Discussions of Mormons and Mormon life, Book of Mormon issues and evidences, and other Latter-day Saint (LDS) topics.

Saturday, November 08, 2014

LDS Newsroom Releases Helpful Video on Temple Garments

The LDS Newsroom at LDS.org surprised me with the new announcement and video on the LDS temple garment. It includes views of LDS temple robes and LDS garments, the simple clothing items that our foes love to call "magic underwear" or other offensive terms. The LDS Newsroom resource should help thoughtful people better understand this aspect of our faith, and might help LDS members know how to better answer some common temple-related questions. Nicely done, IMHO.


flying fig said...

Sadly, here's another instance of the Church altering it's stance on an unusual practice in an attempt to conform with other religions. Having been taught for years and found in multiple LDS publications, (as well as the Endowment Ceremony) temple garments were always understood to be more than just a symbol of one's faith.

“You have had a Garment placed upon you, which you were informed represents the garment given to Adam and Eve when they were found naked in the Garden of Eden, and which is called the ‘Garment of the Holy Priesthood.’ This you were instructed to wear throughout your life. You were informed that IT WILL BE A SHIELD AND A PROTECTION to you inasmuch as you do not defile it and if you are true and faithful to your covenants” --Second Lecturer, Post-1990 LDS Endowment Ceremony, Evolution of the Mormon Temple Ceremony 1842-1990, p.110).

“The garment provides a constant reminder of the covenants made in a temple. When properly worn, it PROVIDE PROTECTION against temptation and evil” --Church Handbook of Instructions(1998, p. 68).

“The garment provides a constant reminder of the covenants you have made in the temple. You should treat it with respect at all times. You should not expose it to the view of those who do not understand its significance, and you should not adjust it to accommodate different styles of clothing. When you wear it properly, it PROVIDES PROTECTION against temptation and evil” --LDS Manual(173).

“Temple garments AFFORD PROTECTION. I am sure one could go to extreme in worshiping the cloth of which the garment is made, but one could also go to the other extreme. Though generally I think our protection is a mental, spiritual, moral one, yet I am convinced that there could be and undoubtedly have been many cases where there has been, through faith, AN ACTUAL PHYSICAL PROTECTION, so we must not minimize that possibility” --The Teachings of Spencer W. Kimball, 539).

“The garment… when properly worn, will serve as a PROTECTION against temptation and evil” (“The Doctrine of Temple Work,” --Seventy David E. Sorensen. Ensign, October 2003, 62. Ellipses in original).

“The garments serve as a reminder to them of the covenants they have made in the temple with the Lord, to live pure and virtuous lives. In addition, garments PROVIDE PROTECTION understood by the worthy wearer, and promote modesty in clothing styles” --Mormon Beliefs and Doctrines Made Easier, 112

Jeff Lindsay said...

For actual physical protection, I think you're referring to the Deluxe Kevlar Edition garments with optional ceramic plate reinforcement. Sure, they are a bit thick and stiff but really come in handy here in Shanghai during extremely hazardous events like crossing the street or getting on the subway. You probably can't find them in the States, but in China, you can find almost anything on Taobao (the Chinese version of Ebay, but much superior). :)

But most LDS folks using normal garments know they obviously aren't bulletproof. They know, as Pres. Kimball mentioned in the quote you found, that "generally ... our protection is a mental, spiritual, moral one." The garment helps us to remember our covenants, absolutely, and this helps us remember who we are when faced with temptation and evil. Yep, that's genuine protection--though not the bullet-deflecting kind. One could argue that anyone wearing a symbol of their faith--a cross or CTR ring, for example--could serve as protection of this kind. But we emphasize it with the garment and expect people to take it and their covenants seriously, and this reinforces the value of the garment in reminding us of our commitment to the Savior.

By way of miraculous exception, President Kimball and others have obviously felt that sometimes those with temple garments on may have experienced miraculous protection from harm. There have been people who felt they experienced blessings of that kind, even without the strength of Kevlar to explain the benefit. So be it. I can't rule out that possibility, so I won't condemn President Kimball for not wanting to minimize the possibility, as he put it.

These symbolic, metaphorical aspects of the garment are not the result of a new LDS departure from our roots. Protection against temptation is the natural result of remembering covenants.

flying fig said...

Deluxe Kevlar Edition garments with optional ceramic plate reinforcement"
HAHA Nicely put. You'd have a nice career in marketing! :-)

...or defense attorney

You continue to spin and reduce another President's teaching

The Teachings of Spencer W. Kimball, 539 says: "I am CONVINCED that there could be and UNDOUBTEDLY HAVE BEEN many cases where there has been, through faith, AN ACTUAL PHYSICAL PROTECTION"

You change it to: "President Kimball and others have obviously "FELT" that sometimes those with temple garments on "MAY HAVE" experienced miraculous protection from harm"

He either taught it or he felt it.
Maybe if we just change "The Teachings of (insert various LDS President's name here) to "The feelings and opinions of (insert various LDS President's name here) then and it won't come up anymore ;-)

Mormography said...

Thanks Flying Fig.

Mormanity's chronic denial and minization is so persistent it has become nothing more than bold faced lying, as you have documented. Hopes for honest responses are in vain.

with regards to current topic I refer to 60 minutes interview where Marriot was admant that garments provided him physical protect in a (boating fire?) accident.

Frommer said...

It seems mysterious because all other garments are visible where the LDS garments are hidden.

