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Scott Lloyd

Scrutinizing general conference

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During the morning session of Saturday's Gen Conf, did anyone or any group stand and protest when they read off the leader's names to sustain them? I didn't hear anything, which surprised me. 

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https://speeches.byu.edu/talks/richard-g-wilkins_defending-family/ Just read elsewhere that this guy Richard G. Wilkins wrote the Proclamation. I've no proof, but sounded pretty convinicing. And I'm pretty sure they had the church attorneys take a look at it also and that's where they came in. 

Edited by Tacenda

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6 hours ago, Jeanne said:

Well...I can't wait...but guess I will..:P

Me too.

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11 hours ago, jkwilliams said:

I've always assumed that the proclamation came about the same way as pretty much everything else the church publishes: the GAs ask for a document, publication, etc., to be produced and assign it to the relevant department. A writing committee is formed, and they write a draft. It then goes to the Editing department, which edits/revises and then sends it back to the originating department. It is then submitted to Correlation for review and returned to the originating department, which works with Editing to implement any changes from the Correlation review. After the originators, Editing, and Correlation sign off, it goes to the relevant GAs (in this case the 12 and the First Presidency, I'd imagine) for approval. My guess is that Sister Okazaki's statement means that the Relief Society was not involved as one of the originating departments and was not involved with the writing committee, as it would be only in those two cases that the Relief Society would have had authority to review the proclamation. 

During the time I worked there, I never saw any document or publication that was drafted by the First Presidency or Quorum of Twelve, other than letters to be read at the pulpit, and often these were written by the relevant department and just signed by the Brethren. I have a hard time imagining that the proclamation was produced in a different way.

Of course this is how it happened. This fits with what I heard when I was in law school from knowledgeable persons with connections to Kirton McConkie and the COB. Also, I knew many who were on these committees from my home ward and they said the same thing about how these things come about. The only thing I would add is that Kirton McConkie and the local HI lawyers had some imput as well.

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11 hours ago, ksfisher said:

So revelations to the church need to go through the General Relief Society Presidency?  Not to denigrate them in any way but I'm not sure that's their role.

And if we're worried about the relief society not being consulted why not the young men, young women, and primary.  They represent organizations that are part of the Proclamation as well.

I'm saying that from what I recall and knowing the normal procedures of how things are done at headquarters and reading Sister Okazaki's take, it wasn't a revelation, it was a restatement of policy made to gain standing in a HI legal case and to tell what the church believed.

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1 hour ago, Pete Ahlstrom said:

Of course this is how it happened. This fits with what I heard when I was in law school from knowledgeable persons with connections to Kirton McConkie and the COB. Also, I knew many who were on these committees from my home ward and they said the same thing about how these things come about. The only thing I would add is that Kirton McConkie and the local HI lawyers had some imput as well.

I know a guy who knows a guy who knows people who “have connections”. So of course this is how it happened. 

Sorry, but color me underwhelmed. 

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3 hours ago, Tacenda said:

https://speeches.byu.edu/talks/richard-g-wilkins_defending-family/ Just read elsewhere that this guy Richard G. Wilkins wrote the Proclamation. I've no proof, but sounded pretty convinicing. And I'm pretty sure they had the church attorneys take a look at it also and that's where they came in. 

Who said Wilkins wrote it? 

Sources, please. 

And I’ll pose the same question I did earlier: What in Elder Oaks’s description of last weekend regarding the origen of the document rings untrue to you? 

Edited by Scott Lloyd

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8 minutes ago, Scott Lloyd said:

I know a guy who knows a guy who knows people who “have connections”. So of course this is how it happened. 

Sorry, but color me underwhelmed. 

You're right. It must have been a revelation, although conveniently made to support HI litigation on ssm, but that is beside the point.

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3 hours ago, Tacenda said:

During the morning session of Saturday's Gen Conf, did anyone or any group stand and protest when they read off the leader's names to sustain them? I didn't hear anything, which surprised me. 

There was nothing audible on the transmission, and our reporter who was in the Conference Center didn’t hear anything. 

