The Swedish Rescue


Note: This is Swedish Rescue - Part 1. There is also a follow-up story called Swedish Rescue - Part 2.

 

Apostasy within the LDS Church seems to be among the highest in Sweden with many LDS members questioning their beliefs, including several high-ranking LDS leaders. In order to help these struggling members in Sweden, the LDS Church issued a document called 'The Swedish Rescue'.

These documents are circulating on the Internet on various Swedish, Mormon-themed Facebook groups. This document was sent to us after someone who knows Swedish translated it from Swedish to English. It is presented below exactly as it was provided to us. We cannot vouch for its contents or the English translation. Another separate document is a transcript of a meeting conducted by Elder Marlin K. Jensen (LDS Church Historian), Richard E. Turley, Jr. (Assistant Church Historian) and members of the church in Västerhaninge Chapel, Stockholm, Sweden, November 28, 2010 (full pdf file here - thank you to jiminycricket of RfM for the formatting)

We present this information for 2 reasons:

1) The LDS church appears to have made this document presented below in order to help its members that are struggling with their faith after discovering information about the history of Mormonism that is disturbing to them. We're willing to help the Church share this information with those Latter-day Saints outside of Sweden that are also struggling with these issues so they can see the Church's response and to share the resources and advice the Church provides.

2) Several members in Sweden have asked for our commentary to the Church's response to them. We present our commentary at the end.

The Rescue document we received had this introduction letter:

Stockholm in March 2012

The stake presidents, mission, and district president in Sweden

Dear Brothers,

Hereby forwarded the support material "The Swedish Rescue". It can be used by leaders in the stakes and in the district in their service to strengthen and restore members' faith in the restored gospel.

Every era has its challenges, and we live in an age where technology development and use with different media to have a tremendous impact. IT technology is a wonderful tool for the church but it also attracts members into the traps that put their faith under great strain.
Experience has taught us that when a member went deep into doubt, it is a long process to get out of it. So long that we still can not fathom it. This tells us that we must prevent by strengthening the faith and a strong warning against taking part in something unclean that destroys faith and spirituality.

A good member who never read the speculation or the newly produced information on the net expressed the following. "I notice that thoughts can easily come about: what about it? how can that be? in a completely different way than before. I feel that I need daily ward off it with my own personal prayer and scripture study. "
We must be positive and active in taking the gospel to the people of this country. Everyone needs it in order to fulfil their life missions, and follow the Savior. Sweden Mission, Stockholm has the responsibility to join us in strengthening their missionary work and has the resources to support and cooperate with the stakes and the district.
With prayer and hope for success in your efforts to be shepherds of your flock. Christ is with us in this in any way we need. See the collection in Ezekiel 34:11-16.

With fraternal greetings

Ingvar Olsson
area Seventy

This is Google translate (partly improved) of the content in the Swedish Rescue.

"The Swedish Rescue"


Most members live in harmony with the gospel and the church's values. However, some members for various reasons had come out on the net and found information about the history of the Church, leader or prophet Joseph Smith, who shocked the members' faith and created disappointment, frustration and sadness.
This support material is designed primarily for the priesthood and help association leaders in their service to:

a) strengthen members' faith in the preventive and

b) to guide members to recapture lost faith.

Material has been produced under the guidance of elders Ingvar Olsson, Area Seventy, mission president Gregory Newell, Sweden Stockholm Mission and the degree of cooperation with Church History Department in Salt Lake City.

Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints
March 2012
Table of Contents

The first Letter from the Church History Department with overall
principles

Section 2. and 3. is inspirational material for local priesthood and Relief Society leaders, who in his magistrate practices have leadership responsibilities for members. The second Prevention
2.1 Scripture
2.2 "... resist .... the winds of doubt ..."
2.3 Test and crisis a part of life
2.4 Church's historic sites and recommended books

The third recapture
3.1 Scriptures
3.2 An experienced doubts process
3.3 To respond to members who have doubts
3.4 The art of listening
3.5 New knowledge can deepen faith
3.6 Three areas

Section 4. is an immersion and training for those who are interested to go deeper into the targeted substances.

The fourth Facts and FAQs
4.1 Historical issues
4.2 Writings from the first centuries AD.
4.3 The truth of what one reads
4.4 People in Crisis
4.5 Three levels of access to Church History


Letter from Church History Department

”The Swedish Rescue”                                 Salt Lake City, January 21, 2012.

I think we all agree that in your efforts to rescue those who are struggling, no ”program” [i.e. The Addiction Program] is needed. Rather, priesthood leaders who hold keys, who are filled with charity, and who seek the guidance of the Spirit, will know in each case how best to proceed.
The following summary of the principles that we discussed during your visit may be helpful to you and local priesthood leaders;
(1) The Church does not hide historical facts. In fact, it makes every effort to be open and honest about its past and current actions.
(2) The internet and digital records now make information about the Church available to many who because of language and other limitations have not previously known of this information. This does not mean that such information was hidden by the Church; it was simply not generally available.
(3) Joseph Smith and the prophets who succeeded him were not wicked or deceiving men. Joseph did not become a ”fallen prophet.” He and all other prophets of this dispensation have human weaknesses. They have often admitted this and the scriptures sometimes confirm that God is not pleased with them. However, they worthily exercised their priesthood keys and led the Church in their time as directed by God through revelation.This is true of President Thomas S. Monson today.
(4) Obtaining or regaining a testimony of Joseph Smith as a prophet of God and of the restoration of the gospel through him is always essentially a spiritual quest. Nephi’s reminder to his older brother of the Lord’s words provides a good description of the path each must walk: ”If ye will not harden your hearts, and ask me in faith, believing that ye shall receive, with diligence in keeping my commandments, surely these things shall be made known unto you”, (1 Nephi 15:11).
(5) In working with individual members who are expressing doubts, priesthood leaders should (a) provide the best possible answers to the questions the members are asking, (b) teach the spiritual path each must walk to gain or regain a testimony, helping the members to remember past spiritual witnesses and to avoid contact with evil influences, and (c) emphasize that faith is a conscious choice that each must make.
(6) As guided by the Spirit, the scriptures, and Handbook 1 (section 6.7.3 material on Apostasy), priesthood leaders may need to take disciplinary action with those members who persist in publicly opposing the Church and its leaders after they have been lovingly worked with and corrected by their bishop or higher authority. Alma’s counsel is important in this regard: ”Now repentance could not come unto men except there were a punishment…” (Alma 42:16).
The three-point approach [1. Prevent, 2. Regain and3. Facts & Answers]… formulated after our meeting may be a very good framework to share with priesthood leaders along with the principles set out above.
I think this sums up the things we agreed to during our meeting. We join our faith and prayers with yours that we can make difference in the lives of those Swedish Saints whose faith is being tested.
May the Lord bless you and your associates there, is our prayer.

