Changing American History - feat. Hannah Stoddard

How has American history changed over the last 100 years? Who writes that history, and what narratives do those historical authors adopt?

Is American History built primarily on a Greco-Roman philological chassis, or is Christianity at its core? What role has "covenant" played in the founding of America? How does the Protestant Reformation open the door to democracy?

We also discuss the inextricable connection between liberty and the Doctrine of Christ outlined in the Book of Mormon,

Hannah Stoddard covers these topics with passionate, articulate arguments gained from her research. Hannah is the director of the Joseph Smith Foundation and often speaks about the founding of America.


 Raw Transcript

what is history who writes it what narratives are formed specifically with
American history what narratives are given in our schools what have we
absorbed I love this discussion with Hannah Stoddard on how history gets to
us and the things that we've lost in American history especially about Covenant and Christianity now this
episode is brought to you by and I'm very excited about this the philosophies of men Cruz here we distinguish the
current philosophies of men the ideologies from the doctrine of Christ and we give you the tools necessary to
understand what's going on and to help protect your family the knowledge you will gain will allow you to see our
cultural shift in a different way join Bruce Porter and myself on November 9th
to 16th 2024 on a cruise down the Mexican Riviera and enlightening instruction that will help you find the
signal among the noise and we're going to have a great time as we do it go to Quick CW YC go to
trips and events at the top scroll down and go to the philosophies of men Cru I
hope to see you [Music]
there all right welcome to Quick show my name is Greg Matson and I am your host in this episode we brought on the
director of the Joseph Smith Foundation Hannah Stoddard welcome to the show Hannah thank you so much Greg I'm glad
glad to be here so I saw you give a presentation at the hello Saints Summit on politics in God and I was fascinated
with the approach that you took on this uh there's so much behind looking at
what is his the history of of America right how is it portrayed to us in the
schools and what narrative is being driven so I'm just going to ask you this straight
out uh is the United States of America a Christian Nation now that's the that's
the controversial question right there right loaded I would say too um probably depends on probably what we mean by a
Christian Nation of course um there's the whole debate of obviously uh is
Christian the authorized sanctioned religion everyone has to participate obviously I don't think very few people
believe that um in the sense of is it founded on those Christian principles
did the founding fathers look to the Bible to say Hey you know this is how God wants a government set up so that
anyone of any religion they have the freedom to be able to draw closer to God according to conscience then yeah that's
pretty documented in the historical record again that can be debated too but
I I think it's pretty if if you go in there and you start studying George Washington you start studying Thomas Jefferson actually especially even
actually from a latterday saint perspective you walk away these men were definitely Christian okay so you go back
and you've done quite a bit of research in studying The History of the United States going back into its founding what
are the philosophies what are the founders uh what are they anchored in right what what moves them what why does
this happen right right what do you see as a it's almost for in your approach you
see that there's almost like a cloud of of knowledge and narrative
that's put out there with what how the United States of America was founded
what have you found in your research that say it is different from what we're
usually taught right right in the government school system just the general textbooks right um well
something that I've found in my research which is a little bit unique a lot of people go back to the founding fathers
that we recognize right the signers of the Declaration of Independence or others and they stop there I think you
actually have to go back further because you have to figure out where did those men come from where's their theology
coming from um their their philosophy where are they thinking um and if you go back to their
grandparents their great-grandparents their great grandparents I really think you have to go back to the Protestant
Reformation which is a lot more diverse and a lot more complicated than people realize sometimes we just hear okay
Martin Luther and there's one name and that's all you know he nailed 95 thesis to the wall you don't the church door
right H you don't realize that there were hundreds and hundreds of years of
different people thinking um and the really this rebirth that took place in Europe going back to the Bible
a lot of times we talk about the Renaissance but a lot of people don't realize all of those scientific advancements a lot of the uh political
changes that were happening in Europe the English common law William Blackstone it came from this start where
people started going back to the Bible the Bible being produced in the common tongue right and not spurt back further
than William Tindell you have John wff you have the wden you have people in the
even the early centuries ad that were pushing back against the political power of the time that was trying to silence
education to take away people's rights to even read uh free speech um obviously
the Bible was restricted and you have men and women sacrificing their lives trying to get the Bible into the hands
of the common person and then what happened was when that took place it was like a revolution took place because
people began realizing wait these are principles of law that God set up in the universe and they influence our
government they influence our family life our families our culture and step
by step Switzerland France Germany Scotland England this rebirth starts taking place and eventually they have to
come to America because there's no way to completely overhaul the whole system in Europe and so you have the pilgrims
you have the Puritans but you also have the covenants and the Quakers and even Catholics that were fleeing for
Religious Freedom and it's that seeded that actually lays the foundation for
the founding fathers and that's how you get the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence so it really does go
back to the Bible but not just the Bible but actually getting back to this okay how does God approach this whole this
whole area of Liberty um I tried to go into that a little bit in the summit but very quick and high level for
sure so you know it's really interesting because you go back to the Reformation and and okay first of all you've got the
printing press that comes around right and so it's not just a matter of the translation into the common tongue it's a matter of access to these scriptures
right and so both of these things starting to happen uh they get out to
the common person more and more and more you think to yourself well why is that
such a problem right why would this be a problem to royalty to clergy to the
elites right why don't they want a religious book getting out to the
people and there is a Guist right there is a force that whether call it pride call it
