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Saints Mormon Reformation Part 1

Viewpoint on Mormonism / Bill McKeever
The Truth Network Radio
November 8, 2020 8:43 pm

Saints Mormon Reformation Part 1

Viewpoint on Mormonism / Bill McKeever

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November 8, 2020 8:43 pm

This is the second week of a series on the LDS Church history book “Saints: On Unhallowed Ground.” This week we dedicate ourselves to the Mormon Reformation.


In their own words a collection of Mormon quotations compile research ministries Bill McKeever is a valuable resource when wanting to know what Mormon leaders have said on a given topic. Pick up your copy of the Utah lighthouse bookstore or viewpoint on his commandment examines the teachings of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints from a biblical perspective viewpoint when Mormonism is sponsored by Mormonism research ministry since 1979 Mormonism research ministry has been dedicated to equipping the body of Christ with answers regarding the Christian faith in a manner that expresses gentleness and respect.

And now, your host for today's viewpoint on Mormonism.

What was the Mormon Reformation. Welcome to this edition of viewpoint on Mormonism. I'm your host, Bill McKeever, founder and director Mormonism research ministry with me today is Eric Johnson.

My colleague at MRM. Look at chapter 17. In the book Saints no and hollowed hand and I might mention that saints is the second in a series of books dealing with Mormon history.

This one deals with the years 1846 to 1893.

This was published in 2020. And as I've express my dismay about this book in past broadcast. I still want to express my dismay when I look at this chapter I feel that the church in order to dumb down their history have done their members a great disservice because of the way they leave out a lot of pertinent information that would easily fill in the gaps if they would just include a few more quotations from what these people were actually saying. Instead of just kinda surmising what they said and here's my complaint Eric many times over to see it in chapter 17 will make a statement and then you'll see a footnote or endnote number and you go back, hoping that the endnote is going to give you some kind of a quotation that clarifies what you just read when merely in most cases it's just gives you the title of some obscure reference that you probably have a very difficult time finding even on the Internet and so it doesn't really help you in this chapter is full of that kind of stuff and so I really think that the Mormon church has done. As I said there members a disservice. I think the documentary history of the church was a much better volume of historical facts in these volumes are ever going to produce. And if volume 1 and volume 2, kind of a hint as to what were going to eventually see in volume 3 of volume 4, I'm only going to continue to be disappointed. We were talking off air about how many Latter Day Saints are possibly reading these volumes is number two of four. Of course this is made for a layperson, but I'm going to suggest to you Bill that must Latter Day Saints have nothing to do with this book because history is not a big thing for most people. Anyway, and they make this as simple as they could and giving them the information that they want them to know. And yes, including some facts that that are true, but not always telling you the whole story. So I'm not sure even if a latter-day St. does go through all of this. The really going to understand the true history of the LDS church. In this case the latter half of the 19th century, though I have commended the book at points when I feel like they are being much more transparent. That's the word we've used it whenever we look at these books, yes they are a little bit more transparent but I think much of the time there.

If anything there be a more translucent. In another words that the clarity is not enough. It doesn't really help you, and you have to do a lot more digging to find out what is this book really trying to say to me who's going to do that most people will not do that. Notes are supposed to help you but I don't think in many cases these endnotes help even the fact that they give initials for certain books but they don't tell you what these initials mean, for instance, it'll say something like JSP. Now you and I know that stands for Joseph Smith papers how many Latter Day Saints know that so they'll read JSP and I wonder what in the Mormon heck is a JSP.

They may not even know there's initials in the back. I don't even know what they are and they don't give you a guide. At least I haven't found it yet and I scoured the pages trying to find some helps on this. What, let's look at chapter 17. The title is the folks are reforming and it's going to talk about what came to be known as the Mormon Reformation that really had its beginning in the latter part of 1856 into the year 1857 and this is how it starts off in this chapter.

While the winter of 1856 and 57 brought snow and ice to the Salt Lake Valley. Joseph F. Smith was laboring on the big island of Hawaii.

Now of course Joseph F.

Smith is going to become the sixth president of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, but that's who he is. This is who it's talking about like George q. Cannon. He had learned the Hawaiian language quickly and had become a leader in the mission now almost 3 years after receiving his call. He was 18 years old and eager to continue serving the Lord. He says I do not feel as though I have done my mission as yet he wrote his sister Martha and and I do not want to go home till then why is that even in their because it's really not all that relative to what were going to read later on but my opinion is they have to throw this story in here because why it shows the loyalty that past members had to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. Here's a man who was serving a mission suffering on the big island of Hawaii, but he feels like after three years he hasn't really done enough.

