I'm of the opinion that part of the Restoration and Perfection of the Church goes thorugh the same process we do - an initial new creation (1830, Baptism), followed by a period of learning, repentance, and perfection, and greater light and knowledge.
I'm solidly of the view the Restoration of the Church/Gospel is still in progress, and that often times we're not heeding President Uchtdorf's warning that "Unfortunately, we sometimes don't seek [new] revelation or [new] answers from the scriptures ... because we think we know the answers already... as good as our previous experience may be, if we stop asking questions, stop thinking, stop pondering, we can thwart the revelations of the Spirit. Remember, it was the questions young Joseph asked that opened the door
for the restoration of all things. We can block the growth and knowledge our Heavenly Father intends for us. How often has the Holy Spirit tried to tell us something we needed to know but couldn't get past the massive iron gate
of what we thought we already knew?"
Joseph's questions opened the door to Restoration. At times, our unwillingness to learn more and re-adjust understanding places an iron gate in the way of the door that Joseph opened. We are in a powerful day where, "God [is in the process of trying to] reveal many great and important things pertaining to the Kingdom of God.", but many in the Church are saying, "A paradigm! A paradigm! We have a paradigm, and need no more adjusting of paradigms!"
I have seen people on this board express that if certain traditional principles or understanding as to how the world works, or how God views and understands his Children were stated to be changed or revised by the Brethren through revelation, it would be the sign to them of the Brethren's own apostasy, and that they would be forced to leave the Church, knowing that it had bowed to the pressures of men. Iron gate indeed.
Past apostasy, from the Early Church, and in the Early Restored Church, was clearly marked by individuals rejecting appointed leaders, and administering the Church without proper appointment.
When you see people claim new apostolic authority, or cirumvent their Stake President and the FP to appoint a Bishop, then call me. Otherwise, I see members who have a desire for clarification and progression in the Church (based on either personal feelings they've understood as revelation, or a lack of divine confirmation as to present procedures), and a longing for institutional change. I haven't seen anyone (worth taking seriously) suggest any sort of Authoritative Overthrow, or beginning of a New Reorganization over this matter. Specifically, I haven't seen anyone here suggest ranks be broken, and ordinations or sealings or otherwise be performed where the FP has not authorized them.
Differing views and opinions while still respecting and obeying and not circumventing the sacramental order of the Church is a FAR different situation than what has gone on before when new paradigm-shifting revelations came that were not popular (see the break-off groups that started when Polygamy was ended, or the Second Book of Commandments that claims that SPencer W. Kimball's giving blacks the priesthood was a sure sign of the Church's apostasy.)
Yes, there are those here who have holy envy for some aspects of other Restorationist groups, specifically the Community of Christ, who have extended (or are in the process of extending) key blessings we feel strongly about and feel may be right and true. But we're still here. We sustain the current leaders. We sustain they Keys of the Temple. We haven't jumped ship because we see key aspects of what we might feel they're doing better, and perhaps more in line with how we understand the character of God.
We're still here. We still believe the Church is the Lord's. We will support it and sustain it, while still feeling very strongly about key insights that we have felt as a result of prayer, pondering, study, and seeking the Lord's guidance in making sure the Gospel of Love and Peace is being expressed by us in the way the Lord truly desires.
Stop insinuating individuals who disagree with fundamentalist readings of scripture do so out of shame, or out of a willingness to be praised by the world, or out of a desire to be seen as a martyr. Give the benefit of the doubt that those individuals are seeking to be humble, devoted followers of Christ, seeking to be edified and learn from all sources of knowledge and revelation that have come forth.
The condescending ideas presenting that those who desire to place the Gospel in context with their own personal experience as well as the observable world around them taking advantage of 21st century science and understanding are actually faithless proto-apostates are tired, boring, and contentious. In the words of President Uchtdorf, STOP IT.
I am actually perfectly fine with individuals who do hold a view of scripture that is very different than mine. I will not mock them. I will not make assumptions about their character, faith, or desires. I will ask questions to better understand the view, but that is different than assuming poor things about their character. I am more than aware that many of the best Christians I know understand the Epic of Eternity very differently than I do. We do, however, share a love for the same Gospel, and strive to live it in unity, and in love, and in charity. I may think they're wrong about the age of the earth, or the degree of the literalness of accounts of divine dictation. But we serve the Lord and our fellow men together. That's not apostasy. That's discipleship.
Edited by David T, 24 April 2012 - 08:16 AM.