Jump to content

Racist Doctrine in Come Follow Me Lesson Manual Already Distributed


Recommended Posts

2 hours ago, hope_for_things said:

I agree with you that church leaders are likely reluctant to make a more public retraction.  Yet from my perspective, this is exactly what is needed to move the church more positively forward on this issue.  Let me share my personal experience on this topic.  

Yesterday at church, after I had shared this issue with my Bishop and he had discussed it in ward council and with the SP, he agreed that they would publicly announce the retraction at the beginning of Sunday School class.  I wanted him to go further, and felt like Sunday School wouldn't get the message to everyone because so many people don't attend adult SS.  Well, I was also feeling like I should share my testimony yesterday, and in the course of it I felt inspired to mention just a little bit about this topic of diversity and how thankful I was for the church meeting with the NAACP and the position that they expressed that all are alike unto God, condemning past racism and disavowing some teaching from the past.  I didn't share the whole retraction from the manual story in my testimony however.  

Much to my great delight at the end of sacrament meeting the 2nd counselor in our ward, who is a person of color himself, got up and thanked me for my testimony and expressed that the Bishop had decided to share this statement with the entire ward instead of just at the beginning of SS class, and he read the Elder Stevenson statements and explained the correction to the manual.  It was an amazing moment for our ward, and I'm so grateful that I was able to play a part in helping it happen.  

But then Sunday School came, and unfortunately our teacher who is a much more old school conservative, gave the lesson which this week was Nephi's vision, and he shared so many old school ideas about Columbus and the great and abominable church and American exceptionalism including colonialist ideas.  He of course had not idea just how out of tune these ideas are with the current stance the church has on race. 

On reflection after church, what this showed me is that we need to preach the new position of the church, from the roof tops.  Until all the of old ideas are eradicated from our collective cultural consciousness.  Racism, colonialism, treatment of the indigenous peoples, American exceptionalism, these are all intertwined.  We can't just put a statement in an essay and let it sit there and pretend everything is good now.  There is so much more that must be done to repent of the evils perpetuated in the past, as we see the ghosts of these doctrines continue to haunt our present day, and do damage to so many people everywhere.  

It sounds to me like you alone are the reason that announcement was made in your ward. Please someone correct me if they have different information, but as far as I know, there's been no direct instruction from the First Presidency to local leaders to tell members to replace the  information in the manuals with the online version. The timing for that lesson in wards has already come to pass on the annual schedules. It is unfortunate, because there will be members who will read the printed version and remain unaware of the online difference. 

Link to comment
2 hours ago, hope_for_things said:

But then Sunday School came, and unfortunately our teacher who is a much more old school conservative, gave the lesson which this week was Nephi's vision, and he shared so many old school ideas about Columbus and the great and abominable church and American exceptionalism including colonialist ideas. 

Oooo, fingers crossed that he said it was the Catholics! ;) 

(just to be clear, like on the other thread, I'm not personally affected by that belief... it just humors me that there are LDS who do believe it and at the same time get worked up when someone says the LDS church isn't Christian)

Link to comment
30 minutes ago, Meadowchik said:

It sounds to me like you alone are the reason that announcement was made in your ward. Please someone correct me if they have different information, but as far as I know, there's been no direct instruction from the First Presidency to local leaders to tell members to replace the  information in the manuals with the online version. The timing for that lesson in wards has already come to pass on the annual schedules. It is unfortunate, because there will be members who will read the printed version and remain unaware of the online difference. 

Especially the elderly, but maybe they don't want to hear anything different from the paradigm they've lived in for so long. But so agree, it should have been spoken over the pulpit, through email and the newsroom, Deseret news etc. But the BoM still remains the same, so it's like they're in a conundrum.

Link to comment
41 minutes ago, Meadowchik said:

It sounds to me like you alone are the reason that announcement was made in your ward. Please someone correct me if they have different information, but as far as I know, there's been no direct instruction from the First Presidency to local leaders to tell members to replace the  information in the manuals with the online version. The timing for that lesson in wards has already come to pass on the annual schedules. It is unfortunate, because there will be members who will read the printed version and remain unaware of the online difference. 

Well, thats giving me a little too much credit.  I would say that my testimony as well as my back and forth with the Bishop over the last month definitely played a part in this.  I concur that I've heard nothing officially from the church, other than what was quoted in newspaper articles.  No post on the church web site, no communication to local leaders, nothing to my knowledge.  Which is quite sad when you consider the quote from Elder Stevenson at the NAACP meeting expressing his sadness for the mistake in the manuals and that they would be "asking members to disregard the paragraph in the printed manual".  Its kind of hard to ask members to disregard the paragraph in the printed manual, without actually ASKING them to do it via some kind of words using language.  Unless he expects all members to read the SLTrib article.  