Pierce said...

You two are funny, patting each other in the back for the silliest things.

If someone is convinced about something it's perfectly fine to say they feel a certain way about it. Fig, you want to show a difference between taught and felt. Have fun with futility. Smith TAUGHT that he was CONVINCED about something. Wow.

That some have taken the word protection as literal in circumstances of miraculous events is perfectly fine. It's no different than other religious people who tribute 'coincidences' to God. There's nothing magical about it. It's either coincidence or divine, and most religious people choose to give glory to God.

The statements in this video about the garment are based on how they are described in the temple--not on folk stories surrounding them.

flying fig said...

"not on FOLK STORIES surrounding them."

Pierce, all I've done is simply presente a clear teaching from a PRESIDENT of the Church where he's convinced of a physical protection by wearing temple garments and so far all you and Jeff can do is minimize and spin it into an opinion, a feeling and folk stories.

Please tell me how this is a silly thing and futile? How many more teachings from your prophets will you continue to tear down?
Either you or your prophets are losing credibilty, which one is it?

Mormography said...

Pierce -

"You two are funny, patting each other in the back for the silliest things."

I see you are still having difficulty looking in the mirror. The major difference is Fig's dilligent grounding as opposed to statements of fiat with no backing. At a minimium you are conceding that Mormon culture was broken and the Mormon leadership was powerless to fix until Internet apologist came along. Your concessiones are only then speckled with contradictory ad hominem attacks. If Mormonism is devoid of creeds etc, how then can anyone be anti-Mormon?

People like you Pierce have convinced me the discussion is over. All the is left is what FAIRMormon calls motive investigation. This is may be a unique opportunity as much like Freud, the conditions he was study in his time are very difficulty to find today, as the social conditions that were the root cuases are rarer in modernised cultures.

Ryan said...

I don't think the video denies the teaching that garments are taught to serve as a protection to those who wear them. Only that we don't believe them to be magical. I believe physical protection can be one result of obeying God. As I see it, it is not something intrinsic to the garment itself that protects me, but rather God protecting me as I wear it worthily. "Worthily" is the key word there- it means I am doing my best to follow God's commandments as I understand them. When I am obeying God, He protects me. Does that mean if someone shoots me, the bullet will bounce off? Most likely not (though I think most Christians would agree that God COULD make that happen if He wanted to). Following the commandments will, however, keep me safe eternally. That may involve physical protection as God sees fit, as seen in many scriptural instances, but the spiritual aspect is the more important one. And I note that most of flying fig's quotes specifically refer to protection from temptation and evil, though he did not emphasize those parts. Even President Kimball suggests that that is the main thing. Perhaps the physical aspect was just President Kimball's opinion rather than hard and fast doctrine, but I agree with him on this one.

Pierce said...


"Sadly, here's another instance of the Church altering it's stance on an unusual practice in an attempt to conform with other religions"
"You continue to spin and reduce another President's teaching"
"He either taught it or he felt it."

You are not simply quoting people. These are your interpretations of the quotes, and this is what I am taking issue with. My last comment gives complete credence to President Smith's views, yet opposes your conclusions that the church is somehow altering something. You're welcome to address that point. Please don't stoop to Mormography's level and try to say that I am arguing against Smith himself just because I disagree with your conclusions. That tactic is the silliness that I'm talking about.

flying fig said...

Ryan, the teachings I've presented clearly state that the temple garments provide protection. Whether spiritual or physical (and Kimball clearly teaches that it is indeed physical) The point is these teachings indicate that there is an ACTION provided FROM the garments while wearing them AND This goes BEYOND the explanation in the video.
The video clearly states that garments are only used as an expression of one's commitment to their faith, it never mentions the the action provided by the garments while wearing them. Once again the Church is redefining uncomfortable teachings from their past in an attempt to fit in

flying fig said...

Pierce, read my response to Ryan. My point is clear, the church has taught that the garments provide an action, Kimball takes it further to an actual physical action. The video states they're only used as a symbolic expression. I find this disingenuous and misleading

Ryan said...

I don't think the video says ONLY anything. It says the garment is an expression of commitment to our faith, but does not limit it to that. But regardless, I think you're taking too much license saying that the teaching is that the garment itself provides the protection. You're quotes include things like "being true and faithful to your covenants," "...provides a constant reminder of covenants made..." and "When properly worn..." as conditions for protection. In other words, it is the act of faith, not the cloth, that provides access to spiritual power (ie protection). Remembering and keeping covenants, manifested in part by faithfully wearing the garments, provides access to the protection that God gives.

flying fig said...

guess it's just how you look at it. I'm taking the teaching at face value. Put the garments on, do not defile it, be true and faithful, it will then be a shield of protection to you. Kimball includes physical protection. The video simply doesn't mention this. You contend that it's implied, but it doesn't say it. It comes across as the Church trying to minimize these past teachings, thats all

Ryan said...

I just don't think the idea of protection would be intentionally minimized, since it is still actively taught. I also think your interpretation is not so much wrong as it is incomplete. I would say something more like "Put the garments on, do not defile it, be true and faithful, it will then be a shield of protection to you as God is a bigger part of your life." I include physical protection too, so long as it is in line with God's will. But again, it is Him, not the garment, providing the protection.

flying fig said...

