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Polygamy & SSM Thread


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8 minutes ago, HappyJackWagon said:

I want to respond to a couple of statements made by Julianne from the now closed "Weed" thread, because she absolutely nails it. She is spot on and I think the discussion at this level needs to occur before any progress can be made on the SSM issue.

She wrote...

Speaking as a straight, white, man, I recognize that I come to the traditional church teachings of priesthood, sealing, polygamy/polyandry, and SSM from a certain privileged position. The church's teachings and practices benefit me and they always have. Even though there is little to no evidence for how celestial families will actually be organized and function in the CK I used to think I had it all figured out. Obviously, I thought, marriage is essential to have legal physical intimacy which is necessary for creating offspring with one or multiple wives. Yet there is no firm teaching about how spirits are created. Are they born like a baby is born into mortality? There is no evidence or teaching for that, but it is widely assumed. That assumption then justifies polygamy while discrediting polyandry and even SSM. After all, if the entire purpose is to create spirit offspring and it is thought that it happens in a way similar to creating biological offspring, then it makes sense. But that is ALL based on assumptions.

Based on these assumptions many are willing to condemn others to lives (and possibly even an eternity) of loneliness.

So (we) don't even know what the afterlife looks like. It is unknown. Yet we think (we) have enough information to condemn and judge others, and since most of us come at it from positions of privilege, we are in the position to enforce our dogma upon the less privileged. The church is not unique in behaving this way. It is how society has always worked. But recognizing the assumptions for what they are and being humble about how much we really don't know, can help society improve.

I get tired of the SSM debate, but I seem to disagree with your take. Just because I personally disapprove of SSM doesn't mean I "condemn others." I don't think the issue is a constitutional issue but a state issue, which the Supreme Court usurped. In other words, I believe that state laws which have a rational basis should not be overturned by the Supreme Court in this area. It should be up to states whether they want to allow SSM or not - not the Federal Government. The reality in this country is that the Federal Government has taken control of just about all state functions, leaving states as a shell of what power they used to have. States are now more like local administrative branches of the federal gubbermint. 

Anyway, on the issue of LGBTQ, I know gay men, and I treat them as I do others in my life. I converse with them and respect their privacy, and in turn I am welcomed into their homes and lives, etc. However, if they asked, which they don't, I would tell them my personal opinion of their particular lifestyle choice. Same with heterosexuals shacking up together. My personal disagreement with their lifestyle choice doesn't mean I condemn them either IMHO. God is their judge - not me. So, I disagree with your choice of words.

But, I am responding because I believe you are right that we don't really know a lot about life in the Celestial Kingdom. I for one, don't particularly agree with the idea that there are spirits being birthed into existence in the celestial kingdom. I believe spirits have always existed. I have to admit that I just don't know everything though. Does the spirit of a plant have the ability to grow in intelligence? I just really don't know. How about the spirit of Koko the gorilla who learned how to sign words and communicate with people? I do not believe in reincarnation in the Buddhist meaning of that word. but in the eternities between worlds, I do believe that men can progress by going to new worlds. I believe that is scriptural.  It may not be a very "LDS" idea right now, but hey, sometimes all it takes is one...

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How can one categorically dismiss SSM when there is little to nothing known about family organization in the next life, even regarding a variety of heterosexual family organizations. Which sealings will be valid? Polygamy/polyandry? Only those which benefit men? Who are the children sealed to? There is a lot of "The Lord will work it out" mentality, which is fine because it acknowledges a lack of understanding and knowledge. The problem comes when one then loses all humility and attempts to define how family relationships will or will not work for other people. I agree with Julianne that the polygamy/polyandry topic is closely tied to the SSM topic and must be ironed out.

So maybe this can be a thread that can be commented on instead of derailing other threads when this subject comes up.

Societies have stages. I see the United States in its last stage. I see it starting to die. The ideals and morals of the people are different than what started the nation, and made it great. I am not preaching doom and gloom. These cycles can repeat, and societies can rebirth themselves. The Chinese have done that several times. Nevertheless, the US is now in the last stage of profligate sexual norms, and commercialism. The sense of oneness which built the country is gone or almost gone - it is definitely in the minority. When this happens to countries, God normally steps in and starts them over. From what God has said in scripture, He created man to be with woman, and aberrations from that can be viewed as societal. There is nothing in scripture suggesting that if man decides to be with man that God will welcome him into the celestial kingdom with open arms. However, I don't take the same view on eternal families as others in the Church have. I believe my wife and I were "foreordained" to be together for a reason. For a reason similar to why prophets are foreordained. LDS just haven't understood that yet. Men who didn't have that foreordination can see that differently, but that is my take. I believe my children were known to me in a prior life, which I don't really remember, but they are not unfamiliar spirits. They were born to me for a reason according to the foreknowledge of God as the NT says. That is how I answer your questions.

 

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1 hour ago, HappyJackWagon said:

So (we) don't even know what the afterlife looks like. It is unknown.

