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From Word of Wisdom to World Faith (Part 6 of 9)

We’re continuing to discuss some of The 100 Most Important Events of Church History.  We will talk about how observance of the Word of Wisdom has changed.  We will also see who is closer to Joseph Smith’s observance.  Is it the LDS Church or Community of Christ?

Casey:  At any rate, Heber J. Grant is the person that finally, I think, just puts the hammer down. But there’s pressure from Brigham Young all the way up to making the Word of Wisdom more than just a suggestion, making it more of a commandment. Now, in Community of Christ, in the RLDS tradition, as I understand it, that pressure doesn’t exist quite as much. So, their observance of the Word of Wisdom, ironically, is probably closer to what Joseph Smith did, than what we do today. But it does show, like I said, that there’s other people in the Church, besides Joseph Smith that affect the course of the History of the Church.

We will also talk about how the LDS Church has changed from a regional church to a global faith with Dr. Casey Griffiths.  Is the LDS Church exporting American culture instead of the Gospel?

Casey:  But our correlation system makes it so that if you’re an active member of the Church in the United States and an active member of the Church in Thailand, you pretty much have the same understanding what the Word of Wisdom means. That is rare in the religious world. I’ll just say, that a uniformity of belief, the kind of which Latter-day Saints have across the board is rare. It comes at a cost in some senses, too. There are some things that are correlated that maybe don’t need to be, but on the whole, correlation has given us kind of this unified expectation. Church members will often get up and say, “Hey, I went to church in this foreign country, and it was cool to see them studying out of the same manuals as us.”  And yes, that’s great. At the same time, too, there’s some question as to, when we say the church is globalizing, how much do we give? Another facet of my research that we wanted to put into this book was the transition from a regional American religion to a global faith. One of the major questions that the correlation movement had to ask was, “What is the gospel? What’s American culture, and what is the gospel and to what boundary do we cross over the two?”  For instance, I have a friend who works in educational groups in Africa. In Africa, the idea that a husband and wife would kiss in public, in certain parts of Africa, is just taboo. It’s pornographic. They would see it as just terrible.

GT:  Oh, really?

Casey:  He told the story where this local American leader of the Church was worried that the husbands and wives weren’t expressing enough affection. He held a fireside, and he brought his wife up front, and he gave her a big kiss in front of the congregation and said, “I want all of you to do this.”  The entire congregation was just sitting there horrified. “How can we do this?” Well, we’d have to go back to the earlier question of, is kissing your wife in public a facet of the gospel?” It’s really not.

GT:  Right.

Casey:  It’s something that is part of American culture and in America is a good way of expressing your affection and love for your spouse, but it’s not necessarily something that we have to transfer somewhere else. Now, other things like the atonement, repentance, the Book of Mormon, we do have to transfer from cultures, and if they come into conflict, we have to deal with that. But there’s a lot of leeway. Church leaders have been negotiating this boundary for a really long time as to what’s gospel culture and what isn’t gospel culture.

Do we export too much American culture with the Gospel?  Check out our conversation….

Dr Casey Griffiths & I discuss the Word of Wisdom and how the LDS Church has become a world faith.

Don’t miss our previous conversations with Casey.

523: Entry Level Chuch History

522: CSI:  Carthage Jail

521: Swimsuits, Gold Medals, & Blacks

520: Recycling Hofmann Forgeries

519: Mormon Interfaith Council

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Recycling Hofmann Forgeries (Part 2 of 9)

There is a group in South America that claims to have access to the sealed portion of the Book of Mormon.  What proof do they have?  Is this a recycled Hofmann forgery? Dr. Casey Griffiths, author of 50 Relics of the Restoration will tell us more.

Casey:  If you go back and look through the Ensign in the early 1980s, I mean, there’s a lot of mentions of Hofmann forgeries that are in there. Those forgeries in and of themselves have become part of the tableau of the restoration, part of the history of it.  In fact, that Anthon transcript, just in a weird twist, one of the restoration factions in Independence, had a guy contact them from South America, who said that he had the plates, and that the angel had given him the plates, and that he was going to translate the sealed portion. He was trying to raise funds from these people in Independence.

