Episode 190: D&C 89 – Sections 113, 114, 115

January 13, 2018

Episodes

Episode 190: D&C 89 – Sections 113, 114, 115

Joseph and his BFFs fled Ohio in January 1838, excommunicated the Kirtland Mormons, then reestablished their church in Far West, Missouri. Oliver Cowdery and David Whitmer are tossed out, chaos everywhere! Time for a few revelations that will definitely get Joseph out of this mess. Spoiler, not what happened.

113: Fluff of no substance, kinda based in Isaiah. Zion’s choker necklace is somehow related to a curse that scattered the church from Zion? Something something bands around her neck something something.

114: Dear Dave, give me all your assets and tell people how cool I am. Sincerely, Joe

115: God decrees they build a temple in Far West, Missouri. Spoiler, not what happened.

 

Drink count – 10

 

Patron Bonus – Bryce tells us about his FLDS tour in Short Creek

 

Read along with us at CompareDandC.com

Support the show at Patreon.com/MyBookofMormonPodcast

Contact Marie at Comments@mybookofmormonpodcast.com

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11 Comments on “Episode 190: D&C 89 – Sections 113, 114, 115”

  1. Gottfried TheHirsute Says:

    Guys, guys! I must (gently) take you to task for falling into the “I don’t understand it therefore it must be nonsense” trap. Isaiah is perfectly understandable – if you know the context and persons referred to. The D&C could also be considered “words thrown together and printed” if you don’t know where Kirtland is or who Sidney Rigdon or Oliver Cowdery were. It does listeners a disservice for you to be so dismissive.

    Incidentally, it is the middle of the night (4:00 AM) and I do have something amazing to tell you about Isaiah! 😀

    The Book of Isaiah (or at least Chapters 1-39 – more on that later) was written in the context of 8th century BCE Palestinian politics. Isaiah’s job, as Prophet to four successive kings of Judah was to advise the kings on courses of action relative to “God’s will” (today we would call him a Cabinet member 😉 ). As such, the book depicts the political and diplomatic maneuverings of a small nation and its shifting alliances and rivalries (both on a national and a personal level) in the face of growing Assyrian aggression in the region.

    That being said, take the book out of that context and it loses its meaning – it seems like gibberish and could ‘mean’ anything. And therein lies the rub. Seven hundred years later, some followers of an obscure Jewish preacher from Galilee were trying to justify how their leader, who was crucified for sedition by the Romans, could qualify as the Messiah of the Torah – a thing no ‘right-thinking’ Jewish person would accept. So they scoured the Books of the Prophets for verses that supposedly foretold of this Jesus fellow (Isaiah chapters 7, 11, and 53 being favorites).

    The whole “Root of Jesse/Branch of David” thing in Isa. 11 is an allegorical way of saying that the future King of Judah (who will keep Judah independent) will be a literal descendant of King David. Which is why both the books of Matthew and Luke include detailed (and conflicting!) genealogies of Jesus extending back to David. “See, even if Jesus was crucified, which disqualifies him for Messiah-hood, he’s of David’s bloodline, so it’s OK. And we’ll even concoct a story about having to go to the city of your ancestors for a census to further ‘prove’ our point – and in the process change his birthplace from Nazareth to Bethlehem to meet the criteria of another ‘prophecy’ at the same time. Substitute “Romans” for “Assyrians” as our oppressors and we’re on our way to a new religion. Sweet!” 😀

    Now, fast forward another 1800 years and you’ve got a couple of guys (only one of whom could be considered a Biblical scholar in any sense) using the same ‘prophecies’ to ‘prove’ that they are the rightful successors to Jesus and that their church is therefore the only ‘true’ one.

    Sidney Rigdon loved the Book of Isaiah. He spent years studying (and reinterpreting!) it. I think the fact that large portions of Isaiah are quoted in the Book of Mormon and the Doctrine and Covenants is significant for showing Sidney’s involvement in the formation of Mormonism – but that’s a discussion for another time. 🙂

    I spent 38 years in the Church being told that “the key to understanding the Book of Mormon is to understand Isaiah.” Isaiah is so important that Jesus himself commands us in 3 Nephi to read it! And why else would Nephi use so much precious space on the plates to repeat (with small changes to more closely match 19th century theology) entire passages from Isaiah if it wasn’t essential to our salvation?

