Episode 52: D&C 58 – 59
Guest co-host Christopher Hurtado fills in for Ben and talks with Shiloh about meaning and identity. It is prior to and through suffering and sacrifice narratives—”For after much tribulation”—that we create meaning of traumatic experiences that form the strongest aspects of our identities. In August of 1831, the early Saints were still learning what their new identity was and what it means to belong to “Church of Christ” (the formal name of the church that we know today—the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints—wasn’t revealed until 1838). God reveals the first foundational principles of the Saints’ relationship with secular government, and it varies from known axioms of political philosophy. From D&C 58 we learn that the Saints were to be “subject to the powers that be” not out of any civic obligation or matter social utility but because God had commanded. This conversation has an old and deep intellectual history in Augustine’s City of God and City of Man distinctions that would later be addressed by Aquinas and Luther/Calvin. What does it mean that “God is offended”? Can God really be “offended” as we experience offense? Elder Bednar has said that being offended is a choice, so does God choose to be offended or is there something of about D&C 59:21 that calls for greater clarification?