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Sunday, August 28, 2011

My Other Blog

I was planning to emulate congress and the snooty staff at the New Yorker by taking off the entire month of August, when I received the following from a reader named Toni:
“You were going to make new posts twice a month. I've been waiting for nearly a month and a half. *taps toes impatiently*”
Toni’s comment followed an email from a reader named Tom, which read, “Have you posted anything lately?  I've read all the previous posts and am looking for a new one.”


Oh my goodness, you know what this means? I have fans!

When I was studying Communications in college, one of the things that impressed me was learning that every letter received by a TV or radio network was assumed to represent the views of at least ten thousand others who had not bothered to write in.  So I’m going to assume from these two letters that some twenty thousand more of you are out there clamoring for me to resume.  I'm resolved to stop disappointing you.

Seriously though, I'm actually surprised and humbled that even two of you like my stuff enough to miss me when I'm absent.  So thanks for that.  

Toni is right; I once mentioned my intent to post twice a month, but realistically I've been producing something once a month, and maybe twice.  Still, a glance at the calendar and the date of my most recent piece tells me that it’s now been almost two whole months since I’ve written anything.  And at the rate I’m currently handling the vicissitudes of life, I’ll be halfway into September before I hammer out my next creation.  So I thought I should at least touch base with anyone out there who's even a little interested, and give you a hint about what's coming.

 (“Vicissitudes,” by the way,  is one of  two 'V' words I learned in church that I’ve never had the opportunity to use since.  The other is “Viz,” from the 6th Article of Faith.  And now I note that in my current scriptures, “viz” has been replaced by the word  “namely” which, though less archaic, sounds like a usage more at home in Mad Magazine than the holy scriptures.)

For the benefit of Tom and Toni, I'm writing to let you know that I haven’t quit or run out of ideas; I just took some time off to get some other things done.  And frankly I got lazy, because I find it's so much easier to read other people's work than it is to produce any of my own.

A lot of my time at the computer lately has been spent perusing the work of Mormon bloggers with points of view more or less similar to my own, such as Weeping For Zion; Truth Hurts; The Transfigured Word; Finding Mormonism; Zomarah; Just and True; Because I Am Watching; LDS Anarchy; and the myriad of others who lament the way modern Mormonism seems to have drifted from its moorings.  Often when I have contemplated writing on a topic, I find that these guys have already covered the issue far more intelligently and concisely than I could have.

In fact, the primary reason I didn't get around to making a blog entry of my own is because for most of July and August I had foolishly allowed myself to get sucked into an intractable debate following a particular post at LDS Anarchy. When a certain young commenter weighed in with an erroneous interpretation, I stepped in to "correct" him.  He responded by insisting that I was "a misinformed mind control slave."

Uh-oh.  That got my ego involved.  Although several others attempted to set junior straight, before long things devolved into a non-stop feud pretty much between just this one guy and me, until weeks later I finally quit with an exasperated sigh.  Last time I looked, he was still over there, trying to goad me back into the ring.

So, that's where the time went.

Pure Mormonism: Coming Attractions

For those interested, and in no particular order, here are a few teasers on some of the things I’m thinking about addressing here in the near future:

North American Evidences For The Book of Mormon.  Apparently a large collection of colonial era books, documents, and sketches have been found in a neglected corner of the Smithsonian that could support evidence of Book of Mormon civilizations in North America that rival or surpass anything found thus far in Meso-America.  What intrigues me about these findings is that apparently there are elements within the Church who are dismissive of this stuff because they are highly invested in promoting South Americans as being the descendants of the Lamanites, in spite of lack of DNA evidence for that position.   But from what I’ve seen so far, there may be a handful of tribes from the New York-Ohio-Pennslyvania area that have been found to have traces of middle-eastern ancestry in their DNA, and the number of massive ruins that once existed here before the land was cleared for farming is staggering.  The finding of descendants of Lehi in this geographical area would be consistent with what Joseph Smith taught on the subject, while advocates of the Meso-American view have had to invent some pretty odd constructions to justify their holdings, such as speculation that there must have been two Hill Cumorahs.  So I’m looking into this and will report my findings here soon.

Also coming up is a review of what I’ll title The Best Mormon Movie You Never Saw, a nice little independent film that was so poorly marketed that probably more non-members than members ever got a chance to see it.  It was extremely well received by gentile audiences at film festivals in New York and Houston, but almost completely ignored during its one week run in Utah theaters.  I'll follow that up with my opinion of The Worst Church Film Ever Made, a seminary film that had the unintended consequence of scaring a generation of LDS teenagers into having second thoughts about confiding in their leaders.

