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HappyJackWagon

The Apostolic Charge(s)

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In 1835 when the Quorum of 12 Apostles was organized, Oliver Cowdery gave a charge to all of the new apostles. The whole thing is a bit long but the paragraph I'm interested in reads.

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Never cease striving until you have seen God face to face. Strengthen your faith; cast off you doubts, your sins, and all your unbelief; and nothing can prevent you from coming to God. Your ordination is not full and complete till God has laid His hand upon you. We require as much to qualify us as did those who have gone before us; God is the same. If the Savior in former days laid His hands upon His disciples, why not in latter days?

(History of the Church, 2:194-198)

Oliver, who of course was the 2nd Elder of the church, seems to be suggesting that the ordination of Apostle is incomplete until the Apostle sees God face to face and/or has the Savior lay hands upon the disciple's head. This would seem to build the expectation that all apostles since 1835, in following this original charge, have sought and likely received this personal, miraculous manifestation. This raises expectations about how prophets and apostles receive revelation.

If they had not seen God face to face or had Jesus lay hands on them, would that change the nature of their calling? I am not aware of a prophet or apostle since Joseph Smith who has claimed to see God face to face or have Christ lay hands on them. (I'd love to see sources to the contrary)

However, Hugh B. Brown, in his book An Abundant Life (p 126-127) stated he received a charge when he was called as an apostle and it seems to be different from Oliver's original charge regarding the high expectations for receiving personal revelation and even visitations. Brown states he was told in his more recent apostolic charge that he should...

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Always be willing to subjugate his own thoughts and accept the majority opinion not only to vote for it but to act as though it were his own original opinion after it has been approved by the majority of the council of the twelve and the First Presidency.

Growing up I recall being taught and believing that the apostles and prophets had all seen God and therefore were special witnesses of Christ. The D&C states that they are "special witnesses of the name of Christ" which is the way the brethren seem to talk about it in today's world. I recall believing that Jesus directed His church through direct revelation to the brethren, similar to how Oliver set the expectation of spiritual witness and authority. The Hugh B Brown version seems to lower expectations dramatically as receiving revelation becomes more deliberative and democratic, where the majority of the Q15 declare what is or isn't revelation.

Does anyone have any thoughts about these two different types of Apostolic Charges given to modern apostles?

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An interesting scenario.

I think that all Apostles are to speak freely and frankly, even if it is a dissenting voice from the rest of the Apostles, even the President of the Church. But when a vote is taken, unless explicitly prompted to do so, submits to the vote of the majority.  My understanding is that Spencer W. Kimball as a member of the Quorum of the 12 Apostles, abstained from voting down his "pet program" to integrate America Indians with LDS families and that whatever the Quorum voted, he'll support and vote with them. He understood that the Quorum would vote the program down, and they did.

 

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1 hour ago, HappyJackWagon said:

In 1835 when the Quorum of 12 Apostles was organized, Oliver Cowdery gave a charge to all of the new apostles. The whole thing is a bit long but the paragraph I'm interested in reads.

Oliver, who of course was the 2nd Elder of the church, seems to be suggesting that the ordination of Apostle is incomplete until the Apostle sees God face to face and/or has the Savior lay hands upon the disciple's head...

...However, Hugh B. Brown, in his book An Abundant Life (p 126-127) stated he received a charge when he was called as an apostle and it seems to be different from Oliver's original charge regarding the high expectations for receiving personal revelation and even visitations. Brown...seems to lower expectations dramatically as receiving revelation becomes more deliberative and democratic, where the majority of the Q15 declare what is or isn't revelation.

Does anyone have any thoughts about these two different types of Apostolic Charges given to modern apostles?

There is also the Nephite teaching that priesthood is something that is determined, in large part, prior to this life. To be pre-ordained and subsequently called to do something...at one point does one need to be ordained yet again? What of temple ordinances and anointing? Is there need for something beyond that? And/or is there a genuine concrete cause/need for something as a 2nd anointing before one's core mission is complete? I frankly don't know...and will give it some thought.

Anabaptists believe, in alignment with closing counsel in the Nephite record, in believers' baptism only, rebaptizing (ana-baptizing) people who were initially baptized when too young to believe. What if you were old enough to believe/accept your baptism. I guess my main question then is, what if you were cognizant enough to believe/accept your first anointing? And your endowment? And your patriarchal blessing? And bedrock promises in scripture? And promises spoken from the pulpit in sacrament meeting...and in Gospel Doctrine...and in Priesthood...and among neighboring faiths...and on the radio? If you believe all such things and hope all such things...what then?

