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Tacit Notions/Expectations of Prophetic Infallibility: A Key Ingredient in Faith Crises?

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39 minutes ago, rockpond said:

The Fourteen Fundamentals does not refer to “when the prophet is acting as a prophet”.  That’s not a qualifier that Benson includes. 

"Fifth: The prophet is not required to have any particular earthly training or credentials to speak on any subject or act on any matter at any time.

"Sometimes there are those who feel their earthly knowledge on a certain subject is superior to the heavenly knowledge which God gives to His prophet on the same subject. They feel the prophet must have the same earthly credentials or training which they have had before they will accept anything the prophet has to say that might contradict their earthly schooling. How much earthly schooling did Joseph Smith have? Yet he gave revelations on all kinds of subjects. We haven’t yet had a prophet who earned a doctorate in any subject, but as someone said, “A prophet may not have his Ph.D. but he certainly has his LDS.” We encourage earthly knowledge in many areas, but remember, if there is ever a conflict between earthly knowledge and the words of the prophet, you stand with the prophet, and you’ll be blessed and time will vindicate you."

https://speeches.byu.edu/talks/ezra-taft-benson/fourteen-fundamentals-following-prophet/

Let's assume that a prophet is always acting as a prophet when sharing "revelations on all kinds of subjects" or the "words of the prophet" given how the scriptures use the term. His fallibility may be a stumbling block for some, but standing with and sustaining him, will bring God's blessing and His vindication for abuses sustained as a result.

Standing with and sustaining the prophet is the emphasis in this fundamental, since the thing we have in common with him is that we too "can speak on any subject or act on any matter at any time." He depends on our standing with and sustaining him to act as a prophet.

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49 minutes ago, rockpond said:

The Fourteen Fundamentals does not refer to “when the prophet is acting as a prophet”.  That’s not a qualifier that Benson includes. 

I'm arguing it's implicit. That Benson of all people knew limits of being the prophet.

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1 hour ago, stemelbow said:

It's apparent to me we just keep talking past each other.  I have no idea what direction you are taking this.  I've not said most of what you think I've said and it appears you feel similarly.  I'm not sure it's productive beyond where we've been.  I've enjoyed the discussion and if I find time, I might get back and respond more fully, but for now, have a good one.  

Yeah, I usually take a break on weekends too. It may well be we're talking past one an other and actually are saying the same thing. Which definitely would make it kind of silly to keep pushing.

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48 minutes ago, Calm said:

I am talking about the logic of your assumption we won't be happy unless all our loved ones are with us.

Why do you think I’ve assumed that?  I haven’t said that.  I’ve said I can image me suffering in the celestial if I’m exalted as I contemplate and witness the suffering of others  That is whether the sufferer is my loved one or not.  Granted there may be exceptions there, like hitler.  I might not feel bad at all for his eternal suffering...Then again I might.  

48 minutes ago, Calm said:

 What if our loved ones put strings on their willingness to join us?  Do we accept the conditions or can we choose to be happy without them with us in the celestial kingdom?

I think there’s been some misunderstanding.  I didn’t suggest as far as im aware what you are attributing to me.  

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18 minutes ago, stemelbow said:

I’ve said I can image me suffering in the celestial if I’m exalted as I contemplate and witness the suffering of others  That is whether the sufferer is my loved one or no

Then substitute anyone for "loved ones".  The point is the same.

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Moved by a desire to change the subject, I asked why the Solid People, since they were full of love, did not go down into Hell to rescue the Ghosts. Why were they content simply to meet them on the plain? One would have expected a more militant charity.

"Ye will understand that better, perhaps, before ye go," said he. "In the meantime, I must tell ye they have come further for the sake of the Ghosts than ye can understand. Every one of us lives only to journey further and further into the mountains. Every one of us has interrupted that journey and retraced immeasurable distances to come down today on the mere chance of saving some Ghosts. Of course it is also joy to do so, but ye cannot blame us for that! And it would be no use to come further even if it were possible. The sane would do no good if they made themselves mad to help madmen."

