By Common Consent, a Mormon Blog
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Steve and Ronan discuss corporal punishment, sacrament meeting attendance, Kolob, Battlestar Galactica, and evolution.
Ronan, can you post a large version of the facsimiles for us to color in?
“Science puts the light on . . .”
“Don’t screw with Science”
You guys are my heroes. True residents of both Kolob and Kobol.
I enjoy this 10 times attendance debate a lot more than the 10 percent gross/net debate. 10 times! Awesome.
On Kolob, see here:
Sick kids – 3/4 times per year, holiday 4/5 times a year. I think it’s closer to 9, then.
New BCC host seems to have messed up out iTunes link.
Truly a superlative Zeitcast, guys. Loved it. The only frustrating thing was not being able to join in the conversation about 30 times! Great topics.
“Is that the only reason?” You crack me up.
Ben, I can’t remember what that was about.
“Why are we commanded to get together oft and partake of the sacrament? Just because Christ did it? Is that the ONLY reason?”
I working on a proper listener feedback thingy, which will allow people to leave audio comments.
Very nice, covered all the bases.
awesome Ben, I remember that now.
Remember, of course, that listeners can submit their questions/screeds via gmail to zeitcast.
Great, Ronan. That would be pretty fun.
When are you going to Skype yourselves?
mmiles, we already do all this via Skype, but we each record locally and combine using Audacity. That way the sound quality is not subject to the whims of Skype or one participant’s ISP.
Just finished listening. That was great.
Steve, is that your way of concealing the email address from robots, etc.? If so, for a while, I was a robot, because I was fooled.
Ronan, the ability to leave audio comments would be simultaneously awesome and terrifying.
Ben, yes. Let those with eyes (and brains) see.
As Steve said, anyone should feel free to record an MP3 comment/question and email it to us.
Regarding the baptismal covenant, you are just wrong. That’s all.
Steve, so is that zeitcast at gmail.com? or admin?
matt G, the former.
John C Baby,
It was a conversation with ol’ FPR Dave, right? I didn’t say I believed him, but I do wonder exactly how the sacrament and baptism are linked.
Is there any way to get this Zeitcast as a MP3
[audio src="http://media.switchpod.com/users/bycommonconsent/Zeitcast212.mp3" /]
The covenant described in Alma 18 is the sacramental covenant. The act of baptism is the act of affirming entrance into that covenant. The act of sacrament is the weekly reminder of that covenant (and, according to modern church doctrine, an opportunity to renew covenants).
>according to modern church doctrine, an opportunity to renew covenants
This much is clear, yes.
We always go to church when we are on vacation. We only go to Sacrament meeting, but It’s just what we do. It’s nice because we pay more attention and get to see people we don’t know and thus actually care what they are saying. We mainly go because that’s what my wife wants to do and I do what she says, but I do go when I am on business trips as well. I just like to go. It’s fun.
A couple of years back my family and I spent a week at the Outer Banks, NC. Sunday morning, I got up and attended sacrament meeting. (the rest of my family took a vacation day and stayed in bed) In the row behind me was a family that was also visiting. I overheard two of the kids excitedly discussing their immediate post church plans: pool, beach, pool, beach. I had to smile because I knew as soon as sacrament mtg was over, those were the same two places I was headed, with my family of course.
Hopefully I will not embarass anyone in that ward who may be reading this, but that sacrament meeting was one of the best I’ve attended in a long, long time. It was was an old style missionary farewell. The missionary’s family had the entire program and their talks were a fantastic combination of testimony about the gospel and a celebration of the young man about to leave on his mission. The family’s pitch was perfect, imo. (I think these types of missionary farewells are now verboten and I miss them.) And, the deacons who passed the sacrament looked like a rainbow with all of their colored shirts. (I think the sacrament was just as efficacious, notwithstanding the dearth of white shirts worn by the deacons and priests.) That sacrament meeting was a breath of fresh air.
And I am not ashamed to say I actually highlighted portions of my facsimiles on my mission.
John C., that’s a nifty if banal analysis but completely ascriptural I’m afraid. The ordinance I’ve seen makes no mention of any covenant of any kind.
One fun comment with the whole evil BYU science thing is that is was apostle Dallin Oaks that boosted Evolutionary Biology at BYU, and Apostle Jeffrey Holland who pushed it forward.
We teach the covenant as part of the actual process (missionary lessons) and require an interview to be baptised. Baptism is initial admittance into the covenant of the church. There is no spoken oath that goes with the ordinance of Baptism. It is the physical act that implies all the covenants associated. There is plenty of scriptural affirmation for this idea, and further, modern prophets and apostles so affirm it, which is even better.
Matt W., I can tell you that there is no such thing as an implied covenant when it comes to God.
How is this for an old timey baptismal prayer. Levi Mathers Savage, recorded an example of a baptismal prayer used in 1875 in his diary:
Having been commissioned of Jesus Christ, I baptized [sic] you for the remission of your sins; for the renewal of your covenants with God and your brethren, and for the observance of the rules that have been read in your hearing in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost; Amen.
They played fast & loose with ordinance wording back in the day!
Nor is there with baptism. A close reading of the Book of Mormon doctrine of baptism describes it as an affirmation of a covenant. See, for instance, Alma 32:16 as an act of humility, a means of affirming a commitment to God. Then take a close look at the language in Mosiah 18:8-10, which Alma is drawing on in Alma 32 (and his other discourses on baptism).
