James Adams. Part 3. Conference. Textual Landmarks.

[Cross posted from By Common Consent]

Part 1 is here, part 2, here.

As you watch General Conference this weekend, appreciate it for some of the textual certainties. And you never know what you may hear.
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Spirit

Mormon pronouncements on the meaning of “spirit” (I’m thinking of statements like D&C 131:7) are interesting, but for the most part seem to be jousting at thin air these days. Latter-day Saints are mostly ignorant (in my limited experience) of the issues that make the tone of this passage seem just a little combative.
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James Adams. Part 2. Aspects of the Sermon.

[Cross posted from By Common Consent.]

For part 1, see here.

The late summer and early fall of 1843 was not a healthy time in Nauvoo. Philadelphia had yellow fever in the summer (and it emptied the town) and Nauvoo had malaria. If you could survive a year, the general weakness would usually subside and you had a good chance of staying alive. But the eldery and the very young had a more guarded prognosis. Often, malaria teamed up with pneumonia or cholera or some other bug to take out even the robust. In James Adams’ case, cholera got the blame for his August 11 demise:
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James Adams, a Remarkable Mormon, and the Subject of a Remarkable Sermon. Part 1. Introduction.

[Crossposted from By Common Consent]

Joseph Smith was an intensely loyal family man and that attachment was mirrored in Church structure. Family members played important roles in the LDS hierarchy. His father was a member of the Church presidency for a period and also served as the first “patriarch.”[1] His brothers held prominent Church offices. He continued to mourn the loss of older brother Alvin, 20 years later. His wife led the women of the Church in the formal women’s organization, the Nauvoo Female Relief Society.[2]
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Prepublication Note: Descriptive Bibliography of the Mormon Church, vol. 3

Maybe you can class this as rumor. ;) I just saw Pete Crawley over at the library. He told me he’s about a month away from handing over the ms for vol. 3. Just checking sources now. This series has been a big help to me in spots. I highly recommend the first 2 volumes. Vol. 3 will again be published by the Religious Studies Center at BYU. Vol. 3 goes up through 1857. Pete says this date represents a sea-change in Mormon imprints.

D&C 10. Part 2. Internal Structure Verses 1-19.

You can read part 1, here.

In this part, we look at the first 19 verses of D&C 10 and compare them to the first imprint which occurs in the Book of Commandments. [We take the view here that the plates of Mormon are an authentic object. While allowing the opposite possibility is certainly done and does not effect the internal literary analysis of the Book of Mormon text particularly, it makes our enterprise here much less interesting, D&C 10 then turns into a prooftext for a lying Joseph Smith.]
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Elizabeth Ann Whitney (1800-1882)

I’m on vacation for a few days, but I can’t resist sharing this note.

At boap.org many of you know we keep a collection of autobiographies and journals of people connected in some way (as contemporaries) to Joseph Smith. At the present time, we have only a short selection from Elizabeth Whitney, wife of Newel K. Whitney. The Whitney’s were among the early converts to Mormonism in Kirtland, Ohio. Elizabeth left a rather extensive reminiscence of her years in Mormonism and we are going to include it in the collection as we (I mostly now) get time to put it there. But to start with, I wanted to give you some flavor of the Woman. Below I insert her very touching opening salvo in her “Women’s Exponent” series in 1878. Take note of her final paragraph. I give you Elizabeth Ann Whitney.
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Rodney Stark on the Decline of the Mainline

I saw this the other day at patheos.com and had, well, not a chuckle, because I think there is some kind of tragedy lurking, but a starkness in vision (if you will):

The first [reason for the decline of "mainline" Protestantism] is modernist theology. The theology that prevailed in the mainline churches changed dramatically [from post Civil war times]. If you take Paul Tillich’s view of God, in which God is essentially something imaginary, then why do you bother to hold a church service in the first place? If there’s nothing there to pray to, why do it?

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D&C 10. Part 1. External Characteristics.

Recently we took a rather detailed look at some aspects of D&C 107 which plays a remarkable role in LDS Church structure and function. (See here for Parts 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11 and 12).

We now turn to another of Joseph Smith’s revelations. Section 10 of the 1981 edition of the LDS Doctrine and Covenants is an interesting text for several reasons. It seems to mark a transition in the nature of Joseph Smith’s revelations. Moreover, an internal analysis of the text offers certain mysteries and curiosities. We will investigate some of these in this series. First though, an external picture of the text.
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Cosmology – The Big Bang – And God

Recently, Stephen Hawking announced that there is no need for God, in terms of winding up the universe. The Big Bang [1] is a demonstrable result of M-theory. I won’t bore you about M-theory, except to say that It’s not complete and it’s not a sure bet yet. But even if it or one of its competitors turns out to match the data, be complete and self-consistent then great: such a thing might even have everyday consequences.
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The Evolution of Wasatch Front Units, part 1.

A recent post on individual life trajectory got me thinking about the same thing in regard to LDS church units. Specifically, the dynamics of Wasatch Front wards and stakes. The populations of these units trend in response to real estate, employment and age structures in a complex dance that has some equilibria, but those equilibria are subject to intrusions from outside the system.
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