Guest post: Hammering the table

This is a guest post by Michael Davidson, who says he is an active member of what may be the most geographically expansive branch of the Church in North America. He is a father, husband and attorney. He spent yesterday, Saturday, June 21, 2014, driving up the northern peninsula of Newfoundland in search of icebergs and moose. Plenty of both were seen and captured photographically.

When the facts are on your side, hammer the facts. When the law is on your side, hammer the law. When neither is on your side, hammer the table. I have no idea who first said that, but this is advice almost all trial lawyers have heard at one time or another. As an experienced trial advocate, I’ve had plenty of opportunities to do each of these, and each course of action is perfectly acceptable in our system of justice. Courts are great places in which everyone has a shot, even those who have no basis in law or fact to expect success.

This leads me to the increasingly tragic saga of Kate Kelly and her little club. As most readers of this will know, Ms. Kelly’s attendance has been requested at a disciplinary council to be held this evening. She has publicly stated that she has no intention of appearing, though a gaggle of her supporters will be appearing at the Church in Virginia in her stead. Ms. Kelly herself will be attending a demonstration in Salt Lake City instead, to protest the Church for her bishop’s decision to convene the council in the first instance.

Instead of attending, she submitted a personal statement signed by herself, a legal brief drafted by Nadine Hansen and a circular file worth of anonymous statements in her defense. Having reviewed each, or at least as much as has been made available online, I am not terribly moved. She can’t argue the facts, as they are not in dispute. Ms. Kelly concedes in various statements this last week that if they are merely going to ask whether she had done the things she has been accused of, that there is no defense. She can’t argue the law, because the law condemns her. She continued to preach her doctrine of gender equity long after she had been warned to stop by her stake president. The definition of apostasy is clearly met here and there is no defense to it. So, she hammers the table, as does Ms. Hansen.

Ms. Kelly’s defense consists of three pages of biographical exposition followed by a page of defiance. She lists all the ways in her life that she has acted as the perfect little Mormon girl. She cites her missionary service, marriage in the Temple, and devotion to BYU as indicators that she is loyal to the Church and could not have committed apostasy, because of all the gosh-darn Mormon things she has done in her life. This is silly. It’s akin to a bank robber who was caught red handed defending himself in Court by providing a list of all the banks he hasn’t robbed. Even if we accept as fact that she was not engaged in activities that would fit the definition of apostasy in high school does not mean that she isn’t engaging in apostasy now.

In the final page of her missive, she warns her Bishopric that they need to be careful because if they punish her, they’ll also be punishing “thousands of Mormons who have questions and concerns with gender inequality in the Church.” She points to the large numbers of supporters she has recruited into her little club as potential victims of any discipline that may be meted out. This should be a counterproductive argument. Ordain Women is the vehicle of her apostasy, and demonstrating just how successful she has been in gathering a following (based, at least in part by her claim to be a faithful, temple recommend holding, member of the Church) only further drives home the need that the Church take some action. If she had merely written an article for Dialogue and thereby exposed her ideas to literally dozens of people, it would have been different, but Ms. Kelly’s reach is far greater than that, and the need for correction is accordingly increased.

She then doubles down and directly states that she will not be complying with the conditions imposed by the stake president as a part of her probation. This, in and of itself, is damning and more than adequate cause to justify excommunication if the Spirit directs that outcome.

Ms. Hansen does not do too much better. She attempts to apply legal principles to the defense of Kate Kelly and attempts to question the council’s jurisdiction, impartiality, adherence to procedure and due process, etc. None of these arguments are persuasive, because US legal precedent simply isn’t controlling in a disciplinary council.

She does point out that the method for delivering the summons to the disciplinary counsel was not followed, and suggests that this is fatal to the proceedings. This is hogwash, as those rules are set forth to ensure that the subject of the disciplinary council received adequate notice of the council. I think that all of us can be sure that Kate Kelly did indeed get the letter, though it would be interesting whether she read it before sending it to the New York Times, or after, or at all.

