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smac97

LDS Apostle: Policy on same-sex couples was revelation from God

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11 minutes ago, Jeanne said:

Yeah..I tried to access this and couldn't.  I am late to the thread.

It's back up now.  There are several revisions from the original version, tho.

Thanks,

-Smac

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8 hours ago, The Nehor said:

I have no idea how often they "officially" announce that something is a revelation. I don't spend a lot of time looking for that.

Yes, the missionary age change was revelation. I have no idea if that revelation came out of the blue or circumstances led the apostles to seek the change or whether the prophet was praying about it and presented it to the Twelve or how it happened.

It is a big deal in the sense that this policy is, for now, the revealed direction of God. It may change as things change and is no longer needed or needs to be revised but such a change will also come by revelation.

Why wasn't the policy declared a revelation to begin with?  Why wasn't any of this mentioned in the Bible or Book of Mormon when God knew the future of His people?

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In the least view this seems clumsy and at worst it seems deceitful.  I don't like clumsy and I don't like deceitfulness.  

How does it affect my perception of the FP and the Q of the 12?  Hmm, pretty good confirmation they are still human and that at least some of them in the very leading circles of authority put too much confidence in the arm of flesh.  Heck, I might even entertain that some of them have grown too old to think clearly.

However, does it make me think that the gospel is not true?  Absolutely not.  On the one hand I look at churches that have embraced homosexual behavior as if it is the best thing since sliced bread and they have nothing to offer me.  They are wholly devoid of the Spirit, scriptural knowledge, or godliness.  They are the ones fill themselves of those with itching ears and want to buy a religion that tells them they are good, loving, honest, Christian people and deny all authority except the hand of flesh.

I am eternally grateful that I have no role to play in leading the Church.  I detest the spotlight they are under and the need to always be more than what I am.  I have taught others that when they begin to judge others the first thing to accuse them of is being human.  After that there is really not much else that needs to be said.  I am human.  I am a sinner and fall short of the glory of God.  If we do anything let us pray for the Church's leadership that they may lean more heavily on the Spirit of revelation and that they will be led daily in their words and actions.  Pray that the will of God will be done at all times.

For those that leave the Church, may they learn to know God more fully and completely.  If there was someplace better I would tell them to go there, but I know of no other Church that has a fullness of the gospel of Christ.  I know some that are excellent and helpful - the Catholic Church for one, but it is not for me.  

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8 hours ago, Bobbieaware said:

Because the loyal and faithful members of the Church have access to the Spirit of revelation (the very same Spirit of revelation that inspires and guides the leaders of the Church), there is no need for the First Presidency and the Quorum of the Twelve to always have to specify when what they teach or announce is a revelation from God. For example, right from the very first time I read the Family Proclamation I knew it was a revelation from God, and this because the Spirit of revelation testified to me --in no uncertain terms -- it was so. In the same way, I knew the policy regarding the children of gay married couples was also a revelation before Elder Nelson made the announcement yesterday.

The Doctrine and Covenants warns it's the wicked and slothful members of the Church who need to be constantly molly coddled by having to be commanded in all things. But, thankfully, because there are so many active members of the Churvh who enjoy the Spirit of revelation in their lives, the leaders of the Church are able to disseminate the revelations they receive to the faithful without having to, as it were, cram it down their throats. By this brilliant methodology, the Lord is able to lead and guide the Chuch by revelation, but without the leaders having to act like authoritarian despots who need to constantly resort to heavy handed tactics in order to keep the rank and file members of the Churvh "in line." 

Bobbieware, would you call Rockpond wicked and slothful?  If one has access to revelation...it has to agree with the Church.  Personal revelation can be accessed by love and compassion for others..Christlike.  Why study any scripture if personal revelation dictates our conscience with sincere prayer?  Sounds like everyone is wicked and slothful if they don't agree.

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40 minutes ago, JAHS said:

I don't see any need for a worldwide announcement of a policy that was going to affect a very small minority of church members. .

I think the hue-and-cry over this new policy suggests it is affecting more than "a very small minority of church members."

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29 minutes ago, CV75 said:

There are so many things done in the kingdom by revelation and no requirement that each action be heralded publicly as a revelation. When President Nelson describes the backstory for a policy or action as a revelatory process and revelation. no big deal! Adding a revelation to the canon would follow a more formal procedure.

It seems to me the LDS Church has established a protocol for introducing new policy/doctrine without the need for a sustaining vote of the members.

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7 minutes ago, smac97 said:

What are your thoughts if it ends up not being canonized?