"it is Him, not the garment, providing the protection"

YOU may personally understand the protection being from God but none of these teachings say what you're saying. Every one of these teachings repeatedly says "IT will be a shield", "IT provides protection", "THE GARMENTS will serve as protection", "TEMPLE GARMENTS afford protection".
Over and over it's the garments that are the focus and the source of protection.
I'm not twisting any quotes, that's exactly what's being taught and the video never mentions it

Pierce said...

Fig, as is your recent M.O., you've isolated part of a statement and have attempted to wrap our whole doctrine around it (you attempted other statements, but I guess had to drop those since they didn't support your conclusion).
We have already explained that many members of the church have used the 'protection clause' to explain miraculous events such as being burned everywhere except around garment-covered areas. This is exactly the case with your quote. What you are reading is that people have claimed to have witnessed these types of miraculous events and attributed them to the Lord's protection for being faithful.
What you are not reading is an authoritative if/then statement in the temple ceremony making some sort of guarantee, which is why this is not discussed in the video. Yet that's how you're treating this.

It's so interesting to see the lengths that you and your pal have to go to have a criticism over something as simple as an explanation of temple garments.

Ryan said...

You have my blessing to ask any member how they interpret that. Including any general authority.

While we're on the topic of General Authorities, and specifically President Kimball, let's look at another quote from him as well as his two counselors, this one being made when he was actually president of the church:
"The sacredness of the garment should be ever present and uppermost in the wearer's mind;...the blessings which flow from the OBSERVANCE OF OUR COVENANTS are sufficiently great to recompense for any mere inconvenience. To BREAK OUR COVENANTS is to FORFEIT THE PROTECTION and blessings promised for obedience to them." (First Presidency Letter, July 3, 1974) That, to me, makes it sound like it is the faithful keeping of covenants that is important.

In case that is not enough, let's look at another First Presidency statement, this time from President Kimball's successor and counselors, in 1988: "The promise of protection and blessings is CONDITIONED upon WORTHINESS and FAITHFULNESS in keeping the covenant."

I am certainly not alone in my interpretation.

519 said...

Let's take a closer look at Fig's quote:

"yet I am convinced that there could be and undoubtedly have been many cases where there has been, through faith, AN ACTUAL PHYSICAL PROTECTION."

He is convinced that there could be cases of physical protection, and that there have been cases before, and that this was accomplished through faith.

His statements seem to derive from experience or anecdotes, and the source of the protection is faith. These kinds of statements stand independent of how the garment is presented to us in the temple and how it is generally described, so it's no surprise that this is how the church would choose to publicly explain purpose of the garment.

Pierce said...

Last comment was mine.

Mormography said...

Pierce -

"Please don't stoop to Mormography's level and try to say that I am arguing against Smith himself just because I disagree with your conclusions"

Haha, just can't get out of the rabbit. Stoop to a level. wow. Why so much anger, hostility, amd contempt?

Fig isn't drawing conclusions as you obviously misunderstand. He demonstrating that the quotes were always understood at their face value and it is only now with the Internet that revisionist conclusions are being invented AKA lying. Just like when you bizarrely state JS may not have had sex w any the women he was "sealed" to. Even Mormon apologist admit that he did they only debate if he had sex the marrried ones and the 14 year old ones.

The lengths I go to here have little to do w the garments, ploygamy, or priesthood, but merely the inconsistencies in yours, Mormanity's reasoning. But that has been thoroughly been exposed, all that is left to analysis the emotions behind the behavior.

"A characteristic of contempt is the psychological withdrawal or distance one typically feels regarding the object of one’s contempt. This psychological distancing is an essential way of expressing one’s nonidentification with the object of one’s contempt and it precludes sympathetic identification with the object of contempt. (Hume, 2002, 251) Contempt for a person involves a way of negatively and comparatively regarding or attending to someone who has not fully lived up to an interpersonal standard that the person extending contempt thinks is important. This form of regard constitutes a psychological withdrawal from the object of contempt.[6]"

Pierce said...

"Just like when you bizarrely state JS may not have had sex w any the women he was "sealed" to"

Never said that, and in fact I stated said the opposite ("Some evidence suggests that a few of these marriages were most likely consummated"). I'm not interested in rehashing it. Away with you and your mis-characterizations.

flying fig said...

"this is how the church would choose to publicly explain purpose of the garment"

Interpret it anyway you'd like, the proof is in the above documents. I have at least six references to a spiritual and/or physical protection provided when wearing temple garments. The church purposely chose the safest, watered down version they could without mentioning ANYTHING about it even though that aspect of it has been CLEARLY taught over and over, has been published in LDS literature and is included in the Endowment Ceremony. They obviously realize that unless they ignore this teaching, any mention of a protective quality, spiritual or otherwise would lend credence to the "magical" stigma this secretive practice already has.

Ryan said...

All of your quotes except one mention the reminder of covenants or the importance of acting in faith in order to receive blessings. Add to that my quotes and it is clear the protection is believed to come from God through faithful keeping of covenants, not some sort of magic

flying fig said...

Any way you look at it, what's being taught is if you abide by a specific condition the garments will provide a protection. All the quotes say the same thing. That alone is STILL more than what the video is explaining about them, that they are just an expression of faith. The video is leaving out an aspect of the garments, downplaying the original teaching

Mormography said...

Pierce - I stand corrected and wish to change state to suggest. Being momentarily reduced to hunt and peck on an iPad is not exvuse. You see how easy that is? I little humility and learn to move beyone the stagnation of immaturity and your defense strategy of hit and run.