Also, in the NT church, there were apostles overseeing the Church. There was at least one apostle to the Gentiles. Was Paul, for example,one of the 12? Or not? I frankly don't know. Adventists, for example, believe in the value of independent / parallel ministries that benefit building the larger body - essentially finding one's own calling, and anxiously being engaged in ministry. And Joseph taught that the building of the kingdom is more than just the LDS church, just as other Protestant see the value of shouting encouragement along the walls. The 3 Nephites have such a ministry but not specific to within the church - it was something they yearned for.

More specific to what your general question stirs up in my own thoughts (yep, that's right HappyJack, you're a pot stirrer), most of what I end up publishing is intended to help those outside the Mormon umbrella benefit, acknowledging that there is considerable *intentional* overlap that can (and hopefully does) benefit LDS members...to hopefully bind all parties together in fellowship - so all faiths can put their collective weight/shoulder to the wheel (or stone).

So as to physical laying on of hands, Paul for example, mentions what he saw/heard in his call, but makes no mention of physical hands laid on his head (unless I've overlooked something, or unless some opt to believe his reference to eye/hand was an intentional veiled allusion to the need for what you're suggesting.) 

The pre-existence was a physical realm, per writings executed in our generation reportedly under the advisement of the brethren. If I believe such a thing...without question...what then? Why would I seek an ordination I already had and still have? Should I? If so, why?

I am sufficiently patient, if need be, to enter my rest when I dismount. When my work is completed and sealed.

Those are my initial thoughts. Your thoughts?

Edited by notHagoth7

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3 minutes ago, HappyJackWagon said:

In 1835 when the Quorum of 12 Apostles was organized, Oliver Cowdery gave a charge to all of the new apostles. The whole thing is a bit long but the paragraph I'm interested in reads.

Oliver, who of course was the 2nd Elder of the church, seems to be suggesting that the ordination of Apostle is incomplete until the Apostle sees God face to face and/or has the Savior lay hands upon the disciple's head. This would seem to build the expectation that all apostles since 1835, in following this original charge, have sought and likely received this personal, miraculous manifestation. This raises expectations about how prophets and apostles receive revelation.

If they had not seen God face to face or had Jesus lay hands on them, would that change the nature of their calling? I am not aware of a prophet or apostle since Joseph Smith who has claimed to see God face to face or have Christ lay hands on them. (I'd love to see sources to the contrary)

However, Hugh B. Brown, in his book An Abundant Life (p 126-127) stated he received a charge when he was called as an apostle and it seems to be different from Oliver's original charge regarding the high expectations for receiving personal revelation and even visitations. Brown states he was told in his more recent apostolic charge that he should...

Growing up I recall being taught and believing that the apostles and prophets had all seen God and therefore were special witnesses of Christ. The D&C states that they are "special witnesses of the name of Christ" which is the way the brethren seem to talk about it in today's world. I recall believing that Jesus directed His church through direct revelation to the brethren, similar to how Oliver set the expectation of spiritual witness and authority. The Hugh B Brown version seems to lower expectations dramatically as receiving revelation becomes more deliberative and democratic, where the majority of the Q15 declare what is or isn't revelation.

Does anyone have any thoughts about these two different types of Apostolic Charges given to modern apostles?

he may have been summarizing and was writing years after it, plus he lived in Alberta and you know how they are:lol:

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Additional thoughts.

Anciently, there were 12 apostles in the Old World.

And 12 authorized representatives in the New.

At the same time.

Slightly different audiences (another fold). Complementary but slightly different messages....adapted to the needs of their specific audience - and to rising generation(s) descended from them. https://www.lds.org/scriptures/dc-testament/dc/123.11?lang=eng#10

I have for years accepted the scope of earnest ministers of hope *in any faith* that they have every right to call down the powers of heaven to lead their people....just as leaders/parents in non-LDS faiths have that exact same privilege.

Do you as parents (LDS or otherwise) need physical hands laid on your heads in order to prayerfully guide/encourage your own? I don't think so. Would it hurt. No. *Might* it help? Yes.

Slight shift/pivot:

Prayers/deeds of the faithful/valiant...among all faiths...for peace on earth spreading out from pure-in-heart strongholds to cover/change/transform the earth from the inside out. That is *my* core wish. A safe/loving family. Smiles. Hugs.