Sincerely your brother

Elder Marlin K. Jensen

2.0 Prevention

2.1 The Scriptures

Hebrews 11:1 Now faith is the conviction of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.
1 Timothy 6:20-21 Dear Timothy, keep that which has been forwarded to you, and turn away from the endless, empty chatter and the complaints that come from what is called knowledge without being there. Some have strayed from the faith by confessing to ... knowledge.
Alma 32:26 and as I said concerning faith - that there is perfect knowledge - so it is with my words. You may initially not have perfect knowledge that they are true, just as faith is perfect knowledge.
Moroni 10: 30 and again, I urge you to come to Christ and hold on to every good gift and not touching any evil gift, nor unclean.

D & C 109:7 And since not everyone has faith, seek diligently and teach one another words of wisdom, indeed, find the best books words of wisdom. Search for lessons, even by study and also by faith.

D & C 6:23-24 Did I not peace to your mind about this? What greater witness can you get than that which comes from God? And behold, you've got a witness, for if I have told you something that no one knows, have not you got a testimony?

D & C 121: 28 A time will come when nothing will be withheld; whether there is one God or many gods so will it be revealed .... And there will also be revealed if limits are set for the heavens or on the seas .... ".

2.2 "... resist ... the winds of doubt ..."

Apostle Hugh B. Brown (1895 - 1975) writes in his book "An Abundant Life" (An abundant rich life) about the importance of studying in depth:

"... There's not enough candid" investigator "- attitude among us.

We should study with an open mind and to approach new problems with no preconceived notions.
Doubt has its place if it can awaken an interest for us to seek and find truth in our own person.
Too many people in the world are willing to accept as true everything that is printed in a book or termination from a pulpit. Their faith seek never be the authoritative surface.

I appeal to everyone I meet that they should search their faith deeply and find the solid truth, so they can withstand the undecided's and the winds of doubt and storms, resist opposition and persecution, ... with an intelligent faith and understanding of the gospel.
Revelation can come ... to the thinking mind and the investigative spirit, through applications, and research, prayer and inspiration.

We must preserve freedom of thought in the church and resist all attempts to suppress it.
It is possible to memorize a lot without learning anything. In our fast-paced age, there seems to be little time for meditation.

... no one should accept the statement and base his testimony on it, no matter who makes the statement, until he or she is under careful consideration, found it to be true and valuable, then, logical inference is confirmed by the revelation of one's own spirit, because real conversion must come from within ... ".

2.3 Test and crisis a part of life

"... Rather than simply pass through trials, we should allow trials to pass through us in such a way that we developed and sanctified ..."

Apostle Neal A. Maxwell

Leaders who are planning activities and meetings in the church has an important preventive role by preparing the faith-promoting activities and meeting points in any organization and in sacrament meetings.

Faith and the proximity of Jesus Christ develops when the sharing of testimonies, serve others, pray, make speeches, study the scriptures and partake of the sacrament.

To strengthen the faith and prevent the loss of faith is easier than to reclaim the throne when it disappeared.

To meet, endure, go through and developed by the trials and crises are a natural part of life.

It can be affected by crises and trials of relationships, work, health, finances, family and marriage. Similarly, one can get in a crisis with their faith. We need daily care of our relationships, our work, our finances, our marriages, our health and our faith.

Raw experience is no experience. Therefore it is important to put into words their spiritual experiences, whether it be through spoken words (eg, testimony) or written language (eg reflections in a diary). By forming the word of faith experiences are processed into a solid rock that you need to stand as trial winds can blow later. (My personal holy revelations and experiences should be carefully consciously considered, before the sharing of testimonies to others.)

Faith can weaken when one takes note of information that does not match what you believe. To doubt their faith can lead to personal crisis, through the experience of the beliefs you have previously chosen to live his life for was a "Wrong choice". This can get the person to doubt his ability to make other important decisions and self-esteem is shaky.

It may be difficult for anyone who doubts and looked away from the church to come back because the person has not only the "wrong choice" once (when he / she chose the church) but now once again when it turns out that even the doubts are incorrect .

Rather than be faced with the choice - to admit you were wrong - maybe you choose to continue on the "wrong way" so as not to completely lose self-respect.

2.4 Church's historic sites and recommended books

"... Historians should not be in an apologetic fashion, but to be as open, candid and fair about our own history as we can. They should foster a culture of mutual openness with the general historical community .... Greater Dialogue coming about, less Suspicion and a Greater openness that is coming to pass "

Elder Marlin K. Jensen.

The Church is making great efforts to let their story be open to researchers and the public. Lots of archive material made available. The archives are opened does not mean that historical scientific knowledge is complete. This requires that researchers impose scientific research questions, which are tested against archival source material. When sufficiently secure reply, a report or dissertation that examined by other researchers. Only then can the scientifically correct knowledge released to the public.

The church follows a very strict scientific criterion for its historical research.
Church History Department (CHD) cooperates for example with many external researchers, universities and the National Library in Washington to pursue the comprehensive "The Joseph Smith Paper" - project. In about 30 volumes and continuously for 15 years published all archival material relating to Joseph Smith. The publication is in books and online. The church expects in such a way that scientists and the public, who wish, researching the facts as true as possible.

Since the mid-1980s, the historical researcher employed at Church headquarters to gradually delivering as true scientific picture of the period from 1820 to the present time.