The Proclamation on the Family states:
"Each is a beloved spirit son or daughter of heavenly parents, and, as such, each has a divine nature and destiny. Gender is an essential characteristic of individual premortal, mortal, and eternal identity and purpose."

Even though we don't know for sure how spirit babies are made, according to the above statement, apparently it does take a male and female married couple to produce them if the eternal identity and purpose of individuals is the same as the mortal purpose. 

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8 minutes ago, JAHS said:

The Proclamation on the Family states:
"Each is a beloved spirit son or daughter of heavenly parents, and, as such, each has a divine nature and destiny. Gender is an essential characteristic of individual premortal, mortal, and eternal identity and purpose."

Even though we don't know for sure how spirit babies are made, according to the above statement, apparently it does take a male and female married couple to produce them if the eternal identity and purpose of individuals is the same as the mortal purpose. 

Are you making assumptions about what that "eternal identity and purpose" are? I would suggest you are, but it's understandable because it's very natural to assume that premortal, mortal, and eternal identity are all the same.That quote from the proclamation doesn't say anything about sxual attraction, SSM, polygamy/polyandry. By saying "apparently" I think you are recognizing the assumptions yourself.

Is it possible for male and female to have eternal purpose that isn't linked to biological-style procreation?

It is taught that intelligences are eternal but spirits are created. I don't think we have any idea how those two concepts work together. IMO- the idea of "molding" spirits from existing intelligence makes more sense than "birthing" spirits from existing intelligence. If spirits are created via molding, then it's possible the things we think we understand about the eternal purpose of genders in creation aren't exactly what we assume them to be.

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This is a relevant podcast, which discusses the issue of where, exactly, the teachings on "intelligences" and other spiritual bodies comes from, and whether the teachings in the Proclamation on the Family had precedent or were new "doctrine":

Making Doctrine Out of Nothing At All

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In Radio Free Mormon fashion, RFM tackles the sentence within the The Family: A Proclamation to the World, that Gender is Eternal and does the research to show is if such was really a doctrine previously taught within Mormonism or if the Church created this Doctrine….. “Out of Nothing At All”. 

 

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6 minutes ago, HappyJackWagon said:

it's possible the things we think we understand about the eternal purpose of genders in creation aren't exactly what we assume them to be.

I think this is true. I really have doubts about an exalted couple having "endless celestial sex" (to quote a famous anti-Mormon phrase) that produces billions of spirit offspring. 
But yes I am assuming that for some reason it does take a male and female exalted couple to form spirit children from existing intelligences. 

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30 minutes ago, JAHS said:

The Proclamation on the Family states:
"Each is a beloved spirit son or daughter of heavenly parents, and, as such, each has a divine nature and destiny. Gender is an essential characteristic of individual premortal, mortal, and eternal identity and purpose."

Even though we don't know for sure how spirit babies are made, according to the above statement, apparently it does take a male and female married couple to produce them if the eternal identity and purpose of individuals is the same as the mortal purpose. 

And D&C 130 alone teaches something about the afterlife: we'll have bodies of flesh and bone, there are men (and by extension women), there is a planet like unto crystal, there is are orders of kingdoms, there is a sociality that continues, time continues, acquired knowledge and intelligence continue, there is a white stone and a key word.

D&C 132 teaches that the only covenants, contracts, bonds, obligations, oaths, vows, performances, connections, associations, or expectations that continue are those made and entered into and sealed by the Holy Spirit of promise.

If the question is, "why is SSM categorically not a covenant sociality such as polygamy, polyandry and monogamy are?," I think it has to do with the same-sex feature in a covenant of marriage that is not part of the authorized polygamist/polyandrist/monogamist marriages as opposed to say, a covenant of parent-child or some of the other types of sealing arrangements we've come across.

Edited by CV75
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1 hour ago, HappyJackWagon said:

How can one categorically dismiss SSM when there is little to nothing known about family organization in the next life, even regarding a variety of heterosexual family organizations. Which sealings will be valid? Polygamy/polyandry? Only those which benefit men? Who are the children sealed to? There is a lot of "The Lord will work it out" mentality, which is fine because it acknowledges a lack of understanding and knowledge. The problem comes when one then loses all humility and attempts to define how family relationships will or will not work for other people. I agree with Julianne that the polygamy/polyandry topic is closely tied to the SSM topic and must be ironed out.

I agree with many of the points that Julianne made and that you restated here.  The more that I've thought about sealings and the afterlife, I believe we have two ideas that conflict with each other.  One says that people sealed in temple ritual by proper authority will have their relationships bound together in the next life.  The conflicting principle is agency. 

Agency is taught as an eternal principle, something we had in pre-earthly existence, something we have in mortality and I assume something we continue to have in our post mortal estate.  If we have true agency in the next life, it seems that this agency would extend to our decisions about who we spend out time with, including marriages and family relationships.  This would make divorce and marriage possible in the next life, even though this may contradict with some interpretations of scriptures, this principle seems to be not only clear, but I believe it is one of the foundational principles of Mormonism and how Mormons envision the way the universe works.  Post mortal agency would apply to one woman being married to multiple men as much as it does to one man being married to multiple women.  