Now that we are on the subject of your mischaracterizations
"Some evidence suggests that a few of these marriages were most likely consummated". It is matter of undisputed established fact that JS had sex with many, if not all his women. 1 - DC 132 2- affidavits from many of his "wives". And if few is defined ad 3-7, then it may be inSufficent. As many on that thread pointed out it is a matter of fact that there were sexual relations, not just some evidence suggesting.

What other mischaracterizations? Or was that just another hit and run? You do realize that when you respond to only a few items but none the substantive items you are defacto admitting difficulty, don't you?

Ryan said...

I agree that the video does not explicitly say anything about protection, whether from the garment itself or from God as one faithfully wears the garment (the latter being what every Mormon believes). I think it's a stretch to say the church is trying to hide something here, since most of your quotes can be easily found on lds.org. If the church were trying to hide them, I think they would have removed them. What is presented in the video is correct, if not comprehensive.

flying fig said...

While I would like to give the benefit of the doubt that the Church is not purposely omitting information about temple garments, there is a long history of the Church either whitewashing, downplaying, denying or excluding key information about various controversial topics.
They have only recently made "official" statements about JS polygamy/polyandry and Blacks in the Priesthood. The LDS Carthage Jail tour STILL fails to mention that JS fired a gun before his murder. It's taken years for the Church to admit any involvement in the Meadow Mountain Massacre (http://abcnews.go.com/US/story?id=3131324&page=2)
While all this information is out there and is now becoming increasingly more discovered (thus the recent Church statements to clarify) It is still not common knowledge and the Church will not readily volunteer it as seen in this video

flying fig said...

Also, to speak to your statement:
"protection...from God as one faithfully wears the garment (the latter being what every Mormon believes)"
Every Mormon? Based on the reading of these quotes, you cannot say with certainty that are no members who honestly believe that with God working through the garments themselves, provide spiritual AND/OR physical protection.

Also, now that we both agree the video is less than comprehensive, it begs the question why? With the protective qualities being mentioned so many times in so many quotes, why would it be be excluded in the video?

Pierce said...

This video is not meant to be comprehensive in expounding the temple ceremonies and associated covenants/promises. Those details are still sacred in nature. The purpose of the video is to show what the garments look like, explain that they represent covenants made by LDS, show that they are akin to other religious vestments, and that we ask for a respectful tone when talking about them. This is a far cry from an attempt to whitewash history.

All you're doing at this point, and especially with your previous comment, is showing that you have an ax to grind.

flying fig said...

This is of course Pierce, is your usual out. I've got nothing else to offer "you have an ax to grind" end of discussion.
The Church has made recent efforts in an attempt at transparency by releasing official statements about controversial/misunderstood topics. In doing so, are they not inviting the discussion?
I've made a case that the Church, by omission, denial, or reinterpretation continues to spin the way they explain things. To support my case, I've used specific examples of similar past behavior. I'm sorry if it makes you uncomfortable, but it's relevant to the the discussion of whether the Church is capable of hiding something

Pierce said...

You don't make me uncomfortable, you're making me chuckle.

That the church has not been the harbinger of its past controversies (a valid criticism) has nothing to do with the point of this video. So you felt that the video should have had a lot of specific details, yet the church felt it was sufficient to make a general statement that the garment represents covenants (which could include the whole protection thing, btw). Why can't you have a different opinion without having to throw in accusations of deception and bring up unrelated controversies? People that don't have an ax to grind can do that, IMO.

flying fig said...

Is the Church capable of hiding or misrepresenting information?
I don't know, have they ever done something like that before?

How dare you. You have an ax to grind and I'm not talking about this anymore!

Oh well, I'll move on

Ryan said...

I'll admit I don't know everything about those other topics. I will say that I've known about them for decades, having learned about them in church. Also, I would point out that the gun Joseph used (and Hyrum's as well) are on display in the church history museum, and have been for some time. I went to Carthage a long time ago, so my memory is uncertain, but I seem to recall the tour guide telling us about the resistance on Joseph's part. But maybe I'm just making that up.

For all intents and purposes, I stand by my "Every Mormon" statement. Feel free to talk to whatever Mormons you know. Ask them whether protection comes from the garment itself or God.

Mormography said...

Pierce – I have had some time to get caught up.

You complain about my quote: “"Just like when you bizarrely state JS may not have had sex w any the women he was "sealed" to"”

Which was based on a quote from you here: “where sex may not have even occurred."

Just a clarification that my quote stands as it is a fact that you suggested JS may not have had sex w any of his women other than Emma.

Pierce said...

The problem with your obsession of dragging unrelated quotes from past conversions is that you remove them from the context they were said in (which may be your reason for doing it, but I digress).
The quote is in response to the accusation of lust being Joseph's motivation for polygamy, and was referencing individual marriages. It was not an expression of belief that Emma's marriage was the only consummated one, which is what you are still mischaracterizing .

Seems like you've retired from good criticisms and have decided to just troll individuals on the boards. Now please, leave me be and stay on topic if you can.

Mormography said...

Pierce -

There you go again. Fantastically hypocritical behavior. Demanding you be treated way better than you treat others, constant harassing others with false machinations and conversations in your head and then demanding you be left alone. If you can not take the heat stay out of the kitchen.