Stories about the shortcomings of people in the church have always existed, but not all have known about them. Lord out through yourself in D & C 50:4 (1831) "Behold I the Lord have observed you and have seen abominations in the church that profess my name." (See also the elder Jensen's letter in Section 1. And Apostle Boyd K. Packer's statement in Section 3.3). Having the testimony of the Prophet Joseph Smith does not mean you need to have the same testimony that he was faultless man Joseph Smith.

On the link below can all learn about church history, as a result of continued work of CHD.

https://history.lds.org/?lang=eng

Each can be on the websites follow the Church's history, such as reading Times & Seasons all the numbers from 1830. All material on church websites is officially approved.

CHD recommend the following websites, which CHD itself uses. These websites are not only focused on the history of the church.

The first LDS FAQ http://ldsfaq.byu.edu/
The second Encyclopedia of Mormonism Online http://eom.byu.edu/
The third FAIR http://en.fairmormon.org/Main_Page
The fourth Neal A. Maxwell Institute http://maxwellinstitute.byu.edu/
The fifth More Good Foundation http://www.moregoodfoundation.org/

Further recommends CHD following books to start studying the Church's early history:

1.Leonard, Glen:
Nauvoo: A Place of Peace, A People of Promise.
Provo and Salt Lake City: Brigham Young University Press and Deseret Book, 2002.

The second Givens, Terryl:
By the Hand of Mormon: The American Scripture That Launched a New World Religion.
Oxford and New York: Oxford University Press, 2002.

The third Backman, Milton;
ReSound The Heavens: A History of the Latter-day Saints in Ohio, 1830-1838.
Salt Lake City: Deseret Book, 1984.

The fourth Bushman, Richard:
Joseph Smith and the Beginnings of Mormonism.
Urbana and Chicago: University of Illinois Press, 1984.

The fifth Allen, James:
The Story of the Latter-day Saints. Salt Lake City: Deseret Book, 1976.

3.0 Re-Conquer

3.1 Scriptures

3 Nephi 13:14. "... For if you forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you ...".

1 Nephi 15:11 "Do not you remember what the Lord has said: If you do not harden your hearts, but ask me in faith and trust that you will receive, and carefully obey my commands, shall surely this known unto you."

D & C 50:10-11 "... And now, saith the Lord by the Spirit to his church elders, and let us talk to each other, so that you can understand. Let's talk just as a man converses with another, face to face. And when a man speaks, she is understood by people, because she talks like a man. Similarly, I the Lord speak to you so that you can understand ... ".

D & C 121: 28 "A time will come when nothing will be withheld, whether there is one God or many gods so will it be revealed .... And there will also be revealed if limits are set for the heavens and the seas ... ".

D & C 64:10 "I, Lord, forgive them, I want to forgive, but of you it is required that you forgive all men."

1 Kings 9:4-5 "If you walk before me [the Lord], as your father David walked, in good heart and sincerity, so that you follow everything I have commanded you and stick to my statutes and regulations; I will let your royal throne over Israel last forever, as I promised your father David "

1 Kings 9:34 + 38 "Yet I will not take away from him [Solomon] the whole country .... for my servant David's sake, whom I chose, because he held on to my commandments and statutes. If you obey all I command you and walk in my ways and do what is right in my eyes, so you hold on to my statutes and my commandments, as My servant David did. "

During the study, prayer and meditation, a person who reads a text guided by the Holy Spirit and ask: Does the text read me closer or further away from the Lord?

Only that which comes directly from the Lord through divine communication is truth, everything else is interpretation. Therefore, prayer is directly to the Lord and the Holy Spirit whispers of priceless value to the personal revelation receive truth.

"... There's another thing that needs to be clarified. Since it is evident that there were Christians long before the New Testament put together, long before there even was no collection of Jesus' statements, one can not therefore claim that the Bible is that makes someone a Christian. As the eminent New Testament scholar NT Wright says: "The risen Jesus does not say at the end of Matthew: 'I'm giving all power in heaven and on earth for the books you will all write', but rather, 'I've got all the power in heaven and on earth. '"In other words:" ... Scriptures point away from themselves and from the fact that the final and true authority belongs to God himself. "So the scriptures are not the definitive source of knowledge for Latter-day Saints. They are manifestations of the definitive source. The definitive source of knowledge and authority of Latter-day Saints is the living God. This communication comes from God through vibrant, powerful, divine revelation ... ".

Apostle Jeffrey R. Holland, General Conference April 2008

3.2 An experienced doubts process

The following are examples of real experiences in a member's idle time. They describe her longing for spirituality and confusion over what is true or not.

- Started to read online
- Ordered and read books
- Had an exchange of views, discussions with peers
- Began to see much wrong with the teachings of the Church
- Felt the Church established "truths" as false
- Felt regret, would like to continue believing the gospel is true, but could not
- Became confused, had a strong faith in Christ and hope in the Lord's guidance
- Felt that "ritual, indoctrinated answer" on various issues it felt all wrong
- Meditated, went back to when she got her testimony, wondering how it happened, what she experienced when
- Lost the desire and motivation to go to church
- Felt a great longing for spirituality
- Went to other churches to find spirituality
- Estranged if she still went to Church meetings
- Values of the church felt fine - after all
- It was hard, she could not find a definitive answer
- Experienced a lot of surface comparisons, materialism, emotional coldness (lack of authenticity), large indoctrination of its members
- Experienced members' treatment as unpleasant (imitation, the press, wanted to arouse guilt, attacked, accused, slandered = ran away)
- Seemed all wrong with [that she experienced] the standard, indeed impersonal quarters even though tears, and "canned myths" (censored stories)
- Wanted to believe, missing it, but perceived contradictions prevented

Many have said that they felt uncomfortable and bad spirit when they started to open and read "anti"-texts online.

When members begin to read about the shortcomings of Church history and that history does not really with what they have learned (and have a problem with it), they find themselves at a crossroads, where they choose their routes.

From pulpits and in the classroom, Church leaders and teachers have not talked much about this particular election, as they have done, for example, the various dependencies. Therefore, not all members either prepared or aware that they face an important decision.

