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'Hitherto shalt thou come, and no further'

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pogi    3,009

Some people view the correlation/consolidation of the church beginning in the 1960's to be too restrictive.  What are your thoughts about correlation and how does one reconcile correlation with the following teachings of Joseph Smith?

Quote

 

“The first and fundamental principle of our holy religion is, that we have the right to embrace all, and every item of the truth, without limitation or without being circumscribed or prohibited by the creeds and superstitious notions of men.” Joseph Smith in The Personal Writings of Joseph Smith, pp. 420.

“I never thought it was right to call up a man and try him because he erred in doctrine, it looks too much like Methodism and not like Latter day Saintism. Methodists have creeds which a man must believe or be kicked out of their church. I want the liberty of believing as I please, it feels so good not to be tramelled.” Joseph Smith in The Words of Joseph Smith, pp. 183-184,

“I cannot believe in any of the creeds of the different denominations, because they all have some things in them I cannot subscribe to, though all of them have some truth. I want to come up into the presence of God, and learn all things; but the creeds set up stakes, and say, ‘Hitherto shalt thou come, and no further;’ which I cannot subscribe to.” Joseph Smith, Discourse to Saints, October 1843; DHC 6:57.

“..I stated that the most prominent difference in sentiment between the Latter-day Saints and sectarians was, that the latter were all circumscribed by some peculiar creed, which deprived its members the privilege of believing anything not contained therein, whereas the Latter-day Saints … are ready to believe all true principles that exist, as they are made manifest from time to time…” Joseph Smith, January 1843, History of the Church, 5:215; from “History of the Church” (manuscript), book D-1, p. 1433, Church Archives.

 

Was this an immature/naive Joseph who said these words who later abandoned these teachings in composing the Articles of Faith, or do these principles survive today in the church?  How does one justify the Articles of Faith and correlation/consolidation in light of these teachings?  Have we become circumscribed by creeds?  I have some ideas, but I thought it would be interesting to see your different thoughts and perspectives on the matter.  

Please don't view this post as a comment or opinion on the matter, I am just asking questions for now.

 

 

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JLHPROF    7,182

My thoughts on correlation is that it has done more to eliminate speculation, false doctrines, and unfounded opinion than any other program.
My other thoughts on correlation is that it has done more to eliminate member learning, progression, reasoning, and understanding of the gospel than any other program.

Correlation:
bubble-boy-life-is-scary.jpg

Edited by JLHPROF

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pogi    3,009
21 minutes ago, JLHPROF said:

My thoughts on correlation is that it has done more to eliminate speculation, false doctrines, and unfounded opinion than any other program.
My other thoughts on correlation is that it has done more to eliminate member learning, progression, reasoning, and understanding of the gospel than any other program.

Do you think that correlation can be reconciled with the teachings quoted above by Joseph Smith?  Can they live together harmoniously or does one do injustice to the other? 

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The Nehor    13,851

If so much of your gospel study is coming through correlated materials that you feel like it is restraining you I would suggest you are doing gospel study wrong.

The Church is wise to cut out a lot of the speculation and rubbish people like to bring in to church classes. For every brilliantly well-informed and spiritually bright soul bringing something 'extracurricular' into church classes you have a hundred bringing in variations of "Embraced by the Light" and the 'Latest Unfounded Speculations by Author X or Blogger Y".

If church members were truly gospel literate (and not being blown about by every wind of doctrince) and could teach by the Spirit we could get rid of church Sunday School and Priesthood manuals tomorrow. I would suggest though that what these wonderful teachers would use for class would be limited almost entirely to the scriptures and to conference talks and their early Restoration equivalents.

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The Nehor    13,851
41 minutes ago, JLHPROF said:

Correlation:
bubble-boy-life-is-scary.jpg

No, what people will try to teach if left unhindered would be scary.

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The Nehor    13,851
15 minutes ago, pogi said:

Do you think that correlation can be reconciled with the teachings quoted above by Joseph Smith?  Can they live together harmoniously or does one do injustice to the other? 

Harmoniously. While the gospel embraces all truth only some of that truth is taught and meant to be taught in church. There are scientific truths, social truths, romantic truths, political truths, economic truths, child-raising truths, and many more that we can and should embrace as we find them but they do not belong in a church class setting. This is why we do not spend our entire lives in Sacraments Meetings and Sunday School classes. Well, that and when they tried that model on another world the suicide rate was astronomical.

