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Posted by: Elder Berry ( )
Date: August 20, 2021 02:35PM

I'm convinced that he was 100 percent Mormon while at the same time being an architect of modern Mormonism as a big business.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hugh_B._Brown

I didn't know him since I was 5 when he died but from all the information I've gathered from family he was as devout as they come.

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Posted by: Lot's Wife ( )
Date: August 20, 2021 03:09PM

I believe that but, subject to your correction, reckon he had redefined certain doctrines to comport with the reality of apostleship.

What I mean is that the church used to teach that every apostle had met the Lord personally--that was the only way he could be a "witness of Christ"--and that the Q15 met with Jesus in the Holy of Holies for their Thursday powwows. Brown assuredly knew those doctrines were false, so he would have had to exclude them from his personal Mormonism.

My view is that that happens all the time. The higher in the hierarchy someone rises, the more doctrines he discovers to be nonsense. By the time he becomes an apostle, or a senior apostle, his Mormonism differs substantially from that of the ordinary member. In fact, every church leader has his own particular Mormonism (recall HBB's conflicts with other apostles over politics, etc., both sides sure they were inspired of God) but none of those apostolic Mormonisms are the textbook Mormonism that lay members must believe and obey. .

So the answer is that most if not all of the apostles believe they are doing God's work. They have utter confidence that God chose them and raised them to their respective pinnacles. They live the higher law, a law that differs greatly from the juvenile doctrinal and historical myths that comprise a lay Mormonism at which they probably laugh.

But where you have two laws, you have two religions. The apostles do not believe the commoners' Mormonism.

Again, correct me if I am wrong.

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Posted by: Nightingale ( )
Date: August 20, 2021 03:32PM

Very interesting, EB and LW.


Lot's Wife Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> By the
> time he becomes an apostle, or a senior apostle,
> his Mormonism differs substantially from that of
> the ordinary member.

> but
> none of those apostolic Mormonisms are the
> textbook Mormonism that lay members must believe
> and obey. .

> The apostles do not believe the
> commoners' Mormonism.

This sounds about right.

It is probably similar to many other top-down faith groups.

Severely bugs me.

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Posted by: Lot's Wife ( )
Date: August 20, 2021 03:41PM

I think it's right in general although EB may differ regarding HBB, whom I only know from admiringly afar. But when people rise to that level of power, they always view themselves as above normal constraints in intellect and right.

Every senior politician believes her interests are her country's interests and hence that cheating is morally imperative. Every CEO reckons his judgment is so valuable that he can falsify his expense reports. Almost every zealous preacher believes God might ask him to implement an Abramic Sacrifice or otherwise sacrifice the interests of his followers in the service of God. In all these cases the leader is bound by a higher law that fortuitously conforms to her own interests and desires.

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Posted by: Roy G Biv ( )
Date: August 20, 2021 03:39PM

Very well put LW.

I think another factor, regardless of their belief mix is that what hey do is pretty lucrative and within mormonism, powerful.

Its not only their faith, its also their job, they get to be the boss, and it pays well for life.

So kind of a 3 way blend of belief perhaps...mormonism for the common folk, mormonism for the elite, and a nice paycheck.

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Posted by: Nightingale ( )
Date: August 20, 2021 04:05PM

Roy G Biv Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> ... what they do is pretty lucrative and
> within mormonism, powerful.
>
> Its not only their faith, its also their job, they
> get to be the boss, and it pays well for life.

Yeah but it's so hellishly boring.

I wonder how much $$$ it would take for me to be bored out of my mind for life.

The meetings are so lifeless, repetitive, inconsequential and spectacularly dull.