In such a situation should be any time in advance to have decided how to respond.

The choice is between getting closer to Christ or distance themselves from him.

Lord's way of solving problems is: prayer, humility, study of literature, writings, conversations with leaders and friends, personal revelation and ability to rise above human frailty. The Holy Spirit helps us to distinguish between truth and error. Way of the Lord expands our faith and gives personal development.

If you choose to continue studying anti-Joseph Smith lyrics get stuck easily in increasing doubt.

Our mission is to:

a) support the members' faith,
b) demonstrate knowledge that supports the belief in the Prophet Joseph Smith and
c) to guide members who are experiencing a crisis of faith through the process that leads
back to a renewed and even stronger faith.

Experience to date shows that every member that comes into doubt has its own unique situation. Therefore it is important to support measures targeted to each individual separately. And to spend time, prayer and thought on trying to understand the individual and be prepared to listen.

To get through the crisis will help members to grow spiritually and mentally, be stronger, repent and deepen their faith.
When a member re-grow into the idea of an eternal life with God the Father and Jesus Christ, then it can actually experienced it in the present crisis to be an important stepping stone ("stepping least to progress") for development.
In faith, eternal perspective reveals the human failings of Church history as very marginal compared to the restored gospel and its infinite blessings.

3.3 To respond to members who have doubts

A member who doubt will in a more difficult emotional situation and are in need of the most understanding and loving dialogue you can imagine.
- Show empathy, understanding, acceptance, but keep quiet fast to their own values.
- View definitely not superiority, do not try to convince.
- View humility! (The way one describes reality, is the way it looks it!).
- Show genuine friendship.
- Remember: "If I were this person, how would I like to be treated? ".
- Be open to signals - it takes time to adapt an approach.
- Avoid saying, "now I understand exactly how you feel."
- Avoid a call situation where either needs to defend themselves.
- Respect the free will.
- Express the wish that the person you are speaking with to be happy.
- Make decisions that your friendship does not depend on a person returning to the church or not -
and mean it.
- Listen to understand and to be led by the Holy Ghost.

In order to regain their faith requires member

a) "to adjust its course" and keep the commandments
b) join in humble prayer for guidance and
c) receive their own personal revelation. Anyone who does this and get the Spirit Confirmation will be stronger than you did before and not easily shaken in their faith in the Restoration. It is needed in these last days.

"... All around us we see the Church members who have been injured. Some people get upset over events in the history of the Church or its leaders and suffering throughout life without being able to look beyond others' mistakes ...

... If you're carrying a burden, forget it and let it be. Forgive much and repent a little to visit the Holy Spirit and you will be strengthened by the testimony you never knew you had. God watches over and then bless you and your loved ones. I invite you to come to him ... ".
Apostle Boyd K. Packer, General Conference, April 2011.


The third 4 The art of listening

The best way to support people in spiritual crisis is to listen. And to really listen.
Listening also means asking until you understand, "What do you mean?". "Have I understood you correctly that you think like this ...?".

In Preach My Gospel (p. 189) states.

"... When you listen carefully to others, understand them better. When they know that their thoughts and feelings are important to you, they are more likely to share personal experiences and issues.
Listen especially for and seek the Spirit whispers. When others share their feelings with you, thoughts or ideas, which are led by the Spirit, come to your mind. You can better understand what others are trying to express.
While others talk to you, avoid the "trap" of thinking about what to say, as the next post. Make sure you really concentrate and listen to the speaker in place to plan your response or your response.
Elder Jeffrey R. Holland has expressed: "More important than speaking is listening. Be genuine. Ask for what matters most to them when they speak. What they appreciate and what keeps the beloved? And listen. If the circumstance is right, you may be able to ask what their fears are, what their problems are, what they long for, how they perceive their testimony or what they think is missing in their lives. I promise you that some of what they say will always highlight a truth of the gospel that you certainly can bear testimony "(Ensign, May 2001).
People also communicate by how they sit, their facial expressions, what they do with their hands, their voices and their eye movements. Observe these unspoken messages, they can help you understand the feelings of those you are communicating with. Also be aware of your own body language. Send signals to show your interest and commitment by listening sincerely.
Do not be afraid of silence. People often need time to think and respond to questions or to express what they feel. You can pause when you have a question, or after you've shared with you by a spiritual experience, or when people have trouble expressing themselves. Be sure to give them you are calling, time to finish their thoughts before answering, and do not interrupt when they speak.
When you feel that you understand what is said, in front of thoughts like: "So what you're saying is ... is this true? ..." Or "If I understand, you know this ...", or when you are not sure if you understand, ask the person for clarification ... ".

Listening is not talking.
As a "listener" you do not "do something". You do not solve the problem. Listening is doing enough. It is to "do something".

"... I promise you that some of what they say will always highlight a truth of the gospel that you can safely bear witness to and. . . . when listening with love, you will not have to wonder what to say. It will be given to you, by the Spirit and through talking to ... ".
Apostle Jeffrey R. Holland (Preach My Gospel, pp. 189)

3.5 New knowledge can deepen faith

Do not have to hurry to get to the point where the talking to begin building up a mental picture, to bring in the "old" and the "new" in new "synthesis". Let the Spirit lead you so that you understand when the time comes. It may require a lot of calls.

Most people who fall into doubt wish to combine their previous spiritual experiences with the new information they have read. Expressions like, "Well, ... what does human error for the role .... Gospel really is restored through Joseph Smith ... ", can reproduce it as members testify when they remain on the rock of faith. The focus is more on the restored gospel and the Joseph Smith as a prophet, not his human failings. Joseph Smith had many very good points and valuable properties.

The query examples below should be seen as suggestions for topics of conversation. Not as a "checklist" to be grazed. The questions are too broad and deep for that. They can also bring a lot of person that can be difficult to manage. (Eg, self-image: who are you?)

Query Examples:
- How did you get your faith? What did you think then?
- Do you still have these feelings?
- How much do you trust your own experiences and feelings, how much is you depend on others?
- What is your self-image out - who are you?
- What do different routing alternative for the consequences? See the big picture! Calculate"Cost" to change or not change the attitude to life!
- What a "pedestal", you have turned on the prophets? (Eg, Moses, David, and Joseph Smith)
- How do you feel right now?
- Where are you going now?
- How do you understand the Atonement?
- How do you use the scriptures?