"But what of the poor Ghosts who never get into the omnibus at all?"

"Everyone who wishes it does. Never fear. There are only two kinds of people in the end: those who say to God, 'Thy will be done,' and those to whom God says, in the end, 'Thy will be done.' All that are in Hell, choose it. Without that self-choice there could be no Hell. No soul that seriously and constantly desires joy will ever miss it. Those who seek find. To those who knock it is opened."...

Quote

Quick," she said. "There is still time. Stop it. Stop it at once."
"Stop what?"
"Using pity, other people's pity, in the wrong way. We have all done it a bit on earth, you know. Pity was meant to be a spur that drives joy to help misery. But it can be used the wrong way round. It can be used for a kind of blackmailing. Those who choose misery can hold joy up to ransom, by pity. You see, I know now. Even as a child you did it. Instead of saying you were sorry, you went and sulked in the attic . . . because vou knew that sooner or later one of your sisters would say, 'I can't bear to think of him sitting up there alone, crying.' You used your pity to blackmail them, and they gave in in the end. And afterwards, when we were married . . . oh, it doesn't matter, if only you will stop it." 

And that," said the Tragedian, "that is all you have understood of me, after all these years." I don't know what had become of the Dwarf Ghost by now. Perhaps it was climbing up the chain like an insect: perhaps it was somehow absorbed into the chain.

"No, Frank, not here," said the Lady. "Listen to reason. Did you think joy was created to live always under that threat? Always defenceless against those who would rather be miserable than have their self-will crossed? For it was real misery. I know that now. You made yourself really wretched. That you can still do. But you can no longer communicate your wretchedness. Everything becomes more and more itself. Here is joy that cannot be shaken. Our light can swallow up your darkness: but your darkness cannot now infect our light. No, no, no. Come to us. We will not go to you. Can you really have thought that love and joy would always be at the mercy of frowns and sighs? Did you not know they were stronger than their opposites?"

"Love? How dare you use that sacred word?" said the Tragedian. At the same moment he gathered up the chain which had now for some time been swinging uselessly at his side, and somehow disposed of it. I am not quite sure, but I think he swallowed it. Then for the first time it became clear that the Lady saw and addressed him only.

"Where is Frank?" she said. "And who are you, Sir? I never knew you. Perhaps you had better leave me. Or stay, if you prefer. If it would help you and if it were possible I would go down with you into Hell: but you cannot bring Hell into me."
"You do not love me," said the Tragedian in a thin bat-like voice: and he was now very difficult to see.
"I cannot love a lie," said the Lady. "I cannot love the thing which is not. I am in Love, and out of it I will not go."
There was no answer. The Tragedian had vanished. The Lady was alone in that woodland place, and a brown bird went hopping past her, bending with its light feet the grasses I could not bend. Presently the Lady got up and began to walk away....

"And yet . . . and yet ... ," said I to my Teacher, when all the shapes and the singing had passed some distance away into the forest, "even now I am not quite sure. Is it really tolerable that she should be untouched by his misery, even his self-made misery?"

"Would ye rather he still had the power of tormenting her? He did it many a day and many a year in their earthly life."

"Well, no. I suppose I don't want that." "What then?"

"I hardly know, Sir. What some people say on earth is that the final loss of one soul gives the lie to all the joy of those who are saved."

"Ye see it does not."
"I feel in a way that it ought to."
"That sounds very merciful: but see what lurks behind it." "What?"

"The demand of the loveless and the self-imprisoned that they should be allowed to blackmail the universe: that till they consent to be happy (on their own terms) no one else shall taste joy: that theirs should be the final power; that Hell should be able to veto Heaven."

"I don't know what I want, Sir."

"Son, son, it must be one way or the other. Either the day must come when joy prevails and all the makers of misery are no longer able to infect it: or else for ever and ever the makers of misery can destroy in others the happiness they reject for themselves. I know it has a grand sound to say ye'll accept no salvation which leaves even one creature in the dark outside. But watch that sophistry or ye'll make a Dog in a Manger the tyrant of the universe."