I’ll also be discussing a reality show commissioned by cable channel TLC a year or two ago called Family Armor, which featured a typical LDS family of today.  TLC only ended up broadcasting one episode, which was fortunate because the family actually was too typical of many Mormon families, and featured the parents teaching their children an appallingly unscriptural concept of God in order to frighten them into behaving.

I’m just getting around to reading volume II of Joseph Smith Fought Polygamy, and I intend to revisit that topic in the future.  Given the complete lack of evidence that Joseph Smith ever engaged in the practice, and his vehement denunciations of those who did, I am more convinced than ever that the poor guy has been given a bum rap.  What we do have evidence of is massive fraud in the doctoring of the official Church histories, meant to give the impression that polygamy in the Church was secretly sanctioned by Joseph Smith when it clearly was not.  One of the men Brigham Young tasked with tampering with the journals of Joseph Smith left the Church rather than engage in such subterfuge.  This subject continues to be a hot-button issue with me, and the matter is far from settled in my mind.

Eventually I want to parse the conference talk of Gordon Hinckley which many members assumed to be an endorsement of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.  That’s right, I’m not going to shut up about why no one who calls himself a Latter-day Saint should be participating in any of the wars the United States is currently engaged in.

I’ll also address the question of whether Mitt Romney is good for the country, and whether a Mitt Romney presidency would be good for the church.  Spoiler alert: A Romney presidency would be disastrous for both the country and the Church.

Is Boyd K. Packer On The Road to Apostasy?  I’ll lay out the case that, based on the criteria set forth by Joseph Smith, Elder Packer has been on that road for most of his Church career.

Why Are We Still Called To Sacrifice?  Since the atonement did away with the law of sacrifice, why do we hear so much about how much we as members must continually sacrifice for the Church?  I want to present the argument that the age of sacrifice ended with Christ's atonement, which ushered in the era of service.  There is an important distinction between sacrifice and service; one is a waste of time and resources that keeps us stuck, while the other carries us toward a Zion society.       

Along those lines I’ll address the question,  Are You Paying Too Much Tithing?  I'll bet you probably are.

In a previous piece I argued that corporatism has undermined and subverted the church of Jesus Christ; I’d like to go deeper in a future post by addressing how the church has been neutralized and muzzled by deliberately acquiescing to government control.

Why A Marriage License? If marriage is ordained of God, why will the Church not allow a couple to enter the temple and be sealed together unless they present proof that the government has given its permission first? And on a related note, Should Gay People Get Married?  Who cares? I don't, and I'll tell you why.

There’s lots more in the pipeline, and I'm tempted to now and then go off topic and address current issues not directly related to Mormonism, yet which I feel have eternal ramifications.   I hope you’ll continue to check back and see.

In the meantime, I have not been idle.  For the two of you who can’t get enough of the the wit and wisdom of Rock Waterman, there is another place online where I contribute weekly opinion pieces not directly related to Mormonism. 

Some time ago, I wrote a piece here on the subject of food storage, which came to the attention of the good folks at  eFoodsDirect.com. I was subsequently asked to join three other contributors to the blog section at the eFoods website, where I write a column every Thursday morning.  The advantage you’ll find to reading my pieces there are that they are much shorter and more concise than the extended rants here.

It fell to me to be the resident expert on water storage, and I hope you’ll check out my series on that.  Storing water is really quite simple, but it's important to follow certain steps in the process that cannot be left out, and beware of the popular method of storing water that should be avoided at all costs.

In The Big Uh-Oh, I discuss the catastrophe about to befall my generation, the Baby Boomers, and how I forced myself to wake up and shake off my own slumber.

In recent pieces I discuss the rush into gold, a brazen admission by the former Federal Reserve Chairman, and things you can try if you just can’t afford food storage.  I also relate a couple of recent run-ins I had with hopelessly stupid people here and here.

I've also presented a six part beginner's guide on the basics of buying silver, including what particular coin you should buy, what you should not buy, and how to avoid the traps on Ebay.

A complete archive of my eFoods columns can be found starting on this page, beginning with the most recent.  I have no idea how many people read those posts, because none of us receives many comments. Please add your two cents so I'll feel like someone's listening.

In the meantime, Tom and Toni, thanks for your interest.  Please keep checking back.  I haven’t died (or been excommunicated) yet.

                                                *****
UPDATE September 5th, 2011: For the time being, if you order anything from eFoods Direct you can get free shipping.  This is a big deal, because food shipments can be heavy and depending on the order, shipping costs can really take a bite.   Take advantage of this offer while you can.  It's for a limited time; I don't know for how long.

