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Simon’s Thoughts on Noah’s Flood, Religious Beliefs

We’re concluding our conversation with Dr. Simon Southerton.  Searching for answers about Noah’s flood led him to study more about DNA & the Book of Mormon.  Is there evidence for Noah’s flood?

Simon:  There was a very large deluge because the flood myth is not common to just Christianity.  There are other belief systems throughout the Middle East and Mesopotamia that all contain this flood myth.  There was—I think it was the Black Sea. There was a major deluge when rising sea levels after the Ice Age broke the entrance into the Black Sea through the Strait of Bosporus.  There is plenty of scientific evidence for major deluge that flooded the area surrounding the Black Sea.  So, there would have been devastating consequences for all of the farming communities around there at the time.  I don’t know the date of that, but it might have been 8000 years ago.  So yes, it was an event.  It just didn’t happen.

GT:  What didn’t happen?

Simon:  A global flood.

GT:  Oh, ok.

Simon: The only way it could have possibly happened would be if God had hidden all of the evidence of it, deliberately, and manipulatively hidden all of the evidence of the flood to trick everyone.

(Don’t forget to check out what Dr. Perego thinks about the flood.)  Does Simon still believe in the Bible?   What are his religious beliefs?  Could he accept a non-literal interpretation of the Book of Mormon?  We’ll answer these questions in our next conversation…..

Does Simon believe in Noah’s flood? What are his religious beliefs now?

 

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How 132 Would Affect Future Revelations on Women & Gays

With General Conference coming up this weekend, Dr. Bill Smith and I speculate on some possible future revelations coming up!  Would Official Declaration 3 deal with Gays?

GT:  You mentioned a couple of things that were very interesting to me, especially in light of the Family Proclamation.  D&C 132 is kind of the foundation for forever families.  But you mentioned singles and you also mentioned gays.  How do those relate to section 132?

Bill:  Well I think that section 132 is by evidence, at least by internal evidence, it’s very much in the vein of thinking of sex as being in terms of heterosexual sex, of course not necessarily one-man and one-woman sex, but one-man, multiple-women.  So, I think that’s the point of the revelation.  It doesn’t really speak to the possibility of gay marriage.  It doesn’t open that possibility at all.  Whether that can be addressed in some other way, I don’t know, but the revelation, that’s not on anybody’s mind.

GT:  Right.  So, do you see that as being a possibility of a future revelation?

Bill:  Anything is possible.  I don’t know.  Whether people would feel that there is dissonance with section 132 and any further revelation that expanded some kind of approval of gay relationships, gay marriage, I don’t know.  That’s for another generation, I am guessing.  But yes, that might be something that would be addressed.  I don’t know.

Of course we do this in relation to Section 132 of the Doctrine & Covenants, which is one of Mormonism’s most important revelations:  The New & Everlasting Covenant of marriage.  Is there room in this revelation to accommodate gay marriage?  In our next episode, Dr. Bill Smith will answer that question, and discuss how it might impact future revelations dealing with not only gays, but women as well.

Bill:  Well there’s something of equal probability I think is that we have an official declaration that says that women can be ordained.

GT:  Would that be more likely?

Bill:  Boy I don’t really know.  I think yes, it probably fits better with the current paradigm than say gay marriage would be, recognizing gay marriage.

.,.

GT:  Do you see 132 being compatible with say female ordination?

Bill:  Yeah, the polygamy parts seem to partake of the typical sort of patriarchal kinds of views of the 19th century, the 18th century and back.  In terms of incompatibilities, that’s where that would lie.  In terms of ordination practices, those kinds of things, I don’t see an incompatibility there, structure.  I mean it would be easy to enfold women into priesthood structures if that was to take place.  I don’t see a problem there.  I don’t think it would be possible to stop that because you had the same kinds of issues with blacks and the priesthood when the ‘78 change was announced.  They were very clear that this meant that there weren’t any restrictions on their participation in any way.

Is this Official Declaration 4?  Check out our conversation…..

Here are some others episodes you may be interested in.

093: Greg Prince on History of LDS Policy Toward Gays

092:  How to Polygamists Feel about Gay Marriage? (Wilde)

048: What are the Theological Justifications of Polygamy? (Hales)

044: Does D&C 132 Conflict with Genesis? (Hales)

012: Kirtland Era Polygamy (Staker)

 

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The 4 LDS Leadership Vacuums – What Happened?

Welcome to Gospel Tangents Podcast. I’m excited to announce this is our 100th episode here at Gospel Tangents.  Of course I’ve been around for them all, I’m not sure if you have, but I hope you have.  It’s been a fun ride so far.

In our next conversation, we will talk to Dr. Greg Prince.  Previously we discussed the gay policy which disallows children of gay parents from receiving blessings, baptisms, or ordinations in the LDS Church.  It seems like this policy was started perhaps when President Monson was more incapacitated than he has been in the past.  Is there a leadership vacuum?

It’s in power vacuum #4 that the Policy emerges.  Now that doesn’t tell you the details of how these things happened, but it tells you the climate in which they did happen.  In each case, it was a power vacuum created by the incapacitation of this living president.

Dr. Greg Prince will talk more about this, and I’ll ask if there are similarities between the 1969 policy on blacks.  Is that similar to the policy with gays?

Greg:  All of that occurred in a period where there was a period of power vacuum.  President McKay, even though he was lucid enough to talk to his son and verify the contents of that letter physically didn’t have capacity to referee this match or to stop it.  It was carried on mostly in private so the general church membership didn’t know about it, but it was a real crisis.  So that was power vacuum #1.

Find out more about the other power vacuums, as well as Greg’s research into aging leadership.  Check out our conversation…..