that livin' right was essential.

But remember, Christ-like living WITHOUT rituals will not get you to the celestial kingdom and any mainstream Mormon would attest to that.

I am one of Grant's friends (and a big DMI fan). I pointed Grant to this blog post, and he has forwarded to me a few emails that he has asked me to post here. I hope you don't mind. More to come.

From Ken.....

Dear Mr. Palmer,

This article was very interesting, but quite typical
of someone led astray in "mainstream Christianity" who
doesn't really understand the scriptures, and if it
wasn't for people like you I wouldn't need to send
e-mails like this one. I apologize for such a long
e-mail but I had a lot to say in response to this
article.

First, is your false and deceptive idea about baptism,
confirmation, ordination, endowment, and sealing. You
claim that such things aren't required for entrance
into God's holy kingdom. Yes, it's true that God
commanded us to be compassionate and to love our
neighbors. But that's not the only commandment he gave
and expects us to keep.

What, for example, did he say about the consequences
of sin if we don't repent (Galatians 5:19-21)? Being
nice and compassionate alone won't get you into
heaven. And on top of this there are even some sins
that the blood of Christ cannot atone for. Have you
ever heard of the sin of "Blasphemy Against the Holy
Ghost", and are you aware that the scripture says that
there is no forgiveness in this world, neither in the
world to come for those that are guilty of this
heinous sin? And there will be quite a few guilty of
this sin. Look it up and read it very, very carefully,
it's in the Book of Matthew.

Then you claim that rituals and ordinances aren't
necessary for entrance into heaven.

If that's really true, then why was Christ baptized by
immersion (an ordinance) in the River Jordan under the
hands of John the Baptist? He was the only holy,
perfect, and sinless person to walk the face of this
earth. Why was he baptized? If I were to, perhaps,
believe what you claim it doesn't make any sense at
all. He was baptized to show us the correct way
(Matthew 3:2,11-17).

Do you remember what Christ said about John the
Baptist? There was never a greater prophet than John
the Baptist. And what was John the Baptist's mission?
To call people to repentance and baptize. That's it.
And yet Christ said of him there was never a greater
prophet anywhere in the land than John the Baptist
(Matthew 11:9-11). Christ also said that "he that
believed and is baptized shall be saved; but he that
believed not shall be damned" (Mark 16:16).

Furthermore, Christ declared that "Ye have not chosen
me but I have chosen you and 'ORDAINED' (ordinance)
you" (John 15:16).

Moreover, Philip, an Apostle of the Lord Jesus Christ,
was inspired to converse with a Eunuch who was reading
Esaias the Prophet. Then Philip began to expound the
scriptures unto him when they came to a certain water
and the Eunuch said: "See, here is water; what doth
hinder me to be baptized? And Philip replied, "If thou
believest with all thine heart, thou mayest." And the
Eunuch replied, "I believe that Jesus Christ is the
Son of God."

And immediately, Philip commanded the chariot to stand
still and they went down into the water, both Philip
and the Eunuch and he was baptized by Philip (an
orinance). Now remember that I've already pointed out
to you that Christ laid his hands on the heads of each
of his beloved Apostles and ordained them, giving them
the power to baptize and give the gift of the Holy
Ghost. Not just anybody and their dogs can baptize.
Also, please note that when the Eunuch said he
believed that Jesus was the Son of God that Philip
didn't say he was saved, but that he could then be
baptized (Acts 8:26-39).

Finally, Peter, Christ's Chief Apostle, baptized and
then gave the gift of the Holy Ghost (in that order,
Acts 8:12-23).

Please read these scriptures in parenthesis,
especially the latter.

In summary, here's what the Lord has commanded us to
do so that we may receive Eternal Life and in this
particular order:

"Believe and be baptized (Mark 16:16); repent (Acts
3:19); receive the gift of the Holy Ghost (Acts
8:12-23); and endure to the end (Mark 13:13), etc.
Also, read the account of Christ's baptism in Matthew
chapter 3 completely. That's exactly what path Christ
wants us to follow, but it's a straight and narrow
path and not easy. Didn't the Lord tell us that there
would be many that would follow the broad and wide
path, the easy path, and be lost, but that there would
be few that would follow the straight and narrow path
and be saved (Matthew 7:13-14)? Yes, he certainly did.