No more tears

Except for joy.

Edited by notHagoth7

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2 hours ago, HappyJackWagon said:

 

Oliver, who of course was the 2nd Elder of the church, seems to be suggesting that the ordination of Apostle is incomplete until the Apostle sees God face to face and/or has the Savior lay hands upon the disciple's head..

 

He doesn't say anything about whether it's in this life or the next that he's talking about.  It could being interpreted as meaning never give up the work until you leave this life.

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3 hours ago, HappyJackWagon said:

Never cease striving until you have seen God face to face. Strengthen your faith; cast off you doubts, your sins, and all your unbelief; and nothing can prevent you from coming to God. Your ordination is not full and complete till God has laid His hand upon you. We require as much to qualify us as did those who have gone before us; God is the same. If the Savior in former days laid His hands upon His disciples, why not in latter days?

(History of the Church, 2:194-198)

It seems to me that if the current LDS church claims it has been restored, the Apostles would be direct witnesses of Christ, just like the NT church.

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2 hours ago, Duncan said:

...plus he lived in Alberta and you know how they are:lol:

Yep, neighbor. 

Calgary. Home of the stampede. 

Did someone dare whisper "peace" in a crowded building?

How then to bring it about?

Edited by notHagoth7

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5 hours ago, HappyJackWagon said:

In 1835 when the Quorum of 12 Apostles was organized, Oliver Cowdery gave a charge to all of the new apostles. The whole thing is a bit long but the paragraph I'm interested in reads.

Oliver, who of course was the 2nd Elder of the church, seems to be suggesting that the ordination of Apostle is incomplete until the Apostle sees God face to face and/or has the Savior lay hands upon the disciple's head. This would seem to build the expectation that all apostles since 1835, in following this original charge, have sought and likely received this personal, miraculous manifestation. This raises expectations about how prophets and apostles receive revelation.

If they had not seen God face to face or had Jesus lay hands on them, would that change the nature of their calling? I am not aware of a prophet or apostle since Joseph Smith who has claimed to see God face to face or have Christ lay hands on them. (I'd love to see sources to the contrary)

However, Hugh B. Brown, in his book An Abundant Life (p 126-127) stated he received a charge when he was called as an apostle and it seems to be different from Oliver's original charge regarding the high expectations for receiving personal revelation and even visitations. Brown states he was told in his more recent apostolic charge that he should...

Growing up I recall being taught and believing that the apostles and prophets had all seen God and therefore were special witnesses of Christ. The D&C states that they are "special witnesses of the name of Christ" which is the way the brethren seem to talk about it in today's world. I recall believing that Jesus directed His church through direct revelation to the brethren, similar to how Oliver set the expectation of spiritual witness and authority. The Hugh B Brown version seems to lower expectations dramatically as receiving revelation becomes more deliberative and democratic, where the majority of the Q15 declare what is or isn't revelation.

Does anyone have any thoughts about these two different types of Apostolic Charges given to modern apostles?

I think Oliver's key points -- see God face to face; coming to God; full and complete ordination; God laying His hand upon you; God is the same; the Savior laying His hands upon His disciples in latter days – are equally valid in their spiritual/figurative, physical/literal, and symbolic forms and applications, depending on the receiver of the experience.

I would be surprised if that was the one and only charge Elder Brown ever received. I'm also pretty sure every apostle called receives both group and individual counsel and charges.

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6 hours ago, HappyJackWagon said:

If they had not seen God face to face or had Jesus lay hands on them, would that change the nature of their calling? I am not aware of a prophet or apostle since Joseph Smith who has claimed to see God face to face or have Christ lay hands on them. (I'd love to see sources to the contrary)

There are numerous apostles who claimed to have met the savior. I suspect most simply keep their experiences to themselves given their sacred nature. You sometimes see breakoff sects claiming this was common in the 19th century but not today. I'm pretty skeptical of that. It's not at all clear to me all 19th century apostles claimed a personal visitation, even though some (like say Wilford Woodruff) did. There are strong hints from Hinkley that he had not and while I'm not sure, I don't like Young claimed to have seen the savior. On the other hand people have recorded Faust in more private settings claimed to have an experience like the Brother of Jared. My experience is that given their tendency to not want to share such things in public settings (especially when people have a tendency to then shout them on Facebook) that they keep quiet. My personal belief is that most have had pretty strong spiritual experiences whether it is an actual visitation or not.