power whatever it is that says no I don't want all of this information out
to everybody it seems so antithetical for
clergy to say no I don't want you to read the Bible I'll read it for you and I'll tell you what it means M it is very
it's it's an interesting phenomenon right what is the threat of black and
white you know black words on a white page what's the threat but honestly we see the same thing today I mean if you
go into every communist country they don't necessarily go and shut down all the churches that's sometimes I think an
oversimplification where it's like oh communism went in these countries and they just kill every Christian no they don't they go in there they regulate the
churches they start controlling and the biggest thing they want to get rid of is access to scripture it's like okay yeah
you can have your pastors you can have your little congregations we're going to regulate it but absolutely we're going
to restrict access to those scriptures and the ability to write and speak and talk un you know uncensored and you're
wondering okay what's the threat what's the challenge of something this seemingly so insignificant for sure yeah
and and it's not I I know obviously the adversary is going to be fighting against this right it's like I I I don't
want this out in the hands of everybody but it has to make sense right what are they thinking yeah it has to make sense and it's it's I I believe it goes beyond
that I believe it's control right I I think that there is a sense of control of saying No this
information cannot get out to everybody because if it does it will change the structure it's going to change
everything and and if you believe that then you have to believe that scripture
itself is a source for what happens from the Dark Ages
on yes I just wanted to just say Amen to everything you were said about the control right you see this in even
prisons where people um will go on hunger strikes to resist and um
completely secular context human right advoc human rights Advocates right in prison they go on a a hunger strike and
it drives the officials crazy because they can't control
it really goes back to the war in heaven really is what we're talking about but again I I like how you're going that
moving that direction because you're absolutely right what does Scripture do it actually relinquishes control which
is the opposite of what um maybe critics will say right they're going to say oh Christianity God faith religion
especially as Latter-Day Saints it's all about controlling people turning them into sheep turning brains off when
really it's the opposite um God's word actually liberates our brain
opens up the dialogue and yeah starts a
revolution so the enlightenment comes
along and and there's a lot of different opinion on the Enlightenment and and I know some very very smart people that I
have spoken to on this and I still get different opinions on on what's going on there a lot of people are going to say
that the enlightenment is anti-religious and it is basic science based right it's humanist and science
based human is being more along the lines of the individual right it's focusing more on the individual yeah of
course Christianity does too uh but it's and and then others are going to say well no the enlightenment is actually
rooted in Christianity and and a lot of people don't understand that because today for example when you look at new
atheists right they are anchored in that Enlightenment and those principles right but but zero anchor in
faith zero anchor in religion and yet so many of those today are actually taking
a second look as we get this woke Revolution happening that they don't want to participate in because it goes
against their Enlightenment principles and they're saying oh well maybe there is something to Christianity
may maybe there is something there that makes sense and our Western Civilization is not just built off of
Greco Roman principles right but but actually built off of Christianity also and some of
them I mean you've got a Douglas Murray you've got a you know these are these are people that have been atheists
almost their whole lives you know Douglas Murray and uh Ian H Ali and
others that are actually Jordan Peterson and his you know a lot of people that are converting to Christianity uh who is
uh I'm trying to think of the womanizer with the long hair uh Russell Brandt right is it Russell
Brand yeah that that that is also converted to Christianity all of a sudden and it's like what is going on here these demographic are all
changing people that have had a usually a very strong anchoring and
Enlightenment principles are all of a sudden saying oh this Christianity when the rubber hits the road is actually
more of a core for them right yes well see what you have in the Dark Ages right is the great apostasy so there's even a
loss of how to correctly interpret the Bible which of course we understand from Joseph Smith so you see this playing out
with Thomas Je person John Adams where a lot of the Evangelical um crowd today
will say look at them and say well they weren't quite Christian they were but they weren't they also had some flaws
but then when you actually go read Thomas Jefferson and John Adams they actually almost understood Christianity
better than the main mainstream Christians of their time and I think that's what you have going on a little
bit with the enlightenment so you have individuals who definitely are yeah they're not in harmony with principles
of the Gospel of Jesus Christ great but then you have others who are saying oh this this interpretation of
predestination and free Grace or just different um interpretations this just
doesn't jive with me this just doesn't make sense it's the spirit working on them right and their people they're
trying to gravitate towards truth God's working with everyone in every period of History you get to the founding fathers
you have Thomas Jefferson and he's saying I just cannot agree with some of these early church fathers they just
don't harmonize with the laws of nature how I believe God works you get to Joseph Smith and Joseph Smith is the one
who kind of sets everything right and is like okay yes on this point you're right on this point you're wrong let's bring
and that's why I think Joseph Smith's theology is the only one that truly makes sense because he kind of creates
this beautiful Harmony of okay here's the truth and what everyone's seeking after and I mean I am from the Joseph
Smith foundation so I guess I'm a little biased there but I I really think if you can that's why I think we have to look
at history even from a restoration perspective because you so need that dawn of light
and knowledge and kind of setting the record straight that comes from Joseph Smith so I heard you make the phrase
that that history is basically written from a Roman perspective and not from a
providential perspective I think a lot of people would at least say that I mean
there's C it's certainly true if you go to Academia they're and and and our our Public Schools right they're going to
focus on that Greco Roman tradition right Cicero and Beyond right and and
it's like okay well that's there seems to be a lot of Truth to that that right
they're they're they're they're working through democracy a lot of people will say that Salone in about 600 DC is the
first philosopher and guy not all a lot of good there for sure yeah yeah there's