I suspect, Mr.Palmer, that you and a lot of other
folks that have been deceived are going to wake up on
the other side of the veil after you die and leave
this mortal existence and will be very surprised and
disappointed when you find yourselves in Spirit Prison
and not in heaven. That will be a very sad day indeed.

Unfortunately, Mr. Palmer, there are too many
modern-day Pharisees and Sadducees that preach a
cheap, false and deceptive and easy way into heaven.

Sincerely,

Ken

And now Grant's response to Ken:

Ken,

I am sorry to say that you missed the entire point of my article. Churches, ordinances, the Spirit, grace, and so forth ALL have great value in helping us to become a "little Christ." But what I am saying in the Tribune article is that the bottom line, when all the dust settles, when we at last appear before the enthroned Son of Man--Matt. 25 tells us that Jesus is looking at 3 specific areas for our Judgment. (1) Have we taken on God's nature (which is to say that we have applied the atonement) and become a reborn loving person. (2) What have you done with your gifts during your tenure on earth. (3) What good have you done for others. He tells us that such persons will "inherit the kingdom" and receive "eternal life" (Matt. 25:34, 46). I for one believe Him. If you want to believe that he is going to quiz you personally on your church attendance or what church you attended, on whether you were baptized by a certain church authority, or whether you drank coffee and so forth--go right ahead and and believe he will. I don't.

Grant Palmer

From David (in response to reading Grant's original article):

I understand your point here, Grant. But I get stuck w/ Christ in the N. T. COMMANDING baptism to be saved--and the doing it Himself as our example. I think this goes far beyond "mere symbolism," as some other churches believe.I think we'd agree that the Lord chose His words VERY carefully when speaking, so saying something is "necessary" means it is not a "suggestion," --- "do it if you can to make a public confession , but if you don't , you can still inherit the kingdom ."

Point 2 for me is the fact that Christ is the organizer of His church in the N. T., and the apostles follow His directions in doing this . Hence , we have " 1 Lord, 1 faith, 1 baptism, 1 church. " If the church organization / authority of apostles makes no difference , then why have it at all ? To teach people of Christ ? You don't need a church to do that, and you certainly wouldn't need to keep replacing apostles each time 1 dies. There has GOT to be some reason why the Lord wanted to keep the apostolic calling, and why He has Paul establish this perfect organization in every city he visits. I think Paul's term is "for the perfecting of the saints "

Why couldn't Paul have been like our Billy Graham , i. e. a traveling evangelist who teaches, but does NOT organize a church ? If his calling were only to teach Christ, wouldn't need a church to do that. But he keeps setting up this particular organization wherever he goes. Who was telling him to do this ?

Let's say a person agrees w/ me , and says an organization of SOME kind certainly is helpful to Christian growth, but disagrees that it has to be a CERTAIN one. ( I think this may be your stance. )

Then I'd like to know if Christ was the perfect man, and everything He did was under God's direction--- and therefore was also perfect--then the church He organized was peferct, the organization ITSELF. We don't have the apostles ( or Christ) telling people to organize anyway they want, because the "form" of the church makes no difference to a Christian's salvation, do we ?

Grant's 1st response to David:

David,

Churches, ordinances, the Spirit, grace, and so forth ALL have great value in helping us to be a "little Christ." But what I am saying in the Tribune article is that the bottom line, when all the dust settles, when we at last appear before the enthroned Son of Man--Matt. 25 tells us that Jesus is looking at 3 specific areas for our Judgment. (1) Have we taken on God's nature (which is to say that we have applied the atonement) and become a reborn loving person. (2) What have you done with your gifts during your tenure on earth. (3) What good have you done for others. He tells us that such persons will "inherit the kingdom" and receive "eternal life" (Matt. 25:34, 46). I for one believe him. If you want to believe that he is going to quiz you personally on your church attendance or what church you attended, on whether you were baptized by a certain church authority, or whether you drank coffee and so forth--go ahead and believe he will. I don't.