    But there’s a hitch: the Deutero-Isaiah Theory contends that Chapters 40-66 were written by one or two different authors at a later date – after the Babylonian Captivity – than the first 39 chapters. Problem is, Nephi quotes from Deutero-Isaiah (Chapters 48-51). Lehi (and Nephi) left Jerusalem prior to the Babylonian Captivity so those chapters would not be written on the Brass Plates of Laban (which Nephi committed murder to obtain!).

    Oooops. 😉

    Similar to Marie’s “Mormon Shelf,” I have an “Isaiah Shelf.” I’ve spent many, many hours (and dollars) in order to understand Isaiah. And I do. It’s an account of Judean politics from 2700 years ago, tweaked to ‘prove’ that Yahweh intervenes in human events by favoring those who obey him. (and in Deutero-Isaiah, Yahweh says ”Sorry, that whole ‘obeying God’ thing didn’t work out and got you destroyed. But I’ll make it up to you someday, I promise…).

    Taken out of that context, it means nothing. Which means it means anything you want it to. 😉

    Reply

    • Duke of Earl Grey Says:

      I appreciate this comment a lot, as someone who myself never made a special study of the book of Isaiah, but was confused as hell by it, especially it’s apparent emphasis on the Second Coming of Christ, and all the resultant ass-kicking that would be meted out, when the first coming wouldn’t be a blip on the scope for 700 more years. And yet it still made the occasional jump to briefly and obscurely talking about Christ’s mortal life.

      My roommate at BYU once compared Isaiah to a 5-year-old who’s trying to tell you all about a trip to Disneyland, and can’t form a cogent narrative, as if Isaiah’s visionary experiences were so transcendent that he had trouble figuring them out himself. It makes so much more sense that Isaiah was perfectly comprehensible to its audience, and it was only the later interpretations of Christians that muddied the waters by their needing to fit their own doctrines into it.

      Reply

      • Gottfried TheHirsute Says:

        Thanks, Duke. Yeah, it makes a helluva lot more sense when you realize that the “ass-kicking” that’s coming is meant for the Babylonians when the Son of Man/Messiah comes (any day now… Oh, wait. Babylon was just defeated by the Persians and Cyrus says we can go home? Never mind.) 😉

        It’s kind of sad that all the LDS books about understanding Isaiah on my shelf are pretty much only good for doorstops now. And I find it very interesting that Avraham Gileadi, who was excommunicated back in the ’90’s for his books on Isaiah and the Second Coming, is now being quoted by FairMormon to support their opposition to the Deutero-Isaiah Theory (which I’m sure stems from the little timeline problem I referenced above). My how times have changed! 😀 😀 😀

    • nakedmormonismpodcast Says:

      I’m currently rereading the BoM in studying it for Smith autobiographical tendencies and was hoping to ask an Isaiah fanatic about the specific passages 2 NE author chose. Gottfried, are you willing to chat about BoM Isaiah at some point? I’ll also DM you on FB and hope to get in touch there. NakedMormonism@gmail.com

      Reply

  2. Gottfried TheHirsute Says:

    BTW, the “choker necklaces” are referring to the bands that were placed around the necks of people enslaved by the Assyrians. Assyrian policy was to relocate and redistribute captured peoples to the far corners of the empire. If people were released from slavery, then the bands were removed and they were free to return to their homeland (this brief description is an over-simplification, but you get the idea).

    Higbee is asking about Isaiah 52, which as part of Deutero-Isaiah is dated to the post-Babylonian exilic period (after 586 BCE). The author is backdating events from the Babylonian Exile to the Assyrian Exile in order to make it look like God was telling them (via the prophet Isaiah) all along that eventually they would return to Jerusalem (“See, I was right all along!”)

    Joseph and Sidney seem to be implying that now that they are released from “bondage” (i.e. the massive debts they ran away from in Kirtland), the Saints are now free to gather to the new ‘Jerusalem’ in Missouri. And Isaiah knew it 2500 years ago. Neat. 😀

    Reply

    • Gottfried TheHirsute Says:

      And one more thing, the modern Mormon interpretation of this passage is that “bondage” means “sin,” not “debt,” which further removes it not only from its original context (literal slavery) but also from its context in Church History.

      Now it’s free to mean whatever you want – yay! 😉

      Reply

  3. Joel Says:

    On the April 17th vs April 11th thing, the 17th is what’s in the 1876 version. Here’s the page it comes from: https://play.google.com/books/reader?id=dzJOAAAAYAAJ&printsec=frontcover&output=reader&hl=en_GB&pg=GBS.PA376

    Reply

  4. Duke of Earl Grey Says:

    I love this later part of the D&C we’re in now. Even while some of the revelations are still dull (and I think most are not), there’s so much history happening behind it all. I think we’re going to have to keep some sort of Tote Board of Apostasy, in fact.

