Jump to content

Journal Of Discourses


wanderer

Recommended Posts

I am here because I am trying to stay strong in my LDS faith. I have lately been having some doubts about the church and they are scaring me. I am deeply troubled by the Journal of Discourses. These are the words of the prophets of the church. These are the men we're told will never lead us astray. These are the words of God's chosen spokesperson on this earth. The men who have the highest keys of the priesthood on the earth. And much of their "discourses" are frankly a little frightening to read. My parents have told me and my church leaders have all explained to me that sometimes prophets speak as men and sometimes as prophets. I understand that and I'm ok with that. But that doesn't begin to fix the widening gap of horror that I'm gaining as I read the words of the early prophets. It seems to me that I'm supposed to believe that these prophets were 'wrong.' But we're told that prophets are speaking for God. So is God wrong? Why would God allow these prophets to speak such horrible things? Why does the church sweep all of this under the rug? It's almost like the church is embarrased by the journal of discourses and I can see why. But if I'm supposed to believe in Gordon B. Hinkley then I have to believe in every single one of the prophets. And when the church hides so much of the stuff they used to say and teach I have to wonder why. I guess in my heart I know why. But I'm desperate to keep my faith. I'm just worried that I can't anymore.

Link to comment

And when the church hides so much of the stuff they used to say and teach I have to wonder why. I guess in my heart I know why. But I'm desperate to keep my faith. I'm just worried that I can't anymore.

You need to re-define what a "Prophet" is, and what they are allowed (and not allowed) to say. You've obviously formed some rigid views on the subject that don't necessarily conform to reality, and this is what is scaring you.

Also, don't expect the "Church" to get out there and give you an accurate picture of the history. That's not its job. The Church is about the doctrine, and if a previous Church leader said something that doesn't fall in line with LDS (v.2007) teachings, it isn't useful.

Many people have journeyed the path on which you find yourself, and many are able to maintain and grow their faith and testimonies. Others can't, and end up leaving the Church (or continuing to attend Church, while abandoning certain teachings or tenants). Either way, you'll end up wiser and better for it.

Good luck!

Link to comment

I am here because I am trying to stay strong in my LDS faith. I have lately been having some doubts about the church and they are scaring me. I am deeply troubled by the Journal of Discourses. These are the words of the prophets of the church. These are the men we're told will never lead us astray. These are the words of God's chosen spokesperson on this earth. The men who have the highest keys of the priesthood on the earth. And much of their "discourses" are frankly a little frightening to read. My parents have told me and my church leaders have all explained to me that sometimes prophets speak as men and sometimes as prophets. I understand that and I'm ok with that. But that doesn't begin to fix the widening gap of horror that I'm gaining as I read the words of the early prophets. It seems to me that I'm supposed to believe that these prophets were 'wrong.' But we're told that prophets are speaking for God. So is God wrong? Why would God allow these prophets to speak such horrible things? Why does the church sweep all of this under the rug? It's almost like the church is embarrased by the journal of discourses and I can see why. But if I'm supposed to believe in Gordon B. Hinkley then I have to believe in every single one of the prophets. And when the church hides so much of the stuff they used to say and teach I have to wonder why. I guess in my heart I know why. But I'm desperate to keep my faith. I'm just worried that I can't anymore.

The Journal of Discourses is not an official publication of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. It is a compilation of sermons and other materials from the early years of the Church, which were transcribed and then published. It includes practical advice as well as doctrinal discussion, some of which is speculative in nature and some of which is only of historical interest.

Some Mormons abandon their faith, upset over alleged mistakes of men. How can such a thoroughly human organization be divine? If they cannot rely on hte prophet, who can they rely on?

The prophets are not the ultimate authority in the Church, nor are their words.

God is the ultimate authority, and we base our faith in Christ, not humans.

So why do many remain firm in the faith? Realize that the Church is permeated with fallible humans, yet recognize that such a thoroughly human organization IS divine..not because of who we humans are, but because of Who Christ is, the Leader of all humans who will come unto Him, and the ultimate Leader of the Church. He gives man free agency, and even when we come unto Him and seek His spirit, He does not turn us into mindless robots.