David responding back to Grant:

Grant, please allow me a follow-up , w/o being argumentative---just would like your brief explanation.

If we take the totality of things the Savior taught in the N.T. we needed to gain salvation, your 3 would certainly be on the list. But baptsim would also be on that list, wouldn't it ? I mean , it IS true, isn't it, that Jesus in various places in scripture said a person must believe AND be baptized ? Is that act "more important" than learning to serve others before self ?

I'd say "no." but why do we have to take anything away from what the Savior taught is important to one's salvation ?

Grant responding back to David (this is the last one I have):

Yes, Jesus is saying baptism is necessary, but like all ordinances and the church itself all these are a means to an end and not ends in themselves. Baptism and other ordinances are a means of our being "born again," of becoming a "little Christ." Treating ordinances as ends in themselves (and must be done by our authority) is what has created the great divide among us in Christianity. The 3 questions I mention (as found in Matt. 25) is a summary of the totality of what Jesus taught, the things that matter most. Again, when we appear before him at our final Judgment, he is not interested in the means, as good and useful as they may have been, but in what we have become.

If we are to heal the great divide among Christian churches, what I am saying and the point of view I am advocating here is necessary for reconciling Christians.

Grant

Well, GF, it's a little unusual, but I'll let you run with it. Keep noting who is actually speaking in the comment as you did in the above comments so readers can follow who is saying what. And readers should note that the "David" in your comments is not me, "Dave."

Let me add a link to my posted review of Insider's View of Mormon Origins and invite Grant to email me directly if he is so inclined. My email address is in the "Email Me" link at the top of the right sidebar.

I tend to agree with Grant that much of Jesus' teaching emphasizes that the way we treat each other is more important than almost anything else. It is, in my opinion, significant, as Grant alludes, that in Matthew 25, in distinguishing between those who are are his right hand and on his left, Jesus says nothing about church membership, home teaching percentages, temple attendance, or the like. Instead, he focuses entirely on how we treat the "least of these." This is also consistent with King Benjamin's teachings that when we serve our fellow beings, we serve God.

In my opinion, treating other people well is the hard part of the gospel Jesus (and other religious prophets and leaders) taught. It is certainly more difficult than allowing some one to immerse me in water, or lay hands on my head and bestow the gift of the Holy Ghost.

This is why it does not bother me that the restored gospel and ordinances have been limited to a tiny part of time and a tiny portion of the population. What I think is among the most important teachings of the gospel--being connected with self, with God, with others, treating others well--has been essentially univerally taught and believed among all peoples at all times.

One thing about Mormonism's essential universalist impulse that is appealing to me is that we do not exclude people from the Heaven or its highest degree based on their religious faith or participation (or lack thereof) during their mortality. If our Church's teaching is correct that certain ordinances are a prerequisite to entering heaven or its highest degree, then, by performing vicarious ordinances for everyone, we have taken steps to see that the gate is open for all who choose to enter. If our belief is incorrect, and those vicarious ordinances were unnecessary, they at least stand as a witness that we believe that none should be excluded for fault of not receiving ordinances during earth life.

David H, the problem with focusing on Jesus is that he was a Jew preaching to Jews. They had synogogues, but not corporate Church. Paul evangelized and set up "house churches" in each city where he was successful, then kept in contact by letter and messenger. Paul attempted to maintain orthodoxy (at that stage, his orthodoxy) in doctrine and practice, including baptism and the eucharist.

Pauline Christianity, such as we have in the records, actually precedes the gospels as written texts. So the letters of Paul are the earliest New Testament record of what was actually going on among followers of Jesus in the mid-first century. They had congregations. They defined membership. They had leaders. They performed ordinances, certainly baptism and the eucharist.

It's possible to overemphasize ordinances and ritual, and certainly in 21st century America the word "ritual" doesn't have many positive connotations, but I don't think sacraments and ordinances can be relegated to the status of superfluous and optional faith-promoting acts. [I'm not saying Grant argued that in the SL Trib piece, but that's where some people go with that line of thinking.]

