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Church of Pagans 1
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PRODIGY(R) interactive personal service         12/06/92         8:52 PM

RELIGION
TOPIC:    LATTER-DAY SAINTS
TO:       JVFK79A
SUBJECT:  CHURCH OF PAGANS
DATE:     12/06/1992


Hi Marsh!

Missed you at the coven meeting!                     goddess

Hey Matt,  Should we stir some old pots in this new field?
I bet most of these churchgoers never heard of the
Mormon/Wiccan connections.                           proclus


PRODIGY(R) interactive personal service         12/06/92         8:53 PM

         RELIGION
TOPIC:   LATTER-DAY SAINTS
TIME:    12/06  4:29 PM

TO:      ALL
FROM:    MATTHEW BEGIN   (PMHR30A)
SUBJECT: CHURCH OF PAGANS

   What ever happened to that merry bunch of pagans that
used to roam these woods??  I better not say any names, I
don't want to get in any more trouble.  I was thinking about
wandering on over to the local meeting today, but the only
non-inactive person I know around here had her phone
disconnected.  If it wasn't so cold I might have crossed the
street to the Unitarian church for some spirtiual fill.>>>
Maybe I'll just flip the TV on to channel 63 and watch some
Pat Robertson, always nice to hear about what a sinner I am.


    Matt


PRODIGY(R) interactive personal service         12/06/92         8:54 PM

         RELIGION
TOPIC:   LATTER-DAY SAINTS
TIME:    12/06  5:42 PM

TO:      MATTHEW BEGIN   (PMHR30A)
FROM:    MARSHA STEED   (JVFK79A)
SUBJECT: CHURCH OF PAGANS

Matt, you can always try the phone book!  We are always
happy to see the likes of you in our midst!

---<--@ Marsha


PRODIGY(R) interactive personal service         12/06/92         8:55 PM

         RELIGION
TOPIC:   LATTER-DAY SAINTS
TIME:    12/06  6:07 PM

TO:      MARSHA STEED   (JVFK79A)
FROM:    MATTHEW BEGIN   (PMHR30A)
SUBJECT: CHURCH OF PAGANS

Marsha Actually I was talking with a friend who is my old
wards rep to the stake and he says that the LDS active
population is pretty low right where I am.  The only number
he had was disconnected.  Mormons aren't all that common
around here.

              Matt


PRODIGY(R) interactive personal service         12/06/92         8:55 PM

         RELIGION
TOPIC:   LATTER-DAY SAINTS
TIME:    12/06  6:40 PM

TO:      MATTHEW BEGIN   (PMHR30A)
FROM:    ANDREW MCGUIRE   (FKSP88A)
SUBJECT: CHURCH OF PAGANS

Matt,

   Did you try looking for Mormo-pagans in Waltham?  I
understand that there are one or two to be found there.

                                        \/ Andrew
                                        /\


PRODIGY(R) interactive personal service         12/06/92         8:55 PM

         RELIGION
TOPIC:   LATTER-DAY SAINTS
TIME:    12/06  7:29 PM

TO:      ANDREW MCGUIRE   (FKSP88A)
FROM:    MATTHEW BEGIN   (PMHR30A)
SUBJECT: CHURCH OF PAGANS

St. Andrew I was afraid you were boycotting this place after
I asked you up for hard cider.  With the cold howling wind
blowing around out there I don't think I'd be able to make
it all the way down to Waltham.  I must be the only person
drinking ice tea on such a cold day.  Hey if the Love branch
of the Pagan group are ever heading through town here, I'm
just across from Nam's Laundry.  Look for a few beat up >>
trucks parked out front.  I'm the first bay window on the
right.
   As for this pagan thing, i'm not quite sure  what a pagan
is so i guess i might be one.  I'm feeling kind of religious
these days with all the holiday shows on, saw frosty the
snowman and Field of Dreams just last night, really put me
in the mood.  You ever play that drinking game in college
where when you watch the Grinch everytime they say Who-vill
you have to do a shot of rum.  I guess that's actually a
kind of dumb question.  I think this cold air is freezing up
my brain cells.       Matt