Pres. Hinckley on Fallible Leaders

"We have critics who appear to cull out of a vast panorama of information those items which demean and belittle some men and women of the past who worked so hard in laying the foundation of this great cause. They find readers of their works who seem to delight in picking up these tidbits, in chewing them over and relishing them. . . . My plea is that as we continue our search for truth . . . we look for strength and goodness rather than weakness and foibles in those who did so great a work in their time.

"We recognize that our forebears were human. They doubtless made mistakes. . . . There was only one perfect man who ever walked the earth. The Lord has used imperfect people in the process of building his perfect society. If some of them occasionally stumbled, or if their characters may have been slightly flawed in one way or another, the wonder is the greater that they accomplished so much."

("The Continuous Pursuit of Truth," Ensign, April 1986, p. 5)

I hope this helps. Stick with the scriptures, the conference talks and the Holy Spirit and you will be strengthened.

Link to comment

The Journal of Discourses is not an official publication of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. It is a compilation of sermons and other materials from the early years of the Church, which were transcribed and then published.

Correction: It was transcribed by official recorders of the Church, reviewed by Brigham Young, his counselors, and the apostles, then published.

Link to comment

I am here because I am trying to stay strong in my LDS faith. I have lately been having some doubts about the church and they are scaring me. I am deeply troubled by the Journal of Discourses. These are the words of the prophets of the church. These are the men we're told will never lead us astray. These are the words of God's chosen spokesperson on this earth. The men who have the highest keys of the priesthood on the earth. And much of their "discourses" are frankly a little frightening to read. My parents have told me and my church leaders have all explained to me that sometimes prophets speak as men and sometimes as prophets. I understand that and I'm ok with that. But that doesn't begin to fix the widening gap of horror that I'm gaining as I read the words of the early prophets. It seems to me that I'm supposed to believe that these prophets were 'wrong.' But we're told that prophets are speaking for God. So is God wrong? Why would God allow these prophets to speak such horrible things? Why does the church sweep all of this under the rug? It's almost like the church is embarrased by the journal of discourses and I can see why. But if I'm supposed to believe in Gordon B. Hinkley then I have to believe in every single one of the prophets. And when the church hides so much of the stuff they used to say and teach I have to wonder why. I guess in my heart I know why. But I'm desperate to keep my faith. I'm just worried that I can't anymore.

Wanderer, considering the size and scope of the Journal of Discourses, I have to wonder- Are you reading the dime-issue paperback edition or hardcover?

Link to comment

I suppose maybe I have formed some rigid views of what a prophet is. I am the Gospel Principles teacher in my ward right now, and I recently taught a lesson on the prophets. In that lesson, I read/taught that prophets speak for God. That as they act in their official capacity, their word is basically scripture. I learned that these men were chosen by God to serve Him on this earth. If that is "rigid" thinking, then I call me guilty.

Then I read in Journal of Discourses that Brigham Young taught the Saints that Adam was God and various other things that the modern church does not follow. If BY was giving an address to the Saints, I'm assuming we can trust what he says. I assume that God is leading his words with inspiration. Afterall, I can't imagine someone who can literally speak with God can't be thoroughly trusted to speak his words accurately.

There are other things I am concerned about. But the fact that the church picks and chooses the teachigns of the early prophets casts a lot of doubt on the truth.

That argument that says they are men and therefore fallible doesn't wash with me. I realize they are going to be imperfect. But I think that God would be capable of finding someone who would be able to impart his messages accurately. And if God is really talking to this person, where is there any room for error? If God told me what I was supposed to tell someone else, something that their salvation depended on, you'd better believe that I'd say it right. The first time. And every time. And I'm much more flawed and sinful than a lot of people.

Link to comment

Welcome to the board, wanderer.

I've been blogging the Journal of Discourses for a few months now, and have encountered some highly enlightening- and sometimes foreign- teachings. I invite you to check out my blog and leave some comments.

Here is the introductory post. To the left you will see some of the most read posts I've made.

You might like this one, as well.