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CV75    3,685
1 hour ago, pogi said:

Some people view the correlation/consolidation of the church beginning in the 1960's to be too restrictive.  What are your thoughts about correlation and how does one reconcile correlation with the following teachings of Joseph Smith?

Was this an immature/naive Joseph who said these words who later abandoned these teachings in composing the Articles of Faith, or do these principles survive today in the church?  How does one justify the Articles of Faith and correlation/consolidation in light of these teachings?  Have we become circumscribed by creeds?  I have some ideas, but I thought it would be interesting to see your different thoughts and perspectives on the matter.  

Please don't view this post as a comment or opinion on the matter, I am just asking questions for now.

I think Joseph is differentiating between individual and group responsibility for learning. Correlation addresses the latter. As far as the Articles of Faith is concerned, I think it is less a formal statement (to me meaning a specific and required individual and group confession and adoption for membership purposes and salvation) than a scriptural (both in reference and status) summary of the general group beliefs.

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1 hour ago, pogi said:

What are your thoughts about correlation and how does one reconcile correlation with the following teachings of Joseph Smith?

Was this an immature/naive Joseph who said these words who later abandoned these teachings in composing the Articles of Faith, or do these principles survive today in the church?  How does one justify the Articles of Faith and correlation/consolidation in light of these teachings?  

The AofF anticipate advancement.

7 We believe in the gift of tongues, prophecy, revelation, visions, healing, interpretation of tongues, and so forth.

9 We believe all that God has revealed, all that He does now reveal, and we believe that He will yet reveal many great and important things pertaining to the Kingdom of God.

11 We claim the privilege of worshiping Almighty God according to the dictates of our own conscience, and allow all men the same privilege, let them worship how, where, or what they may.

Have we become circumscribed by creeds?

We might all (as a group, and as individuals) plateau at times.

Then, we hopefully pick up and move forward/upward.

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50 minutes ago, pogi said:

Do you think that correlation can be reconciled with the teachings quoted above by Joseph Smith?  Can they live together harmoniously or does one do injustice to the other? 

CV75 hit the nail on the head.

I suspect that the 11th article of faith is part of what is needed for both to live together harmoniously...as we grant one another the same latitude we grant others. 

In the essentials, unity. In the nonessentials, liberty.  In all things, charity.

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JLHPROF    7,182
1 hour ago, pogi said:

Do you think that correlation can be reconciled with the teachings quoted above by Joseph Smith?  Can they live together harmoniously or does one do injustice to the other?

Correlation can only be reconciled with the teachings quoted by Joseph Smith in one way.
It's not by making the correlated materials more inclusive.  It's by removing the restriction and injunction given to teach ONLY what is in the correlated materials.
There has to be room for going beyond the most basic level discussion within the Church.

I don't believe Joseph was any more interested in wild speculation than we are today.  He would have put a stop to it quickly.  But he proclaimed that he always taught deeper doctrines publicly.   Correlation really does limit depth because anything not in the manual can be considered "speculative" which limits the information on a given topic to the few pages in the manual.
Growth requires expansion, not condensing.

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JLHPROF    7,182
51 minutes ago, CV75 said:

I think Joseph is differentiating between individual and group responsibility for learning. Correlation addresses the latter. As far as the Articles of Faith is concerned, I think it is less a formal statement (to me meaning a specific and required individual and group confession and adoption for membership purposes and salvation) than a scriptural (both in reference and status) summary of the general group beliefs.

I can agree with this.  Joseph is talking about individual learning where Joseph recommended learning and studying the mysteries.  Correlation is specific to learning within the Church, where Joseph did recommend that the Elders "leave the mysteries alone".

But it still has to be recognized that if we stick to the correlated materials only (as so many members do) that our progression and learning will eventually become stagnant.

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Robert F. Smith    10,905
2 hours ago, pogi said:

Some people view the correlation/consolidation of the church beginning in the 1960's to be too restrictive.  What are your thoughts about correlation and how does one reconcile correlation with the following teachings of Joseph Smith?

Was this an immature/naive Joseph who said these words who later abandoned these teachings in composing the Articles of Faith, or do these principles survive today in the church?  How does one justify the Articles of Faith and correlation/consolidation in light of these teachings?  Have we become circumscribed by creeds?  I have some ideas, but I thought it would be interesting to see your different thoughts and perspectives on the matter.  

..........................................   

Despite efforts by some people (some in high places) to provide a systematic description of the LDS faith, it is remarkable the degree to which Joseph's early views have prevailed.  Our Church has nothing like the 1646 Westminster Confession of Faith, http://www.reformed.org/documents/index.html?mainframe=http://www.reformed.org/documents/westminster_conf_of_faith.html , nor anything like the 325 Nicene Creed.  Some of these are complex statements of doctrine under which people could be executed for disbelief.

