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Comparing LDS and Church of Christ Theology (Part 5 of 7)

Both the Church of Christ (Temple Lot) and the LDS Church accept the Book of Mormon as the word of God. But what are the differences in belief among the two churches? Jean Addams will talk about a major disagreement over the Doctrine & Covenants, among other things.

Jean: Well, I think the Book of Commandments was sent in script form to Missouri. It was Phelps’ job to get it printed. So, Phelps and probably with Oliver Cowdery and John Whitmer, they probably, all of them participated in trying to edit.  You can see marks in the original that show that somebody was putting a word in here or there to just clean it up. I don’t think Joseph ever officially thought that was going to be the final word.  It certainly was used as a starting point for the 1835 edition of the Doctrine and Covenants.

Jean:  Bill Sheldon [recently deceased apostle for Church of Christ], bless his heart, he made a big deal out of out of the changes. Some of the changes, of course, are just additions and a lot of them are cleanups, words, punctuation, things like that. But it wasn’t done, I should add that.  There was more to be printed. The Church of Christ Temple Lot doesn’t buy that at all.

GT:  Oh, they think that that was the whole thing.

Jean:  They think that’s the whole thing.

GT:  Okay.  Well, I know when I spoke with Randy [Sheldon, Bill’s son], one of the things he made a big deal about was our now section 20. That has been expanded, and he has said, “You compare my Book of Commandments with your section 20, and you’re going to see a bunch of verses that have been added.” So yes, there were some grammar things, but there were definitely large sections that were added.

Jean:  Yep, and I don’t think anybody makes a big deal out of that. Latter-day revelations to Joseph got added in rather than creating a whole new section, at some point in time.  When I first was introduced to Bill Sheldon, so this is a good one…   Bill started on me with the changes. I finally said, “Bill, stop, stop, stop just for a second.” He said, “What’s that? And I said, “Can I look at your song book?”  He said, “Sure.” So he gets me a song book. I’d been to their church the day before, my first time. I happened to notice the songs that were in there. One of your songs is on page one something. “We Thank Thee Oh God…” and Latter-day Saints would say “For a Prophet.” It says, “For the Spirit.” So I said, “Who changed that?”  He laughed and smiled and he said, “Me.”  I said, “Okay, we’re even.  Can we go on to something else?” And he said, “Fair deal.” At that point time, we became good friends.

We talk further about similarities and differences between the two churches.  Check out our conversation….

Historian Jean Addams describes similarities and differences in theology between the LDS Church and Church of Christ (Temple Lot.)

Don’t miss our other conversations with Jean!

377: LDS/Church of Christ Alliance

376: Jones Flournoy’s Ties to Restoration

375: Dispute Over the Temple Lot

374: Intro to Church of Christ (Temple Lot)

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Critics & Apologists (Part 12 of 12)

Some people call Historian Don Bradley an apologist for his seemingly too rosy view of the Book of Mormon.  Some apologists think he is stretching to far to explain what is potentially in the lost pages of the Book of Mormon.  What does Don have to say about this?

Don: One thing I would point out that they may not be aware of is my personal history, when it comes to these subjects. Actually, when I started this project, I was in the church, but I was very much a doubter. I wasn’t coming from a place of belief.  Subsequently, I came to be completely disillusioned. For a good several years, I left the church officially. I had my name removed from the church records, and was out of the church for five years before returning. The thing is, I’ve continued this project in basically the same kind of way the entire time. So, if they’re thinking that it’s a question that the question of what was in the lost pages is somehow uniquely tied to a worldview perspective, they’re mistaken. My worldview has changed dramatically across the course of doing this project, but the project itself has continued and the findings that I made while I was out of the church, about was in the lost pages, still hold water for me. I didn’t change my mind about those or anything.

Part of the reason why it’s possible, in the first place, to shift worldviews but continue the same historical project is that the project isn’t about ancient Nephites in Mesoamerica. I’m not doing faith-based archaeology or something looking for Zarahemla. As you were indicating, I’m trying to figure out what was in a certain lost manuscript. Now, while it’s controversial whether there were Nephites, it’s not controversial that there was an initial Book of Mormon manuscript that got stolen. So what I’m trying to do is figure out what was in that manuscript. So for that question, it’s really irrelevant whether one thinks that we’re Nephites or not. For that question, It’s iirrelevant whether there were Nephites or not.  It may be very important for other issues, but it’s not important for knowing what was in the lost pages.

Check out our conversation….

Don Bradley addresses critics who think his book is apologetic in nature.

Don’t miss our other conversations with Don!

364: New Insights on Liahona (Bradley)

363: How Did Nephi Get Priesthood? (Bradley)

362: Who Stole the Manuscript? (Bradley)

361: Exonerating Lucy Harris (Bradley)

360: Masonic Golden Plates & Temple Theology (Bradley)

359: Temple Endowment in Lost Pages (Bradley)

358: Laban Killed During Passover (Bradley)

357: More than 116 Pages Lost? (Bradley)

356: How Much of BoM is Missing? (Bradley)

355: Re-Writing Oliver’s Words: Dirty, Nasty, Filthy Scrape? (Bradley)

354: Dating Fanny Alger (Bradley)

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More Details on the Liahona (Part 11 of 12)

One of the most sacred relics in the Book of Mormon is the Liahona, a compass-like object that Lehi found outside his tent while leaving Jerusalem.  The details of this object are not described very well in the Book of Mormon.  Historian Don Bradley has uncovered records that give more details about this mysterious object.

Don:  In Gladden Bishop’s description, he says that around the outside side of the Liahona, and it’s still difficult for me to picture exactly, what it was supposed to look like, but it sounds like he’s talking about a face like maybe a compass face.  There are 24 diagrams or symbols around that central circle. So the pointers can point to these symbols. He doesn’t go into detail about how the Liahona functions, but picture it as having these symbols along the outside of a circle, and then having two spindles on it. Suppose that Lehi and his family want to go get food or suppose that they’re going to be led to get food, how will they know what the Liahona is pointing them to? How will they know if it’s pointing them to the promised land or to food or to water or to some other necessity? Well, the pictures around that central circle could be pictures telling what it’s pointing to. So one pointer could point to a picture of wild game, and then another pointer points the direction, so that the function of the two spindles would be, it points them to something and also tells them what it’s pointing them to.

Check out our conversation….

Historian Don Bradley has found additional clues in historical records about the Liahona.

Don’t miss our other conversations with Don.

363: How Did Nephites Get Priesthood?

362: Who Stole the Manuscript?

361: Exonerating Lucy Harris

360: Masonic Golden Plates & Temple Theology

359: Temple Endowment in Lost Pages

358: Laban Killed During Passover

357: More than 116 Pages Lost?

356: How Much of BoM is Missing?

355: Re-Writing Oliver’s Words: Dirty, Nasty, Filthy Scrape?

354: Dating Fanny Alger