I think the novelty of doing this has worn off. The ones who yell out don’t even get access to a General Authority anymore. They’re told to go see their stake president. No big thrill there. 

And the news media don’t even care anymore. When was the last time the Tribune reported that somebody yelled out during the meeting?

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6 minutes ago, Pete Ahlstrom said:

You're right. It must have been a revelation, although conveniently made to support HI litigation on ssm, but that is beside the point.

I’ve expressed my position repeatedly that it’s not a revelation in the sense of declaring new doctrine, but it is a “revelatory” document in the sense that God inspired the prophets and apostles to proclaim their position to the world in this manner. 

And I’ll pose the same question I did earlier: What in Elder Oaks’s description of last weekend regarding the origen of the document rings untrue to you? 

Edited by Scott Lloyd
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25 minutes ago, Pete Ahlstrom said:

It must have been a revelation, although conveniently made to support HI litigation on ssm, but that is beside the point.

So revelation in general shouldn't 'conveniently' address issues of the day??? :wacko:

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24 minutes ago, Scott Lloyd said:

I’ve expressed my position repeatedly that it’s not a revelation in the sense of declaring new doctrine, but it is a “revelatory” document in the sense that God inspired the prophets and apostles to proclaim their position to the world in this manner. 

And I’ll pose the same question I did earlier: What in Elder Oaks’s description of last weekend regarding the origen of the document rings untrue to you? 

He calls the process revelatory and doesn't mention that it was necessary to gain standing in the HI supreme court case.

He also makes a doctrinal mistake. He says:

"Just 20 years after the family proclamation, the United States Supreme Court authorized same-sex marriage, overturning thousands of years of marriage being limited to a man and a woman."

Not so. Joseph Smith, Brigham Young, and the others would have said women in their time. Also, polygamy is still up for grabs in the future worlds as well. So, doesn't traditional mormon marriage include polygamy and probably polyandry too?

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8 hours ago, Pete Ahlstrom said:

He calls the process revelatory and doesn't mention that it was necessary to gain standing in the HI supreme court case.

He also makes a doctrinal mistake. He says:

"Just 20 years after the family proclamation, the United States Supreme Court authorized same-sex marriage, overturning thousands of years of marriage being limited to a man and a woman."

Not so. Joseph Smith, Brigham Young, and the others would have said women in their time. Also, polygamy is still up for grabs in the future worlds as well. So, doesn't traditional mormon marriage include polygamy and probably polyandry too?

Technically he is not making a doctrinal mistake unless sealings included 3 or more people instead of 2. If the marriage was with more than one wife then the wives would also be married to each other. (As far as I am aware of that wasn't happening, but maybe I am wrong).

Now I understand why some won't agree with that, but considering this is Elder Oak's and how he speaks, I think he is probably pretty specific on the idea of why even with polygamy, marriage is between a man and a womAn.

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18 hours ago, Pete Ahlstrom said:

Of course this is how it happened. This fits with what I heard when I was in law school from knowledgeable persons with connections to Kirton McConkie and the COB. Also, I knew many who were on these committees from my home ward and they said the same thing about how these things come about. The only thing I would add is that Kirton McConkie and the local HI lawyers had some imput as well.

 

18 hours ago, Pete Ahlstrom said:

I'm saying that from what I recall and knowing the normal procedures of how things are done at headquarters and reading Sister Okazaki's take, it wasn't a revelation, it was a restatement of policy made to gain standing in a HI legal case and to tell what the church believed.

 

16 hours ago, Scott Lloyd said:

I know a guy who knows a guy who knows people who “have connections”. So of course this is how it happened. 

Sorry, but color me underwhelmed. 

 

16 hours ago, Pete Ahlstrom said:

You're right. It must have been a revelation, although conveniently made to support HI litigation on ssm, but that is beside the point.

 

16 hours ago, Scott Lloyd said:

I’ve expressed my position repeatedly that it’s not a revelation in the sense of declaring new doctrine, but it is a “revelatory” document in the sense that God inspired the prophets and apostles to proclaim their position to the world in this manner. 

