Episode 128: Mike Tannehill and the Abrahamic Covenant

206 comments on “Episode 128: Mike Tannehill and the Abrahamic Covenant”

  1. surv7 Reply

    Why start with an opening prayer, almost turned it off right then. Come on John

    • Heather Reply

      To be fair, John envisions Mormon Expression to be a community effort where different members of the panel are given chances to host their own discussions. This was Mike’s discussion and he felt a prayer was in order. If we want to encourage a “diversity” of voices here, shouldn’t we respect those providing the diversity and allow them to express their belief?

      • surv7 Reply

        He can discuss his beliefs all he wants that is what the show is about. All I ask is don’t subject me to a prayer to his god. This is a very diverse group that ranges from athiests to TBM and his god is not the same as everybody elses. Also I’m not blaming John, just hoping he will encourage this not to happen. I guess we will see what the majority thinks.

        • Heather Reply

          When I said, “express his beliefs” I didn’t mean “discuss” his beliefs. Prayer is an expression of belief. I assume (and if I’m wrong, then I apologize) that by saying, “a prayer to his god” I can infer you don’t believe in Mike’s god. If that is the case, then why is the prayer such a problem? It’s basically meaningless.

          • surv7

            Why is it such a problem not to say it? I think a lot of us listening are angry at religion and the mormon church. This just adds to it, I come here to try to escape all of the really icky religious stuff and like the disussions on the mormon issues and rants by John (they are my absolute favorite thing about mormon expressions).

          • Heather

            The problem is that Mike (or other TBMs who might listen) haven’t set an expectation that non-believers behave in a specific way. Correct me if I’m wrong here. Have limits been set on the non-believers that I’m just not aware of? If not, then why should limits be set on the believers? The thing I value about Mormon Expression is that it’s supposed to be a place for all shades of belief (or lack thereof) to come together to discuss Mormonism. That can’t happen if we’re setting limits for one group but not another. I think respect goes both ways.

          • surv7

            Let’s just agree to disagree or this could go forever, besides i’m hungry.

          • Heather

            I want to keep going because I want to see how far to the right the formatting of these replies will go. 😉

          • Brian K

            This reminds me of a thread that was once started on an atheism group blog. This group was fairly similar to Mormon expression in that it would critically analyze Mormonism. One day the leader gave a presentation on good arguments against atheism. I thought this was an excellent demonstration that we were not merely there to pat ourselves on the back and talk crap about others beliefs, but that we are willing to even analyze our own. I was then shocked to see how upset this made many on the group. “I am not here to be attacked” many wrote. The author of the presentation was an atheist himself, but because it made them uncomfortable many had to fight against what he was saying. I admit that I thought Mike saying a prayer wasn’t the way I would do it, but I agree with heather in that it was an expression that should be allowed to be expressed. I also see Mormon expression as a forum to allow for diversity, whatever that be. Although I also enjoy John’s rants, if this podcast ever got to the point where that is all it was, I would not be interested in it anymore. I think staying away from correlation and censoring those things some wouldn’t like, even if that is prayer, would be best. I think it needs to be respectful, but everyone should be able to express themselves in the ways they think are right.

          • Gale

            I wonder if other traditionally believing Mormons would have been uncomfortable with a prayer in this venue. My guess is that they would.

            While it felt awkward to me (a traditionally raised, non-believing Mormon), I’m glad Mike did it. It certainly set the tone for the type of discussion he wanted to lead and helped center the group on the “Sunday School” approach to the topic.

          • brandt

            I was uncomfortable with it, and I’m a believer. But in the end, it was Mike who was really the driving force behind this podcast. If he wanted to do it, then that was his perogative. I can understand how it would turn some people off, but if this really is a podcast discussing all aspects of Mormonism (which, from what I understand, is the vision that John has for it), then every viewpoint needs to be at least tolerated. I’m actually quite surprised at the anger expressed for a 15 second prayer out of a 1 hr 20 minute podcast.

            I stick around and listen because I find all aspects of Mormonism fascinating. And I’m all for a healthy critique and discussion of Mormon beliefs. And while I do love Mike, he and I differ on some major things within Mormonism. But to say that his voice is less-deserving of being heard because he’s in the minority kind of ruins the spirit of Mormon Expression.

            Just my $0.02

          • Odell Campbell

            In the LDS community prayer is the sanctioned method of opening and starting an LDS meeting. Many here have paid a painful price not to participate in an LDS meeting again in our lives. If John wants to allow prayer to start a “podcast” then he should understand that many of us here will resent his allowing a podcast to start in the same fashion as a religion we departed.

            In the LDS realm, prayer isn’t an expression of belief but a formalistic way of opening an LDS meeting. As stated earlier, if you want us to listen to these discussions and participate, don’t do that again.

          • Anonymous

            Why do you assume anyone cares if you choose to listen or not? Is ME trying to win an award for listenership? And I thought I griped a lot…sheesh.

          • Steve

            The limit dear Heather should always be stopping short of traumatizing ex cult members.

        • Elder Vader Reply

          Surv7 – I think the cure to what ails you here is to go watch that South Park episode where Cartman learns that if he shoves food up his butt, he poops out his mouth.

      • Glenn Reply

        Well…. hey everyone — you can all aim your criticism of the prayer at me and some minor editorial trickery. The prayer actually happened BEFORE we started with the official intros. It’s clearly not a normal staple of ME and I highly doubt that John will be rushing out to introduce this into the routine any time soon. But we referenced it a few times in the body of the podcast, and it would have made no sense to you as listeners if I hadn’t included that prayer in the beginning. Plus, I just liked it. Sue me. Mike wants to pray? Go ahead and pray. No harm no foul. Let’s shake it up a bit. It kept him away from the javelin comments, didn’t it?

        So is that really the main point of discussion for this episode? I for one think this is a pretty interesting snapshot of the mormon cosmology — deification, exaltation with families and sealings and all that stuff. You guys are right — no rants from John on this one. But stick around. You’ll get more of those on other episodes. But ME is not going to become a one trick pony (that is MY prayer, at least). From nudist podcasts (in the nude) to opening prayers (with eyes wide open) — thats a pretty cool spectrum if you ask me.

        • Steve Reply

          The TBM is pretty representative of the cult. But by the nature of the show I would think more common sense would be used then to give a TBM the right to come on and pray. Actually the more I think about it the more it pisses me off. The show has gone from straight up talk to a bunch of apologizing for saying it like it is and now this crap, sorry have to be done.

      • Steve Reply

        Great “envisions” then John. Silly Putty, nutty putty, my last Mormon expression visit, enjoy the vic vis near moronic move of letting a guy who will kill for his anthro god pray to him.

      • Richard of Norway Reply

        Well, I for one hope that the website and podcast can be a voice for all things Mormonism – that DON’T fit under the banner of TCOJCOLDS because those types of Mormons already have plenty of venues to speak their minds, listen to their own fluff and share their faith-promoting stories.

        Mormon Expression should (at least in my opinion) be for the rest of Mormonism – not the stuff you get from attending church meetings. That’s what church is for.

        And I really don’t much like listening to a podcast that sounds like a typical Elder’s Quorum or Sunday School lesson. (I can always attend my own Ward on Sundays for that type of discussion.) I want to hear Mormon topics discussed with criticism, skepticism and yet complete openness.

        That said, I do believe this podcast fit the bill, mostly. (There was plenty of criticism that I can’t imagine hearing in church.) I just wonder if the complainers her have more of a point than some of you are willing to acknowledge – at least regarding the prayer.

        Just because John wants to allow all sides of Mormonism in, doesn’t mean they should all be given free reign to run the show however they want. I mean, Mike even tried to close with “In the name of Jesus Christ, Amen” instead of “The discussion continues on…” for heavens sake! 😉

        • Brian K. Reply

          Sunday school and Church is a venue for those types of beliefs, but we rarely get the chance to hear those beliefs challenged. I think it is good to have them here.

          • brandt

            Brian, you need to come to our Elder’s Quorum here in Michigan. For some reason, whenever I teach it turns into “controversy” because I want to hear all viewpoints, regardless of the manual….or, as us normal people like to call it, a regular edition of the Mormon Expression podcast.

          • Brian K.

            How do the people in your quorum respond to your lessons. Do they like it, or do they sigh every time you get up to teach? 😉 I might need to move to michigan, because here controvery = bad.

          • brandt

            Surprisingly, the EQP has been pretty cool with it. Not to quote a church resume, but I also think being a 1st counselor in the EQ Presidency also plays a factor.

            Basically, I don’t go up there looking for controversy, it seems to find me. Teaching out of the Gospel Principles manual is hard…really hard…especially when you’re with a group of men who have been through the lessons a million times. I think we have a good group who likes the discussion, but I’ve gotten a couple of turds (always 20-something freshly graduated RM’s) who want to throw out the line “Well, is all this really pertinant?” after which everyone dismisses their comment and continues with our discussion. I make a promise to them every week that I won’t read word-for-word from the manual unless I find it interesting, and so it’s few and far between.

            At the end of the day, I really take D&C 88:122 to heart – I don’t care where you are on the Mormon spectrum, and we’ve got all different types in our elders quroum, we can all learn something from someone’s experiences.

            And yes, I do play devils advocate, and yes, I do bring up “sticky” things, and yes, I do answer questions bluntly and we do go all out – and I haven’t been caught yet.

    • Anonymous Reply

      I haven’t yet listened to this podcast (I will after posting this comment), but even though I am as skeptical as anyone about the religious beliefs that Mike holds dear, I can’t help but think that it is at least a bit unfair and petty to criticize Mike merely for choosing to start out with a prayer. I strongly question the validity and the rationality of his beliefs, but I have little doubt of his sincerity and that he truly means well and thinks or hopes we will benefit from his expressing his POV.

  2. Gemilut Chasadim Reply

    can we get a link to the BYU disscussion on the Abrahamic Covenant

    • brandt Reply

      Hey Gemilut,

      Here’s the video linking to the BYU discussion we talked about.

      • Mike Tannehill Reply

        I dont see the link showing up. For those interested you can google BYU Pearl of Great Price Discussions Abrahamic Covenant, or go to itunes and search BYU. You’ll see Pearl of Great Price Discussions show up there.

        • brandt Reply

          There must be a tight spam filter on here to not allow links. I’ll do it this way:

          www[dot]byutv[dot]org[slash]watch[slash]721-207[slash]

    • brandt Reply

      Hey Gemilut,

      Here’s the video linking to the BYU discussion we talked about.

  3. Odell Campbell Reply

    The opening prayer was really weird. Please don’t ever ever do that again.

    • sinclaire Reply

      i doubt the prayer meant anything-he said “Thank You” instead of “thank thee”…so its pretty much not even a real prayer and God stopped listening. So in that regard-i had no problem with it 🙂

    • Anonymous Reply

      I liked the opening prayer FOR it’s weirdness in this context. Reminds me of the days I used to sit in a military chow hall stuffed full of GI’s and bless my food “to be seen of men”. Keep it up, please.

      Also, next time would someone offer a prayer to my God, Thor. I believe in equal representation of beliefs. Thank you.

  4. Gerry Reply

    What a weird podcast. One of the few on Mormon Expression where I felt like I was in Sunday School.

    • Gale Reply

      It did feel like a Sunday School class, full of questioning semi-rebellious Elders. It was an odd twist, and while not my favorite episode I did enjoy getting to hear Mike take the lead of the discussion. I’ve missed Mike, and am glad to see him taking a more active role. I still think he’s crazy, but in a lovable way.

      Oh, and is it just me or has Tom become more exasperated of late at traditional Mormon views? He seems to have a few pebbles in his shoes. I’d love to get an update on his current relationship with the faith.

      • Glenn Reply

        Well, don’t read too much into it, Gale. This podcast was recorded over four months ago, before Christmas, and I’m not sure how indicative it is of either Mike taking a more active role or of Tom becoming any more or less exasperated with anything other than brother Tannehill himself. But maybe he has a few pebbles. Aren’t they supposed to grow into avalanches? I think that was prophesied in Daniel somewhere. Avalanches in your shoes, cut from a mountain with no hands, like a rough stone rolling, or something like that. Yeah, I’m pretty sure it’s in there.

      • brandt Reply

        Semi-rebellious? I’d prefer to use the phrase “liberal.” 😉

        While it’s been a while since we did the podcast, if I remember, that’s how Mike wanted to frame it as: an Elder’s Quorum discussion.

        it wouldn’t be Mormon Expression without Mike. He’s the Yin to John’s Yang.

        Wait.

        That doesn’t sound right.

  5. Anonymous Reply

    I could only get about 20 minutes into this before I had to turn it off. Could you find a active TBM that’s not a complete nutjob?

  6. Garmageddon Reply

    I like Mike. He seems like a nice guy. The prayer’s okay too. Heck, I pray myself.

    But — maybe because I’m not Mormon — I found the discussion to be really confusing. I thought Mormonism was supposed to involve “plain and precious” truths? Did I miss something, or did everything boil down to “obey and God will take care of you”?

    Or did I miss something? What? Huh?

    • Glenn Reply

      This is exactly why I liked this podcast and why I was excited when Mike approached me about doing this with him. “Plain and simple” truths are like these dots on a coloring book that — when you examine each one carefully and closely — are just a round black dot. Plain and simple. But when you start connecting them, you get this experience of HUH? WHAT? DID I MISS SOMETHING? And it all starts with the simple dot. So the strategy is “well, let’s go back and look closely again at that one simple dot.” And that’s what you hear Mike do again and again on this podcast. Let’s look at this scripture, or that scripture, dot dot dot. But as Tom and Jesse and Brandt and I asked questions and tried to make connections, the picture together was far from plain and simple.

      But I would hardly say that is is “Mike Tannehill’s” view on the Abrahamic covenant. No offense to Mike, but the guy doesn’t have two original thoughts to rub together. He repeats what he hears from other authorities. Maybe he mis-remembers them or exaggerates the connections at times. But in this case, he was channelling his inner Joseph McConkie and the others who participated in the BYU: Pearl of Great Price podcast discussions (available through iTunes — episode 207). That is why this felt like a Sunday School class.

