Episode 107: D&C 12 – Section 20

March 7, 2016


Episode 107: D&C 12 – Section 20

First of all, sorry that this one came out a week late, I promise to catch up next week. Anyway, here we get to the long awaited Section 20! Ever wanted to know that exact words to say during a baptism that can never ever be altered? (Spoiler alert, they’re already altered) Or hear David stumble his way through a sacrament blessing? Well then you’re in for a good one. Oh yeah, and this is the longest episode this show has ever released (oops).

“Drink!” Count – Basically none


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27 Comments on “Episode 107: D&C 12 – Section 20”

  1. johanges Says:

    You two have no idea of my joy finding 2+ hours of obscure Mormon “stuff” in my inbox an early Monday morning. As a nevermo, I can’t explain why, but this is the podcast I cherish like an everlasting gobstopper. Thank you!

    Now I will tune out the world and enjoy crazy Mormon “stuff” for a few hours. Joy!


  2. Duke of Earl Grey Says:

    Welcome back, guys!

    When in the world did someone decide 8 years old was old enough to repent and get baptized? Apparently it was Jesus himself who decided that, but for some reason he kept the specifics vague until November 1, 1831, when he gave D&C 68. Don’t worry, I’m sure you’ll get there in a year or two.

    You know, I once raised my hand in opposition during the “sustaining vote” in sacrament meeting. I was 9 years old. They released my Cub Scout leader, who I liked, and replaced her with another den mother who I didn’t like very much. So when the bishop said, “Any opposed?” I raised my hand. My mom quickly grabbed it and pulled it down, so it probably didn’t count. I just think it’s funny that at that time I took the church at face value when they said they wanted to hear opposing views.

    I know you guys discussed inequality of women to a certain extent, but I just wanted to point out that deacons are not, in fact, the lowest of the low in the church. According to D&C 20, a 12-year-old, snot-nosed deacon theoretically has authority to conduct sacrament meetings in the absence of a higher authority, a simple thing that even the most accomplished adult woman in the church is not permitted to do. So who’s the bottom rung?

    And one minor correction for Bryce, if I may: You said that until the 1960s, when women received their washing and anointing in the temple, it was men who did the touching with anointing oil. I’m reasonably certain that’s not true. The washing and anointing started with the Kirtland Temple in 1836. It was only men who performed the ordinance, but only men who received it, too. It apparently was a literal full body washing, and not the symbolic dabs of water and oil they get today (and since 2005, no longer technically naked!) Women never got the washing and anointing until the 1840s Nauvoo era, in conjunction with becoming plural wives, but it was other women who performed the ordinance on them.

    Sorry to take some of the titillation out of the story of the church. Though, to be fair, Joseph must have instructed at least some woman or women as to how they were to perform that washing and anointing, and I’m sure he did his instructional priesthood duty with all diligence.


  3. Duke of Earl Grey Says:

    Following my well-received explanation of what D&C 19 REALLY means, I may need to do an ongoing series of the weird conclusions that actual Mormons have taken away from reading the D&C, even though any reasonable person would never interpret it that way in a million years. (You only brought this upon yourselves by encouraging me…)

    Our good (sarcasm) friend (sarcasm again) Elder David A. Bednar, of the current Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, recently gave the following incidental detail in one of his talks: “Today is April 6. We know by revelation that today is the actual and accurate date of the Savior’s birth.” The citation given is D&C 20:1.

    The verse merely says, “being one thousand eight hundred and thirty years since the coming of our Lord”, which you or I know is merely a flowery way to say, “It’s the year 1830.” But to Mormons who share Bednar’s brand of impassive stricture, it can clearly only be taken to mean that April 6 was literally and exactly 1,830 years from the birth of Jesus Christ, to the DAY.


    • johanges Says:

      I was wondering about that. Does anybody else share Bednar’s view, and is it universally accepted? Given how often dates in D&C is changed, it could be awkward to have His birthday drift around. I mean, really, do Mormons say X-mas is just a placeholder for April 6? When do kids get the loot? April?


      • Mr. H Says:

        In my experience is it more or less universally accepted – but there is no kind of special celebration for it on that day.
        Christmas is still celebrated on christmas day

      • Duke of Earl Grey Says:

        I’d always heard people say they believed that about April 6, and I thought they were all making too much of too little. This was the first time I’d heard that view confirmed by someone at the top, as if it even mattered.

        Mormons basically renounce the Christian liturgical calendar as a vestige of that whore of the earth, apostate Catholicism, with the notable exception of Christmas and Easter, probably just because they like presents and chocolate. Although Mormons want to be seen by the world as a peculiar people, they don’t want to look, like, Jehovah’s Witness levels of weird, or anything!