Link to comment

That argument that says they are men and therefore fallible doesn't wash with me. I realize they are going to be imperfect. But I think that God would be capable of finding someone who would be able to impart his messages accurately. And if God is really talking to this person, where is there any room for error? If God told me what I was supposed to tell someone else, something that their salvation depended on, you'd better believe that I'd say it right. The first time. And every time. And I'm much more flawed and sinful than a lot of people.

"What a pity it would be if we were led by one man to utter destruction! Are you afraid of this? I am more afraid that this people have so much confidence in their leaders that they will not inquire for themselves of God whether they are led by Him. I am fearful they settle down in a state of blind self-security, trusting their eternal destiny in the hands of their leaders with a reckless confidence that in itself would thwart the purposes of God in their salvation, and weaken that influence they could give to their leaders, did they know for themselves, by the revelations of Jesus, that they are led in the right way. Let every man and woman know, by the whispering of the Spirit of God to themselves, whether their leaders are walking in the path the Lord dictates, or not. This has been my exhortation continually."

Brigham Young,
Journal Of Discourses
(no less) 9:150

Link to comment

That argument that says they are men and therefore fallible doesn't wash with me. I realize they are going to be imperfect. But I think that God would be capable of finding someone who would be able to impart his messages accurately.

For one, our language and mortal condition seem hinged on such a principle: that pulls from all directions will let us choose what it is we really want to be.

And if God is really talking to this person, where is there any room for error?

It depends on the situation, actually. Think of a chess game. You are half-way through and stuck. You ask a chess champion for advice. The chess champion has to consider the pieces you currently have, the moves you have recently made, your position on the board, as well as where your opponent is, her skill level, and many other factors. The chess champion's answer will depend upon his knowledge of the game in addition to your current standing in that game.

If God told me what I was supposed to tell someone else, something that their salvation depended on, you'd better believe that I'd say it right. The first time. And every time. And I'm much more flawed and sinful than a lot of people.

But all of us are in that position when we believe that God can guide us through revelation. Not even the scriptures are perfect. Why? One reason is they are largely situational. Another reason is we see through a glass darkly.

Link to comment

Then I read in Journal of Discourses that Brigham Young taught the Saints that Adam was God and various other things that the modern church does not follow.

Out of the more than 1500 recorded discourses of Brigham Young, it's interesting that something that only occured in about 20 (less than 1% -- and only loosely in some of those) is what stood out to you the most.

Perhaps you should jump ahead to Volume 13 of the Journal of Discourses (in particular pages 311-312). It might help clarify Brigham's words... maybe.

Link to comment

I suppose maybe I have formed some rigid views of what a prophet is. I am the Gospel Principles teacher in my ward right now, and I recently taught a lesson on the prophets. In that lesson, I read/taught that prophets speak for God. That as they act in their official capacity, their word is basically scripture. I learned that these men were chosen by God to serve Him on this earth. If that is "rigid" thinking, then I call me guilty.

Yup, you're guilty. Maybe this might help?

"Living with ambiguity is a form of intellectual honesty, of

humility. It is only when we admit that we don't know that we

are receptive to what lessons may be taught. In some strange

way, it also brings an inner peace since we are no longer

fighting reality to maintain our inner fantasies on how things

should be. While I am characterizing it as an intellectual

process, it also has spiritual implications, since only an open

mind is capable of hearing God."

-- Andy Piereder (on Eyring-L)

Then I read in Journal of Discourses that Brigham Young taught the Saints that Adam was God and various other things that the modern church does not follow. If BY was giving an address to the Saints, I'm assuming we can trust what he says. I assume that God is leading his words with inspiration. Afterall, I can't imagine someone who can literally speak with God can't be thoroughly trusted to speak his words accurately.

Adam Kadmon certainly is God. But don't let that confuse you, since it's kinda panentheistic...

Don't assume we can trust everything that is said. If you are a teacher in the Church, you'd be well-served to know what is doctrine and what is not. Here's the Church's latest statement.

There are other things I am concerned about. But the fact that the church picks and chooses the teachigns of the early prophets casts a lot of doubt on the truth.

