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Is The Church Perfect?


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An LDS poster in another thread made the comment that the organization of the church is perfect.

Recently I heard my Bishop make the statement that the Church is perfect.

It caused a raised eyebrow on my behalf!

So, does the church claim this? In what way can the church be said to be perfect?

What's your thoughts?

Thanks

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Who said this? "The Lord had a perfect church until he let all the people inside."

:P

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One must also ask, what do you mean by "the Church"? Do you mean the organization, all its leaders, manuals and handbooks, etc. etc.? Or do you mean the Gospel - the Plan of Salvation?

We tend to say "the Church" when we really mean the Gospel. (ie.-- "I know the Church is true") I see the Church as the means for teaching and administering the principles of the Gospel. The head of the Church is Christ, but it is run by imperfect mortals. So, IMO, the Church is not perfect. But the Gospel is.

Another similar example: The United Order and the Law of Consecration. They are two different things. The Law of Consecration is a true and eternal principle. The United Order is the organization used to administer it. One is from God. The other is God-santioned, but still man's imperfect method of implementing God's law.

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An LDS poster in another thread made the comment that the organization of the church is perfect.

Recently I heard my Bishop make the statement that the Church is perfect.

It caused a raised eyebrow on my behalf!

So, does the church claim this? In what way can the church be said to be perfect?

What's your thoughts?

Thanks

According to D&C 1, the LDS gathering is expressly led by imperfect people with an incomplete understanding, and imperfect behavior. It states that truth, virtue and revelation are non-exclusive to the LDS. The actual distinctive designation of the LDS is as "well pleasing" relative to the presence of priesthood, revelation, covenants and ordinances.

Kevin Christensen

Pittsburgh, PA

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It sounds like a corruption of this verse...

D&C 1: 30

30 And also those to whom these commandments were given, might have power to lay the foundation of this church, and to bring it forth out of obscurity and out of darkness, the only true and living church upon the face of the whole earth, with which I, the Lord, am well pleased, speaking unto the church collectively and not individually

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An LDS poster in another thread made the comment that the organization of the church is perfect.

Recently I heard my Bishop make the statement that the Church is perfect.

It caused a raised eyebrow on my behalf!

So, does the church claim this? In what way can the church be said to be perfect?

What's your thoughts?

Thanks

Since I am probably the one who made the comments I will explain the context. The question was asked
"Joseph Smith taught that a prophet is only a prophet when acting as such. Prophets are also humans and can make mistakes.I think both propositions are sensible and useful. It's the combination, however, that baffles me. It reminds me of the paradox of Epimenides the Cretan, who said that all Cretans are liars.Is it possible for a prophet to be speaking as a man when he says: "I am speaking as a prophet"?

My reply was the following:

have found 90 percent of the time when someone quotes "A prophet is only a prophet when he is acting as such." it is because he disagrees with something the prophet has said and wants wiggle-room to justify ignoring what the prophet said. While as an LDS I do know that a prophet (or any other man save Jesus only) is not infallible (meaning incapable of error) still it is comforting to know that God is infallible and that He has given the following promise to the restored Church:
(Official Declaration -1) "The Lord will never permit me or any other man who stands as President of this Church to lead you astray. It is not in the programme. It is not in the mind of God. If I were to attempt that, the Lord would remove me out of my place, and so He will any other man who attempts to lead the children of men astray from the oracles of God and from their duty. (Sixty-first Semiannual General Conference of the Church, Monday, October 6, 1890, Salt Lake City, Utah. Reported in Deseret Evening News, October 11, 1890, p. 2.)"
This is from the Standard Works of the Church and therefore is official doctrine of the Church. So while I know the Prophet and Apostles are imperfect, the organization is not. God is at the helm and leads this Church in is His own wisdom. So to those who say "the prophet is not infallible" I say "so what? He never claimed to be, but the revelations of God to the Church is infallible.
Now in this sense the Church is infallible or perfect, meaning that God who is infallible guides the Church through direct revelation, He did not just restore it and let men run with it and do according to their own whims. It does not need "checks and balances" as our earthly U.S. Constitution has framed for our political government, the Church is the Kingdom of God on earth. Each member of the Church is subject to their Heavenly King and also each (if living worthy) has access to the Holy Ghost which is the spirit of revelation. So when a Prophet speaks as a Prophet all those in tune with the spirit will know what is being taught is a revelation from God. Again I declare (as Wilfred Woodruff did) that God is not going to allow the prophet to lead the Church astray and so we can with confidence listen to and heed his counsel with all "patience and faith" instead of "mentally stoning them." So is the membership of the Church perfect? NO! But the Church is for the "perfecting of the Saints" and if it's organization and priesthood authority were not perfect then it could not bring us to perfection. This is not just a mere manmade organization, but it was divinely instituted and set up never again to be taken from the earth. This earthly kingdom is the preparatory kingdom established which will eventually roll forth and consume all nations and the political Kingdom of God will be established by the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. The Church that bears His sacred name is true and is a perfect organization with imperfect men and women in leadership positions, and if they cling to the true vine they will bear good fruit. We are trying to establish a Zion society, and when we all become "of one heart and of one mind" then the Church as a whole collectively and individually will not only be perfect in organization but in the membership as well. That is the goal, we have not yet attained to it, but the great "caravan" of the Gospel and Kingdom moves on as the yapping dogs bite at it's heels.
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But what is the "Church" that is perfect?