72 comments:

I. Willet deVale said...

Rock,
I for one would like to see that feud at LDS Anarchy continue. I was so busy moving that I wasn't able to join in. But, you promised to explain some things you never got around to.


So can we expect a further update on the Free Enterprise Society?

Porter said...

I thrilled that you are still out there working on topics of interest. I, for one, honestly thought that the two posts titled "Reinventing Your Sundays" were kind of your piece de la resistance. It was like all of your other posts had been building up to that conclusion. For me they were transformative and I'm wondering what sort of responses you received to those.

But by all means keep up the good work! I cant wait to see what you have to say about Boyd K. Packer. I've been concerned about that for years, but when I share my concerns with fellow members they seem to not appreciate my lack of faith. Thank goodness Pres. Monson seems to still be in good health...

Lexi said...

I am excited about basically all of your proposed topics! Even if you don't have super long essays about them it will be nice to hear when you think. :)

zo-ma-rah said...

Well, I'm exited for your future posts. I try and message you on facebook if I see you online. But I must be sending just as your getting offline. That's what I keep telling myself anyway. Hahaha.

I'm glad you included that list of blogs you like reading there are some I haven't seen yet.

Calimom said...

Looking foward to more and SO glad you aren't done (I'll admit, I was a bit worried).

One of your twenty thousand fans, Calimom

dovh49 said...

Good to hear you will be posting more. I checked my blogs tonight (I follow a lot of them) and saw you posted and was excited to see it and you were the first one I went to!

A constructive suggestion if you don't mind (if you do just stop reading here). If you are posting elsewhere could you make a post on this blog pointing to the other ones that might have the title of the other one with a one or two sentence teaser? When you post a whole bunch of them at once it is unlikely that I will look at them, but it is highly probable that I would look at them if you posted it to your main sight one at a time. That way we won't go through "Waterman" withdrawal.

Alan Rock Waterman said...

Yikes, if it had occurred to me that anyone thought I was hanging it up, I would never have taken a vacation.

That piece I wrote on Unity was meant to demonstrate what we were missing at our meetings, not an implication that I was leaving the church. Though I have attended a handful of functions at Unity, the Pastor knows I'm a committed Mormon. I did meet a couple from my city who showed up after reading about it here, though, and that was kind of cool.

Alan Rock Waterman said...

Zomarah,
That's because I hang up as soon as I see it's you.

Just kidding. Actually, I often leave Facebook open even when I'm not there, and then sometimes when I see it's open I just close it without looking. I have noticed a few times I've missed you. But the notifications that I'm online are usually wrong.

Alan Rock Waterman said...

Dovh49,
Over to the right side of this page is the column "Blogs I Think Are Worth a Look". There's one there for eFoods Direct, and you can click on that every Thursday for my words of wisdom. Or were you referring to the feud at LDS Anarchy? There will be no further announcements for that, I hope.

I. Willet deVale,
Why don't you set him straight? You know as much as I do. I don't want to get dragged back in. That guy is freakin' unteachable.

Stan said...

Hey I'm a fan too! One more and we could form a quartet... only I can't sing. =:)

John Penn said...

Rock, I feel like I've been given an "Early Edition" (remember that show?) volume of "Reader's Digest". Looking forward to the posts and the ensuing mud-slinging, name calling, etc. that seems to be following you around. :)

Anonymous said...

Rock,
I was hoping you could help me. Do you write on another blog(not efoods) as well as this one? I am looking for a post that goes through D&C sec.132 verse by verse. Did you write that? or do you know who did? I was thinking it was you, but I can't remember.

Thankyou, love reading your stuff.
reese

Matthew said...

I just figured you were taking a holiday over the summer! :D

Looking forward to your up and coming posts!

Brett said...

Wow... I love the list of stuff you are working on and I'm excited to read your efoodsdirect.com blog posts. They owe you a commission, by the way, since I've spent several hundred dollars there after reading your blog post on food storage.

Doubting Thomas said...

I doubt that Toni and myself were the catalyst to this post... although I will take 50% of the credit for the percentage we were involved.

Seriously Rock, thanks to your posts and the other perspectives I've digested from other blogs referenced here I am in a better place. I'm giving Joseph Smith a second chance and striving to focus on my ROCK (no pun) solid testimony of God and Jesus Christ. That firm belief was branded into my mind by the Holy Ghost. I remember the people, place and the time of day when it happened. My eyes are wet recalling that powerful experience as I type.