  4. Mr. H Says:

    Concerning the “meridian of time”… we “know” that the temporal existence of the earth will be 7.000 years or, as we “learn” in the Book of Revelation 7 seals (each seal being 1k years).
    4000 BC to 3000 BC – 1st seal
    3000 BC to 2000 BC – 2nd seal
    2000 BC to 1000 BC – 3rd seal
    1000 BC to 0 AD – 4th seal
    0 AD to 1000 AD – 5th seal
    1000 AD to 2000 AD – 6th seal
    2000 AD to 3000 AD – 7th seal

    Jesus was born during the 4th seal – the seal right in the middle of time -… right in the meridian of time.


    • johanges Says:

      Actually, there is no year 0, neither AD nor BC. It goes 2BC, 1BC, 1AD. There is also the problem (if one actually believes in religion and not the real age of ~4.543 billion years) that according to Bishop Ussher: “[the universe was created on] the entrance of the night preceding the 23rd day of October… the year before Christ 4004”. Does this means there was a 0th seal? [Feel free to substitute any other age-of-earth prediction.]

      So, anyway I look at that table, there was 4000 years before Christ, so he must have been existing in the 5’th “seal”. Are you sure there wasn’t nine seals?


      • Mr. H Says:

        http://www.ldsfreedomforum.com/viewtopic.php?t=3910 … I’m just gonna leave this (aka my source) here!
        I had a good laugh

      • johanges Says:

        Thanks for the ‘source’! That thread is a wonderful conformation of the hypothesis that any search result is no more than {n} clicks from pr0n, UFOs, or end-times prophecies. Where {n} is a small number < 6.

      • saintralph343 Says:

        You’re right, we need nine seals to get the meridian of time situated properly, in which case the Zombie Apocalypse is still millenia away. Damn. But are we talking about borders or intervals here? You need nine borders to define eight intervals, the meridian being the fifth border (five if you count from 1, four if you count from 0). If you’re talking about nine intervals then you need ten borders to define them (0 thru 9 if you’re a C programmer, 1 thru 10 if you’re a BASIC programmer) and the meridian is in the middle of the fifth interval (or the whole interval, depending on your granularity coefficient). So are “seals” borders or intervals? This conundrum has plagued computer programmers since time immemorial (January 1st, 1980). It’s the business of a one year-old kid being in her second year or the nineteenth century being the eighteen hundreds.

        Let’s call the whole thing off.

      • johanges Says:

        Programmer have a good name for it: “Fencepost Errors”.

        “If you build a 10 meter fence, with a fencepost every meter, how many fenceposts do you need?”

        Of the 3 usual answers, the ‘obvious’ answer of 10 is the worst.

        BTW, time immemorial in programming is ‘1970-01-01T00:00:00Z’, and commonly called the Unix Epoch Date. It breaks on January 19, 2038 as 32 bit time rolls over.

        “Time immemorial” in British law is before 6 July 1189.

  5. Jim Says:

    So about the conferences, every year there is the ward conference, the state conference, the regional conference, and of course everybody’s all time favorite the General Conference, and their certificates, well during each one of those amazing just life altering f****** spectacular meetings you have to raise your hand to the square and sustain all the church leadership. Isn’t that exciting?


  6. Jim Says:

    About the fasting, Bryce you almost got it right. Sorry to correct you. You supposed to go 24 hours no food no drink, and the money that you would have spent on meals during that period time you’re supposed to donate to the church as a charitable donation. Supposedly that money is used to help people in need.


    • saintralph343 Says:

      One thing we might want to keep in mind here, just in case Heavenly Father is busy counting his tithing bucks, is that, while there is nary an American, even a poor one, who would be any the worse for a day without food, older folks with less than perfect plumbing and blood pressure irregularities (and anyone else who has health issues) should not be going 24 hours without water—not good. My mom, then in her eighties, was hospitalized for loss of consciousness due to dehydration a couple of years ago. If we could rely on Heavenly Father and his only true chosen staff to pay attention and give a shit, that would be one thing, but we’ve been there, done that.


    • Yarjka Says:

      I grew up in the heart of Mormondom. Skipping two meals is the standard, usually dinner the night before and breakfast the morning of. Many wards (mostly student wards) do a “Break the Fast” get-together immediately after church, since everybody is hungry and it’s a good way to get people to stay and socialize. So Fast Sunday quickly turns into Feast Sunday. However, even if you don’t fast, you tend to pay a little to fast offerings to benefit the needy.

      It’s not unheard of to fast for longer periods of time, but usually that remains a personal matter rather than being boasted of. Occasionally a ward might institute a “Ward Fast” to enhance their prayerful focus on an ill member or for spiritual blessings more generally.