The quote in its entirety is below. In it, as usual, you wished to make the thread about biases. When this backfired, you suddenly wished to not make it about biases, while confessing you are in fact biased and falsely describing a pretend bias on my part The quote's context was nothing more than frustrated ad hominem attack. It has nothing to do w an accusation of lust as you falsely claim because I made no such accusation. If you regret mischaracterizing my supposed biases and regret confusing the public by suggesting sex may not have occured (as clearly do) then simple correct yourself and apologize. It is not that hard. Never taking personal responsibilty and always blaming others for your uncontrollable anger is the un-Christian path you appear stuck on.

"This isn't about who is biased. We both are very much biased.
Yours, however, causes you to reinvent what adultery is, so that now it applies to couples who have mutually entered into marriage covenants in front of witnesses, and where sex may not have even occurred.

I'm sure these zingers get the apologists every time."

Anonymous said...

I am surprised the church used catholic clergy to justify garments. Especially since the catholic church is the great and abominable one.

Jeff Lindsay said...

Fig, when someone says, "There could be and undoubtedly have been cases" of something, that's language typical of expressing something with a degree of speculation, albeit confident speculation. It's different than saying "I've experienced it" and "I have seen it happen." It's saying this is likely, and probably definitely has happened. And that's expressing how he feels about something. It's a feeling of conviction, yes, but to say that he felt there may have been cases of this is not an unreasonable parsing of the words. Surprised you take such offense.

flying fig said...

Jeff, just listen to what you're saying. Exactly how could "UNDOUBTEDLY HAVE BEEN cases" possibly mean "PROBABLY DEFINITELY has happened"? Are you serious? Where is the "degree of speculation" in "UNDOUBTEDLY HAVE BEEN"??

"Probably definitely"?? That doesn't even make sense!

Would you convict someone of murder who was "undoubtedly" guilty or "probably definitely" guilty?

You are UNDOUBTEDLY taking a teaching of an LDS president(JFS) and twisting into something else! ;-)

Pierce said...

But you would convict someone of murder based on a testimony that says 'there could be and undoubtedly have been...'


flying fig said...

Keep twisting words, Pierce. As much as you'd like to make those two statements the same thing, they're not.

Just stop and look at what JFS said when speaking of cases of actual physical protection.
1. There could be many cases
2. There has undoubtedly have been many cases.

"undoubtedly" and "Probably definitely" are two entirely different things!

Please tell me how I'm wrong, I'd really like to hear how you explain that

Pierce said...

You used a courtroom example to demonstrate how untrustworthy a phrase really is. I used the example in the same way. That's not twisting words.

You're trying so hard to be "right" that you're just ignoring the substance of the response and instead trying to hack away at a phrase that clearly wasn't meant to be taken as literally as you're making it out to be. Try looking at the first sentence in his response and address that instead. That's the essence of it all.

flying fig said...

Oh, I see. It's the substance of the response. So when he says there has "undoubtedly been cases" of physical protection he doesn't really mean undoubtedly?

Can you define that word, undoubtedly? Is there anything about that word that is not be taken as literal? Is there anything about that word that can express any other substance than what it means?

If you're seriously telling me "undoubtedly" is a non literal word I'm done discussing it with you. You have no credibility.

"I am convinced that there could be and UNDOUBTEDLY HAVE BEEN many cases where there has been, through faith, AN ACTUAL PHYSICAL PROTECTION"

This is a crystal clear statement of Kimball's. He leaves no room for doubt and you just can't accept it.

Piece said...

You really, really don't understand what is going on here, do you. Nobody here doubts that Kimball undoubtedly believed these types of things happened.
He doesn't doubt the stories he's heard. SO WHAT? The point is that his phrasing suggests that he is referencing anecdotal stories, which means it's no wonder it's not in the video as an authoritative statement on what the garment means to the average LDS person and how the garment is presented to them in the temple.

This is the lamest hill I have ever seen someone die on.

flying fig said...

You have to keep going back to "his phrasing suggests" or "wasn't meant to be taken literal" rather than just accepting what was said. Your spinning is now laughable

flying fig said...

It's not in the video because it's an uncomfortable teaching the church now wants to ignore.

Pierce said...

OK you just don't get. Case closed, I'm out.

flying fig said...

You're right, I don't get it. I don't get how a president of the church can clearly teach something, then have that teaching later ignored by the church in what is supposed to be a clarifying video and then online "apologists" further discredit the same teaching.
You guys do it all the time. You pick and choose which teaching you agree with. If a president/prophet says something you agree with, it's rock solid gospel. But if it's something now considered controversial or weird, "he didn't mean it that way" "he was speaking as a man" "it was just a sloppy reading of the text" "it was just a wrong opinion" and so on and so on
The church has set themselves up as having this continual mouthpiece from God, and now it finds itself painted into a corner forced to "disavow" their own prophets.

Pierce said...

Regarding this video, nobody has discredited the teaching, nor have they disavowed President Smith. We have expressed the opposite in many instances.

You have discredited yourself demonstrating a lack of comprehension as to why this wouldn't be included in the video.

These were the lamest arguments I have seen in a long time that were used to demonstrate what you said in your last paragraph. Your conclusion merits real discussion, but your garment argument for it is obtuse. Again, you chose the wrong hill to die on.

Some friendly advice: Stick with polygamy or the priesthood ban or something more obvious.

flying fig said...

You may disagree, but I really don't see the difference between this and the other two subjects you brought up. Just like the other instances, an LDS president has TAUGHT on a matter (it was important enough to be published as all things: The Teachings of Spencer W. Kimball afterall)
The video then ignores this teaching and downplays any physical protective powers of garments. You and Jeff then attempt to twist and discredit Kimball's teaching, trying to reduce it to an offhanded comment that doesn't really mean anything.