Recently I have expressed my opinion more in various meetings, and those opinions are counter to many policies and SOP of the corporate church establishment. I've also made a habit of mentioning Jesus Christ and his teachings to lessen the hideous statements made by others regarding so-called doctrine during lessons.

I am energized and emboldened thanks to the independent thinkers who have commented on your blog. Finally, I also appreciate those who disagree with your posts and their ability to debate and dialoge about the important challenges facing everyone involved in the LDS culture.

I have renewed hope about many things that were once very important to me but seemed to lose there luster from the weekly grind of the corporate church.

Again, thank you.

Tom

Marie said...

Rock:

Welcome back!! I was getting a bit worried, cuz i thought you had stated in your last post that your wife was not feeling well. Of COURSE you were missed!

Happily looking forward to some of the posts you previewed above--especially the Joseph Smith/polygamy issue and your thoughts on the gay marriage issue. I hope you include some information about the money the Church (TM) poured into Prop 8 in California. Alot of members weren't too happy about that . . .

Alan Rock Waterman said...

Reese,
No that wasn't me who wrote the piece on Section 132, but it sounds fascinating. If any of you other readers know of it, please let me know too. Post a link here.

Tom,
What you wrote inspires me to continue. Thank you.

Brett,
The way it works is when you buy something from eFoods because of something I wrote, you're supposed to tithe 10% of that food to me.

Alan Rock Waterman said...

Marie,
As a matter of fact, the primary reason I took this time off was because Connie's health has been failing fast. She was hospitalized with a minor stroke, then had the nerves in the back of her neck ablated in hopes that it might alleviate some of the pain. It didn't. Last week they tried inserting stim wires into her spine, with the idea of blocking the pain signals to the brain, again with no good result.

Connie is in constant pain, but has a beautiful spirit and tries to keep a good attitude. Today was another visit to her pain care specialist to try something else.

The good thing about all these ups and downs in her life is that she knows how to write "vicissitudes" without using Spellcheck.

zo-ma-rah said...

I wrote about Section 132 here(I'm mostly for it):

http://zomarah.wordpress.com/2010/10/06/section-132-holy-or-holey/

One Who is Watching wote about it here(against):

http://onewhoiswatching.wordpress.com/2009/09/01/analysis-of-section-132/

Those are the only two I know about. there are probably more floating around out there.

calimom said...

My favorite thoughts on D&C 132 are found here:

http://anewhomefortempleofgod.blogspot.com/2011/06/seed-of-abraham.html

I doubt it is the article you were looking for, but maybe someone will get as much out of it as I have. Here is a paragraph from one of the pages:

"The LDS (Mormon) scriptures contain some of the deepest meanings found in holy writings, despite the fact that the LDS themselves are prone to overlook them. D&C 132 is all about what is called "the new and everlasting covenant". And what is this? It is simply stated as "doing the works of Abraham." Unfortunately, early leaders mistook this as a license to live polygamy. But, D&C 132 has little to do with polygamy and everything to do with the "works of Abraham". And what are the works of Abraham? Stated simply, it is to do "… none other things than that which (he was) commanded". (verse 37). Indeed, this is the sum and substance of the new and everlasting covenant."

Zo-ma-rah, this may seem random and a weird place to mention this, but I've argued against plural wifery on your blog before. (I still find it personally abhorrent :), but the thoughts above helped me finally realize that if one feels truly commanded, like Abraham did, to have multiple wives then I have no beef with it. But I still don't believe it is God's official view of marriage or best for most people! The New and Everlasting Covenant is about being one with God - guided by the spirit in all things - understanding God's will for us. Beautiful!

zo-ma-rah said...

Thanks for that link I knew there had to be more stuff out there. Calimom I agree that after reading through section 132 the Plural Marriage portion is really very minor when compared to the overall message of that section.

I also think that the Brighamite idea of Plural Marriage being a requirement for all people is taking section 132 out of context.

I'm going to read that link as soon as I get time it sounds fascinating. There's just so much stuff to read an learn! So many ideas to examine!

Anonymous said...

Rock, found it. The guy at 3 watches/one who is watching did it. Here it is. I think you will like it.
reese
http://onewhoiswatching.wordpress.com/2009/09/01/analysis-of-section-132/

Anonymous said...

Joseph said a key to understanding a revelation is to know the question which prompted it. In the case of D&C 132 the question was:

to know and understand wherein I, the Lord, justified my servants Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, as also Moses, David and Solomon, my servants, as touching the principle and doctrine of their having many wives and concubines—

And with knowledge comes responsibility to live it:

3 Therefore, prepare thy heart to receive and obey the instructions which I am about to give unto you; for all those who have this law revealed unto them must obey the same.