PRODIGY(R) interactive personal service         12/07/92        11:09 PM

RELIGION
TOPIC:    LATTER-DAY SAINTS
TO:       ALL
SUBJECT:  CHURCH OF PAGANS
DATE:     12/07/1992


Mormonism has innumerable parallels with pagan religions.
My favorite of late is the ritual circle.  For those who
have already heard this material, I have a little tidbit for
you too!  Nibley has observed that any inquiry into the
subject of Mormon prayer circles juxtaposes us into a
"strange space, a strange world - unlike ours - a world
above that opens before us when we enter into the round
dance of the disciples, led by Jesus."  Surely, this must be
one of the most insightful statements ever made about the
ritual.  Actually, there just aren't too many statements to
be found about prayer circles.  Now, that our brethren of
the crazy right wing have re-discovered its magic,
publishing on this important subject may become very
difficult.  Thank Goddess for publications like Sunstone!

Now compare; "In Witchcraft, we define a new space and a new
time whenever we cast a circle to begin a ritual.  The
circle exists on the boarders of ordinary space and time; it
is "between the worlds" of the seen and the unseen, ... The
restrictions and distinctions of our socially defined roles
no longer apply; only the rule of nature holds sway, the
rule of Isis who says "What I have made law can be dissolved
by no man."  Within the circle, the powers within us, the
Goddess and the Old Gods are revealed."

If you missed the intent of that last part, here's another
clue;  "And so, when every initiate is challenged at the
gate to the circle, she speaks the only password: "Perfect
love and perfect trust". (SPIRAL DANCE p54-58) >>>>>>>>>>>>>

Prayer circle groups are not what they used to be in the
Church.  They used to be working groups, like a witch
covens.  Joseph Smith had a name for these groups.  He
called them "anointed quorums" (STRANGERS IN PARADOX Chap.
16).  He claimed these groups fully manifested of the spirit
of Elijah.  They were a new level of priesthood
organization, a new center for spiritual power.  Women were
not excluded.  It is hard to avoid hyperbole when describing
the blessings that flowed from these groups.
                                      >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
Given all of this, it is not surprising that some are
attempting to revive the practice.  Many, like the South
Central Utah Study Groups are taking matters into their own
hands.  Personally, I will not pass judgment on these
otherwise paranoid maniacs.
PRODIGY(R) interactive personal service         12/07/92        11:10 PM


Ha!       proclus


PRODIGY(R) interactive personal service         12/12/92         6:10 PM

         RELIGION
TOPIC:   LATTER-DAY SAINTS
TIME:    12/12  1:39 PM

TO:      MICHAEL LOVE   (BXXF11A)
FROM:    ANDREW MCGUIRE   (FKSP88A)
SUBJECT: CHURCH OF PAGANS

Mike,
   As illustrated by Sam Taylor's article in the last issue
of SUNSTONE {Joseph Smith Visits the Redwood City Ward},
Mormonism circa 1992 is vastly different from the religion
that was forged under the hands of Joseph Smith.  The
current catch-phase is "conformity and respectability."
  To this end, the prayer circle has been limited to the
temple.  The temple ceremony itself has been altered to make
it more {blech, yuk} politically correct.  Independent
forums on Mormon theology and history are attacked from the
pulpit of the SLC tabernacle.  Study groups are frowned
upon.
   There is a manual or pre-prepared outline for everything.
Sunday school lessons, priesthood lessons, home teaching
messages, family home evening activities, etc.  And are
these manuals considered to be optional helps and resources?
No.  Their use is mandated.
   Any thought or idea that has not been laundered by the
correlation committee is verboten.

   And yet, in spite of the heavy hand of the Brethren in
the 'Great and Spacious Building' in Salt Lake City, the
church and its members thrive.  Why?  Because tendencies to
originality and rightious rebellion are just too deeply
ingrained in the Mormon psyche.  Thank God.  Thank Goddess,
for that matter.
   Saints still speak and write of the forbidden.  Small
groups still gather to study, argue, pray and agitate.
Subscriptions to SUNSTONE and DIALOGUE are on the rise.
   What defines paganism: A certain set of beliefs, or a
certain attitude?  I vote attitude.  And what is that
attitude?  Independence.  Free thought.  Questioning.
Agitation.  Change.  Improvement.
   The pagans are alive and well in the Mormon church, and
they are moving forward, armed with some of the strongest
testimonies and purest motives that can be found in any
religion today.