This also seems to clearly impact sexual and gender identity.  Agency plays a part in how someone identifies, as do biology and environment.  One of the biggest reasons that I think the church's current policies on the LGBT issue are so empty, is that they refuse to articulate a place for LGBT people in any kind of exalted eternal state that is compatible with their identity and their agency.  This inability to allow for an eternally LGBT and exalted state of being is a major problem that must be corrected. 

The proclamation on the family claims that gender is eternal, and in this context eternal doesn't need to mean fixed or unchanging.  Eternal in this sense can mean essential and integral, not necessarily in any one static state, something static can be viewed as something damned and without progression.  People change over time, and part of that change can include changing and even fluid identification.  This ability to change goes hand in hand with the principle of agency.  With an understanding of progression, agency, and the realization that there can be multiple truths from differing perspectives we can have a model for eternity that makes sense of contemporary understanding and eternal principles.  

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9 minutes ago, hope_for_things said:

I agree with many of the points that Julianne made and that you restated here.  The more that I've thought about sealings and the afterlife, I believe we have two ideas that conflict with each other.  One says that people sealed in temple ritual by proper authority will have their relationships bound together in the next life.  The conflicting principle is agency. 

Agency is taught as an eternal principle, something we had in pre-earthly existence, something we have in mortality and I assume something we continue to have in our post mortal estate.  If we have true agency in the next life, it seems that this agency would extend to our decisions about who we spend out time with, including marriages and family relationships.  This would make divorce and marriage possible in the next life, even though this may contradict with some interpretations of scriptures, this principle seems to be not only clear, but I believe it is one of the foundational principles of Mormonism and how Mormons envision the way the universe works.  Post mortal agency would apply to one woman being married to multiple men as much as it does to one man being married to multiple women.  

This also seems to clearly impact sexual and gender identity.  Agency plays a part in how someone identifies, as do biology and environment.  One of the biggest reasons that I think the church's current policies on the LGBT issue are so empty, is that they refuse to articulate a place for LGBT people in any kind of exalted eternal state that is compatible with their identity and their agency.  This inability to allow for an eternally LGBT and exalted state of being is a major problem that must be corrected. 

The proclamation on the family claims that gender is eternal, and in this context eternal doesn't need to mean fixed or unchanging.  Eternal in this sense can mean essential and integral, not necessarily in any one static state, something static can be viewed as something damned and without progression.  People change over time, and part of that change can include changing and even fluid identification.  This ability to change goes hand in hand with the principle of agency.  With an understanding of progression, agency, and the realization that there can be multiple truths from differing perspectives we can have a model for eternity that makes sense of contemporary understanding and eternal principles.  

Love it! Well said.

I would take it a step further. The church doesn't have a place for LGBT in an exalted state, but they really don't have a plan for LGBT at all...in any state. There is no plan of happiness for LGBT unless one accepts the speculation that they will be changed and no longer be LGBT in the next life. It's either an erasure of their current identity or misery for eternity. Definitely an uninspiring message, IMO.

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12 minutes ago, HappyJackWagon said:

Love it! Well said.

I would take it a step further. The church doesn't have a place for LGBT in an exalted state, but they really don't have a plan for LGBT at all...in any state. There is no plan of happiness for LGBT unless one accepts the speculation that they will be changed and no longer be LGBT in the next life. It's either an erasure of their current identity or misery for eternity. Definitely an uninspiring message, IMO.

I agree, the current Mormon plan for an LGBT individual for this mortal life is for them to endure their "challenges" or "struggles" with the hope that something will be righted in the next life.  That something is implied to be a correction of some kind that would change them in a way to make their identity conform with binary gender and sexual western contemporary societal norms.  No wonder things are so fraught, what a sad and uninspired plan.  

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3 hours ago, HappyJackWagon said:

How can one categorically dismiss SSM when there is little to nothing known about family organization in the next life, even regarding a variety of heterosexual family organizations.

I am, in a de minimis kind of way, open to the theoretical possibility of SSM.  "We believe all that God has revealed, all that He does now reveal, and we believe that He will yet reveal many great and important things pertaining to the Kingdom of God." (AoF 1:9)

However, at present I dismiss SSM as being within the ambit of that which is allowed by God.  I do so because that is the unified message of all of the prophets and apostles who have addressed it.  Every.  Single.  One.  

Moreover, I have found SSM to be incompatible with scripture.  I have also given the matter considerable study and consideration, and have concluded that the message of the Church on this issue is substantially correct and reflective of the will of God.

If the Brethren are categorically and uniformly wrong on this issue, then I trust that God will "reveal" that to them.  Meanwhile, I sustain them.  It's a judgment call, and they have made it.  And they have declared that call to be revelatory.  I trust in that.  I will not work against the Brethren.  I will not speak against them.  I will not seek to persuaded others to go against them.  Nor will I seek to persuade the Brethren that they are in error (because, in all honesty, I think they are substantive and broadly quite correct in what they have done and are doing re: this issue).

