Site talk:SS lessons/DC lesson 30

From Feast upon the Word (http://feastupontheword.org). Copyright, Feast upon the Word.
Jump to: navigation, search

This page allows you to see in one place the talk pages associated with the commentary pages for the reading assignment for this Doctrine & Covenants Gospel Doctrine lesson. Click on the heading to go to a specific page. Click the edit links below to edit text on any page.


Talk:D&C 2:1-3

Talk:D&C 2:1-3

Talk:D&C 124:21-25

Talk:D&C 124:21-25

Talk:D&C 124:26-30

Talk:D&C 124:26-30

Talk:D&C 124:31-35

Talk:D&C 124:31-35

Talk:D&C 124:36-40

Talk:D&C 124:36-40

Talk:D&C 124:41-45

Talk:D&C 124:41-45

Talk:D&C 124:46-50

Talk:D&C 124:46-50

Talk:D&C 124:51-55

Talk:D&C 124:51-55

Talk:D&C 127:1-5

Talk:D&C 127:1-5

Talk:D&C 127:6-12

Talk:D&C 127:6-12

Talk:D&C 128:1-5

verse 5[edit]

re: "ordained and prepared before the foundation of the world" -- aren't there a lot of things that were ordained and prepared before the foundation of the world, including baptism? I don't see any suggestion in this section that baptism for the dead was performed before Adam was baptized. I assume that "this order of things" is not referring to when baptism for the dead was introduced but rather the order of how it is to be recorded. --Matthew Faulconer 06:14, 14 Nov 2006 (UTC)

Is there a middle road between the two positions? The verse, as Matthew points out rightly, is speaking of the work of recording in the particular manner Joseph lays out (which he ties to Rev 20:12 in an amazing hermeneutic). At the same time, it is clearly stated to be a power particularly for the salvation of the dead. The horizon is a bit broader, I think, than it seems. There is a plan laid from the foundation of the world for the salvation of the dead, for their deliverance from death, and there is an ordinance performed in order to make such a thing possible. Baptism for the dead just might be that, as later verses (12 especially) seem to suggest. I'm trying to wrestle with just these questions, and I'd like to take a very close look at this verse. I'll post later today, if time affords it. --Joe Spencer 17:44, 14 Nov 2006 (UTC)

Talk:D&C 128:6-10

Talk:D&C 128:6-10

Talk:D&C 128:11-15

"Bombshell" interpretation of verse 12[edit]

OK, I've never really caught this before. Or, since some prophets have taught that resurrection of the dead is an ordinance, is that the ordinance that is instituted "to form a relationship" with baptism for the dead? Admittedly a more clumsy reading, but how else to make sense of this? Perhaps at some level, if these are both eternal ordinances that have existed throughout the eternities, there may never have been one before the other?--Rob Fergus 18:25, 24 Oct 2006 (UTC)

I think this phrasing is indeed interesting. There's a certain sense in which establishing baptism for the dead first makes sense: all of us who have need of baptism will die, but not everyone who lives will have the chance to be baptized. So if we had only baptism for the dead, possibly everyone could be saved, even if baptism for the living weren't possible. Another thought is that this passage makes me think in terms of purification rites for the dead, perhaps that's the best perspective from which to understand baptism? (BTW Joe, did you get the article on "The River Ordeal in Israelite Literature" I emailed you?) --RobertC 19:05, 24 Oct 2006 (UTC)

Sorry I haven't gotten back to this yet. I taught seminary all day today, and then I had to set up and attend a stake youth Halloween (nowadays "Harvest") dance. I only have a minute before getting to bed. I think we have to take the wording quite seriously here, and I think it opens quite interestingly onto a number of themes in the Book of Moses. Perhaps I'll have to take some time and work some of these out (I'm working on a paper at the moment concerning some of these themes, and I thought it would be interesting just to see what sort of a reaction came from that tiny comment). Oh, and Robert, I did get the paper, and it was quite interesting, and it certainly bears on our discussions of Jonah, both directly (what mythological themes is the author trying to drawn on, and what would the consequences be, etc.?) and indirectly (if the mythology so profoundly influences the psalms, and Jonah immitates the psalms, what have we here?). Thanks. I got the other paper today, for which Jim was so grateful, but I haven't had a moment even to glance at it. I probably won't tomorrow, but I'll get to it Friday, I'm sure (along with the three other projects I have to get to that day). --Joe Spencer 04:36, 26 Oct 2006 (UTC)

