Mormon Thunder: A Documentary History of Jedediah Morgan Grant

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Ships to:. United States and many other countries See details. For additional information, see the Global Shipping Program terms and conditions - opens in a new window or tab This amount includes applicable customs duties, taxes, brokerage and other fees. Estimated between Wed. John A. Widstoe subsequently studied at the University of Goettingen in Germany from which he graduated magna cum laude with M. After working with several prominent European chemists, he returned to Utah as director of the Agricultural Experiment Station and on to service as president of the Utah State Agricultural College and then of the University of Utah.


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After his appointment as an apostle, Widstoe expended a great deal of effort on questions surrounding the interface of religion and reason. It asks only that the facts of science be as accurately determined as human powers permit, and that confusion between facts of science and inferences of science be earnestly avoided. The religion of Latter-day Saints is not hostile to any truth, nor to scientific search for the truth. Every person of honest mind loves truth above all else ….

Truth is truth, whether labeled science or religion. Then if this love of truth be genuine, he must replace the traditions of his life with the new-won knowledge. It merely declares that everything in the universe is moving onward. The third member of this intellectual triumvirate also immigrated to Utah as a youngster.

While not trained as a scientist like [p. Roberts was a consummate scholar who spent his career as a church leader investigating the realities of his faith, both past and present, particularly as it crossed paths with the world of secular knowledge. The great law of nature is that every plant, herb, fish, fowl, beast and man produces its kind.

As changes in the earth came, so did mass extinctions. This monumental work attempted in one grand sweep a complete doctrinal reconciliation of theology and science, a total analysis of a theistic cosmos. By this time Roberts had come to the conclusion that organic evolution had to take its place as a certain truth among the countless others his faith and reason had affirmed.

The full extent of his logic on the matter took him right to the brink of accepting evolutionary theory as the basic explanation to all life, but he paused there to cling to the idea of special creation for Adam and his descendants, while accepting without reservation the existence of humans prior to a cleansing of the planet to make way for the Adamic dispensation.

Several of the apostles, led by Joseph Fielding Smith, responded to the manuscript with an attack on the whole idea of evolution and a general debunking of the scientific method. Talmage, an apostle with seniority, jumped into the fray on the side of Roberts. While the manuscript never saw publication, Talmage managed to convince the First Presidency to [p. Neither side of the controversy has been accepted as a doctrine at all. Roberts, like Talmage and Widstoe, testified to the worthiness of scientific investigation as a desirable pursuit. Such support for science among outspoken leaders of the church helped to encourage the development of a tradition at mid-century for Mormons to respect the scientific endeavor.

It also created an atmosphere in which Mormon thinkers of the stripe of BYU religion professor Hugh Nibley, 45 Apostle Joseph Merrill, 46 and Frederick Pack 47 rose to state their devotion to reason and their rejection of any exclusivity between religion and science. But certainly there have been severe conflicts between interpretations of facts of science and some teachings of religionists. They are usually due to misinterpretations and intolerance. Scientists and religionists of the present generation have found that there were faults on both sides among their predecessors.

Yes, I believe the facts of science, rightly looked at and understood, are helpful to the development of a sound religious faith. On one point, all of these Mormon thinkers, from Widtsoe and Roberts to Nibley and Pack, agree completely. Mainstream Christianity misinterpreted biblical ideas of the origin of the earth and life thereon. Roberts suggested that insufficient understanding of creation among theologians was responsible for the theory of evolution in the first place. One of the major complaints of mainstream Christianity is that Latter-day Saints have other scriptures in addition to the Bible.

Nibley studied these other scriptures as possible keys to untying the Gordian Knot of science and religion.

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David Rees outlines that historical drift, and Duane Jeffery documents clearly the conflict among church leaders on organic evolution. Others lament the growing sense that science simply cannot coexist peacefully with religion in the minds of Latter-day Saints. Most notable among the latter are personal essays by Cedric Davern 61 [p.

Some comfort for these troubled souls appeared in an article in the September issue of the official church magazine The Ensign. A similarly conciliatory article appeared in the January Improvement Era , predecessor to The Ensign. Among the first of these is parallelism. During the s, a renaissance promised to usher in a Golden Age of Mormon studies.

The truth of the Restoration would come forth [p. Arrington, his staff, and countless others who would flock to the church historical department to write a new and open history of Mormonism. But gradually, as the first works came forth, certain leaders decided that such an open-minded pursuit and the scholarly interpretation of it could damage faith.

Too many questions might create too much discomfort. After all, they argued, the church is in the business of saving souls and should sponsor only activities that lead directly to that end.


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On that occasion the point man in the attack was Elder Boyd K. Packer, whose condemnation of non-faith-promoting history and resulting debate among Mormon intelligentsia made national news. In other words, anything that does not promote faith is counterproductive. In the Mormon situation, there exists a strong personality factor.

Differences between the perspectives of apostles like Widstoe and McConkie need no analysis. Plainly, their contrasting views and styles and resulting effects on the general population of the church have manifest themselves in the dramatic change we have seen. The degree of respect for science that comes across in common discourse both from the high pulpit of the tabernacle and in the lowliest Sunday school class in the church is eroding. In the nineteenth century, isolationist church leaders thumbed their noses, so to speak, at the sectarian world.

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With statehood and the end of polygamy, the new century brought the need for respectability and a desire on the part of church leaders to move Mormonism into the mainstream of placid American Christianity. As it steadily backed away from overt doctrinal and social radicalism, it absorbed other aspects of the conservative church at the very time when Darwinism and Freudianism were taking a toll on traditional notions of religious truth. American church membership and attendance went into a slide, and although Mormonism with its own growth dynamic did not share that fate, it naturally moved with the current into the fundamentalist reaction to the forces of dysfunction.

By the post-war period, Mormon expansion into a national and then international arena demanded a conservative demeanor. It would not do to [p. Literalist interpretations of the Bible fit naturally into such a scheme. Another reason for the Mormon retreat from science is particularly curious.

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LDS dogma, the same beliefs that inspired the liberal ideas of Nibley, have in other hands added more justification for the fundamentalist retrenchment. On his deathbed, he told Heber C. Kimball that he had been over on the other side two nights in succession, where he. He saw his wife; she was the first person that came to him. He saw many that he knew, but did not have conversation with any except his wife Caroline. Grant, here is little Margaret; you know that the wolves ate her up, but it did not hurt her; here she is all right. Here are some of the other details that Brother Grant remembered from the vision:.

Church History. He also spoke of the buildings he saw there, remarking that the Lord gave Solomon wisdom and poured gold and silver into his hands that he might display his skill and ability, and said that the temple erected by Solomon was much inferior to the most ordinary buildings he saw in the spirit world.

I saw flowers of numerous kinds, and some with from fifty to a hundred different colored flowers growing upon one stalk.

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