Some folks have characterized same-sex marriage as a "hill" that the Church shouldn't be willing to "die on."  For me, I have flipped this metaphor right back at 'em.  The Restored Gospel is broadly and generally what it claims to be.  Why would an adherent of it choose same-sex marriage as their "hill to die on?"  Why sacrifice one's testimony and devotion to the Lord and His Church over this one issue?

3 hours ago, HappyJackWagon said:

Which sealings will be valid? Polygamy/polyandry? Only those which benefit men? Who are the children sealed to? There is a lot of "The Lord will work it out" mentality, which is fine because it acknowledges a lack of understanding and knowledge.

These are lacunae.  Gaps in our knowledge.  What you are speaking of, same-sex marriage, is not properly characterized as being in the "gaps."  We have received revelatory guidance on this issue.  The General Authorities have addressed it.  Extensively.  At length.  Many times.  So it's not really a matter of "a lack of understanding and knowledge."  It's more a matter of a lack of acceptance of and obedience to revealed precepts.

3 hours ago, HappyJackWagon said:

The problem comes when one then loses all humility and attempts to define how family relationships will or will not work for other people.

That's not a loss of humility.  We all are doing what we think is right.  We all are seeking to discern the will of God.

I can accommodate that folks who disagree with me on this issue are operating in good faith.  It would be nice if that accommodation was reciprocated.

 

 

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6 minutes ago, stemelbow said:

Can you point me to the revelation of which you speak?  

From Pres. Nelson's remarks:

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We sustain 15 men who are ordained as prophets, seers, and revelators. When a thorny problem arises—and they only seem to get thornier each day—these 15 men wrestle with the issue, trying to see all the ramifications of various courses of action, and they diligently seek to hear the voice of the Lord. After fasting, praying, studying, pondering, and counseling with my Brethren about weighty matters, it is not unusual for me to be awakened during the night with further impressions about issues with which we are concerned. And my Brethren have the same experience.

The First Presidency and Quorum of the Twelve Apostles counsel together and share all the Lord has directed us to understand and to feel individually and collectively. And then we watch the Lord move upon the President of the Church to proclaim the Lord’s will.

This prophetic process was followed ... with the recent additions to the Church’s handbook, consequent to the legalization of same-sex marriage in some countries. Filled with compassion for all, and especially for the children, we wrestled at length to understand the Lord’s will in this matter. Ever mindful of God’s plan of salvation and of His hope for eternal life for each of His children, we considered countless permutations and combinations of possible scenarios that could arise. We met repeatedly in the temple in fasting and prayer and sought further direction and inspiration. And then, when the Lord inspired His prophet, President Thomas S. Monson, to declare the mind of the Lord and the will of the Lord, each of us during that sacred moment felt a spiritual confirmation. It was our privilege as Apostles to sustain what had been revealed to President Monson. Revelation from the Lord to His servants is a sacred process, and so is your privilege of receiving personal revelation.

The Proclamation has also been repeatedly declared to be revelatory (Kiwi has compiled a number of such quotes).  SSM is, I think, incompatible with the Proclamation (and, for that matter, with the rest of the scriptural canon).

Thanks,

-Smac

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7 minutes ago, smac97 said:

From Pres. Nelson's remarks:

The Proclamation has also been repeatedly declared to be revelatory (Kiwi has compiled a number of such quotes).  SSM is, I think, incompatible with the Proclamation (and, for that matter, with the rest of the scriptural canon).

Thanks,

-Smac

So do you take the added words to the handbook as words from God?  What words did President Monson declare that were the mind and will of the LORD?  Just curious what we're talking about when it comes to the claim of revelation. 

Cinepro linked an interesting podcast wherein it is suggested the concept of revelation is really a weak one, at least these days in the Church.  It adds to my wonder...is revelation strong confirming impressions or are they words from God?  if words from God, why can't we see them?  

As an added point, was the church body allowed to vote on accepting this Nov 2015 policy change as revelation?  

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3 hours ago, HappyJackWagon said:
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We can believe in the efficacy of sealings, or we can believe in the efficacy of the sealings that benefit men.

Even though there is little to no evidence for how celestial families will actually be organized and function in the CK I used to think I had it all figured out. Obviously, I thought, marriage is essential to have legal physical intimacy which is necessary for creating offspring with one or multiple wives. Yet there is no firm teaching about how spirits are created. Are they born like a baby is born into mortality? There is no evidence or teaching for that, but it is widely assumed. That assumption then justifies polygamy while discrediting polyandry and even SSM. After all, if the entire purpose is to create spirit offspring and it is thought that it happens in a way similar to creating biological offspring, then it makes sense. But that is ALL based on assumptions.

So (we) don't even know what the afterlife looks like. It is unknown.

How can one categorically dismiss SSM when there is little to nothing known about family organization in the next life, even regarding a variety of heterosexual family organizations. Which sealings will be valid? Polygamy/polyandry? Only those which benefit men? Who are the children sealed to? There is a lot of "The Lord will work it out" mentality, which is fine because it acknowledges a lack of understanding and knowledge.