Ms. Hansen then goes on a bit of a jury nullification argument. Knowing that the Handbook and the facts condemn Ms. Kelly, she argues that this bishopric should ignore what the Handbook says on this subject and decide on a “no action” outcome of the hearing. Good luck with that. I’m guessing those brothers will be pretty careful to follow the Handbook’s guidance on this matter.

Based on a review of the written materials that will be put in front of Ms. Kelly’s Bishop, I would expect an excommunication. I’m not a betting man, but if I were I would put my money on that outcome. There is no contrition, there is no submission, there is nothing except a promise to keep doing what she has been told constitutes apostasy. My experience with such councils only confirms this expectation.

Having said that, I find no joy in this. I find it tragic. There is nothing that I would like to see on Monday morning is the news that the OW website had been removed from the web and that Ms. Kelly was able to avoid any further discipline. I’m not holding my breath.

[Editor Note: This post has been updated to correct minor typos and grammar.]

45 thoughts on “Guest post: Hammering the table

  1. This is all a bunch of prattle. Let’s put things into historical perspective. Why did the Church back away from Polygamy? Do you think it occurred in a vacuum? Why did the Church back away from the prohibition of blacks to the priesthood? Because Church leaders woke up one day and said “Ok sure, let’s give them the priesthood, but let’s make one thing clear this has NOTHING to do with rampant progression of liberalization of civil rights!” Take a couple steps back, study history, learn how things have happened in the past and then you can predict the future. Eventually it’s going to happen. Gays will eventually be permitted to temple marry. It’s extreme provincialism that always plague religion that prevent it from acting in accordance with societal evolution, but try as they might eventually it buckles. It has to, or you become like the Quakers or Shakers.

  2. I wrote this after a long day of adventuring with my family (chasing moose and icebergs) and it shows unfortunately. The fifth to last paragraph should read:

    Ms. Hansen does not do too much better. She attempts to apply legal principles to the defense of Kate Kelly and attempts to question the council’s jurisdiction, impartiality, adherence to procedure and due process, etc. None of these arguments are persuasive, because US legal precedent simply isn’t controlling in a disciplinary council.

  3. ” Let’s put things into historical perspective. Why did the Church back away from Polygamy? Do you think it occurred in a vacuum?”

    The Church backed away because the Federal government was going to legally destroy the church. And by ‘legal’, I mean with dudes showing up with guns. With his back against the wall, Wilford Woodruff went to the Lord and received the revelation. No LDS really believes that the Church operates absent a context. This straw man of yours is rather facile.

    “Why did the Church back away from the prohibition of blacks to the priesthood? Because Church leaders woke up one day and said “Ok sure, let’s give them the priesthood, but let’s make one thing clear this has NOTHING to do with rampant progression of liberalization of civil rights!””

    The Church didn’t “back away” from it. The giving of priesthood to blacks was a long-promised day and had been repeatedly promised for decades. It was simply a matter of timing. Liberalization of civil rights reaches its crescendo in 1968, not 1978. The Church had nothing to gain by waiting had their motives been guided by mere politics. It appears that you’re the one not fully conversant with the history.

    “Take a couple steps back, study history, learn how things have happened in the past and then you can predict the future. Eventually it’s going to happen. Gays will eventually be permitted to temple marry.”

    I think you’re the one who needs to take a couple of steps back and study the history, because your reading of it is blatantly false and inaccurate. And that is leading you to make a host of mistaken assumptions.

  4. So are you implying that we should still be practicing Polygamy today, if it wasn’t for our evil government intervening in our affairs? Seems mighty convenient that a “revelation” was received to gets the Feds off our backs, or mighty convenient that a “revelation” was received to prevent the shedding of blood (as you say). And thank you for affirming my argument. You say the civil rights movement met its crescent in 1968, seems rather arbitrary to say in that year exactly but for the sake of the argument let’s assume that’s accurate. The Civil Rights movement BEGAN in America possibly over a hundred years before that, with the abolitionists looking to abolish slavery. When did Ordain Women movement begin? When did LGBT begin looking for additional acceptance/rights? Will it take 100 years for these movements to crescendo? What happens if in 10 years the Feds come in with the proverbial guns a-blazing?(or in other words something drastic like removing tax-exemptions) It’s incontrovertible that MANY parallels can be drawn. No strawmans here, this is application of history to understand the inevitable future.

