King Follett Re-visited

Panel Discussion

Posted November 18th, 2014

Glenn is joined by John Hamer, Chelsea Shields Strayer, and Brother Jake Frost to discussion The King Follett Discourse.

  • Cyn

    Great episode! Thank you for including Chelsea on the panel. As a fellow female, I appreciated her insights into the lack of a meaningful place for women in this doctrine. I also enjoyed that she saw the MLM aspect of the plan of eternal progression.
    The fact that you posted the reading of the sermon a number of days before the discussion was one of my favorite parts of these episodes. I had time to listen twice and form my own opinions and see JS in my own way. Beyond the doctrine taught in the sermon, I found Joseph’s state of mind very troubling. I don’t know if Glenn watched sermons given by Jim Jones before he recorded this and used a speech pattern that resembled his, or if all egocentric paranoid cult leaders just sound alike, but I’m glad that they didn’t serve Koolaid with the funeral potatoes at this particular funeral.

    • Glenn

      Wait a minute… did I just get called an egocentric paranoid cult leader? 😉

      • Cyn

        No, no, no, you were just credited with portraying an egocentric paranoid cult leader. I applaud your acting ability.

      • Orrin Dayne

        It did seem you were a little too comfortable in performing that role. 🙂

  • Orrin Dayne

    I, like Chelsea, always had difficultly grasping how denying the Holy Ghost could be the unpardonable sin above what were clearly more egregious acts. I took comfort in that, as it was taught to me in Sunday School (i.e., with emphasis about seeing the sun and denying it), it was limited to people like Cain who saw and talked with God.

    When listening to Glenn’s performance, I realized that Joseph was applying this to all apostates, which surely weren’t the ones who were seeing (and talking with) God.

    Trying to make sense of that, I had an “a-ha” moment (i.e. a moment where I realized something, not where I started singing “Take On Me”) in which I saw that the unpardonable sin was about controlling Church members and vilifying apostates, as you discussed on this episode. It’s amazing the insights one can gain when one tries to find a practical reason for a doctrine, as opposed to a theological reason for a doctrine.

  • Alan

    This was a great ep – but I have to admit that I have a theory that Glenn has the hots for Chelsea. In every episode that they are on together, it just seems kinda like he’s trying to impress her. Sorry Glenn! Love the show, gang!

    *Edit: I cut out a redundant “has the hots” apparently because I’m a grammatically incompetent idiot.

  • Kathryn Teleste

    Great episode! But of course Chelsea and John were on it so it kind of his without saying (wait – that sounds like I’m trying to insult Glenn and Jake. You guys are smart too!)

    It sounds like none of the panelists were speakers of Hebrew. I was very curious about whether the Hebrew part of the sermon made any sense. Do any of the listeners reading this now?

  • Tierza Rose Askren

    Just wanted to weigh in as a female about my connection to the “deep doctrine” in the church. Unlike Chelsea, I never worried too much about the male/female aspect of it. I LOVED the idea of intelligences, that I was a truly eternal being and, since I really liked God as a young person, I just figured that all that male-biased stuff was just wrong and would work out in the eternities. It honestly never occurred to me that I wouldn’t personally be creating worlds or playing God. I assumed that I was a person and that meant I mattered and that I’d succeed as a person, just like I did in school. Being a girl never held me back there, why would it hold me back in heaven? (All this at the same time I was definitely seeing the unfair policies of the church – I was hugely angry, for instance, that my brothers got to do scouts and fathers and sons outings and I did not.)

    • Glenn

      Yeah, I always thought of “Intelligences” as non-gendered (or maybe pre-gendered) pre-spirit light+truth finite matter/substance. Of course it is/was easy for me as a guy to take gender/privilege/power for granted cuz that’s just the ocean my fish always swam in — but I never thought that I, as a man, would have the power to create worlds or spirit children on my own (and I didn’t think a woman was just a means to an end for me to be a complete powerful deity either — or that my eternal companion would be the Cunningham to my Price and it all be really mostly me). But I also never had to veil my face in the temple, or covenant to obey my spouse as she obeyed our heavenly mother — so…. yeah. That.

  • Todd H

    After hearing the King Follett recording, I was hoping this episode was coming. Really great stuff, but I’m wondering what microphone John Hamer is using. I love his knowledge and perspective, but I feel his microphone is tingy and the volume mix seemed off (he was a bit louder than everyone else). Can we start up a fund to get him a better mic?

    • Thanks much to Bob and the Infants on Thrones quorum for an early Christmas present that arrived today — a new microphone that will hopefully solve this problem that Todd identified. Thanks guys!

      • Todd H

        Congrats! That’s great to hear…and hopefully it will be great to hear!

  • Levi Phillips

    I’m glad Chelsea brought up the pyramid scheme mentality. That’s exactly what I was thinking! Who knew that it was good ol’ Joe who led the direct selling revolution that has inspired marketing campaigns for everything from essential oils to mormon movies!

  • Jeff

    A note about Jacob/James: The translators didn’t just use James instead of Jacob because it’s the King James version.

    James and Jacob are essentially the same name, they just come to us through different linguistic channels. It’s kind of like Isaiah/Esaias or Elijah/Elias. James is our modern version of Iacomus (which we get from Latin by way of Old French), which was a variant of Iacobus (which we get from Greek).

    So speak of James all you want, and it’s pretty much the same thing as speaking of Jacob. In fact, the era of King James reign is known as the Jacobean era.

    • Exactly — which makes the point that Joseph Smith’s example here (that the German version is better than the English) doesn’t make any sense.

  • Chris Tolworthy

    re: the date for evolution. Lyell’s work on the age of the earth was published in 1830s, so young earth creationism had already been abandoned by the more informed believers (e.g. some Anglican bishops). Precursors to Darwin were already speculating. Darwin simply gave it a strong, simple scientific basis: so much so that other speculators said “darn, it’s so obvious now, I should have thought of that!” See Wikipedia on “History_of_evolutionary_thought”

    I don’t think Joseph Smith was thinking of evolution though: he was simply taking the traditional hierarchical view and fitting it into the new scientific idea of intellectual progress. he was not the first to speculate. IIRC Swedenborg (the guys who’s ideas were copied for the three degrees of glory) is an example of one of the many religious folk who was also thinking outside the box.

    The 1830s-1840s was the era of the first commercial railways and the taming of electromagnetism. It was an era of revolutions both political and mental. It was he golden age of wild speculation IMO.

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  • I may have missed something, but . . . These thousands of infants on thrones ruling celestial realms—are any of them girls? You’d kinda think some of them would have to be, but a girl? Running a universe? I can barely fit my mind around a ten-month-old male administering my local universe. Do you guys know of any scripture that would clear this up, or do we maybe need a revelation?