It doesn't have to be like that, though. Prov. 3:5-6

That argument that says they are men and therefore fallible doesn't wash with me. I realize they are going to be imperfect. But I think that God would be capable of finding someone who would be able to impart his messages accurately. And if God is really talking to this person, where is there any room for error? If God told me what I was supposed to tell someone else, something that their salvation depended on, you'd better believe that I'd say it right. The first time. And every time. And I'm much more flawed and sinful than a lot of people.

Prophets, apostles, and other Church leaders mess up all the time. If you don't believe it, you DONT BELIEVE THE SCRIPTURES. So, hang in there and embrace ambiguity. It's all about FAITH, that first beautiful principle of the Gospel.

HiJolly

Link to comment

Out of the more than 1500 recorded discourses of Brigham Young, it's interesting that something that only occured in about 20 (less than 1% -- and only loosely in some of those) is what stood out to you the most.

Perhaps you should jump ahead to Volume 13 of the Journal of Discourses (in particular pages 311-312). It might help clarify Brigham's words... maybe.

I'd say 20 is reaching.

Link to comment

Yup, you're guilty. Maybe this might help?

"Living with ambiguity is a form of intellectual honesty, of

humility. It is only when we admit that we don't know that we

are receptive to what lessons may be taught. In some strange

way, it also brings an inner peace since we are no longer

fighting reality to maintain our inner fantasies on how things

should be. While I am characterizing it as an intellectual

process, it also has spiritual implications, since only an open

mind is capable of hearing God."

-- Andy Piereder (on Eyring-L)

Where is that quote from? Eyring-L?

Anyway, I like it. Reminds me of something Greg Prince said in his interview with Helen Whitney for The Mormons documentary:

Rather than hiding from the debate, we should be gripping the reins of the debate and say: "OK, we're going to get there first. You think you've dealt with tough questions? We're going to deal with tougher questions. Here's what they are. Now, we're not going to answer all of them, because we don't have the answers, but at least we're going to let you know that we don't have the answers, and we're all struggling for them, and we're in this thing together." ... We need to be able to say, "I don't know," and not be embarrassed by it.
Link to comment

Where is that quote from? Eyring-L?

Yes, it was on Eyring-L several years ago. I kept it, I liked it so much. I probably should get Andy's permission....

Here's another good quote (for Wanderer): "Not all who wander are lost" -- J.R.R. Tolkien

HiJolly

Link to comment

Yes, it was on Eyring-L several years ago. I kept it, I liked it so much. I probably should get Andy's permission....

Here's another good quote (for Wanderer): "Not all who wander are lost" -- J.R.R. Tolkien

HiJolly

Two relevant quotes from Chauncey Riddle, former professor of philosophy at BYU:

The scriptures are clear, â??Donâ??t take any manâ??s word for truth unless itâ??s given by the power of the Holy Ghost and weâ??ll know that if we have the Holy Ghost.'
Thatâ??s one thing philosophy does for you. It teaches you to take everything with a healthy dose of skepticism, including anything any human being says on any subject, anytime, anywhere. Now some people are very willing to be skeptical of the President of the Church, but theyâ??ll believe their doctor without asking a question. That should be reversed. The person we ought to be least skeptical of is the President of the Church, but I think we should even be skeptical there. Now donâ??t misunderstand me when I say that: When I say skeptical, I mean we shouldnâ??t take what we think heâ??s saying at face value. We should be skeptical of our interpretation of what heâ??s saying. We should say, â??Father, am I understanding what you really want me to understand from what [the Prophet] says?â?? I think if we take that attitude and weâ??re skeptical about what we think heâ??s saying, weâ??ll be in closer touch with Heavenly Father, and that is the source of all good things.

Seems to me that if we spent a lot less time worrying about what the prophets have said and instead spent much more time worrying about our understanding of what the prophets have said, we'd be in better spiritual shape in the end. The former takes no humlity. The latter requires it.

Link to comment

If you want to read the Journal of Discourses start at Volume 1 and go. If you're concerned about sound bytes I can't help you. I've read them all the way through and they don't bother me. It's when you take things in isolation and read only the parts that may disturb you that you start to become afraid.