This is an all too common practice The church and this blog has become accustomed to. The church did the same thing in disavowing BY's racist teachings on the blacks in the priesthood and Jeff did the same with JFS's teaching on north American BOM geography.

It's a pretty simple parallel, Peirce, I'm a little surprised someone like you needs to have it explained. I'm more inclined to believe you're ignoring your own intellect.

Mormography said...

I love it. Acoording to Mormanity it is not minization or denial, but rather a 'reasonable parsing'. So something like several years before her 15th bday in place of 14 years old could be a readonable parsing. Whatever.

Regardless, the "apologist" and the iconoclast appear to be in vigorous agreement w each other. When Mormanity does odd things like accuse JFS of promoting dearly held believes that are in error he is "a person who attacks cherished beliefs" which is the definition of iconoclast, which is the correct term for what "apologist" call critics, or more hatefully, anti.

Those that refuse to parse are anti...... Thou shalt parse!

Jeff Lindsay said...

A post on theology at Wittenberg Door makes this point about the word "undoubtedly":

Ever notice that when someone uses the word "undoubtedly," what they really mean is, "I don't have evidence for this, so I'm claiming no one can doubt it, and I'm hoping you won't question it."

Same with words and phrases such as "everyone knows," "it's common knowledge," or "common sense tells us."

In history, the dictum is "no document, no history." Which means that if there's no document (used in the broader sense of the word) there's no historical veracity. You may have informed speculation, a reasoned guess, whatever -- but without the document, you have no history.

That's close to what I meant when I said that the phrase "There could be and undoubtedly have been cases" was "language typical of expressing something with a degree of speculation, albeit confident speculation."

Consider the difference in tone in these sentences:

--Flying Fig has made meaningful comments on this blog, including several in the past week.

--There could be cases and undoubtedly have been cases where Flying Fig has made meaningful comments on this or other blogs.

One is clearly linked to actual events, and in my opinion, the other, in spite of using the word undoubtedly, does not carry as much authoritative impact because there is a tinge of speculation or uncertainty. "There could be" is the signal that some speculation is involved, though it is quickly buttressed with conviction from "undoubtedly." It suggests he is relying on possibly unverified 3rd party stories he's heard and accepted rather than experienced directly. He didn't say "I know of many cases where ... " or "I have experienced" but "There could be and undoubtedly have been cases...." There's a nuance to what he's saying that doesn't require "twisting" and denial to perceive.

But whether he was 100% convinced or just 80% convinced that there had been some cases of physical protection, I'm OK with that and encourage you to get over it. But we don't teach and expect that divine physical protection is going to be provided, but we are always grateful for whatever blessings might be given.

If that extra layer of cloth keeps me from getting scraped up too bad in a future biking accident, I hope the Lord won't mind if I'm grateful for what may have been actual physical protection. I'm sure you'd be outraged, so I'll undoubtedly keep that as my little secret.

flying fig said...

without doubt; certainly.
"they are undoubtedly guilty"
synonyms doubtless, indubitably, doubtlessly, no doubt, without (a) doubt, unquestionably, without question, indisputably, undeniably, incontrovertibly, clearly, obviously, patently, certainly, definitely, surely, of course, indeed

"in spite of using the word undoubtedly, does not carry as much authoritative impact because there is a tinge of speculation or uncertainty" -mormanity

Wow. I'm impressed. Well done.
There's a plain, simple understanding of the text, then there's the lawyer-speak of mormanity, twisting and spinning to fit the agenda. I recall a recent post of yours where compared LDS critics to lawyers. You said "I see the mind and tactics of lawyers in some of the recent anti-Mormon attempts to attack and dismiss...Nitpicking at minor issues is the name of the game, but it's a lawyer's game, not that of a seeker for truth.

How you could ever accuse anyone of lawyer tactics is staggering

Jeff Lindsay said...

Fig, so why does he begin his statement with "there could have been ..." if there is absolute certainty in his conviction based on more than stories he has heard? But as I said, whether he was 100% certain or just 80% certain, it doesn't matter, and you are trying way too hard to make an unjustified point.

Fig, the problem here is that you want to elevate President Kimball's comments to the level of official doctrine so that you can better criticize us. What a tiring tactic this is. How tedious, monotonous, and unproductive to drag out old random quotes and try to bash them around as official doctrine that we now try to shamefully cover up.

Latter-day Saints reading that quote may readily understand that it has the look and feel of a personal opinion and a strong personal conviction, but not one that defines divine physical protection as core doctrine taught regarding the temple. That position is not strained lawyerly twisting, but a reasonable parsing of what was being said and how. But it's not just what and how that we need to consider. Add to that the "when" and to "whom" if you want to understand how to apply this text.

So where does this all-important (to you) quote comes from? It comes from a letter of some kind he wrote on 5/31/1948, as indicated in the book from which it is taken, which is a compilation of statements over his lifetime, not a source of binding doctrine. He was an Apostle in 1948, not President of the Church. Even if he was the President, his views in a random letter are not binding on us.

I can't tell from the electronic version of the book that I can access at Gospel Link whom this letter was written to or why, but that's irrelevant. Your whole ranting is irrelevant. The LDS.org video is a reasonable depiction of the LDS temple garments and its use.