LDS Correlation had nothing to do with creedal formulation, but rather was an attempt to coordinate the writing and publication of texts and manuals used throughout the Church -- to unify the approaches made in separate units of the Church, and to have them follow a similar sequence.  Most other churches see that as a normal, professional way of writing and publishing their sunday school materials.

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Bobbieaware    1,560
5 hours ago, probablyHagoth7 said:

The AofF anticipate advancement.

7 We believe in the gift of tongues, prophecy, revelation, visions, healing, interpretation of tongues, and so forth.

9 We believe all that God has revealed, all that He does now reveal, and we believe that He will yet reveal many great and important things pertaining to the Kingdom of God.

11 We claim the privilege of worshiping Almighty God according to the dictates of our own conscience, and allow all men the same privilege, let them worship how, where, or what they may.

We might all (as a group, and as individuals) plateau at times.

Then, we hopefully pick up and move forward/upward.

 

7 hours ago, pogi said:

Some people view the correlation/consolidation of the church beginning in the 1960's to be too restrictive.  What are your thoughts about correlation and how does one reconcile correlation with the following teachings of Joseph Smith?

Was this an immature/naive Joseph who said these words who later abandoned these teachings in composing the Articles of Faith, or do these principles survive today in the church?  How does one justify the Articles of Faith and correlation/consolidation in light of these teachings?  Have we become circumscribed by creeds?  I have some ideas, but I thought it would be interesting to see your different thoughts and perspectives on the matter.  

Please don't view this post as a comment or opinion on the matter, I am just asking questions for now.

 

 

For those who diligently study the gospel of Christ with great faith, the floodgates of personal revelation that lead to a more profound knowledge of the mysteries of the kingdom of God (the strong meat of the gospel rather than the easily digested milk) is  the rightful inheritance of all who sincerely desire to receive and employ it. Through this gift of personal revelation I have come to know many of the deeper doctrines of the gospel, truths of God that exist in realms of truth that exist well beyond the boundaries of the Church's official correlated presentation of gospel. The same holds true for the temple ordinances, as I possess a deep understanding of those ordinances that I'm quite sure is shared by only a realitively small handful of the members

The official correlated presentation of the Restored Gospel lets those who possess a deeper understanding of the gospel to know what doctrines can safely be taught in Church settings and what doctrines to hold sacred as a private stores of divine knowledge. And I can tell you by personal experience that succumbing to the temptation to teach doctrines that go beyond the bounds of the official correlated presentation will virtually always end up doing more harm than good.

So the prophet Joseph Smith spoke the truth, but the Book of Mormon clarifies by making it clear  that a deeper knowledge of the mysteries of God is to be understood as being more a private personal quest than something to be experienced Church-wide. Now this doesn't mean that under no circumstances can the Church move forward in deeper knowledge as a body, but in order for that to happen a large percentage of the active membership will have to be ready for the change and the often unpleasant consequences that will follow. Alma explains these principles very well.

And now Alma began to expound these things unto him, saying: 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. (Alma 12)

Edited by Bobbieaware

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CV75    3,685
13 hours ago, JLHPROF said:

I can agree with this.  Joseph is talking about individual learning where Joseph recommended learning and studying the mysteries.  Correlation is specific to learning within the Church, where Joseph did recommend that the Elders "leave the mysteries alone".

But it still has to be recognized that if we stick to the correlated materials only (as so many members do) that our progression and learning will eventually become stagnant.

I think those who are actively using the gift of the Holy Ghost are led to and use all sorts of material availed to them (Alma 30:44).

"..The scriptures are laid before thee, yea, and all things denote there is a God; yea, even the earth, and all things that are upon the face of it, yea, and its motion, yea, and also all the planets which move in their regular form do witness that there is a Supreme Creator." Not to mention "all good books."

Some have greater capacities and opportunities than others, yet grace will attend them: "...by small and simple things are great things brought to pass; and small means in many instances doth confound the wise. And the Lord God doth work by means to bring about his great and eternal purposes; and by very small means the Lord doth confound the wise and bringeth about the salvation of many souls." (Alma 37:6-7).

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RevTestament    1,035
20 hours ago, pogi said:

Some people view the correlation/consolidation of the church beginning in the 1960's to be too restrictive.  What are your thoughts about correlation and how does one reconcile correlation with the following teachings of Joseph Smith?