  7. Ben Says:

    Bryce, your fired! I can’t believe you didn’t make David say the sacrament prayer again. Even listening on 1.4x speed ( this episode was long) I caught his mistakes. He added an “and” and forgot a “to be”. I was looking forward to him having to repeat it at least once. A few weeks ago, in our ward, one priest had to repeat it five times before he got it perfect.


  8. David Says:

    Just wanted to ask a question about the dicuss ion re the roles of teachers/priests to get people not to back bite, rät on members, and is effectively training a bunch of snitches and assholes.
    My experience learning this stuff at that age was reading the D&C, and asking myself the question David asked, “how is this supposed to be enforced?” I never took that seriously and I can’t honestly think of a single person I knew that did in fact have this doctrine to the forefront of their minds.
    My question is: Is my experience in England dramatically different to the states? Do American kids turn into litfl spy brats?
    Would be interested to know as that doesn’t seem to be the lived experience in the UK.


    • Yarjka Says:

      It’s essentially the “Home Teaching” program. The idea is every member has someone looking out for them personally that they can turn to. Like most things in the church, it has become an obligatory routine with little practical use.

      As a Deacon/Teacher/Priest, we would read D&C 20 all the time (along with D&C 84 and D&C 107), and I’d always point out how we don’t actually follow most of what it says. The primary Aaronic Priesthood duty seemed to be to come early to set up chairs and stay late to take them down. This duty is nowhere mentioned in the scriptures.


    • Jim Adams Says:

      My experience was that the kids are more interested in playing basketball, video games, and hanging with their friends rather than being little bitches. At the age of 14 the kids are assigned an Elder (usually their Dad) as a home teacher companian. The home teachers are then assigned to visit 2-3 families a month. Their job is to share a message out of the Ensign (offical church magazine all good Mormons pay a subscription fee to receive), see if the family needs anything (help with whatever is needed), then report that they made the visit. In the event something is amiss or needed, the word is passed up through the ranks to the Bishop. Before I left the church, my Bishop was calling me in for stupid shit. For example, my wifw was sick, had 3 surgeries in 3 months, Dr bills were piling up, and we were broke. So, I stopped paying tything. He called me in and yanked my temple recommend. When I explained our situation he said, “doesn’t matter, still need to pay tithing.” Another time word had reached him that I had belief issues, so I got called in for that. But my fav was when my oldest turned 16, he did not want me to ordain my son to Priest due to “unworthiness” on my part. He had the power to stop me but lacked the balls to say no, so I did it anyway.


  9. Ben Says:

    I can’t believe Bryce didn’t make you say the sacrament prayer a second time. You added an “and” and forgot a “to be”. A few weeks ago in my ward, a young priest had to repeat it five times before he got it perfect and the Bishop let the meeting continue.


  10. SeedsOfDoubt Says:

    David, just so you know, when you called for a “waterfall” you were describing a “social”. In a “social” everyone drinks. One or two drinks or even finishing you beer. A “waterfall” is when everyone sits in a circle and starts drinking. The person who calls “waterfall” is the first to stop drinking. Everyone else must keep drinking, in order around the circle, until the person next to them stops. Hope that makes sense.


  11. Hank Says:

    I served as a ward clerk for a while and can state that any sin under the level of disfellowship/ excommunication does not appear on your membership file. It seems that nowadays the only thing that qualifies for that is major challenging of authority (apostasy) or a major felony. I would like to point out the Cliven Bundy and his children are still members in good standing.

    We had a person in our ward who had killed someone (drunk driving) and did time. He was disfellowshipped, but was allowed to attend church like everyone else. He did not take the sacrament, but very few people knew why.

    As for other sins, a lot of that depends on bishop roulette. Some bishops will put you on some form of probation, others will just tell you to knock it off.


  12. Jay P Says:

    “Training Mormons to be D-bags” So true.
    When I was on my mission on the Navajo reservation, we played D&D for some reason (Cause we were bored on P-day) And we all played, but the zone leader, who pretty much stayed silent and read the scriptures as we played. Then the following day the mission president called and screamed at us over the phone not to play D&D because it’s the game of the devil.
    So the d-bag zone leader ratted on us, something that a lot of Mos in leadership do. And I had it easy on my mission vs most missionaries. Leaders of the church gain favor by ratting on people. So this adds to the creation of total d-bags in the church.


  13. Duke of Earl Grey Says:

    Organization of the Church of Christ, April 6, 1830, in Fayette, NY, or Manchester, NY, or somewhere else altogether, who the hell knows anymore:


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