Rameumptom Ruminations: 001: The Good Ship Zion

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?

Sources

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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