“The first and fundamental principle of our holy religion is, that we have the right to embrace all, and every item of the truth, without limitation or without being circumscribed or prohibited by the creeds and superstitious notions of men.” Joseph Smith in The Personal Writings of Joseph Smith, pp. 420.

“I never thought it was right to call up a man and try him because he erred in doctrine, it looks too much like Methodism and not like Latter day Saintism. Methodists have creeds which a man must believe or be kicked out of their church. I want the liberty of believing as I please, it feels so good not to be tramelled.” Joseph Smith in The Words of Joseph Smith, pp. 183-184,

Was this an immature/naive Joseph who said these words who later abandoned these teachings in composing the Articles of Faith, or do these principles survive today in the church?

Thank you for bringing up this topic.  There are great things about correlation. However, I don't believe one needs a correlation committee to teach the same topic throughout the Church each week. Obviously, someone needs to prepare SS lesson materials. I do believe in all Church scriptures, but I just tend to interpret them differently than other LDS. Which brings up an issue with "correlated classes." I do not feel free to share my interpretation of scripture in class, because it conflicts with something in the correlated materials or something some GA once said. Even in instances where I am demonstrably right like Moses did not restore the priesthood but received it from Jethro, I have received pushback.  Generally, a dissenting voice is not welcome in SS class. The other issue brought up is that in only allowing what is taught in the manual to be taught, class can get a little boring, and feels a lot like memorizing. It just seems something like an effort to make everyone automotons to believe everything exactly like the correlation committee or the the GAs do. There is a prepared answer for every question, so the questions almost become rhetorical. It is certainly nothing like I teach my children or Aristotle or Plato would have taught. I know the Church answers for the questions, but I don't always agree with them. Now, I mostly just keep my mouth shut, because there doesn't seem to be a whole lot of room for exploration of other interpretations. So like JLHPROF, I view class as being somewhat stymieing and growth limiting. I am glad I am not the only one who feels that way. Exactly how to address this I do not know. I agree that SS class should not be the time to address every wild speculation or for some individual to try to monopolize to teach their individual view of the gospel. However, I do feel there should be some room to explore possible interpretations of the gospel. Under the current system this has become nigh impossible because some GA has said something about just about every scripture, and that is accepted as gospel truth. So, I basically pursue truth individually as I believe the spirit has led me with the belief that he who accepts truth can receive more, and that precept is based upon precept.

Doctrine and Covenants 88:122

122 Appoint among yourselves a teacher, and let anot all be spokesmen at once; but let one speak at a time and let all listen unto his sayings, that when all have spoken that all may be bedified of all, and that every man may have an equal privilege.

Somehow, I just don't feel the Church allows this ideal under the current system. There is room to expound upon current interpretation with personal experiences and so forth, but additional insight or private revelation is generally discouraged, or shut down. I think the Church is still learning not to be critical of members with differing views. When this arises, the teacher can certainly point out what the GAs have taught instead, but perhaps the Church can still improve on limiting the knee-jerk reaction to criticize or shut-down differing interpretations. Anyway, everyone must interpret scripture to understand it, but it seems the Church accepts it only interpreted their way. This I feel is a mistake. Paul tells us no scripture is subject to private interpretation. The Church seems to believe that every word that has come from the mouth of a GA is additional scripture, and for me that is just not so. If the Lord gave them those words, that is certainly the case, but I don't seem to hear "thus saith the Lord..." Truth is truth no matter the source, and the Spirit will witness to it. I tend to think for myself, and question and pray about even what a GA has said. If it is truth, I believe the Lord will eventually confirm it for me or I can otherwise accept it.

Quote

  How does one justify the Articles of Faith and correlation/consolidation in light of these teachings?  Have we become circumscribed by creeds?  I have some ideas, but I thought it would be interesting to see your different thoughts and perspectives on the matter.  

I do not believe correlation has created any "creeds" in the Church. I believe the closest the Church has to creeds are the articles of faith but they are not restrictive. They embrace truth from wherever we may find it. The main problem I see with orthodox creeds is that they are restrictive and threaten to excommunicate those who do not interpret scripture or believe in God the same way as others. The Church has nothing like this which is very good. As several have commented the Church allows us to pursue truth individually without excommunicating us for our belief. If I were to be brought out and examined for my beliefs, I don't believe they would be like those of any other LDS members, and if there was a requirement like a creed, I'm sure I may be excommunicated.