  5. Joseph:

    Is President Monson a Prophet of God? Does he holds all the keys given for this dispensation?

    If so, what conclusions should we take from that? If not, why does this matter?

  6. Joseph Sonners, the topic of this post is the arguments KK put forward for her disciplinary council. Stay on topic or please go to another blog. This is also not your forum to state your complaints and problems with the Church. Take it to another blog, there are literally thousands of them out there where you can complain to your heart’s content.

  7. I am not very interested in rehashing the very old and tired arguments that Joseph S puts forward that have nothing to do with the original post. If somebody has a specific problem with the post itself, and can present it in a polite manner, that is fine. General broadsides against the Church will be deleted.

  8. Geoff perhaps you are right, maybe initially my comments were a bit extraneous to the original article and so for that I apologize, but now I’m only responding to other comments if they directly engage me.

  9. Joseph S, you are welcome to try again. Concentrate on the actual subject of the post and keep it polite. No personal attacks. Show us how Michael Davidson’s take is wrong using logic and arguments (if that is what you believe).

  10. Sonners comments amount to what was referred earlier in this article as “hammering the table”.

  11. It would be interesting to know if the most recent handbook allows e-mail as a method to transmit letters such as the one sent to Kate Kelly.

    I see the possibility of many things eventually changing.

    Given the Mormon concept of eternal activities, where the partnership of male and female is a fundamental part of the highest heaven, it seems unlikely that same gender partnerships would be solemnized in the temples.

    However, it is completely reasonable to expect an increased level of civility. And I can imagine a time when children raised in same-gender households will be permitted to be sealed separately to each of their same gender parents and the ancestors of each of those parents.

    Ultimately, I think the point will be sealing the entire family of mankind together along whatever lines are possible, and allowing God to sort out what linkages are ultimately approved and which aren’t.

  12. Meg, it has been two years since I had a calling involving Handbook 1, and at that time I was the ward clerk and was involved in several disciplinary councils. At the time, email was not allowed. While it is possible that this has changed in the interim, I doubt it.

    If I was approaching this with my attorney hat on, I would argue on one side that the improper service of the notice strikes at the jurisdiction of the council and invalidates any subsequent proceedings. This is the one and only substantive issue that I could see from Ms. Hansen’s brief. As I noted above, it is clear that Ms. Kelly got the notice and she has made a show of understanding the implications, so the notice requirement was substantially complied with if not formally complied with. The fact that she had moved, and perhaps not left her ward with a reliable forwarding address, would make it more likely than not that any appeal tribunal would not have a problem with the service by email.

  13. So, if OW were to succeed in getting their way, with women receiving the priesthood, how long would it be before they began demanding changes in temple ordinances they view as discriminatory, patriarchal and demeaning to women? I will not go into any detail for obvious reasons, but elsewhere I have read posts on blogs that practically call for fire to come down from heaven because of the perceived injustice of it all. This is the tip of the iceberg. It OW is as supportive of church leaders as they claim, and those church leaders say they are led to make priesthood decisions by inspiration, do they reject those decisions? On what grounds? Are these men not inspired, or are they getting inspiration from someone other than the Savior? And why do they want to be like them? Or would you impose a different standard for leadership, one more intellectual in nature, that would recognize social justice more fully. While we’re asking questions, does Kate Kelly’s group sympathize with John Dehlin’s, which seems to believe temple marriage for gays is right, throwing out all prohibition of homosexual activity (not same sex attraction, but acting on those feelings)? In my view, both groups are clearly off the reservation, and they don’t even know when they crossed the line.

  14. I sm curioud, since the disciplinary council has taken place tonight, will the leaders send a letter informing KK of the results, or will they email it, like the did before, as it appears the church doesn’t have her current address.