To sum up - we don't know everything there is to know about the afterlife, so everything is just assumption.
Nonsense.

And which sealings are valid and efficacious?  The ones that meet the requirements of the law, like EVERY blessing that comes to us.

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3 hours ago, HappyJackWagon said:

So (we) don't even know what the afterlife looks like. It is unknown.

We may not know all the details of the afterlife but I do think we can make some conclusions.   I don't think we will see any strip clubs in the after life.  But then again, what we consider wrong here might exist there so if SSM does exist there, perhaps there are strip clubs there as well.  Perhaps a lot of stuff we don't consider correct here is accepted there.  Perhaps if we knew everything that goes on in heaven, we might not want to go.

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24 minutes ago, smac97 said:

I am, in a de minimis kind of way, open to the theoretical possibility of SSM.  "We believe all that God has revealed, all that He does now reveal, and we believe that He will yet reveal many great and important things pertaining to the Kingdom of God." (AoF 1:9)

However, at present I dismiss SSM as being within the ambit of that which is allowed by God.  I do so because that is the unified message of all of the prophets and apostles who have addressed it.  Every.  Single.  One.  

Moreover, I have found SSM to be incompatible with scripture.  I have also given the matter considerable study and consideration, and have concluded that the message of the Church on this issue is substantially correct and reflective of the will of God.

If the Brethren are categorically and uniformly wrong on this issue, then I trust that God will "reveal" that to them.  Meanwhile, I sustain them.  It's a judgment call, and they have made it.  And they have declared that call to be revelatory.  I trust in that.  I will not work against the Brethren.  I will not speak against them.  I will not seek to persuaded others to go against them.  Nor will I seek to persuade the Brethren that they are in error (because, in all honesty, I think they are substantive and broadly quite correct in what they have done and are doing re: this issue).

Some folks have characterized same-sex marriage as a "hill" that the Church shouldn't be willing to "die on."  For me, I have flipped this metaphor right back at 'em.  The Restored Gospel is broadly and generally what it claims to be.  Why would an adherent of it choose same-sex marriage as their "hill to die on?"  Why sacrifice one's testimony and devotion to the Lord and His Church over this one issue?

These are lacunae.  Gaps in our knowledge.  What you are speaking of, same-sex marriage, is not properly characterized as being in the "gaps."  We have received revelatory guidance on this issue.  The General Authorities have addressed it.  Extensively.  At length.  Many times.  So it's not really a matter of "a lack of understanding and knowledge."  It's more a matter of a lack of acceptance of and obedience to revealed precepts.

That's not a loss of humility.  We all are doing what we think is right.  We all are seeking to discern the will of God.

I can accommodate that folks who disagree with me on this issue are operating in good faith.  It would be nice if that accommodation was reciprocated.

Thank you for a thoughtful response.  I think how LGBT issues play out in the eternities is absolutely in the gaps of knowledge.  Just because an issue has been addressed, doesn't mean there is any systemic theology about how or why things are. I agree that the brethren have been consistent in their statements about SSM. But those are declarations, not gospel. There is no greater understanding because of their statements. It is a declaration of what is and we then are asked/expected to accept it even though the gap in knowledge still exists. Without any kind of theological discourse about why their declarations should be considered gospel, acceptance of their statements is a loyalty test, nothing more. Loyalty tests aren't always bad, but they often are shallow. Without theological discourse these declarations seem like little more than the continued purveyance of traditional assumptions, based on the attitudes of the time and culture in which it is given.

A declaration is not knowledge or understanding.

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3 minutes ago, carbon dioxide said:

We may not know all the details of the afterlife but I do think we can make some conclusions.   I don't think we will see any strip clubs in the after life.  But then again, what we consider wrong here might exist there so if SSM does exist there, perhaps there are strip clubs there as well.  Perhaps a lot of stuff we don't consider correct here is accepted there.  Perhaps if we knew everything that goes on in heaven, we might not want to go.

It's not that we don't know "everything". It's that we know nothing.

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12 minutes ago, HappyJackWagon said:

It's not that we don't know "everything". It's that we know nothing.

Where do you get such an incorrect idea?  Scripture and inspired teachings contain tons of information.
 

Edited by JLHPROF
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11 minutes ago, stemelbow said:

So do you take the added words to the handbook as words from God? 

Not necessarily.  "Revelation" is not precisely equivalent to "words from God."

11 minutes ago, stemelbow said:

What words did President Monson declare that were the mind and will of the LORD? 

Not sure.  

Take a look at the texts of OD-1 and OD-2.  I don't see much in the way of verbatim transcripts of "words from God."  But these are revelatory nonetheless.

11 minutes ago, stemelbow said:

Just curious what we're talking about when it comes to the claim of revelation. 

We're talking about published statements from Pres. Nelson.

I think it's a stretch to say "Hey, until and unless the Brethren publish a verbatim transcript of the 'words of God,' they have nothing to say by way of revelation."