I felt bad about myself for being too critical or superficial expecting some life and excitement in the meetings. The billing of Mormonism (only true church, leaders meeting with Jesus in the temple, healing and other miracles) matches its reality not at all. And the hypocrisy. That I couldn't take. Maybe I saw more of it, and way sooner, due to hanging with the missionaries more than the members. Exhausted members, some of whom admitted to me that being Mormon is a lot of work. When they were pressuring me to get baptized and I ill-advisedly finally acquiesced, my friend said "our job is done". Job? I thought. That seemed as surpassingly strange an attitude as much of the rest of the Mormonism I experienced. Too bad for me I didn't listen to my own brain before my ill-fated dunk in the tank. I did feel pressured and I succumbed. It was an amazingly negative experience for me, all of it, but now it's like a run-of-the-mill bad dream, long ago and far away and in a strange, strange land.

It's easier for a convert to get out, I realize. No family ties, no deep roots with Mormon "friends". But I'm sure that even with all the associated pain of leaving for many, it's usually well worth it to get out from under the fat thumb of the Big-3 et al and live life on their own terms. A bad day outside Mormonism usually trumps a good day within it.

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Posted by: Soft Machine ( )
Date: August 20, 2021 04:30PM

Particularly if you add in the second annointing, the ultimate get-out clause, , which the holy handshakers have all received. That means you can do anything except kill someone (if I remember correctly). That SIGNIFICANTLY changes the experience of mormonism.

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Posted by: Lot's Wife ( )
Date: August 20, 2021 04:32PM

Agreed. The 2A means the top leaders can lie and violate gospel rules without restraint. So they don't feel bad when they deceive, or allow to be deceived, the peasantry and the kulaks.

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Posted by: Gordon B. Stinky ( )
Date: August 20, 2021 03:44PM

Lot's Wife Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> the church used to teach that
> every apostle had met the Lord personally--that
> was the only way he could be a "witness of
> Christ"--and that the Q15 met with Jesus in the
> Holy of Holies for their Thursday powwows.


Do we know when they stopped teaching this?

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Posted by: Roy G Biv ( )
Date: August 20, 2021 03:53PM

When they realized that bright shaft of light shinning down from the top of the room was just a track light with a 1500 watt bulb in it and wasn't really jesus.

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Posted by: Lot's Wife ( )
Date: August 20, 2021 03:59PM

I don't think they explicitly stopped teaching it. Their move was more slippery than that, as one would expect. They stopped teaching that apostles are witnesses of Christ and started saying they were witnesses to the name of Christ. That creates deniability for the day when people say, "you've always said the apostles see Christ personally."

I don't think they have hedged on the Thursday meetings but they probably have not authoritatively taught that God participated in those. For the most part they simply let members believe whatever rumors they want. They do the same thing when they answer questions about seeing Jesus by saying, "some things are too sacred to discuss." It's not a lie but it is assuredly deceptive.

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Posted by: Gordon B. Stinky ( )
Date: August 20, 2021 08:33PM

Interesting. I guess it's the same old behavior: slowly shrink away from it.

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Posted by: bobofitz ( )
Date: August 21, 2021 08:06PM

Just like Gordon Hinkley saying, “I am sustained as such”.

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Posted by: Lot's Wife ( )
Date: August 21, 2021 09:59PM

Yes

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Posted by: Elder Berry ( )
Date: August 20, 2021 05:26PM

Lot's Wife Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Again, correct me if I am wrong.

I don't want to defend him. He propped up a fraud and enriched it setting it up for even more and more riches. He was God's lawyer and his cousin Nathan Tanner was God's business man.

But...

Writing this frankly?

https://thirdhour.org/blog/top-articles/never-seen-letter-doubt-hugh-b-brown/

And he probably thought he felt Jesus more than saw him.

"Revelation may come in the laboratory, out of the test tube, out of the thinking mind and the inquiring soul, out of search and research and prayer and inspiration."
https://www.sciencemeetsreligion.org/lds/brown-final.php

He tool a trip to The Holy Land not long before he died with Truman Madsen. My family held a gather where Madsen talked about it. Doesn't sound like he claimed conversations with Jesus.