So, we arrive at the question is the Church open to truth from wherever we may find it? I have to say no. I believe the Church has accepted various interpretations which are not true, and is not open to any other interpretation at the moment. Without hearing them, the Church cannot assess the truth of these interpretations nor prayerfully consider them. Following the prophet is generally good, but I have never been one for blind obedience. A simple example would be the widely held belief that Eden is in America. I firmly believe while Adam-ondi-Ahman may be, Eden was not. And I don't accept that Eden was in America just because BY thought JS taught that. However, in a spiritual sense the whole earth could be viewed as the Garden of Eden before Adam. Anyway, that is just one of many examples where I differ from the norm, but generally keep my mouth shut.

Another example of this principle is a widely held belief that the BoM took place in Meso America. While I understand that the GAs currently do not endorse any particular view on this subject, in the past some have. While I see nothing wrong with exploring possibilities, some have become so fixated on this as truth, that it has led to damaging their testimonies, and even their departure from the Church when they later concluded there was not evidence to support it. So perhaps the Church should learn not to treat every word which comes out of the mouth or pen of a GA, apostle, seventy, etc as if it were law, and not subject to scrutiny or confirmation by the Holy Spirit.

I feel one way to make SS better would be to prepare some additional areas for discussion in addition to the regular SS lesson. Thus, the SS teacher can pick and choose what material to discuss on the topic rather than being pigeon-holed into one 45 min lesson.

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pogi    3,009
47 minutes ago, RevTestament said:

Thank you for bringing up this topic.  There are great things about correlation. However, I don't believe one needs a correlation committee to teach the same topic throughout the Church each week. Obviously, someone needs to prepare SS lesson materials. I do believe in all Church scriptures, but I just tend to interpret them differently than other LDS. Which brings up an issue with "correlated classes." I do not feel free to share my interpretation of scripture in class, because it conflicts with something in the correlated materials or something some GA once said. Even in instances where I am demonstrably right like Moses did not restore the priesthood but received it from Jethro, I have received pushback.  Generally, a dissenting voice is not welcome in SS class. The other issue brought up is that in only allowing what is taught in the manual to be taught, class can get a little boring, and feels a lot like memorizing. It just seems something like an effort to make everyone automotons to believe everything exactly like the correlation committee or the the GAs do. There is a prepared answer for every question, so the questions almost become rhetorical. It is certainly nothing like I teach my children or Aristotle or Plato would have taught. I know the Church answers for the questions, but I don't always agree with them. Now, I mostly just keep my mouth shut, because there doesn't seem to be a whole lot of room for exploration of other interpretations. So like JLHPROF, I view class as being somewhat stymieing and growth limiting. I am glad I am not the only one who feels that way. Exactly how to address this I do not know. I agree that SS class should not be the time to address every wild speculation or for some individual to try to monopolize to teach their individual view of the gospel. However, I do feel there should be some room to explore possible interpretations of the gospel. Under the current system this has become nigh impossible because some GA has said something about just about every scripture, and that is accepted as gospel truth. So, I basically pursue truth individually as I believe the spirit has led me with the belief that he who accepts truth can receive more, and that precept is based upon precept.

Doctrine and Covenants 88:122

122 Appoint among yourselves a teacher, and let anot all be spokesmen at once; but let one speak at a time and let all listen unto his sayings, that when all have spoken that all may be bedified of all, and that every man may have an equal privilege.

Somehow, I just don't feel the Church allows this ideal under the current system. There is room to expound upon current interpretation with personal experiences and so forth, but additional insight or private revelation is generally discouraged, or shut down. I think the Church is still learning not to be critical of members with differing views. When this arises, the teacher can certainly point out what the GAs have taught instead, but perhaps the Church can still improve on limiting the knee-jerk reaction to criticize or shut-down differing interpretations. Anyway, everyone must interpret scripture to understand it, but it seems the Church accepts it only interpreted their way. This I feel is a mistake. Paul tells us no scripture is subject to private interpretation. The Church seems to believe that every word that has come from the mouth of a GA is additional scripture, and for me that is just not so. If the Lord gave them those words, that is certainly the case, but I don't seem to hear "thus saith the Lord..." Truth is truth no matter the source, and the Spirit will witness to it. I tend to think for myself, and question and pray about even what a GA has said. If it is truth, I believe the Lord will eventually confirm it for me or I can otherwise accept it.