"But dare one say-it is horrible to say-that Pity must ever die?"
"Ye must distinguish. The action of Pity will live for ever: but the passion of Pity will not. The passion of pity, the pity we merely suffer, the ache that draws men to concede what should not be conceded and to flatter when they should speak truth, the pity that has cheated many a woman out of her virginity and many a statesman out of his honesty-that will die. It was used as a weapon by bad men against good ones: their weapon will be broken."
"And what is the other kind-the action?"

"It's a weapon on the other side. It leaps quicker than light from the highest place to the lowest to bring healing and joy, whatever the cost to itself. It changes darkness into light and evil into good. But it will not, at the cunning tears of Hell, impose on good the tyranny of evil. Every disease that submits to a cure shall be cured: but we will not call blue yellow to please those who insist on still having jaundice, nor make a midden of the world's garden for the sake of some who cannot abide the smell of roses."

"You say it will go down to the lowest, Sir. But she didn't go down with him to Hell. She didn't even see him off by the bus."

"Where would ye have had her go?" 

https://barnardsvilleumc.files.wordpress.com/2013/07/ebook-lewis-c-s-the-great-divorce.pdf

This above is similar to what I mean by emotional blackmail by those who do not wish to accept God as he is, but only as they want him to be.  Is it godly love to believe that those who do accept God fully will never be able to feel pure joy because there are those who have refused accept heaven?

Another analogy for mortality would be do we expect a woman who has found another who she loves deeply and who loves her back to remain unhappy in what should be wedded bliss because there is a man who feels left out because she didn't want to marry him?  That would be seen as absurd in this life, to only be happy in your marriage if everyone else was happy for you.  Why is it reasonable therefore that in heaven people should suffer eternally because there may be some who choose not to be there?  Why not be if not joyful, at least content that they in the end got to choose to live as they wanted to even if you would have preferred they had wanted to be with you in happiness and eternal joy?

Of course, if one assumes everyone will want the same thing, to be with God eternally living by His Will, then that removes any reason for separation.  I just don't see any reason looking around at humanity to believe that will be true.  It would be very nice if it is, but I am not going to build my expectations on something that appears quite contrary to human nature.  The only way I see it happening is if God forces us to change whether we want to change or not.  In some ways that might be viewed as merciful, but it seems to me to destroy the person and turn us into God's puppets instead.  

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Posted (edited)

There seems to be a fundamental misunderstanding here about when a prophet speaks as such. 

I have previously stated that when he speaks ex cathedra that stuff ends up as scripture. 

All the other times one must listen to the Spirit. The Holy Ghost will tell you when the prophets speak with the voice of the Lord, because one can feel the HG when hearing or reading the words. Ninety percent of the stuff said by our prophets is pretty much straight from the scriptures or explanations thereof. Not much room to quibble. 

Obviously much opinion has been offered over time as well. That is when the one must listen closely to the Spirit. And not all advice is for everyone everywhere. One must see many of these things in context. Ie.  audience, time and place. 

Edited by mrmarklin

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When you’re talking about the ONLY person on earth who can speak on God’s behalf for the entire world (the prophet) then they absolutely should be infallible when they claim to be speaking for God. Forget the trivial issues like where the Hill Cumorah is, I’m talking about hard core, fundamental doctrines.

After learning of the various false doctrines taught by these supposed prophets it was pretty much over for me. 

The infallibility argument does have a place when you are talking about the men themselves. Yes they are human and are allowed to make mistakes in their personal lives. No they are not allowed to teach harmful doctrines while acting as the prophet and lead the church (and supposedly the world since that is what they are over) astray. 

 

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4 hours ago, 10THAmendment said:

When you’re talking about the ONLY person on earth who can speak on God’s behalf for the entire world (the prophet) then they absolutely should be infallible when they claim to be speaking for God. Forget the trivial issues like where the Hill Cumorah is, I’m talking about hard core, fundamental doctrines.