Steve

Toni said...

Wow! My name is in your post. I'm glad you listened to me and to your email author.

Some of those items on your list are delicious. I can hardly wait (hopefully, this means more than two posts a month? - after all, you have plenty of topics).

I'm glad you left the argument on LDSA. There was some good information there, but it got boring and the contention was a turn-off (for me, anyway). One can only go round and round so often before one resembles a wheel that has come off a cart, spinning out of control and going nowhere.

Alan Rock Waterman said...

There you are, Toni! The woman who speaks for a thousand others.

June said...

Thanks for the list of blogs you follow. Truth Hurts is also one I follow. Any word on whether he will be getting back to blogging or not?

June said...

P.S. Welcome back. I have missed you.

Alan Rock Waterman said...

Truth Hurts is silent for now,June. No word on whether that site will be resuming. But oh, the treasures of truth that are found there!

Steve said...

Rock: Do you have an e-mail address for him/her?

Toni said...

When I posted before, I didn't have time to read the comments or even to finish the post. I didn't know Connie was doing so poorly or I wouldn't have been so impatient. My prayers go out for her.

This quote by Calimom makes a whole lotta sense: And what are the works of Abraham? Stated simply, it is to do "… none other things than that which (he was) commanded". (verse 37). Indeed, this is the sum and substance of the new and everlasting covenant.

If we're gonna be voting for what we want to hear first, I'm voting for The Best Mormon Movie You Never Saw, The Worst Church Film Ever Made, Boyd K Packer (I'm curious as to why you think about him like you do), the Family Armor show, and probably the one on plural marriage (since your evidences convinced me that it was probably never intended to be lived like it was). Then the others.

Steven Lester said...

Why might Mr. Waterman think about Boyd K. Packer the way he does. First of all, he was best pal to Bruce R. , appropriately named in another blog as: "The Asshole of the Lord". There was a reason for that. And secondly, name any other Apostle during the entire history of the Church that would agree to an entire ballroom-sized exhibit which was entirely about themselves and nobody else. Can't think of one? Well, Packer did and believe me, when questioned about it after I had just walked through his boy scout badges and duck carvings, the lady at the reception was really quite embarrassed about it. I could only shake my head in absolute wonder. I can't think of a worse candidate for the Presidency of the Church, or if the Church is as Mr. Waterman has described it, perhaps he is the best candidate, after all.

It saddens me to hear about Connie. She is a very nice lady.

Anonymous said...

Rock, I've followed and read every article since I found your blog. You have an amazing wit and clarity in your posts and I look forward to them immensely.

I am a practicing Mormon but have had a numbness about church for several years. Your posts remind me what it was like to be a primary kid in the 70's and a teenager in the 80's. Church had a different feel then. Now I just feel restricted, bored, and inconvenienced by the amount of meetings and other events we attend.

Your posts just ring a bell with what I have been studying and doing to live a more gospel centered life rather than a church centered one.

I am highly interested in your tithing story coming up. I too feel that we have been mislead on what a tithe is and that we are living a Mosaic principle when that law has been fulfilled and replaced with a better one.

Keep 'em coming! I can't wait.

J

Anonymous said...

I have not read all your posts here but I have thoroughly enjoyed the ones I have read. I was also wondering when a new post was going to show up. Looking forward to your future posts.

karl waterman said...

If you would quit riding around town in your kilt, and stay at home writing. then all would be well in zon!

James said...

So I might not have emailed you, but I am just as anxious as everyone else for more posts. Keep it up, I am anxious for you to address the listed topics.

Toni said...

Ha! Some of the 2,000 are coming out into the light, Rock.

Anthony Bennett said...

On the subject of polygamy, D&C 132 and such-like:

Am I the only one who sees a significant stylistic difference between verses 58-66 and the verses that came before it, or am I trying to have my eternal marriage cake and eat polygamy too? D&C 132:1-57 seem like a testimony of marriage, and a beautiful one at that; the rest seems like...well, to me it seems like someone slapped an incongruous addendum on to justify something. Then again, as stated before, I'm great at lying to myself, and I do REALLY want to believe in the first part.

Alan Rock Waterman said...

Anthony,
I'm part way into the analysis at "Because I Am Watching", (He has at least two pieces) and I think he seems to imply that the polygamy stuff may have been pasted on later. I was interrupted in my reading and haven't finished, but I will say that based upon Brigham's curious timing in bringing it forth while admitting it was a mere copy of the original, I have been inclined to the view that the whole thing may have been a fraud.