And I’ll pose the same question I did earlier: What in Elder Oaks’s description of last weekend regarding the origen of the document rings untrue to you? 

The texts of the general conference sermons are up on lds.org now. I present herewith what Elder Oaks, not just an eyewitness to but a participant in the formulation of "The Family: A Proclamation to the World," said in his talk about the origin of the proclamation. I do this for convenient comparison with the claims of those who think -- or, in some cases, are oh so certain -- they know how it originated but really don't.

 

Quote

 

In 1995 a President of the Church and 14 other Apostles of the Lord issued these important doctrinal statements. As one of only seven of those Apostles still living, I feel obliged to share what led to the family proclamation for the information of all who consider it.

The inspiration identifying the need for a proclamation on the family came to the leadership of the Church over 23 years ago. It was a surprise to some who thought the doctrinal truths about marriage and the family were well understood without restatement.8 Nevertheless, we felt the confirmation and we went to work. Subjects were identified and discussed by members of the Quorum of the Twelve for nearly a year. Language was proposed, reviewed, and revised. Prayerfully we continually pleaded with the Lord for His inspiration on what we should say and how we should say it. We all learned “line upon line, precept upon precept,” as the Lord has promised (D&C 98:12).

During this revelatory process, a proposed text was presented to the First Presidency, who oversee and promulgate Church teachings and doctrine. After the Presidency made further changes, the proclamation on the family was announced by the President of the Church, Gordon B. Hinckley. In the women’s meeting of September 23, 1995, he introduced the proclamation with these words: “With so much of sophistry that is passed off as truth, with so much of deception concerning standards and values, with so much of allurement and enticement to take on the slow stain of the world, we have felt to warn and forewarn.”9

 

 

 

(Bold emphasis mine. Note Elder Oaks's use of the phrase "revelatory process," corroborating what I have said about the sense in which the proclamation may be regarded as a revelatory document.)

Elder Oaks concludes with this powerful testimony which does not equivocate with regard to the proclamation expressing "eternal truth" and "the will of the Lord for His children who seek eternal life":

 

Quote

 

I testify that the proclamation on the family is a statement of eternal truth, the will of the Lord for His children who seek eternal life. It has been the basis of Church teaching and practice for the last 22 years and will continue so for the future. Consider it as such, teach it, live by it, and you will be blessed as you press forward toward eternal life.

Forty years ago, President Ezra Taft Benson taught that “every generation has its tests and its chance to stand and prove itself.”10 I believe our attitude toward and use of the family proclamation is one of those tests for this generation. I pray for all Latter-day Saints to stand firm in that test.

I close with President Gordon B. Hinckley’s teachings uttered two years after the family proclamation was announced. He said: “I see a wonderful future in a very uncertain world. If we will cling to our values, if we will build on our inheritance, if we will walk in obedience before the Lord, if we will simply live the gospel, we will be blessed in a magnificent and wonderful way. We will be looked upon as a peculiar people who have found the key to a peculiar happiness.”11

I testify of the truth and eternal importance of the family proclamation, revealed by the Lord Jesus Christ to His Apostles for the exaltation of the children of God (see Doctrine and Covenants 131:1–4), in the name of Jesus Christ, amen.

 

Edited to add:

In one of his footnotes, Elder Oaks quotes a very astute statement from Sister Oscarson:

Quote

Our Young Women General President said it well 20 years later: “Little did we realize then how very desperately we would need these basic declarations in today’s world as the criteria by which we could judge each new wind of worldly dogma coming at us from the media, the Internet, scholars, TV and films, and even legislators. The proclamation on the family has become our benchmark for judging the philosophies of the world, and I testify that the principles set forth within this statement are as true today as they were when they were given to us by a prophet of God nearly 20 years ago” (Bonnie L. Oscarson, “Defenders of the Family Proclamation,” Ensign or Liahona, May 2015, 14–15).

 

Edited by Scott Lloyd
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On 10/2/2017 at 4:28 PM, Scott Lloyd said:

Perhaps.

