Today we dissect the Mormon Channel’s video titled “How to Answer Questions about Church History” hosted by Amy Iverson where she interviews Steven Harper on how he as a Church Historian deals with tough issues within Church history.
You might expect a Church historian who is on such a program due to his immersion and professional understanding of LDS Church History to use Church history to show that the tough questions have solid answers. You might expect him to encourage members who come across a tough issue to dive deeper, to find original sources, or refer them to the Gospel Topic Essays, or at least the Joseph Smith Papers Project as he had a major hand in it. You might expect him pick out a few tough issues and then show how a more informed understanding of Church history helps to sort these issues out. BUT…… As you will see he does anything but this.
– Notice his hesitancy to discuss the specifics of Church history. He seems to, as a Church historian, not want to talk about Church history, and it feels his reason is he senses there is little there to build faith on.
– Notice when asked if Church history has built faith and has resolved his questions he constantly deflects from answering such questions directly and imposes that his testimony is not based in Church history.
– Notice his progression from A.) Questions always resolve themselves B.) We have some questions that are yet unresolved but We have a lot of answers and I have faith the unresolved will yet be resolved. C.) There are both several questions resolved as well as several questions unresolved. D.) I have way more questions than answers and the more I learn Church history, the unresolved questions grow exponentially. and finally where he ends up E.) I hate to burst your bubble but dealing with the data causes us to reconstruct the Church in ways that have our faith in “what the Church is” being similar to how we reconcile Christmas after deconstructing the literalness of Santa Claus.
While Amy imposes that Church history has been, to Steven Harper, “an illumination to his soul”. Radio Free Mormon and Bill Reel’s analysis shows it to have been anything but.
In the end it becomes obvious that not only does a Church historian avoid using Church history to resolve concerns, but also that he realizes avoiding Church history is the only way to tackle the difficult questions as to dive into the history is anything but faith promoting.
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I wanted to thank RFM for referencing the earth being a giant Urim and Thummim. I got a good laugh out of it. I had a 9th grade seminary teacher tell us after we all received our judgment in heaven, the earth would become a giant Urim and Thummim that would resemble a sea of glass. He’s said the Savior would then present it to God the father. I always thought it to be very strange and have never found anyone that had heard of that doctrine. I assumed it came from teachings around the McConkie era. Now that I know how seer stones are used, I wonder if Jupiter will be transformed into a giant hat to put it in. Thanks for all of the amazing work you and Bill are doing. I love listening to the podcast.
Thank you for this podcast. Well done.
I have a question. Do we know the name of Steven Harper’s dad? Could it be the man who was commissioned to write this article:
Bruce T. Harper is this man’s name. He was the one asked to put his name on a significant cover-up. Bruce T. Harper’s name is the ONLY name associated with this cover-up, though all 15 apostles (serving in 1981) ultimately by default, share responsibility for the cover-up as well.
Cover-up of what?
Of the introduction into the Church of a Trojan Horse so insidious and evil that it can accurately be compared to a deadly virus INTENTIONALLY introduced to a population for the purpose of killing off the civilization. In this case, it’s the spiritual death of the members of the Church, as their faith in God would be replaced with faith in man.
It makes total sense that the insertion of this virus absolutely needed to be blacked out, and done in the stealth of darkness, just as the Lectures on Faith were REMOVED similarly in 1921.
The inserted statements were significant enough to act as a catalyst for the institutional apostasy of the Church within ONE generation. And that’s exactly what happened. Steven Harper’s dad or uncle or brother or cousin, very possibly, was part of the cover-up. If so, that makes this interview very rich indeed.
The inserted Wilford Woodruff heresy is the now-famous statement, “I can’t lead you astray. The Lord won’t permit it,” uttered circa 1890 but added to OD 1 and our canon in 1981. I’ve searched General Conferences in 1981-82 and there was no Church vote taken to accept this into our canon, and there wasn’t even the courtesy of a General Conference announcement.
What was the Brethren’s nod to an announcement? Bruce T. Harper’s article! But even sly Bruce was clever enough to not actually mention the content of the heretical, Satanic lie! He dared not. I guess he personally did not feel comfortable attaching his name to such an evil statement that overthrows the doctrine of Christ, in that it denies free agency to the president of the Church. But Bruce was probably asked to not quote it. It was a cover-up after all!
I believe this heresy to be the principal cause of the apostasy of the Church, with the two great hallmarks of such apostasy being priestcraft engaged in by the Brethren, and the resultant idolatry of the mainstream members, who’ve now been brainwashed like a cult to truly believe in their heart of hearts that the Brethren can’t lead them astray.
WW’s added statements can safely be blamed for the fall. Awakened members have been leaving the Church for several years, and/ or choosing to not fund such priestcraft via financial contributions.
WW’s statements clearly contradict God’s gift of agency to us (and specifically including the president of the Church). The president cannot be an exception, as making him immune to deceit would thwart God’s plan to test him and us. This heresy is pure anti Christ nonsense, but members now defend it, as it flatters them into a carnal security of trusting in man and the arm of flesh. Satan wanted to curse the Church and succeeded by this major coup back in 1981, and Bruce T. Harper helped cover it up, along ultimately with the apostles who had chances to remove it after the fact, but that hasn’t happened even till this present day.
Not his father.
Thanks. If you’re in the know, would you care to share if they are related in any way? They may still be close relatives.
Divining rods would have most definitely been familiar to Joseph Smith. Their longtime use is well documented. Interestingly, they are still in use to this day for finding underground water, waterlines, etc, and are also known as “witchin’ wands”. Some plumbers, public utility employees, and the like still carry and use them with some success. I have also heard them being used for other purposes than locating water.