      I’m not surprised that the format and the prayer were like fingernails on a chalkboard for many of you. But there were some other points in here that I think are interesting and worth discussing: mormonism’s devaluing of the atonement as a means to an end instead of the end itself, the future or lack of future of this doctrine in a correlated church (polygamy? deification?), the idea of parents responsible for their kids’ celestial blessings – anyway, there is more, but is that stuff interesting to anyone besides me?

      • Wes Cauthers Reply

        For me, mormonism’s devaluing of the atonement is among my top problems with it. In John 10:10, Jesus succinclty sums up the purpose of his coming:

        “…I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.” (NIV)

        Maybe it’s just me, but following laws and ordinances and never knowing if I have done enough feels like the opposite of life to the full.

        Matthew 11:28-30 is another one of my favorites where Jesus says what he’s all about:

        “Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you’ll recover your life. I’ll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me—watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly.” (The Message)

        I just don’t see how the Mormon gospel is good news because it only adds more burdens on people. Jesus came to set people free, not to further imprison them.

        Is the Mormon gospel of salvation through laws and ordinances good news to you, Glenn?

        • Glenn Reply

          Any religion’s story of salvation is good news to me, Wes, if it functions in people’s lives to make them more charitable towards others. If it makes the ego-centric, ethno-centric, judgmental, and intolerant, then I don’t like it very much. So it boils down to story and function and application to me.

          • Wes Cauthers

            Yes, the “what for” of anything is vastly important and if transformation in the direction of love is not taking place, then forget it. I guess I just haven’t seen that happen as a result of Mormonism. Unfortunately, I have seen far too much of the other stuff you’ve listed.

  7. steph. Reply

    I didn’t care much for this podcast either. And I was not a fan of the opening prayer either.

    That said, I don’t think Mike is a horrible panelist or even a bad guy. I enjoy Mike as well.

    For me, the best part of this podcast came after with the comments. I really like Heather anyway and the addition she is to the podcasts (assuming this is the same Heather, I think it is…) But I have to give her extra credit for being such a class act and along with Brian defending Mike’s right to say that prayer.

    Heather, I personally hope to hear more from you on Mormon Expression in the future, Keep up the good work.

    • Heather Reply

      Thanks, Steph! That is very nice of you. I’m really excited to be included on ME so hopefully I won’t disappoint. 🙂

  8. Priss Reply

    I am not Mormon, but love Mormon Expression. It’s helped me understand the religion a lot more than I did before I began listening. But this podcast left me utterly confused. I hope it’ll be a long time before another of this sort.

  9. Wes Cauthers Reply

    I liked this episode because it showed just how much of a cluster#&%! Mormon doctrine is when people try and unpack it. Glenn had some great moments in response to Mike. I loved it near the end when he said, “I don’t know why you even like believing in this stuff?” I know you’re not a traditional Mormon Glenn, but that comment made me more curious about your belief in Mormonism and what exactly it is you believe? I had the same curiosity about Tom as well.

    I totally agree with Glenn that OT polygamy (the story of Abraham in particular) was used to justify the polygamous behavior of Joseph Smith. In fact, this is one of my pet peeves since the Biblical account in Genesis 16 is quite different than the story in D&C 132.

    In Genesis 16:2-3 it says that Sarai

    “said to Abram, “The LORD has kept me from having children. Go, sleep with my maidservant; perhaps I can build a family through her. Abram agreed to what Sarai said. So after Abram had been living in Canaan ten years, Sarai his wife took her Egyptian maidservant Hagar and gave her to her husband to be his wife.”

    This is quite different from what it says in D&C 132:34 –

    “God acommanded Abraham, and Sarah gave Hagar to Abraham to wife. And why did she do it? Because this was the law; and from Hagar sprang many people. This, therefore, was fulfilling, among other things, the promises.”

    Doesn’t it seem just a bit too convenient that the account in D&C 132 says God COMMANDED Abraham to practice polygamy just like he COMMANDED Joseph Smith to do the same later in the section?

    Not only is the Mormon version in direct contradiction to Genesis, but the implications also go much further. God specifically establishes his covenant through Isaac (the name means he laughs because Abraham and Sarah initially laugh at the idea that they will have a child in their 90’s), the child “born as the result of promise [as opposed to the child] born in the oridnary way” (Galations 4:22). The point is that Abram and Sarai acted independently of God when they decided that it was a good idea to practice polygamy. They lacked faith and tried to make God’s promise happen on their own because they thought it would be impossible to conceive together at their age. It is also interesting to note that it was common practice in that culture for the husband of a barren wife to sleep with their maidservant to conceive. Thus, the verse in D&C has absolutely no relationship whatsoever to a Biblical understanding of God’s promise which is highly problematic in profound ways.

    There are other instances of polygamy mentioned in the Bible as are many things that were common to the people/culture of the ancient near east. This does not mean God necessarily thinks those things were a good idea. In fact, there are numerous instances in the Bible where polygamy is spoken against (Deuteronomy 17:17, 1 Timothy 3:2, 12 and Titus 1:6).

    Another issue with polygamy is its inherently problematic nature. It caused nothing but problems for those who practiced it in the Bible. From the conflict between Isaac and Ishamel (which is still going on today) to the very sad account of Rachael and Leah to the unfortunate effect of polygamy on Solomon it was never something beneficial. Fast forward to Joseph Smith, Brigham Young, and even into modern day FLDS stuff and we still see nothing but disaster.

  10. Mike Tannehill Reply

    A bit of background on this one: The idea was to give a faithful representation of Celestial marriage after the podcast on D&C 132 (episodes 95a and b) which was very negative and critical. I had hoped to get a full and faithful panel of individuals who were all sealed in the temple, but while I did get a panel of members who were sealed, it becomes readily apparent that they were not all faithful.

    The original BYU talk that inspired this podcast can be found here: http://www.byutv.org/watch/721-207

    An opening prayer was appropriate since the desire was to bring the Spirit into the discussion so that we could all learn together. I was curious as to whether or not Glenn would add it in, and it looks like he did.

    Now to go listen to it for myself. It was recorded a while ago, so this should be interesting…

    • Alastor Moody Reply

      Mike, well I disagree with Mormonism and I found some of the content interesting, I mostly appreciated understanding a little bit of where you are coming from in the podcasts.

    • brandt Reply

      That’s a bit of a reach, Mike. Not all were faithful? Just because we don’t readily believe in your brand of Mormonism?

      Poor form, Mike.

    • Nobody Reply

      Like Brandt, I’m curious about this statement: ” I had hoped to get a full and faithful panel of individuals who were all sealed in the temple, but while I did get a panel of members who were sealed, it becomes readily apparent that they were not all faithful.”

      You are ascribing a definition of “faithful” to an organizational understanding, not a “gospel” one. Just because someone doesn’t believe something the way you do does not make them “unfaithful” anymore than your believing it makes you “faithful”. In reading through some of these comments, I’m surprised at how often you don’t think about what you write, or at least that’s how it comes across. Members (I’m one) have a difficult time differentiating beliefs and have an even more time reconciling how two members could have two different beliefs about the same thing. The only way they *typically* know how to reconcile that is to start calling those with whom they disagree apostates, unfaithful and wicked.

      Additionally, no one is “sealed in the temple”. It’s merely a ritual we do, but has absolutely zero efficacy absent the Spirit confirming it. So, even if someone was “married” in the temple, that in no way makes them more “faithful” anymore than someone who is married civilly is “unfaithful.”

    • Ozpoof Reply

      Mike, your opening prayer did seem to bring a spirit into this podcast, one of confusion. Which spirit would you say was with you?

    • R Stromness Reply

      Thank you for your presentation.

      I would appreciate it if others would at least be a little more respectful.  I feel most had a very closed mind that limited meaningful discussion. They may not agree, which of course is their right, but I felt their tone will discourage future participation by anyone that is not in line with their thinking and belief.

  11. cam Reply

    I left the church in the 80s so it’s been a while for me, but I have never heard this spin on the Abrahamic Covenant. It seems like a very painfully awkward way to force “families are forever” into the OT and BOM. When “fathers” and “sons” are taken so literally, as a woman, I feel doubly left out. It is amazing to me how seamlessly doctrines are injected or omitted into the canon without people realizing it. Maybe I missed that day in seminary. And Sunday school. Though they’re pretty repetitous so I must have coincidentally missed a lot of these days. Being a girl, we were too busy learning about virtue for this doctrine to have come up in mutual.

    • Mike Tannehill Reply

      There is a natural matriarchal side to the gospel. Men can seal all they want with their priesthood, but if the Holy Ghost does not ratify the ordinance it is of no use. When a woman turns a house into a home and creates a sacred space for the spirit to dwell she is doing her part in the gospel.

      • Anonymous Reply

        Speaking of the “natural matriarchal side to the gospel”, if we have a Heavenly Mother, why should we worship Her any less than our Heavenly Father? Why does the Church discourage us from having much to say about Her, and even excommunicate people for openly expressing love and veneration for Her or speculating about Her? Why is She an unnamed entity that we are to avoid discussing? It seems awfully misogynistic to me that She should be any less honored than Her husband and not regarded as coequal with Him.

        • Mike Tannehill Reply

          The crown of womanhood is in the giving of life, the crown of man is in the giving of a name. With the giving of a name it becomes a stewardship and a responsibility to care for and protect those that fall under that title.

          • Anonymous

            How does this answer my question? What could be more awesome or make one more worthy of worshipful reverence than “the giving of life?” Why should our “Heavenly Mother” be any less divine than “Heavenly Father” or be relegated to obscurity and and being almost completely ignored by her spiritual progeny? How would any earthly mother feel if her children were discouraged from active interaction with her or even talking about her or made to feel that her children were something from which she needs to be protected?

          • Heather

            Gunnar, I think what Mike was trying to say (and he’s free to correct me if I’m wrong) is that because the Abrahamic Covenant is a patriarchal order, the giving of the name portion includes more stewardship. It’s the stewardship of God to care for / protect us because he “gave us our name” and since women don’t have the ability to “give us a name” taking care of us during our mortal probation isn’t her job.

            I don’t buy it. But I think that is what he was getting at.

          • Anonymous

            Yes, I sort of gathered that that was what Mike was getting at, but, like you, I don’t buy it. It still seems too dismissive of the importance of the role of a “Heavenly Mother”, who, if there is such a thing, ought to deserve veneration and status equal to that of God, her supposed husband.

        • Nobody Reply

          Gunnar:

          Stop and consider that maybe the Holy Ghost is the female member of the Godhead. The english KJV does an incredibly bad disservice to male/female words, but in Hebrew the “Holy Ghost” as Mormons know it was very much a female entity.

          =====

          Just something to chew on:

          “Sophia, the Greek translation of the Hebrew Hochmah is the feminine personification of Wisdom in the Pentateuch. She is neither a goddess nor a new age creation of feminist theologians. She was a real biblical person with more material on her in the Old Testament (with Apocrypha) than anyone in the scriptures, except God, Job, Moses and David …

          “One reason we little consider Sophia, even in readings of the Old Testament, is that English translations usually translate the feminine Sophia into the abstract “Wisdom”. Although the Greek and Hebrew words were fully feminine, the English is not. The fullest development of her is in the so-called “Wisdom Books” of the apocrypha in the Greek Pentateuch (sic. – should be Tanakh or Old Testament – ed.) that were canonised into Christian Scripture and are still used by the Roman Catholic and Eastern Orthodox churches. Sophia dominates the first nine chapters of Proverbs and is found in both the Old and New Testaments.

          “In the Hebrew tradition, Sophia was considered to have been with God from the beginning of Creation. In Proverbs 8:27-51, Sophia says:

          “When God [Yahweh] set the heavens in place, I was present,
          When God drew a ring on the surface of the deep,
          When God fixed the clouds above,
          When God fixed fast the wells of the deep,
          when God assigned the sea its limits-
          and the waters will not invade the land,
          when God established the foundations of the earth,
          I was by God’s side, a master craftswoman,
          delighting God day after day,
          ever at play by God’s side,
          at play everywhere in God’s domain,
          delighting to be with the children of humanity.”

          “Sophia, in the biblical creation was not ‘a god’, but was a divine being. It is not clear that She was uncreated like Jesus [Yah’shua]: the word used to refer to Her creation also means “acquired” by God. Proverbs 8:22 – “God created me [acquired me] (Sophia) when God’s purpose first unfolded.” Ecclesiasticus 1:14 – “before all things, Sophia was created.” She serves at the heart of the creative process, as Wisdom and as Teacher who was sent by God to save humanity. The book of Wisdom speaks to Her divinity (7:25-26):

          She is the breath of God’s power & a stream of pure glory of the Almighty.
          This is why nothing polluted enters Her.
          For She mirrors God’s energy completely, and She images God’s goodness.”
          (Review of the book Sophia in the Biblical Tradition (Harper and Row; 1986) by Susan Cady, Marian Ronan and Hal Taussig)

          From this we are able to come to two stunning conclusions:
          1. Hochma/Sophia/Wisdom was CREATED;
          2. She is GOD in a subordinate sense.

          In other words, She was created at some “beginning” JUST AS YAH’SHUA (JESUS) was. In Hebrew tradition, Hochma / Sophia / Wisdom is known also as the Ruach haQodesh (Holy Spirit) (Prov.8:22-31) and the HEAVENLY MOTHER — a created being, and was “by God’s [Eloah’s] side.

          • Anonymous

            Thank you for that interesting insight! The idea of “Heavenly Mother” being the Holy Ghost and the embodiment of wisdom is actually quite appealing! It would make me feel much less sorry for “Heavenly Mother.” Of course, the problem with that is that, according to official LDS doctrine, the Holy Ghost is an, as yet, disembodied or unembodied spirit. This simply would not fit in with the Mormon idea that God is an exalted, resurrected man with an immortal, physical body of flesh and bone. If He would have to have been thus resurrected before fathering spirit children, it would stand to reason that the mother of our spirits would have to have been also. Given the fact, however, that aspects of Mormon doctrine have been known to change since Joseph Smith’s death (ordaining of blacks to the priesthood, for example) I suppose it is not altogether impossible that official views on the nature of the Holy Ghost might also evolve into new forms.

          • Mike Tannehill

            Very interesting reading. One thing to note is that we have an account of Nephi meeting the Holy Ghost and he states that he is a man. 1 Nephi 11:11

          • Anonymous

            So what? Given the Book of Mormon’s undeniable and insurmountable credibility problems, which have been abundantly pointed out on this and similar forums, that seems, by itself, a rather weak argument.