But maybe one reason it hasn't been is that it is one of five proclamations of the First Presidency and the Twelve that have been issued in Church history, and to canonize it would amount to a departure from precedent as the previous four were not so canonized.

 

Perhaps you could help us understand the difference between an Official Declaration and an Official Proclamation?    Just reading through the previous proclamations here:   http://eom.byu.edu/index.php/Proclamations_of_the_First_Presidency_and_the_Quorum_of_the_Twelve_Apostles

looks like a couple of these were published in the ensign in 1975, and in 1980.  

 

Edited by blueglass

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On 10/2/2017 at 6:06 PM, JulieM said:

I have some time at work this afternoon and I'm reading some links about the proclamation (since I plan on watching Elder Oak's talk when I get home tonight). 

I just read how President Packer altered one of his conference talks and took out the word "revelation" when describing the Family Proclamation":

"In his original talk, Packer said the church's 1995 statement, 'The Family: A Proclamation to the World,' 'qualifies according to scriptural definition as a revelation.' That descriptive phrase has now been omitted, leaving the proclamation simply described as 'a guide that members of the church would do well to read and to follow.'" 

http://archive.sltrib.com/article.php?id=50440474&itype=CMSID

"Packer talk jibes with LDS stance after tweak"

Any thoughts on why that was changed back then from "revelation" to "guide"?  Do you think Elder Oaks is correcting that now?

Oaks did use language in this October 2017 talk which sounds like Packer's revised language in a way, "the inspired family proclamation . . .  are essential teachings to guide mortal preparation for exaltation."    I do remember the Packer revision which seemed like he downgraded the authority of the document in a way.   Oaks is ratcheting it back up to a higher level. 

Edited by blueglass

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17 hours ago, Scott Lloyd said:

I know a guy who knows a guy who knows people who “have connections”. So of course this is how it happened. 

Well, since we're sharing experiences about knowing a guy who knows a guy...

I served my mission shortly after the proclamation came out, and my mission president was Elder Oaks' younger brother, Merrill C. Oaks. He related that his brother had spent a considerable amount of time working on the proclamation and that much of the language present in the final product was, in fact, written by Elder Oaks. 

I wasn't able to watch the Saturday morning session of Conference, but I have since read the transcript from Elder Oaks' talk, and it seems to comport with my long-time understanding of how the proclamation came about. 

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34 minutes ago, blueglass said:

Perhaps you could help us understand the difference between an Official Declaration and an Official Proclamation?    Just reading through the previous proclamations here:   http://eom.byu.edu/index.php/Proclamations_of_the_First_Presidency_and_the_Quorum_of_the_Twelve_Apostles

looks like a couple of these were published in the ensign in 1975, and in 1980.  

 

For convenience, I picked up the following from a footnote in the Wikipedia entry on the family proclamation, but it is taken from Encyclopedia of Mormonism. I

Quote

 

See Encyclopedia of Mormonism, 1151, 1153, 1155, 1156, and archives for the 1980 General Conference of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

  • Proclamation 1: issued on January 15, 1841 by the First Presidency consisting of Joseph Smith, Sidney Rigdon and Hyrum Smith. This proclamation “reviews the progress of the Church in spite of hardships and persecution, and speaks at length on the prospects of the settlement of Nauvoo.”
  • Proclamation 2: issued April 6 in New York and on October 22, 1845 by the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles (who were currently serving as the governing of the Church because a First Presidency had not yet been re-organized) and was “addressed to the rulers and people of all nations” and “was an announcement that God had spoken from the heavens and restored the gospel of Jesus Christ to the earth.”
  • Proclamation 3: issued October 21, 1865, by the First Presidency and the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles for the purpose of “correct[ing] certain theories about the nature of God that had been published by one of the Twelve in official Church literature, without having those statements cleared and verified by the First Presidency and the Twelve.”
  • Proclamation 4: issued on April 6, 1980 by the First Presidency and the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles in commemoration of the 150th anniversary of the organization of the church. This proclamation was concerning the progress, doctrine, mission, and message of the Church, and also mentioned in some detail about the family.
  • Proclamation 5: “The Family: Proclamation to the World.”