Personally, I would like to see a canonized revelation on the subject of same-sex attraction and same-sex marriage.  I think there are some members of the Church who have bought into the notion that there really isn't a scriptural basis for condemning homosexual conduct as sin, or that "same-sex marriage" can be a holy thing allowed or endorsed by God.  A revelation on the subject would be painful for many Saints, and would probably cause some people to leave the Church.  But it would also put an end to speculation, the scripture-wresting, and so on.  Nevertheless, I am confident that the Brethren are aware of differing opinions in the Church on these issues, that they are discussing these issues with each other, that they are seeking divine guidance on these issues, and that if a revelation is not forthcoming, it will not be because the Brethren have refused to make these issues objects of discussion, study, pondering, fasting, praying, and so on.

The Brethren are not all grouped together in some sort of echo chamber in Salt Lake.  They are out and about constantly.  They are in direct and constant communication with each other, with members of the quorums of seventies, who are in direct and constant communication with stake presidents, mission presidents and district presidents, who are in direct and constant communication with bishops and branch presidents, who are in direct and constant communication with members of their wards/branches.

The Brethren also function in quorums.  Note that Elder Nelson's talk last night debunks the notion expressed in some quarters that there are "factions" amongst the Twelve, and that the recent changes to the CHI were an attempt by one of these factions to establish as doctrine or entrenched policy the faction's worldview (that homosexual conduct is sinful, and that same-sex marriage is incompatible with fellowship in the Church) before the members of that faction die off.  Instead, we have statements indicating unanimity amongst the Brethren, and also that the unanimity arose from confirming revelation to the members of the Twelve.  The function of quorums in the Church is important.  Quorums operate as a bulwark against the risk of one individual leader characterizing his personal opinion as a revealed truth and then presenting it to the entirety of the Church.  Decisions arising from quorums, particularly from the First Presidency and the Quorum of the Twelve, can therefore provide quite a bit of comfort to the membership of the church.  I'm not saying the decisions of these quorums are utterly without flaw or defect, but in terms of "broad strokes" the Brethren are getting things right, and are likely to continue to get things substantially right while they function in quorums.

Thanks,

-Smac

I don't think any more canonizing needs to be done on this subject. The scriptures and The Proclamation on the Family covers it well enough.

"Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh." (Gen 2:24)
"let every man have his own wife, and let every woman have her own husband:" (1 Cor. 7:2 .)

"Marriage between a man and woman is essential to His eternal plan." (Proc)

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Just now, consiglieri said:

It seems to me the LDS Church has established a protocol for introducing new policy/doctrine without the need for a sustaining vote of the members.

I noticed that too. The whole process outlined in the D&C has been circumvented.  

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1 minute ago, JAHS said:

I don't think any more canonizing needs to be done on this subject. The scriptures and The Proclamation on the Family covers it well enough.

"Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh." (Gen 2:24)
"let every man have his own wife, and let every woman have her own husband:" (1 Cor. 7:2 .)

"Marriage between a man and woman is essential to His eternal plan." (Proc)

I am willing to give odds the Church will not present this new policy-cum-revelation to the general membership for a sustaining vote.

And the reason for that is pretty obvious . . .

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1 minute ago, Zakuska said:

I noticed that too. The whole process outlined in the D&C has been circumvented.  

Isn't it wonderful?

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1 hour ago, stemelbow said:

I can stand with the Brethren and disagree on a certain policy.  I don't see why that's a problem at all. 

I didn't claim revelation for the Church.  I claimed hope for the Church though.

You did say that your feelings were based upon your own personal effort with God and the Spirit. The Brethren have a story in direct contradiction to you own struggles. And it has now been noted that it was via a revelation, You seem to be saying that either the Lord gave you a different, personal answer than He gave the Brethren, or that the Brethren have been deceived or are lying, or something of the sort. That is hardly standing with them.

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41 minutes ago, Jeanne said:

Why wasn't the policy declared a revelation to begin with?  Why wasn't any of this mentioned in the Bible or Book of Mormon when God knew the future of His people?

Perhaps an illustration can help: God also knew that His people would live in an era where substance abuse is rampant.  And yet the Word of Wisdom says nothing about marijuana, or cocaine, or meth, or heroin, or GHB, and so on.  Why weren't any of these things mentioned in the Bible or Book of Mormon?  Or why haven't we received a canonized revelation about these substances?

The answer, I think, may be understood by applying the principles explained by Elder Bednar in two books, "Increase in Learning" and "Act in Doctrine."  This article summarizes things this way:

Quote

What are Doctrines, Principles & Applications?

A few days ago, I was discussing a particular study method with a friend and one step in the process was: “identifying and understanding doctrines and principles”. So as I commonly do, I asked myself “so what’s the difference between a doctrine and a principle”. The more I thought about it, I realized that I didn’t have a clear definition for either in my mind.