Prompt to:
- Studying with the Holy Ghost.
- To receive blessings.
- Partake of the sacrament, to meditate on Christ's atoning significance, and ask Savior show a way out of the dilemma you are in.
- Hold fast to the rod (eg, hold family home evening and observe the Sabbath); throughout doubt the process.
- Without prejudice to other members when you are in doubt. We do not know how others react when they receive it with a self-doubting.
- Understand the frustration, doubt and crisis is a natural part of life and a process to get through.

Be calm, comforting, showing understanding and help to provide reassurance. Show that you are strong in your faith.

3.6 Three areas

Doubts raises three areas:
a) Believe
b) scientific knowledge
c) Crisis

BELIEVE: In the church members and leaders of good insight on how to receive, acknowledge and develop their faith. Most members are "experts" on faith. Priesthood and Relief Society leaders are expected to support, lead and inspire members to believe.
Risk: Members do not care for their faith.
Leaders believe that they must have all the answers.

Opportunity: Members develop their faith through prayer, scripture reading, meditation, partaking of the sacrament, temple visits, personal revelation, etc.
Leaders speak (even from the pulpits) of the importance of:
a) nurture their faith and
b) decide in advance how to choose the way if / when you come into contact with information that is "anti-Joseph Smith." It is a matter of "alert".

SCIENTIFIC KNOWLEDGE: The scientific research community, including church historians, who manages the description of historical events, major requirements, including source criticism and scientific methodology, as a condition of texts to qualify as a real historical knowledge. Most members of the church are not aware of these requirements. Few members are "experts" on knowledge, but they are there.
One can not be certain that the information and knowledge you read is true. The in all contexts important source criticism is often lacking, making literature, and especially internet uncertain (see Section 4.3). In the Gospel there is a principle of true science and true religion goes hand in hand. In the nick of time will eventually all questions to their answers.

Risk: Members draws too fast and / or incorrect conclusions.
Leaders do not know where to refer.

Opportunity: Members can a) learn about the scientific method and
b) studying church history in harmony with sections first and Section 4.2.

CRISIS: Reading the "anti-Joseph Smith" lyrics and become trapped fuel a demand of any kind. This need can be curiosity, channeling raw emotion, curiosity, or perhaps excitement ahead of the "forbidden". For members of the Depression, it may be easy to give discovery of new information, the blame for that one does not feel the spirit. Few members are "experts" to manage themselves in their process through a crisis. In the Church of Sweden are some good resources to exploit. Experienced crisis deepens and develops.

Risk: Members are unaware that they can use the errors of the Church leaders as "escape factor".
Leaders who too easily and quickly take the above as evidence of its own conclusions and actions.
Members may lack the capacity / ability to understand their situation.

Opportunity: Members may be inspired to study in depth and to obtain more knowledge about the history of the church and Joseph Smith as a real restorer of the gospel. This develops a deeper self-knowledge, which enable programmers to extend all aspects of their faith, get to know themselves better and grow.
Members may feel that they will be respectfully and lovingly listened to and not "patted on the head" or ordered.
Leaders learn more about the example:
a) the importance of listening and dialogue, and
b) the personal crisis / trial of different
phases and character.

Members recognize that the crisis is not a threat but an opportunity.

For crisis management, one can seek advice from LDS Family Services.

Priesthood and Relief Society leaders provide peace of mind, standing calmly in their beliefs and values. Spiritual advice, listening and loving empathetic dialogue is the best support. It does not require that church leaders should have specialist knowledge of church history or how crises should be handled in a scientifically proven way. It is enough for the leaders to act in the circle of faith.

4.0 Facts and FAQs

Answers to these questions is not the Church's official positions. They are more intended to provide perspective and highlight issues.

4.1

QUESTION: Who can help to answer historical questions about the church.

ANSWER: A partnership has been established with Church History Department, which means that questions can be emailed to barbro@palm.st who has a good overview of what resources are available in Sweden for answers. Additionally, questions forwarded to the Church History Department in Salt Lake City where it seems necessary to give satisfactory answers.

4.2

QUESTION: Are there books and websites about the first centuries AD., Which deals with principles, preached in the early Christian church.

ANSWER: There are a lot of scientific research event called patristic and whose focus is the writings of the early centuries after Christ. In particular BYU research on such works.

Below are examples of literature that may be of interest to deepen their knowledge of the doctrines preached in the first centuries and then disappeared and then restored by Joseph Smith.

In Restoring The Ancient Church, FAIR, 1999 writes Barry Robert Bickmore:

Because of that there is a complete written description of what was preached in the church of Jesus and the apostles' time, one can not with scientific certainty say that the organization and the doctrines that Joseph Smith restored is identical with the doctrine, preached in the church Jesus organized . The order of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints unique doctrines that Joseph Smith restored, there is the large number described in ancient writings as legitimate tenets of the original church during the first centuries. The Joseph Smith restored the doctrines were not in any church in the 1820s.

In The Inevitable Apostasy and the Promised Restoration, (2006, Deseret Book Co.)
writes Tad R Callister:

"After the apostles died, there was no longer the unifying force left in the church. A different church developed - without revelation and priesthood authority. A new religion grew through compromise between truth and error, by the gospel of Christ was combined with people's philosophies, an appealing blend of New Testament Christianity, Jewish traditions, Greek philosophy, Greek-Roman paganism and the mystery religions. This huge transformation took place within 120 years. But the waste was predicted (2 Thessalonians 2:4). "

In the preface to his book, Enoch the Prophet (1986, Deseret Book Co.) writes Hugh Nibley:

"In the book of Moses in The Diet Only Pearl, recorded in June 1830 - February 1831, when Joseph Smith was 24-25 years old, found in Chapter 6-7" Excerpts from Enoch's prophecy "that Joseph Smith called it. It gives us the most valuable control that we have in the Prophet's authenticity. How does it compare with the known, authentic recordings? It offers the most fully secure test - genuine, unequivocal and decisive - on Joseph Smith's claim to inspiration.