I think Uchtdorf is the modern version of how Brown was albeit he is probably more prone to lying. Brown had he lived longer might have been more like Uchtdorf with regards to perpetuating the fraud. These guys get sidelined like those 70s Messygoop talked about. Hardliners rule Mormonism.

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Posted by: Lot's Wife ( )
Date: August 20, 2021 06:34PM

Thanks, EB.

I know some apostles well enough to think my general description is accurate; I've also seen them do things that they knew were sins, violations of the rules but justified in pursuit of the church's interests. They commit those sins with complete confidence that they are doing what is right.

HBB is someone I never had a chance to know, obviously, but I know people who knew him--including some prominent and committed Mormons who were liberals and in one case even a regular coffee drinker--and respected him a lot. The coffee drinker, incidentally, later lamented that his kids had never learned there are different ways to be Mormon, meaning metaphorical interpretations like his own. That particular person was very close to Oaks and was appalled to see how narrow and doctrinaire he became.

I tend to agree that HBB was one of the good ones. I also, however, stand by my description of the apostles in general given the information you present. It sounds like he had full faith in his own calling and inspiration even as he no longer believed the "vision of Christ" stuff that was taught throughout the church in the 1950s and 1960s and 1970s. I wouldn't be surprised if he also discounted the BoA and shared BH Roberts's views on the BoM. But for a man of great self-confidence and great compassion, someone like what I think HBB was, the details of what doctrines and histories are true and what false wouldn't have detained him as he went forward doing what he "knew" God wanted him to do.

So yes, I think he was one of the guys who (more or less) insisted that ordinary members be held to the rules as contained in the Articles of Faith, the Temple Ceremony, and the temple recommend interviews even as they did not abide by them themselves. So a compassionate dictator and hypocrite as opposed to the cold-hearted dictatorial hypocrites who comprised most of the Q15.

I do think he resembled Uchdorf. Brown strikes me as more intellectual and more political, Uchdorf as less cerebral and more empathetic. I don't think either of these men were literal believers in everything the church taught and teaches. By contrast, they went so far towards understanding the concerns of ordinary Mormons that they offended their peers and would, as you suggest, be shuffled off the stage and towards a mission presidency in Vanuatu or Kabul.

The church would be a better place if people like Brown and Uchdorf represented the Q15 mainstream. But even if they were in complete control, the fact remains that they knew they were lying to the members about what the members were told were existential matters.

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Posted by: messygoop ( )
Date: August 20, 2021 04:04PM

I think it was Holland who let the cat out of the bag. I think he clarified that apostles were witnesses to the name of JC and have not actually met and witnessed the being in person.

For years, the church stood silent about members' belief that JC regularly had special visitations. The leaders let this myth propagate thru their chosen defenders of the faith.

"Don't ever ask a GA whether he has communed with the savior. It's too sacred to mention."

So it was around 2012 that they clarified that apostles are only witnesses to the name of Jesus. And members should be ashamed of themselves for thinking differently.

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Posted by: Lethbridge Reprobate ( )
Date: August 20, 2021 04:30PM

My dad knew Hugh B. Brown when he practiced law up here. Thought he was ok.

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Posted by: scmd1 ( )
Date: August 20, 2021 06:50PM

What, exactly, is "special witness of the name of Christ" supposed to mean?

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Posted by: Lot's Wife ( )
Date: August 20, 2021 06:55PM

I'd tell you but some things really are too sacred to discuss with others.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 08/20/2021 06:56PM by Lot's Wife.

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Posted by: scmd1 ( )
Date: August 20, 2021 07:29PM

I certainly wouldn't want you or anyone else to risk being disemboweled or having your throat slit or any of that other stuff in the temple ceremony pre-1990's or whenever that particular edit of the ceremony happened.

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Posted by: Lot's Wife ( )
Date: August 20, 2021 07:39PM

I'm told the penalties are now phrased as a 1) a sternly worded letter, 2) a report to your mommy, and for egregious violations 3) a good spanking in the Celestial room.