  15. Whoa. Meg commented and said WHAT? That “And I can imagine a time when children raised in same-gender households will be permitted to be sealed separately to each of their same gender parents and the ancestors of each of those parents.”

    What in the world? No way. Not by a long shot. I would never purport this false philosophy. Not with a ten foot pole.

  16. p.s. forgot to add that: A temple sealing is what is required for sealing children to parents.

    Sheesh. I thought I heard it all. My husband’s reaction to this comment was priceless and might have involved a “h*** no! who is saying such things, stop it.”

  17. Thanks Amy, you said it exactly right. Judging from other posts, Meg is very thoughtful and in tune with the right spirit, but sometimes we all get impulsive and say something wrong. The Sermon on the Mount says to love our enemies, and it means that they may remain enemies until they repent through their faith, repentance of course, God’s grace, and our love and prayers. I am aware that this discussion was partly steered away from Kate Kelly’s discipline to OW + LGBT issues, not by me, but now it is what it is.
    Yes, we have been told to love our enemies for a very long time. Yes, practicing homosexuals of all kinds, sodomites, and other sinners are enemies to God. We too when we sin are enemies to God. The purpose of mortal probation is to “minimize” this enmity to the to tiniest possible amount. The PROCLAMATION on the family will not be amended to accommodate sexual sin. (Oops! The prophets omitted a paragraph! 1995 was such a long time ago after all.)
    Will someone please explain to people that same-sex attraction is wrong if it involves sexual actions or thoughts, right if called “friendship”… or brotherhood, or sisterhood? Period. Of course, the devil twists something evil and presents it as good and vice versa!

  18. please allow me to defend Meg and her speculations.

    First, I think she was referring to proxy sealings, not live sealings.

    Points of, what I believe to be, fact, or well accepted Mormon belief:

    Everyone eventually repents in the spirit world, before their resurrection, including those who eventually end up in the Telestial kingdom. Every knee will bow, every tongue confess, etc.

    Everyone either pays completely for their sins in spirit prison and/or is cleansed by the atonement, even those who go on to the Telestial Kingdom.

    Everything wrong in our bodies and minds, and souls; all wounds, all illnesses, physical or mental or emotional or spiritual get healed in the resurrection or at some point in the spirit world. By this, I conclude, and I heard Elder Oaks say it too, that same-sex attraction will be cured in the resurrection. (i know that the pro gay crowd hates to hear that homosexuality will be “cured”.)

    So not only do amputees get their limbs back in the resurrection, bipolar people and every other sort of mental affliction is cured too.

    We don’t judge people’s sins in mortality as to whether or not we do their proxy sealings. The mass murderers Mao Tse Dung, Joseph Stalin, and Pol Pot will eventually be, if they have not already been, sealed to parents, spouse(s) and children. Adolph Hitler will be sealed to his parents, and if we had records of his marriage or biological children (there is some evidence he may have had an illegitimate child) we would do those sealings too.

    Where adoptions are legally recognized and legally performed, we do sealings, live and proxy, of adopted children to their adopted parents. This is one of the main purposes of why LDS Social Services tires/tried so hard to place OoW children with LDS parents.

    Even for legal adoptions by agencies outside of LDS SS, we do those adoptive sealings too, live and by proxy.

    We currently do _intentional_ multiple sealings on/for an individual to _multiple_ people, even when we know that only one of those sealings will “hold” or be “accepted” or be “of effect” on the other side. We do that because we dont know which sealing combination is desired by those people on the other side, and so we try to “cover all bases” so that the spirits can accept the one they want, or what God allows, and move on in their progression without having to wait further. As long as we currently have some earthly documentation or basis upon which a righteous proxy sealing “could” be made, we make it.

    One example is the proxy sealings of a woman to all her mortal husbands. Another might be parent/child sealings of non-members where we have records of both the birth parents and the adoptive parents.