a lot of good there but in a in a way it seems to
me that those philosophies that have a lot
of good in them ultimately take over in the great apostasy right the the the the
the stoicism and the neoplatonism of the day are what actually end up taking over
Christianity and you end up with the Creeds instead of scripture right and so
there's a lot of good there there's a lot of foundation there and there's a lot of I would suggest inspiration that comes to these men and women in their
time but it it's always an issue of value values
right it one value gets raised above the other and the philosophies of men so to speak end up getting moved up above
scripture and and we end up with mainstream Christianity do you see it that way yes and I also see the aspect
of remembering that we don't have a lot of history so it is very true history is
written by The Victors um but it's also written by Whoever has control over the
narrative and the records and a lot of Records have been lost over time so I I
touched on this very briefly in my presentation but there's a lot more um I mean when the when the Roman Catholic
Church first came to Britain there was already a Christian Church established
with their own clergy their own dates for Easter their way of calculating the dates for Easter and it was different
than the Roman Church and there was conflict between the British Celtic church and the Roman Church well the
Roman Church went out destroyed the history kind of wiped like okay let's just brush this under the rug annihilate
and now there's people asking wait well who were these Celtic Christians where did they come from because they were up there saying we have authority we have
keys there's even some authors um that are Latter-Day Saint authors that think the great apostasy may have not occurred
till around like 500 AD it's hard to say like there's so much different research but there's a lot going on we don't
realize the whole nation of Parthia that was um a contemporary with Rome okay
most that that does that's not written about in the textbooks definitely not highlighted in the Roman historians
highlighting that because that was their competition that was their enemy but then if you go study the little shreds
we have left of parthan History you would say wait a minute this country
probably had Israelite roots and so it's this battle throughout
history yeah there they're they're Iranian yes yeah but meaning branches of
I hesitate to say lost tribes of Israel because that's been kind of defined as people saying just those Northern tribes
but individuals that kind of separated out from the main old old Israel yeah
and it is one specific tribe I think they're in in Iran but so yeah then that's true so the victors write history
and we end up with what these building blocks of history that we end up having today and it's easy to see today how
history is written or can be changed quickly by different narratives and ideas and philosophies for example uh
you know the United States of America was founded in 1619 right that's that's uh that that could happen right you you
could that could be changed right that could change and then all of a sudden there's this look back a hundred years from now of hey right America was
founded in 1619 on on the slave trade um
but I I want to tie something together here because there's something I firmly believe in and and it sounds to me like
you go right along with this MH uh in that in that Summit presentation and
that is going back to the clergy and and the and the uh printing press and
getting the scriptures out to everybody else the control there in holding that scripture off is also tied directly to
Liberty right it's like wait a minute why why is this Liberty such an important thing now in the scriptures we
get you know examples of The Exodus right where you have the Jews that are the is ites that are freed from from the
oppression of the Egyptians they're slaves to them their servants Etc and that's an important story but it's
always used of course as a metaphor for actually being freed from
sin right as as Nephi discusses it with Layman and lemel Etc right it's it's it's an exodus out of sin is the way
that metaphor is but that doesn't mean that no it's huge yeah it's huge the
Liberty doesn't matter as well right the they are leaving Egypt for Liberty so
that they can they can they can uh uh worship as they
please right right and that is the First Amendment to the
Constitution it is crucial it is everything yes right that Liberty and if
you read the book of Mormon and you go through the Book of Mormon you cannot unravel the liberty of the people the
stories that they go through over and over again from Christianity right I mean if you look all over the
architecture in Washington DC the Supreme Court building Moses is a very central figure and all that um and then
you brought up the Book of Mormon you cannot separate Liberty from The Book of Mormon absolutely not and some people um
I've heard some authors say well you know Mormon you know he's he's biased that way he's he's a military General
like of course that's his thing right or he's a guy so of course he's going to focus on those kind of topics instead of
realizing um this was something that hit me so clearly just the last time I went
through the Book of Mormon was Mormon actually was even more this is my opinion Mormon was more qualified to
teach the gospel because of his experience even in war because of his political experience because he
understood this is the impact that the gospel has in real life let's take it out of the theoretical and the whole
purpose of the Gospel is freedom right delivering people from addiction from um
harmful patterns of behavior agency everything right and there's an individual level but there's
a certain point where yeah you can be freed from sin in your heart but if you can't move and you can't become like God
you can't have a family you can't own property to build a family to build a
school to build a church to live to build a city where people can become
more like God like everything with God Is So temporal it's not just this
spiritual intangible thing Zion is a real place or places I guess I should
say right but um and and and that responsibility and then what you have
with the Book of Mormon is the Book of Mormon highlights even more importantly the Covenant of Israel what that means what your responsibility is as an
Israelite to bring freedom to others individually and societally so you cannot it's it's not as saying oh
freedom is part of the Gospel it it is the gospel Liberty is the gospel you can't separate the too you know it's
interesting going back all the way to the story of I mean we can look at you know again as you brought up the war in heaven right there's an issue over over
agency that's everything and then coming to the Garden of Eden I mean the Lord's
not going to stop anybody from doing anything and making their own choices at regardless of the consequences yes right
it's an agency has to exist and you think about how that's tied to the atonement of Jesus
Christ and how even of the Aton right yeah they they are bound together that
agency and the freedom of that agency is bound to the atoning sacrifice of Jesus
Christ because that is the tool that we use to improve our agency yeah right to
master it to get better with it the atoning sacrifice does not eliminate the
agency it doesn't take it away it doesn't remove responsibility but it gives you a path
