Ep 204: D&C 100 – Section 127

April 28, 2018


Ep 204: D&C 100 – Section 127

Joseph has married another 14 women and managed to turn himself into the mayor of Nauvoo, IL. In celebration, he nopes out of town
until his followers repay his debts. He’ll make like the apostle Paul and write letters to the believers. Definitely make sure you keep track of who is getting baptized during baptisms for the dead.

Drink count – 4


Patron Bonus: How should we talk about polygamy and consent?


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One Comment on “Ep 204: D&C 100 – Section 127”

  1. Gottfried TheHirsute Says:

    In D&C 127:11, Joseph is quoting John 14:30, Jesus’ farewell to the Apostles at the end of the Last Supper. He’s saying, in effect, “Satan’s coming – but don’t worry, I’m sinless so he can’t touch me.” The way that Joseph uses that quote is interesting because on the one hand, quoting a poetic statement of farewell from the Bible – (as he’s running away!) – seems appropriate, but on the other hand, he’s flat-out equating himself to Jesus and taking zero blame for his part in creating the situation at the same time! – never mind that he equated himself to Paul just nine verses earlier. Joseph is doing the ‘humble/bragging’ thing, and even when he’s being sincere, his narcissism is never far below the surface.

    With regard to the heading, this is an example of ‘priming the pump’ – controlling the message by telling the reader how to interpret the text before they’ve even read it. The most recent LDS editions of scripture are especially notorious for this, but no edition is completely immune. Beginning with the 1979 LDS edition of the Bible and the 1981 editions of the Book of Mormon, Doctrine & Covenants, and Pearl of Great Price, the headings were written almost exclusively by Bruce R. McConkie (also author of the [in]famous book, Mormon Doctrine).

    In a recent conversation I had with Bryce, I mentioned how the headings actually made it more difficult for a reader to understand Isaiah, using as an example one of the chapters where Isaiah (the person) is warning the king that the present (i.e. 8th century BCE) geopolitical situation will lead to the destruction of Israel as an independent political entity. The chapter heading reads “Isaiah speaks Messianically.” (No he doesn’t!). This statement forces an approved interpretation upon the reader while simultaneously diverting them from the historical context. Trying to force that chapter into a future apocalyptic setting is a baffling and difficult exercise. No wonder people find scriptures hard to understand! It’s SO much easier to just read the heading and move on…

    With verse 11, while perhaps not quite as egregious as the Isaiah example, the message is being controlled nonetheless. Baptism for the dead only accounts for two short verses out of twelve (or approximately 6% of the text by word count). But now the reader is predisposed to notice those two verses. As for the rest, to paraphrase (with a wave of the hand), “These are not the words you are looking for.” 🙂

    Interestingly enough, I came across an article in the October 1983 Ensign magazine, shortly after the new LDS editions of the scriptures came out, encouraging all members to get rid of their old editions, even if they’ve spent years carefully highlighting and cross-referencing and making notes in them, and buy all the new editions – they’re so convenient, all the notes and references are already there. You’ll never have to look in any other books to understand the scriptures again.(!) You can read the amazingly Orwellian article here: https://www.lds.org/ensign/1983/10/discovering-the-lds-editions-of-scripture

    Controlling the message AND coercing people to spend money on your books at the same time? Joseph’s legacy lives on. 😀


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