However I'd argue (recognizing the fallibility of Cowdery's own theological conceptions) that not having something complete doesn't mean the parts you do have are any less developed. 

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2 hours ago, snowflake said:

It seems to me that if the current LDS church claims it has been restored, the Apostles would be direct witnesses of Christ, just like the NT church.

Being a witness doesn't necessarily mean an eye witness. Paul never saw Yeshua in the flesh, but only in vision - no one with him saw Yeshua. Modern apostles are basically the same. A few, like Lorenzo Snow saw Him in vision, but most are just witnesses through their testimonies. I'm sure they have received various types of revelation from the Lord.

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Boyd K. Packer in April 1980 General Conference:

There has come, these last several years, a succession of announcements that show our day to be a day of intense revelation, equaled, perhaps, only in those days of beginning, 150 years ago.

But then, as now, the world did not believe. They say that ordinary men are not inspired; that there are no prophets, no apostles; that angels do not minister unto men—not to ordinary men.

That doubt and disbelief have not changed. But now, as then, their disbelief cannot change the truth.

We lay no claim to being Apostles of the world—but of the Lord Jesus Christ. The test is not whether men will believe, but whether the Lord has called us—and of that there is no doubt!

We do not talk of those sacred interviews that qualify the servants of the Lord to bear a special witness of Him, for we have been commanded not to do so.

But we are free, indeed, we are obliged, to bear that special witness.

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15 hours ago, RevTestament said:

Being a witness doesn't necessarily mean an eye witness. Paul never saw Yeshua in the flesh, but only in vision - no one with him saw Yeshua. Modern apostles are basically the same. A few, like Lorenzo Snow saw Him in vision, but most are just witnesses through their testimonies. I'm sure they have received various types of revelation from the Lord.

Jesus appeared to over 500 people post resurrection at the same time, and to Paul as well, 1 Corinthians 15:

And that he was seen of Cephas, then of the twelve:

After that, he was seen of above five hundred brethren at once; of whom the greater part remain unto this present, but some are fallen asleep.

After that, he was seen of James; then of all the apostles.

And last of all he was seen of me also, as of one born out of due time.

For I am the least of the apostles, that am not meet to be called an apostle, because I persecuted the church of God.

 

This was not a "spiritual experience" but more of a literal, tangible  and physical experience. This did not happen with "spiritual eyes".   The reason Apostles are called apostles is because they are direct witnesses of the risen Lord.  I wish the LDS apostles, if they truly saw Jesus in the flesh would claim it.  No where in the NT are the apostles ashamed, or afraid of claiming the risen Jesus as Lord.  It is the LDS who seem to hide behind the "it's to sacred" to talk about line. The true Apostles were direct eyewitnesses of Jesus, the LDS apostles do not boldly claim this.....troubling to me.

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6 minutes ago, snowflake said:

Jesus appeared to over 500 people post resurrection at the same time, and to Paul as well, 1 Corinthians 15:

And that he was seen of Cephas, then of the twelve:

After that, he was seen of above five hundred brethren at once; of whom the greater part remain unto this present, but some are fallen asleep.

After that, he was seen of James; then of all the apostles.

And last of all he was seen of me also, as of one born out of due time.

For I am the least of the apostles, that am not meet to be called an apostle, because I persecuted the church of God.

 

This was not a "spiritual experience" but more of a literal, tangible  and physical experience. This did not happen with "spiritual eyes".   The reason Apostles are called apostles is because they are direct witnesses of the risen Lord.  I wish the LDS apostles, if they truly saw Jesus in the flesh would claim it.  No where in the NT are the apostles ashamed, or afraid of claiming the risen Jesus as Lord.  It is the LDS who seem to hide behind the "it's to sacred" to talk about line. The true Apostles were direct eyewitnesses of Jesus, the LDS apostles do not boldly claim this.....troubling to me.

That is a falsehood promoted by those who want to claim that only those who were eyewitnesses could be called as apostles. Note that Paul did not say that he had seen Yeshua before the ascension, but that the other apostles had. He said he was LAST to see the Savior, and we know that the others with Paul did not see the Savior nor hear His voice, because our Lord was not physically present. The Lord appeared to Paul in his mind - Paul had a vision. He was not an eyewitness of our Lord's resurrection, but he was a witness that the Lord existed. That is what LDS apostles are as am I. I don't know why you would be troubled by someone testifying that our Lord lives...guess it's an Evangelical thing.