If we say it is the "organization", then what part of the "organization" or "Church" is perfect? Is it the Prophet and President (because God won't let him lead us astray)? Do the First Presidency and 12 jointly constitute the "Church" that is perfect? Are the 70 included? How about lay members--are we part of this perfect "Church"? How can a organization consisting of imperfect people itself be a "perfect" organization?

Or by saying the Church "organization" is perfect, do we mean the handbooks and instructions and policies and procedures setting forth a theoretical organization and structure and policies and procedures? As Brother Eyring suggested, does this "theoretical" Church that is perfect become imperfect the moment imperfect human beings attempt to follow that "perfect" guidance?

In other words, when we say the "Church" is "perfect", are we referring to an entity that does not exist (like a platonic ideal), a perfect ideal to which we aspire but imperfectly attain?

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So, does the church claim this? In what way can the church be said to be perfect?

What's your thoughts?

Perfect entities can abide with and among imperfect beings. Both the Church and Gospel are intangibles. You do not see the Church, you see its physical representation. You do not see the Gospel, you see its action or its representation. Only Christ can determine whether the Church and the Gospel are perfect based on His standards and not ours. Basically, if you hear something like "The LDS Church is perfect, thus saith the Lord," then it is, if you believe.

Why do I say that both the Church and the Gospel are intangibles?

"For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them."

A physical structure is not necessary for us to have a perfect Church and a perfect Gospel. If all buildings and structures were gone, both the Gospel and the Church could still be among us in beautiful, immaculate and pristine state of perfection, with the Savior in the midst of any group gathered in His name. The organization, in my opinion, is imperfect.

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So many admitting to their willful disobedience of Christ's command: "Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect." Or is it now possible to be saved in one's sins?

Are you perfect? If not, are you being willfully disobedient?
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An LDS poster in another thread made the comment that the organization of the church is perfect.

Recently I heard my Bishop make the statement that the Church is perfect.

It caused a raised eyebrow on my behalf!

So, does the church claim this? In what way can the church be said to be perfect?

What's your thoughts?

Thanks

Honestly, I personally feel that the LDS church is so overrun with flaws and biases that it is embarrassing. This alone is not so bad, since any human enterprise is subject to the same problems. The really aggravating part for me is the pig-headed insistence that the Church is somehow "above" this sort of thing. Everything undertaken by human hands contains a degree of error, and this will not ever improve unless those errors are sought out and corrected. However, members are frequently discouraged from seeking out errors and correcting them; especially when it comes to criticizing the leadership. So no matter how flawed and biased the Church may be today, this is exactly how flawed and biased it shall forever remain.

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Honestly, I personally feel that the LDS church is so overrun with flaws and biases that it is embarrassing.

I'm sorry you have such a view of the church.

While I agree that the church is not perfect in organization, doctrine, people, leadership, or in any other manner, I am most certainly not embarrassed by it.

In fact, I find The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints one the most remarkable voluntarily assembled institutions one can find.

In fact I'm quite honored to have association with it.

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