Episode 154: D&C 54 – Section 75

April 15, 2017


Episode 154: D&C 54 – Section 75

Correction! Cleveland was never the capital of Ohio. At this point in history it was Columbus. 

Have fun in sales! Everyone is a vineyard. It’s a throwback to last June when everyone was being sent out to be like a trump unto the wilderness. Bryce almost has an aneursym because he wants to tell me all about these dudes who are about to do stuff in the church, but NO, NO SPOILERS. After you die you
get to judge the people who treated you poorly!!!

Drink count – 11 (a little over a beer)

Check out this fine list of Wikipedia page links:

William E McLellan – He wrote lots of journals 
Luke Johnson – Brother of Lyman Johnson
Orson Hyde – Used to be anti-Mormon, then converted when his pastor, Sidney Rigdon joined up with Joseph Smith 
Samuel Smith – Joseph Smith’s younger brother
Lyman Johnson – Brother of Luke Johnson
Orson Pratt – Joined the same time as his brother, Parley Pratt 
Asa Dodds – Just a dude. 
Calves Wilson – “Little else is known about him” 
Major Ashley – From Massachusetts!
Burr Riggs – Known for frothing at the mouth and getting revelations by hitting his head against the wall.
Simeon Carter – Farmer! 
Emer Harris – Just a dude
Ezra Thayer – Built bridges, dams, and mills, from Palmyra
Thomas B Marsh – An original member from way back in the way back
Hiram Smith – Joseph Smith’s brother 
Reynolds Cahoon – Just a dude (for now)
Daniel Stanton – Just a dude.
Seymore Brudson – Junest a dude (for now)
Sylvester Smith – Bryce really likes him in 1834. In 1832, not really of note.
Gideon Carter – Just a dude.
Ruggles Eames – Just a dude. Not a teddy bear.
Steven Burnett – Just a dude.
Micah B Welton – Just a dude.
Eden Smith – Just dude.

Stephen Hawking threw a party for time travellers.

Read all about the discovery of caffeine here: Coffee!!!! 

Patron Bonus: Stop Touching Yourself!!!! (a review of BYU Idaho anti-masturbation campaign)

Read along with us at JoelAKuhn.com/dc-compare
Support the show by becoming a Patron over at https://www.patreon.com/mybookofmormonpodcast
Drop me a line at comments@mybookofmormonpodcast.com
Podcastriarchal blessing: Jay M
Podcastriarchal music is Our Happy Life by Maps and Transit, edited for length

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7 Comments on “Episode 154: D&C 54 – Section 75”

  1. Duke of Earl Grey Says:

    I’m not putting up pictures for all these dudes again, except one. I know I already posted a picture of Orson Pratt at some point, as he looked in the 1830s, but he looked so awesome and crazy in the 1870s that I had to show one more:


  2. Duke of Earl Grey Says:

    Given the subject of this episode’s reading, I’d like to give a few extra details about missionary calls and missionary finances, including some personal examples, if I may.

    Now, back in 1832, if you were worried about what God wanted you to do, I guess you’d just go whining to Joseph, and he’d whip out a revelation for you, with your mission call straight from God. Nowadays, a prospective missionary will fill out a bunch of forms, which get submitted to the church, and eventually an actual apostle will approve the computer’s recommendation for where in the world to stick you. You should probably check the box saying you’re very interested in learning another language, if you don’t want to end up serving in southeast Idaho, but even then, it’s no guarantee of anything.

    Soon after, the prospective missionary will get a form letter in the mail, signed by the Prophet’s very own auto-pen machine. The opening of this letter and reading it out loud to your family has become a traditional ceremonial moment for a lot of missionaries. I don’t know if anyone even reads the whole thing, since everyone really just wants to hear where you’re going. In my case, the mail came while I was still asleep, so my parents and one of my brothers came in and woke me up, and I just read the letter to them in sleepy-time voice while still in bed. I don’t remember whether I convincingly faked enthusiasm, but I rather doubt it.

    That letter gives you an assigned date you’re supposed to report to the Missionary Training Center in Provo, along with a list of the clothing and gear you’ll need to bring with you, and it’s up to you to purchase it if you don’t already have it. The most foreboding item on my own list? A dozen white handkerchiefs. And I actually was glad of all of them, since I was headed to tropically-situated Panama, where I would break a sweat within five minutes of leaving the house every morning, and completely soak my hanky long before the day was over.

    After buying all the clothes, the missionary or the missionary’s family still pays for the rest of the expenses of being a missionary. The church requires a fixed monthly payment, over and above what you’ve already paid for tithing, of course. This monthly amount was $375 in my day (paid by my parents, I’m happy to report), though it has likely gone up a bit since then. For a church that was flirting with communalism in the period we’re reading about in the D&C, this is kind of their last real vestige of the practice. Everyone pays the same monthly amount, no matter how expensive or cheap the cost of living in the part of the world you’re sent to. Poor missionaries may (or may not) get some financial assistance from members in their home ward.

    The church takes all this missionary fund money received from all over the world, and sends out a certain amount to each mission office, then each mission has a budget for how they’re going to dish it out to their missionaries every month. In my mission, each of us was given $1 per meal, up to $90 per month, unless church members were regularly providing some free meals. Since most of us were bumming lunches, at least, off members, $60 was our typical monthly food budget. We also got $30 per month for personal expenses, like laundry and such, and some additional money for travel expenses, too.

