Jump to content

Teryl Givens on Spiritual Gifts....


cinepro

Recommended Posts

In the recent FAIR podcast interview with Teryl Givens, Brother Givens makes the following observation about Spiritual Gifts in the LDS Church:

I think there's no question, just as the gifts faded in the primitive Church, so there seems to be a diminishment of the spiritual manifestations and gifts in the restored Church. To some extent, that's a function of any church that becomes institutionalized...normatized over time. And to some extent that was a deliberate strategy on the part of Church leaders who wanted to de-emphasize spiritual gifts.

I think it's a natural process, I think Mormons have accommodated themselves in some ways by changing the lexicon of scriptural resources that they use to identify or define the nature of spiritual experience. For example, instead of focusing on those BoM episodes where we have angelic visitations or interaction with angelic beings, we emphasize those verses that originally were given to Joseph Smith to describe the translation process, that have to do with feelings and impressions and stupors of thought.

And that has become the template, if you will, for revelation. So that's one way Mormons have accommodated themselves to a less charismatic church.

(15:18)

At least once or twice a year, "The Gift of Tongues" will come up in a Church class, and the conversation will turn to an almost derisive mention of churches that engage in "glossolalia", or the speaking of "unknown" tongues in a church meeting. I've never had the guts to mention that this was practiced among early LDS and was considered to be an authentic gift of the spirit. But at least Givens' comment helps put the practice (and it's denial among modern LDS) into perspective.

Link to comment

At least once or twice a year, "The Gift of Tongues" will come up in a Church class, and the conversation will turn to an almost derisive mention of churches that engage in "glossolalia", or the speaking of "unknown" tongues in a church meeting. I've never had the guts to mention that this was practiced among early LDS and was considered to be an authentic gift of the spirit. But at least Givens' comment helps put the practice (and it's denial among modern LDS) into perspective.

Joseph Smith himself was not all that fond of speaking in unknown tongues (though he does not deny it as a gift). If it were to occur then somebody was to be around who could interpret. Joseph made several comments on it including these:

Be not so curious about tongues, do not speak in tongues except there be an interpreter present; the ultimate design of tongues is to speak to foreigners, and if persons are very anxious to display their intelligence, let them speak to such in their own tongues. The gifts of God are all useful in their place, but when they are applied to that which God does not intend, they prove an injury, a snare and a curse instead of a blessing. We may some future time enter more fully into this subject, but shall let this suffice for the present. (June 15, 1842.) DHC 5:26-32.
Not every spirit, or vision, or singing, is of God. The devil is an orator; he is powerful; he took our Savior on to a pinnacle of the Temple, and kept Him in the wilderness for forty days. The gift of discerning spirits will be given to the Presiding Elder. Pray for him that he may have this gift. Speak not in the gift of tongues without understanding it, or without interpretation. The devil can speak in tongues; the adversary will come with his work; he can tempt all classes; can speak in English or Dutch. Let no one speak in tongues unless he interpret, except by the consent of the one who is placed to preside; then he may discern or interpret, or another may. Let us seek for the glory of Abraham, Noah, Adam, the Apostles, who have communion with [knowledge of] these things, and then we shall be among that number when Christ comes. (July 2, 1839.) DHC 3:383-392.
Link to comment

In the recent FAIR podcast interview with Teryl Givens, Brother Givens makes the following observation about Spiritual Gifts in the LDS Church:

I think there's no question, just as the gifts faded in the primitive Church, so there seems to be a diminishment of the spiritual manifestations and gifts in the restored Church. To some extent, that's a function of any church that becomes institutionalized...normatized over time. And to some extent that was a deliberate strategy on the part of Church leaders who wanted to de-emphasize spiritual gifts.

I think it's a natural process, I think Mormons have accommodated themselves in some ways by changing the lexicon of scriptural resources that they use to identify or define the nature of spiritual experience. For example, instead of focusing on those BoM episodes where we have angelic visitations or interaction with angelic beings, we emphasize those verses that originally were given to Joseph Smith to describe the translation process, that have to do with feelings and impressions and stupors of thought.

And that has become the template, if you will, for revelation. So that's one way Mormons have accommodated themselves to a less charismatic church.(15:18)

Givens is trying to make an apologetic response as to why there seems to be fewer public manifestations of the gifts of the Spirit. I can agree that as the Church becomes more institutionalized that gifts will diminish but I am very leery of his apologetic reasoning -- we talk about this flashy gifts less and so we experience them less, that manifestation of the gifts of the Spirit obey the same sociological rules here as does, say, UFO abductions. I'm not quite comfortable with that argument.

Link to comment

In the recent FAIR podcast interview with Teryl Givens, Brother Givens makes the following observation about Spiritual Gifts in the LDS Church:

At least once or twice a year, "The Gift of Tongues" will come up in a Church class, and the conversation will turn to an almost derisive mention of churches that engage in "glossolalia", or the speaking of "unknown" tongues in a church meeting. I've never had the guts to mention that this was practiced among early LDS and was considered to be an authentic gift of the spirit. But at least Givens' comment helps put the practice (and it's denial among modern LDS) into perspective.