    Backing up a bit, the goal is to seal EVERYONE going all the way back to Adam, and going forward to the last person born in the Millennium. including all those who end up in the telestial kingdom after suffering for their sins in spirit prison during the millennium.

    That last tidbit means we have to seal the children adopted by homosexuals to somebody.

    Given: If we can proxy seal a child to a parent guilty of the sin of mass murder…
    Given: if we can proxy seal a child to an adoptive parent…
    Given: if we can proxy seal someone to multiple people ( i.e. multiple separate sealings, not a “combined group” sealing) knowing that only one of those sealings will actually be of effect…

    Then, we technically should be able to…
    a) proxy seal a child to a biological parent guilty of any sin, even homosexual acts…
    b) proxy seal a child to an adoptive parent who is guilty of homosexual acts…
    c) proxy seal (separate sealings, not a combined one) a child to more than one gay parent, not knowing which one will hold or be chosen or be of effect on the other side.

    let us remember, proxy temple work is not only for the celestial kingdom. it has to be done for those who will eventually inhabit all three kindoms, which means everyone except sons of perdition. And since we havent been given a list of them, we dont know who they are, and so we will end up doing their proxy work too, unless otherwise directed by messengers from the other side.

    meg, pls lemme know how close i got to your reasoning on the matter.

  19. LOL – yes, what bookslinger said.

    Eventually, it seems there would need to be a way to seal children to a single parent (by proxy) to account for the various instances where the identity of the other parent is unknown. The vast majority of these cases currently happen because the records kept for women are vastly inadequate. There will be additional cases where the father is unknown.

  20. I don’t know if it’s still policy, but recently I’ve seen proxy names for child sealing that knew only one parent. The wording goes something like, “to Eliphalet Pellett and the mother” Not knowing one parent name happens all the time in genealogy work.

  21. Bookslinger, this illustrates a reason why homosexual marriage is a problem eternally. I’ve done a lot of family history and temple work, and I don’t know how I would handle someone adopted by two males, as there’s no way to seal someone to two dads. Even if you do what you suggest, which is to do the sealings separately, you have to have a couple to seal the child to. You can’t seal a child to a single parent, regardless of gender.

    Meg suggests that a change comes to allow for the sealing of a child to a single parent. However, I think that this is one of those things that will need to be handled by revelation. There’s plenty of people who have lived that we have no records for, and there will need to be some mechanism to allow for those details to be revealed.

    This illustrates very well why the discipline for KK and JD is quite necessary. With these two individuals, we have folks that want to upset the apple cart on issues that have eternal implications. We simply can’t do that by ourselves, and if we were to try, the Lord would not be pleased.

  22. I’m amused that this is a bone of contention, since I study early Church history, and all kinds of bizarre sealings occurred in those days, sealings that absolutely went contrary to the prevalent monogamous heterosexual couple with children ideal.

    However I concur that this is a matter that needs to be handled in whatever manner prescribed.

    I think I used subjunctive in my posts (stating this as possible rather than necessary). If I failed to use subjunctive, I do apologize.

  23. @MD, you’re right, there are a lot of blanks that will need to be filled in by revelation and other information from the other side, both in terms of doctrines/policies, and in terms of choices by individuals.

  24. Question: if those in the telestial and terrestrial kingdoms are single, as we teach, of what relevance are the sealings? We are taught that the only family relationships will be in the highest degree of the celestial kingdom. There is no progression from one kingdom to another. In fact there are differences between the resurrected bodies pertaining to each kingdom. Nothing in that respect will change after the resurrection. I see no logical expectation that children will be sealed to parents who will not inhabit the celestial kingdom. Some of those in the celestial kingdom may have had same sex attraction but nevertheless were married to worthy women and resisted sinful behaviors that would, without repentance, have prevented their exaltation. Am I missing something here?

  25. Deep in the heart:

    First off we dont know who is going to which kingdom at this point, so to give departed spirits the benefit of the doubt, we do sealings for all. People can still accept the gospel in the spirit world, and we are told in the D&C, and reminded by subsequent prophets, that if a person “would have” accepted the gospel in this life, they can still be exalted.