Link to comment

Two relevant quotes from Chauncey Riddle, former professor of philosophy at BYU: "The scriptures are clear, â??Donâ??t take any manâ??s word for truth unless itâ??s given by the power of the Holy Ghost and weâ??ll know that if we have the Holy Ghost."

The temple endowment takes that another step further. Good stuff.

Seems to me that if we spent a lot less time worrying about what the prophets have said and instead spent much more time worrying about our understanding of what the prophets have said, we'd be in better spiritual shape in the end. The former takes no humlity. The latter requires it.

Yup.

HiJolly

Link to comment

I suppose maybe I have formed some rigid views of what a prophet is. I am the Gospel Principles teacher in my ward right now, and I recently taught a lesson on the prophets. In that lesson, I read/taught that prophets speak for God. That as they act in their official capacity, their word is basically scripture. I learned that these men were chosen by God to serve Him on this earth. If that is "rigid" thinking, then I call me guilty.

Yes, "Prophets speak for God"..but not always. This is a tenet of our faith. If you are believing that a Prophet is somehow different from other men and they should be infallible and always speak for God, then you are too rigid in your thinking and you need to ease up.

Then I read in Journal of Discourses that Brigham Young taught the Saints that Adam was God and various other things that the modern church does not follow. If BY was giving an address to the Saints, I'm assuming we can trust what he says. I assume that God is leading his words with inspiration. Afterall, I can't imagine someone who can literally speak with God can't be thoroughly trusted to speak his words accurately.

You are definitely on sandy ground if you are going to demand that everything a Prophet says must be from God himself. This is not what the church teaches..We believe in continuing Revelation. The church is a dynamic organization. The saints change, the world changes. This is a blessing as well as a challenge of having a living Prophet. There are a number of things that are no longer believed, taught or practiced by the present day church-not just Adam God theory.

There are other things I am concerned about. But the fact that the church picks and chooses the teachigns of the early prophets casts a lot of doubt on the truth.

If you see it as the church "picks and chooses" what it wants to teach, then you don't really have a testimony of the doctrine of continuing revelation. That's where you need to start--you need to gain a testimony of this principle. You also need cultivate the gift of discernment so that you can gain a testimony of what the Prophet teaches and not see it only as picking and choosing.

That argument that says they are men and therefore fallible doesn't wash with me. I realize they are going to be imperfect. But I think that God would be capable of finding someone who would be able to impart his messages accurately. And if God is really talking to this person, where is there any room for error? If God told me what I was supposed to tell someone else, something that their salvation depended on, you'd better believe that I'd say it right. The first time. And every time. And I'm much more flawed and sinful than a lot of people.

The best advice I can give you is go back to the basics. You need to read your scriptures and gain a testimony of the teaching within, then read the Journal of Discourses.

I think your difficulty is that you want your messages all neat and tidy--and your leaders to have no weaknesses, but that's not how God works. We are expected to pray for and cultivate the gift of discernment so that we can understand the voice of God and be able to separate it from the voice of man.

Link to comment

I am here because I am trying to stay strong in my LDS faith. I have lately been having some doubts about the church and they are scaring me. I am deeply troubled by the Journal of Discourses. These are the words of the prophets of the church. These are the men we're told will never lead us astray. These are the words of God's chosen spokesperson on this earth. The men who have the highest keys of the priesthood on the earth. And much of their "discourses" are frankly a little frightening to read. My parents have told me and my church leaders have all explained to me that sometimes prophets speak as men and sometimes as prophets. I understand that and I'm ok with that. But that doesn't begin to fix the widening gap of horror that I'm gaining as I read the words of the early prophets. It seems to me that I'm supposed to believe that these prophets were 'wrong.' But we're told that prophets are speaking for God. So is God wrong? Why would God allow these prophets to speak such horrible things? Why does the church sweep all of this under the rug? It's almost like the church is embarrased by the journal of discourses and I can see why. But if I'm supposed to believe in Gordon B. Hinkley then I have to believe in every single one of the prophets. And when the church hides so much of the stuff they used to say and teach I have to wonder why. I guess in my heart I know why. But I'm desperate to keep my faith. I'm just worried that I can't anymore.