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17 minutes ago, RevTestament said:

That is a falsehood promoted by those who want to claim that only those who were eyewitnesses could be called as apostles. Note that Paul did not say that he had seen Yeshua before the ascension, but that the other apostles had. He said he was LAST to see the Savior, and we know that the others with Paul did not see the Savior nor hear His voice, because our Lord was not physically present. The Lord appeared to Paul in his mind - Paul had a vision. He was not an eyewitness of our Lord's resurrection, but he was a witness that the Lord existed. That is what LDS apostles are as am I. I don't know why you would be troubled by someone testifying that our Lord lives...guess it's an Evangelical thing.

Rev, I am just going by what the text says, you can add in all the speculation you want but the text clearly says "he was seen of above 500 brethren at once". This is indicating that it was not with their "spiritual eyes". I think you are confusing this appearance,  with Paul's experience on the Damascus road where you would be correct. In that event the Lord appeared only to Paul in a vision. There are two separate incidents. Clearly the text explains that Paul and over 500 other people are a direct eyewitness of the Lord's resurrection.

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24 minutes ago, snowflake said:

Rev, I am just going by what the text says, you can add in all the speculation you want but the text clearly says "he was seen of above 500 brethren at once". This is indicating that it was not with their "spiritual eyes". I think you are confusing this appearance,  with Paul's experience on the Damascus road where you would be correct. In that event the Lord appeared only to Paul in a vision. There are two separate incidents. Clearly the text explains that Paul and over 500 other people are a direct eyewitness of the Lord's resurrection.

Paul did not see our Lord's resurrection. When the Savior appeared to him in his vision he was an enemy to the Church, and the Church was amazed that he came to be baptized if you will recall. If Paul had been a witness of the resurrection, he would not have been an enemy to the Church. Seems I am not the one confused at all.

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5 minutes ago, RevTestament said:

Paul did not see our Lord's resurrection. When the Savior appeared to him in his vision he was an enemy to the Church, and the Church was amazed that he came to be baptized if you will recall. If Paul had been a witness of the resurrection, he would not have been an enemy to the Church. Seems I am not the one confused at all.

Upon reading 1 Corinthians 15 several times, I would have to agree with you, it appears that he is referring to the road to Damascus incident, I stand corrected.

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10 minutes ago, snowflake said:

Upon reading 1 Corinthians 15 several times, I would have to agree with you, it appears that he is referring to the road to Damascus incident, I stand corrected.

Good for you Snowflake. It is not often I see Christians do this.

Edited by RevTestament

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Oliver must have been wrong or he did not intend the message to extend beyond those that were called and standing before him. 

Oliver must have been wrong about Joseph's affair, otherwise he wouldn't have been ex'd.  So it's possible he didn't know what he was talking about anyway.  Or Oliver was right about the charge of an apostle and the charges against Joseph and was wrongly ex'd.  If he was right then perhaps we have apostles called who should not be called.  We simply wouldn't know unless God tells us. 

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22 hours ago, HappyJackWagon said:

In 1835 when the Quorum of 12 Apostles was organized, Oliver Cowdery gave a charge to all of the new apostles. The whole thing is a bit long but the paragraph I'm interested in reads.

Oliver, who of course was the 2nd Elder of the church, seems to be suggesting that the ordination of Apostle is incomplete until the Apostle sees God face to face and/or has the Savior lay hands upon the disciple's head. This would seem to build the expectation that all apostles since 1835, in following this original charge, have sought and likely received this personal, miraculous manifestation. This raises expectations about how prophets and apostles receive revelation.

If they had not seen God face to face or had Jesus lay hands on them, would that change the nature of their calling? I am not aware of a prophet or apostle since Joseph Smith who has claimed to see God face to face or have Christ lay hands on them. (I'd love to see sources to the contrary)

However, Hugh B. Brown, in his book An Abundant Life (p 126-127) stated he received a charge when he was called as an apostle and it seems to be different from Oliver's original charge regarding the high expectations for receiving personal revelation and even visitations. Brown states he was told in his more recent apostolic charge that he should...

Growing up I recall being taught and believing that the apostles and prophets had all seen God and therefore were special witnesses of Christ. The D&C states that they are "special witnesses of the name of Christ" which is the way the brethren seem to talk about it in today's world. I recall believing that Jesus directed His church through direct revelation to the brethren, similar to how Oliver set the expectation of spiritual witness and authority. The Hugh B Brown version seems to lower expectations dramatically as receiving revelation becomes more deliberative and democratic, where the majority of the Q15 declare what is or isn't revelation.