I decided to go back to a book that a friend gave me for Christmas called  “Act in Doctrine” by David A. Bednar. On pages xiv-xv in the Preface he defines what doctrines and principles are and then notes a third essential element: Applications. I’ve boiled down his descriptions into the following simplified versions:

  • Doctrines: eternal truths revealed by God.
  • Principles: doctrinally based guidelines for the exercise of agency.
  • Applications: actions we take in response to doctrines and principles.

Elder Bednar points out that “Our tendency as members of the Church is to focus on applications. But as we learn to ask ourselves, ‘What doctrines and principles, if understood, would help with this challenge?’ we come to realize that the answers always are in the doctrines and principles of the gospel” (pg. xv)

Doctrines answer the question of “why” and Elder Bednar suggests that the doctrine of the Atonement explains why Jesus is our advocate with the Father. He writes that principles answer the question of “what”; some examples are repentance, baptism, service, charity, etc. Applications answer the question of “how”, and provide the specifics of how something needs to be done. While the Church does teach applications, like in the case of ordinances and administrative duties, etc., it is necessary that many applications are individually personalized to us by the Spirit.

 

Here's a graphic that goes along with the above article:

doctrines-principles-applications-760x48

To further illustrate here is  an excerpt from the Encyclopedia of Mormonism entry on "Doctrine":

Quote

MEANING OF DOCTRINE. The word "doctrine" in the scriptures means "a teaching" as well as "that which is taught." Most often in the Church it refers to the teachings or doctrine of Jesus Christ, understood in a rather specific sense. Scripturally, then, the term "doctrine" means the core message of Jesus Christ-that Jesus is the Messiah, the Redeemer. All other teachings are subordinate to those by which all people "know how to come unto Christ and be saved"-that is, to the "points of doctrine," such as faith, repentance, baptism, and receiving the gift of the Holy Ghost. At one time, stressing the preeminence and foundational nature of this message, Jesus taught, "And whoso shall declare more or less than this, and establish it for my doctrine, the same cometh of evil, and is not built upon my rock" (3 Ne. 11:40).

With these things in mind, how would you characterize the recent changes tot he CHI?  As a "doctrine," a "principle" or an "application?"

For me, I think the Word of Wisdom is "doctrine."  The "principles" we glean from the Word of Wisdom pertain to healthy living, abstaining from certain specified things (coffee, tea, tobacco), and so on.  The "application" of the Word of Wisdom will proscribe things like heroin and cocaine, because using such substances cannot be squared with either the "principles" or the "doctrine" arising from the Word of Wisdom.

Is pornography specifically prohibited in scripture?  No, but using it cannot be squared with the Law of Chastity (any more than using heroin can be squared with the Word of Wisdom).  Plus it has been specifically and emphatically and repeatedly condemned by modern prophets and apostles.  So the "application" of the Law of Chastity to the viewing of pornography is fairly clear-cut, even though we're speaking of principally of "application" (of a "principle" gleaned from a "doctrine").

As pertaining to the issue of homosexual conduct and/or same-sex marriage, I think there are "doctrines" in play, such as the Law of Chastity and various concepts pertaining to the nature and purpose of marriage.  From these we can/should/must glean "principles," and then develop appropriate "applications."

So how would we apply these principles to homosexual conduct and/or same-sex marriage.  If a Latter-day Saint, acting with sincerity and in good faith, with a desire to discern and understand and submit to the will of God, studies the scriptures and the messages of modern prophets and apostles, I think he/she will be able to develop "applications" based on "principles" gleaned from "doctrine."  And when this process is complete, I think such a person will find himself/herself standing with the Brethren on this issue, and also understand the "applications" and "principles" they have developed and implemented to those within their stewardship (which is to say, the entirety of the Church).

As pertaining to the issues of homosexual conduct and same-sex marriage, I think the Brethren are presently substantially correct in doctrine, in principle, and in application.  I also believe that the counsel we have received from them, including procedural elements such as the changes to the CHI, are in accordance with the mind and will of God.  That some disaffected members of the Church, and criticis and enemies of the Church, are opposing what the Brethren are doing may merit some additional scrutiny, but not much.  Such folks do not, in my view, generally reflect a sincere or good faith effort at understanding the LDS Church or allowing it to function under what it understands its mandate to be.  Such folks also tend to harbor criticisms of the Church that, not coincidentally, follow the whims and vagaries of popular opinion.  Such opinions are, I think, at risk of fulfilling/exemplifying Mormon 5:18.  So I'll not give such opinions much credence.

Thanks,

-Smac

Edited by smac97

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4 minutes ago, consiglieri said:

Isn't it wonderful?

Who ever accused the church of being consistant though?  Its not like we really live be every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God and we pick and choose the parts we like and ignore the other parts.