You have a couple of problems (and I've got but a second). First is your conception of our doctrine, and your conception of the journal of discourses. I would like you to explain how some politically incorrect (yea, even fallacious) "leads us astray." Your connection is untenable. Second, the journal of discourses is a compilation of stenographies (look it up in the dictionary). They are terribly inaccurate. Brigham Young said that any sermon he gave was as good as scripture...IF he read it and edited it. The fact that there is NO reason to believe that Brigham Young edited the Journal of Discourses (since it was his son whom was the editor) demands objectivity to take the journal with a grain of salt.

Now...so what if Blacks were cursed!? Greater it is for them that are meaningful members of society, and raise themselves up as witness of Him. Greater are their blessings than the condemnation of the rest of us slackers. Let's just be sure, that God is not a respecter of persons. Even where he gave the Priesthood to only the Levites, the way was prepared for all to be saved. Don't look at things in a hollow vacuum, because God isn't "fair." He's just and merciful, but not subject to the perceptions of "fairness."

PacMan

Link to comment

I am here because I am trying to stay strong in my LDS faith. I have lately been having some doubts about the church and they are scaring me. I am deeply troubled by the Journal of Discourses. These are the words of the prophets of the church. These are the men we're told will never lead us astray. These are the words of God's chosen spokesperson on this earth. The men who have the highest keys of the priesthood on the earth. And much of their "discourses" are frankly a little frightening to read. My parents have told me and my church leaders have all explained to me that sometimes prophets speak as men and sometimes as prophets. I understand that and I'm ok with that. But that doesn't begin to fix the widening gap of horror that I'm gaining as I read the words of the early prophets. It seems to me that I'm supposed to believe that these prophets were 'wrong.' But we're told that prophets are speaking for God. So is God wrong? Why would God allow these prophets to speak such horrible things? Why does the church sweep all of this under the rug? It's almost like the church is embarrased by the journal of discourses and I can see why. But if I'm supposed to believe in Gordon B. Hinkley then I have to believe in every single one of the prophets. And when the church hides so much of the stuff they used to say and teach I have to wonder why. I guess in my heart I know why. But I'm desperate to keep my faith. I'm just worried that I can't anymore.

Tell ya what my fellow brother, And this you have undoutadly heard many times before. I PROMISE you, that if you go ahead and do "all" you can and should do {all the time} and lets put emphasis on the word "worthily", You WILL be led to the answers you seek. Stay worthy, Stay Active, attend ALL your meeting All the time ,Do it with sincere intent of heart, pay your Full tithing, observe the W.O.W always, every single minute, obey the laws of chastity, no matter how hard, study Holy scripture each and every day, Daily family prayer, take the time to do this, also personal and private prayer, Take the time each and every day to do both of these, "Worthily" partake of the Holy sacrament every week and do it in rememberance of its sacred purpose, in essence if you do all you can do {and that means ALL,} then your answer seeking will be rewarded, i can say this to you because i too have spent many,many years screwing up and trying everything but what we are commanded to do. Keep searching for answers always, and at the same time please do all that you can do and your prayers will be answered, There are millions whom can attest to this, And probably millions of L.D.S whom cannott. I have been on on either side of these millions i speak of, and after many years of searching,worrying,doubting,wondering, being taken hostage by critics e.t,c.... I Do now understand and know beyond any doubt whatsoever from anywhere or anybody, that you can too find this truth in your life,..... And it is wonderfull!

:P

Link to comment

The Journal of Discourses is not an official publication of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. It is a compilation of sermons and other materials from the early years of the church.....Stick with the scriptures, the conference talks and the Holy Spirit and you will be strengthened.

Sorry, I had to laugh at this one. If the church published early "conference talks" I bet many of the same problematic teachings and statements would be in circulation.

Link to comment

Archived

This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

Guest
This topic is now closed to further replies.
  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    • No registered users viewing this page.
×
×
  • Create New...