    We are told in various scriptures that those who die before the age of accountability are to be exalted. Some scriptures also say that “heathen” who received no portion of the law will enter into the Celestial Kingdom. A lot of people lived and died on earth without any exposure at all to any form of Christianity, so they could likely be a huge chunk of the CK or even the highest level in the CK.

    Secondly, sealing every soul to their parents is a commandment that we have to do or else the earth will be “wasted” at the Lord’s coming. Exactly why that is so, I dont know, and I dont think it has been revealed.

    Third, i think you’re right that sealings will have at least a slightly different meaning or effect on the Telestial/Terrestrial folks than folks in the CK, but how or why that works, I cant really say.

    Fourth, the “chain” we are making in temples looks like it will hop, skip, and jump back and forth across the 3 kingdoms. So maybe it is possible that the exalted group will have some additional links made, or an additional chain made that will apply only to them, so that everyone in the ck is connected to someone else in the ck. . But that’s just a guess.

    We dont know everything yet about post mortal life. Sections 76 and 132 only give tiny snippets of glimpses and hints. There is a lot more that needs to be revealed. I think most of us wonder what life is really going to entail there.

    So in the meantime, our assignment is to comply with the instructions we’ve been given so far. And if we are faithful to the instructions and revelations that we’ve been given, the Lord has promised to give more.

  26. Interesting comments, Book and Meg, and my knee-jerk reaction was not meant to be disrespectful. Are these speculations helpful to non-members or to LDS youths with burgeoning testimonies? I personally do not think so. I think the fruit described in Lehi’s dream is what it is. It is pure. God understands that certain temptations may be greater in certain locations at certain times in history, therefore making sins harder (but not impossible) to overcome. But to discuss in mortality the existence of a secret passage out of the great and spacious building, leading back to the tree of life after a long, awful, dark (also secret) tunnel is not useful anybody, faithful or not. It may be appealing to the gamer generation–which happens to be so tolerant of gays, lesbians, bisexuals, and transsexuals… but again, it seems like a waste of time and not the way we as a Church should approach those who do not keep or know about the commandments.

  27. A child is sealed to a man and a woman even though in many cases the name of the mother may be simply Mrs. x where the man is x. In fact I have seen many endowments done for variations of Miss or Mrs. x. I cannot speak for the policy regarding men. Since every child at this time is the product of two parents of opposite sexes I fail to see the necessity of sealing a child to a single parent of either sex. Meg and I are usually fairly close in our viewpoints, but I believe she may have gone out on a fairly frail limb on this occasion. As I understand it, sealing in family lines is the framework for the government of heaven, not just the celestial kingdom. We need the millennium to work it all out, but God made the plan so I’m certain it will turn out to be much better than any of us could design.

  28. I suppose my view on this is that God appears to be pretty invested in tying the entire family of mankind together.

    I’m not so much talking about here and now and validating relationships that aren’t heterosexual, I’m talking about what a convert in 2315 (call her Mimi Zhang) might do when they research their genealogy and find that one of the ancestors was the child in a single parent or same gender household.

    How will my hypothetical Mimi be able to proceed to perform sealing ordinances for her forebears?

    I presume there will be a way to proceed, that is all.

  29. I am one of those who feels that by then hypothetical Mimi will be able to directly interview her ancestors. Even if I am wrong about the timing, today there are many ordinances waiting on further information which might have to wait until ancestors can be interviewed. Meanwhile there are many ordinances left undone because of the sheer volume of backup. While we wait for adequate information to connect our own lines we are invited to help others who may even lack living descendants. In some cases we will have to wait to ‘learn it in the resurrection’. We do what we can under our current limitations of information and trust that God will provide.

  30. Then there is the principle of adoption. Even where the identity of natural parents is known, adopted children can be sealed to their adoptive parents. Even as we are adopted as descendants of Israel when we join the Church, is it possible that all the gaps and snarls caused by exercise of agency will be resolved by adoption?