We have been told that if we cease to look, we see nothing more but to lose the taxes we already have. Therefore, it is not only advisable but indicates certainty that we are finally starting to pay attention to the remarkable array of ancient writings that is our generation's special blessing ... ".

Dr. Nibley uses in his book a large number of apocryphal writings discovered long after Joseph Smith's death, and compare how Joseph Smith in the book of Moses, without being able to know these writings, sometimes verbatim, often close to the content consistent, reflecting what who were lost to us.

Hugh Nibley was a pioneer among researchers at BYU when it came to researching ancient writings. In other books, he describes the temple and its ordinances that were in the early Christian church.

Nag Hammadi Scriptures

In the Councils of Nicaea (in 325 - 381 AD) under Emperor Constantine's management were compromised and decided how many Christian denominations would unite in a common doctrine.

There are many writings from the period up to the meetings in Nicaea, which contains information about what the various Christian faiths believe. And in these writings contain information on doctrines that were restored to Joseph Smith also practiced in the primitive Church. These doctrines were not known at time of Joseph Smith.

In 1945 was discovered in the village of Nag Hammadi in Egypt a very small library of 1500 papyrus pages that contain beliefs which are mainly found in the Gnostic doctrine during the first 300 years AD Therefore, in the Nag Hammadi Scriptures find several doctrines that are not in the Joseph Smith restored the Church. But one also finds doctrines that Joseph Smith restored. Some interesting doctrines found in the Nag Hammadi Scriptures: a) Jesus Christ preached to the dead, b) the free will absolute significance, c) Husband and wife in the marriage covenant may have the authority to create their own worlds, d) Pre-Existence, and that creation first took place in the heavenly realms. (These and more re-established doctrines and practices are also found in other scriptures)

James M. Robinson's book: The Nag Hammadi Library, HarperSanFrancisco, 1990, contains all the Nag Hammadi writings translated into English.

You can also visit www.nag-hammadi.com online

Dead Sea Scrolls

The writings from 250 BC - 68 AD. Discovered in the 1947 -1961 and Qumran contains fragments of what Jews hid in AD 70. Dead Sea Scrolls contains all the books of the Old Testament except Esther, also the Book of Enoch and 440 books, unknown in the Old Testament. Dead Sea Scrolls are now in his own museum in Jerusalem. Examples of interesting statements from the Dead Sea Scrolls: a) God chose us in premortal life and knows each one. b) We attended the sacrament in anticipation of the Messiah. c) It healed through the anointing with oil, d) Eternal family can be crowned with glory and stay in the Eternal Light.

Jesus himself said: "Think not that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets. I have not come to destroy but to fulfil. " (Matthew 5:17) - why it seems some Jewish doctrines also again in the, of Jesus and his apostles organized, Church.

4.3

QUESTION: what should you do to the truth of what you read?


ANSWER: Here are parts of the hermeneutic way to handle text. It is a scientific approach, developed since the Middle Ages. Monks and priests had the preferential right of interpretation of scripture. They sought a way to interpret and understand the Bible texts that could be the "right". Scientists and philosophers have since developed hermeneutics. People affected by the following terms when she reads a text:

A) Comprehension

The words are thought messengers, and we use words in text or voice to communicate to us with each other. Reading is to quietly accept and possibly understand someone else's thoughts written down. All texts, including writings, are someone else's thoughts expressed in words. A person writes or speaks as she has understood.

D & C 50:11-12 "Let's talk just as a man converses with another, face to face. And when a man speaks, she is understood by people, because she talks like a man. Similarly, I the Lord speak to you so that you can understand. "

swedish rescue B) Preunderstanding

How to understand another person, or event is affected by pre understanding, i.e. that every man carries with him the knowledge, feelings and experiences. Pre understanding is often a barrier to understanding, because understandings means putting yourself aside and fully listen.

Understanding, the effect is that no one experiences a pure rational understanding. Comprehension is always colored one's own past experience.

C) Interpretation

Background, personality and the choices previously made, creating their own individual "glasses" to see when one experiences the environment or reading a text. These "glasses" are called "reference".

They interpret events through their individual frames of reference. The interpretation is always subjective, never purely objective. The human frame of reference helps to provide reassurance and sense of coherence. Their own frames of reference, one can develop and change.

In social contexts, people develop common frames of reference. The church developed a "church-framework" through which members can see the behavior of others, listens to testimony and observe other members' way of life. If a member's frame of reference matches fairly with the other members, one can say that the member is " church socialized". To change their frames of reference will be possible until the member / members understand that her / their frame of reference needs to change.

One can never fully put into another person's frame of reference, but you can try. Empathy helps to supplement the reference frame with additions coming from another person's world. And perhaps you will be able to understand her.

C) new information

What happens when new information does not match a person's frame of reference suddenly hits her?

For example: When a person reads a new text with information that does not match her frame of reference, the person feels uncomfortable (cognitive dissonance arises). Inner peace, the person can get back by either 1) re-interpret the new 2) reinterpret the old, or 3) integrate and merge the new with the old. And in this way develop their frame of reference.

D) Reports

The truthfulness of a story is affected by:

1) a narrators awareness or unawareness to angle information.
2) the time elapsed from the event to the narrative.
3) if the people in the stories are dead - well then you have only left traces that do research in. The truth is difficult to assess.
4) how many points the information passed. It is well known that the information is distorted by number of stages. Think of the outcome of the whispering game.

Rationalization and similar plays many tricks on the memory. As it always is in its own centre, it is common practice to beautify their own role in a process, and present themselves as more central than it actually was.

In a historical and scientific approach is all narrative a result of interpretations and no absolute truth does not exist.

Only the Lord's words to man, through personal revelation, are true. And when you think about them, or bear witness to them interpret even this event, and the story of the personal revelation changed slightly. The cavity is influenced.

E) The whole and the part

In hermeneutics, the term whole and part. A part is "pie slices" of the whole. If any part of the whole, is perceived as wrong, for example, stories about how the history of the Church been reproduced, the following questions arise: how does the big picture when a part is incorrect? How important is the part for the whole? How important is the part: Joseph Smith living for the truth of the whole: the gospel of eternal perspective, which restored through Joseph Smith?