Link to comment
22 minutes ago, MiserereNobis said:

Oooo, fingers crossed that he said it was the Catholics! ;) 

(just to be clear, like on the other thread, I'm not personally affected by that belief... it just humors me that there are LDS who do believe it and at the same time get worked up when someone says the LDS church isn't Christian)

Thankfully, no, he didn't say that!  😁  Instead he just throws every church besides Mormonism under the bus.  He even brought out a quote, that I've never heard before to my knowledge thankfully, and he didn't say where he got it or attribute it to a specific church leader, but it was on his powerpoint slide.  The quote was that Jesus would never shake hands with Satan.  This teacher gave a very binary good and evil kind of lesson.  I pretty much tuned out because I didn't want this one person's views to ruin what was otherwise an excellent day at church.  

Link to comment
1 hour ago, Meadowchik said:

It sounds to me like you alone are the reason that announcement was made in your ward. Please someone correct me if they have different information, but as far as I know, there's been no direct instruction from the First Presidency to local leaders to tell members to replace the  information in the manuals with the online version. The timing for that lesson in wards has already come to pass on the annual schedules. It is unfortunate, because there will be members who will read the printed version and remain unaware of the online difference. 

I agree with you on this. Missed opportunity and most don't even know themanual online has updated information that should be relied on. I brought this up in Ward Council and only one other had even heard about it. Even the visiting high councilman was clueless. I wanted to make sure the Sunday School teachers were at least aware. I would hope the truth of the update and change was not a damage analysis because change/update with no announcement was viewed as 'less damaging' than a blanket announcement/email and clarification. 

Link to comment
15 minutes ago, MiserereNobis said:

As a slight tangent, my thought is it is probably the other way around, which is the whole problem with Satan to begin with: pride, animosity, and evil that cannot compromise.

I like that turn around, nice.  

You made me also think about Joseph's section in the D&C about shaking hands with evil spirit.  I believe it says that if a spirit doesn't have a body of flesh and bone, and if this spirit is evil (Satan would seem to fit both criteria) that this spirit will try to shake your hand, but that you won't feel anything tangible so you can know it is an evil spirit.  In this case, it sounds like Satan would try to shake the hand of Jesus, but Jesus wouldn't feel anything because they are just a spirit and Jesus has a resurrected body.  HAHA.   Mormonism, sometimes you can't make something more funny sounding up if you tried.  

Link to comment
16 minutes ago, bsjkki said:

I agree with you on this. Missed opportunity and most don't even know themanual online has updated information that should be relied on. I brought this up in Ward Council and only one other had even heard about it. Even the visiting high councilman was clueless. I wanted to make sure the Sunday School teachers were at least aware. I would hope the truth of the update and change was not a damage analysis because change/update with no announcement was viewed as 'less damaging' than a blanket announcement/email and clarification. 

I'm glad you brought it up. That's what I am hearing elsewhere anecdotally, that only members who heard Elder Stevenson's remarks and take it upon themselves to notify the ward are getting the information there. There's one story of a ward member in Arizona creating adhesive stickers to cover the quote with the correction and then getting them applied to the manuals in his ward.

Link to comment
On 2/1/2020 at 8:05 PM, LongJohn said:

I find the commentary on the Lamanite curse in the Book of Mormon quite disturbing. This, however does not affect my belief in the teachings of Christ as contained in the book. Here a my thoughts (and it's OK if you disagree, and sorry it's a bit long)
From my understanding a curse, as described in several manuals, is the separation of an individual from the Spirit of God. This is brought upon an individual through THEIR OWN ACTIONS. Clearly Laman and Lemuel and all who followed their ways lost the Spirit of the Lord because of the choices they made. 

Nephi mentions that as a result of the curse, the Lord did cause a skin of blackness to come upon Laman and his followers. Several church manuals have tried to distinguish the curse from the sign of the curse which was the dark skin. As a person with dark skin, I find this distinction irrelevant, and rather as equally offensive as calling dark skin a curse. The effect was the anyone who sees and individual with dark skin would conclude, based on the above  mentioned criteria, that the person is cursed. How is that any better? Maybe it's just me? Moreover, Alma 3:6 contradicts the very explanation that the mark was separate from the curse, because it clearly states that the dark skin (mark) of the Lamanites was a curse (maybe I am misinterpreting?)

