The Good Ship Zion is a term used in the Mormon church to refer to itself. In the first episode of Rameumptom Ruminations, Scott discusses the Ship of Theseus thought experiment. It is an age-old philosophical concept of the nature of things. Give this new podcast a listen as we explore the implications this thought experiment has on the concept of a consistent Mormon church. Is the modern church the same as it was when Joseph Smith restored it? Which branch has more authority than the others?
The ship of Theseus thought experiment from Plutarch, Theseus 75 c.e. translated by John Dryden
Hebrews 13:8 – Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and to day, and for ever.
Ailing Church Leaders: “Not Ideal Governance”, Gregg Prince, Gospel Tangents:
GT: Do you ever see this policy changing?
Greg: I see virtually anything changing because I have seen everything change. I’m not aware of a single LDS doctrine of any significance that from 1830 forward has gone completely unchanged. You’d think a lot of them would, but it turns out, no there were some substantial changes in many cases very early on. If you just look at the First Vision narratives, you see the evolution of Joseph Smith’s theology of deity, and it’s taking place in a very rapid fashion and in a very dramatic fashion.
It wasn’t just nibbling at the periphery. He was going through evolutionary leaps in the way that he portrayed the godhead. That was reflected in his subsequent retellings of the story of the First Vision. Each time he told it anew, it incorporated the then current version of his theology of deity. That’s why those different versions are telling different stories, because they became theological narratives rather than historical narratives.
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Hey! Fan of another podcast that you participate in! I was amused to hear your voice in this one!
That’s so funny. A mutual friend messaged me that you recognized my voice from our other podcast.
Interesting analogies… did you know that every cell in our body is also replaced every couple of years… and yet we still consider ourselves to be the same person.
Yes. I did know that. It makes the whole analogy much more pertinent to the very idea of our identity as a person.
You said something like we should allow the prophets to err. And you are damned right – it liberates from following the brethren!
Regardless of where we find ourselves on the belief spectrum from all in to all out, it is healthy to recognize that prophets get things wrong all the time.