to move through it right and develop it yes I was going to say even from the
perspective of Jesus he exercises his agency to perform the atonement what was
in his thought process what's the conversations he and his father are having about this plan you know you
cannot you cannot separate the two and that's why um I don't remember if I mentioned this in my Summit presentation
because I was speaking to you know a Protestant as well as a Latter-Day Saint audience but um I something I feel
really really passionately is that one of the reasons that we're disconnected and helping the youth understand why
Liberty is important and getting engaged in defending Liberty is because we aren't connecting it to the gospel and
we're not connecting it to even specifically The Book of Mormon I think just shoving books on the founding
fathers or even American history in their face and expecting them to walk away you know bleeding red white and
blue it doesn't work because it's not the the true the message it's not the
real message and I think also there's a lot of talking past each other between
so-called liberals so-called conserv conservatives because they're both talking past each other because we're
not grounded in what the real conversation is that might set people fun people off but I really think there
would actually be a lot more Harmony and a lot more Unity if we could actually understand the principles of Liberty
from God's perspective which I believe is laid out beautifully in the Book of Mormon I mean Joseph Smith said he was
the greatest advocate of the Constitution and what did he spend his entire life doing he's saying he's the
greatest he's the best at it he's the one at the Forefront of the fight what does he spend his life doing why like
these are just questions I think that I've noticed in my life that I think we could completely turn the whole
conversation around and bring a lot less contention and fighting and hate and pride and everything else that we really
need a lot less of in this this country I've got a uh I'm wrapping up a
book right now and part of the book is there's a chapter it on the denters of the Nephites and there's something
fascinating that I don't know why people haven't really focused on this but it's to me the Book of Mormon the the primary
story is about I mean obviously it's about another Testament of Jesus Christ and that's the point of this but the
story is about the denters of the Nephites to me it's not the Nephites against the lamanites right right these
are the covenants and they can they're prophesied how this is going to work but the story itself the
tension the issues that come up are always the denters yes and and you have
these dissenters there are a few different things that they all all of
them uh um hold up as a banner of what they want right and and number one is
their Antichrist people don't realize this yes right if you go to the amoc sites the amalekites the amalekites the
zoramites king Noah and his priests they're not anti- God right they're not
anti- religion or anti-faith all very religious very religious and and they
but they're Antichrist right they do not believe in this they kill abinadi for this reason and really the whole book of
Mormon is launched because of this if you really look closely at first Nephi 1 Lehi is going to be killed because he's
prophesying about Jesus Christ yes and it's not just because as I always say you know he's telling everyone there's
you know hey you're bad boys and girls right they're not mad at him for that it's Blast for me to them right this is
a Blasphemous claim that that God himself is going to come down and born of a woman and you know this is all
first Nephi 11 and and take on the sins of the world and be the Redeemer of the world right but when you look at this
the other thing that they all want is they want to destroy Liberty yes all of them right they want to get rid of the
structure that is with the Nephites the political structure they want tyranny yes right so those two things again
throughout the entire Book of Mormon with these Des senters is no Christ and
no Liberty yes and that's the message you hit the nail on the head right so you have um am malakiah and and you're
like you're saying no one points this out I don't know how we missed this right um right malakiah and it says he
was part of a group that was trying to destroy the church he was fighting against hel and the other Brethren and
then how does he do that he goes after the Liberty same thing in um ammono they
were studying to destroy the liberty of the people but when Elma shows up he doesn't give to them a big sermon about
uh even Free Speech or you know unable rights he talks to them teaches them the doctrine of Christ and the doctr of the
Gospel so that tells you wait a minute he's not just off rambling about some
topic that doesn't relate that is the topic the same with nior the same with
amasai every pattern like and why is Mormon sticking this in here right it's not just accidentally the other thing I
do in there by the way is I I I think that there's and I might be wrong on this but my theory is that the name in
of these groups you know they're almost all named with the MLK in there right so M or the am amalekites the alites with
the sea am malakiah heits and others right the the the common thought on that
is that they're focused on muik kites and that you have you know Grandpa mosiah that comes into zerla he becomes
the king but the majority are muik Kites and so they're all dispossessed it's like colonialism right and but that's
not true it's not true and it's the wrong narrative that people don't understand this those names are AML K
they all begin with an a the amalekites are the number one enemy to the children
of Israel in Canaan right even today they still have ceremonies with purman
and others where they talk about the amalekites and and this is something
that is in the brass plates Lehi and Nephi know this very very well so the
naming of these groups is to me is is anchored in the amalekites and there's some things I bring up about what that
word really means and how it's written up in in Hebrew and and you can see this
parallelism throughout especially with the malakiah and Moroni but the the
focus on this to me is not a dispossession a political dispossession it is Christian and you'll see Moroni
say specifically to a malakiah who is not a muite he's a
nephite he specifically is we're told that he is a nephite and it says um you
know Moroni says we were called Christians by those who did
not by our enemies yes why are they calling them Christians Christians yeah
because am malakiah and his ilk are not right they're not and so this the
the the anyway I'm on a little rant here but it's the chasm here is Christianity
yes and it's not just a matter of I'm a malakiah and I want to be powerful and
be the guy that's true too but but it's all based on their
theology yes that's a fascinating insight and I think we have to get even deeper than just you know oh it's Jesus
Christ he's the enemy because I pondered this before and when I when he was younger reading the book of Mormon I'm like what is their problem like just let
them believe that some guy is going to come down like what's the problem right and I remember I was pondering I think I
was studying in the story of a benedi and and I realized it was what Jesus Christ represented it was the type of