I do not believe correlation has created any "creeds" in the Church. I believe the closest the Church has to creeds are the articles of faith but they are not restrictive. They embrace truth from wherever we may find it. The main problem I see with orthodox creeds is that they are restrictive and threaten to excommunicate those who do not interpret scripture or believe in God the same way as others. The Church has nothing like this which is very good. As several have commented the Church allows us to pursue truth individually without excommunicating us for our belief. If I were to be brought out and examined for my beliefs, I don't believe they would be like those of any other LDS members, and if there was a requirement like a creed, I'm sure I may be excommunicated.

So, we arrive at the question is the Church open to truth from wherever we may find it? I have to say no. I believe the Church has accepted various interpretations which are not true, and is not open to any other interpretation at the moment. Without hearing them, the Church cannot assess the truth of these interpretations nor prayerfully consider them. Following the prophet is generally good, but I have never been one for blind obedience. A simple example would be the widely held belief that Eden is in America. I firmly believe while Adam-ondi-Ahman may be, Eden was not. And I don't accept that Eden was in America just because BY thought JS taught that. However, in a spiritual sense the whole earth could be viewed as the Garden of Eden before Adam. Anyway, that is just one of many examples where I differ from the norm, but generally keep my mouth shut.

Another example of this principle is a widely held belief that the BoM took place in Meso America. While I understand that the GAs currently do not endorse any particular view on this subject, in the past some have. While I see nothing wrong with exploring possibilities, some have become so fixated on this as truth, that it has led to damaging their testimonies, and even their departure from the Church when they later concluded there was not evidence to support it. So perhaps the Church should learn not to treat every word which comes out of the mouth or pen of a GA, apostle, seventy, etc as if it were law, and not subject to scrutiny or confirmation by the Holy Spirit.

I feel one way to make SS better would be to prepare some additional areas for discussion in addition to the regular SS lesson. Thus, the SS teacher can pick and choose what material to discuss on the topic rather than being pigeon-holed into one 45 min lesson.

Thanks for your thoughts and perspective. 

I have similar sentiments. I think part of the problem is that many saints have culturally accepted the correlated materials as "official doctrine" and may view them as restrictive creeds, while the church itself acknowledges that they "do not claim the same endorsement that the standard works receive."

I don't know what the answer is either, but I do see the reason and need for correlation.  Without it, I would predict the formation of many -ites in the church. 

When someone shares personal revelations which may be contrary to correlated materials, it could very easily be perceived as a form of "receiving revelation for the church" which is scriptural condemned.  For that reason, I think it appropriate to keep personal revelations personal, but I would love to see the saints feel more free to share their different opinions and points of view in church as suggested in D&C 88:121 without fear of being perceived as one on the road to apostasy.

I personally don't feel too restricted in church as I admittedly agree with most correlated materials. But I think that we can all probably identify with the desire to share something at church while feeling a pressure to keep our mouths shut.  Maybe much of that "pressure" is imagined on my part though, and arrives more from my desire to avoid contention.  Who knows?

I don't really see anything wrong with correlation, but I think members in general would do good to understand that the correlated materials are not restrictive creeds and that there is room for discussion, even in church - so long as we are not pretending to teach "doctrine" for the church. 

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Nofear    724

Another Joseph Smith quote, “When men open their lips against [the truth] they do not injure me, but injure themselves. When things that are of the greatest importance are passed over by weak-minded men without even a thought, I want to see truth in all its bearings and hug it to my bosom. I believe all that God ever revealed, and I never hear of a man being damned for believing too much; but they are damned for unbelief.”  (https://www.lds.org/manual/teachings-joseph-smith/chapter-22?lang=eng)

But, like others, I also have no problem with correlation at all. The primary purpose of Sunday meetings isn't learning new doctrine but continued inspiration to follow Christ. As for learning, it provides a foundation upon which we, all of us, eventually are expected to move past with personal study. Joseph put it this way in correcting Hebrews 6:1, "Therefore not leaving the principles of the doctrine of Christ, let us go on unto perfection."

Incidentally, it's partly because of the sentiment of Joseph Smith above that I don't get worked up when I see members (including those on this board) say stupid stuff incorrect ideas about cosmology and what not. :) None of us, including myself, get everything correct, or even close to everything. All of us still see through a thick glass darkly. It is vastly more important for us to keep an open mind instead of being dogmatic (a sentiment I'm pretty sure everybody here agrees with).

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JLHPROF    7,182
29 minutes ago, Nofear said:

Another Joseph Smith quote, “When men open their lips against [the truth] they do not injure me, but injure themselves. When things that are of the greatest importance are passed over by weak-minded men without even a thought, I want to see truth in all its bearings and hug it to my bosom. I believe all that God ever revealed, and I never hear of a man being damned for believing too much; but they are damned for unbelief.”