    As mentioned, Oliver Cowdery and David Whitmer were excommunicated around this time. Martin Harris had been part of Warren Parrish’s group of “dissenters” in Kirtland, and was excommunicated in December 1837, so all Three Witnesses of the Book of Mormon were out of the church at this point.

    The church had also excommunicated four of its Twelve Apostles – John Boynton in September 1837, brothers Luke Johnson and Lyman Johnson in April 1838, and William McLellin in May 1838.

    Frederick G Williams had been voted out of the First Presidency in November 1837 (though not excommunicated… yet…), and Hyrum Smith was made 2nd Counselor in his place. We already got a hint of Freddy being on the outs with Joseph back in July 1837, in D&C 112, where the Lord refers to “my servant Joseph, and my servant Sidney, and my servant Hyrum” as having the burden over the church, even though Williams was still 2nd Counselor.

    The church, of course, likes to portray most of these men as having lost what weak faith they had after losing money in the failure of the Kirtland Safety Society, and Joseph they spare of any blame whatsoever, saying he lost more money than any of them…

    Reply

  5. Duke of Earl Grey Says:

    There was some question last episode over the ages of Thomas B Marsh and David Patten, and which one should have been President of the Twelve. Marsh was apparently born on either November 1, 1799, or November 1, 1800, while Patten was born November 14, 1799. Some sources say Marsh was definitively born one year or the other, and others acknowledge the uncertainty. Ultimately, the way history played out for these two, it probably didn’t matter. Succession to the church presidency, at least, was never at issue over the question. There will be later instances of certain people being denied the presidency over questions about their proper seniority, so you know…

    In the current Quorum of the Twelve, we see one odd thing about their seniority ranking. The latest three apostles, Ronald Rasband, Gary Stevenson, and Dale Renlund, were all announced to the church membership and “sustained” by them at the October 2015 General Conference, then “ordained” on October 8, 2015. However, Renlund is lowest in seniority of those three, even though he’s three years older than Stevenson. As stated by the LDS church’s Newsroom website (affectionately referred to by the exmo community as “President Newsroom”, since lately any official, binding statements made by the church are spoken through it, rather than by any fallible and dismissible human person): “Quorum members’ seniority is based on when they were called to service, not their age.” One must assume the church had already officially “called” Rasband and Stevenson as apostles before Renlund was ever selected, even though church membership hadn’t actually voted any of them in yet. The idea that the sustaining vote of the church membership means anything now is just a joke, but the church in the 1830s still took it seriously.

    Side note: Of course I like to think that Renlund was actually denied his proper place in the Quorum due to prejudice over the diversity of his heritage, his parents being immigrants from Finland and Sweden, as we know. Seriously though, when the church was criticized for not filling at least one of those three vacancies with a non-white, non-Utah-born person, the church’s response was to laud Renlund as an example of diversity in its leadership because he had Scandinavian parents. Currently the church has two vacancies to fill in the apostleship. We’ll see soon enough who they choose. Any bets?

    Reply

  6. MarsGirl Says:

    I found it amusing when Marie mentioned Jacob (a Lamanite werewolf) from the Twilight series. I read the Twilight series a few years back to see what all the hoopla was about. It was hard not to pick up on all the Mormon themes that permeated the Twilight series. According to the official website of Stephenie Meyer the inspiration for her vampire series all began with a dream: “I woke up (on that June 2nd) from a very vivid dream. In my dream, two people were having an intense conversation in a meadow in the woods. One of these people was just your average girl. The other person was fantastically beautiful, sparkly, and a vampire.” She and Joseph Senior seemed to have found inspiration through their dream states except in Stephenie’s case it turned out to be way more lucrative. For a hilarious recap of this series told from a (ex)Mormon’s perspective see the following links:

    1) LDS Sparkledammerung Is Here:
    http://stoney321.livejournal.com/317176.html

    2) LDS Sparkledammerung 2 More Twilight: http://stoney321.livejournal.com/317857.html

    3) LDS Sparkledammerung 3 Return of the Sparkle:
    http://stoney321.livejournal.com/318658.html

    4) Final Chapter in the LDS Sparkledammerung Series: http://stoney321.livejournal.com/319735.html

    Reply

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