life on the ark

Talmudic considerations of the biblical flood to ponder as the rain continues:

On the ark, precious stones as bright as the noon sun provided light. The sun rose in the west and set in the east. The water of the flood was as hot and thick as semen. Noah was engaged day and night feeding and caring for the animals and did not sleep for an entire year. The raven created problems–refusing to leave the ark when Noah sent it forth, accusing the patriarch of wishing to destroy its race and desiring its mate. Noah dismissed the accusation, pointing out that he hadn’t even slept with his own [human] wife. The lion caught a fever and lost its appetite for several months. The phoenix didn’t ask for food for fear of bothering Noah. Male ravens spit semen into the females’ mouths.

(Derived from Sanhedrin 108-Babylonian Talmud)

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stirpicults

New journal article out here on the history of (what I argue is) the first eugenics experiment in the U.S–stirpiculture at the Oneida Community. Many scholars, and those otherwise interested, often frame utopias such as the Oneida Community (OC) as “failed experiments.” I think this is a myopic analysis, especially in the case of the OC. The community lasted four decades–that’s a long time to live communally in dedication to principles never before carried out in history. It’s a long time to not have claims to any personal money, possessions, or even blood relatives. And it’s a long time to carry out a novel vision of a new American spiritual society. There were struggles–of course. But what my examination of stirpiculture signals to me is a dedication and follow-through on principles which radically reimagined the definitions many of us take for granted today. Marriage, property, childrearing, conception, reproduction, contraception, non-monogamous relationships–these are just some of the many concepts which were drastically rewritten by the OC and its leader John Humphrey Noyes.

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the Falls will transform into the lake of fire

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Niagara Falls, New York

Second Coming House of Prophet Isaiah

excerpts:

these are the seals– 7, this is the ark of the covenant , 7 point star represents God, God is  a wheel, Jesus Christ at the bottom of the falls, last chance. the judgement seat of Jesus Christ is on Goat Island–where he will separate goats from the sheep. the Falls will transform into the lake of fire. we are scared China and Russia will use nuclear weapons. United States are protected by God. a black person in the White House? –reason why Barack Obama is in the White House is that he’s the last president. there will be no more presidents.”

 

hill cumorah

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in July the small town of Palymra, New York becomes the convergence point for a celebration nearly eight decades old. this is the Hill Cumorah Pageant, a production representing the cumulative effort of thousands of volunteer members from the LDS Church. these individuals forfeit three weeks of their summers–sometimes the only vacation time they have all year–to help construct, produce, and act in a dramatic rendition of the Book of Mormon. there are fire and water effects. there are points in the play when hundreds of newly-minted actors sway and jump in unison to music. there are actors who dramatically writhe as they are burnt alive in paper flame according to pre-recorded narration.

it was the second time i’ve been able to make it to “Pageant,” as they say. but Pageant isn’t just the production at the Hill Cumorah; it’s a larger experience of being in Palmyra where Mormon Prophet Joseph Smith grew up. and watching the unfolding of what many have only read about in the Book of Mormon, on the very site where Smith uncovered the plates from which he would later produce America’s homegrown bible. for me it was the opportunity to stand with Sister Reynolds, a young Mormon woman from Utah nearing the end of her mission, as she pointed out the significance of our tour location at the Smith family farm. “Right now,” she says with bright eyes bordering on tears, “We’re standing between two of the most holy places on Earth.” She was referring to our place between the the Hill Cumorah and the Sacred Grove, where Smith received his first vision.

i first met Sister Reynolds at Book of Mormon Publication Site on Main Street. She took me on a private tour which winded its way between two adjacent townhouses and culminated in a view of a first edition Book of Mormon (see below!).

we’re now in the midst of exchanging e-mail regarding seer stones and early Mormon history, and hope to meet at Pageant again next year.

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