            Besides, other than insufferable male ego and chauvinism, is there really any compelling reason to suppose that maleness is an indispensible attribute of godhood? This was certainly not always the prevailing assumption. The most ancient human religious writings known, and abundant archeological research abundantly confirm that the very earliest known religions were all polytheistic in nature, with most including both male and female dieties. The earliest written religious records epousing monotheism, featuring only a male diety, appeared thousands of years later, and were thus actually a rather late development.

          • Mike Tannehill

            What mormon would ever deny female deity? The scriptures start out with “Let US make man in OUR image, Male and Female…”
            All I’m saying is that the Holy Ghost is male.

          • Anonymous

            Yes, Mike. I will grant you that Mormons do indeed take that scripture much more literally and are more open to the idea of female deity than other Christians, and certainly much more so than the other two groups of Abrahamic religious sects (Judaism and Islam). Yet it seems that Church authorities bend over backwards to avoid open discussion of a “Heavenly Mother”, and even threaten Church discipline, up to and including excommunication for people who write about Her, especially in anything resembling a worshipful manner. Why the extreme disparity? Why, if she exists, should She be any less venerated, worshipped and/or prayed to than “Heavenly Father?’ Why should she not be regarded as co-equal to or even one of the members of the Godhead? Nothing I have heard or seen you say, so far, even approaches compelling justification for that. But then, since I no longer have much confidence that even God Himself exists (though I can’t claim to be 100% sure He doesn’t), I suppose it doesn’t really matter.

            What does matter to me is how we treat each other, and how honestly and diligently we seek truth while striving to avoid, as much as possible, encumbering our search for truth with confirmation bias, wishful thinking and blind faith.

          • Elder Vader

            I would venture to say that a lot of the reason behind avoiding heavenly mother is not because she is so holy as to not be discussed. Rather the church really really really really wants to avoid talking about polygamy. And pretty much, polygamy talk becomes inevitable very quickly when talking about heavenly mother(s).

          • Anonymous

            I can’t help but agree with you on that. I think you are very probably correct.

    • Glenn Reply

      I have heard it, but I think you have to really search it out anymore to find it. But I think it is all very simple Cam (plain and… ) And for me, it is all illuminated by D&C 132.

      The reason it feels painfully awkward and forced is because it is. The Abrahamic Covenant and the New and Everlasting Covenant of Eternal Marriage was all put in place to justify philandering. It was forced then. It was doomed to fail. It was unsustainable. It eventually had to be removed for legal and political and economic reasons (Manifesto) and reinterpreted in a way that did not discredit former prophets but distanced us form those doomed forced doctrines.

      Today, “Families can be together Forever” is the life raft carrying the remains. And who is going to attack a life raft full of children (both young and old alike) holding hands and smiling and singing about families? Families are good! A great shield! A great smokescreen to hide all of the ugly history behind.

      It’s a harsh message and does not paint the early church leaders in a favorable light, but on the bright side for my TBM friends out there, here’s a little bone for you: maybe Joseph Smith was right after all when he said that Nephi said that the wicked take the truth to be hard.

      • Ozpoof Reply

        Glenn, you seem very intelligent. You also appear to know a lot of the fraud of Mormonism. I know your wife knows you participate actively at ME. Why then are you still mixed up with these fruitcakes?

        I mean you have on record a TBM who admitted he would kill for his religion. It’s just too crazy for real people like you.

        • Glenn Reply

          Well, either:

          a. I’m not quite as intelligent as I seem,
          b. the fraud is in our own minds, not in mormonism
          c. I have no wife
          d. there are no mixed nuts in fruitcake
          e. I don’t believe the TBM would really kill for his religion
          f. I’m too crazy to be real
          g. a little bit of all of these

          • Mike Tannehill

            (In my best Arnold Horshack) “Oh… Oh.. B ! I choose B !”

          • Glenn

            Ah Hell, Mike. I was soooo hoping you would choose E.

            Chalk another one up to failed beliefs, desire be damned.

          • Ozpoof

            If it stinks like a fraud, and all the problems go away when you acknowledge it’s a fraud, and people are happier outside the fraud, it’s a fraud.

            Mike, if you have to bend and omit facts in order for what you believe to match reality, the fraud is in Mormonism. Either that or your God has created tests where all those with logical minds are weeded out of his kingdom by means of deception. Nice God you believe in.

  12. Alastor Moody Reply

    So John, now that we heard a panel of the “faithful”, do we get to hear the historical Abrahamic Covenant and progression of what it was and what is now? To me, it seems that the Abrahamic Covenant has undergone a metamorphosis and is now a doctrine abandoned by time. I would venture to say in a generation it will have gone the way of the Adam-God doctrine or the Deification of Man.

    • Glenn Reply

      I put my toe in the water on this one with the “culture hero” and “identity” comment, but that discussion didn’t get much traction, although Jesse shares your view of the future of the AC in a correlated church, as he mentioned at the end of the podcast. I think there could be some interesting discussions around the historical USE of Abraham as a way to mark group identity and say, “here is how the Israelites did it/do it, here is how the Arabs and Christians do it” and I suspect that you could delve deeper into each group and find even further distinctions and local variations — the northern kingdom of Israel with slightly different versions of the Abraham story to establish themselves as superior to the southern kingdom of Judah, or vice-versa.

      There is also this document The Apocalypse of Abraham which I briefly mentioned on the podcast in reference to Nibley. If I remember correctly, it was written around the time of the early christians — textually it sure reads that way — and it uses Abraham as a way to define who THEY are as a smaller Christian subset and has some very interesting things to show us about how people in another place and another time have used this dude called “Abraham” to say “this is who we are and why we are important” — like Joseph Smith did and like Mike attempted to remind us of on this podcast.

      But you said you have seen the AC undergo a metamorphosis — care to expand?

      • Mike Tannehill Reply

        We should have gone two hours on this one. There was alot more to discuss. I’m up for another round that might include John.

  13. Richard of Norway Reply

    I have to say I really love this episode. Glenn’s input, along with Jesse and the other panelists really make this interesting – even if Mike is trying to turn this into a Sunday School lesson.

    Some comments:
    1. I loved how Tom rolled his eyes and said, “Oh please no.” about the suggestion for an opening prayer. I also liked that Glenn said we should allow it. I had no problem with it, personally. It kinda made me laugh, but at the same time have endearment towards Mike (that’s not the right word, but my English is shaky these days).

    2. I liked how Jesse explained why he finds this topic interesting. The doctrinal web of deceit and confusion.. oh wait, that’s not what he said. Well he called it a web at least. I agree, it’s hard to define, which makes it so insane and nonsensical to most humans.

    3. Mike quotes D&C 1, which supposedly comes to Joseph Smith through his visitation by Angel Moroni. There are so many problems with this. Let me mention just a couple: [1] “Angel Moroni” was originally not Moroni but Nephi, at least that’s what Joseph called him in the early years and who many (if not most) people close to him (including his mother, wife, etc) always understood him to be. [2] Are we to really believe that Joseph knew the Bible so well that any random verse quoted to him (from an angel or anybody) would be recognizable to Joseph and that he would automatically know book, chapter and verse – and even that it “differed slightly” from what was in the Bible? Did Joseph have a photographic memory? Did he have the whole stinking Bible memorized? To me, this just sounds so post-event-manufactured I find it incredibly difficult to swallow.

    4. Really enjoyed Glenn’s attempt at an allegory with the dandelion sprouts. Very nice. But it didn’t seem like Mike really responded to it. I was hoping for a “yes, that’s how it is” or a “well, not really, no” answer.

    The crazy thing about this Abrahamic Covenant nonsense, is how so many brilliant, well educated people, including a bunch of BYU professors apparently, can honestly believe in the stuff, in spite of it being so entirely undefined and undefinable and with complete lack of meaning. It means anything, nothing, and everything. It is an all-encompassing glob of hogwash.

    So, what happens exactly to those who are cut away?

    But Mike can not answer it. He responds with something like, “Well, let me tell the opposite.”

    I really liked Jesse(?)’s comments about the idea that the whole family is either lost or saved based on my obedience or lack of. “It just seems like spiritual Amway.” (freaking hilarious!) “It seems so disconnected from the Atonement, personal responsibility and people being punished for their own transgressions.” – which is an excellent point. Mike responds with, “Abrahamic Covenant is an expansion of baptism.” Ok, how? Why? WTF?

    16:38 Mike: “The purpose of the HG is to give us the mind of god. What you’re talking about is viewing one another, not just as family but as a great spiritual family, and you’ve gained a little bit of the mentality of why Christ sacrificed himself for us. Why The Father goes through so much trouble for us. Because he wants you to have that inheritance. He wants you to have that family name that he can give you all things, and help you see things the way he sees them. That’s what this is all about: gaining the mind of our Father in heaven and viewing things the way He does.”

    A lot of words with almost zero substance. But at least we get a hint of Mike’s “family name” doctrinal roots.

    I wonder how all that fluff explains how anything (a “covenant”) is supposed to tie (or “bind”) together family members? This makes no sense at all to anybody with an ability to think rationally outside the box.

    19:00 Mike: “This Abrahamic covenant is what ties you into the Celestial Kingdom. Because you’re not just expanding it to yourself, you’re expanding it to your family. Does that make sense?”

    No! It makes no sense at all Mike.

    Where exactly does the “covenant” come into the picture? Why is there any need of a so-called covenant? How would all this nonsense work without a covenant? Seems to me it could work exactly the same way. With it, or without it, there seems to be no difference at all. So what’s the point? How does it change anything?

    These are my notes so far. I’m at the 20-minute mark. I’ll post more thoughts in another comment but want to post this before it all gets lost…

    • Anonymous Reply

      Once again, you have said what I wish I was eloquent enough to say!

      I also got a kick out of that “It just seems like spiritual Amway” comment. :0

    • Mike Tannehill Reply

      Richard,
      Sorry I’m late in replying to this.

      First: I did answer Glenn’s question in regards to those who are cut away or leave the covenant. They lose both root and branch and are left to themselves. They are without family and are therefore removed from the blessings of that family.

      Salvation is not an individual affair. We are not saved individually or singly. I cannot be saved without my wife at my side nor can she be saved without me at her side. Together we have no hope of salvation if we have not done all in our power to see that each of our children has lived worthy of the blessings of heaven; nor have we hope of salvation if we have not labored with the community of saints for the establishment and welfare of zion. The command given to Adam and Eve to multiply and replentish the earth certainly did not come without responsibility to our children nor are we as children without responsibility to our parents. If you cut yourself off from this support, you cut yourself off from the heavenly family and its household.

      What you say “does not make sense” is the work of our Father in Heaven. You cannot hope to dwell with the Father if you have not learned to see the world and its people through His eyes and done His work.

      In regards to covenants, see my first entry to the blogs.

      • Richard of Norway Reply

        Thanks Mike,
        I’m sure you answered everything appropriately and to your own satisfaction, I’m just not so sure anybody else would agree that your answers were clear – or satisfying.

        Salvation is not an individual affair. We are not saved individually or singly. I cannot be saved without my wife at my side nor can she be saved without me at her side.

        Well, please don’t tell my wife that or she’ll be pretty upset. I had this discussion with her just last week, asking how comfortable she was with the doctrine that she can only enter heaven (Top Level Of CelestKing) with her husband’s help and permission. (considering that I a no longer a member.) I mean, the husband is literally supposed to pull her through the veil! She smiled and confidently answered: “I’m going to make it just fine on my own.” I guess she’s in for a big surprise in the afterlife.

        What you say “does not make sense” is the work of our Father in Heaven.

        No, I think it is the confusion of deluded minds. It does not make sense, even to most (all?) of this episode’s panelists, besides yourself.

        You cannot hope to dwell with the Father if you have not learned to see the world and its people through His eyes and done His work.

        I am pretty sure I have done that Mike. I saw the world “through his eyes” (or rather, the eyes of Him as painted through Mormonism and it’s leaders) and I did His work all my adult life, up until the day I quit believing. I served a successful mission. Was a member-missionary after my mission. Did everything the church expects members to do, including sacrificing my own free time and money for the good of the church.

        It’s a bunch of hogwash Mike, and you can’t even explain it in a way that anybody besides yourself and a few top-tier deluded church leaders can understand.

        Shouldn’t truth be plain and simple? Shouldn’t it at least be comprehensible to the common man? The only way people can believe this crap is to be born and raised in the church, or to know almost nothing of the outside (real) world. It seems anybody with a little life experience can’t swallow this particlar brand of gospel kool-aid, dude.

      • Glenn Reply

        Mike — No, you did not anser my question. I still don’t get it, and this convoluted scattershot explanation doesn’t help. Here’s how you can help. Five words or less — from what are we “saved?”

      • Glenn Reply

        Mike — No, you did not anser my question. I still don’t get it, and this convoluted scattershot explanation doesn’t help. Here’s how you can help. Five words or less — from what are we “saved?”

  14. Anon Reply

    I’m new to this-but want to ask a question. I am the sole-member in my family ie. parental but my wife has active parents. From what I can understand, she’s got an advantage over me because she’s born in the covenant? She’s pretty much saved if they stay true but I’m on my own? Except I also have responsibility for my kids. Doesn’t seem fair. Am I misunderstanding Mike?

    • Mike Tannehill Reply

      In your situation you are expected to look back on your heritage and do their temple work for them. On your wifes part she can suppose that her progenitors are using their priesthood to bless your family and ensure that responsibilities are placed upon you to help you grow up in the gospel.Your wife is not automatically saved, she can just expect better opportunities as God honors the work of her family.

      • Glenn Reply

        Mike — so God, who is “no respecter of persons” actually is? Because he gives “better opportunities” and he “honors” the work of her family???

        I heard a girl give a talk once in sac meeting about the dangers of prayer, and she said “be careful what you pray for, because God will give you what you ask!” and she told a bunch of ridiculous stories. One was that she prayed that her benched father would get into a church softball game. And as soon as she said ‘amen’ a guy from the other team slid into 2nd base, hitting the 2nd baseman and breaking his leg. Lucky her — her father came out to replace him. But still… poor 2nd baseman, so be careful what you pray for, because God will give it to you. He will honor that prayer.