I don't think Jesus, as portrayed in the Gospels at least, needed to teach Jews the necessity of ritual. They had that down. What we see in the gospels is an attempt to provide an ethical counter-balance.

Grant, does anyone say that ordinances are an end in themselves?

Aren't you attacking a strawman here?

To say that something is necessary is not to say they are an end in themselves.

Grant:

I dug your book.

To the rest:

I think that the LDS church views the ordinances as the ends and living Christ-like as the means. Feel free to correct me if I am wrong. But we have the 2nd anointing (for those privileged few who have received it) which guarantees exaltation despite further sinning. So if you get the 2nd A, your done. That is your end.

For latter-day saints, it's never been about ordinance and ritual. It has always been about covenant-making.

"Tired Mormon" that's a vast mischaracterization. The point is that LDS have concept of justification where you are viewed as sufficiently turned to Christ that despite what mistakes you may make God tells you that you'll make it to eternal life.

There are multiple ways of looking at this. The first is that such things are tied to God's foreknowledge. The second is that they are conditional (Joseph's teaching that man can fall from grace). The third (and in my mind most orthodox) is that any ordinance or covenant entered into and not sealed by the Holy Spirit of Promise is null and void.

This is talked enough about in enough places that I'm sure if you know about the ordinance in question (administered to very few I might add) then you must have heard all of the above. Therefore I can but assume you are being disingenuous and merely trolling.

To add the scripture always brought up relative to this is Hel 10:4-5 which is (to me) the clearest narrative presentation of the LDS doctrine of justification.

Possible threadjack/detour.

I'll bite: what is the second annointing? As a lifelong member-complete with all of the rituals/covenants-I don't think I've ever heard of a second annointing. Perhaps I was not paying close attention or it is explained at times when my mind is prone to wandering during the temple ceremony or High Priest group mtg, but I am not familiar with this. ( Do I need to be demoted to the Aaronic priesthood b/c I missed something?)

Possible threadjack/detour.

I'll bite: what is the second annointing? As a lifelong member-complete with all of the rituals/covenants-I don't think I've ever heard of a second annointing. Perhaps I was not paying close attention or it is explained at times when my mind is prone to wandering during the temple ceremony or High Priest group mtg, but I am not familiar with this. ( Do I need to be demoted to the Aaronic priesthood b/c I missed something?)

Come on, I'm not trolling. I am a life long member and have jumped through all the hoops. I understand your doctrinal premise, Clark, but I do not agree. As I said before, livin' right is great, but on Mormon terms there is no exaltation, ya gotta have ritual.

Rbc,

The second anointing is your calling and election made sure. To get it, you basically get referred from an anointed one (play on words). It is administered by the apostles; they wash your feet, etc. Why the church won't talk about it, I don't know (but I am sure this group can come up with a thousand justifications).

If you have an apostle visiting the area, and see cars in the temple parking lot on a Sunday, you can bet it is a party that you are not invited to.

Thanks for the info.

I don't live near a temple to keep track of comings and goings on Sunday, or any other day for that matter. To say nothing of keeping track of the travel schedule of Apostles, but I do know there are some who do closely monitor such things. Now I better understand their motivations, I think.

Interesting stuff.

rbc, I included a paragraph on second anointings in my review of Mysteries of Godliness. This is what I wrote:

For almost a hundred years, what we now know as the standard LDS temple experience was just part one of the extended ordinance. It was expected that many would go on to receive a second endowment or second anointing years later, bestowed by senior LDS officials on a faithful older LDS man and his spouse(s). However, during Heber J. Grant's tenure as LDS President, the ordinance went into steep decline. By 1930 it was almost dormant, and the modern view that the standard set of temple ordinances was sufficient for complete salvation ("exaltation" in the Mormon vernacular) was accepted and taught. Second anointings are apparently still performed, albeit rarely, but it occupies no publicly defined place in present LDS salvation theology.

It's not that the Church "won't talk about it," as tiredmormon states, but rather that it is not part of the Plan of Savlation as presently understood and taught in the Church. There are other doctrines and practices from 19th-century Mormonism that are not part of the modern Church, such as periodic rebaptism and plural marriage.