    Lastly, none of the housing in my mission was owned by the church, so we’d rent from local landlords, and the church would send us cash the first of the month to pay the rent, which was usually $60 to $100, depending on how bad our apartments were. Out of the six apartments I lived in over two years, three had no fridge, one had no potable water piped in (though the landlord provided it, as needed, in small sealed buckets), and another had such inconsistent water service that we usually showered and flushed the toilet with pails of rain water, which we had in abundance, at least.

    So what’s my point with all this, except to complain about my having to rough it a bit? Mainly, I want to stress that, while the missionary does pay for the privilege of being there, it’s done very indirectly, with the church largely in control of how much money you have on hand at any given time, because at that point it’s already not your money any more. And they certainly don’t allow you the autonomy of actually purchasing your airplane ticket, or otherwise directly arranging your own travel plans.


    • My Book of Mormon Says:

      I recently did my taxes, which is a lame way of saying I spent a fair chunk of time sorting out budget whatevers for my life, and then spent even more time staring at day care expenses for my kids ($$$$$$$). The thought of having more than two kids plus the additional expenses of making monthly payments for a mission where my kid didn’t have running water? Cue hyperventilation in three… two…

      Now I’m all curious. Did you *like* being on your mission?


      • Duke of Earl Grey Says:

        For the full two years, I was constantly maintaining a pie chart in my head of how much time was behind me and how much was still ahead of me. I don’t know what serving a prison sentence feels like, but maybe I do. The only part I found relatively enjoyable was a period of seven months when I was called to be the mission’s financial secretary, and only had to do real missionary work on evenings and weekends.

        As a mother, I’m sure you’ll appreciate this tidbit of advice given to us in the Missionary Training Center by none other than Thomas S Monson, then First Counselor in the First Presidency, and currently President of the Church. He called it the “Monson Rule”, admonishing us to write a letter to our families every week, and let them know all the good things we were experiencing. As for any bad things we would experience (like, he specified, “injuries”), we should downplay their seriousness, because, as he explained, mothers would just play up the seriousness of those things in their minds anyway. I like to think my own letters home were refreshingly candid, though, because I even mentioned Monson had told us that…


    • MarsGirl Says:

      Since you gave the church two of your prime years in life I feel they could at least offer you two years of prepaid college expenses or something similar to compensate you for your efforts on their behalf, but I suppose my sentiment goes against the concept of sacrificing for the Lord.


  3. Duke of Earl Grey Says:

    Damn insomnia…

    “And in whatsoever house ye enter, and they receive you, leave your blessing upon that house.” When I was a missionary, my entire mission actually put this verse into practice, and we were charged by the mission president to literally leave a blessing on people’s houses after a successful first visit. We’d ask them for permission to say a prayer. Then we’d kneel down, and no exaggeration, we would actually invoke the authority of the Melchizedek Priesthood to bless that home, making a full-fledged priesthood ordinance out of it. I guess, in theory, the Spirit was supposed to testify to these families of the amazing power of God that was on display, though in reality I’m sure they were just very confused, “Mel-chiz-e-whaaaa?” Needless to say, this practice didn’t do a thing to help improve our baptism numbers, and it wasn’t long before we stopped doing it, altogether.

    Fortunately, the modern church, on the whole, generally ignores the second part of this passage, about literally cursing the homes that don’t receive the missionaries, and my mission never attempted to put that into practice. That’s not to say I didn’t have a certain mission companion want to try it once, but I’ll leave that story for another time, since a later D&C passage will expound, yet further, on the particulars of how a missionary is supposed to properly curse a house…

    Yes, it is Mormon doctrine that some church members will have a part in the final judgment over other church members, but who said anything about it being a judgment by “peers”? After all, that biblical character named Jesus told his twelve disciples they’d one day still on thrones and judge the twelve tribes of Israel (Luke 22:30), and Joseph Smith, by extension, gave the twelve Nephite disciple characters of his fan-fic the authority to judge the Nephites (Mormon 3:18), so naturally the high and mighty apostles of today’s church will be the ones to get to judge little old us, I’m sure they believe. And yeah, it looks like these missionaries are supposed to judge the people they were given authority over when they were called to preach to them.

    It’s funny Marie should mention that, for such judgment even to be possible, people would need to have a “perfect memory”, because Mormon doctrine has that part covered. The Book of Mormon says that after we’re resurrected from the dead, we’ll all have a “perfect knowledge” of everything we ever did (2 Nephi 9:13-14). Personally, I look forward to perfectly remembering each and every taco I’ve eaten.

    (No need to actually read those citations, but there’s a “yea” or two in there, so at least have a drink!)


    • My Book of Mormon Says:

      On the rare occasions when insomnia attacks me (sorry, dude) it’s always because I’ve suddenly remembered every quasi-embarrassing thing I’ve ever done, then it replays on loops in HD. I’ll thank my brain to keep vast swathes of my life in hazy imperfect memory, thank you very much. Yet another way I’d make an absolutely terrible Mormon.


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