   Let's agitate, proclus.                 \/ St Andrew,
                                           /\ Blessed Be.


PRODIGY(R) interactive personal service         12/12/92         6:09 PM

         RELIGION
TOPIC:   LATTER-DAY SAINTS
TIME:    12/12  3:35 PM

TO:      ANDREW MCGUIRE   (FKSP88A)
FROM:    MATTHEW GLOSENGER   (FMSR26B)
SUBJECT: CHURCH OF PAGANS

I'm  not sure what your point was in that statement but let
me clarify a few things that have been overlooked in your
statement.
            True, Joseph Smith did hold the prayer cirle
outside the temple at that time but you must remember that
Joseph never lived to see the completion of the temple. With
that in mind, it is not surprising that the practice indoors

              About being politically correct I'm at a loss
for your meaning there too.  Please explain.
              As far as the church being against study
groups and personnal beliefs about things that pertain at
times to absolutely nothing important enough to our eternal
salvation to argue about, it only occurs when principles are
taught that do not concur with the teachings of the
scriptures and with what the ONLY living prophet has said in
counsel to the church.  Most of the people that you refer to
in that statement are those who no longer believe that the
prophet has gone astray.  Christ established ONE church
here. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints still
lives by those teachings.  If something has changed (not
that it matters) then it is for two reasons; first--we have
proven ourselves ready for a higher law and it is given to
us or two--we have not proven ourselves to be able to handle
what we have and we are humbled.
             I dont intend offense but you sound as those
who preach that there is only one Bible and that is enough
wherein you say that the church has "gone astray" from what
Joseph taught so long ago. Keep in mind that many people,
including Joseph saw these "changes" and in fact much more
that we cannot comprehend.
             I recall you to Josephs statement to Brigham
Young that if he was to tell him all that he knew that
Brigham young would have apostacized and sought his life.
             Sorry to Babble on so, but I wanted to make
this issue as clear as possible both to myself and to anyone
else who may read this note. This is to my understanding!

                             - MATT -


PRODIGY(R) interactive personal service         12/12/92         6:35 PM

         RELIGION
TOPIC:   LATTER-DAY SAINTS
TIME:    12/12  6:07 PM

TO:      MATTHEW GLOSENGER   (FMSR26B)
FROM:    ANDREW MCGUIRE   (FKSP88A)
SUBJECT: CHURCH OF PAGANS

Matt,
   Actually, prayer circles survived outside the temple,
with church sanction, until well into this century.  D.
Michael Quinn's article "Latter-day Saint Prayer Circles"
{BYU Studies, Fall 1978} is most instructive on this matter.
In fact Proclus, a mere 32 years of age, related hearing of
their being done away with when he was a young and
questioning child.

   As to political correctness in the temple, witness the
penalties being removed from the ceremony.  Also, where the
wording of the ceremony was once rather male oriented {Adam
swears obedience to the Lord, Eve swears obedience to Adam,
most instruction directed toward Adam with Eve as the
implied but unmentioned co-participant}, it has now been
changed to reflect a more balanced {feminist????} point of
view.
                                                 >>>>
   As to the whole idea of change, here is my beef:  It
makes no difference to me that Mormon theology and practice
have evolved over the years.  What bothers me is that some
leaders in the church would have us ignore that fact.  They
insist that the teachings of the church, as we have them
today, are identical to what the church has ALWAYS taught.
Period.
   If you dig up a copy of The Lectures on Faith, once
published as part of the D&C, and try to point out that
Joseph once taught that The Father was a person of SPIRIT
and that the Holy Ghost was not any personage at all, but
the "shared mind of the Father and the Son" these people
will brand you a heretic and a trouble maker.  They accuse
you of misinterpretation.  They complain that you are
undermining the faith.
   Baloney.  I just want to know when, where, why and how
Joseph Smith abandoned this set of ideas and started
teaching something else.  Revelation?  Why not ask why?