But my opinion is not fully formed. Food for thought, grounds for further research.

Val said...

Holy Shit-with 38 comments (and now 39) you must have 39,000 fans!!! PLEASE KEEP BLOGGING!!!

Anonymous said...

I just thought I would make that an even 40,000 fans, instead of just silently lurking! Also, I vote for putting your blog about BK Packer near the top of the list. I have many concerns that I would be interested in hearing addressed.

Zo-ma-rah said...

Well, it's two days into September. Where's all these amazing new posts?

Alan Rock Waterman said...

Zomarah, I had a feeling I shouldn't have said anything...

ke da wei said...

Alan,

I have enjoyed reading all your posts and am a big fan. I think everyone needs to relax and go read other blogs, books, etc. Heck, start their own blogs. It's not like you get paid to do this. :)

calimom said...

I'm looking forward to everyone's (Rock's and all the commenter's) thoughts on each of the topics lised above.

I have to add that the Watcher's (Because I am Watching and Three Watches) posts are always worth reading and thinking about.

Anthony - I think you can have your cake and eat it too when it comes to sealings and polygamy. (But I view them in WAY different terms that the limited/literal way the church has misunderstood them for so long). It will be fun to discuss when we get there...

Alan Rock Waterman said...

That's what Connie keeps asking, Ka Da Wei: "When are you going to get paid for this?"

Maybe I should write a book...

Zo-ma-rah said...

If you do write a book take all your top ten posts and mash them together.

LDS Anarchist said...

Ha-hah! I finally went tonight to that Watcher essay about D&C 132 which someone above linked to. It looked familiar so I didn't read through it (it is long) but instead just checked out the comments. Sure enough, as I suspected, I had at one time commented and disagreed with what he wrote there.

It's kind of interesting, because many of the comments that I wrote in that post have been incorporated into the GEMTAM already. So, I am thankful for the Watcher's post for getting me to think about this revelation and causing me to defend and explain it somewhat. He had no idea that his post, which was intended to invalidate D&C 132, would actually help me to better understand the GEMTAM! Talk about a back-fire!

I am kind of sad now that I did not pick his post apart item by item, pointing out all of the errors that I saw. At the time, I thought it would have been a waste of time (for he had already convinced himself of the rightness of his views and there would be no swaying him from his beliefs), but as I write the GEMTAM book now, I wish I had done this back then. Watcher was good enough to keep my comments online and not delete them, so he may have left a full rebuttal online, too, some of which material might have been useful for the GEMTAM. Oh, well! Ce la vie!

Truthseeker said...

What does GEMTAM mean? Am I just late to the conversation?

Alan Rock Waterman said...

It stands for The Gospel-based, Egalitarian, Multihusband-Multiwife, Tribal Anarchy Model, as explained here:

http://ldsanarchy.wordpress.com/2011/06/21/gemtam-book-collaboration/

Alan Rock Waterman said...

Anarchist,
I have not yet finished Watcher's main analysis of 132, primarily because I keep chasing his links and going deeper, but what I've seen so far looked pretty solid to me.

Did you ever do a point by point refutation? If so, I'd like to see it. The Watcher has so far validated my suspicions that Section 132 is very likely a forgery, and if anything, Joseph Smith produced only a part of it. I'm more inclined than ever to the view that the whole thing may have been a fraud concocted after his death.

I'm still open to contrary views, of course, and I'm willing to be convinced otherwise. And of course, I haven't yet gotten to your comment on that post, which may offer further clarification.

The plot thickens.

Spektator said...

Rock,
I hope you can keep the literary fires burning. Great stuff. Wish the best for Connie.

On the topic of the Book of Mormon Great Lakes model, I would be happy to loan you a copy of my DVD set from Rod Meldrum if you haven't seen it yet. I think there is a lot of good information that he has gathered.

I have a friend who has a multi-generational family farm in southern Michigan (between the east sea and the west sea). They have for years been hauling out of their fields, stones that appear as though there were prepared as a war instrument. The stone is typically larger than a man's fist with carved out areas on both sides to accommodate being tied to some sort of handle. It doesn't appear to have any other use but a war instrument. Why else would they find literally hundreds of these stones across their acreage? Could it have been the battle site for a large conflict? Perhaps.

Alan Rock Waterman said...

Spektator,
Thanks for the offer. I have the set; just need to finish watching them. But first I'm looking for where I misplaced The non-LDS "North American Evidences for Ancient Civilizations" which I moved when I upgraded my computer and was halfway through. That's my holdup on that.