F) Evaluation of sources

Source criticism of read texts is very important. This means that you have to formulate and ask questions about and to the text. The following are examples of major source-critical questions:

text's context (context)
author's frame of reference
Reference browser
reader preunderstanding
reader's understanding
first hand or second-hand information
Who is the author
Translation of text any
time between the event and the writing of the text

Lord means

During the study, prayer and meditation, a person who reads a text guided by the Holy Spirit and ask: Does the text read me closer or further away from the Lord?

Only that which comes directly from the Lord through divine communication is truth, everything else is interpretation. Therefore, prayer is directly to the Lord and the Holy Spirit whispers of priceless value to the personal revelation receive truth.

"... There's another thing that needs to be clarified. Since it is evident that there were Christians long before the New Testament put together, long before there even was no collection of Jesus' statements, one can not therefore claim that the Bible is that makes someone a Christian. As the eminent New Testament scholar NT Wright says: "The risen Jesus does not say at the end of Matthew: 'I'm giving all power in heaven and on earth for the books you will all write', but rather, 'I've got all the power in heaven and on earth. '"In other words:" ... Scriptures point away from themselves and from the fact that the final and true authority belongs to God himself. "as the scriptures are not the definitive sources of knowledge for Latter-day Saints. They are manifestations of the definitive source. The definitive source of knowledge and authority of Latter-day Saints is the living God. This communication comes from God through vibrant, powerful, divine revelation ... ".

Apostle Jeffrey R. Holland, General Conference April 2008

4.4

Q: How do people react in crisis?

Answer: According to the psychiatric science canonical "crisis curve" (Kris and Development, Professor Johan Cullberg, 1980, Nature & Culture), is a human who in crisis through four phases in a certain order. The phases are called: shock phase, reaction phase, revision phase and new orientation phase. The crisis is often a prerequisite for development and maturation.

Kris curve fitted to a member who end up in crisis, because the member for extremely important existential belief disturbed, can be described as follows:

The first Shock phase: lasts from the event occurs [= discovery that the member is unknown stories about Joseph Smith and the Church's history is not consistent with the previously thought] to a few days. User is difficult to take in and react to what happened. On the surface, the person may seem calm and composed, but inside it is chaos. User may find it difficult to take in the views of others and may have difficulty remembering past spiritual experiences. Some are quiet and have a strong need to talk about their discoveries with other members.

The second Reaction phase: four to six weeks is the limit for the reaction phase should be regarded as belonging to the current discovery. User is slowly beginning to take in what has happened and how it will affect the future. Finding the answer to the question why? occupies much of the member's time and energy. It is not unusual to feel guilt or blame their surroundings. Why the Church does deceived, betrayed and deceived me? Emotional outbreaks or isolation of feelings is a way to avoid facing the painful discovery. To deny the significance of the incident is also common.

The third Revision phase: this phase starts where the acute crisis phase ends. It is the time when the victim has taken up and accepted what has happened and starts to turn towards the future. Temporally phase occurs about six months to one year after the initial discovery. Defensive denial starts to wear off but it may take time before the victim can look back without embellishing, such as be able to see both what was positive and the negative of the Prophet Joseph Smith and the man Joseph Smith. This phase may vary in different members and take different lengths of time, something you should have respect.

The fourth a phase of reorientation: Now a member can get back to herself again. Someone else can come to the conclusion to abandon their membership. The old spiritual practices resumed and new perspectives of faith might apply. It takes up again the old social relationships in the church and become more active in their relations. Reorientation phase has no end. Life goes on but the crisis is always present as a memory. But the members have moved out of its crisis and find that it meant the opportunity for spiritual growth. It is stronger in faith than before the crisis.

Respectfully, leaders accept the principle of free choice. Reorientation phase may mean that the member let life take a different direction than to decide to become "active" again.

"Crisis Response must be viewed in context and relate with respect to the individual's personal circumstances.
Member's feelings and reactions depend heavily on what she experienced before in her life, how strong testimony she has or has had, and the difficulties she had as a child and how she dealt with generally in life, and so on.
The crisis is often the negative side of human beings to flourish strong and willing to take over. Only when life goes against a man, she gets a chance to look at themselves in new light. One must recognize that the crisis is a healing process to move towards reconciliation and new growth.
Members can react quite different at the same kinds of information. Some may react very strongly to the difference between what they believed and what the new information indicates. The explanation may be that they have met the corresponding emotional experience of "betrayal" earlier in life. When the experience is repeated by further information gathering, the reaction is stronger and cooler than the surroundings have been expected.
The same kind of crisis triggering cause can also be experienced in terms of intensity, depending on age and lived for a particular member is located. Certain types of stress affect young more heavily than older people and vice versa. Although physical - and mental illness may play a role. The individual's social circumstances, family situation and social status in the Church may also be relevant for the course, eg in terms of loneliness versus participation in a safe and supportive community. "

4.5 Three levels to take part in Church history.

(Free for Professor Stanley Kimball, Southern Illinois State University).
• Authors note

(Free after professor Stanley Kimball, Southern Illinois State University).
* authors notice).

4.5 Three levels to take part in Church history.

A: "Church-lesson" levels. Everything is in harmony, good and true. Church seeks to describe members of the history at that level.

Most members live on Level A whole life and they do not get to level B and C.

B: "Anti-Mormon" levels. Everything we thought was harmony, good and true, seems rather evil, false and chaotic.

In order to sort out their dilemma, one can choose to:

1) manage their frustration and integrate the new information in their mind and testimony
2) abandon their faith
3) continue to the more intellectually demanding level C.

C: "Academic scientific level." Not everyone has to penetrate to this level, but for some it may be necessary. There may be those that continue to suffer from Level B or who think that the A-level is inadequate in some way. This level describes a multi-faceted and more complex story to relate to.

At Level C is required including that we study deeply and is willing to take up new frames of reference and knowledge. Many have heard about the BYU professor Hugh Nibley, but few have read his works. Many have heard of the Dead Sea Scrolls and Nag Hammadi Scriptures, but few know research.