11 minutes ago, stemelbow said:

Cinepro linked an interesting podcast wherein it is suggested the concept of revelation is really a weak one, at least these days in the Church. 

I disagree.  I think the concept of revelation in these days is robust and ongoing.  

I think the concept of accepting revelation is getting some short shrift, though.

11 minutes ago, stemelbow said:

It adds to my wonder...is revelation strong confirming impressions or are they words from God?  if words from God, why can't we see them?  

It can be both, I think.  From the EOM:

Quote

TYPES OF REVELATION. A dispensation of the gospel of Jesus Christ is a series of personal revelations from God. These revelations may be direct manifestations from God, as in the following typical cases:

  1. theophanies (seeing God face-to-face), as in the first vision of the Prophet Joseph Smith, which came at the beginning of the present dispensation (JS-H 1:15-20)
  2. revealed knowledge from the Father that Jesus is "the Christ, the Son of the living God" (Matt. 16:13-17; see also Spirit of Prophecy)
  3. visitations of angelic persons, such as the appearance of the angel Moroni to Joseph Smith (JS-H 1:30-32)
  4. revelations through the Urim and Thummim, by which means Joseph Smith translated the book of mormon
  5. open visions, as when Joseph Smith and Sidney Rigdon were shown the kingdoms of the hereafter (see Doctrine and Covenants: Section 76)
  6. physically hearing the voice of God, as is recorded in 3 Nephi 11
  7. receiving the still, small voice of the Holy Spirit, as in the experience of Elijah (1 Kgs. 19);
  8. receiving the gifts of the spirit (D&C 46)
  9. having a burning in the bosom as an indication of the will of God, as in the explanation given to Oliver Cowdery (D&C 9:8)
  10. dreams (1 Ne. 8:2-32)
  11. manifestations of the Light of Christ, by which all men know good from evil (Alma 12:31-32; D&C 84:46-48).

Such direct manifestations of the mind and will of God are known as gifts and are contrasted with signs. Gifts always have a spiritual component, even when they have a physical aspect. Signs are physical manifestations of the power of God and are a form of revelation from God, though they may be counterfeited and misinterpreted. Signs may show that God is at work, but spiritual gifts are required to know how one should respond.

REVELATION TO THE CHURCH. In every dispensation, God appoints his prophet to guide his people. The prophet's purpose is not to be an intermediary between God and others, though a prophet must often do so. His purpose is, rather, to assist others to receive from God the personal revelation that he, the prophet, has taught God's truth, which will show the way to Christ.

The prophet as head of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and all other persons who preside in the Church, including General Authorities, stake presidents, bishops, general presidencies, and parents, may receive revelation for the benefit of those over whom they preside. These revelations can be passed on to the membership of the Church through conference and other talks and in personal counsel. But each individual is entitled to know by personal revelation that these messages given through presiding authorities are truly from the Savior himself. President Brigham Young expressed concern that the Latter-day Saints would "have so much confidence in their leaders" that they would "settle down in a state of blind self-security," abandoning the responsibility to obtain their own revelation: "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" (JD 9:150).

Presiding quorums in the Church are entitled to revelation for the Church on matters of doctrine, policies, programs, callings, and disciplinary actions, as each might be appropriate to a given quorum. Decisions of these quorums are to be made only by the personal, individual revelation of God to each member of that quorum. "And every decision made by either of these quorums must be by the unanimous voice of the same; that is, every member in each quorum must be agreed to its decisions, in order to make their decisions of the same power or validity one with the other" (D&C 107:27).

The scriptures contain the inspired writings of God's appointed prophets and are provided to others for their edification (D&C 68:2-4). By this means, people have received the inspired words recorded in the Old and New Testaments. Through revelation, the Prophet Joseph Smith translated the Book of Mormon (see Book of Mormon Translation By Joseph Smith) and received those things set forth in the Doctrine and Covenants and the Pearl of Great Price. Latter-day Saints anticipate that more prophetic scripture will yet be revealed and that scripture written by past prophets but now lost to the world will be restored (2 Ne. 29:11-14; D&C 27:6; see also Scriptures: Forthcoming Scripture). The true meaning of all scripture is to be revealed by the power of the Holy Ghost to the individual reader or hearer (2 Pet. 1:20; D&C 50:17-24).

In the present context, those "strong confirming impressions" came not only to Pres. Monson, but the other members of the First Presidency and the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles.  Every single one.

Unless, of course, Pres. Nelson is a liar.  That's the standard dodge.

11 minutes ago, stemelbow said:

As an added point, was the church body allowed to vote on accepting this Nov 2015 policy change as revelation?  

I think you are misconstruing the concept of Common Consent:

Quote

Common consent is a fundamental principle of decision making at all levels in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. In selecting new officers and making administrative decisions, Church leaders are instructed to seek the will of God. Once the Lord makes his will known and a decision is reached, the matter is brought before the appropriate quorum or body of Church members, who are asked to sustain or oppose the action. This process provides for direction of the Church by revelation, while protecting the agency of the members to verify in their own minds whether decisions have been proper and made according to the will of God.