Does anyone have any thoughts about these two different types of Apostolic Charges given to modern apostles?

I think in the early church there was an expectation that members would have divine manifestations, not just apostles, but that anyone and everyone should seek for these things.  This was something Joseph got from the camp meetings I believe, and was in the burnt over district environment and a common expectation for religious people during this time period.  

Today we have a very different culture with very different expectations.  If someone claims to see God or have a personal vision then many people consider that person to be delusional.  In the church if you claim to see Jesus and talk too publicly about it, you can be in jeopardy of losing your membership (Denver Snuffer).  

That being said, I have many family members who've told me stories of spiritual encounters, so I know there are those who still have these experiences.  

As for the current charge to Apostles, I think its evident that they try to show a publicly unified voice on teachings.  You won't see them disagree openly very often if at all.  This can't be just a coincidence.  Like Hugh B. Brown revealed, this instruction must be very specifically given and expected.  I think they believe that by following this instruction they are being good stewards and keeping the church stronger.  

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16 hours ago, Derl Sanderson said:

Boyd K. Packer in April 1980 General Conference:

There has come, these last several years, a succession of announcements that show our day to be a day of intense revelation, equaled, perhaps, only in those days of beginning, 150 years ago.

But then, as now, the world did not believe. They say that ordinary men are not inspired; that there are no prophets, no apostles; that angels do not minister unto men—not to ordinary men.

That doubt and disbelief have not changed. But now, as then, their disbelief cannot change the truth.

We lay no claim to being Apostles of the world—but of the Lord Jesus Christ. The test is not whether men will believe, but whether the Lord has called us—and of that there is no doubt!

We do not talk of those sacred interviews that qualify the servants of the Lord to bear a special witness of Him, for we have been commanded not to do so.

But we are free, indeed, we are obliged, to bear that special witness.

Thats fascinating.  We had a Sunday School lesson a couple years back where the teacher in the class asserted that the Apostles all have a "special interview" with the Lord.  I hadn't head this term "interview" talked about before, so thanks for sharing.  The implication is that the Lord interviews each of them prior to their calling as an Apostle.  

Also, its interesting that he says they've been "commanded not to" share their experience with people.  Why would this be the case?  Is there anything in scripture or early Mormon precedent that points to a commandment not to share experiences like this?  What about modern prophets who've made statements that they have never had an experience like this implied interview.  Were they lying when they said that, or did they feel like they had to lie to follow a higher commandment to not share the experience?  What do you think? 

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1 hour ago, hope_for_things said:

Thats fascinating.  We had a Sunday School lesson a couple years back where the teacher in the class asserted that the Apostles all have a "special interview" with the Lord.  I hadn't head this term "interview" talked about before, so thanks for sharing.  The implication is that the Lord interviews each of them prior to their calling as an Apostle.  

Also, its interesting that he says they've been "commanded not to" share their experience with people.  Why would this be the case?  Is there anything in scripture or early Mormon precedent that points to a commandment not to share experiences like this?  What about modern prophets who've made statements that they have never had an experience like this implied interview.  Were they lying when they said that, or did they feel like they had to lie to follow a higher commandment to not share the experience?  What do you think? 

That's the implication, but its not explicitly stated. It could be an interview with the prophet, with a nod to D&C 1:38 (whether by mine own voice or by the voice of my servants, it is the same)...

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2 minutes ago, SeekingUnderstanding said:

That's the implication, but its not explicitly stated. It could be an interview with the prophet, with a nod to D&C 1:38 (whether by mine own voice or by the voice of my servants, it is the same)...

They are using this ambiguity to their advantage with members.  Most members I know believe there is a very special relationship between God and Apostles, and they haven't ever said anything specific about it, just implications, it creates an environment of mythical proportions.  

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8 hours ago, hope_for_things said:

They are using this ambiguity to their advantage with members.  Most members I know believe there is a very special relationship between God and Apostles, and they haven't ever said anything specific about it, just implications, it creates an environment of mythical proportions.  

We should all have a special relationship with the Lord.

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On 2/28/2017 at 8:50 AM, hope_for_things said:

Also, its interesting that he says they've been "commanded not to" share their experience with people.  Why would this be the case?

It's not new. Alma 12:9 "It is given unto many to know the mysteries of God; nevertheless they are laid under a strict command that they shall not impart only according to the portion of his word which he doth grant unto the children of men, according to the heed and diligence which they give unto him."