  Line upon line, precept upon precept.          \/ Andrew
                                                 /\


PRODIGY(R) interactive personal service         12/12/92        10:33 PM

RELIGION
TOPIC:    LATTER-DAY SAINTS
TO:       FMSR26B
SUBJECT:  CHURCH OF PAGANS
DATE:     12/12/1992


Matt

Here's some questions for you.  What do you mean by this
statement;

"Most of the people that you refer to in that statement are
those who no longer believe that the prophet has gone
astray."

Also, to Andy's point, "legitimate" prayer circle groups
were extant in the Church until May 3, 1978.  These groups
did their thing outside of the temple precincts, of course.
My wife claims that the annointed quorums were established
after Joseph had gone astray from the gospel.  This is a
deep well.  I don't really agree with her but I think that
the evidence is interesting to look at.  When she brought
this up in an interview, she was told that it is irrelevant
as long as she knows the BOM is true.  Since this interview,
she has had no difficulty with Joseph's wilder teachings.
What do you think of that?

Al 15:17

proclus


PRODIGY(R) interactive personal service         12/12/92        10:41 PM

RELIGION
TOPIC:    LATTER-DAY SAINTS
TO:       SHSK79A
SUBJECT:  CHURCH OF PAGANS
DATE:     12/12/1992


Andy (and Bret)

Yea, we share aggravations.  History seems to be a sticky
point with the Church.  Here is another example.  Previous
versions of the temple ordinance are not made available to
us.  They need to be studied and compared.  Their historical
context may shed much light on their meaning.  Comparisons
to other ritual traditions may be particularly
illumintating.

But alas, the records are unavailable to us, and we are left
to resort to hostile sources like the Tanners.

This illustrates why the pagan connection is only
acknowledged in an intellectualized way.  You've heard the
argument.  Of course there are pagan elements in Mormonism.
They must be apostate versions of the true religion.  Thus,
we distance ourselves from these unpopular religions and
maintain a confortable sense of superiority.

In such an atmosphere, no one feels any obligation to look
at the evidence, after all, it is not essential to our
salvation.  Thus, the Church maintains its slick mainstream
appeal, xtianized, distant from shocking paganism.  Daddy,
baseball, hotdogs.

chthonic

proclus                                 ps>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>


PS dance Dance DANCE!


Bret,  I have to admit I am alot more subtle in elders
quorum.  sneaky insider promoting my hidden agenda.  By the
way, did I ever tell you that you are a chosen generation?


PRODIGY(R) interactive personal service         12/12/92        10:47 PM

         RELIGION
TOPIC:   LATTER-DAY SAINTS
TIME:    12/12  9:05 PM

TO:      ANDREW MCGUIRE   (FKSP88A)
FROM:    BRET BOTTGER   (SHSK79A)
SUBJECT: CHURCH OF PAGANS

Andrew and Proclus,
 You guys crack me up! You have turned "dancing on the edge
of blasphemy" into a refined art!
 I'm into Sunstone, but you are way beyond that. Thank the
Lord I'm not your Elder's Quorum President. I can only
imagine what type of stuff you bring up there. Ever noticed
more mainstream Mormons rolling their eyes when you talk?
 Now come on, we're a Christian religon.  There may be a few
elements of other traditions in ours, but we're not Pagan as
you suggest.  I've never heard a LDS leader venerate Shirley
Mclaine or advocate carrying around a "tuned" quartz
crytsal!

 I really should get back to studying for finals at "the"
BYU.  See you later, if you haven't been zapped by God.

                                     BYU BADGER
                          "I'm not a man, I'm an adventure."


PRODIGY(R) interactive personal service         12/12/92        10:48 PM

         RELIGION
TOPIC:   LATTER-DAY SAINTS
TIME:    12/12  9:11 PM

TO:      ANDREW MCGUIRE   (FKSP88A)
FROM:    JAMES PETERSEN   (XWWG12A)
SUBJECT: CHURCH OF PAGANS

Andrew,
  Regarding the rising SUNSTONE subscriptions: I subscribed
to the magazine about three years ago, and paid for a one
year subscription. I really didn't care to continue the
subscription beyond the first year, but it miraculously
keeps appearing in my mailbox to this day. Maybe many
subscriptions have lapsed like mine, but they keep sending
it out to make sure the numbers look good?
  Just my own personal experience, and I'm speculating
beyond that. But, worth taking note of.

