March Mormon Doctrine Madness: Round One, Day Three

There have been a lot of tight battles thusfar in the Tournament. Some upsets that you think, “What was the seeding committee thinking?” and some close battles that make you think that the committee was thinking. Well, more of the same this week.

3 – Bruce R. McConkie vs. 14 – Orson Scott Card

Elder Bruce R. McConkie was a member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles from 1972 to 1985. You can read a brief bio here. Elder McConkie practically codified orthodoxy by writing Mormon Doctrine and has been known to take a firm position in his discourse.

Orson Scott Card is a member of the church and an author of several best-selling books. He wrote one of the best science-fiction books ever produced and he has written several series based loosely on Mormon themes. He writes rabidly idiosyncratic at his blog/newsletter/rage diary, The Ornery American.

Which is the more influential force in Mormonism today?
Bruce R. McConkie
Orson Scott Card
  
Free polls from Pollhost.com

7 – Eliza R. Snow vs. 10 – David O. McKay

Eliza R. Snow was a plural-wife of both Joseph Smith and Brigham Young. The sister of a prophet, she was the original Relief Society Secretary and was the general Relief Society president from 1866-1887. She wrote a poem about Heavenly Father and Mother which has become our sole canonized, doctrinal source for the belief in a Heavenly Mother. She apparently was cool with plural marriage and gave blessings, generally acting in a manner that would not be smiled upon today.

David O. McKay was the ninth President of the Church. You can read brief biographies here and here. He was a lifelong educator. Amongst other accomplishments, he was primarily responsible for the creation of BYU-Hawaii.

Which is the more influential force in Mormonism today?
Eliza R. Snow
David O. McKay
  
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4 – Heavenly Mother vs. 13 – Zionism

Heavenly Mother – We know that she is up there. We just don’t know who she is or what she is like.

Zion – Is it Missouri or a state of being? We’re still not sure, but we are supposed to be building it up.

Which is the more influential force in Mormonism today?
Heavenly Mother
Zionism
  
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8 – Plural Marriage vs. 9 – Word of Wisdom

Plural Marriage – So, it turns out that we once believed in a form of polygamy (and may still). Who knew?

Word of Wisdom – It wasn’t given by commandment, but it’s a commandment now. Cheers!

Which is the more influential force in Mormonism today?
Plural Marriage
The Word of Wisdom
  
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1 – The Book of Mormon vs. 16 – The Young Women’s Values

The Book of Mormon was dug up out of the ground and translated by Joseph Smith. It is a history of a people in the Americas, somewhere or everywhere. It is a unique and powerful testimony of Christ and of His Atonement.

The Young Women’s Values are recited, much like the Pledge of Allegiance, at the beginning of many Young Women’s functions.

Which is the more influential force in Mormonism today?
The Book of Mormon
The Young Women’s Values
  
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5 – The Lectures on Faith vs. 12 – Zeal without Knowledge

The Lectures on Faith were written by Joseph Smith and Sidney Rigdon as our one, briefly canonized, attempt at a systematic theological statement by a prophet of the church. They were written for instruction at the School of the Prophets in Kirtland, Ohio.

Zeal without Knowledge is an essay by Hugh Nibley that explains why you really ought to study the scriptures and make getting to know God a higher priority than it is with you right now. Also, it features the following quote, which I love, “Joseph Smith commends their intellectual efforts as a corrective to the Latter-day Saints, who lean too far in the other direction, giving their young people and old awards for zeal alone, zeal without knowledge—for sitting in endless meetings, for dedicated conformity and unlimited capacity for suffering boredom. We think it more commendable to get up at five A.M. to write a bad book than to get up at nine o’clock to write a good one—that is pure zeal that tends to breed a race of insufferable, self-righteous prigs and barren minds.”

Which is the more influential force in Mormonism today?
The Lectures on Faith
Zeal without Knowledge
  
Free polls from Pollhost.com

2 – The Missionary Program vs. 15 – Conferences

From the beginning of the Church, we have sent missionaries to spread the word about the Gospel of Jesus Christ as it has been restored in our day.

From the beginning of the Church, Conferences have been an opportunity to gather together, learn from our leaders, and find joy in our communion.

Which is the more influential force in Mormonism today?
The Missionary Program
Conferences
  
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6 – Sacrament Meeting vs. 11 – Elders Quorum

Sacrament Meeting occurs once a week and in it we renew all of our most sacred covenants.

Elders Quorum is the group that you call when you are moving; a service organization with a weekly lesson.

Which is the more influential force in Mormonism today?
Sacrament Meeting
The Elders’ Quorum
  
Free polls from Pollhost.com

Please Vote and Comment below.

  • John C.

    My thoughts:
    Elder McConkie
    President McKay
    Heavenly Mother
    The Word of Wisdom
    The Book of Mormon
    Zeal without Knowledge
    The Missionary Program
    Sacrament Meeting

  • Ben S.

    “our sole canonized, doctrinal source for the belief in a Heavenly Mother.”

    The hymnbook is canonized? Or are you referring to something else?

  • Eric Russell

    Yeah, I would say The Proclamation would be the stronger case for an official recognition of HM.

  • John C.

    I would say that the Hymnbook has a higher canonical status than the Proclamation. Also, the Proclamation, fairly recent, whereas “O My Father” has been keeping this idea going for quite some time.

  • Ann

    Anything involving women is going to lose, John.

    Oh, that Zeal without Knowledge could be as influential as the moribund Lectures on Faith. And McConkie may be more influential than Card, but he’s trending down, big time.

  • http://faithprorumor.weblogs.us David J

    Ann, bravo! I know a few heavy hitters in the counter-cultist camp, and they love, no, absolutely ADORE Bruce McConkie’s work, and (erroneously) believe that Mormons today are in full compliance with his teachings. The ones I know all own a copy of “MD” and use it all the time. Are we all fundies like BRM? No way. BUT his influence is still around us. Personally, I think “MD” has a lot of problems. He should win that bracket and advance quite far in MMDM because his “influence today” is still felt.

  • http://faithprorumor.weblogs.us David J

    canonicity

    Along that line: John, do you think the church has any (indirect) confessional statements? Would the temple recommend interview qualify?

  • John C.

    David J,
    I am not sure what you mean by confessional statements. Do you mean something along the lines of how Mormons understand creeds? Then, yes. I would say that the temple recommend interview qualifies.

  • http://faithprorumor.weblogs.us David J

    Right, that’s my impression as well.

    What’s really quirky about it, though, is that I can still think and do things that are “unorthodox,” yet still hold a card. Example: someone may wish to think the BofM was written by Smith, that he made the plates himself between 1827-1830 to show to witnesses, and faked a translation, yet still hold a recommend. I don’t think that myself, but it’s possible. The interview gets at very little like that, methinks.

  • John C.

    I think it is deliberate that we don’t have very many significant doctrinal purity tests.


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