Alma lays out the terms of the covenant (which are later paraphrased as the terms repeated in the sacramental prayers), then says that if you are amenable to the terms, be baptized as a sign of your affirmation of them (aka: “as a witness that you have entered into a covenant with him”). The act is the entry and the witness thereof.
Oog. Here is Mosiah 18:8-10.
At least, that’s how I read it and I don’t find the conclusions banal or particularly nifty.
John C., next time I get baptized by a pre-Christ Nephite I will keep that in mind.
I went round and round on this here. I learned a lot from Ronan, Mogget and everyone else.
I didn’t say the covenant was implied. It is known. What I meant by implied was that the language of the covenant are symbolically represented in the action of the baptisand.
Matt, I remember that ol’ tussle. I am more of the David J. camp. I am of course not denying that there are some covenants that we take on when we become members of the church, but rather I am challenging John C. to show me the link to baptism — and he will have to do better than Alma’s sermon. I think it’s not an easy task.
It seems like there’s a covenant in here somewhere, what with willingness and determination and all, involving post-Christ Ephraimites:
D&C 20:37 And again, by way of commandment to the church concerning the manner of baptism—All those who humble themselves before God, and desire to be baptized, and come forth with broken hearts and contrite spirits, and witness before the church that they have truly repented of all their sins, and are willing to take upon them the name of Jesus Christ, having a determination to serve him to the end, and truly manifest by their works that they have received of the Spirit of Christ unto the remission of their sins, shall be received by baptism into his church.
(Your Zeitcast hangs repeatedly a couple of minutes into it, so I admit to joining the conversation without having a clue as to its background.)
Ardis, are you downloading it (see comment 24) or are you clicking on the button at the top of the post? If one doesn’t work, try the other.
Also, I like the wording of D&C 20:37 but compare it to other moments of explicit covenant-making in the Church. The problem is that there is no moment where the acolyte is actually asked to do or witness those things.
Huh? All those action words — humbling, desiring, coming forth, witnessing, being willing, having, manifesting — all to be performed by the candidate in exchange for being received, don’t constitute a “doing” on the part of the candidate?
Actions speak louder than words.
The problem with the argument is that David J, in that conversation back in the day, is imposing modern derived notions of covenant on ancient covenant making. While the definition he uses can be derived from observation, the assumption that it should be prescriptive is unnecessary. For that matter, I feel like you (and David) reject out of hand some data that directly applies (the Alma discourses on baptism).
The problem is that Matt and I see an obvious connection where you and David don’t. I don’t really know a way to overcome it. My burden of proof is to demonstrate a connection that to me is obvious and implicit but that to you isn’t. Your burden of proof is to demonstrate that what you feel is a non-existent connection isn’t there to me, who feels like it is there and that it is painfully obvious. So, we’re at kind of an impasse.
Yes JC but I win as I am better looking and an all-around whiz at this stuff.
Ardis, I agree that there are action words — but in reality, when do those things occur? When does the to-be baptized person do those things? Are you saying this is all part of the pre-baptism interview? If so then I think that interview just became a lot more than an ordinary interview.
I would also point out that it is completely legitimate to impose modern notions of covenant on a contemporary experience.
That’s it, Evans. Pistols at dawn!
No, I agree with Matt W. The act of going down into the water and participating in the baptism — what used to be known in 19th and early 20th century wording as “obeying the gospel” (referring purely to being baptized, not to a lifetime of keeping the commandments) — encompasses all the rest.
Sorry, but I don’t understand why there is any puzzle to it. I’ll bow out and leave you to bang your head against the wall without further interference.
#15 – “we each record locally and combine using Audacity”
Truer words were never spoken, Steve.
Here’s a question: Is it possible to make a covenant without being aware that you are making a covenant? Clearly not, yeah? That would seem to invalidate a lot of baptisms – though I think there is an escape in the Sacrament itself, which allows baptized members to make a very specific covenant on a regular basis and look back to that moment when the covenant _could_ have been entered into. There is plenty of time to look back on one’s baptism and realize there is more there than we may have been conscious of at the time – and accept that fuller dimension.
Something that mildly troubles me is the distance between what the scriptures require for baptism and what we require. It seems obvious from Moroni, D&C 20, etc. that much more should be required of the incoming member than is required – more than an ordinary interview indeed! (Almost certainly not conducted by a 19 year old Elder whose entire life’s purpose as been aligned with baptizing.) What would be the effect if many more new members actually had some idea of the dimension of what they were getting themselves into – both in terms of promises made and received?
En todo caso, I think we will move more towards the scriptural model. The church clearly began changing when we actually started reading and looking into the BoM back in 1988, or so. I recall Neal Maxwell saying something to the effect that there are scriptures that ‘are sitting latent in the collective unconscious of the church.’ I think these scriptures about baptism lay in the unconscious of the church, and we could cross over the horizon and see them, anytime.
One other thing to add: I am more and more trying to zero in on what exactly I have promised to do – in Baptism, the Sacrament, the Oath and Covenant of the Priesthood, and the Temple – and concentrate more of my effort on those things and, necessarily, less on a hodgepodge of Mormonisms. That has been to some good effect. :) ~
Maybe we are looking in the wrong place for Nephite ruins–maybe Lehi and those people went to another planet, and that is why we haven’t been able to find those ruins, because they are not on this earth.
A perfect combination of the search for Nephite ruins and the Kolob doctrine. Brilliant, Ronan.
If you’re going to limit your church attendance, for everyone’s sake, try to attend in March, June, September, and December…. that way you’ll be counted for budget numbers!
The Living Christ
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