Jim Petersen


PRODIGY(R) interactive personal service         12/13/92        11:09 PM

         RELIGION
TOPIC:   LATTER-DAY SAINTS
TIME:    12/13  9:38 AM

TO:      BRET BOTTGER   (SHSK79A)
FROM:    ANDREW MCGUIRE   (FKSP88A)
SUBJECT: CHURCH OF PAGANS

Badger,
   Thanks for the compliments.

   As to Elders Quorum meetings, I pretty much just stay
quiet.  I may be crazy, but I ain't stupid.
                                                \/
                                                /\


PRODIGY(R) interactive personal service         12/14/92         8:20 PM

         RELIGION
TOPIC:   LATTER-DAY SAINTS
TIME:    12/14  7:20 AM

TO:      ALL
FROM:    LAURA LOKEN   (DPNG73C)
SUBJECT: CHURCH OF PAGANS

...am i surprized to see this subject here! i have been
struggling with religion for a while now. i was raised into
the LDS church, but i see it now as a half-religion, and so
in turn i have turned to paganism for a more complete
spiritual realm of knowledge and experience.
   i have some questions--how exactly do you merge mormonism
and paganism? they have similarities, yes, but there seems
to be quite a clash in the mormon idea that this is the only
true church, and that other religions are irrelevant to
'good' LDS folks. in fact, i have gotten the distinct idea
that paganism should be avoided all together. i still go to
church, and i am in the 'closet' with my spirituality among
other things. i really don't appreciate going that much; i'd
rather spend my time hiking and hugging trees! but i go out
of obligation to do my calling--sunday school pianist. ho
hum. but i bet i'd really have some fun if i was the s.s
teacher! that would be pretty interesting!
   love & light,  laura


PRODIGY(R) interactive personal service         12/14/92        11:51 PM

RELIGION
TOPIC:    LATTER-DAY SAINTS
TO:       DPNG73C
SUBJECT:  CHURCH OF PAGANS
DATE:     12/14/1992


-------------------Welcome to the Coven!-------------------

           Perfect love and perfect trust, laura

Thanx for your story.  You ask, "how exactly do you merge
mormonism and paganism?"  That's the BIG question and I have
enough                              >>>>>>>>>>
info on it to boggle anyone's brain.  Just hang around here
for a while.  (Loved your post in HEAVENLY MOTHER, by the
way.)  I want to address the human aspect of your post
first.  All too often people get the impression that
Mormonism is a closed system with no room for creativity or
free thought.  As you say, we are often told that "this is
the only true church, and that other religions are
irrelevant to 'good' LDS folks."  This idea is put forward
by well meaning, but misguided individuals who think that
they are somehow doing the Church a favor by promoting it.
History and comparative religion can add depth to our gospel
understanding.  Now, I am sure that you will agree with me
that many members are among the sweetest people imaginable.
No problem there.

I've wanted to meet someone like you for a long time.  There
are a lot of former Mormons in pagan, wiccan, and occult
circles.  Most of us around here want to stay attached to
Mormonism though.  Are you new to the on-line community?
If so, look out!  You are already making waves out there.
What you post in sincerity will be labeled by dogmatists,
probably in this very thread.  What an irony.  Pagan Mormons
cry out against paganism.  And it makes me wonder!

There are plenty of different models for explaining the
pagan parallels with Mormonism.  The canned apostasy model
just doesn't cut it.  For example, it doesn't explain the
fact that new mormonish groups arise from time to time,
isolated from Mormonism.

Well, I have just one more sloppy, unsophisticated thing to
say.  Please don't leave the Church.  Mormonism is big
enough to encompass all truth, if we let it.  Pagans are on
the march.  There aren't many of us, but as Andy said, "The
pagans are alive and well in the Mormon church, and they are
moving forward, armed with some of the strongest testimonies
and purest motives that can be found in any religion today."
We need you.
PRODIGY(R) interactive personal service         12/14/92        11:52 PM


I hope I didn't scare you off.  Would you like to hear more?

     proclus


PRODIGY(R) interactive personal service         12/14/92         8:20 PM

         RELIGION
TOPIC:   LATTER-DAY SAINTS
TIME:    12/14  1:49 PM

TO:      ALL
FROM:    MATTHEW BEGIN   (PMHR30A)
SUBJECT: CHURCH OF PAGANS

   Could someone tell me just what a pagan is?