GT:  This is recently?

Casey:  This is recently. This is within the last two or three years. Everybody in Independence is like, “Well, take a picture of the plates and send it to us.” And he was like, “Well I can’t take a picture of the plates, but I can send you a transcript of what’s on the plates.”

GT:  Oh, brother.

Casey:  So, he sent the transcript, and somebody took a look at it and realized, “Well, this is Hofmann’s forgery.”

GT:  Really? I hadn’t heard that.

Casey:  The guy in South America wasn’t aware that Hofmann had made this forgery, and he must have found it on the internet somewhere or something like that. He said it was legitimate proof that he had the plates. Well, a well-informed person in Independence, produced a document basically comparing what Hofmann had produced with what this guy from South America had sent. That sort of really impinged the movement.

GT:  I did not know that, I had not heard that.

Check out our conversation….

A group in South America used a Hofmann forgery to claim they had the sealed portion of Book of Mormon.

 

Don’t miss our previous conversation with Dr Casey Griffiths!

519: Mormon Interfaith Council

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How Americas were Populated (Part 8 of 8)

We’re concluding our conversation with Dr. Thomas Murphy.  Last time we talked about why modern Egyptians don’t match current Egyptians.  Dr. Murphy says a similar case arises with Native Americans.  We talk about how Native Americans migrated from Asia, and how long they’ve been in the Americas.

Thomas:  The dating of the entry into the Americas is hugely debated. There’s some archaeological evidence suggesting 130,000 years ago, but the DNA evidence suggests that indigenous people were separated from their closest Asian relatives around 30,000 years ago. Then, we’re finding more and more archaeological evidence pushing that date of the migration back. But our challenge is that not a lot of fossils older than 12,000 years old are in the Americas. There’s some archaeological sites and stuff that we found in the Americas that are older than that. But, the DNA suggests that the ancestors of the American Indians have been here longer than anthropologists typically thought, maybe used to think. So, now we’re much more open to the idea that people were here before the Ice Age. It’s really the ice age that is kind of the controlling factor there.  The assumption of most anthropologists before the rise of DNA evidence, was that people came after the melting of the ice, the end of the ice ages, so that would put it after 12,000 years ago, that the ancestors American Indians came.  Just down the road from me, there’s a mastodon that’s got a stone point embedded in the bone that’s older than the ice ages, 13,000 years old. So, how did it get there if there weren’t people? Most definitely, I think we can say now that people arrived here before the ice ages. That raised the point of how did they get here? Because that idea before was that there was this land bridge and then there was an ice-free corridor between two of the glaciers that opened up, and that people must have come down through that ice free corridor.

GT:  The Bering Strait, right?

Thomas:  Yes. They actually looked at the ice-free corridor and looked at the ecology of it using this environmental DNA work. The plants and animals weren’t there to sustain people early enough for that to be a viable entry point for people into the Americas.  So, from my perspective, that’s been refuted.

GT:  Whoa. There’s not a land bridge? They had to come a different way, not on the land bridge. Is that what you’re saying?

Thomas:  They had to come from Asia, because that’s where the relatives are. But coming through an ice-free corridor, from basically the Beringia through an ice-free corridor into the Americas, we know that’s wrong now.

To hear the last part of our conversation, sign up for our free newsletter at https://gospeltangents.com/newsletter

Dr. Thomas Murphy says the first Native Americans probably didn’t come across a land bridge in Beringia.

Don’t miss our other conversations with Dr. Murphy!

473: Possible to Lose DNA?

472: Who Killed the Indians?

471: Strengths & Weakness of DNA Essay/ Comparing Indian & BoM Stories

470: Behind the Scenes of DNA Essay

469: Untold Story of Indian Slavery in America

468: Religious Fights over DNA

467: Native American DNA Scholarship