man that he was it was the mission that he had and the implications of that for the society right the implications of
that for their government for their church right that's the conflict even Jacob is having with sharam and Sharum's
like a you're challenging uh my holding to this dead form of the Mosaic religion
right and Jacob's like well this is what really matters and this is what's really important so it's it's it's Jesus Christ
but it's it's who Jesus Christ really is and that is why I believe that there is
no way we're going to be able to fix this whole conversation we're not going to be able to fix Liberty not we're not going to be able to help inspire people
to get why it matters unless we turn back to the tool we were given to come
to know Jesus Christ which is the book of mormant which is the restoration that was the setting in order of who Jesus
even really is everybody's got a different view of who Jesus is so it's not just believing in Jesus but the real
Jesus and the real guy and the Book of Mormon is the tool to do it I'm sorry
I'm doing my Book of Mormon for a day podcast right now so the Book of Mormon is just what's going to be on the brain but I really believe that if we could
just put Faith in those teachings and actually use it we could turn things
around moving to Covenant now you talk about Covenant quite a bit you go back to the Scottish Enlightenment in this
presentation which I I love the Scottish Enlightenment um how much does the
idea of Covenant with God make play a part in what ends up being the founding
of America oh huge huge it's every the whole covenant theology you can Google
covenant theology um with early Protestant Reformation churches um very
heavily in Scotland like you're I went into the Scottish covenants and they were very big on making these covenants
but that was even the whole view uh within the the puritan churches the pilgrims they're they're coming together they formed a church through Covenant
now of course it's Joseph Smith that takes it one step further to understand well how do we make covenants with God
what do those covenants look like what are those covenants uh but you see this moving as God is trying to prepare
people for the restoration of the Gospel to be like okay covenants covenants covenants covenants are important I
think that's why even today there's such an attack on the temple why there's so such a misunderstanding of like well the
garments like do we wear garments like there there's all these conversations that I see out there and I'm like oh we're just missing the the foundational
understanding of covenants and sorry that's a little bit of a tangent but right so so where does it how does it
start give me an example of what of how Covenant plays a part in in Scotland and
because people don't realize this I mean but the Scottish Enlightenment is a major major
force in creating the stage right setting the stage for the founding of
America right yes and um the Scottish Enlightenment is kind of the term in our
more modern secular more textbooks originally uh it was this Scottish covenantor movement and this um so that
that right there is a little bit of that evidence of uh rewriting of the history a little bit because Covenant just
sounds a little too Christian buty yes yes so in the 1500s in Scotland
which of course we know from latterday prophets a large percentage of the House of Israel was up there in the British
Isles um that's in so many presence of the church have talked about that so basically we've got these lost
Israelites up in the British Isles they don't know who they are but they start getting a hold of the Bible they start
getting a hold of uh the reformation and they start there there's this rebirth in
Scotland of saying we're going to come to together and we're going to make covenants with God that if we follow him
he can bless us and if we follow him unified together not just one person not
just a couple families but as a nation as a community as a town as a as a city
then God is going to be able to bless us and move us towards basically achieving what the ancient Israelites had it was
this view even that a very literal interpretation of the Bible more right like we want to be like Moses we want to
have those blessings that Israel had um the biggest covenants for yeah like
you're saying I I'll just like briefly do the history a little bit because a lot of people don't even know yeah so in the 1600s you had King Charles the first
I mean there were Kings before but we just start with King Charles the first and he's ruling in England but Scotland
is kind of part the two are together and he is definitely coming down in control
of the church the church is separate it's not the Roman Catholic Church it is a technically separated but uh the the
king is still controlling everything and the people didn't like this for numerous reasons one being uh his interpretation
they're saying this is not in harmony with what's in the scriptures we don't have the ability to speak and practice
the way that we want to and the men start coming together and joining
together and signing these covenants that they want reform and repentance as
a people in Scotland and that's the beautiful thing is when you look at and when you go read these covenants they're
not just we're going to fight the king and we're going to take our rights back because we're mad they're very humble
they're very much in the vein of we need to have we need to purge profanity from
our community we need to fathers need to take better care of their homes we need to be more humble before God we need to
be clean we need to be righteous and we're GNA take a moral stand for
Religious Freedom in our churches so that we can preach what needs to be Pro taught and the Scottish covenantor
movement was so influential that for a period of time they did start gaining
that Liberty they started reforming the churches they were forced to be reckoned with the King was like I don't have any
power and of course God was also distracting him a little bit this is the whole English Civil War period with
Cromwell and um so yeah there was a lot of conflict going on you had Ireland and
the Catholics causing trouble over there they causing trouble you know because they're just in Conflict everywhere um
that gave the people in Scotland a little bit of time to start flourishing now I want to um make a note that if you
go read some of the secular textbooks about the Scottish covenants you'll see them sometimes treated not very nicely
they're called zealots they're called bloodthirsty kind of radicals but if you actually read the
writings of the men and if you if you actually read the fruits of what happened in this movement you see this
these are some probably the most incredible men to live in history um so
the problem was eventually you had King Charles II he comes in and he just
starts going through what's called The Killing times horrific persecution um
men and women impr prison some men sold into slavery even to try to shut this down battles were fought um it was an
intense time of suffering and sacrifice uh but God used that because he that
drove all of these good men and women to America and they show up in the 1700s
and yeah when it's time for the Revolutionary War they know exactly what to do they've been fighting the king of England for a while so they're like
let's do it bring it on we know exactly to do you know it's it's fascinating because that you this idea of Covenant