He doesn't feel as though he's actually on his mission. He tells his sister. While that's dedication. In other words, it's faith promoting but really what is all this have to do with the Reformation. Here's the connection in the A short time later, Joseph received a letter from his brother John in Utah. John reported Christmas past, and the New Year's Day soon followed it. There was no excitement. Although the saints normally enjoyed large dances and parties during the holidays. Church leaders had discourage such festivities this year.

The moral Reformation.

Jedediah Grant had started the previous fall was still underway and such celebrations were deemed inappropriate. Here we have the first mention of this Reformation, the moral Reformation. Jedediah Grant had started the previous fall was still underway, not Jedediah Grant is a member of the first presidency under Brigham Young. At this time.

The question that comes to my mind as I'm reading this in this moral Reformation that they attribute to grant and that's not fair because folks even though Jedediah Grant is given credit for starting this moral Reformation. We know Brigham Young certainly given a lot of fuel that he was also responsible for saying a lot of things during this time.

Two eggs on the membership to live righteously and do what they are told to do.

But here's the point if they were not supposed to celebrate Christmas at this particular time during this Reformation.

When you think people are being told to get closer to God and this is a means of doing. How can Mormons do celebrate Christmas with large dances and parties today. You would think if that was the norm, and that's what you're supposed to do to show your devotion to your Lord to your God. It should still carry on to this time, but it doesn't seem to be that way and we need to take another issue into account the Mormons have their own Reformation. In this chapter is going to talk about it. Between 1856 and 1857 Christianity also had a Reformation back in the 1500s. During the time of men like Martin Luther and John Calvin and people like that. But here's the difference this Reformation is supposed to be a call to work work work work work. The Christian Reformation was a call telling people you don't have to work work work work work that you are justified by your faith in what Christ did. That's not what's going to be taught in this Reformation of 1856 and 57 so even though they may use the same word the definition of that word is very different in their proper context and that needs to be kept in mind.

The point here is Joseph Fielding Smith is going to learn that there's a movement going on back home that's supposed to get the saints back on track doing what they are supposed to be doing if they hope to get the best, their religion has to offer in the It quotes John Smith. We have forgotten ourselves and gone to sleep laid aside our religion and gone to amuse ourselves with temporal things and this was not just a view that John Smith held. It was also others within the church as well.

Now it goes on in the next paragraph on page 242 where it talks about what the first presidency had instructed bishops to do other letters from home described the Reformation for Joseph since September, church leaders have been re-baptizing penitents saints in any nearby pool of water, even if they had to break ice to do it. The first presidency, moreover, had instructed bishops to stop administering the sacrament in their wards until more saints were rebaptized improve their willingness to keep their covenants. Does that sound like somewhat of a contradiction though because Latter Day Saints today. Look at the sacrament is a means of getting re-forgiven and here the leaders are taking away that means of being re-forgiven because they're not doing what they're supposed to be doing it just sounds like a contradiction to me.

I don't know of many Latter Day Saints would look at it that way but then he goes on to say at the bottom of the page to encourage righteousness church leaders admonished the saints to confess their sins publicly at Ward meetings in a letter to Joseph Mercy wrote about Allen Huntington one of the young men who had helped carry handcart immigrants across the Sweetwater River. Allen had always been a wild young man, but shortly after they handcart rescue. He stood up in the sugarhouse Ward acknowledged his past sins, and spoke about how the rescue had changed his art when it talks about mercy. It says in the previous paragraph that Mercy Thompson is Joseph F. Smith's aunt. That's how she is introduced into this but there's something interesting regarding these confessions that not only we find this man Allen Huntington giving in a ward setting, but other Latter Day Saints were compelled to also confess sins. Now there's an interesting quote from Thomas Alexander that explains what went on during this time. What did Alexander write and he wrote this in dialogue. Journal of Mormon thought.

Volume 25, number two, page 36. In an article that was titled Wilford Woodruff in the Mormon Reformation of 1855 to 1857 he wrote the sermons on repentance and blood atonement seem to have led members to confess to sins they had not committed and may also have incited a few fanatics more orthodox than the general authorities to murder descendents now bill. If you're looking at the saints book.

It sure looks like the people who are confessing our people who deserved to confess and needed to do so, but according to this historian. He said that people are confessing to sins, they haven't even committed. That's not pointed out in the book. It sounds very similar to what we read when we look at the history of the Spanish Inquisition. There were members of the Roman Catholic Church that were arrested and hauled in to be questioned and asked what sins they have committed. And in order to prevent being tortured physically, they would confess to things that they didn't even do but the phrase blood atonement comes up, and tomorrow were going to look at blood atonement and what role it played in the so-called Mormon Reformation. Thank you for listening you would like more information regarding his research ministry. We encourage you to visit our website you can request a free newsletter Mormonism research. We hope you join us again as we look at another viewpoint is

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