Perhaps another reading might be that the ordinance of baptism for the living, with water, was instituted to be in the likeness of baptism for the dead, which was not necessarily instituted already, but had already been planned. (or was being jointly planned) Similarly, we might say that the ordinances were planned to be the same and that baptisms for the living are done the way they are done partially because the symbolism would also be significant for baptisms for the dead. --Seanmcox 08:04, 26 Oct 2006 (UTC)
Or maybe the grammar became so complex that the original thought got mangled here? Sometimes I wonder, when does a strange turn of phrase mean something significant, and when is it just noise? I would love for every single word to be meaningful and precise, but I'm just not sure that's always so.--Rob Fergus
Though in my view there's no smoking gun for the "its mangled" intepretation, that interpretation does seem to me to make more sense then the other interpretations offered. Should the "its mangled" interpetation ever be the preferred interpretation?Or, alternatively, should we always consign such interpetations to the status of "recognized possibility"? To some the "its mangled" interpretation may seem like the easy way out. But even if we grant that it is the easy way out, maybe the easy way out is sometimes the right answer. Clearly applying the principle of charity to a text isn't a straightforward exercise. I see this issue as related to the discussion on Talk:Ex 7:1-5 and the discussion on 1 Sam 15:3-8 here. --Matthew Faulconer 04:41, 27 Oct 2006 (UTC)

Well, I imagine everyone knows where I stand on "it's mangled" readings. But a word nonetheless. The real issue when we encounter a problem like this in the scriptures is not a question primarily of grammar, language, etc., but a question of how we thus far conceive of things and what a verse quite literally says. I have yet to find two verses in scripture that truly contradict each other (according to the strictness of the law of non-contradiction): I have yet to find any two scriptures where the one says simply X and the other says simply not X. Hence, these difficulties are the battle between our conception of the word and the word itself, not a battle between wording here and wording there, where we have the option of throwing out the one with the strange wording (or the questionable textual history, or the apparent Hellenistic influence, or the Deuteronomic theology, etc.). Rather, I think these function as a call to think and rethink.

Now, let me clarify a point there. I don't think that it is possible, upon encountering a bombshell like this, to revise radically everything I believe about baptism in the moment. Not at all. But the verse suddenly becomes like a piece of something stuck between your teeth when you are without floss or a toothpick. So then we go on, and suddenly other things start cropping up that suggest that there is something more to that verse's wording, and then other things still, and pretty soon, everything has changed. The fun of having a site like this to throw little bombshells out is see two things: whether anyone else has ever noticed the bombshell and found some interesting correspondences to it elsewhere; and whether people are generally willing to think through it or whether they would rather sweep it under the rug. I suppose the former is a good joy, and the latter is probably a bad one, but one that guides me every time I'm asked to substitute in seminary (every lesson begins with a little bombshell that we then spend the rest of class working out so as to have a much clearer, and a very different, understanding of the scriptures). Maybe it's not so bad. It's a Kierkegaardian pleasure, a moment of radical commitment, perhaps. At any rate, my "word nonetheless." --Joe Spencer 14:44, 27 Oct 2006 (UTC)

Joe, I'm all for seeing how far we can go with a new understanding of baptism as might be intimated here. But also interested in seeing how far the Mangled Scriptures hypothesis as well. I know that I get in trouble all the time for not being as careful as I should be with my grammar or word choices. I'm willing to give prophets some slack in that department as well, if needed. Sometimes it might not be possible to determine if a verse contains either a Mangled Scripture or an Overlooked Mystery, and will resist easy interpretation. Though, either possibility makes scripture study more interesting.--Rob Fergus 19:26, 27 Oct 2006 (UTC)
I think this is a very good issue to raise in discussing Ether 12:25ff. If the "weakness" in verse 27 is the same thing that is meant by "mangled scripture" in the discussion above, then Rob's conclusion makes sense (in my opinion)—that is, the point of the written word is to humble us—and if we humble ourselves, then the weakness of the writing will become a strength unto us, whether that is because it effected humility in us, or whether the process of pondering leads us to personal revelation, or whether it simply helps us to see the original intent of the written word (though I do not personally put much import on trying to recover the original intent of the writerl...). --RobertC 21:25, 27 Oct 2006 (UTC)

OK, I'm sold. While I want to retain the right to use the Mangled Scripture theory elsewhere in the future, if only to cover my own ignorance, this discussion has opened up a whole new way of thinking for me that reconfirms a notion I've had of priesthood ordinances as fore-ordinations to a future state. Baptism becomes a literal fore-ordination to resurrection--first instituted as a way to fore-ordain the dead to a resurrection of the just. Other ordinations that we receive, perhaps most notably in the temple, are fore-ordinations to other states of being. This takes us back to Alma 13 where we started this whole project. This is what priesthood is for, to perform these fore-ordinations in this estate, to prepare us for future estates. The gospel becomes more an ongoing series of ordinances that allow us to confirm our relationship with God (back to Robert's Amen) through these fore-ordinations, than a checklist of laws to obey.--Rob Fergus 01:32, 14 Nov 2006 (UTC)