Yes, there have been scattered stories of people who felt blessed and protected in various ways by the garment, but miraculous physical protection is not what I have been taught in the Temple nor what what I've gleaned from official doctrinal statements. Sure, it's possible, but that's speculative. Spencer Kimball's strong opinion in 1948 is interesting and I wonder what stories he may have heard to lead him to feel that way, and in fact I have to agree that there could have been such cases. But I don't think I can personally say there undoubtedly have been such cases because I don't have the documentation to make it undoubtable. Sans documentation, someone saying "undoubtedly" when expressing an opinion leaves open plenty of room for doubt, a la Wittenberg's Door above.

Jeff Lindsay said...

In case you missed it in the middle of my response above, note that the remarks from President Kimball come from a 1948 letter. Why on earth is that binding doctrine for us? The possibility of physical protections though faith somehow associated with the temple garment in some cases is a strong personal conviction he held, but not one that is taught as doctrine in the temple. But sure, it's possible. Could have happened. But no excuse for your allegations of some kind of coverup. The video is fair and accurate.

Mormography said...

Mormanity - It is tortured reasoning. At a minimum, you are confessing that the Mormon leader held a cherished belief that "most LDS folks" know is not true. You have been caught several times self declaring what "most LDS folks" believe, which just happens to be a less embarrassing version. For example, pretending that you have never met a Mormon who believed that word print studies prove Mormons right.

Debating the degree of belief is not even the point. The point is what "most LDS folks" believe and were taught or used to believe before Internet "apologist". You are in full blown denial (actually deception) in this regard, has Fig has documented. If your personal beliefs are psychologically converted into "most LDS folks" then this may be more like self-deception, and as I have pointed out, you believe that you are Mormonism personified.

Maybe you should sit down with guys like Marriott tell them to quit embarrassing their Church.

Mormography said...

It appears that Mormanity and I posted at the same time. I am not sure what is meant by allegations of "coverup".

What I see in the video is that the Internet is proven that what is actually "tedious, monotonous, and unproductive" is the chant "sacred not secret". The video is an unprecedented degree of public disclosure. Fig is merely pointing out it is not full disclosure. Lacking full disclosure is not an allegations of inaccuracy or coverup. You could definitely make the argument that the PURPOSE of the video is not to be a documentary, but merely an introductory disclosure of their existence to the public.

flying fig said...

"Why does he begin his statement with "there could have been ..." if there is absolute certainty in his conviction based on more than stories he has heard?

Read it again.

He is categorizing two distinct cases that he said he is CONVINCED of
1. There could be cases
2. There undoubtedly have been cases.

The first is speculation, the second is without doubt.

I agree with mormography, this whole issue is just another case of the church finally making an official statement to "clarify" misconceptions about a secretive practice but once again omitting published key aspects held by a church apostle. And then when that teaching is brought to light it's onece again disregarded our distorted rather than just accepting it for what it is.

flying fig said...

"note that the remarks from President Kimball come from a 1948 letter"

Perhaps the church can update the publication from "teaching" to "letter" and clear all this up :-)

Pierce said...

You two both have not offered a cogent rebuttal, only restated your absurd complaint

Mormography said...

Pierce - That is stating the obvious. A cogent position/argument/statement has to be made first before a cogent rebuttal can be offered. This entire blog is silly and of course anyone`s comments here by extension is absurd, just by nature of the subject matter. Are you just now figuring that out?

Pierce said...

You know what'seven sillier? Spending years on a blog you think is dumb and then making a failed blog in response to it.

"Who's more foolish, the fool or the fool who follows?"

All you have demonstrated is that you and a couple others have an ax to grind about Mormonism and you're willing to go to absurd lengths (these comments) to make you feel good about it.

flying fig said...

Pierce, absurd is when you have to redefine a word to make it fit your position as we've seen here.

Mormography said...

Being silly from time to time provides life balance Pierce. Thanks for sharping my axe for free. Apparently I have returned the favor by getting you to confess you are a fool. A major break through. You may be on the path to feeling good about your religon.

Pierce said...

It's actually when you think the dictionary definition of a word proves your point when actually proof comes from considering what the whole quote actually implies, what a quote in a letter by an apostle means in the larger context of Mormon doctrine, or even whether that word is a figure of speech.

flying fig said...

Again, I don't know how much clearer you can get than saying "undoubtedly have been cases"
There is no room for speculation, uncertainty, figure of speech in that sentence. You literally have to change the definition to make it mean anything else.

Pierce said...

You balance your life by habitually making disparaging comments about people's religion on a blog? Must be a sad life.

Oh and I don't think Jeff's blog is silly or that he is a fool in any way. So you can't turn my Obi-Wan Wan around and say I've somehow confessed something. But this is the same tired formula for all of your comments even when you're trying to sound intelligent, so I'm not surprised.

Pierce said...

Fig, way to ignore everything we've said (as in, this word doesn't ultimately matter). Also, Jeff demonstrated that the word actually is or can be a figure of speech. Who are you to set the rules?

Mormography said...

Pierce - If disparaging comments is the measure of a sad life, then what misery you must live in. I am beginning to understand the need for delussion. You have my sympathies. Sorry I was not able to sharpen your axe for you.

flying fig said...