Interesting info on the stones. Is anything like that pictured in the DVDs? I know there's also a book. Would like to see what these things look like.

Inspire said...

Rock, I'm glad to hear you are continuing. I'm especially curious as to your take on tithing, as this is the first year I will not make a donation to the corporation to build malls and print Relief Society books. They have squandered their stewardship, imo. I will, however, answer yes to the question of if I am a full tithe payer.

Toni said...

Well, if you're serious about making a book out of your blog, here are a couple of sites (the first two are the same site).

http://www.blurb.com/landing_pages/blogbook?ce=google_blog_blogtobook&gclid=CNunjKCgh6sCFYfs7Qodgkq7QA

http://www.blurb.com/create/book/blogbook

http://blog2print.sharedbook.com/blogworld/printmyblog/index.html

Ugh! My post didn't post the first time!

Toni said...

(PS, I'm LJn, but my post was a response to my comment that didn't post.)

Alan Rock Waterman said...

Thanks for those links, Toni. Certainly food for thought. I wonder who would buy something they could just log onto and read for free, though.

Connie is selling me on the idea of putting something together will all new info, though. Chewing on it.

LDS Anarchist said...

"Did you ever do a point by point refutation?"

Nope. If you want to see some of the GEMTAM collaborators' work on D&C 132 and plural marriage in general, read the following "completed" chapters of the GEMTAM:

Plural Marriage in Heaven;
Plural Marriage in the Scriptures;
Adult, Consensual Polyandry Is Never Condemned in the Scriptures;
Plural Marriage in the Church: Current Sealing Policy;
The Purpose of Plural Marriage: Establishing the Tribes of Israel;
New Science: Human Sexuality Is Based Upon a Multmale-Multifemal Mating System;
Plural Marriage Is Not Adultery;
Consensual, Extra-Marital Courting Does Not Commit Adultery in the Heart;
Dealing with Adultery and Fornication Among Tribal Members and Prospects;
Plural Marriage Does Not Violate the Temple's Law of Chastity;
Abrahamic Concubinage as an Inter-Tribal Function;
Multhusband-Multwife Marriage and the Law of Sarah;
Multihusband-Multiwife Marriage and the Sealing Power;
and Pornography, Cheating, and Serial Monogamy Compared to a Multispouse Tribe.

Those are some of the "done" chapters, but that doesn't mean these chapters will not undergo further modification. Here is the url of the first one, to get you started:

http://www.fastpencil.com/blocks/313285-vers-5-plural-marriage-in-heaven

One of the recent things I came across as an internal evidence that D&C 132 is the REAL DEAL is the strange case of its definition of what "adultery" is. The biblical definition, given by all the Hebrew scholars and parroted by all the Christians, is that adultery means, essentially, "woman that breaks wedlock." D&C 132, though, gives no such definition. Its definition of adultery is, essentially, "the breaking of a (marriage) vow." And it is very specific on this point.

Now, the reason why that is so fascinating is because only recently, with The Chronicle Project (thechronicleproject.org), do we get a rendition of adultery different from the Hebrew scholars and Christians, namely, that adultery is the "breaking of authority vows."

Assuming that The Chronical Project has "cracked" the Hebrew code so that we can finally get a accurate rendition of it, then that means that D&C 132 is a RESTORATION of the original meaning of adultery.

Which brings up a problem if you subscribe to the forgery theory. What are the odds that a forgery will actually restore (4000 year old) lost knowledge? It also brings up a problem if we subscribe the document to Brigham Young. Was Brigham a restorer? We must answer, "No, he wasn't." But Joseph definitely was, for that was his specific calling. So, just taking the definition of adultery which the revelation gives, without considering any other aspect of the revelation, the evidence points to Joseph Smith receiving it from God as a restoration of ancient knowledge, which it purports to be. In other words, it is easier (for me) to believe that Joseph (not Brigham) got this information directly from God than it is that some forgerer had dumb luck and got the original definition of adultery.

Steven Lester said...

When you write that book, be sure to present a free copy to your Bishop. He might become your first convert. Well, maybe you shouldn't, after all. Who knows what trouble you might get into.

Mike Y said...

Rock- I love your blog and eagerly await each entry. Keep it up, the coming attractions look very interesting.

Alan Rock Waterman said...

Anarchist,
That's a depressingly long reading list, but I know I'm going to have to do my homework before I write knowledgeably on the subject. Thanks (I think) for the info.

Alan Rock Waterman said...

UPDATE September 5th, 2011:

For the time being, if you order anything from eFoods Direct you can get free shipping. This is a big deal, because food shipments can be heavy and depending on the order, shipping costs can really take a bite.