Mormons have generally shifted from glossolalia to xenoglossia. That is, the gift of tongues is still thought to assist missionaries and others learn or speak a foreign tongue, it is considered an active gift of the spirit by Mormons. I know many Mormons who swear by it. As for speaking in tongues the good old fashioned way, there was a shift away from it even during Joseph Smith's lifetime (I see others have pointed to sources on that), although manifestations continued up into the 20th century. I've rarely heard members of the Church ridicule glossolalia, though, and many Mormons I know are familiar with the earlier manifestations of it. I can remember Sunday School lessons and mission zone conferences where the subject came up.

Link to comment

Perhaps spiritual gifts in Mormonism haven't disappeared, but rather have shifted from one type of wild abandonment of the soul to another? Like, say, from glossolalia in the chapel to groveolalia in the cultural hall? I think so, and I also think Teryl Givens might agree.

Mormons do have a gift for gettin' down. They're Lords (in embryo) of the Dance, if you will. If you don't think so, meditate upon those glorious Stake Dance days of your past until the Bus Stop skills of your youth are clearly in the forefront of your memory. Or, if you're one of the few Mormons with two left feet, you can simply watch this video instead:

(If that young Mormon boy's Worm isn't evidence that dancing is a spiritual gift, I'll eat my hat!)

I left the church and lost the Holy Ghost, I suppose, but thankfully I still have the mad dancing skills I picked up as a Mormon girl. And they are so mad:

Link to comment

Mormons have generally shifted from glossolalia to xenoglossia. That is, the gift of tongues is still thought to assist missionaries and others learn or speak a foreign tongue, it is considered an active gift of the spirit by Mormons. I know many Mormons who swear by it. As for speaking in tongues the good old fashioned way, there was a shift away from it even during Joseph Smith's lifetime (I see others have pointed to sources on that), although manifestations continued up into the 20th century. I've rarely heard members of the Church ridicule glossolalia, though, and many Mormons I know are familiar with the earlier manifestations of it. I can remember Sunday School lessons and mission zone conferences where the subject came up.

Interesting. I always looked at Pauls words about speaking in tounges. What does it profit some one if you can't understand what they are saying?

Link to comment

Interesting. I always looked at Pauls words about speaking in tounges. What does it profit some one if you can't understand what they are saying?

Often someone else would interpret what was said. Brigham Young, for instance, spoke in tongues the first time he met JS if I recall correctly. Also, there is a really beautiful poem in the Kirtland Rev. Book, I believe, which was said to be interpreted from a song in tongues. Many other examples, JS said such things were best for "edification," not for pronouncement of doctrine, etc.

Link to comment

Often someone else would interpret what was said. Brigham Young, for instance, spoke in tongues the first time he met JS if I recall correctly. Also, there is a really beautiful poem in the Kirtland Rev. Book, I believe, which was said to be interpreted from a song in tongues. Many other examples, JS said such things were best for "edification," not for pronouncement of doctrine, etc.

AS long as there is a translator I have no issue . I remember on my mission, on occasion, we would come across some one who would just blurt something out in "tongues". I had that in mind when I was reading this thread. I know that what was practice was not the same as my experiance with trying to contact non members. Just something I remembered from my past.

With all of these speaking in tongues, was there always an interpreter? Just curious.

Link to comment

My access to the Atonement and my Forever familiy is the greatest of all the miracles of the restored Church. And I'm not feeding you soft and shallow emotionality. Who I am, and what I have become, and what I can become is a miracle that is beyond my ability to grasp at the moment, but thankfully I understand it just enough to make it operative in my life.

Aside from that, Givens is spot on. I would like something to satisfy my senses. It would be awesome to see Lazarus "come forth." It would be great to see Pres. Monson and President Eyring come from behind a curtain during General Conference and share with us how Jesus, Moses, and Elijah just showed up. Heck, I'd love to see a new section to the D&C come out the October that said "Thus saith the Lord..."

Big UP!

Lamanite

Link to comment

AS long as there is a translator I have no issue . I remember on my mission, on occasion, we would come across some one who would just blurt something out in "tongues". I had that in mind when I was reading this thread. I know that what was practice was not the same as my experiance with trying to contact non members. Just something I remembered from my past.

With all of these speaking in tongues, was there always an interpreter? Just curious.

Probably not. Some folks spoke in tongues for their own edification.

I had a somewhat negative experience with glossolalia on my mission. I made it a point to attend as many different churches as I could as a missionary, we visited a pentecostal/non-denom church once. Everyone started speaking in tongues in whispers, all at the same time. It sort of freaked me out. My companion and I just stayed calm and waited until it was over. We raised no ruckus of course, but sitting through it was very uncomfortable.

Link to comment

Years ago, I had a friend serve as a sign-language interpreter at a Temple Dedication. They were given a good seat in the Celestial Room along with a dozen hearing-impaired attendees. I didn't say anything, but I wondered if any of them felt any frustration between their faith that the Prophet and Apostles seated just a few yards away from them had the power to heal them, and the surety on some level of knowing it wasn't going to happen.