        Oh yeah? Well, what about the prayer at the beginning of the game that they all play safely without injury? It was a church game, you know they said that! What about the 2nd baseman’s daughter praying that daddy wouldn’t get hurt? Or his wife? Or himself? Weren’t THEY in the Abrahamic Covenant, too? Why would God give on girls’ daddy a “better opportunity” or honor her works (of praying for her daddy) over someone else in the exact same covenant?

        I realiza that this is just one very small anecdotal example, but Mike — WHAT YOU ARE SAYING MAKES NO PRACTICAL SENSE!!! You just repeat what you are supposed to repeat. Show me that you think about it in the real world. How would something like this work? I’m just baffled. But I guess I love it.

      • brandt Reply

        Let me analyze this from my perspective:

        “In your situation you are expected to look back on your heritage and do their temple work for them.”

        – I agree. This is what the temple is for, to give those who have passed on an opportunity to accept or reject. Who knows what they’ll do, but this I agree with.

        “On your wifes part she can suppose that her progenitors are using their priesthood to bless your family and ensure that responsibilities are placed upon you to help you grow up in the gospel.”

        – How would her progenitors use their priesthood to bless his family? On one hand, I can see it through teaching them in the afterlife about the gospel, but what were you referring to?

        “Your wife is not automatically saved, she can just expect better opportunities as God honors the work of her family.”

        – What does the phrase “better opportunities” mean? Is she a better person because her family were believing members, and he is the first in his family? Because for my situation, that’s the case? Is God going to bless her more for having a righteous family? The problem with this scenario is it’s taking out personal works. If God is no respecter of persons, then shouldn’t the case be that everyone is on an equal playing field, according to the information they’ve been given?

        • Mike Tannehill Reply

          In response to your question I’ll share with you two examples of the Abrahamic Covenant in action, and you can judge for yourself as to how it all works. The first is a recent news article about Joseph Smiths extended family. It states:

          “During this visit my husband, confided in him that he was a third great-grandson of Emma and Joseph, the first of Joseph’s posterity to receive the Melchizedek Priesthood, and had been the President of the Joseph Smith Jr. family since the mid 1980’s. He explained further that he had received a charge from President Gordon B. Hinckley to create opportunities for the posterity of Joseph Smith to be receptive to the teachings of the gospel.

          The first impression Michael felt guiding him towards accomplishing this charge was, “If you do not have very many members of your family on this side of the veil who are members of the Church, it is because you do not have very many members of your family on the other side of the veil who are members of the Church; for it is those whose temple work has been completed who can impact the lives of their living posterity so they become receptive to the teachings of the gospel.”

          We can gauge from this that it makes a difference to have the power of the priesthood active in your family in binding and sealing the blessings of the gospel on both sides of the veil. Either the family here reaching back, or the family there reaching forward.

          Another exampleis from Bruce R McConkie’s call to the twelve apostles. The following account is given by his son:
          “When I saw dad after the solemn assembly in which he was sustained, the first thing I asked him was, “Was your call the same as Heber J Grant’s?” Interestingly, Oscar had asked him the same question. His response was, “Yes.” he indicated that he knew by revelation that his call came in large measure to honor his father. During Elder McConkie’s first speech as an apostle, Amelia did not hear the voice of her husband as he spoke but the voice of his father. I think, however, that his call came not just in honor of his father but also in fulfillment of promises given to faithful progenitors
          reaching back some generations, for the promise given them as a reward for their faith was that righteous men and women would come of their loins and that prophets would be among their number.
          That our generation is blessed by the deeds of those who went before us is not simply a matter of family pride. it is an eternal principle. As dad said so often, “Salvation is a family affair,” and it centers in the idea that we are not alone and that “root” and “branch” are indeed inseperable. These are principles to which all families have equal claim. In describing his call to the apostleship, Elder Spencer W. Kimball wrote: “I thought of my father and mother and my grandfather, Heber C. Kimball, and my other relatives that had been passed from the earth for long years and wondered what part they had had, if any, in this call, and if they approved of me and felt that I would qualify. I wondered if they had influenced, in any way, the decision that I should be called. I felt strangely near them, nearer than ever in my life.

          So there are two examples of the Abrahamic Covenant in action. You can see how the priesthood ties have power and influence on families, and a right and privilege to request special assitance.

  15. Steve Reply

    Couldn’t get passed the Heavenly Father prayer, puked all over my Mac thanks! The voice and approach gives me the cult shivers. If you do that shiot again I will personally make someone pay. Post Mormon Traumatic Stress Syndrome is real people.

  16. Steve Reply

    Dr Lifton, World renowned cult expert, not a Mormon nor does he give a dang about Mormons but an expert on cults explains the damage done by cults and the act of what just happened on your podcast you ought to do some un-Mormon reading on the topic of cults sometime: And be a bit more sensitive

    Milieu Control – The control of information and communication.
    Mystical Manipulation – The manipulation of experiences that appear spontaneous but in fact were planned and orchestrated.
    Demand for Purity – The world is viewed as black and white and the members are constantly exhorted to conform to the ideology of the group and strive for perfection.
    Confession – Sins, as defined by the group, are to be confessed either to a personal monitor or publicly to the group.
    Sacred Science – The group’s doctrine or ideology is considered to be the ultimate Truth, beyond all questioning or dispute.
    Loading the Language – The group interprets or uses words and phrases in new ways so that often the outside world does not understand.
    Doctrine over person – The member’s personal experiences are subordinated to the sacred science and any contrary experiences must be denied or reinterpreted to fit the ideology of the group.
    Dispensing of existence – The group has the prerogative to decide who has the right to exist and who does not.

    Bye Mormon Expression

    • Glenn Reply

      I read this Steve and I see huge irony in your reaction to Mike’s prayer, which you want banned from ME at the point of what sounded (in another post) like a threat.

      And here is a sincere promise to you and to everyone else on this board: In the future, if there is ever an audible prayer to kick off a Mormon Expression episode that I am involved in, I will exert all of my influence to get a warning on the outside, like the explicit sign or something, so that we don’t have to subject people unknowingly to a prayer.

      There goes my big plans for a Daniel in the Lion’s Den podcast. I was going to being in real live lions and everything.

  17. Anonymous Reply

    Mike, as one of the panelists said at the end, “you’re a good guy.” It is hard not to like you and to not appreciate your concern for us “infidels”, but it honestly seems to me that what you were trying to explain on this podcast is a prime example of the obscuring “chaff” in religious doctrine to which I referred in the comments I made to your latest blog entry.

    I still think that a just and loving God would care far more about how we treat each other than about such things as “Abrahamic Covenants” or about how or into which church or even whether we were baptized. Nor can I accept that a just and loving God would be so barbaric as to require that his only truly blameless son be cruelly tortured to death or suffer unimaginably excruciating agonies in the Garden of Gethsemane to atone for everyone’s sins, before he can allow himself to forgive his other children, however repentant, for sins committed during mortality. Any mortal father who did that would be justifiably judged criminally insane! Why is it even slightly less insane for God to operate that way?

  18. Elder Vader Reply

    Urim and Thummim App — Just unbelievable. It’s golden nuggets like this that keep me coming back to ME.

    For about 5 of the last 10 years my main callings have been either primary, sunday school, or elders quorum instructor, or some combination. So I’ve had to bring up the Abrahamic covenant on several occasions in my lesson-teaching. And I must say that if this podcast represents the TBM view of the Abrahamic covenant, then I have been a non-TBM for a long, long time. This podcast made me feel outside the mainstream of the LDS church more than any other ME podcast I have listened to so far. I would have taken the topic of Abrahamic covenant a much different direction, and it made me wonder if even as a TBM I was way out in left field compared to other TBM’s.

      • Elder Vader Reply

        How I expected the conversation to go on the Abrahamic Covenant:

        Focus on the blessings of the Abrahamic Covenant – Posterity, Prosperity, Protection
        Walk through different manifestations of the abrahamic covenant, with the different manifestations of the blessings – Abraham, Moses & Israel, King David, Lehi, King Benjamin etc…

        Talk about the temple as if it were a backup system for Heavenly Father’s project of bringing to pass the immortality and eternal life of man. Talk about how the blessings of the abrahamic covenant apply long term in terms of the temple promises.

        Talk about how the atonement acts as another layer of reckoning up injustices, so if something seems unfair now, Christ can make it all better later.

        I must have willfully forgotten all the Bruce R. McConkie quotes, and Joseph Fielding Smith quotes.

        Lets add another book to the ME book club reading list. Joseph Fielding McConkie’s book: “Overly Simplistic Answers to Gospel Questions You Shouldn’t Have Asked”

        • Elder Vader Reply

          I’ve personally 1984’d out polygamy from the discussion of Abrahamic covenant. I must have done this a long time ago.

          Also, the in the podcast I kept remembering an essay I read years back called: Priesthood, Patriarchy, and Proxy Salvation – by Avraham Gileadi. Thinking that while very wacky in a Cleon Skousen sort of way, it was much more internally consistent, and logically rigorous. — But that essay also is just so far off the beaten path that most LDS people tread that Gileadi was exiled from BYU for it, and other writings of his. (Gileadi’s sin? He took the scriptures way too literally)

          • brandt

            Avraham is an intriguing character to me. Having been excommunicated as part of the September Six, he is the only one to not rail against the church, comes back, is re-baptized and has everything restored, and now refuses to even discuss the situation.

            Apparently his books “The Last Days” and “Isaiah: Decoded” are phenomenal (haven’t had a chance to read them yet, though if you get “The Last Days” apparently the 2nd edition is great).

            I’ve heard that it was based around a combination of wrong-place wrong-time, really out-there speculation on the “One Might and Strong” and the Davidic King. Heavy stuff that might basically dethrone current LDS Leadership, and he was gathering a bit of a following behind him. While that’s all hearsay, it’s also widely accepted that Gileadi is one of the foremost LDS scholars in Isaiah.

          • Elder Vader

            Yeah, I feel bad for the guy. Truly, who can read through the D&C and Pearl of Great Price without coming up with at least one off-the-wall theory? Attempting to piece everything together is going to make you crazy at some level. He just happened to publish his off the wall theory, while teaching in the BYU religion department. Sucks to be him.

            Here’s what you do. Rather than trying to make it all fit together, which doesn’t work very well (listen to this podcast on the Abrahamic Covenant again if you doubt me) you just take whatever scripture, and boil it down to the nearest relevant commandment, then stymie any effort to come up with a unified narrative, because that narrative will inevitably break down with enough data.

            This scripture means you need to pay your tithing. – (note, no scriptures should lead you to pay less tithing)
            This scripture means you need to do your home teaching consistently.
            This scripture means you need to serve your calling more faithfully.
            This scripture means you need to be more honest
            This scripture means you need to be less honest.
            Be nice to your family etc…

  19. Elder Vader Reply

    How I expected the conversation to go on the Abrahamic Covenant:

    Focus on the blessings of the Abrahamic Covenant – Posterity, Prosperity, Protection
    Walk through different manifestations of the abrahamic covenant, with the different manifestations of the blessings – Abraham, Moses & Israel, King David, Lehi, King Benjamin etc…

    Talk about the temple as if it were a backup system for Heavenly Father’s project of bringing to pass the immortality and eternal life of man. Talk about how the blessings of the abrahamic covenant apply long term in terms of the temple promises.

    Talk about how the atonement acts as another layer of reckoning up injustices, so if something seems unfair now, Christ can make it all better later.

    I must have willfully forgotten all the Bruce R. McConkie quotes, and Joseph Fielding Smith quotes.

    Lets add another book to the ME book club reading list. Joseph Fielding McConkie’s book: “Overly Simplistic Answers to Gospel Questions You Shouldn’t Have Asked”

    • brandt Reply

      I’d also throw in there a more in-depth discussion of what the “chosen people” mean, who they are, what they do, etc. Do they apply to only Jews, or Mormons, or Christians, etc. You’ve got a good start here, E. Vader!

  20. Listening in Iraq Reply

    Mike, these were your concluding words of the podcast:

    “It is the gospel. This is saying, be like your Father in Heaven, that’s all this is. Glen, be like your Father in Heaven, and as you act like you Father in Heaven you will receive the blessings associated from acting that way. This isn’t just saying be Christ like, it is saying be a Father in Zion.”

    Let’s compare your definition of the Gospel with Christ’s definition.

    3 Nephi 27:13-21 “Behold I have given unto you my gospel, and this is the gospel which I have given unto you—that I came into the world to do the will of my Father, because my Father sent me. And my Father sent me that I might be lifted up upon the cross; and after that I had been lifted up upon the cross, that I might draw all men unto me, that as I have been lifted up by men even so should men be lifted up by the Father, to stand before me, to be judged of their works, whether they be good or whether they be evil—And for this cause have I been lifted up; therefore, according to the power of the Father I will draw all men unto me, that they may be judged according to their works. And it shall come to pass, that whoso repenteth and is baptized in my name shall be filled; and if he endureth to the end, behold, him will I hold guiltless before my Father at that day when I shall stand to judge the world. And he that endureth not unto the end, the same is he that is also hewn down and cast into the fire, from whence they can no more return, because of the justice of the Father. And this is the word which he hath given unto the children of men. And for this cause he fulfilleth the words which he hath given, and he lieth not, but fulfilleth all his words. And no unclean thing can enter into his kingdom; therefore nothing entereth into his rest save it be those who have washed their garments in my blood, because of their faith, and the repentance of all their sins, and their faithfulness unto the end. Now this is the commandment: Repent, all ye ends of the earth, and come unto me and be baptized in my name, that ye may be sanctified by the reception of the Holy Ghost, that ye may stand spotless before me at the last day. Verily, verily, I say unto you, this is my gospel; and ye know the things that ye must do in my church; for the works which ye have seen me do that shall ye also do; for that which ye have seen me do even that shall ye do;”

    &

    3 Nephi 11: 40 “And whoso shall declare more or less than this, and establish it for my doctrine, the same cometh of evil, and is not built upon my rock; but he buildeth upon a sandy foundation, and the gates of hell stand open to receive such when the floods come and the winds beat upon them.”

    Mike, are you preaching “another gospel”? Are you adding to the “Gospel of Jesus Christ” as stated in the Book of Mormon (which contains the Fullness of the Gospel)? What does “fullness of the gospel” mean to you? If the Book of Mormon does contain the fullness of the gospel, can you make the same arguments?