Cars parked in front of an LDS chapel on Saturday afternoon generally indicate either a service project in progress or a bunch of guys playing basketball in the gym.

Thanks for the information. Has the practice really been revived? Prior to reading these comments, I had never heard of a single instance or even the possibility. If so, is it considered impolite to inquire of people whether they've had their "calling and election made sure."

Btw, I've enjoyed reading your book reviews. And,Cars at a chapel on a Saturday afternoon could also mean getting ready for a youth dance.

rbc, it's worth distinguishing between concepts. Having one's "calling and election made sure" is a doctrine. It was once talked about from time to time, but I haven't heard it in Conference or the curriculum for some time. I'm sure you could dig up a reference or two at LDS.org.

A "second anointing" is an ordinance that was performed in LDS temples in the 19th century, then petered out in the first third of the 20th century, or at least public discussion of it ceased.

There may have been a traditional connection between the two, the ordinance being a manifestation of reaching the state described by the doctrine, but there is no necessary connection.

If an angel appears to Bro. Jones and informs him his calling and election is made sure, then that's that, ordinance or not. If Bro. Adams has a second anointing done (the circumstances of which I do not speculate about) that may be a wonderful thing for him, but regardless of the rhetoric that is or was used, I don't see that such an ordinance guarantees any degree of salvation/exaltation in the next life.

Tired Mormon, technically having your calling and election made sure and the second anointing are not the same thing. Further the more sure word of prophecy tied to both is something separate again.

How does one become eligible for a second anointing? There has to be a vetting process of some sort and, since Mormons are involved it must include lots of paperwork/record keeping and approval up and down a particular chain of command. (I say that with plenty of affection for my fellow LDS and plenty of loathing for our penchant for bureaucratic processes.)

I apologize in advance for this continued threadjack, but I find the second anointing much more interesting than the tired argument over ritual versus practice. In a sense, they are both correct-similar to the endless dispute of grace v. works.

Dave, I think it is very much more that the Church doesn't talk about it because of its sacredness. At least not in public settings. You'll get quasi-talk in either veiled form (such as McConkie's rather extensive commentaries related to in the Doctrinal New Testament Commentary or some of Nibley's stuff) or else more frank but still not direct talk in more closed settings. For instance Pres. Hinkley talked for an hour and a half on ones calling and election which, while not using the term "second anointing" certainly discussed the general theology.

For everyone curious you can also hear talk about it when visiting temples with Holy of Holies in them. While they won't get too explicit most at the SLC temple were pretty open about things when questioned. For more vague stuff you can check out wikipedia.

Dave's comment about it 'petering out' is partially right. For several decades they weren't done. It's generally thought that it was Pres. Kimball who started doing the ordinances again and it's widely discussed that Pres. Hinkley does it as well. The amount of ordinances performed isn't clear.

I think many think that the temporary cessation of the ordinance was very much tied to the 'crisis' in succession around the turn of the 20th century when many were going apostate over the cessation of polygamy. Many of the groups going apostate claimed authority independent of the prophet on the basis of these ordinances.

I'd not say it isn't taught as part of the Plan of Salvation. If you go through your endowment it's pretty clear that both the anointing and the endowment are prepratory. The wording is clear that you are endowed to become a priest but are not yet made a priest and a king, Thus it logically follows that there must be a second anointing and a second endowment.

Dave, I said to watch the TEMPLE parking lots on Sunday, not the chapel. I would hate to see you waste an afternoon in the bushes with binoculars at the wrong location...

I understand the doctrinal difference between c&e and the sa, but the numerous accounts of the ordinance use the terms interchangeably. According to various accounts (from old days and modern times), once the ritual is over, you go home, you do some more ritual, and then Jesus will come for a visit to finish it up.

From my limited understanding, after you go through they ask you to nominate people. After vetting prospects, the nominees get an invite.

My two cents on why they don't talk about: an apostle performs it. That means only a selected few will get it. Certainly there would be a clamor for it if the general membership knew about it. They could of course change the presentation...maybe you will see it via video in the future.

