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Switch to Forum Live View Sidney Rigdon & the Campbelites???
5 years ago  ::  Apr 05, 2009 - 5:49PM #1
Theo
Posts: 4,687

As I have studied the history of America Religions, Mormonism in particular, one thing I do not understand is how Sidney Rigdon, by many accounts a well spoken and well (if not self-)educated man and Campbelite minister, how could this man throw in his lot with the likes of Joseph Smith?


I am just wondering if anyone here has any insights into this.


~ Theophilus

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5 years ago  ::  Apr 07, 2009 - 1:00PM #2
Campbellite
Posts: 2,068

Excellent question!


Rigdon was an early follower of Campbell, and was well versed in Campbell's thinking. I can only speculate as to why he jumped ship and went with the Mormons.  Brother Alex was a forceful figure. Perhaps Rigdon wanted to be a bigger fish in (what then was) a smaller pond. Who knows?


Anyway, I have to wonder how much of Rigdon's Campbellite thinking came to influence the Mormons. They refer to themselves as a Reformation Movement (as did Campbell), they immerse (as did Campbell), they believed that they were restoring the primitive NT church (as did Campbell).


The early 19th C on the American frontier was a time of great religious upheaval and experimentation. I suspect that had the Campbells and Stone (and Scott) not had a firm grounding in Scripture from their Prebyterian roots, we might well have gone down the same path of lunacy as the Mormons.


YMMV of course.

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5 years ago  ::  Apr 07, 2009 - 1:04PM #3
Campbellite
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Oh, and you are aware, no doubt, that the very first book review of the Book of Mormon was by our own Bro. Alex in the 10 Feb 1831 issue of the Millennial Harbinger? He totally trashed it, and made every major argument against it that would later emerge.


Link is from an LDS website!

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5 years ago  ::  Apr 07, 2009 - 1:35PM #4
Clydson
Posts: 75

...actually, that website is not affiliated with LDS.


Jake

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5 years ago  ::  Apr 07, 2009 - 7:11PM #5
mecdukebec
Posts: 14,580

Sidney Rigdon had been part of the Reformed Baptists, just as has Brother T. Campbell, and would probably have latched on to whomever came along, whether it was JS in Kirtland, or as did the fellow "Last Will and Testament of the Springfield Presbytery" Presbies who abandoned Brother Stone in Kentucky for the Shakers (who were celibate).  The Disciples of the Mahoning Association were pretty orthodox, and would not have been as unhinged as the experimental types that Rigdon represented.  Those folks were Christian communitarians, as those of us who have lived in that area of NE Ohio, were there also immigrant German Christian 'communist' groups, as well. 

*******

"Wesley told the early Methodists to gain all they could and save all they could so that they could give all they could. It means that I consider my money to belong to God and I see myself as one of the hungry people who needs to get fed with God’s money. If I really have put all my trust in Jesus Christ as savior and Lord, then nothing I have is really my own anymore."
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5 years ago  ::  Apr 07, 2009 - 8:34PM #6
Campbellite
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Apr 7, 2009 -- 1:35PM, Clydson wrote:


...actually, that website is not affiliated with LDS.


Jake




I double chscked and stand corrected. www.lds-mormon.com is an anti-mormon site.


The report on the article by Campbell remains accurate, nonetheless.

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5 years ago  ::  Apr 07, 2009 - 11:31PM #7
Clydson
Posts: 75

Apr 7, 2009 -- 8:34PM, Campbellite wrote:


Apr 7, 2009 -- 1:35PM, Clydson wrote:


...actually, that website is not affiliated with LDS.


Jake




I double chscked and stand corrected. www.lds-mormon.com is an anti-mormon site.


The report on the article by Campbell remains accurate, nonetheless.




I suspect that website was so named to inflame LDS members. I personally prefer this website in regard to the same article; http://www.mun.ca/rels/restmov/texts/acampbell/delusions.html

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5 years ago  ::  Apr 09, 2009 - 6:33PM #8
Theo
Posts: 4,687

Thanks for the links to that first book review - that was worth the read - good stuff.


I still find it amazing that Mormonism took off like it did back in the early days. My ancestors joined the Mormon Church back during its formative years in the mid 1800s. It would have been something to have lived through it and seen it first hand.


Now that the waters out of the dam there's not a lot anyone can say or do to stop them. But it just seems to me that someone should have sat Joseph Smith down and had a good heart to heart talk with him, to nip it in the bud. The man obviously had a familarity with the Christianity of the day... even in his literary and biblical ignorance.


I would have loved to have been a fly on the wall when Smith and Rigdon had their first conversations.


~ Theophuilus 


 

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5 years ago  ::  Apr 10, 2009 - 12:01PM #9
mecdukebec
Posts: 14,580
Theo, I was a pastor of a DoC church in Brunswick, Ohio, which was not more than 30 minutes away from Hudson, Ohio (where JS had his so-called "School of Prophets"; Hudson was also the place where another nut, John Brown, stood up in the Congregationalist church and vowed to kill slave owners: It must have been a place for really eccentric people, in its day.  Today, Hudson is tony, snooty and dull as dust.), and not too far from Kirtland and Hiram.

The memories are still there, btw, of Brother Thomas Campbell going house to house that winter following the defection of Rigdon and his congregation to the LDS, and how effectively the Disciples shut their doors to the LDS heresy and Smith, subsequently.   I heard this story when I was there, from old timers, and it is still there.  JS, as you know, moved on, following the drought caused by Campbell's quite effective warning of the Mormon heresy.  In a word, the Disciples did nip the thing in the bud, as best they could.

As to Rigdon, he was ga-ga for Campbell, and rode all the way on horseback, to see A. Campbell at Bethany, (W.) Virginia:  He was looking for something, and when JS arrived by sled, he had a happier mentor, so to speak, in JS.  The rest is a sad  history.
*******

"Wesley told the early Methodists to gain all they could and save all they could so that they could give all they could. It means that I consider my money to belong to God and I see myself as one of the hungry people who needs to get fed with God’s money. If I really have put all my trust in Jesus Christ as savior and Lord, then nothing I have is really my own anymore."
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5 years ago  ::  Apr 11, 2009 - 12:29AM #10
Theo
Posts: 4,687

Thanks for your insights. Now lets see if I can spell my name right this time.


~ Theophilus


 

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