Love this quote.  It is SO true.
 

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pogi    3,009
Quote

 

“The first and fundamental principle of our holy religion is, that we have the right to embrace all, and every item of the truth, without limitation or without being circumscribed or prohibited by the creeds and superstitious notions of men.” Joseph Smith in The Personal Writings of Joseph Smith, pp. 420.

“I never thought it was right to call up a man and try him because he erred in doctrine, it looks too much like Methodism and not like Latter day Saintism. Methodists have creeds which a man must believe or be kicked out of their church. I want the liberty of believing as I please, it feels so good not to be tramelled.” Joseph Smith in The Words of Joseph Smith, pp. 183-184,

“I cannot believe in any of the creeds of the different denominations, because they all have some things in them I cannot subscribe to, though all of them have some truth. I want to come up into the presence of God, and learn all things; but the creeds set up stakes, and say, ‘Hitherto shalt thou come, and no further;’ which I cannot subscribe to.” Joseph Smith, Discourse to Saints, October 1843; DHC 6:57.

“..I stated that the most prominent difference in sentiment between the Latter-day Saints and sectarians was, that the latter were all circumscribed by some peculiar creed, which deprived its members the privilege of believing anything not contained therein, whereas the Latter-day Saints … are ready to believe all true principles that exist, as they are made manifest from time to time…” Joseph Smith, January 1843, History of the Church, 5:215; from “History of the Church” (manuscript), book D-1, p. 1433, Church Archives.

 

What do you guys think about creeds in the church?  Did Joseph want the Church to be free of any creed, or did he simply want to remove the restrictions, consequences, and limitations of the creeds?  

Take this quote for example: 

“I never thought it was right to call up a man and try him because he erred in doctrine, it looks too much like Methodism and not like Latter day Saintism. Methodists have creeds which a man must believe or be kicked out of their church. I want the liberty of believing as I please, it feels so good not to be tramelled.” Joseph Smith in The Words of Joseph Smith, pp. 183-184

Was Joseph an absolutist in his desire to give liberty to all men to believe as they please without fear of being "kicked out" of the church, or were there limitations to what even Joseph would tolerate?  I ask this because there does seem to be at least some basic creedal boundaries that if crossed could result in excommunication. What are your thoughts?

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stemelbow    4,144

I don't get the fear that drives things like correlation.  I find it problematic and with that, I also find correlation problematic just as JLHPROF expressed it above. 

"Only error needs to fear freedom of expression."

Says Hugh B Brown

I agree with that sentiment.  A world where we let ideas bounce through each other as we discuss the welfare of our souls far outweighs the stated preference of a Church experience where we are asked to avoid the controversial, stick the sanctioned manual and reading content, and align ourselves with the philosophies espoused in Conference and other publications.  Particularly since, as Nehor expressed above, all the blandness of it is being required because of fearing what could happen if we freely express ourselves.

Correlation should stop immediately, in my estimation, and we should freely discuss what truly is the welfare of each of our souls.  We each should be searching far and wide through all sorts of materials to bring back ideas that we can grind through the grinder of a Church people who chew on these ideas individually and then come back and share so others can add to, amend, or correct.  It's an ideal I hold out for.  As of now, we are bland, thoughtless and stagnant for the most part, as a Church.  We've got to change and adapt, even if there was some purpose behind things like correlation. 

There is no reconciling correlation with Joseph's quoted idea, if you ask me. 

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JLHPROF    7,182
4 hours ago, pogi said:

What do you guys think about creeds in the church?  Did Joseph want the Church to be free of any creed, or did he simply want to remove the restrictions, consequences, and limitations of the creeds?  

Take this quote for example: 

“I never thought it was right to call up a man and try him because he erred in doctrine, it looks too much like Methodism and not like Latter day Saintism. Methodists have creeds which a man must believe or be kicked out of their church. I want the liberty of believing as I please, it feels so good not to be tramelled.” Joseph Smith in The Words of Joseph Smith, pp. 183-184

Was Joseph an absolutist in his desire to give liberty to all men to believe as they please without fear of being "kicked out" of the church, or were there limitations to what even Joseph would tolerate?  I ask this because there does seem to be at least some basic creedal boundaries that if crossed could result in excommunication. What are your thoughts?

Yes, the Church has "creedal boundaries" (good phrase).
As for whether Joseph would have approved?  I think he was big on freedom of belief, but not so much on freedom to teach false doctrine.