Link to comment

Years ago, I had a friend serve as a sign-language interpreter at a Temple Dedication. They were given a good seat in the Celestial Room along with a dozen hearing-impaired attendees. I didn't say anything, but I wondered if any of them felt any frustration between their faith that the Prophet and Apostles seated just a few yards away from them had the power to heal them, and the surety on some level of knowing it wasn't going to happen.

I think your blog (see Cinepro's signature) is telling:

God won
Link to comment

Years ago, I had a friend serve as a sign-language interpreter at a Temple Dedication. They were given a good seat in the Celestial Room along with a dozen hearing-impaired attendees. I didn't say anything, but I wondered if any of them felt any frustration between their faith that the Prophet and Apostles seated just a few yards away from them had the power to heal them, and the surety on some level of knowing it wasn't going to happen.

Many of the deaf people I know have said they prefer to remain deaf. (I learned sign on my mission and completed a year in ASL for my BA at the U of U. :P)

Link to comment

Probably not. Some folks spoke in tongues for their own edification.

I had a somewhat negative experience with glossolalia on my mission. I made it a point to attend as many different churches as I could as a missionary, we visited a pentecostal/non-denom church once. Everyone started speaking in tongues in whispers, all at the same time. It sort of freaked me out. My companion and I just stayed calm and waited until it was over. We raised no ruckus of course, but sitting through it was very uncomfortable.

Thanks for your comments. That is interesting.

Link to comment

Healing (or other spiritual gifts) never were and never will be about a "right combination". To suggest such presents a fairly gross misunderstanding of LDS theology.

I'm always interesting in getting a better understanding of "LDS theology".

If we agree that the likelihood of being healed from a Priesthood Blessing is <100%, what do you believe are the different factors that effect the probability of a positive outcome?

For those who haven't read the blog post being referred to, I merely (but not merrily) observe that there are three kinds of people who get blessings:

1. People whom God isn
Link to comment

Many of the deaf people I know have said they prefer to remain deaf.

Our deaf daughter-in-law would take her hearing in a half-a heartbeat. But that's not her primary concern right now.

She has a donor, and will be receiving a new kidney one week from today. We are so grateful, both to Father for making this all happen (it's not as simple as one might imagine), especially the fact that doctors are able to take a kidney from one person and implant into another and save that person's life.

For anyone who's so inclined, your fasts and prayers would be greatly appreciated for both her and her donor.

Lehi

Link to comment

Our deaf daughter-in-law would take her hearing in a half-a heartbeat.

Has she been deaf from birth?

But that's not her primary concern right now.

She has a donor, and will be receiving a new kidney one week from today. We are so grateful, both to Father for making this all happen (it's not as simple as one might imagine), especially the fact that doctors are able to take a kidney from one person and implant into another and save that person's life.

For anyone who's so inclined, your fasts and prayers would be greatly appreciated for both her and her donor.

Lehi

My prayers are sent to you and yours.

Link to comment

If we agree that the likelihood of being healed from a Priesthood Blessing is <100%, what do you believe are the different factors that effect the probability of a positive outcome?

Are there situations not covered by these categories?

By my reckoning, there is only one group of people who will be healed. Those whose healing is in line with God's will.

And this is the confidence that we have in him, that, if we ask any thing according to his will, he heareth us:

And if we know that he hear us, whatsoever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we desired of him.

The greater challenge is knowing His will.

Link to comment

By my reckoning, there is only one group of people who will be healed. Those whose healing is in line with God's will.

Sure, we can say that everyone God wants to get better will be healed, and everyone He doesn't won't.

The question is what role fasting, prayer, prayer rolls, Priesthood blessings etc. have on determining which category they'll be in.

Link to comment

Has she been deaf from birth?

Almost. She had a pneumonia at about 3 years old with a fever that destroyed her ears, her kidneys and several other organs.

My prayers are sent to you and yours.

Thank you. Thank you very much.

Lehi

Link to comment

Sure, we can say that everyone God wants to get better will be healed, and everyone He doesn't won't.

The question is what role fasting, prayer, prayer rolls, Priesthood blessings etc. have on determining which category they'll be in.

Yes, Cinepro. I know well where this discussion leads.

Link to comment
Years ago, I had a friend serve as a sign-language interpreter at a Temple Dedication. They were given a good seat in the Celestial Room along with a dozen hearing-impaired attendees. I didn't say anything, but I wondered if any of them felt any frustration between their faith that the Prophet and Apostles seated just a few yards away from them had the power to heal them, and the surety on some level of knowing it wasn't going to happen.

I agree with Givens in part. To me, there has been a shift away from certain spiritual gifts like healing the physically deaf. However, I see a shift towards the far more significant healing of the spiritually deaf and blind and dumb. This ought to be of some importance to those who have spiritually become more and more hard of hearing with age in the Church. Yet, as with some who are physically hearing impaired, many of those going spiritually deaf seek not to be healed or lack the faith to be healed. Perhaps they are too busy finding fault with others and with the Church so as not to be aware of their own deminished spiritual condition. Who knows? Unfortunately, though, I am not familiar with any spiritual sign language that might be of help.

Thanks, -Wade Englund-

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...