  21. Listening in Iraq Reply

    Mike, these were your concluding words of the podcast:

    “It is the gospel. This is saying, be like your Father in Heaven, that’s all this is. Glen, be like your Father in Heaven, and as you act like you Father in Heaven you will receive the blessings associated from acting that way. This isn’t just saying be Christ like, it is saying be a Father in Zion.”

    Let’s compare your definition of the Gospel with Christ’s definition.

    3 Nephi 27:13-21 “Behold I have given unto you my gospel, and this is the gospel which I have given unto you—that I came into the world to do the will of my Father, because my Father sent me. And my Father sent me that I might be lifted up upon the cross; and after that I had been lifted up upon the cross, that I might draw all men unto me, that as I have been lifted up by men even so should men be lifted up by the Father, to stand before me, to be judged of their works, whether they be good or whether they be evil—And for this cause have I been lifted up; therefore, according to the power of the Father I will draw all men unto me, that they may be judged according to their works. And it shall come to pass, that whoso repenteth and is baptized in my name shall be filled; and if he endureth to the end, behold, him will I hold guiltless before my Father at that day when I shall stand to judge the world. And he that endureth not unto the end, the same is he that is also hewn down and cast into the fire, from whence they can no more return, because of the justice of the Father. And this is the word which he hath given unto the children of men. And for this cause he fulfilleth the words which he hath given, and he lieth not, but fulfilleth all his words. And no unclean thing can enter into his kingdom; therefore nothing entereth into his rest save it be those who have washed their garments in my blood, because of their faith, and the repentance of all their sins, and their faithfulness unto the end. Now this is the commandment: Repent, all ye ends of the earth, and come unto me and be baptized in my name, that ye may be sanctified by the reception of the Holy Ghost, that ye may stand spotless before me at the last day. Verily, verily, I say unto you, this is my gospel; and ye know the things that ye must do in my church; for the works which ye have seen me do that shall ye also do; for that which ye have seen me do even that shall ye do;”

    &

    3 Nephi 11: 40 “And whoso shall declare more or less than this, and establish it for my doctrine, the same cometh of evil, and is not built upon my rock; but he buildeth upon a sandy foundation, and the gates of hell stand open to receive such when the floods come and the winds beat upon them.”

    Mike, are you preaching “another gospel”? Are you adding to the “Gospel of Jesus Christ” as stated in the Book of Mormon (which contains the Fullness of the Gospel)? What does “fullness of the gospel” mean to you? If the Book of Mormon does contain the fullness of the gospel, can you make the same arguments?

  22. Listening in Iraq Reply

    Let’s debunk D&C 132:

    The Story of Helen Mar Kimball

    “In 1843 Apostle Heber C. Kimball had an important talk with his only daughter, fourteen-year-old Helen Mar. She wrote: “Without any preliminaries [my Father] asked me if I would believe him if he told me that it was right for married men to take other wives…The first impulse was anger…my sensibilities were painfully touched. I felt such a sense of personal injury and displeasure; for to mention such a thing to me I thought altogether unworthy of my father, and as quick as he spoke, I replied to him, short and emphatically, ‘No I wouldn’t!’…This was the first time that I ever openly manifested anger towards him…Then he commenced talking seriously and reasoned and explained the principle, and why it was again to be established upon the earth. [This] had a similar effect to a sudden shock of a small earthquake.”

    Then father “asked me if I would be sealed to Joseph…[and] left me to reflect upon it for the next twenty-four hours…I was sceptical-one minute believed, then doubted. I thought of the love and tenderness that he felt for his only daughter, and I knew that he would not cast her off, and this
    was the only convincing proof that I had of its being right. I knew that he loved me too well to teach me anything that was not strictly pure, virtuous and exalting in its tendencies; and no one else could have influenced me at that time or brought me to accept of a doctrine so utterly repugnant and so contrary to all of our former ideas and traditions.” Unknown to Helen Mar, Heber and Joseph had already discussed the prospect of Helen Mar becoming one of Joseph’s wives. Heber now sought her agreement. Helen recalls, “Having a great desire to be connected with the Prophet Joseph, he offered me to him; this I afterwards learned from the Prophet’s own mouth. My father had but one Ewe Lamb, but willingly laid her upon the alter”

    The next morning Joseph visited the Kimball home. “[He explained] the principle of Celestial marrage…After which he said to me, ‘If you will take this step, it will ensure your eternal salvation & exaltation and that of your father’s household & all of your kindred.[‘] This promise was so
    great that I willingly gave myself to purchase so glorious a reward. None but God & his angels could see my mother’s bleeding heart-when Joseph asked her if she was willing…She had witnessed the sufferings of others, who were older & who better understood the step they were taking, & to see her child, who had scarcely seen her fifteenth summer, following in the same thorny path, in her mind she saw the misery which was as sure to come…; but it was all hidden from me.” Helen’s mother reluctantly agreed and in May of 1843, Helen married Joseph Smith.”

    Christ clearly stated his gospel in the Book of Mormon. The Gospel is FAITH, REPENTANCE & BAPTISM OF WATER AND OF THE HOLY SPIRIT! This is the path to Salvation (Salvation = Redemption = All the Father Hath = Heirs of God, Joint Heirs of Christ = Eternal Life = Exaltation).

    Again Christ stated that “whoso shall declare more or less than this, and establish it for my doctrine, the same cometh of evil, and is not built upon my rock; but he buildeth upon a sandy foundation, and the gates of hell stand open to receive such when the floods come and the winds beat upon them.”

    D&C 130-132 changes/adds to the equation: “And in order to obtain the highest, a man must enter into this order of the priesthood [meaning the new and everlasting covenant of marriage]; And if he does not, he cannot obtain it.”

    In the story of Helen Mar Kimball, Joseph Smith clearly changed the path to salvation. Salvation is no longer achieved through ‘Christ’ but through ‘obedience to polygamy’.

    That is “Another Gospel”!

    I have a passionate testimony of the Gospel of Christ as contained the Bible and Book of Mormon. I reject any other gospel.

    • Glenn Reply

      Nicely written. But it can all be rolled into “faith” can’t it? Faith without works is dead. How are you going to show god your faith? What are you willing to sacrifice? Are you willing to sacrifice even as father Abraham? I don’t see that this has to be another gospel. And neither did Joseph or the people who showed forth their works unto him.

      I was interested in this account at Vilate’s apparent struggle watching her daughter be married off to the Prophet. She supposedly saw an angel who told her (in her own case, when she was the object of the request) that it was all alright — right? So if she saw an angel, and had this firm testimony of Joseph, why the concern about her daughter being sealed in the glorious new and everlasting covenant of eternal marriage? That doesn’t quite add up here, doest it? Interesting.

    • Glenn Reply

      Nicely written. But it can all be rolled into “faith” can’t it? Faith without works is dead. How are you going to show god your faith? What are you willing to sacrifice? Are you willing to sacrifice even as father Abraham? I don’t see that this has to be another gospel. And neither did Joseph or the people who showed forth their works unto him.

      I was interested in this account at Vilate’s apparent struggle watching her daughter be married off to the Prophet. She supposedly saw an angel who told her (in her own case, when she was the object of the request) that it was all alright — right? So if she saw an angel, and had this firm testimony of Joseph, why the concern about her daughter being sealed in the glorious new and everlasting covenant of eternal marriage? That doesn’t quite add up here, doest it? Interesting.

      • Listening in Iraq Reply

        3 Nephi 9:19-22 And ye shall offer up unto me no more the shedding of blood; yea, your sacrifices and your burnt offerings shall be done away, for I will accept none of your sacrifices and your burnt offerings. And ye shall offer for a SACRIFICE unto me a BROKEN HEART AND A CONTRITE SPIRIT. And whoso cometh unto me with a broken heart and a contrite spirit, him will I baptize with fire and with the Holy Ghost, even as the Lamanites, because of their faith in me at the time of their conversion, were baptized with fire and with the Holy Ghost, and they knew it not. Behold, I have come unto the world to bring redemption unto the world, to save the world from sin. Therefore, whoso repenteth and cometh unto me bas a little child, him will I receive, for of such is the kingdom of God. Behold, for such I have laid down my life, and have taken it up again; therefore repent, and come unto me ye ends of the earth, and be saved.

  23. Buffalo Reply

    I can’t help liking Mike, even though I disagree with him on everything. Cool episode.

  24. Carl S. Reply

    Most ridiculous load of BS I have ever heard. Your token TBM is a total nut job.

  25. Carl S. Reply

    Most ridiculous load of BS I have ever heard. Your token TBM is a total nut job.

  26. Eric Reply

    Tom summarized it best when he kept saying, “But that’s just so stupid, it’s so stupid!”

  27. JT Reply

    My freshman roommate loved to play Dungeons and Dragons. It was very important to him. He had ambitions. He was determined to be a dungeon master by the end of the year. He would “pull all-nighters” playing with his friends. They had costumes.

    I remember asking him to explain the rules and the point … I am sure they made perfect sense to him.

    Listening to Mike and the panel reminded me of my roommate our conversation. I left this podcast feeling like the Abrahamic covenant was part of some half-baked fantasy board game that provides a feeling of making sense as long as you don’t ask too many questions. Or maybe I just am too stupid to get this plain and simple Gospel truth.

    • Heather Reply

      I agree with you on this point, JT. It’s always been my opinion that things which are “true” are easy to understand and plainly laid out. It seems to me that the Abrahamic covenant, as believed by the super devout LDS crowd, involves scripture chasing. I was reminded of “A Beautiful Mind” when someone finally got into Russell Crowe’s office and saw all of the craziness — the walls covered in newspaper articles with words and sentences circles, the lines between each of those sentences and words, etc. What seemed like a simple, cohesive experience to Russell Crowe’s character was recognized as a mental problem by those on the outside. I’m not saying that people who believe in the Abrahamic Covenant are crazy. I just picked that example to illustrate a point. You’ll see the same sort of “cherry picking” and forced associations in pretty much any conspiracy theory out there.

      • JT Reply

        Heather,

        Yes, I like your “beautiful Mind” example as a caricature of such a religious disposition or personality. Some people are really intrigued by elaborate constructions that provide them a feeling of connecting all the puzzle pieces – getting everything to fit perfectly. And all the better if it provides some room for creative imagination (a.k.a inspiration).

        There is also the satisfaction of developing a certain virtuosity – developing the esoteric and extensive knowledge associated with this proclivity. I won’t call it pride, it’s genuine satisfaction and I don’t begrudge people this – unless it goes off the rails and motivates ugly behavior, such as racism, polygamy/andry, sexism, and even Old Testament genocide.

        Thanks for your response.

        Cheers

        JT

        • Mike Tannehill Reply

          I think what went wrong is that instead of following the timeline of the restoration where we see the doctrine layed out for us we tended to get sidetracked quite a bit. If we had planned the discussion out like a normal podcast it may have gone better. Ill try not to do it “lesson format” ever again

          • Anonymous

            Why isn’t there one, cohesive explanation? A sermon on the mount type moment? Or a list of laws to obey, like the big 10? Why are “tidbits” spread out in different scriptures? Why are all of them metaphorical, requiring interpretation?

            If this covenant is so incredibly vital to our salvation, why did God make it so obscure? Why not lay it out plainly? The principles of the gospel that I held to be plain and precious didn’t require cherry picking scriptures and then reinterpreting their meanings.

          • Mike Tannehill

            It really isnt that hard to understand. If you keep your marriage covenant your family is tied together in Christ and you all inherit the family blessings. One of those blessings is that the Lord will watch over your posterity and make the covenants of the gospel available to them. The scriptures I brought up in the podcast walk you through an understanding of the covenant and give examples of it in action.

            JSH 1:38-39
            Title page of the BOM : paragraph 2
            3 Nephi 20:25-27
            Acts 2:37-39
            D&C 132 28-31
            D&C 86 8-11
            ABR 1:1-2, 2:8-11
            D&C 107: 40-41, 53-56
            D&C 132:19

          • Mike Tannehill

            A point of interest is that Abrahams father was an apostate. Despite this break in the covenant, the power of the covenant reached through that broken link and compelled Abraham to seek out further light and knowledge and become a powerful patriarch himself.

          • Mike Tannehill

            A point of interest is that Abrahams father was an apostate. Despite this break in the covenant, the power of the covenant reached through that broken link and compelled Abraham to seek out further light and knowledge and become a powerful patriarch himself.

          • Gale

            That still doesn’t make sense, and is not something I would think of as ‘just’ or ‘right’.

            What happens if my wife and I don’t enter into those covenants? Is our posterity disadvantaged as compared to the posterity of someone who does enter into those covenants? Why? Am I privileged because my parents entered into those covenants over someone whose parents didn’t? How is that fair?

            If we are not punished for Adam’s transgression we shouldn’t be rewarded for his faithfulness. We should be rewarded or punished based on our own actions, or all equally advantaged or disadvantaged. To do otherwise turns God into a respecter of persons, which makes God and his covenants decidedly unjust.

            If you claim that all are ultimately beneficiaries of the Abrahamic covenant (in order to make God fair and just), then the Abrahamic covenant has no real significance as it makes no difference to our life here or in the “hereafter”.

          • Mike Tannehill

            The Lord honors those who keep his commandments. For example the Lord consumed the offerings of Elijah while ignoring the pleas of the priests of Baal. And who was Baal? He was the great father over all other gods. So why were the pleas of one set of priests ignored and the prayer of Elijah respected?

          • FWAnson

            OR . . . could it be that Baal was a false, man-contrived god incapable of doing anything, just as the Biblical narrative states again, again, and again AND as the Mount Carmel narrative was illustrating:

            1 Kings 18 (JST)
            21 And Elijah came unto all the people, and said, How long halt ye between two opinions? if the Lord be God, follow him; but if Baal, then follow him. And the people answered him not a word.

            22 Then said Elijah unto the people, I, even I only, remain a prophet of the Lord; but Baal’s prophets are four hundred and fifty men.

            23 Let them therefore give us two bullocks; and let them choose one bullock for themselves, and cut it in pieces, and lay it on wood, and put no fire under; and I will dress the other bullock, and lay it on wood, and put no fire under;

            24 And call ye on the name of your gods, and I will call on the name of the Lord; and the God that answereth by fire, let him be God. And all the people answered and said, It is well spoken.