"For everyone curious you can also hear talk about it when visiting temples with Holy of Holies in them."

In a further display of woeful ignorance, do our modern temples have Holy of Holies in them? I've been to many different temples on different continents and have never come across a Holy of Holies, or even heard discussion of such a place in our modern temples. Am I missing something here?

[Edited -- Sorry Mike, go cry on someone else's shoulder.]

So, tiredmormon, you're a lifelong member who has jumped through all the hoops, but who has read Ehrman and thinks the BoM is not inspired. You believes all religious ritual (LDS or Christian) is essentially phony and think any ritual ascribed to Jesus is a later addition. Which means you either think Jesus was an admirable moral teacher who thinks God's plan for everyone is that we just all get along and be kind, and any claim by him to act in God's name was a later addition; or else that Jesus actually made those claims and was himself a phony.

All of this explains your cynical, snarky attitude toward LDS beliefs (and Christian beliefs, it seems). But forgive me if it seems like you're a little phony yourself, casually tossing out criticism as if it's a one-way street. What, if anything, do you believe? Are you capable of admitting you believe in anything, or is your cynicism so entrenched that's not possible? And if you're an amoral nihlist, is your life plan to simply follow the path of least moral resistance?

Just curious.

rbc, some larger temples have them, I'm told, but I don't want to start a new topic in this thread. If you have further questions, you can email me.

Talk about a thread jack!

So now, for Dave (whose feigned interest was just masked criticism) I give you the tiredmormon primary spotlight. Ah-hem.

My wife/son are my favorite people. I enjoy the outdoors, love reading (classics, poetry, history, mormon studies). I am a Cancer. I have the typical active-LDS resume including such highlights as a mission and sealing (sadly, no second anointing, though family members have). I am not active. I do not believe in the absolute truth/authority claims and therefore cannot honestly answer the 'believing' portion of the temple interview, and hence, have no recommend. Now I am addicted to my morning coffee, so I am decidedly going to hell.

I believe in God, in inspiration, in the power of prayer, and that spring will eventually come to Colorado. I dig Grant Palmer, especially the last chapter in his book. I bear no grudge against the church. I do think being snarky is fun. I also think that bloggernacle posters are uber-defensive, and self-contradicting, often about silly things.

Take this post, for example. There is a difference of opinion about means and ends and the ultimate significance of ritual. Most of the positions taken here (by Grant, Clark, and the rest) are rationally justified based on LDS teachings, but disagreement in the bloggernacle invariably turns to personal attacks and zero compromise.

Btw, I only said I read Ehrman (as did you, I seem to recall) not that I espoused his beliefs.

Your psyco-biography of me, gathered from this thread, lead to the predictable route taken by TBM's of those who question: nihilism. That is certainly not the case with me. The second most predictable route is the belief-war. Maybe I could start a blog and we could do it there? I could ramble incessantly about my personal views before I even take the time to form them, and you could endeavor to save me from myself.

Now, with all that said, can we still be friends, Dave? Although you can be awfully pejorative, I think we can get along. We have read a lot of the same books, and sometimes share the same opinion. What do ya think?

Pejorative, moi? Jamais. I just get tired of commenters who lob half-baked criticism of other posts and comments but hide their own views behind a screen of snarkiness and sarcasm. It's nice you came clean a bit, tiredmormon. Sounds like you've got a nice life. Hope it works for you. I won't direct the same sarcasm at you that you direct at the Church and its members. I could, but I won't.

Dear Pot, this is kettle,

You choose to put your positions up on the web and then open up the floor to comment. Now you are crying that they are met with sarcasm. Boo hoo.

I took a position in the above comments and defended it. I was not merely derailing the thread with snarky tidbits (although those were included for good measure).

And go ahead and take your shots, I can take it. But please, spare me the lecture.

Fine, I'll spare you the lecture if you spare me the snotty comments ("boo hoo") and snarky tidbits.

Thanks for your comments, everyone. It looks like the discussion has burned itself out, so I'll close comments.

The comments to this entry are closed.

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