"And the skins of the Lamanites were dark, according to the mark which was set upon their fathers, which was a curse upon them because of their transgression …"

In 2 Nephi 5:21, Nephi further mentions that the dark skin was supposed to make the Lamanite unenticing to the Nephites. In other words, Nephi is suggesting that somehow when the Lord decided to set a mark on the Lamanites to distinguish them from the Nephites, He chose one specifically to make them unenticing. Really? So the interpretation is that dark skin is unenticing? And also, the same God who said in 1 Samuel 16: 7 that He doesn't see as man seeth, and doesn't look on outward appearance, is now encourage the Nephites to do just the opposite? How am I not to be disturbed by such a reading?

Another observation is that it seemed that the mark of the curse was not necessarily linked to rejecting the Gospel. Please correct me if I am wrong, but the Nephites had their own share of wickedness, and yet nowhere it is mentioned that they got a mark of dark skin. The chapter that addresses this the closest is Alma 3, where the Amlicites defected from the Nephites, and marked themselves in the forehead. This, however, is not the same as receiving a divine mark (dark skin) set on the Lamanites. Was God being inconsistent in applying the mark of the curse, and targeting only a specific group?

Later in the Book of Mormon, we read that the Lamanites who had accepted the Gospel and joined the Nephites, had their dark skin removed from them, and they became white like unto the Nephites (3 Nephi 2:16-17). Think about that for a moment, and the message it portrays - White skin equals having the Spirit of God, and dark skin is the absence of the Spirit. Imagine someone picking up the Book of Mormon for the first time and reading these passages. Would you blame the person for coming to such a conclusion? By the way, President Joseph Fielding Smith expressed the same view in Answers to Gospel Questions, the same quote that was edited and quoted in the printed Come Follow Me manual. Yes, know Church Leaders today disavow such explanations, but this is what is exactly written in the Book of Mormon. 

Although we tout the plainness and easy to understand nature of the Book of Mormon, the new explanation in the Come Follow Me manual now mentions that the nature and appearance of the mark of the curse is not well understood. This contradicts all explanations on this topic up to date, which clearly mentioned that it was literally a dark skin. 

So those are a few of my thoughts. But whether you agree with me or not, I am sure we can all agree that the interpretation of dark skin being a curse is wrong and false doctrine. But until church leaders take a forceful approach to address it to the entire church, this controversial issue will be coming back from time to time to potentially cast the modern church in a bad light. Thoughts?

I can relate and empathize to a lot of the questions and holes you found in the explanations that people give to this or have given. Personally i think they show more their current frame of thought and being: 

white in the 1800’s when racism was seen as so normal as to be considered nigh scientifically proven? Passage must be about race and obviously about how there’s an order to things and how God redeems fallen people (aka changes dark skinned to whiteness and preferably northern european....the most obvious image of godliness). 
 

white in early 1900’s when slavery is over and wrong but it’s best not to mix and PoC are still seen as less than: of course it was fair...premortal life and fence sitting helps understand this...even when it’s literally never tied together in scriptures. 
 

white in mid-late 1900’s when there’s a growing consciousness that racism may be a bad thing that deeply harms communities of color and keeps us from actually living like all are alike unto God...but where there is still super limited exposure to said communities of color and white is still the default experience and similar cultural practice are the assumption of goodness: it’s not really the curse. The curse is separation from god, the mark is just to distinguish them and i mean that’s on the nephites for being so racist. While not needing to grapple with the uncomfortable sense of being seen as the heritage of cursed people.

white in 2000’s as there’s more and more diversity in the church in the US and internationally though some of the core leadership is still white and from the US or strongly influenced by both: not sure what was meant there but it’s not a curse to be dark and God doesn’t mark people with dark skins as signs of curses...what it really was is a mystery

 

honestly i think it’s largely a mystery because we’ve had a couple hundred years of one view and one people largely dominating the conversation about the BoM. It effects how it’s viewed, what views are orthodox, and where our paradigms can go in  looking at the text
 

It will always make more sense to me to define blackness and whiteness based on how scripture literature describes it(which to me is NOT a literal skin color change...that only work when a few verses are crystalized and left contextless with The rest of the text). It is an act of presentism IMO to work only in the paradigm of skin color as the most definitive meaning of black and white. 


with luv, 

BD
 

Link to comment
2 hours ago, Meadowchik said:

I'm glad you brought it up. That's what I am hearing elsewhere anecdotally, that only members who heard Elder Stevenson's remarks and take it upon themselves to notify the ward are getting the information there. There's one story of a ward member in Arizona creating adhesive stickers to cover the quote with the correction and then getting them applied to the manuals in his ward.