            25 And Elijah said unto the prophets of Baal, Choose you one bullock for yourselves, and dress it first; for ye are many; and call on the name of your gods, but put no fire under.

            26 And they took the bullock which was given them, and they dressed it, and called on the name of Baal from morning even until noon, saying, O Baal, hear us. But there was no voice, nor any that answered. And they leaped upon the altar which was made.

            27 And it came to pass at noon, that Elijah mocked them, and said, Cry aloud; for he is a god; either he is talking, or he is pursuing, or he is in a journey, or peradventure he sleepeth, and must be awaked.

            28 And they cried aloud, and cut themselves after their manner with knives and lancets, till the blood gushed out upon them.

            29 And it came to pass, when midday was past, and they prophesied until the time of the offering of the evening sacrifice, that there was neither voice, nor any to answer, nor any that regarded.

            30 And Elijah said unto all the people, Come near unto me. And all the people came near unto him. And he repaired the altar of the Lord that was broken down.

            31 And Elijah took twelve stones, according to the number of the tribes of the sons of Jacob, unto whom the word of the Lord came, saying, Israel shall be thy name;

            32 And with the stones he built an altar in the name of the Lord; and he made a trench about the altar, as great as would contain two measures of seed.

            33 And he put the wood in order, and cut the bullock in pieces, and laid him on the wood, and said, Fill four barrels with water, and pour it on the burnt sacrifice, and on the wood.

            34 And he said, Do it the second time. And they did it the second time. And he said, Do it the third time. And they did it the third time.

            35 And the water ran round about the altar; and he filled the trench also with water.

            36 And it came to pass at the time of the offering of the evening sacrifice, that Elijah the prophet came near, and said, Lord God of Abraham, Isaac, and of Israel, let it be known this day that thou art God in Israel, and that I am thy servant, and that I have done all these things at thy word.

            37 Hear me, O Lord, hear me, that this people may know that thou art the Lord God, and thou mayest turn their heart back again.

            38 Then the fire of the Lord fell, and consumed the burnt sacrifice, and the wood, and the stones, and the dust, and licked up the water that was in the trench.

            39 And when all the people saw it, they fell on their faces; and they said, the Lord, he is the God; the Lord, he is the God.

            I will say this Mike, you are a master of eisogesis!

          • Glenn

            Nice — a new word. eisogesis: subjectivism. Reading into text something that isn’t there at all. Greek. Same root as exegesis with different prefix. “eis” means “into.”

            exegesis: objectivism. To explain what the Scripture says. Greek, ‘to guide out of.” “ex” means “from” or “out of”

            I like it. Thanks FWAnson.

            I still don’t think that Mike is the master of anything except repeating other people’s eisogesis, and even then I think he mixes things up and convolutes things a bit (i.e. ‘doctrine of names’), but I still really enjoy the way he does that and am impressed at what he has retained, even as retarted as it can sometimes be. 😉

            I’m sure I do it, too.

          • FWAnson

            Indeed, we ALL do it to some degree Glenn. And, yes, I admit to my shame that I’ve done far too much of it myself as well!

            The honest, self-aware man admits that he’s prone to it, is conscious of this self-deceptive human tendency and takes steps to protect himself from himself – like adhering to the established rules of good interpretation:

            The Eight Rules of Interpretation
            “…the Eight Rules of Interpretation used by legal experts for more than 2500 years.

            1) Rule of Definition.
            Define the term or words being considered and then adhere to the defined meanings.

            2) Rule of Usage.
            Don’t add meaning to established words and terms. What was the common usage in the cultural and time period when the passage was written?

            3) Rule of Context.
            Avoid using words out of context. Context must define terms and how words are used.

            4) Rule of Historical background.
            Don’t separate interpretation and historical investigation.

            5) Rule of Logic.
            Be certain that words as interpreted agree with the overall premise.

            6) Rule of Precedent.
            Use the known and commonly accepted meanings of words, not obscure meanings for which their is no precedent.

            7) Rule of Unity.
            Even though many documents may be used there must be a general unity among them.

            8) Rule of Inference.
            Base conclusions on what is already known and proven or can be reasonably implied from all known facts.

            On the other hand, the easiest (and most effective) way to remain self deceived, unaware of one’s presuppositions, and blissfully walk through life in denial is to engage in eisogesis as a life style.

            Right Mike?

          • Gale

            I agree with your assessment of Baal; however, I can’t trust the scripture account to be an accurate depiction of events, or even verify that they occurred at all. As far as I can tell the God of Abraham is just as real as Baal was.

            Tell you what, if we can get the current prophet to get up and pull a similar feat (does not have to include animal sacrifice) under controlled conditions (i.e. no Las Vegas style magic trickery allowed), I will also fall on my face and say that the Lord is God too. Scripture accounts seem to indicate that God is willing to provide clear, undeniable evidence at times, and I for one would love to have this question resolved once and for all. After all, if we “can’t be saved in ignorance” then how about a little education?

            Oh, and you skipped my favorite part of the story, where after it is solidly proven that the Lord is God the people kill all of the newly converted Baal priests. I’m only willing to go through the experiment because I’m more like a skeptical Israelite than a priest of Baal.

          • FWAnson

            I understand and respect your perspective Gale. The difference between what you, Mike, and I have done with the text is this: You and I limited ourselves to what the text actually says and then stopped. Mike, on the other hand, inserted things into the text that it simply doesn’t state.

            In other words you and I adhered strictly to the rules of good interpretation, Mike did not. And, of course, this methodology is just as applicable to law, and non-sacred works of literature as it is sacred works.

            Now once you’ve properly interpreted the text using those rules you can either agree or disagree with it’s assertions (and you have clearly disagreed with it – which is your prerogative) BUT what you can’t do – and claim intellectual and scholastic integrity – is go back into the text and insert your own assertions into it in order make it disagree with your stance – which, from my perspective, is what Mike does chronically – and not just with the Bible.

          • Gale

            Thank you, but that is irrelevant to my question. I’m not asking about those who themselves keep God’s commandments, but rather their posterity. Why does God favor one over another? Do you believe that sin does in fact transfer from father to son to the fourth generation? If so, how do you square that with the the church’s second article of faith? Is it that we are not guilty of Adam’s transgression but we are guilty of our great-great-grandfather’s transgressions?

          • Mike Tannehill

            It really isnt that hard to understand. If you keep your marriage covenant your family is tied together in Christ and you all inherit the family blessings. One of those blessings is that the Lord will watch over your posterity and make the covenants of the gospel available to them. The scriptures I brought up in the podcast walk you through an understanding of the covenant and give examples of it in action.

            JSH 1:38-39
            Title page of the BOM : paragraph 2
            3 Nephi 20:25-27
            Acts 2:37-39
            D&C 132 28-31
            D&C 86 8-11
            ABR 1:1-2, 2:8-11
            D&C 107: 40-41, 53-56
            D&C 132:19

  28. Heather Reply

    I don’t understand why Mike is a “nut job” or why Mormon Expression needs to go looking for another token TBM. There were very few things he said that I hadn’t heard before. The things he outlined in this podcast are basically what I’ve heard my entire life. I am pretty sure the truly devout believe this stuff. It’s what distinguishes Mormonism from Christianity. It’s why we have temples. I heard this stuff in church, from my family members, in seminary, from friends. I’ve even heard my family speculate about the prodigal members of our family “walking the thorny path” to be with the family in eternity. From my perspective, Mike is a pretty mainstream LDS believer. I think where he stands out from other TBMs is that he is very confident in his beliefs and isn’t embarrassed and doesn’t backpedal when people challenge them. The criticisms of his views don’t stick. His faith is like teflon. I think if other TBMs were in Mike’s shoes in this particular podcast they would have qualified their beliefs by saying, “Yeah, I know it’s weird.” Mike doesn’t do that. That is he only reason I can see for why he’s being labeled a “nut job.”

    • brandt Reply

      Which is probably the biggest reason why I said that Mike drives me nuts, but I love the guy. I don’t agree with much of what he says, and sometimes the Mormonism that he talks about is quite different from the Mormonism in my life, but at the end, he’s a very sincere guy. And that’s why we love him.

  29. Adam Reply

    These podcasts in Mike is involved seem very polarized Mike is a very orthodox true blue mormon while the others are so liberal in their thinking. While I thought that this podcast was enjoyable to listen to, I wish there could be someone who could take more of a middle road in these discussions.

  30. Tobin Reply

    You should open all podcasts with a Mormon prayer and have Mike give it. LOL That made my day just because it elevated the discomfort level of the ex/anti/non-mormon participants (as noted in the the comments as well). Priceless!!!

    I would like to discuss this topic more with Mike, but not in this forum. Mike, I would caution that Matt 7:6 is very relevant to this situation in light of many of the comments I have read posted here.

      • Tobin Reply

        Richard,
        Thank you for confirming what I said above with your eloquent ad hominem attack. As you are familiar with the Bible, I’ll just point out what Matt 5:11 says regarding your behavior towards me, “Blessed are ye , when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely , for my sake.”

        • Richard of Norway Reply

          Your comments confirm my attack. Anyone who glories in the pain of others and enjoys causing discomfort is anything but a good Christian. Yes, you are a dick. But perhaps it’s due to your Mormon upbringing? (Who am I to judge?)

          I hope you find your way out of the poison and begin caring about somebody other than yourself and how smart you are.

          • Tobin

            LOL This is coming someone that claims that uttering a simple prayer with causing people great pain, agony, suferring!?! and that I derive joy in watching such a corrupt and evil practice perpetrated on others. Now, you are being completely ridiculous. Please – listen to yourself sometime?

          • Richard of Norway

            I make no such claims, penis. I take others at their word. Several people have voiced their discomfort from the prayer. (Personally, I had no issue with it.) And you, yourself stated that their discomfort “made [your] day” and that you want to turn it into a regular part of the podcast because it “elevated the discomfort level” in those who don’t share your faith. People like you confirm my belief that religion is poison.

          • Tobin

            And another ad hominem… Clearly, you can’t control yourself and behave like a mature adult when you make your comments. There is only one responsible course of action and that is to completely ignore you and not respond to anything more that you have to say.

          • Richard of Norway

            That is correct. When “mature adults” are referenced to be anything like you, I prefer to join the ranks of the immature. Enjoy yourself. I’m sure nobody else will ever quite measure up to your high opinion of your own intellect.

    • steph. Reply

      Tobin,
      Really? Your cryptic reference to Matthew 7:11 sure sounds like you are calling the target audience to this podcast “dogs and swine”. I sure hope that was not your intention.
      If it was, you should be rightly ashamed of yourself.
      Mike has a right to do, be, and say whatever he thinks is right. I personally have a lot of respect for hm. Once or twice he has said things that gets me talking back to my laptop, but the man seems like a decent guy and one who stands up for what he believes, even if i do not believe the same. And I have to respect that.
      What what DOES it say it say about you if you indeed intended to refer to his listeners as pigs and dogs. If there is more meant by the reference than what I infer, please correct me and accept my sincere apologies.
      In the early days of Mormon Expression, John Larsen eloquently laid out his reasons for beginning the podcast. He stated that losing one’s faith was a lonely journey and the purpose of the podcast was to help provide a voice for those who struggle. That’s of course my interpretation, but I think the point is there. Mike, like John, Zilpha, Glenn, and Tom, as well as the other participants have done a great service to those of us who have walked the thorny path of disbelief, and I sincerely believe that their efforts have positively affected the lives and families of many of the faithful who love the disaffected people in their lives.
      I understand that sometimes the comments can get personal, and like many others who have come forward to say, calling someone a name is not okay either. I do not support ad hominem attacks on Mike, either. Healthy debate and disagreement aside, I don’t want to see anyone vilified.
      Again, if I am wrong, I will gladly apologize. If not, I sincerely hope you rethink your attitude.

      • steph. Reply

        That was supposed to be “what DOES it say” not “dies”. I tend to type too quickly when I have something to say.
        sigh

        • Tobin Reply

          steph,
          If I wished to call the people of the podcast “dogs and swine”, I would just have simply called them “dogs and swine” and not quoted the Bible. I cautioned Mike to be aware of what that verse says and mentioned it in relation to my refusal to discuss the topic on this forum, because it does no good to do so. Now if people wish to act like “dogs and swine” or childish – that is up to them and I think others can make up their own minds based upon their comments on the forums.

          • steph.

            Tobin,
            I can only take you at your word. As much as it sounded that way to me, I apologize for jumping to conclusions. It would have been better, in my opinion, to have simply stated that or said it in a private conversation. Referencing the scripture really sounded like a slam on the people here. Thanks for your response and clarification.

      • Tobin Reply

        Thanks Mike. I’ll take advantage of that. I’d like to have a mature discussion outside of the viewing eyes of the anti-mormons. As you can see in this discussion thread, they are incapable of behaving themselves and are so full of vile hatred of anything Mormon that having a reasonable discussion in their presence without them intruding with some profane or derogatory statement can not be expected.

          • Tobin

            Glenn, clearly you aren’t reading the same forums I am (or choosing to turn a blind eye to what is transpiring which is just as bad). I have already dealt with one visceral anti-mormon on this forum today. Do you really think Mormons are impressed when anti-mormons call us names or call us stupid? I take it as a badge of honor that they really don’t have anything much more to contribute (other than they hate Mormons and everything about them which is obvious) than name calling to any discussion (although the ones that protest temple opening and general conference are a special breed entirely).

          • FWAnson

            Tobin, I would most interested in hearing the identity of this alleged “visceral anti-mormon” since you were engaged in a lengthy debate with myself and JB yesterday in this discussion thread: http://mormonexpression.com/blogs/2011/04/12/if-you-love-me/

            However, neither of us called you names – though we did indeed call YOU on your chronic use of ad-hominem abusive arguments, insults, slurs, plagiarizing, ignorance of things you claimed to be expert in, failure to produce credible evidence to support your arguments, and general irrationality.

            So, regardless of whether you were referring to myself or JB, I do find it odd that within the same post in this discussion thread you would simultaneous object to name calling while resorting to the practice yourself.

