Thursday, January 23, 2020

D&C 11: Paradoxical Revelations

Joseph is getting some more revelation by way of the Urim and Thummim, which have an ambiguous identity when you factor in the seer stones and the hat and the breastplate and the spectacles.  Who knows what aids he's claiming to use in his translation efforts now?

True Wealth is Friendship or Something
Verse 7 sounds like Confucius mixed with Jesus:
Seek not for riches but for wisdom; and, behold, the mysteries of God shall be unfolded unto you, and then shall you be made rich. Behold, he that hath eternal life is rich.
I was okay with this up until the semicolon, but I was hoping the follow-up would indicate that he who has wisdom is rich.  But instead, it's eternal life—something that someone can't actually possess in the here and now beyond a few vague promises of the future—that makes one rich.  That also kind of makes it sound like God is saying we're not going to have regular monetary wealth as mortal beings.

This kind of clashes with the gospel of prosperity taught in the Book of Mormon (2 Nephi 1:9-11; Jarom 1:9; Mosiah 1:7; Alma 36:1; Alma 37:13; Alma 49:30; Alma 50:19-20; Helaman 12:1-2; 4 Nephi 1:23), which frequently indicates that material wealth can be a sign of divine favor.  But that's okay because modern Mormonism clashes with the gospel of prosperity too, since Oaks railed against it in General Conference.  So it's not like a little contradiction on this front should be unexpected.

Hurry Up and Stop
God gives Hyrum some more mixed signals in this section (verses 15-16):
Behold, I command you that you need not suppose that you are called to preach until you are called.
Wait a little longer, until you shall have my word, my rock, my church, and my gospel, that you may know of a surety my doctrine.
Just a few verses ago it was "even as you desire of me it shall be done unto you" and "speak nothing but repentance unto this generation" and "assist to bring forth my work."  And now it's "whoa, whoa, hold your horses, there, eager beaver.  You're not really ready to publicly represent the church until you're given explicit instructions to do so.  Y'know, on account of your weak-ass testimony."

God's not really walking a line here so much as straddling a hemisphere.

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