The principle of common consent has functioned in the Church since its inception, though the actual practices incorporating this principle have evolved significantly. The revelation on LDS Church government, received when it was organized in April 1830, states: "No person is to be ordained to any office in this church, where there is a regularly organized branch of the same, without the vote of that church" (D&C 20:65). This instruction was reemphasized three months later: "All things shall be done by common consent in the church" (D&C 26:2). LDS practices may have been influenced in these earliest years by the Book of Mormon model of theocratic government that conducted its "business by the voice of the people" (Mosiah 29:25-26), and by biblical example (e.g., Ex. 24:3; Num. 27:19).

...

Today the Church continues to operate by divine revelation and common consent. Callings to positions of Church service at all levels of the organization and ordination to the priesthood are made by the inspiration of authorized leaders and are then brought before the appropriate body of members to be sustained or opposed. Members do not nominate persons to office, but are asked to give their sustaining vote to decisions of presiding councils by raising their right hand, and anyone may give an opposing vote in the same way. This procedure is also followed in accepting important revelations and scriptural additions.

In a much less visible but equally important practice, decision makers at all levels present policy decisions and callings to priesthood councils for their comment and approval. At the local level a bishop will ordinarily discuss decisions with his counselors in the bishopric before presenting a matter to the ward membership for a sustaining vote. On many policy and program decisions the bishopric will consult with the ward council and work for consensus in that group before taking action. Following the same pattern, the stake president consults with his counselors in the stake presidency and then with the high council. The First Presidency consults in this same way on matters of general Church policy and action in regular meetings with the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles.

Unanimity is the ideal for all these decision processes because of the importance of unity in the Church: "If ye are not one ye are not mine" (D&C 38:27). The three presiding quorums over the whole Church are of equal authority within their own spheres (D&C 107:22-26), but their decisions are of "the same power or validity" only when made "by the unanimous voice" of the quorum (D&C 107:27). Many important decisions take shape over what seem like long periods because achieving unanimity is highly valued by the quorums.

Because of the emphasis on divine and prophetic leadership and because of well-established norms and values in decision-making procedures, public dissent on a proposed calling or policy is unusual. There are, however, mechanisms for accommodating dissent. Normally, if one or more members find the proposed action objectionable, the dissenting member or members are asked to meet with the presiding officer privately to make known the reason for the question or objection. After considering the objections, presiding officers are free to pursue whatever decision they believe to be right.

And this (emphases added):

Quote

Any message that comes from God to man by the power of the Holy Ghost is scripture to the one who receives it, whether in written or spoken form (MD, p. 682; cf. 2 Ne. 32:3). Paul wrote to Timothy that "all [written] scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness" (2 Tim. 3:16). Further, every person may receive personal revelation for his or her own benefit. God, however, has always designated prophets to speak for him, thus resulting in holy writ or scripture. When Aaron was called as a spokesman for Moses, the Lord said, "And he shall be thy spokesman unto the people: and he shall be…to thee instead of a mouth, and thou shalt be to him instead of God" (Ex. 4:15-16).

Members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints believe in continuous revelation, especially to prophets who direct the Church. This doctrine was announced in a revelation received through the Prophet Joseph Smith in November 1831: "And whatsoever [the Lord's servants] shall speak when moved upon by the Holy Ghost shall be scripture, shall be the will of the Lord, shall be the mind of the Lord, shall be the word of the Lord, shall be the voice of the Lord, and the power of God unto salvation" (D&C 68:4). Inspired utterances of the Prophet and president of the church have been and may in the future be added to the standard works by the common consent of the Church.

Latter-day Saints sustain the First Presidency and the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles as prophets, seers, and revelators. Since the prophet and President of the Church is sustained as the prophet, seer, and revelator, he is the official spokesman who speaks on behalf of the Lord to the Church (D&C 21:4-5;28:2). These other prophets, seers, and revelators have the right, power, and authority to declare the mind and will of God to his people, subject to the presiding authority of the President (D&C 132:7).

The inspired utterances of the President of the Church become binding upon members of the Church whether formally accepted as part of the written canon or not. The living prophet's inspired words supersede and become more important to Latter-day Saints than the written canon or previous prophetic statements (D&C 5:10). The salvation and exaltation of members of the Church depend upon their adherence to this divine inspiration through the living prophet, which comes as a voice of warning to the world (D&C 1:4-5).

And this:

Quote

General Authorities are men called to serve at the highest levels of leadership in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. As general priesthood officers of the Church, they have Churchwide rather than local stewardship and may receive assignments anywhere in the world. In order of precedence, the General Authorities include the First Presidency, Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, quorums of the seventy, and Presiding Bishopric (see Organization). First Presidency members and the senior member of the Quorum of the Twelve are addressed as "President." The Twelve Apostles and members of the quorums of the Seventy are addressed as "Elder." Members of the Presiding Bishopric are addressed as "Bishop." As a group, they are often referred to as "the Brethren."