            Perhaps you should pull that beam out of your eye so you can see clearly before you complain about the mote in the eye of others.

            Thanks

          • Richard of Norway

            I’m pretty sure he’s referring to me, who called him “a dick” (which I meant with all my cold-blooded heart) in this comment. There’s some back-and-forth between us after that and then he finally takes the high road and even wears my name-calling as a badge of honor. Yes, I called him names. But they were well deserved and I wasn’t resorting to it for lack of a good argument, but rather because he was being a dick. Read up on it and let me know what you think.

          • FWAnson

            And I’m rather surprised to find out that you’re an “Anti-Mormon”.
            When did you find out?

            😉

            But, of course, since TBMs have claimed that everyone from D. Michael Quinn to Gordon B. Hinckley were all Anti-Mormons (see https://www.sunstonemagazine.com/shop/products/?product_id=534&category=3 ) I suppose that we shouldn’t be surprised when that label is slapped on those who find Mormonism fascinating on it’s own while simultaneously showing concern about, and try to reason with those who fail to “reality check” it’s claims against external evidence.

            Perhaps we should, “take it as a badge of honor that they really don’t have anything much more to contribute (other than they hate reasoning from evidence and everything about it which is obvious) than name calling to any discussion.”

  31. Buzzmunk Reply

    I’d stick up for Mike on this one but I began questioning his sanity after learning he was a tea bagger afraid of socialism…just kidding Mike 😉

    Seriously, Mike, I think podcasts like these can be good if you allow the conversation to be more open and unscripted. I understand the importance you place on scriptures but try to avoid forcing everyone’s comments into the next passage you’ve planned to read. Just some friendly advice. I admire your bravery and willingness to communicate with others of all faiths and beliefs. We need more with that attitude in Mormonism.

    • Mike Tannehill Reply

      I agree with you. My goal was to show how the doctrine unfolded as Joseph grew in the gospel, but what works in a classroom discussion does not really work in a podcast. In hindsight it would have been better to focus on key points and discuss them. Live and learn.

  32. Mistercurie Reply

    I liked the podcast from a deconversion perspective. I felt like I was sitting in a Priesthood lesson again, but now I was free to deconstruct the lesson and with the panel say “WTF?!?!” It was a nice experience. Perhaps a future podcast in a similar format could attempt to understand the atonement in more depth by analyzing Cleon Skousen’s talk on the atonement: http://reperiendi.wordpress.com/2007/06/11/the-atonement-by-cleon-skousen/

    • Anonymous Reply

      I found Cleon Skousen’s talk to be a particularly egregious example of male bovine excrement. I wonder how many others besides me noticed the self contradictory nature of his argument.

      • Elder Vader Reply

        Come on Gunnar1961. When you read the D&C, and try to integrate everything together, you’re bound to come up with an off-the-wall theory. The first time I read this talk/theory was on my mission, and I totally felt the spirit.

        • Anonymous Reply

          The first time I read that talk was when I clicked on the link provided by Mistercurie in his comment above. Though there is no way to be sure how I would have reacted to it had I encountered it while on my mission, and still trying to be a good TBM, I know that at that time I was already beginning to have uncomfortable doubts provoked by statements and talks by GAs that seem no more silly or even less silly to me than the subject talk by Skousen.

  33. Xolotl Reply

    Maybe I missed it, but I am surprised Mike didn’t cover the specific blessings to Abraham in the covenant and the blessings that apply to those of his seed. Roughly those follow as:

    1. The promise of Land. This covers the inheritance of the promised land, to be divided up between tribes and the the celestialized earth to be given as an inheritance to Ephraim, not included the old world promised land divided between the tribes of Israel.
    2. Father of the faithful.
    3. Bearers of the priesthood to all the world
    4. Jesus Christ to come through the seed of Abraham and that power will be given to overcome satan and power over the gates of hell.
    5. Blessing of eternal seed i.e. deification.

    I know a couple of those were covered, but maybe not all.

    Another key element that mike missed and would have resolved some of the questions is the adoption into Israel. Those not born through literal ancestry are adopted into Israel through one of the tribes. Joseph Smith taught that the blood is literal changed by the Holy Ghost to make them a literal descendant through adoption, so yes, doctrinally there is in fact an importance through bloodline. The direct descendants, however, have no advantage or added blessings to those that accept the restored gospel, because those converts literally become the seed of Abraham through the power of the Holy Ghost.

    Just one more thought – In response to Glenn’s question regarding the difference between the Abrahamic covenant and the Atonement and if one is greater then the other, I would say the answer is a yes and no. The Abrahamic covenant or everlasting covenant is the end goal to the atonement, everything about the atonement leads to the everlasting covenant. You cannot have the covenant without the atonement and so as Joseph stated, it is simply an appendage to the atonement. I look at the atonement in 2 parts – the unconditional and the conditional. The unconditional covers Resurrection or immortality while the conditional covers exaltation. The Abrahamic covenant is the conditional terms of the atonement i.e. Gods conditional love. The covenant deals entirely with binding/linking oneself to the family of God. That means that through the Abrahamic covenant there will be an unbroken succession from God to Adam on down to Christ etc. etc. of priesthood. That unbroken chain signifies the literal sons and daughters of God to be exalted and inherit all that the father has. Deification. I guess the Atonement is divided into the atonement of reconciliation, obviously dealing with faith, repentance, baptism, holy ghost which reconciles oneself to God and makes available the greater covenant which is the everlasting covenant. The later deals with receiving all that God has rather than simply being reconciled.

    Sorry. one more note. The parents are not condemned if their children fall away from the Gospel inasmuch as they taught their children and brought them up in a “righteous” way. So no condemnation for the parents as long as they did their job.

    • Glenn Reply

      Yeah, it’s that conditional part that still does not make any sense to me — or, perhaps, where it all starts unraveling, I suppose. What does it mean to have an “unbroken succession?” What does it mean to be partially unconditionally saved but not contintionally bound? I just still don’t get how that makes the atonement any more or less grand to have this conditional part. We are all in his family already, but then we are not. But we are. Until we aren’t. “I am a child of God.” Ooops, not any more — not under these conditions (those are the lost verses of the old primary song, I guess). Maybe it went like this:

      I am a child of God
      at least I used to be
      until I went and left the church
      damned for eternity

      he led me, guided me, walked besided me
      until I lost my way
      then he said to heck with you
      I only like kids this way

      So which part of the atonement is working there but not working? I don’t get it?

    • Mike Tannehill Reply

      You listed alot of great points there. Glenn wanted to keep it to an hour so alot of that stuff got set to the side as we tried to work through a timeline of how the Covenant was revealed in this dispensation. Theres alot more to discuss, but we’ll have to set it aside for another time.

  34. sinclaire Reply

    sorry bretheren…i couldnt sit through this….this was like a Gospel Doctrine class and a super confusing one at that. i enjoyed the personalities and the humor and i also dont mind Mike-altho his sing-songy scripture reading voice makes me wanna to kick my lap top off the coffee table and i am constantly amazed at how literal his belief is…staggering….but these kinds of podcasts are not why i tune into ME (altho i respect John’s decision to air what ever he wants). i was bummed…i “saved” this podcast…i was building up the awesomeness…it was like not wanting to finish a book….i waited to listen to it knowing it would be awesome…and now….at 36 min i’ve got to bow out and Stumble or something. HA! I bet Mike coulda predicted that 😛

    • Glenn Reply

      sinclaire,

      Sorry for the build up and the let down. I hope you didn’t really kick your laptop and that your postum table is OK. I always enjoy reading your comments on our live ustream episodes, so I’d be curious to know more about what you would have liked this to have been that it wasn’t.

      I think the “super confusing” part is key to a lot of the reactions this podcast is receiving, and I often just wonder how much of this “stuff” that we carry around in our brains and have to pull out and index at a moments notice is really the same “stuff” as the person on the other end of the iPod form us, despite having been raised in the same faith tradition. I would guess that this podcast would appeal to the type of person who, as a kid, got their kicks being the first one to turn to the right page and find the right scripture in class, or having the scripture mastery scripture memorized down to chapter and verse, or knowing the correct pronunciation of names like Zeezrom (and taking a sick pleasure in letting all the other kids around know that they aren’t saying it right). I was such a kid. Mike still is. And I think Tom is the guy who secretly just wants to give us all swirlies, (and would, too, if we were in the younger class and he could initiate us).

      But too bad you couldn’t have endured to the end — cuz it gets really awesome for realz right at min 37 😉

      • sinclaire Reply

        well in order to grant you your request of “what you would have liked this to have been that it wasn’t” i will have finish the podcast! *grumble* my ego cant pass up the challenge-YOU EVIL GENUIS 🙂
        btw, reading up for the some of the book club stuff…i just got Misquoting Jesus. My spousal equivalent asked “whats that book about? Mosquito Jesus? Is it like SCI-FI?” 😀

        ps-how does one know they are pronouncing Zeezrom correctly?

        • brandt Reply

          Misquoting Jesus is a phenomenal book. I’m hoping you love it. I’d also highly recommend the Mormon Stories interview between Brian Johnston and Jared Anderson about the Academic New Testament.

          And I believe at the very back of the Book of Mormon before the D&C there is a pronunciation guide.

          • Glenn

            You are correct Brandt. You see, Moroni, in his wisdom (and perhaps in his boredom) realized that people in our day would have a hard time pronouncing the funny sounding names of his day. So he prepared a special page at the end of the book of mormon that was just for pronunciation. It could only have been Moroni, you see… cuz who else would have been around to hear it? Or to make the corresponding phoenetic connections to English? It’s pretty amazing stuff if you ask me, and further proof of something.

      • Elder Vader Reply

        I couldn’t not be that nerdy kid who was the first one to turn to the correct page. What, with all the midi-chlorians and all.

  35. Elder Vader Reply

    As of Monday morning when I type this comment, there are 118 comments on this podcast. Is that a record? Elders quorum is over everybody. Time to go home 🙂

    Now I’m curious as to why this podcast got such a huge response, and a pretty harsh one at that, from some listeners. Especially from such a skeptical audience. When I listened to this episode, I was surprised at how much the conversation on the Abrahamic covenant diverged from how I would have taken it.

    Now I am surprised at how the reaction to the podcast has diverged from my ‘criticism’ of it. I kind of expected you all to say something like: “Hey Mike, Cleon Skousen called, he wants his nutjob scriptural theories back.”

    Underneath all of this, I’m wondering — this is a question for everybody — would you say that there is some element of truth to the idea that these were ideas you once cared about deeply, but reality has blown them apart in your mind, and you look back with sadness or regret — and that’s kind of why everybody is jumping in on this conversation?

    • brandt Reply

      I think I know why John keeps Mike around – he does generate a lot of traffic and reaction!!!

      😉

      Actually, the top 5 ME Podcasts (as far as comments go on the website) are:

      5. #110 – A Discussion With A Current Bishop (95 comments)
      4. #61 – Bonus: 10 Tribes–the After Discussion (99 comments) *one of my favorites*
      3. #89b – The 14 Fundamentals of Following a Prophet for Dummies Part 2 (104 comments)
      2. #128 – Episode 128: Mike Tannehill and the Abrahamic Covenant (119 comments) *this one*
      1. #57 – A Requiem for Bruce R. McConkie’s Mormon Doctrine (119 comments)

      So go figure…

      • Elder Vader Reply

        My favorites are:
        D&C 132
        14 Fundamentals
        Guns Germs & Steel
        Book of Mormon Musical
        King Follett Discourse
        First Vision For Dummies

        I like them because like Glenn was describing in another comment – you start trying to connect the dots and you start tugging on the string and things start to fall apart, and everyone on the podcast is like: “Now what? What are we supposed to do with this?”

  36. Jason Reply

    Mike is unable to meet the other panelists’ arguments at their strongest points. Rather, Mike has a tendency to merely repeat what he already stated. When one person makes an argument, and another person makes a counter-argument that undercuts the original argument, that person gains no ground by repeating the original argument. Yet, this is exactly what Mike did. Mike has a fundamental free-agency problem that he has not addressed: First, we know that man is punished for his own sins. Second, parents will be punished inasmuch as they did not teach their children righteous living. That’s all fine and good. But this is where we have a problem: Third, but if a child is wayward, if the parents are faithful enough, pray enough, and do enough (in the afterlife), the tentacles of salvation can grab that wayward child and place him or her in a higher degree of glory. This has two free-agency problems: (1) it places the child’s salvation on the head of the parents in a situation that is ultimately up to the child; and (2) the doctrine does not hold the son or daughter accountable for his or her own sins. On the first point, the parents are responsible to do all they can to activate these so-called tentacles to find their son. If they do not, the wayward son has no hope after this life because judgment is otherwise final (I guess). What if the son doesn’t WANT to be in a higher kingdom? Perhaps that’s the very reason he was wayward in the first place – he doesn’t want to be with his family. On the second point, what about the sins of the son? Why should the parent’s hard work have anything to do with saving the son? As mentioned earlier, we are punished for our own sins. I have to agree with the other panelist who stated that this seems like some half-baked attempt to help a parent with a disaffected son feel better.

    Then, there’s the more fundamental free-agency problem. What of the people who aren’t in the Abrahamic covenant? In this discussion below, Mike characterized it as losing certain “benefits” for not being in the covenant. So he’s backpedaling on the salvation through blood line a bit there. Anyway, why should I have to forfeit “benefits” because my father choose to leave the Church? I can see how that sin would be on my father, but why is that one me? Not to mention the fact that billions of people are born outside of the Abrahamic covenant entirely. How is that fair to them? Of course, the Church used to have a doctrine to take care of this problem, which has since been repudiated. Specifically, former prophets used to teach that we were born into certain conditions in this life because of our obedience (or lack thereof) in the life before. So, at least there we have some connection to merit and justice. Those born into poverty and outside the covenant in this life somehow “deserved” what they got through their conduct in the Spirit World. That’s why the Church taught that blacks were cursed, etc. But, again, that doctrine is no longer available.

  37. FWAnson Reply

    Borrowing from the same exegetic methods that Mike used in his interpretation of I Corinthians 7 in this discussion thread (http://mormonexpression.com/blogs/2011/04/12/if-you-love-me) I now understand how to TRULY interpret anything that he says:

    What Mike is saying here he is saying to individuals regarding their individual status. It is not something to be interpreted for use by everyone listening.