I like the tie in to Alma 13 but I don't think that your thoughts related to ordination depend on your interpretation here. In that same vein, I think the exegesis overstates the clarity of this verse on the subject of whether baptism for the dead proceeded baptism. It certainly is possible for x to be instituted to form a relationship with y without x proceeding y--especially if we assume that these events are planned out ahead of time. verse 5 tells us about this planning ahead. Is the question of which came first so important?
I also wonder if we are right to read "baptism by water" to refer to the ordinance of baptism of the living. Am I right to think that this reading is only justified by the difficult phrase we are trying to intepret "this ordinance was instituted to form a relationship with the ordinance of baptism for the dead"--in other words, that in order to make sense of that phrase we go back and assume that baptism by water must actually only refer to the ordinance of baptizing the living? If so, that lends some weight to the mangled phrase theory. Alternatively maybe the ordinance of baptism for the dead referred to is not the ordinance we think of...but some sister-ordinance? just as fore-ordination is an ordinance but is sister to the actual ordination performed later in this life. Anyway I think there is more than one possibility. I will rewrite the exegesis to suggest this--unless someone beats me to it. --Matthew Faulconer 06:37, 14 Nov 2006 (UTC)
Agree that temporal order is not my primary concern here, but like the idea of Adam performing baptism for Abel. Also like the importance that first planning for baptism for the dead might imply--ie that the Lord was primarily concerned about the almost innumerable hoards of people who would die without the gospel. So, make provisions for them first. Also agree that the idea of ordinances serving as shadows or fore-ordinations does not depend on the temporality of which baptism was planned or instigated first. And maybe we'll never find enough in our current scriptures to make that determination, though this section is at least highly suggestive that baptism for the dead came first (and I'm not too concerned about softening the exegesis section here). I think what is more important is to look at these links between baptism for the dead and patriarchal priesthood--and to see how this changes or expands our understanding of how the patriarchal order relates to our modern priesthood orders, ordinances, and practices.--Rob Fergus 16:45, 14 Nov 2006 (UTC)

Another middle road approach. Baptism and the ordinance of sealing are uniquely tied. President Hinckley made that point recently in his trinity article in the Ensign. He said he was "baptized in the name of these three" and "married in the name of these three." Somehow, the Trinity enters into the discussion only with those two ordinances (perhaps not really at all in any others?). This is tied, obviously to the Trinity discussions in 3 Nephi, and to the lack of trinitarian discussion in Mosiah-Helaman. There is something about the Trinity and the Abrahamic covenant, and all of this seems to be tied somehow to baptism/sealing as parallel ordinances in some way. (I might suggest that the sacrament is similarly parallel to the endowment.) What I think this means is that Rob is right to look at the possibility of patriarchal hints here, at a primacy of baptism for the dead (why is that a temple ordinance when baptism for the living is not?) over baptism for the living, etc., and that Matthew is right to be careful about the language here, and to suggest that the story is more complex. I want to take some of these questions up into Joseph's discourses over the last five years of his life, and see what that will open up in this question. I'm thinking more and more that the "without us not saved, without them not saved" business is a key to all of this. Later today, again, I hope. --Joe Spencer 17:51, 14 Nov 2006 (UTC)


I'd also be interested in looking at what we know about the resurrection as a priesthood ordinance. To my mind, baptism appears to be a fore-ordination to that ordinance--just like other temple ordinances appear to be fore-ordinations to future ordinances.--Rob Fergus 18:41, 14 Nov 2006 (UTC)

Joe, you single out marriage and baptism as Trinity-focused ordinances. Are there ordinances you have in mind here that you are excluding? washing and annointings? endowment? The sacrament seems to be Trinity-focused, I wasn't clear if you're thinking of that also (in relation to baptism?). By the way, I'm very interested in working more on Trinity stuff (if I ever find time--busy, busy lately). I'm thinking more and more that the unity of the Trinity (esp. Father and Son) is key to understanding a workable theology (esp. pertaining to faith, hope, and love, as well as Priesthood...). --RobertC 21:53, 14 Nov 2006 (UTC)

Talk:D&C 128:16-20

Talk:D&C 128:16-20

Talk:D&C 128:21-25

Talk:D&C 128:21-25

Talk:D&C 138:26-30

Talk:D&C 138:26-30

Talk:D&C 138:31-35

Talk:D&C 138:31-35

Talk:JS-H 1:36-40

Talk:JS-H 1:36-40

For efficiency this page is pulled from a cached copy. The cache should update about once a day. If you'd like to see the most up to date version, refresh the cache by clicking here.