After learning of the various false doctrines taught by these supposed prophets it was pretty much over for me. 

The infallibility argument does have a place when you are talking about the men themselves. Yes they are human and are allowed to make mistakes in their personal lives. No they are not allowed to teach harmful doctrines while acting as the prophet and lead the church (and supposedly the world since that is what they are over) astray. 

 

Leading people astray has enormous impact, can harm not only them but send ripples of harm outward and even through the generations. I think this is the case with Joseph Smith's polygamy, in the style of his polygamy itself, including its coercive nature, both the scriptural and in-person instructions, but then also the way the church adapted to make that level of control into an attempt at consistent theology and practice. What does it take to get people to follow a man's instructions that require them to not only break the public law but also break their marital vows? The level of loyalty expected in the church, and the level of micromanagement of peoples' choices, and of course the patriarchy(!) are all products of Smith's prophetic role dictating plural marriage.

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On 8/21/2019 at 8:23 AM, The Nehor said:

I think there is a strange sickness in many in the church where they see the apostles as statuesque beacons of light that owe them pure truth laid out unambiguously with no way for them to misunderstand. There is a kind of entitlement complex that the apostles owe us. A healthier view is they are people who are called to do a difficult, perhaps even impossible, job against intense opposition from both within and without the church. When I am called on to sustain them that should mean I want to bear some of that burden to make it a little lighter. They don’t need faultfinders or critics to help them find their errors. They need dedicated Saints with a love of God and all men to help them make the Kingdom run correctly. They are in the trenches with us taking hits and their office and responsibilities should be respected but the urge should be to aid them and not to test their perfection or perfection of every word they say as if a flaw justifies ignoring them or justifies our own sins.

I suspect many will of us will be damned when we find that the Savior’s statement that we will be judged by the same standard we hold others to is found to be much more literal then we imagine.

“If you do not accuse each other, God will not accuse you. If you have no accuser you will enter heaven, and if you will follow the revelations and instructions which God gives you through me, I will take you into heaven as my back load. If you will not accuse me, I will not accuse you. If you will throw a cloak of charity over my sins, I will over yours—for charity covereth a multitude of sins. What many people call sin is not sin; I do many things to break down superstition, and I will break it down.”  -Joseph Smith

I think it best to have no expectations of the leadership. If historical issues are a problem then separate them from the current leadership. The current leadership likely grew up with the same issues. However, that does not mean that the approach to issues by leadership and the underlings necessarily have to be the same or that someone should just "shelve" them. Embrace self authenticity and work out, if possible, the issues for yourself and disregard the current leadership. The leadership are shepherds of the  current church and not arbiters or guardians of the historical LDS church. The historical church stands on its own.

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4 hours ago, Valentinus said:

I think it best to have no expectations of the leadership. If historical issues are a problem then separate them from the current leadership. The current leadership likely grew up with the same issues. However, that does not mean that the approach to issues by leadership and the underlings necessarily have to be the same or that someone should just "shelve" them. Embrace self authenticity and work out, if possible, the issues for yourself and disregard the current leadership. The leadership are shepherds of the  current church and not arbiters or guardians of the historical LDS church. The historical church stands on its own.

I agree with this in theory a little bit but in practice it doesn’t work well. We are more dealing with an office than the people fulfilling that office. If the prophet of the world led people astray in the past how can we believe that the prophet of the world today isn’t? It’s nothing personal against current leadership. It all comes down to the fact that previous LDS prophets have severely messed up. That can’t be separated from the present if you take the calling of a prophet literally. 

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Posted (edited)
9 hours ago, 10THAmendment said:

I agree with this in theory a little bit but in practice it doesn’t work well. We are more dealing with an office than the people fulfilling that office. If the prophet of the world led people astray in the past how can we believe that the prophet of the world today isn’t? It’s nothing personal against current leadership. It all comes down to the fact that previous LDS prophets have severely messed up. That can’t be separated from the present if you take the calling of a prophet literally. 

Never mind. 

Edited by Valentinus

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