  31. ” is it possible that all the gaps and snarls caused by exercise of agency will be resolved by adoption?”

    I believe so. And we know from prophetic statements that much of the work of the Millennium will be precisely this, the repair of all the gaps and snarls caused by foolishness.

  32. Pat, I’m sorry that I was not clear enough. i was and am NOT suggesting same-sex sealing options. That is not part of my thoughts, nor did I read that in any of what Meg wrote.

    The “unknown Miss X” or “unknown Mr X” option, though rarely used, and apparently not too well understood at present, may be part of the solution to seal adopted children to some legitimate opposite-sex combination of their biological/adoptive parents.

    I wasn’t clear in my understanding on how well known or well identified a sealed couple has to be before a child can be sealed to the couple.

    We agree about how we will have to wait until the millennium to fill in a lot of blanks with information that is to be given mortals from the other side.

    I also fail to see where you got your “secret tunnel out” analogy accusation. Accepting the gospel in the spirit world and even while in spirit prison is clearly part of LDS teachings and is part and parcel of why we do temple work without judging the person in regard to sins committed while in mortality. Nor do I suggest that accepting the gospel/repentance is a get-out-of-spirit-prison-free card.

    Certainly, there have been some who reject the gospel in this life using the excuse that their LDS spouse or descendents will “do the temple work for them”, (Elder McConkie gave a talk on that) but there are obvious rejoinders to that position, and church leaders have clearly taught that proxy ordinances do not give license to sin to those who know better.

    But we don’t really know who “knows better” and who doesn’t. Christ is the judge of that. Even people who hear the missionary lessons may not “get it” or may not feel the Spirit at all during the lesson.

    I keep reading about, and I think I agree, about how many non-Mormons are going to be in the CK, and how many Mormons are going to end up in lesser kingdoms.

    Pat, I think we are pretty much in agreement and understand the same things, but we have “talked past each other”, and maybe assumed things were implied when they were not intended.

    Ps to Meg, I’d be interested in your comments on my 4 comments here:
    about Laban’s execution. If you cant see my email in the M* control panel, its at the top of the right hand column at my blog, link in this comment header.

  33. Clarification:
    Nor do I suggest that accepting the gospel/repentance, while _in_ the spirit world/prison, is a get-out-of-spirit-prison-free card.

  34. Laurent, Not exactly, but I remember reading it in the Ensign after I first joined, so it would have been after (about) Feb 1982 (thats not when i joined but thats the first Ensign I read) and before he died in mid april 1985. So that narrows it down a bit. So it might have been just an ensign article or a conf talk, or some other talk that was reprinted or referenced in the ensign.

  35. Hi bookslinger,

    You wrote: “Meg, I’d be interested in your comments on my 4 comments.”

    I’m appalled – you are questioning the spurting blood version of Laban’s death, so subtly portrayed in that classic of filmography, The Book of Mormon Movie?

    I’ve only taken anatomy classes that dealt with dead bodies, not classes that discussed how to most effectively dispatch someone with minimal loss of blood.

    As for the impact of killing Laban on Nephi’s stature with his brothers and their subsequent inability to simply ditch the family and slink back to Jerusalem, it certainly makes sense. Except that when they went back to get Ishmael’s family, they tried to go back (1 Nephi 7):

    6 And it came to pass that as we journeyed in the wilderness, behold Laman and Lemuel, and two of the daughters of Ishmael, and the two sons of Ishmael and their families, did rebel against us; yea, against me, Nephi, and Sam, and their father, Ishmael, and his wife, and his three other daughters.

    7 And it came to pass in the which rebellion, they were desirous to return unto the land of Jerusalem.

    So the fact of a dead Laban didn’t appear to be that much of a deterrent. As for being afraid of Nephi, that didn’t prevent them from continually tying him up and later trying to kill him. Though I guess you could submit that the death of Laban is why they felt the need to tie Nephi up, the reason they felt he was a legitimate challenge to their primacy as leaders.

    But the real question is whether Laman and Lemuel actually hammered the table…

Comments are closed.