Likewise it appears part of the reason Jesus used parables was to keep aspects of what he said secret from the masses but understood only to an inner group. So Matthew 13 has this

Quote

Because it is given unto you to know the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven, but to them it is not given. For whosoever hath, to him shall be given, and he shall have more abundance: but whosoever hath not, from him shall be taken away even that he hath. Therefore speak I to them in parables: because they seeing see not; and hearing they hear not, neither do they understand. And in them is fulfilled the prophecy of Esaias [Isaiah], which saith, By hearing ye shall hear, and shall not understand; and seeing ye shall see, and shall not perceive

This is why I always crack up at members complaining that the church today doesn't exercise the gifts of the spirit the way the old church did. First off most of those accounts from the 19th century we know only because diaries and the like were made public. A lot of those things simply weren't published publicly. Second whether one believes in their veracity or not, one doesn't have to go far to find lots of church leaders claiming revelations, visions and the like. They just don't tend to speak of them in public. Indeed since the rise of Facebook and company I notice they're even more loath to speak of them in public meetings like Stake Conference evening sessions or the like.

Edited by clarkgoble

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    • By Burnside
      Book of Mormon Foundation (BOMF) https://www.bomf.org/ started from the apostate The Reorganized Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (RLDS) now calling itself The Community of Christ (CofC) with the “Restoration Branches” which split off of CofC.
      Here: https://www.bomf.org/bmf-history.html
      On its site is the Queztal Codex: https://www.bomf.org/quetzal-codex.html , with sporadic publications (sporadic as in dates of publication). Notice the bottom two links to short articles mentioning “Mesoamerica” and complaining about the “Heartland Model” and “Rod Meldrum.”
      In the one page article “Book of Mormon Geography Remains a Hot Topic,” Louise Edward Hills is mentioned as the FIRST to place the setting solely in Mesoamerica, quoting John L. Sorenson : 
      Hills is mentioned in more of these Queztal Codex articles.
      Here is Louise Edward Hills book for your perusal: https://babel.hathitrust.org/cgi/pt?id=wu.89058377359;view=1up;seq=5
      Here is Oliver Cowdery writing in Letter VII that the final battles of the Jaredites and Nephites occurred at the Hill Cumorah in New York:
      https://www.josephsmithpapers.org/paper-summary/history-1834-1836/90
      Ha ha ha! 
      Book of Mormon Central, The Interpreter Foundation, BMAF, and the now defunct F.A.R.M.S. etc. all started by LDS Members, plagiarized a FRAUD of a geography theory from the RLDS Church. And gullible members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, bought it.
      That’s why images like this with Maya imagery exist in Church buildings, and sadly in Temples. Inspired by a fraud.
       

    • By Burnside
      Visit JosephSmithPapers.org and in the search box enter “Cumorah”.
      It will return 16 results for “Cumorah” and the 16 links to articles from Church History.
      But none of the 16 results will include the two instances Cumorah is mentioned in Letter VII.
      These two links, two pages next to each other:
      https://www.josephsmithpapers.org/paper-summary/history-1834-1836/90
      https://www.josephsmithpapers.org/paper-summary/history-1834-1836/91
      Oliver Cowdery wrote in the first: “on the fact, that here, between these hills, the entire power and national strength of both the Jaredites and Nephites were destroyed. By turning to the 529th and 530thpages of the book of Mormonyou will read Mormon’s account of the last great struggle of his people, as they were encamped round this hill Cumorah.”
      In the second he wrote: “He, however, by divine appointment, abridged from those records, in his own style and language, a short account of the more important and prominent items, from the days of Lehi to his own time, after which he deposited, as he says, on the 529th page, all the records in this same hill, Cumorah and after gave his small record to his son Moroni, who, as appears from the same, finished, after witnessing the extinction of his people as a nation.
      Why are these two pages left out of the search result, you may wonder? Why are they hidden?
      These two statements directly conflict with the Mesoamerica Geography Theory for The Book of Mormon which originated with RLDS Scholars and is now being promoted today by Scholars who are members of the LDS Church or The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. This Mesoamerica theory claims there are two Hills of Cumorah, the original one being in Central America where the final battles took place and where the Prophet Mormon buried the many records.
      Now you know why the two statements above by Oliver Cowdery conflict with this plagiarized Two-Hill Cumorah Mesoamerica Geography Theory.
      So what influence is JosephSmithPapers receiving which would leave out these two search results? A computer error in the search is unlikely. Search features have long been available in many software products, such as MS Excel, Word, and so forth.
      Notice the influence by BookofMormonCentral (BMC) on JosephSmithPapers. BMC promotes the Mesoamerica Geography theory. BMC recently published what they call a “KnoWhy” stating we should disbelieve Oliver Cowdrey in Letter VII. It’s FAKE NEWS so I won’t link to it.
      (It should be called a KnowLie.)
      But I will link to Jack Welch’s bio at BMC.
      Jack Welch the founder of FARMS and recently in 2015 the founder of BMC. Notice Jack Welch’s influence over JosephSmithPapers:
      https://bookofmormoncentral.org/content/donation-instructions
      2007 - Present   Consulting Editor, Joseph Smith Papers Project
      2015 -                Co-Founded Book of Mormon Central
       Now you know one the main sources of this FAKE Mesoamerica Two-Hill Cumorah Geography Theory and its influence on Church History.