One challenge is that most of the level B is not sufficiently familiarizing themselves with the scientific research available on level C.

"To meet the intellectual arguments [for example, at level B *] are required even sharper counter-argument [from level C *]." Apostle Henry B. Eyring.

Most members live on Level A, all his life. They do not get to level B and C. It is enough for one's salvation to be at Level A.

history.lds.org
The official history website of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

 

 

MormonThink Commentary

We appreciate the effort that the church went to prepare such a document to assist the leaders in Sweden to help the brothers and sisters there that have been troubled by reading disturbing aspects of the church that they never knew about. Unfortunately, there is little substance that we think has any real value to most troubled members. Nowhere in the Swedish Rescue does it mention any specific problem like polyandry, Book of Mormon anachronisms, linguistic issues, archeological problems, DNA studies, Kinderhook Plates, Book of Abraham translation, etc.,

We do appreciate that they did provide some references in the form of websites and books. That is useful. However, it's still very difficult to find answers to specific questions using those resources as that is not really how they were designed.

We are troubled that the rescue document implies that the true information about the church's history is somehow evil and shouldn't be looked at. It uses the phrase "avoid contact with evil influences". How can looking at historical facts be considered "evil influences"? It talks about the need to "repent" - why would someone reading true, church history need to repent?

These subtle labelings seems to be an effort to categorize any research that isn't faith-promoting as sinful.

We appreciate the comments by Apostle Hugh B. Brown and Elder Marlin Jensen. We agree with them completely. Everyone should really think about what they said.

 

We responded to a few selected things in the document. We present our commentary in blue.

(1) The Church does not hide historical facts. In fact, it makes every effort to be open and honest about its past and current actions. [Then why doesn't the average member know about any of the troubling issues? Every month, the church publishes The Ensign and has every opportunity to present the true history of the church but doesn't. For example, the church still publishes images of Joseph Smith translating the BOM using the gold plates instead of the method that historians have discovered where Joseph put his face in a hat with a stone found while digging a well and didn't use the plates at all. The church only teaches people what the church wants the members to know.]

(2) The internet and digital records now make information about the Church available to many who because of language and other limitations have not previously known of this information. This does not mean that such information was hidden by the Church; it was simply not generally available. [Language is not a valid excuse for why the english-speaking majority of members don't know about the issues. So where exactly on the church's website do they now discuss the troubling information like Joseph's polyandry?]

(4) Obtaining or regaining a testimony of Joseph Smith as a prophet of God and of the restoration of the gospel through him is always essentially a spiritual quest. [Why shouldn't the true, historical facts be used as well?]

The Church is making great efforts to let their story be open to researchers and the public. Lots of archive material made available. The archives are opened does not mean that historical scientific knowledge is complete. This requires that researchers impose scientific research questions, which are tested against archival source material. When sufficiently secure reply, a report or dissertation that examined by other researchers. Only then can the scientifically correct knowledge released to the public.

[Where? We still don't see where troubling issues like the Book of Mormon historicity problems are answered officially by the church. The issues and their answers need to be made easy to find without members being expected to search through hundreds of documents scattered throughout a myriad of websites.]

All material on church websites is officially approved. [Good to know]

Only that which comes directly from the Lord through divine communication is truth, everything else is interpretation. Therefore, prayer is directly to the Lord and the Holy Spirit whispers of priceless value to the personal revelation receive truth. [Virtually all of the world's truth comes from sources other than prayer. Prayer is the most subjective way of determining truth where different people get different answers. Is it interpretation to say that Man landed on the Moon in 1969 or is that a historical fact? Why should we not use provable, historical facts? What other organization would say that unless the Lord communicates something, it is merely only an interpretation and shouldn't be considered fact?]

3.3 To respond to members who have doubts

A member who doubt will in a more difficult emotional situation and are in need of the most understanding and loving dialogue you can imagine.
- Show empathy, understanding, acceptance, but keep quiet fast to their own values.
- View definitely not superiority, do not try to convince.
- View humility! (The way one describes reality, is the way it looks it!).
- Show genuine friendship.
- Remember: "If I were this person, how would I like to be treated? ".
- Be open to signals - it takes time to adapt an approach.
- Avoid saying, "now I understand exactly how you feel."
- Avoid a call situation where either needs to defend themselves.
- Respect the free will.
- Express the wish that the person you are speaking with to be happy.
- Make decisions that your friendship does not depend on a person returning to the church or not -
and mean it.
- Listen to understand and to be led by the Holy Ghost.

In order to regain their faith requires member

a) "to adjust its course" and keep the commandments
b) join in humble prayer for guidance and
c) receive their own personal revelation. Anyone who does this and get the Spirit Confirmation will be stronger than you did before and not easily shaken in their faith in the Restoration. It is needed in these last days.

[Why doesn't it say what these members really want to know? They want answers that make sense to their questions. They don't need to be told to pray more. They want to be able to freely discuss these issues with someone in authority at Church and get some official answers.]

"... All around us we see the Church members who have been injured. Some people get upset over events in the history of the Church or its leaders and suffering throughout life without being able to look beyond others' mistakes ...

[These struggling members are not expecting perfection and and can easily forgive mistakes. They just want to know what things were true and what were mistakes? Was it a mistake to deny blacks the priesthood for so long? Was polygamy a mistake? Was Joseph's translation of the Book of Abraham a mistake?]

In conclusion, we appreciate that the Church responded to the members in Sweden. We hope the Church will start providing official answers to the questions the struggling members have and simply put them on their main website or start discussing them in the Ensign or at Conference. Of course having real history in some obscure place where people don't know where to look, or even know there is an issue to look for, is not the same as actually TEACHING it. MormonThink is willing to help in this regard, and will gladly put the official church responses to the many problems on our website with a link to the church's discussion of the issues. These subjects should not be considered taboo and members shouldn't be made to feel guilty by studying them using all credible resources available and discussing them with their fellow church leaders and church members .

END

Go to Swedish Rescue - Part 2

 

 

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