Take Adam-God.  Stating you believe that in the Church today can be grounds for disciplinary action.
Joseph wouldn't have cared if a member believe that, but he would have preached against it if he believed it false.
In other words, he wouldn't have cared what a member believed, but he would have put down any doctrine he disagreed with.

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pogi    3,009
3 hours ago, stemelbow said:

I don't get the fear that drives things like correlation. 

What makes you think it is driven by fear and not inspiration, or desire for greater unity or oneness of heart and mind (Moses 7:18)?

3 hours ago, stemelbow said:

I agree with that sentiment.  A world where we let ideas bounce through each other as we discuss the welfare of our souls far outweighs the stated preference of a Church experience where we are asked to avoid the controversial, stick the sanctioned manual and reading content, and align ourselves with the philosophies espoused in Conference and other publications.  Particularly since, as Nehor expressed above, all the blandness of it is being required because of fearing what could happen if we freely express ourselves.

Correlation should stop immediately, in my estimation, and we should freely discuss what truly is the welfare of each of our souls.  We each should be searching far and wide through all sorts of materials to bring back ideas that we can grind through the grinder of a Church people who chew on these ideas individually and then come back and share so others can add to, amend, or correct.  It's an ideal I hold out for.  As of now, we are bland, thoughtless and stagnant for the most part, as a Church.  We've got to change and adapt, even if there was some purpose behind things like correlation. 

There is no reconciling correlation with Joseph's quoted idea, if you ask me. 

While Joseph clearly cherished freedom of belief, he also sought for unity in the church under the direction of the prophet.  There are a lot of good quotes in this link to that end:

https://www.lds.org/manual/teachings-joseph-smith/chapter-23?lang=eng

“Wherefore, meaning the church, thou shalt give heed unto all his words and commandments which he shall give unto you as he receiveth them, walking in all holiness before me;  For his word ye shall receive, as if from mine own mouth, in all patience and faith” (D&C 21:4–5)

It was the struggle of the apostles after Christ's death to unify the church in doctrine.  I think they all would have sustained the concept of correlation.  

 

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mfbukowski    12,544
On 5/17/2017 at 3:42 PM, CV75 said:

I think Joseph is differentiating between individual and group responsibility for learning. Correlation addresses the latter. As far as the Articles of Faith is concerned, I think it is less a formal statement (to me meaning a specific and required individual and group confession and adoption for membership purposes and salvation) than a scriptural (both in reference and status) summary of the general group beliefs.

Yeah.

This.

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mfbukowski    12,544
On 5/19/2017 at 10:33 AM, pogi said:

What do you guys think about creeds in the church?  Did Joseph want the Church to be free of any creed, or did he simply want to remove the restrictions, consequences, and limitations of the creeds?  

Take this quote for example: 

“I never thought it was right to call up a man and try him because he erred in doctrine, it looks too much like Methodism and not like Latter day Saintism. Methodists have creeds which a man must believe or be kicked out of their church. I want the liberty of believing as I please, it feels so good not to be tramelled.” Joseph Smith in The Words of Joseph Smith, pp. 183-184

Was Joseph an absolutist in his desire to give liberty to all men to believe as they please without fear of being "kicked out" of the church, or were there limitations to what even Joseph would tolerate?  I ask this because there does seem to be at least some basic creedal boundaries that if crossed could result in excommunication. What are your thoughts?

Not to mention the idea of no private interpretation being acceptable 

So are public but erroneous interpretations  ok? ;)  And whose non-private interpretations are right?

What of contradictory statements by GA's on, say, evolution? 

Obviously we are left with private interpretation. We must be able to decide who us right for ourselves.

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cinepro    6,885

Just so we're all clear, these are the purposes the Church gives for the Correlation program:

 

Quote

The First Presidency and Quorum of the Twelve oversee correlation in the Church. Correlation includes:

  1. Maintaining purity of doctrine.
  2. Emphasizing the importance of the family and the home.
  3. Placing all the work of the Church under priesthood direction.
  4. Establishing proper relationships among the organizations of the Church.
  5. Achieving unity and order in the Church.
  6. Ensuring simplicity of Church programs and materials.

https://www.lds.org/manual/doctrine-and-covenants-and-church-history-gospel-doctrine-teachers-manual/lesson-42-continuing-revelation-to-latter-day-prophets?lang=eng

If the classes I've attended (and the seminary lessons my kids have gotten over the last few years) are any indication, then there isn't enough "correlation" by those standards.

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