Members are so cool!  Stickers, what a good idea.  Lame that the leaders have the capability to effectively communicate on this issue, but they choose not to use it.  

Link to comment

I have to say that I am impressed with the members of this board who have the ability to reconcile the volumes of comments made by dead prophets, seers and revelator's that we, in our enlightened times, would view as extremely racist were these same comments uttered today.  

So my question is this:  How do you excuse and reconcile these racist remarks?  And If you excuse them for merely speaking as moral men of their time and that they were just reflecting the culture of their day, then what does that say about our current  leaders ability to be prophets seers and revelator's today and why should we not view them and the points of views they proclaim today against the LGBTQ community as authoritative.  If these men's viewpoints don't stand up to the test of time why should we not view them as merely the best thinking of men of their day but not necessarily the mind and will of God nor revelations from God.  In other words, if a dead prophets proclamations are so authoritative as to be dismissed by the generations following their death, why would the living prophets proclamations be of any greater value?

To me it seems like a very slippery slope.  If we discount the views of past church leaders why does that not undermine how we should view current church leaders in their roles as prophet seers and revelators? Does not how we view the dead ones impact the living ones as well?

We live in interesting times.  Revelations from God seem not to stand up to the test of time and can be completely reversed 180 degrees within only a few years time vs say commandments like the 10 commandments which seem to be just as relevance today as when Moses (or whoever wrote them) made them available to the Israelite nation.

Edited by Fair Dinkum
Link to comment
On 1/31/2020 at 9:29 AM, Meadowchik said:

I'm not Islander, but here's what I found which appears to be related:

David O Mckay and the Rise of Modern Mormonism, by Gregory Prince, page 80.

Thank you. I was traveling for work and had very little time to dig into my old drives to search for the notes on this matter. I appreciate the assist. Notice that none of those that jumped over my comment had the courtesy to acknowledged that they were misinformed on the issue. Civility is a lost art these days.

 

Thank you, again.

Link to comment
2 hours ago, Islander said:

Notice that none of those that jumped over my comment had the courtesy to acknowledged that they were misinformed on the issue. Civility is a lost art these days.

I suspect I'm the object of this veiled criticism. I will therefore very civilly point out (not jump over!) that you still have not provided a single reference for the following statement that you made:

Quote

People from East Timor, Malaku [sic] Islands, West Papua, Torres Strait Island [sic], New Caledonia, Vanuatu, Papua New Guinea and Solomon Islands did not hold the priesthood although some missionary activity had taken place in the region.

I will happily acknowledge that your statement is informed once you provide the requested reference/s. Thanks! :good:

Link to comment

Our stake read a statement in Sacrament meetings last Sunday about the correction to the Come Follow Me lesson manual.  It didn't seem to cause much of a stir among the non-whitey members.  The only curse some of them are experiencing is serving as bishops, stake presidents, EQ and RS presidents.  

Link to comment
On 2/3/2020 at 5:05 PM, Fair Dinkum said:

I have to say that I am impressed with the members of this board who have the ability to reconcile the volumes of comments made by dead prophets, seers and revelator's that we, in our enlightened times, would view as extremely racist were these same comments uttered today.  

A backhanded compliment, it seems.

Quote

So my question is this:  How do you excuse and reconcile these racist remarks? 

I don't excuse.  I seek to understand, through social/political/cultural/historical contextualization, through rejection of presentism, and through a fair measure of patience and charity for our those who came before us, and through humility and acknowledgment of my own errors and shortcomings, and through acknowledging the individual and collective failures and blindspots in our day.  And through regular consideration and application of scripures such as Mormon 9:31, D&C 64:10, Moroni 7:44-48, and others.

Racism and slavery were and are great moral failings.  Both still exist in the world, and that needs to be addressed.  We have taken significant steps forward in addressing these things, and we need to to better.

Meanwhile, there are other moral failings in our day that we have yet to fully acknowledge, for a myriad of reasons.  For example, I see a number of substantive similarities between the immorality underlying slavery and elective abortion.

Also, I'm tired of Outrage Culture.  I am tired of race-baiting for political or rhetorical advantage.  I am tired of the politicization of too many facets of life.