    • By CASteinman
      For reasons I do not like to relate, the shrubs, trees and plants around my parent's home were neglected for about 6 years.
      Rhododendron bushes grew up past the windows. Hemlock and Spruce soared way above the roof -- of an already rather tall house. Holly grew into an unruly mass without shape extending many feet from its original limits.
      And then there were volunteer trees -- some of them quite large now -- growing in places where their roots would damage things and where they were not wanted.
      The Hemlocks needed to be topped so that the vast majority of those trees are gone. They will have to be shaped like Banzai trees now. Holly was tamed, Rhododendrons unfortunately lost their flowering tips but now look like a plant someone cares about.
      I felt bad topping the Hemlocks, even though it needed doing, but the utter cutting of the volunteer trees at ground level -- beautiful, strong, young trees, surviving when others had died and putting forth many beautiful branches for birds to dance and nest in -- were cut down and destroyed. I did not like that feeling even though it was really the right thing to do for my Mom and for the House.
      As I did it, I remembered the talk by Hugh B Brown, which he gave in several different forms and titles. Here is one: http://margiesmessag...m/currantb.html. It is about God being the Gardner.
      I thought about these trees that seemed to say "You wanted your home to be beautiful and shaded -- I am only doing what all the other trees around here are doing -- growing beautiful, bringing birds to sing and shading the home! I saw what you wanted and I did not wait for you to plant me where I was wanted or needed but volunteered myself where I saw I was bet suited to grow in the way I want to grow. I am only doing what has been one in other gardens! Why have you cursed me and destroyed me when I am really doing your will?
      Well, the answer is that the Tree was NOT doing what the other trees were doing and was in the wrong place steadying the wrong ark so to speak. But it thought so.
      This led me to two final thoughts. The first is that this whole idea, this parable, may seemingly give justification to the Calvinists. God raises up some trees and curses others -- all for his own good pleasure. To the tree, it seems capricious. But to God there is a plan.
      (I think that this idea sort of distorts God and His Love for His Children, but I can see how it might be used)
      The second thought though was different and I am curious to see comments.
      We know that Jesus has said that Tares and Wheat together sown will grow together until some time of harvest, when the Wheat will be gathered in and the Tares burned in a hot fire.
      Do the Tares think that they are wheat? Do they believe that they are helpful in the garden as perhaps the adversary claimed in the Garden before God? Do the trees that grow up and shove roots into the foundation to crack and destroy it -- do they think that they are doing right? Do they think that the Gardner is never coming -- that he delayeth is coming? Or do they anticipate his arrival even with possible eagerness? Do apostates and fellow travelers who want to direct or coerce the Prophets and Apostles to manage the Church the way that they prefer -- do they really think that they are doing God's work? Are they sort of secret atheists or agnostics, not believing in the divinity of the Church and thinking that the Church is a man-made and totally man-run organization that will bend to and twist and move in the winds of opposition?
      That was my actual thought process as I cut the "innocent" trees down that were growing near my Mom's windows and foundations and I thought then, that I would post my thoughts to see how other people view this.
      I don't expect definitive answers -- and I am not looking for fights -- but I am curious about how people see this sort of thing. I would think some Catholics would have interesting perspectives on this with regard to their Church and may sort of have an advanced view of how the LDS Church and its members will be in the future. So if there are Catholics reading this -- what are your views with regard to such things in your Church?
      So.. what say you? What of the Tares?
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