Today we tackle lesson 24 out of the current D&C and Church History manual. We tackle how blatant and demonstrably inaccurate this lesson is. We hit on a tribes need to diminish and marginalize those who distance themselves from the tribe. The need to diminish the substance of their reasons whittling them down to petty and weak. We also hit on the idea of blaming symptoms as if they are the cause when they are not. Today is about shining a light on the unethical tribal mechanisms we use to keep those in the tribe safe but at the expense of bearing false witness against those who have stepped away. If we are a “True Church” then we must be open to correcting such behaviors.
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Seems like this podcast did a poor job providing specific citations of the falsehoods that the lesson supposedly perpetrates.
Can you post up links to the specifics? I believe you may have done other podcasts with Thomas B. Marsh and Simon Ryder where you did get into the specifics.
One faithful resource that challenges the dominant narrative in Symonds Ryder’s case is found in Mark Staker’s “Hearken O Ye People”. Mark staker was hired by the church as a cultural anthropologist to study the early kirtland history as the history department was improving church historical sites. His work is cited often in the Sunday School “Revelations in Context” manual. His findings on Ryder’s case are quite fascinating, including the fact that Ryder’s name was found to be misspelled all over in documents well prior and even after Ryder left the church and that the real reason for Ryder’s unease was finding out early about consecration and the risk to his property because of it.
In the case of Thomas Marsh, the Sunday School Manual “Revelations in Context” which you can find on your LDS Library phone app or on LDS.org actually hints at the Missouri violence committed by the Saints as a factor in Marsh’s apostasy. It stops short of detailing those acts of violence, but other sources indicate that he was primarily concerned with the acts committed in Gallatin, Missouri.
“Sometime in the fall of 1838, Marsh left Far West with his family and began actively opposing the Saints. He swore out an affidavit in October 1838 that detailed his concerns about acts of violence and destruction he believed were being planned or carried out by members of the Church against their neighbors in Caldwell and Daviess Counties.”
This is all the referneces I find, not much outside of this context.
Thanks for the references!!
Thank you Bill,
Our ward, by some error, are one week ahead of the other wards in our stake on the SS lessons, so we had this lesson last Sunday. I love Sunday School, and I often bring up points which stimulate discussion. But this past Sunday I was so offended by the depiction of those who had been stalwarts and faithful members of the early church, that I almost left in the middle of class. I had that combination feeling of sick at my stomach and being absolutely angry! If it hadn’t been that I was teaching the RS lesson during the next block I would have gotten in my car and drove myself home to avoid what I knew was inevitable.
Finally, when I could take it no longer, I made the comment that there was much more to the story, at least of the Thomas Marsh story, and that we had no business sullying his name when he was not there to defend himself. I told the teacher that I was offended that the lesson had been written to dishonor those men. That in the house I grew up in we did not allow gossip. The poor substitute teacher was taken aback. But at the end of the lesson he defended by his personal testimony, the prophet who had okayed this particular lesson (because you know that the general authorities review each lesson plan in the SS manual), because “the Lord has told us that He will not allow us to be led astray”!!!! That particular little finale was almost more than I could take, but being a southern lady I just let it slide.
I appreciate your willingness to try and be more honest, at least within the new boundaries you seem to have set for yourself. It is healthier than the ways more stringent apologists approach things.
I did cringe, however, when you were talking about people going after false prophets and mentioned Denver Snuffer. How do you know DS is the false prophet? How to do you know Monson is the REAL prophet? Is it the same way that others know that Warren Jeffs is the REAL prophet of god?
To me at least it seems like the only way forward would be to say either that they’re all wrong or they’re all correct. Otherwise one is simply cherry picking the things they like and ignoring the rest (like is currently done with the bible and book of mormon and the teachings and revelations of past church leaders). If one believes, then it’s hard to imagine that god is pleased with any but the most orthodox as all the rest are just tepid on one point or another and god will simply spit them out. Again, this is if one believes.
This was great. Though I think i understand possible reasons for stating this story is “borderline dishonest,” I am not so sure it is borderline. I think it IS dishonest. The Gospel Principles manual states the following in its chapter on Honesty (Ch 31):
“There are many other forms of lying. When we speak untruths, we are guilty of lying. We can also intentionally deceive others by a gesture or a look, by silence, or by telling only part of the truth. Whenever we lead people in any way to believe something that is not true, we are not being honest.”
Thomas Marsh’s story is interesting to me, and once I actually learned about the context in which it happened, I felt more compassion for him and for others who have had their own stories muddled. Thanks for the podcast!