Its also interesting that a "POLICY" came by revelation.  This is unprecedented the first time a "POLICY" has come by revelation.

Edited by Zakuska

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4 minutes ago, consiglieri said:

I think the hue-and-cry over this new policy suggests it is affecting more than "a very small minority of church members."

The perceived large outcry is coming mostly from church critics. Those directly affected by the policy is very small. And the concerns of those directly affected have been answered. 

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18 minutes ago, smac97 said:

It's back up now.  There are several revisions from the original version, tho.

Thanks,

-Smac

Yes..I saw it again as I was going through all this.  Thank you.

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Going forward, is this how we should expect new "revelation" to be announced in the LDS Church?

At a YSA devotional by the President of the Quorum of the Twelve?

Two months after the fact?

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2 minutes ago, smac97 said:

With these things in mind, how would you characterize the recent changes tot he CHI?  As a "doctrine," a "principle" or an "application?"

As a "revelation."

I think President Nelson just answered that question for the LDS Church.

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2 minutes ago, JAHS said:

The perceived large outcry is coming mostly from church critics.  

I suppose you may be right if you don't count the thousands who resigned over the new policy.

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1 minute ago, consiglieri said:

I suppose you may be right if you don't count the thousands who resigned over the new policy.

I don't count many of them them because most of them were already on their way out of the church.

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Just now, JAHS said:

I don't count many of them them because most of them were already on their way out of the church.

All I am saying is the fact President Nelson felt this was important enough to address at a YSA devotional suggests his impression that the controversy has not gone away.

And the fact he addressed it specifically to the Young Adults is further suggestive of what segment of LDS Church membership is finding the new policy most problematic.

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18 minutes ago, smac97 said:

What are your thoughts if it ends up not being canonized?

 

I look forward to its canonization simply for the sake of ongoing canonization.

I rue the day when it is said that even ODs are no longer had in the church.

I don't know....to me there is something riveting to the one "coming out of the wilderness" declaring, "I have beheld a vision"...."I have dreamed a dream"

"the voice of the Lord came to me saying...thus"  "for an angel did declare unto me...."  etc..

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Just finishing listening to the devotional, and in several places he mentions that the youth of today, or the millennials as he calls them, are the chosen generation.  I think every generation since the church began has probably been referred to that.  But it has power to change them, so it's all good.  

I don't think the church will make any announcement about this devotional, per say. It just seems more of the same, revelation from a prophet in the sense that it was given plenty of prayer and fasting among the twelve.  And President Monson had the final say.  I believe, they needed to step it up and show the seriousness of the policy, and that it's more than mere policy.  

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20 minutes ago, Storm Rider said:

In the least view this seems clumsy and at worst it seems deceitful.  I don't like clumsy and I don't like deceitfulness.  

How does it affect my perception of the FP and the Q of the 12?  Hmm, pretty good confirmation they are still human and that at least some of them in the very leading circles of authority put too much confidence in the arm of flesh.  Heck, I might even entertain that some of them have grown too old to think clearly.

However, does it make me think that the gospel is not true?  Absolutely not.  On the one hand I look at churches that have embraced homosexual behavior as if it is the best thing since sliced bread and they have nothing to offer me.  They are wholly devoid of the Spirit, scriptural knowledge, or godliness.  They are the ones fill themselves of those with itching ears and want to buy a religion that tells them they are good, loving, honest, Christian people and deny all authority except the hand of flesh.

I am eternally grateful that I have no role to play in leading the Church.  I detest the spotlight they are under and the need to always be more than what I am.  I have taught others that when they begin to judge others the first thing to accuse them of is being human.  After that there is really not much else that needs to be said.  I am human.  I am a sinner and fall short of the glory of God.  If we do anything let us pray for the Church's leadership that they may lean more heavily on the Spirit of revelation and that they will be led daily in their words and actions.  Pray that the will of God will be done at all times.

For those that leave the Church, may they learn to know God more fully and completely.  If there was someplace better I would tell them to go there, but I know of no other Church that has a fullness of the gospel of Christ.  I know some that are excellent and helpful - the Catholic Church for one, but it is not for me.  

I think you just explained why millions are leaving organized religion every year.  A lot of people no longer trust what churches teach as being the will of God. There are just too many problems with doctrine lining up with what is hard for them to deny.

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1 hour ago, JAHS said:

It hasn't abandoned polygamy; it's still right there in Section 132 of the D&C. But God has commanded us not to live it in mortality right now.

"Wherefore I, the Lord, command and revoke, as it seemeth me good; and all this to be answered upon the heads of the rebellious, saith the Lord."  (D&C 56: 4)

 

 

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1886_Revelation

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