Episode 242: Mormonism and Violence

10 comments on “Episode 242: Mormonism and Violence”

  1. alfajerk Reply

    You mentioned a signal given at Mountain Meadows “brethren do thy duty”, correct me if I misheard that, but I’m curious of the source for that, a google search was not productive.
    Great episode thanks!

  2. Pingback: Scripture and Unreliable Narrators | Deconstructing Gospel Principles

  3. Brad Jones Reply

    I think you guys are largely right about the ways in which Mormon scriptures have been used to justify violence or a particular interpretation of history. What you didn’t talk about, however, is how this might be a misreading of the scripture.

    In my reading, the Book of Mormon is a story all about the tragedy of war and violence. The irony of our fetishizing Nephi, and Mormon, and the 2000 warriors and the other Fribergian supermen in the popular Mormon imagination is that they ultimately failed. Joshua Madson makes a really compelling case that one of the “meta-narratives” of the Book of Mormon is that violence is ultimately futile and even counterproductive (see this presentation for example: http://vimeo.com/21277236).

    There are a few counter-examples: Kimball’s talk on the false gods of patriotism and war (http://warlikepeople.com/), the Church’s opposition to the MX missile program (http://www.sltrib.com/sltrib/news/51716448-78/church-mormons-utah-statement.html.csp), the Church’s opposition to laws allowing guns in church buildings in Utah (http://www.deseretnews.com/article/590038385/LDS-bar-guns-at-church.html?pg=all)

  4. Jiggs Casey Reply

    WTF? Excellent podcast, entertaining as always (Thank you, Jon Larsen!) ….BUT….here’s what I heard, I was listening on my bicycle and almost fell off. “A young woman was raped, and got pregnant. She went and confessed to her bishop.” CONFESSED TO HER BISHOP? What? She had no reason to “confess” – either to her bishop or anyone. She was raped and had no guilt to confess. Please tell me that was a slip of the tongue, brought on by years of Mormon indoctrination. Sorry, I just got some flashbacks from that. Mormon PTSD. I’ve taken years to get over this mind-set. Otherwise, great podcast. I just signed up for the Celestial Plan, so I hope that we meet up there someday, and not just as ministering angels. (It will probably have to be in the hereafter, I have NO plans to visit Utah any time soon.)

    • Lindsay P Reply

      Jiggs, unfortunately MANY women go and confess being raped or molested to their bishops as Mormonism doesn’t equip them to realize it isn’t their fault. Mormonism has a huge rape culture that blames the victim. This story is all too common. 🙁

      • Jiggs Casey Reply

        I was just thinking you may have slipped and said that without realizing it — it really stuck out when I heard that — I know that Mormons have been indoctrinated to confess EVERYTHING to the bishop and I am certain you are right that many women have thought the rape was their fault and that they need to confess. Mainly because the culture leads them to believe that — AND in Spencer W. Kimball’s (in)famous book “It’s a Miracle to get Forgiveness” doesn’t he actually say if the woman does everything she can to fight the rapist, she will not be blamed for the rape? Thanks, Spence. I know some prophet or pre-prophet (in this case) said it, more than a few, probably. Kimball was wound pretty tight and really had an obsession with sexual sin, so it was probably him. (My dad was on the high council in our stake when Kimball came to visit, and said he could not stop talking about masturbation in their meetings. Pretty uplifting topic, no pun intended.)

        Anyway, thanks again – it was a great podcast and as I said, this one inspired me to actually become a paying ME “member” or whatever you call it, and I even signed up for the Celestial Membership, so I’m pretty happy about having worked out my eternal salvation with the neat click of a mouse on my PayPal account.

  5. Nathan D. Reply

    John, there certainly are a ton of anachronisms in the BOM, so many to the point that I often check out when those discussions come up because they just aren’t very interesting to me anymore. But I wanted to point out something that refutes a point you make here. You said that the concept of compiling scripture is more like a 3rd C. CE innovation, but actually the Torah as it is now known was first compiled and anthologized during the Babylonian Captivity in the 6th C. BCE, which is the period during which Nephi supposedly lived. (It was the threat of the impending Babylonian attack on Jerusalem during Jeremiah’s time that caused Nephi and his family to escape!) As a matter of fact, the circumstance of being in exile in Babylon was the very impetus for compiling the scriptures. If they could focus their energies on recording and storing their beliefs, they would be sustained as a people. The story is about how Nephi (and Joseph Smith) had this insight too, that if they were to go into exile, they would need a record of their people to keep them together. All obvious other anachronisms aside, to me this timeline points to the true genius of Joseph Smith, that of finding ancient corollaries for modern times and vice versa, and exploiting them. By giving the Hebrews a book, the rabbis in Babylon saved a people. By giving the Americans a book, JS created a people.

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