that's going on there there's a couple things that to me happened automatically with the idea of a covenant number one is commitment yes right you you you
develop a commitment you go through the temple and you're like okay am I going to be a covenant keeper or not does this
give me a strength of commitment as I make a covenant so when you have a people that believe right in a Christian
Covenant you're you're you're likely going to get a a lot of very good results from a
higher level of dedication and commitment to rightness from those individuals I mean you look at the early
Saints the same thing right in of latterday saints and everything they go through and and how do you get through
all of that well there's Covenant right there there's a feeling of Covenant a feeling of this has been prophesied of
right and we are those people and it's not I am better than anybody else it's I have this responsibility yes right and I
think that that is what we lose when we move Covenant away in other
words The Book of Mormon is full of Covenant it's all about Covenant and and
talking about different peoples and how that Covenant plays out with Christ at the center of he's the Covenant right
but if you don't realize that you are a covenant people and that you have been
given a role yes and a responsibility through that Covenant
right then then I think you're missing out a lot on what your true purpose is exactly like you're saying I mean this
is what Captain Moroni uses to R the people um to fight against am malakiah
again he's saying you guys are Israelites enter into a covenant now and then of course uh we have numerous
teachings from presidents of the church talking about how if you're a member of the House of Israel there's implications that you made covenants before this life
too so you are uh bound and and not in the sense of oh like I have no agency
I'm forced into this no you willingly chose to take on a responsibility and you're absolutely right it's not in the
sense of you know everyone says oh if I say I'm a member of the House of Israel well you just think you're better than everyone actually it's not a very fun
job it means that you have covenanted to lay down your life for your entire life
to serve everyone else the greatest is the least to be the servant of the world
and that is honestly that is one of the things that inspires me about the reformation and a lot of these men and
women in the Scottish covenantor movement when you look at their stories and when you read their writings they
had this this foresight where they understood that what they were doing was for future Generations it wasn't for
them they weren't going to be able to reap the blessings of anything their life was going to be hell for lack of a
better word right like that's just what it was um but they they wanted that for
their posterity but not just their posterity for the world they were thinking okay we have and you're
thinking where are they getting this idea because yes it's in the Bible but it's not so clear I mean yes you can a
little bit um Joseph Smith is the one who really just here explains everything
that's going on but they had it in them they had this this inclination that was
saying hey we've got to take on this responsibility and I really think just bringing it back to today because we can
talk about history all we want we can talk about theology but at the end of the day like how does this change what
you and I and everyone listening to this is going to go do as soon as they get done here right is we have to think okay okay what are the covenants I have made
how am I Bound by that and how can I use those covenants and use that responsibility to actually go make a
difference and I think if we could communicate that to our kids and show them in history show them how when
individuals made covenants with God God blessed them but you have to enter into that Covenant with him to reap those
blessings and when individuals did that's when history changed every
time yeah and I think when you realize those things I mean I look you look at someone like a George Washington and you
say why wasn't he King George that that just doesn't happen
it's so rare in history for that ever to happen he's the military leader he can
he could have been King like that the people would have probably supported him oh they would have right huge hero um
good man King George that's who we need yes be our new King right and he doesn't
do it and it's like why why why doesn't he do that and I think a lot of that has to do with again a a sense of where I am
in history and this is part of the Covenant this is part of what is being
played out and you look at the scriptures and you have Covenant and
then you have prophecy and and and interestingly enough prophecy over and over and over
again is pointing to the covenants absolutely well that's the whole reason there is prophecy in the exactly it's
like they're completely tied together and you look at it weaves throughout the Book of Mormon and as they talk about
who they are you brought up the example of Captain Moroni he's talking about them being the remnant of Jo Joseph yes
right it's like this is us yes we can't fail right this is who we are this is
our place in history and again it's not a I'm great it's no this is my
responsibility that I have to fulfill and so for us today understanding that we we kind of don't
talk about that anymore no we don't you know it's like look oh you're a and I'm going to use a term here but oh you're
an ephraimite Gentile yes well what is your role what
are you sent here for what are you supposed to do with with that fulfillment of that Covenant right yes
yes I think I I mean so I I I teach gospel Doctrine in my word have for a
couple years and it when I was teaching the abrahamic Covenant it was so interesting to me because I I just asked
I was like can anyone like what what is the abrahamic Covenant to you like if you just had to say it and it was blank
stairs and I have an amazing word they are awesome they're awesome um but and
i' and I and I started experimenting I started asking that question more often and I realized wait we can't articulate
this we can't explain you know we can give lots of like well maybe like tied to the temple tied to this or tied to
that like lots of nebulous answers but I'm looking for for the succinct Silver Bullet like what is Abraham Covenant and
why is Abraham given land uh because he's special like I I don't know like
why is America the land of Joseph well yeah okay so you're just saying you're better than everybody else no it's about
how are you supposed to save people without the tools to do it how are you supposed to this is one of the reasons
that okay just give me like AR like the Book of Mormon is all about
uh America being a promised land is a refuge for persecuted Israel and
persecuted people around the world who want Liberty and freedom right so you see this with the anti- Nephi Lehi where
they're being persecuted so the Nephites welcome them in and they're like we'll protect you we'll use our armies to
defend you it's this whole and I think that's a little bit lost in our day this understanding of we have this
responsibility to protect and to help and to serve are we doing that are we
creating an environment where Israel has some place to go you know when the those protests happened in
Hong Kong a few years ago and millions and millions of young people were putting their lives on the line publicly