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Posted by: scmd1 ( )
Date: August 20, 2021 08:33PM

As we know, to some, that would be the opposite of a deterrent.

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Posted by: Lot's Wife ( )
Date: August 20, 2021 11:55PM

You certainly see that with the anti-vaxxers.

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Posted by: Soft Machine ( )
Date: August 21, 2021 01:05AM

That may be the reason for the long queue for the celestial room...

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Posted by: Lot's Wife ( )
Date: August 21, 2021 01:24AM

Said like a man who's been kicked out once or twice.

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Posted by: cl2notloggedin ( )
Date: August 21, 2021 12:51PM


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Posted by: Phantom Shadow ( )
Date: August 20, 2021 10:26PM

My great-grandfather was also in the first presidency but in an earlier era. I'm pretty sure he never claimed to have seen Jesus. I have the impression from what I've found out about him and what my Mom told me that he was a pretty down to earth guy.

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Posted by: Elder Berry ( )
Date: August 23, 2021 10:00AM

It has been so long so could you divulge his name? I'm curious.

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Posted by: Phantom Shadow ( )
Date: August 24, 2021 12:58AM

Penrose

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Posted by: Greyfort ( )
Date: August 20, 2021 10:41PM

I remember him. He died about a year after I was baptized.

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Posted by: kathleen ( )
Date: August 20, 2021 10:49PM

Interesting epitaph below his name, “From Man to God.”

I understood that to mean that he actually believed that we (or at least, he) would attain godhood.

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Posted by: Elder Berry ( )
Date: August 21, 2021 11:10PM

He probably thought he would. From what I understand of the man he married both Brigham Young's granddaughter and the church. He was so convinced that Mormon truth could hold water that there are many quotes of his about how Mormons should be free to test Mormon truths.No doubt your doubts coming from him. He wanted doubts to guide people. Becoming a god was part of that sentiment for him I think.

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Posted by: lisadee ( )
Date: August 23, 2021 12:34AM

...He was called to the First Presidency as a third counselor to church president David O. McKay on June 22, 1961. He was called as Second Counselor in the First Presidency on October 12, 1961, upon the death of First Counselor J. Reuben Clark. He was later called as First Counselor in 1963 to replace Henry D. Moyle, who had died.

After McKay died on January 18, 1970, Brown was not retained as a counselor in the First Presidency by the new church president, Joseph Fielding Smith. Never before in the 20th century had a new president of the church not called a surviving member of the previous First Presidency as a counselor. Brown returned as a member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, where he remained until his death.

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hugh_B._Brown

Under McKay....

...By 1968, the First Presidency was composed of six members, larger than it had been at the death of Brigham Young in 1877. McKay's counselors in the First Presidency were Stephen L Richards (First Counselor, 1951–59); J. Reuben Clark, Jr. (Second Counselor (1951–59, First Counselor 1959–61); Henry D. Moyle (Second Counselor 1959–61, First Counselor 1961–63); Hugh B. Brown (Third Counselor 1961, Second Counselor 1961–63, First Counselor 1963–70); N. Eldon Tanner (Second Counselor, 1963–70); Thorpe B. Isaacson (Counselor, 1965–70); Joseph Fielding Smith (Counselor, 1965–70); Alvin R. Dyer (Counselor, 1968–70).
...
https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/David_O._McKay

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Posted by: Elder Berry ( )
Date: August 23, 2021 09:59AM

I didn't know that he was one of a gang of counselors. Not so special then. I think Moyle and Clark had messed stuff up so Hugh and Eldon had to put the House of Mormon in order. Smith probably hated them.

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Posted by: Lot's Wife ( )
Date: August 23, 2021 07:01PM

Moyle almost bankrupted the church with his “build it and they will come” attitude. He was sidelined in favor of Tanner, who could balance a checkbook.

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