   Matt


PRODIGY(R) interactive personal service         12/14/92        11:56 PM

RELIGION
TOPIC:    LATTER-DAY SAINTS
TO:       PMHR30A
SUBJECT:  CHURCH OF PAGANS
DATE:     12/14/1992


Matt

Now, that's another big question!  I feel inadequate to
answer so I'll give you my own personal reflections of what
a pagans is NOT.  A pagan is not hypnotized by one god, but
recognizes many gods.  A pagan does not ignore the world.  A
pagan does not subdue the earth, but loves the living things
in the earth.  A pagan is not a slave, but draws spiritual
power from life itself.  A pagan is not abnormally evil or a
Satan worshiper, far from it.

I also like Andy's idea.  Paganism seems to be an ATTITUDE.
Independence.  Free thought.  Questioning.  Agitation.
Change.  Improvement.  How do YOU feel about this?

I think the parallels with Mormonism should be quite obvious
by now and we're just getting started!  Anyone want to get
dizzy?             proclus


PRODIGY(R) interactive personal service         12/15/92         6:18 PM

         RELIGION
TOPIC:   LATTER-DAY SAINTS
TIME:    12/15  8:44 AM

TO:      LAURA LOKEN   (DPNG73C)
FROM:    GERALD SMITH   (CRPV57A)
SUBJECT: CHURCH OF PAGANS

Laura,
Everyone loves hugging trees. That doesn't make them a
pagan. If you are struggling with your testimony, then let
me ask you what my father would ask me when I struggled with
issues in my life:
  1. Are you praying daily on your knees in humble prayer?
  2. Are you studying daily from the Book of Mormon?
  3. Do you have a personal friendship with Christ?
  4. Are you keeping the 10 Commandments?

At first, when he would ask me these questions, I would
think, 'but that has nothing to do with my current problem.'
I mean, he would ask this of me even if it was a problem at
work...
But now I know what he meant. If my spiritual life is out of
whack, then nothing else will be working right, either.
Gerald


PRODIGY(R) interactive personal service         12/15/92         6:20 PM

RELIGION
TOPIC:    LATTER-DAY SAINTS
TO:       CRPV57A
SUBJECT:  CHURCH OF PAGANS
DATE:     12/15/1992


Thanx Gerald

We shouldn't forget the basics, should we!

            atwixt the pillars

                              proclus


PRODIGY(R) interactive personal service         12/15/92         6:21 PM

         RELIGION
TOPIC:   LATTER-DAY SAINTS
TIME:    12/15  4:28 PM

TO:      LAURA LOKEN   (DPNG73C)
FROM:    ANDREW MCGUIRE   (FKSP88A)
SUBJECT: CHURCH OF PAGANS

Laura,
   Let me warn you about Mike 'proclus' Love.....
   While visiting him in Arizona a few years back, I asked
him about his current calling in the church.  He told me
that he was an instructor in the Young Men's organization.
He then let loose with an evil laugh, rubbed his hands
together and muttered, "Ah yes. Young impressionable minds!"
   Ok, ok.  I exaggerate.  But not much.

   Many of the things that Mike and I have found attractive
about Paganism are actually a part of Mormonism.  Alas, many
of these things are buried in the history and discarded
practices of the church.  Take the prayer circle.  Kinda
resembles the Wiccan circle, no????  How do the 'five points
of fellowship' or the washing and annointing in the temple
ceremony compare to the 'fivefold kiss' of Wicca?
   Or what about the Annointed Quorum of the Nauvoo days,
where women recieved the priesthood {they actually recieve
it now in the endowment, but the greyface propagandists
would have us think otherwise}.

   Ever read the book EARLY MORMONISM AND THE MAGIC WORLD
VIEW by D. Michael Quinn?  Or better yet, STRANGERS IN
PARADOX by Margaret and Paul Toscano.  STRANGERS is an
absolute MUST for any Mormo-pagan.  If you can't chase down
a copy, e-mail me an address and I will see what I can do
for ya.
   Do as thou wilt shall be the whole of the law.     \/
   Love is the law.  Love under will.    
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