to protest and ask for freedom in in
from China and that whole dynamic were we there to help them this was when pre president Benson was the
secretary of agriculture when the Hungarian Revolution happened and similar story right the Hungarian people
people they rise up against the Communist Russians who were controlling the country they drove them out for a
few days and They begged They begged the United States to help and no one helped
them the tanks rolled back in massacred every single one of them and president Benson talked in several of his talks
how he just was so brokenhearted where were we now this is not saying we're supposed to be a police state right
that's the counterfeit going in to countries and being the opposite of
Liberty bears um that whole I am not I am not condoning that in any sense I
completely understand um it's more this perspective of who are we what are we supposed to be doing um and I think if
we again understood that we would care more about defending Liberty here instead of well it doesn't hurt me or
you know I can kind of live with this instead of saying well what's the implications of this for those people in
China or North Korea or the Muslim World in those those countries are we are we
helping how can we help them how do we yeah bring Liberty I don't know if that makes sense I know that I just h a bunch
of touchy subjects immigration and going into the other countries like you know and I'm I think we've done a lot of bad
poor very poor things I think the United States of America has a lot to answer for I but the principle the true
principle is true yeah I mean one thing we should be exporting is liberty and we
should be doing that through Liberty right so yeah that's that's uh sometimes
we don't do it through liberty no we do it through force and a fake counterfeit yeah yeah exactly all right so I want to
transfer here for a few minutes over to where we've been talking about the history of the United States and what builds up to that founding uh a
narrative that's kind of built around that that is much more secular than it is faith-based
you talk a lot about the history of the church and you've done a lot of research
on this and and you have a different idea than let's say mainstream Academia
within latterday Saint circles would have okay why do you have a different
point of view okay yeah so the whole you're kind of asking the whole Progressive versus
traditionalist interpretations of okay yes uh so I wrote two books on this
Faith crisis of course that go into into a lot more detail but um as a high level
in the few minutes that we've got here um in the in the early days of the
church the the historians who wrote the history this would be George A Smith Joseph Smith's cousin uh Wilford
Woodruff Joseph Fielding Smith um some others like that um they they wrote a a
certain narrative they they depicted the Prophet Joseph Smith in certain ways they included Miracles they inter they
gave an interpretation of History um that was a certain way well in the mid 1900s as Academia at the The World At
Large was secular moving moving history just in general towards a more secular
Viewpoint so this is the same time this is happening in American history so we're moving from you know George
Washington was a Christian to George Washington was a Das um Thomas Jefferson was a good guy too he was immoral you're
you're seeing the shift the same time you had the same philosophies being taught in
universities like Yale and Harvard um they were they weren't just teaching non-members they were teaching religious
universities by the way yeah yes that were founded as religious universities yes that's a whole another fascinating
history right um but they're they were also training Latter-Day Saints who also
became historians and the problem is it's just a different Viewpoint it's a different interpretation so it's the
same thing with a lot of times science right it's the same data two different worldviews two different lenses two
different viewpoints and so in the 1900s saw um the shift in how we interpret
history what we think is important so for example you know if you're going to write a book so in in s in
1976 there was a book called The Story of the latterday saints that was published by the historian Department of
the Church of Jesus Christ of latterday saints um the Brethren were not aware it didn't go through correlation and so the
book hit the press and a few months later some of the members of the Corum of the 12 read it and read parts of it
and and kind of reviewed it and freaked um they had a panic attack and they were like wait this got printed under the
church like no we don't agree with this there's a lot of things that we have problems with and they called in the
church historian at the time who was Leonard Arington they were like how did why did this happen and we only have
Leonard arrington's version of the story but I'm just going to take that as you know accurate but he he he talked about
how they had these meetings with President Spencer W Kimble who was the president of the church at the time and
then you had uh some of the others like President E son Elder Bruce and Maroni others sitting at this table having
these discussions about how do we interpret history and some of the concerns that uh president Benson and
others brought up was the uh influence of Miracles so for example we see this in American history in the shift in the
early days of American History you know the first textbooks that were used in the schools Miracles were present when
miracle was the bullet proof George Washington that George Washington's life was spared when the Indian chief was
trying to take aim at him and kill him multiple times but the bullets didn't touch him and then that story is taken
out or changed or even just that's not true we don't believe that anymore uh similar cases in church history so for
example the story of the seagulls H that that wasn't really a miracle we're going to have a naturalistic explanation here
and um that was that was a debate that was being had and one of the concerns that was expressed which is
understandable from some of the historians was that you know our Latter-Day St church history that been written from the certain perspective by
people like George A Smith Joseph Fielding Smith and others isn't acceptable to Academia it isn't acceptable to the world then of course
you have members of the corm of the 12 who fire back and they're like well we're not trying to be people Pleasers
to the world we don't care we just want um you know truth so it's this um different
interpretations of history and it really depends on what your beliefs are your
theology your understanding of Doctrine um your understanding of Providence the role of God in history Miracles and even
what's important and what's not but so your book on faith crisis is called
Faith crisis because you believe that the progressive Narrative of History within the church has caused Faith
crisis is that right yeah I believe that our understanding of Doctrine is often
derived or driven by our interpretation of History because history is what the
story of God's dealings with man we we learn how God works how he thinks from
history that's why when history is wrong written poorly it's really really dangerous you know when history is
written correctly like I would submit the Book of Mormon all of a sudden you understand this is who Jesus Christ