"way to ignore everything we've said (as in, this word doesn't ultimately matter). Also, Jeff demonstrated that the word actually is or can be a figure of speech"

I read everything both of you have said, and I disagree with it. Jeff can at least admit it's just his opinion, you don't seem to afford the same right to anyone who disagrees with you. Talk about setting rules!
What you have demonstrated (in your own words) is that the Apostle Kimball's words "convinced" and "undoubtedly" ultimately don't matter. But apostle or not, that seems to be your M.O whenever anyone disagrees with you

Jeff Lindsay said...

M'Graphy said: For example, pretending that you have never met a Mormon who believed that word print studies prove Mormons right.

What?? What's this about? I think highly of some word print studies and think they are valuable, and have certainly met people who think that are valuable evidence, myself included. I use the word "prove" with caution though, and prefer to speak of evidence for plausibility, etc. But what's your point and where's it from?

Pierce said...

"you don't seem to afford the same right to anyone who disagrees with you. Talk about setting rules!"

I know this is some kind of complaint but I don't understand what "right" you're talking about. I'm not a moderator.
You have done much more than express an opinion and politely expressed disagreement. You have made incorrect accusations and assumptions and I have expressed how they are incorrect.
Don't pretend to be sensitive in order to dodge a question.

Mormography said...

Mormanity - You see, there you go again, pretending you have never met a Mormon who believed word print studies prove Mormons right. My favorite part of the response is the "some" word print studies. Only those studies that assist your agenda are "valuable", which of course is not at all the same as proving Mormons right. But again you validate my point, your verbiage/viewpoint/whatever psychologically becomes "most LDS folks".

flying fig said...

Pierce, did you really want me to answer your question, "who are you to set the rules?"

Okay, when it comes to defining a word, the rules are very clear:
Definition- The formal statement of the meaning or significance of a word.
It is both yours and Jeff's opinion that Kimball's use of "undoubtedly" doesn't matter, is a figure of speech and is defined as containing a certain amount of speculation. I disagree with both of you. It is my opinion that both of you are wrong. When Kimball says he is convinced something has undoubtedly happened, he means it undoubtedly happened. Excuse me for using a definition of a word. Am I being polite enough?

Pierce said...

"Okay, when it comes to defining a word, the rules are very clear"

Understanding a phrase requires more than a definition. I noticed that you are ignoring figures of speech, nuance, context, etc. So you're making up the rules when you choose to ignore this. It doesn't matter to my position, but I can see why you would ignore it.

I'm still waiting for a compelling reason as to why a folk doctrine should have been included in the video. Demonstrating your understanding of the word "undoubtedly" in a letter written by President Smith has in no way accomplished that. Sounds like your position rests on a pretty sandy foundation if you have to fight tooth and nail about what this one particular word has to mean.

flying fig said...

The video states there is nothing about temple garments that is "mystical" (adjective: having a spiritual meaning that is difficult to see or understand) and that they are only symbolic to commitments made. It is my opinion that the video has omitted an aspect of the garments that is found in multiple LDS publications including:
- Second Lecturer, Post-1990 LDS Endowment Ceremony, Evolution of the Mormon Temple Ceremony 1842-1990, p.110).
- Church Handbook of Instructions(1998, p. 68).
- LDS Manual(173).
- The Teachings of Spencer W. Kimball, 539).
- The Doctrine of Temple Work,” --Seventy David E. Sorensen. Ensign, October 2003, 62. Ellipses in original).
- Mormon Beliefs and Doctrines Made Easier, 112

Included with these examples is a member of the Quorum of the Twelve for thirty years and 12th Church President, Spencer W. Kimball stating that he is CONVINCED:
1.there could be
2.undoubtedly have been
...many cases where there has been, through faith, AN ACTUAL PHYSICAL PROTECTION, so we MUST NOT minimize that possibility.

That is not a figure of speech. He said himself he was convinced, undoubtedly about it.

But since you disagree with President Kimball’s words and none of it is "Official Doctrine" what he said is meaningless "Folk Doctrine" that should be ignored.

This is the same issue that is debated over and over again on this blog. The way you've explained it is this; any LDS prophet, president, or General Authority can believe, proclaim and teach anything he wants to and as long as it's not "official Canonized Doctrine" it can be excused as meaningless ramblings and disregarded whenever necessary.

I find it a common and convenient tactic used by LDS “apologists” to excuse every controversial thing any LDS authority has ever said. You pick and choose the words of your prophets, defending the ones you agree with (at the moment) as wise truths from God while declaring the words from the same prophet as meaningless nonsense.

Jeff Lindsay said...
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Jeff Lindsay said...
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Jeff Lindsay said...

I apologize for expressing my frustration with the comments here and closing them. I'll keep them open. I've removed my little rant. Sorry for my impatience.

I will remind folks that the reference for ACTUAL PHYSICAL PROTECTION is a 1948 letter from an Apostle to somebody else. In my view, the use of this source represents picking and choosing very selectively to create an issue that is a non-issue. Yes, it's possible, and yes, there has been hearsay about such things, but it's not what they tell us in the Temple and not what we are told in the scriptures or in First Presidency communications. It's a possibility, there may be cases and undoubtedly have been cases where people feel they were miraculously protected, and even if these were documented and widely known, that doesn't change it into official doctrine and doesn't mean the Church is guilty of changing it's teachings in this video aimed at the public.

I don't think any Latter-day Saint watching the video would think, "What? They left out the important teaching about ACTUAL PHYSICAL PROTECTION!" Largely because that simply isn't a doctrine that we are taught, though I too have heard rumors of such miracles. Maybe they are real. I dunno.