I'd take advantage of this offer while you can. It's for a limited time; I don't know for how long.

Alan Rock Waterman said...

That link:

http://www.efoodsdirect.com/

LDS Anarchist said...

Lol, Rock. I'll tell what is really depressing. The book has 111 chapters to it. Only about 25 have been worked on. (The rest is raw material.) I'd rather read it than write it.

Adrian said...

You can count me as one of your fans, keep writing....Adrian

Anonymous said...

Glad you're back! Here's a question; If the Spirit goes to bed at 10pm what time does He get up? Also, if He does sleep, which time zone would it be best to live in to have maximum coverage? :)

Alan Rock Waterman said...

Anonymous,
Everyone knows The Spirit is up all night:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Spirit_(comics)

Head of Shiz said...

I've been lurking forever but if it helps motivate you I'm a serious fan and look forward to every post. I'll buy your book, or a box full and leave them in the foyer of my ward building...

Homer said...

Anonymous @ 6:42:

The Spirit is a She, not a He. Therefore, as a female entity, one wonders whether she even needs sleep... though certainly, if she does, it's not for beauty.

Alan Rock Waterman said...

Head of Shiz,
I think you just came up with the marketing plan.

Anonymous said...

I actually guffawed when I saw the cartoon of the 'Spirit'! Certainly something to think about during those long, long meetings. A game we used to play in the mtc, that helped with the monotony, was to insert words or phrases into the hymn book. One of our favorites was 'in the toilet'. Thus 'Did you think to pray in the toilet?', 'My Redeemer lives in the toilet' and of course 'Gently raise the sacred strain in the toilet'. Pretty lame, but it kept us laughing at least. By the way, your articles about reinventing Sundays are pretty spot on.

Homer, is the Spirit female? I haven't heard that (well, except from some missionaries who told me the second coming had already happened in South Korea) In the new testament, the word for Spirit (in Greek) is neuter (as are children in Greek). That probably just confuses things more.

Alan Rock Waterman said...

Some have speculated that the Holy Ghost is actually our Mother in Heaven, which makes some sense, since to me "the comforter" implies -and actually feels, to me at least- like a feminine presence.

Who knows? I've come to believe that whatever "Spirit" is, it resembles that all encompassing and permeating ether that fills us all and the universe. What it's actually made up of is anybody's guess, but my view of "spirit," as much as I've nailed it down, is laid out in my piece on The Metaphysics of Mormonism:

http://puremormonism.blogspot.com/2011/03/metaphysics-of-mormonism.html

This is not to say that Will Eisner's creation is not still in the running.

Toni said...

@Steven Lester
I don't know about the ballroom size exhibit. I'm not in Elder Packer's head, so I can't judge one way or the other. The "worst crime" I've seen in Elder Packer is that he speaks plainly against immorality and perversion, which isn't necessarily a bad thing. I have also noticed that a great many people react to his warnings with the same type of anger and bloodlust that wicked people have reacted with since the scriptures began. This is why I'm curious as to what Rock has to say about Elder P.

I have read about people being embarrassed and/or humiliated by Elder McConkie. I have also read that he had a temper, and thought he should be heeded without question. He has never harmed me (but I've never been in a meeting where he was personally in attendance), so I have nothing against him.

Those who have been hurt by him in some way have the wonderful opportunity of following the Savior's example of forgiving. According to the scriptures, if they don't forgive him the greater sin lies within them.

I'm not saying forgiving is easy, but it IS possible, and if they forgive Elder M. they will find peace, they will be closer to the Spirit, and will be able to partake more freely of the gifts of the Spirit.

I see so much hate, so much anger, so much of holding grievances in some of the blogs I frequent. It's as if Satan is having a field day, sharing his hate and anger with us.

Jesus forgave an awful lot. Do we really think we are better than him? Someone humiliated you in public? Jesus was naked, on a cross, on a road where people were bound to see him. That's an awful lot of humiliation, especially if he was raised that wearing no clothing was humiliatingly embarrassing.

Were you unjustly accused in public? So was he. In fact he was beat until bloody, then killed, right along with it.

Not only that, but he felt every pain of every perpetrator when they realized how evil they had been, as well as the pain of every victim. He knows how you (speaking to anyone who reads this) feel, because he literally felt it, too. He overcame it, and is reaching out to you so that he can help you overcome it, as well. He knows, full well, that it is much harder for the victim to overcome because the victim has a just cause. Justice demands vengeance. Christ asks us to require mercy, instead.