really is you have hope you have an understanding of um Miracles and Redemption um so our our history
Shifting the history if you change the history you change the doctrine and so
we're we're watching I believe over the last hundred years a shift in how we see
our history and who we see how we see our Founders the Pioneers the Miracles that have taken place our heritage and
that has shifted a lot of our understanding of um Doctrine our
understanding of how that's to be lived and that's why a lot of people struggle like why do I need to wear the Garment
why is the temple important women's roles um you see all of this confusion
happening and I think a lot of it just goes back to we don't understand how God really works and how to interpret that
and it goes back to history so there's been this infusion of Academia right and I have a LoveHate
relationship with Academia I've learned so much and I've got so many new truths and great scholarship and but you know
at the same time you've got to know and understand how that operates right there is it's a structure it's a church and in
in a way and it's uh you know if you look at biblical scholarship right now I mean most biblical Scholars are
atheists and and it's it's you get the rare person today I mean a hundred years ago it wasn't that way but today they're
mostly atheist they're focused on archaeology primarily and literary criticism yeah and and so it's just very
different what you get and there's no way that doesn't trickle down into
believing scholarship and and even in Latter-Day Saint scholarship right and so you've got this infusion that comes
in from Academia but today today because of the internet you you also have kind
of this online infusion that that has also brought in many ideas that you know may come from
scholarship here and there but for example you've got um there there's three main things
that are happening right now and and I'm going to tell you why I find this very interesting but it's um you you've got
this uh idea of um denying polygamy
right with Joseph Smith it's insane it's like he never did this this was briam Young's um Imagination he put this all
together he was a fallen Prophet worse right yeah yeah exactly it's like this is all false and they're they're
polygamy deniers and it it's it's like that's interesting you know it's you've got to really stretch here for that but
but they they they they say that Joseph Smith Never Never uh um practice polygamy secondly you've got another uh
idea that's getting very pervasive that kind of goes right with that and that is just basically that Brigham Young was a
fallen Prophet yeah and and that you know Joseph Smith was great but then in the succession here it wasn't supposed
to be Brigham Young and that just didn't work out well and and since then you've broken the line of authority so we
should look back to Joseph Smith in the Book of Mormon but that's it right and thirdly and this is kind of interesting
because and there's a reason I add this in there and I'm not saying that this is wrong because I don't have a dog in this
race at all but uh is is the is the longstanding now several decades
longstanding belief in latterday Sint Academia that that the Book of Mormon
took place in mesal America all right because the now the online the online
thing kind of works in reversed that way because a lot of people with a Heartland model they look at it and that that's
what's fight and it's crazy yeah the online world is actually pushing back the other way against Academia in that
sense but there's a lot of confusion on this you look at someone like a Michelle
Stone and what's going on with her with her polygamy topics and and she's hundred and something thousand
subscribers now with their YouTube channel just exploded right so you have all these ideas that come out and
there's just something really interesting about this that I've put together and maybe other people have put this together too I don't know but it's
all three of those ideas come from the reorganized Church
of Jesus Christ of latterday yes and and it's like we had this splitting
apart for so long where there wasn't you know very little bit of sharing and information that's changed quite a bit
more recently but all three of those are doctrines
essentially and and scholarship the Mesoamerican model comes from them right
it that is all from the organized Church of Jesus Christ of latterday STS and I just wonder that goes right along with the
internet and did those you know I'll get people in my because I cover a lot of these things and I'll get people in my
comment section on on episodes on topics like this they'll come in and they'll
say something and they'll say we right we don't believe this and we we as a
people and this that and the other and Brigham Young was wrong and he wasn't a prophet and right blah blah blah well
then they I continue to follow them as they make comments and then then they reveal themselves much more down the
road right it's like oh okay you're not a Latter-day Saint right right but you
do believe in the Book of Mormon you do believe Joseph Smith was a prophet and I get this over and over and over again in
this area and I just wonder with the
internet there seems to have been a Resurgence not a Resurgence but a new angle coming from The Community of
Christ with these three these are the like three of the major online topics in
the circles of social media and it's scary where that's headed because what else did the reorganized Church deny you
know basically I mean they they don't really accept the book of Abraham ordinances yes the temple and honestly
actually I think the temple is the chief Target right because why does Satan really care about some of these things
like at the end of the day how much does it matter like it matters but what is he going after ultimately and priod and
understanding how that works and and obviously understanding even who has the keys like it's pretty key um no
absolutely it is it's concerning but I think it's also personally what I feel
is going on right now is a test I believe God is testing every single one of us to know who we really are what we
really believe and do we really know who Jesus Christ is or you know do we have a
figment of an idea you know even you you know you bring up oh we believe in Joseph Smith in the book [ __ ] but not
the other stuff I I don't think you really believe in the real Joseph Smith I mean just saying it bluntly the Joseph
Smith you've created in your mind is not the man who was born in 1805 you know
and so I I think the Lord's testing us to know yeah do we really know who the
master is do we know who his servants are um it's it's a scary time and like
the scriptures say even the elect will be deceived and so I think it's more important than ever that we just turn
back and get more grounded and every single topic that we've talked about so far today is part of that covenants
everything right well Hannah thanks so much for your time I appreciate you being on here I appreciate your passion
I appreciate your the way you articulate things you do an excellent excellent job
thanks uh where can people find you yeah so you can go to the Joseph Smith um that's where we have a
lot of our resources we're also on YouTube social media great well thanks so much we'll
have to have you back thanks Greg appreciate it



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