Thursday, January 04, 2007

Meg's Book - Chapter 26 - The Handshake

Trivia - The oral history indicated Elvira had been Joseph's wife first and only became Jonathan's wife after Joseph's death. But the public ceremony linking Jonathan with Elvira occurred 1 Dec 1842. Worse, the affidavit Elvira swore out about her sealing to Joseph gives a date in summer 1843. I tried to find a set of circumstances that fit these facts and was unable until I learned that Emma was sealed to Joseph just days prior to the date of Elvira's sealing to Joseph. This was the key to understanding what reason could lead to the late date of the sealing to Joseph (i.e., following marriage to Jonathan and lagging the sealings of other women (e.g., Eliza, Sis. Cleveland, Sarah Whitney) by almost a year).


ktb said...

The chapter was well written, but it was difficult for me in spots. I can understand the marriage of Jonathan to Elvira being in time (or in the flesh while on Earth – Matthew 22:30). If the marriage to Joseph is spiritual, for all eternity, the marriage and Joseph’s actions as described seem more directed at a marriage and relationship in the flesh than spiritual. It that intended? Just makes Joseph seem to me something less than I would hope he was.

The story, and reference provided (Doctrine and Covenants 132), states, " shall pass by the angels, and the gods." Using the same reference as above (Matthew 22:30), "For in the resurrection they neither marry, nor are given in marriage, but are as the angels of God in Heaven." Or, from Luke 20:36, "Neither can they die any more; for they are equal unto the angels and are the children of God, being the children of the resurrection." Doctrine and Covenants Section 132:20 seems to contradict the Scriptures. Additionally, There is only one God in the Old Testament, and One God in the New Testament. Can the Old and New Testament, and the Doctrine and Covenants be reconciled on this very important point, and if so, can that be done in a manner that is understood in the story?

I think both issues important to address or consider, even for a short fictional story. If there is in fact a difference, then that is the way it is. If the Old and New Testament are in fact saying the same thing as the Doctrine and Covenants, then I think it would be worth a whole lot to create that bridge in the story.

daughterofheaven said...

I guess I was focusing on the idea that Elvira loves Joseph romantically and this was an appropriate time for her to find out if any of those feelings were reciprocated.

However, I hadn't considered how this would look compared to Jonathan, who is refraining from physical affection even though married to her, passionately in love with her, and spending each night behind locked doors with her. Having Joseph take any romantic liberties makes him look like a lech. Which he wasn't, according to the scholars.

I'll remove "and the gods" since it raises way too many questions to answer in the narrative. And I think I'll have Elvira ask about the Sadduccees' challenge and Jesus' response during either Chapter 6 or a description of a Relief Society lesson so the reader understands how this is understood to be consistent.


ktb said...

To give you insight into my emotional summary so far of the story, I am assuming Eliza is not very happy with Emma for possibly causing the miscarriage. My view is that Emma is the heroine, and I have high regard for Elvira waiting for Emma to accept the New and Everlasting Covenant before marrying Joseph. Eliza seems a little confused about what is going on, apparently from not really having very good social skills growing up. Poor Jonathan is have conflicting emotions, trying to deconflict his feelings for Elvira with what he beleives is right to do as a Mormon under the New and Everlasting Covenant. And right now, I am just trying to determine if I like Joseph or not. The Partridge sisters are definitely out in the cold in my book unless they do a quick turn around.

daughterofheaven said...

Interesting. When I first read this, I missed you were saying Emma is the heroine. [Maybe I do need to get more sleep, I seem to have misunderstood more than just this...]

Anyway my opinion is if Emma had not resisted Joseph on this, the whole polygamy thing would have been much less weird, Joseph might have lived to circa 1890, and been able to declare that it was enough and manage the stand-down from polygamy. Then there would have been none of the pain, apostasy, death, etc. that has resulted from what really happened.

But Emma was a great and good woman, so I'm glad that is coming through. Her tragedy (in my opinion) was choosing the good over what God wanted her to do.

Pat said...

I am with you on playing down the plurality of gods. Every Christian acknowledges the triune God, but they are often confused as to how this works out. Mormons understand that God the Father commissioned his greatest offspring to organize and effectuate this mortal existence and perform the atonement, which only He, of all the Father's children had the perfection to do. Christ is the personage who acts in the office of God of this particular creation. The Holy Ghost also has Godly authority to act as the medium of revelation. We pray to God the Father in the name of Jesus Christ who is our savior and mediator. These are all concepts that are found sometimes explicitly, sometimes implicitly in the New Testament and the Old Testament, particularly Isaiah.
I think that Emma really is the focus of this portion of the story in a way. We can speculate about what might have happened had she been more open to the 'principle', but we can also wonder what might have happened if Judas had refused to betray Christ, or Adam had said "No Eve, I'll wait until God tells us it's alright." It is my own personal belief that God's aim will be attained pretty much on His schedule, but the details are up to us, and we sometimes cause ourselves and others a heap of trouble. I really like how you are working out the details of the story and while I have taken a lot of things on faith, I feel that you are being given some true insights. As I know only too well from personal experience, some woman wish at times that there was another wife around to share the duties and the burdens of marriage. The problem with Emma and Joseph may well have been that she already had to share so much of him with his duties as a prophet, his time spent in captivity and hiding, and she really didn't like sharing any more. He was a very attractive man and could have easily had more wives than Brigham Young if he had not cared for Emma's opinion. I think we are very fortunate in having several generations on both sides of the family where wives were friends and sisters, sometimes literally. In at least two cases the husband was urged to take our lineal ancestress as a wife by his previous wives. And again, perhaps if Emma had agreed, the exodus to the Rockies would have been led by Joseph. I've gone on too long.

ktb said...

Very interesting, in that we appear to looking at this from different perspectives completely, which is also good. I look at Emma as a heroine based on her just being a mortal person, with mortal fears and desires, trying to please a husband who may appear to her to be straying and not satisfied with her as a wife. I actually feel sorry for her, and if there is a different picture, I do not have the background history you do to paint it right now. Anyway, it was a quick picture into how I saw the characters at this point. As for her alluded to part in Joseph's death from the blog, who is to say that was not in God's plan?

daughterofheaven said...

Found the Old Testament reference to the "gods" being the children of the Most High:

Psalms 82:6 - I have said, Ye are gods; and all of you are children of the most High.


This is the only other place in all of the Mormon canon where the term "gods" appears other than as a description of foreign gods (love the ability to perform online computerized searches).

The term "Gods" occurs in the account of the creation in the book of Abraham and would be referring to God, the Father, and the Lord Jesus Christ.

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