Like all who serve in the Church, these men are lay leaders and do not solicit their assignments. They are "called of God, by prophecy, and by the laying on of hands by those who are in authority" (A of F 5; see Lay Participation and Leadership). They are called by a member of the First Presidency; subsequently, their names are presented to the Church membership for a sustaining vote each year during general conference and in ward and stake conferences.

Members of the First Presidency and Quorum of the Twelve are sustained as prophets, seers, and revelators. They are commissioned to be special witnesses of Jesus Christ and his Church, and together with the Seventy they are to bear witness of him and "to build up the church, and regulate all the affairs of the same in all nations" (D&C 107:21-26, 33-35).

Thanks,

-Smac

 

 

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9 minutes ago, smac97 said:

Not necessarily.  "Revelation" is not precisely equivalent to "words from God."

Not sure.  

Take a look at the texts of OD-1 and OD-2.  I don't see much in the way of verbatim transcripts of "words from God."  But these are revelatory nonetheless.

We're talking about published statements from Pres. Nelson.

I think it's a stretch to say "Hey, until and unless the Brethren publish a verbatim transcript of the 'words of God,' they have nothing to say by way of revelation."

I disagree.  I think the concept of revelation in these days is robust and ongoing.  

I think the concept of accepting revelation is getting some short shrift, though.

It can be both, I think.  From the EOM:

In the present context, those "strong confirming impressions" came not only to Pres. Monson, but the other members of the First Presidency and the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles.  Every single one.

Unless, of course, Pres. Nelson is a liar.  That's the standard dodge.

Did President Monson ever declare anything to be a new revelation while he was president?   I really would like to know that.

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20 minutes ago, smac97 said:

Not necessarily.  "Revelation" is not precisely equivalent to "words from God."

Not sure.  

So let me clarify, I am asking for you to point to the revelation, not the statements that claim revelation.  

20 minutes ago, smac97 said:

Take a look at the texts of OD-1 and OD-2.  I don't see much in the way of verbatim transcripts of "words from God."  But these are revelatory nonetheless.

What makes them revelatory?  both seem to announce revelation was had.  

20 minutes ago, smac97 said:

We're talking about published statements from Pres. Nelson.

Oh.  Then revelation is published statements from Pres. Nelson?  

20 minutes ago, smac97 said:

I think it's a stretch to say "Hey, until and unless the Brethren publish a verbatim transcript of the 'words of God,' they have nothing to say by way of revelation."

I don't.  I prefer to have revelation if revelation is so key to the Church.  I don't want people telling me they had revelation so I must believe what they say.  I want the revelation.  Seems reasonable to me.  

20 minutes ago, smac97 said:

I disagree.  I think the concept of revelation in these days is robust and ongoing.  

I think the concept of accepting revelation is getting some short shrift, though.

It can be both, I think.  From the EOM:

In the present context, those "strong confirming impressions" came not only to Pres. Monson, but the other members of the First Presidency and the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles.  Every single one.

Unless, of course, Pres. Nelson is a liar.  That's the standard dodge.

K.  I suppose I'm still stuck on whether or not revelation is in any sense foolproof.  I suppose it quite possible, and perhaps on this topic likely, that the brethren had felt their own already determined beliefs on this matter confirmed through their strong confirming impressions.  That's all I really need to know on this.  Thus, I can feel quite happy and comfortable to note, we simply don't have revelation on this matter from which we can consult.  We'd have to trust that the impressions that the brethren have had are God's explicit will.  It is quite possible, and perhaps likely on this topic, that it is not God's will.  I'm reminded of the priesthood ban, I know a very commonly used example here, but one that applies.  The brethren were trained by their environment, and thus, that is where this "revelation" came from.  Of coruse, this should go without saying, they need not be liars to have faulted here.  

20 minutes ago, smac97 said:

I think you are misconstruing the concept of Common Consent:

And this (emphases added):

And this:

Thanks,

-Smac

 

 

Let me correct something I said earlier.  I thought Cinepro linked this podcast:  http://www.mormondiscussionpodcast.org/2018/01/radio-free-mormon-23-dumbing-revelation/

So my comments were somewhat off of what he did link.  Sorry about that.  

Anyway, not alluding to common consent, but I wont' go back and get into this. 

 

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32 minutes ago, JulieM said:

Did President Monson ever declare anything to be a new revelation while he was president?   I really would like to know that.

Not that I ever heard.  The Church has become very good at blurring the line between revelation (God said) and inspiration (we feel by the spirit).
I am sure many things were prayed over, felt like an answer was given, and were thus labelled revelation.
Sadly, such revelations cannot be examined like the ones in scripture.

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6 minutes ago, JLHPROF said:

Not that I ever heard.  The Church has become very good at blurring the line between revelation (God said) and inspiration (we feel by the spirit).
I am sure many things were prayed over, felt like an answer was given, and were thus labelled revelation.
Sadly, such revelations cannot be examined like the ones in scripture.

The 2015 policy was stated (later) as a revelation...who got that..if Pres. Monson did not?

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