    In other words, his words were only intended for those who were on the podcast. So I sure how that you guys on the podcast “got it”!

    Everyone else can simply ignore it and move on to the next podcast.

    No need to thank me – I’m just happy to be here to clear this all up for y’all!

    OK . . . now moving on to the next podcast here . . .

    • FWAnson Reply

      Dumb typo there – this should have read:
      ‘So I sure HOPE that you guys on the podcast “got it”!’

      Alright . . . now that’s settled . . . what’s the next podcast?

  38. Mike K Reply

    Got around to listening to this today. Mike does what so puzzles me in the church. He pulls out scripture after scripture to make a point but the scripture is vague and misleading. Then he proceeds to make comments that seem to be coming out of thin air and are just not coherent. It is like a mass of incoherent rambling and disjointed arguments. When a pointed question is asked there is never a direct answer, just another vague reference or opinion.

    I can understand why Mike feels he made a point but in reality there was nothing he said that remotely made much sense to me.

    If this is how convoluted Gods plan is then I will just head straight to the lower kingdom. Hopefully it will be simpler and make sense.

    • FWAnson Reply

      Nicely done – you’ve nailed Mike’s Modus Operandi to a “T”.

      Interesting isn’t it?

      His methods remind me the Jim Whitefield’s infamous quote that says:

      “As long as people want the Mormon Church to be true, more than they are willing to face the possibility that it is not, they will not entertain evidence or reason.

      Delusion becomes a choice.”
      — Jim Whitefield

    • Mike Tannehill Reply

      The problem was the way I set up the discussion. The plan was to show how the Abrahamic Covenant unfolded using the scriptures along a timeline. What happened though was everyone wanted to discuss various aspects and we tended to wander.

      The common question seemed to be “What happens to those who wander away”. The answer was in the scripture I quoted in Malachi 4:1. They are left without root or branch. Their family ties are lost and they therefore cannot be exalted.

      • Glenn Reply

        Mike, I actually like the discussion, and I like that it continues. And I like the answer you gave elsewhere on this thread that the thing we are saved from is chaos. That’s interesting.

        For me, the main problem isn’t *so much* in the way you set it up, but it is that the resolution just doesn’t satisfy me. Being left without root or branch is a metaphor used by bronze age people to signify complete desolation — the land will be wiped clean and destroyed so thoroughly that no root or branch will remain. And Malachi 4:6 “turning the hearts of the children to the fathers” etc lest the earth be smitten with a curse” is saying “repent and remember your religious traditions or you are going to be destroyed like I said in verse 1! That scripture was meant completely for its day.

        And yet here we are taking this in the Mormon context to apply it not just to the earth, as it says, but to “eternity” as if root means our ancestors and branch means our progeny and this is somehow a scripture about US and the role that WE as MORMONS play in an eternal game of sealing and binding people together through physical priesthood sealing ordinances on God’s behalf so that God — since he can’t do it directly himself — doesn’t lose all these people to chaos.

        So let’s examine that. What is chaos in the Mormon afterlife? Is the terrestrial and telestial kingdom chaos? Are the lower degrees of the Celestial kingdowm chaos? Is only outer darkness chaos? Does chaos mean that you cannot fulfill the measure of your creation and become as your father or mother in heaven and create/organize spirits from intelligences the way that he/she does, however that is? Is that only the province of the highest degree of the clestial kingdom? If so, what physical characteristics differentiate those in the highest degree from every other degree that would allow them such creative/orgnizational powers? How is that connected to the physical requirements of recieving physical ordinances in the flesh during mortality? Why can’t a spirit be blessed or sealed, but the work has to be done by a physical proxy in a Mormon temple?

        So many quesitons Mike, and those are really just scratching the surface. And do you know what I see when I look at all of these questions?

        Chaos.

        • Anonymous Reply

          What if the answers to all of those questions is that we just can’t know with our mortal brains? Maybe what looks like chaos to us with our mortal brains (mortal APOSTATE brains, no less) is actually order when one has the eternal perspective of our Heavenly Father. And, since we are incapable of truly understanding these things, we should just have faith that God knows what he’s doing. Maybe the whole point is that we’re supposed to have faith in God and quit expecting to know everything right now.

          I mean, if you would just follow our prophet, you would accept the modern interpretation of the root/branch scriptures. After all, a modern prophet is more vital to us than the scriptures. Right?

          • Anonymous

            Heather, I don’t know for sure if you were serious or not, but that is one of my least favorite apologetic approaches. One of the favorite persuasive techniques of religious charlatans, when the deficiencies and absurdities of their religious claims are clearly pointed out, is to argue something like “God’s ways are not man’s ways”, or “we just have to accept it on faith because our puny human intellect is not sufficient to fully comprehend the ways of God, and we therefore have no choice but to accept what the current prophet tells us is the correct interpretation of the scriptures.” After all, when they know that their false claims cannot possibly survive exposure to honest skeptical scrutiny of the available evidence and sound reason based on it, and they are determined to defend them anyway, what else can they possibly do but attempt to disparage and even condemn reliance on evidence and sound reason? With that approach it becomes possible to defend belief in any falsehood imaginable, no matter how absurd! Merely having to fall back on that approach to defend something is extremely damaging, if not fatal, to the credibility of whatever is thus defended!

          • Glenn

            Heather was seriously being facetious. I think Jesus’ own response to the question was ‘by their fruits ye shall know them.’ You know how sometimes you pick out a flat of strawberrys and the ones on the top are nice and juicy but the ones on the botton are gross and moldy? Sometimes that happens with blackberries, too.

          • Anonymous

            Thank you, Glenn. As I said to Heather_ME, ” I don’t know for sure if you were serious or not…” I thought at the time, though, that it was more likely that she was being facetious than that she was serious. I am happy to know that I was right about that. 🙂

        • Mike Tannehill Reply

          Glenn, sorry for th elate reply. I’ve been juggling in my head the topic I should take for my next blog post and I think you’ve laid some nice groundwork here for one. The roots and branch’s line in the scriptures is a traditional metaphor and is not to be taken in reference to an actual loss of crops. When we read about Josephs branchs goin gover the wall it is in reference to his decendents going beyond the traditional boundries the family has known. In the scriptures found in Iraq regarding Noah and the flood Noah laments that he lives in a land of people he refers to as “Those of the half empty baskets” meaning the fruit of their branchs is unfulfilling and meager.

          I’ll post a new blog post about Chaos as soon as I can.

  39. MJL Reply

    If I didn’t know any better I’d be inclined to say to Mike, well played sir you troll with the best of them, seeing how this podcast generated some 134 responses thus far. I didn’t do the math but if you told me that this received more responses than all previous podcasts combined I’d believe you.

    Now that I think about it should I be so surprised? When you have a forum that attracts like thinkers, who without any sense of irony call themselves “free thinkers”, who all pretty much agree with each other while exchanging mutual pats on the back it takes a Mike Tannehill to stir the pot a little and liven the place up a bit.

    With that said I don’t have anything to say. I just wanted to contribute to the most epic comments section to appear on Mormon Expression to date and possibly ever.

    • Glenn Reply

      Where do any of us call ourselves “free thinkers?” And where is our lack of irony? It’s a valid point, though. I would hope that Mormon Expression attracts a variety of perspectives and not just caters to one way of seeing things.

        • FWAnson Reply

          All though I must say, compared to what’s allowed in the Mormon Church those of us on the outside are indeed “free thinkers”.

      • MJL Reply

        It doesn’t have to be explicitly stated but it is definitely implied through the criticism of belief systems that the one doing the critiquing is inherently independently minded compared to those who still intellectually adhere to a particular belief system. To the one who has “escaped” the belief system through the exercising of their mental faculties they take upon themselves the mantel of “freethinker” in comparison to those who still surrender their minds to a faith based group-think environment. Ironically, or paradoxically, the journey of the “freethinker” ultimately leads him or her to find refuge in the company of like-thinkers. Thus this person goes from a group-think environment to a group-think environment while remaining unconscious of that fact, having convinced him or herself that (s)he is a “freethinker.” Mormon Expression is exemplary of this phenomenon.

        FWAnson’s reply gives us an illustration. “All though I must say, compared to what’s allowed in the Mormon Church those of us on the outside are indeed ‘free thinkers'”. Indeed, but within Mormon Expression FWAnson, in all likelihood, thinks like most who frequent this podcast. This is evidenced by the predictable responses that typify the comments sections on any topic discussed thus far. There is almost universal agreement not only within the podcast on a particular issue but also within the comments section as well. Dissension on an issue is infrequent, if not done by Mike, and if taken is usually preceded by saying “for the sake of argument” which means one is not necessarily challenging a stated position by is just showing how strong that stated position really is.

        By it’s very nature Mormon Expression attracts a group of like thinking “freethinking” refugees from the Mormon group-think environment and as a consequence has created a group-think environment of its own. People come here not to have their conclusions about the Church challenged but affirmed. That being said, Mike Tannehill is the true “freethinker” here. He may be wrong but to himself, and the group-think culture of Mormonism from which he draws his strength, he is right.

        And comments are now 148 and presumably counting. Way to go Mike!

        • FWAnson Reply

          MJL, I’m thinking that you haven’t listened to the podcast on why the ME team doesn’t include more TBMs. I apologize that I don’t remember the episode number but if you listen to the older podcasts you’ll find it.

          Unfortunately, I can’t remember the exact words of John Larsen from that podcast so I’ll have to cite professor of theological and historical studies at Salt Lake Theological Seminary, Ron V. Huggins from his review of “Massacre at Mountain Meadows: An American Tragedy” when he said:

          “…the possibility of good Mormon historical treatments of controversial issues by LDS historians appears to be something for the future. Hopefully the LDS Church will someday come to a place psychologically where they are willing to take a look at their own past honestly and without having to boost themselves up by trying to recast motives and personae to fit a modern Mormon ideal.”
          ( http://www.utlm.org/newsletters/no111.htm#ReviewConclusion )

          And I would add that what’s true of true versus faithful Mormon History is true of LdS Theology as well.

          Mike is rare in that he can dialog with those he considers “apostate” and “anti” without a chronic use of ad-hominem arguments, fleeing the conversation while flinging insults, slurs and curses over his shoulder as he runs, and/or using testimony bearing as his last bastion.

          I’m sure that if John Larsen and the ME team could find more like Mike we would hear more dissenting voices on ME. But until that happens “poor” Mike (poor in quotes because he seems to revel in vigorous debate and complex wordsmithing) will have to man this lonely output alone.

          That doesn’t make him a “free thinker” or his debating opponents “group-think thinkers”, it just makes him a unique fixture within Mormon Culture.

          And I, for one, applaud him for that.
          (if nothing else, he takes and lands punches well!)

        • Anonymous Reply

          Your comments remind me of a quote I once heard (though I don’t remember who was the first to say it:

          “The only thing a non-conformist hates worse than a conformist is another non-conformist who refuses to conform to the prevailing standards of non-conformity.”

          This may be true more often than many non-conformists (free thinkers) would like to admit.

  40. Ozpoof Reply

    I haven’t listened to the podcast yet (I need to be in the right frame of mind before I listen to Mike – like when you drop acid), however I have read a lot of the comments and I feel ‘inspired’ to ask a question.

    Does anyone else see this whole confusing, superfluous, discriminatory, arbitrary, divisive, conflict-ridden mess as light-years below anything a being such as a God would be bothered with?

    This has the stink of man-made garbage all over it. There is nothing uplifting or helpful at all with this ridiculous, uninspired nonsense.

  41. Anonymous Reply

    MIKE – You KNOW you opened yourself up to criticism.

    What you do, is you take this red rope licorice, and you hog-tie this Burmese monkey with it. If it yelps three times, then you feed it to the gator, but if it only yelps twice, then you shove into your sleeping bag for safe-keeping. BUT – if a rooster crosses your path then you need to yelp three times yourself. Make Sense? NO? Lets read this scripture that talks about the natural order of sanctimonious bathing and I am sure it will clear things up. You still don’t get it? Whatever, man. You just don’t have the spirit.

      • Anonymous Reply

        LOL! That brightened my day, man. Thanks for having a sense of humor. Be well, bro.

      • Anonymous Reply

        Also, Mike. From your comment above, its good to see that you were a pot-head at one time in your life 🙂

  42. Brett Reply

    I generally find Mike’s authoritarian TBM convoluted logic simply irritating as hell. For a supposedly simple gospel, there are few elements that can be explained simply if you go beyond primary level. It requires twisted logic that ignores a plethora of contradictory elements.

    The new LDS approach of the 14 points is clearly false doctrine that was simply dug up. However, it does make sense. It devalues scripture, especially the bible, and devalues using any kind of logic to understand principles. Just obey, turn off your mind and ignore everything but the various church leader’s commands. Satan loves this. Because it is hard work for him to get scriptures changed, but to change to words of a church leader, he just has to whisper enough into his ear. And he just has to whisper into the ears of any old leader, and people will follow. The doctrine of relying on emotion, ignoring logic and scripture is one of Beezlebub’s favorite inventions.

    • Fred W. Anson Reply

      Well I believe that it still holds the records for number of comments. 

      One thing I’ll say for Mike is that he has a way of getting people involved with ME. 

  43. Jason Rich Reply

    I liked Glen’s idea: Let’s just call it the Adamic Covenant.We are all blessed through Adam and Eve. Polygamy goes away as well as Tom’s bloodlines.

    How is the Abrahamic Covenant “plain and simple?”

  44. David B Reply

    I really like Mormon Expression. But this is the worst episode ever.

    It starts out with an opening prayer! Then it is like a deep and confusing gospel doctrine lesson with a crackpot teacher who would be labeled a heretic except for the fact that he has such an unshakable testimony.

    The only good part was the Infants on Thrones heckling Mike Tannehill.

  45. Hammerheart Reply

    The comment on Sophia was awesome. The kvetching aside, this comment thread was awesome. Mike, I’ve stayed up all night reading this thing, noted your scripture references, & put the PoGP Discussions on my my to-do list. To my stunned disbelief, almost no-one seemed to get this simple fact: the basic idea (not the specifically Mormon version) of the Abrahamic covenant is in the Bible. It’s how the Jews and Middle Easterners did things. Mike didn’t invent that.

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