 

 

Edited to add:

From your link:

Quote

Only a few of the many formal declarations have been labeled "Proclamations." Others have been characterized "Official Declarations," "Doctrinal Expositions," or "Epistles." Some have the signature of the First Presidency, some of the First Presidency and the Twelve, and some of the Twelve only.

Edited by Scott Lloyd
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16 hours ago, Pete Ahlstrom said:

He calls the process revelatory and doesn't mention that it was necessary to gain standing in the HI supreme court case.

He also makes a doctrinal mistake. He says:

"Just 20 years after the family proclamation, the United States Supreme Court authorized same-sex marriage, overturning thousands of years of marriage being limited to a man and a woman."

Not so. Joseph Smith, Brigham Young, and the others would have said women in their time. Also, polygamy is still up for grabs in the future worlds as well. So, doesn't traditional mormon marriage include polygamy and probably polyandry too?

I hear you on the 1 man +  (many women) irony as the church was fighting for the 1 man + 1 woman language for the DOMA just 1 later in 1996, and eyebrows turned and people laughed and chuckled on the church position which flipped 180deg after 100 years.  I think most people see the mainstream LDS fight against polygamy as fighting against it's own "polyamory sexual orientation"  i.e. trying to pray away the "poly".   Does anyone have any idea how our society could produce family law which would cover the many diverse marital networks Joseph implemented?   tax deductions, family leave, health insurance, IRA, inheritance, etc?   It would be really difficult.   

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18 minutes ago, Amulek said:

Well, since we're sharing experiences about knowing a guy who knows a guy...

I served my mission shortly after the proclamation came out, and my mission president was Elder Oaks' younger brother, Merrill C. Oaks. He related that his brother had spent a considerable amount of time working on the proclamation and that much of the language present in the final product was, in fact, written by Elder Oaks. 

I wasn't able to watch the Saturday morning session of Conference, but I have since read the transcript from Elder Oaks' talk, and it seems to comport with my long-time understanding of how the proclamation came about. 

Well, this is much better than my source, since mine was another board and yours is yourself! :P

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31 minutes ago, blueglass said:

Oaks did use language in this October 2017 talk which sounds like Packer's revised language in a way, "the inspired family proclamation . . .  are essential teachings to guide mortal preparation for exaltation."    I do remember the Packer revision which seemed like he downgraded the authority of the document in a way.   Oaks is ratcheting it back up to a higher level. 

How do those words downgrade any authority to the document?

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On 10/3/2017 at 3:05 PM, Scott Lloyd said:

We should bear in mind that the family proclamation is, by definition, a proclamation from the First Presidency and Quorum of the Twelve Apostles.

 

Exactly, which speaks volumes as to how the church leadership envisions relationships, family organizations, and the heavenly godhead.  Women don't create worlds, they don't create Adam and eve, the voices of women are also not found in the council in heaven writings in Abraham or Moses, and today women also don't write scriptures, proclaim doctrine, hold keys, or ever preside.  In the temple women do not "rule and reign", they also covenant to obey the Law of the lord, which in the past referred to the husband as presiding "lord".  There is also strong legal coverture inheritance contract language in the endowment which carries over to the proclamation with the word "preside".   Latin Praesidere with prae 'before', and sedre 'sit', to govern and to be head of, to manage, administer, to be in control, to rule, and command, supervise, to officiate.  To sit before or in front is where the 12 and first presidency sit in the conference center which is no accident.   Here's an n-gram chart on usage of the word "preside".  With Oak's talk mormons are fighting to bring the word back in vogue "by divine design".  

screenshot.192.jpg

Edited by blueglass
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23 minutes ago, Avatar4321 said:

How do those words downgrade any authority to the document?

revelation > guide  i.e. vision from god > vision from man's mortal water brain

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12 minutes ago, blueglass said:

revelation > guide  i.e. vision from god > vision from man's mortal water brain

Visions are not the only means of divine revelation. They are one of the least common, as a matter of fact.

 

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