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Thursday, September 8, 2011

13. Passing the Heavenly Gift


There is much symbolism in this book cover.
Here is the back cover text.


Mormonism has undergone four distinct phases. The first began in 1820 and ended with Joseph Smith’s death in 1844. The second began upon Joseph Smith’s death and ended with abandonment of plural marriage, publicly in 1890 and privately in 1904. In the third phase Mormonism denounced as apostasy its practice of plural wives, marking the first time an orthodox practice became grounds for excommunication. The fourth phase began with David O. McKay and is still underway. In it Mormonism has adopted corporate management techniques to consolidate and direct central church decision-making. The first phase was innovative and expansive, continually adding doctrine, scripture, teachings and ordinances. Subsequent phases have curtailed, abandoned, even denounced earlier teaching and doctrine. Phases two through four have all abandoned doctrine. Growth in these subsequent phases has been defined in terms of political influence, financial gains, cultural inroads, and population growth; while the underlying religion has been curtailed. Today, marketing the institution has become more important to Mormon success than preserving the original religious content. The changes from phase to phase have completely transformed Mormonism, sharing a vocabulary but redefining the terms. Modern Mormonism has now institutionalized change. For the first time in this book Mormonism is candidly described in terms which track the changes by examining doctrine, teachings and practices. Interestingly, the passing of the heavenly gift was anticipated by Joseph Smith’s prophecies and the Book of Mormon



8 comments:

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  2. The first thing that caught my eye is that the flame has gone out, but yet still burns. And that it's the center-point between the two triangles. Also is a point along the "crack" which then divides into two paths. Amazing symbolism.

    I'd love to hear more details about the symbols on the cover. I see many, but would love to hear more if you feel so inclined to share.

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  3. My wife has been reading this amazing and heart breaking book. Amazing in the truths that it reveals from the same scriptures we have read for years. And heart breaking to see how much further we have departed from the Lord than I had previously realized. He does offer hope that an individual can still reach God, in part by receiving ordinances from a fallen Church, which still has much to offer.

    Thanks, Steve

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  4. Unknown,

    The Seal of Melchizedek at the bottom of the candle stick is interesting. What are your thoughts about the symbol being on the cover?

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    1. It is not the only important symbol on the cover. Many of the other symbols are hidden. Very good that you recognized this as the seal, instead of many who mistaken it for the Star of David.

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  5. The quenched flame is at the very center of a faint X . . . reminds me of cross-hairs.

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  6. The Seal of Melchizedek is also known as the Star of Melchizedek, it also symbolic of union of male and female in the power of the Priesthood. The LDS Church is losing out of real priesthood power by ignoring and denying women this scared right.

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