Quote

And If you excuse them for merely speaking as moral men of their time and that they were just reflecting the culture of their day, then what does that say about our current  leaders ability to be prophets seers and revelator's today and why should we not view them and the points of views they proclaim today against the LGBTQ community as authoritative. 

Not much.  

Quote

If these men's viewpoints don't stand up to the test of time

You have come nowhere near establishing this.

I refuse to reduce the measured valuation of historical figures to nothing more than their mistakes and weaknesses.  

Quote

why should we not view them as merely the best thinking of men of their day but not necessarily the mind and will of God nor revelations from God. 

We should study such things.  We should also be reasonable in differentiating not only between "opinion" and "doctrine," but between doctrine and "principles," and between doctrine and "applications."

Perhaps an illustration can help: God also knew that His people would live in an era where substance abuse is rampant.  And yet the Word of Wisdom says nothing about marijuana, or cocaine, or meth, or heroin, or GHB, and so on.  Why weren't any of these things mentioned in the Bible or Book of Mormon?  Or why haven't we received a canonized revelation about these substances?

The answer, I think, may be understood by applying the principles explained by Elder Bednar in two books, "Increase in Learning" and "Act in Doctrine."  This article summarizes things this way:

Quote

What are Doctrines, Principles & Applications?

A few days ago, I was discussing a particular study method with a friend and one step in the process was: “identifying and understanding doctrines and principles”. So as I commonly do, I asked myself “so what’s the difference between a doctrine and a principle”. The more I thought about it, I realized that I didn’t have a clear definition for either in my mind.

I decided to go back to a book that a friend gave me for Christmas called  “Act in Doctrine” by David A. Bednar. On pages xiv-xv in the Preface he defines what doctrines and principles are and then notes a third essential element: Applications. I’ve boiled down his descriptions into the following simplified versions:

  • Doctrines: eternal truths revealed by God.
  • Principles: doctrinally based guidelines for the exercise of agency.
  • Applications: actions we take in response to doctrines and principles.

Elder Bednar points out that “Our tendency as members of the Church is to focus on applications. But as we learn to ask ourselves, ‘What doctrines and principles, if understood, would help with this challenge?’ we come to realize that the answers always are in the doctrines and principles of the gospel” (pg. xv)

Doctrines answer the question of “why” and Elder Bednar suggests that the doctrine of the Atonement explains why Jesus is our advocate with the Father. He writes that principles answer the question of “what”; some examples are repentance, baptism, service, charity, etc. Applications answer the question of “how”, and provide the specifics of how something needs to be done. While the Church does teach applications, like in the case of ordinances and administrative duties, etc., it is necessary that many applications are individually personalized to us by the Spirit.

Here's a graphic that goes along with the above article:

doctrines-principles-applications-760x48

To further illustrate here is  an excerpt from the Encyclopedia of Mormonism entry on "Doctrine":

Quote

MEANING OF DOCTRINE. The word "doctrine" in the scriptures means "a teaching" as well as "that which is taught." Most often in the Church it refers to the teachings or doctrine of Jesus Christ, understood in a rather specific sense. Scripturally, then, the term "doctrine" means the core message of Jesus Christ-that Jesus is the Messiah, the Redeemer. All other teachings are subordinate to those by which all people "know how to come unto Christ and be saved"-that is, to the "points of doctrine," such as faith, repentance, baptism, and receiving the gift of the Holy Ghost. At one time, stressing the preeminence and foundational nature of this message, Jesus taught, "And whoso shall declare more or less than this, and establish it for my doctrine, the same cometh of evil, and is not built upon my rock" (3 Ne. 11:40).

With these things in mind, how should I approach the Church's various policies pertaining to same-sex attraction, same-sex behavior, same-sex marriage, etc.?  Are these policies "doctrine," "principle" or "application?"

Consider how this question is answered relative to the use of harmful, addictive, and/or mind-altering substances.  Such things are generally governed by the Word of Wisdom.  I think the Word of Wisdom is pretty clearly "doctrine."  From there, the "principles" we glean from the Word of Wisdom pertain to healthy living, abstaining from certain specified things (coffee, tea, tobacco), and so on.  The "application" of the Word of Wisdom will proscribe things like heroin and cocaine, because using such substances cannot be squared with either the "principles" or the "doctrine" arising from the Word of Wisdom.

So let's turn to the Law of Chastity.  What about pornography?  Is it specifically prohibited in scripture?  No, but using it cannot be squared with the Law of Chastity (any more than using heroin can be squared with the Word of Wisdom).  Plus it has been specifically and emphatically and repeatedly condemned by modern prophets and apostles.  So the "application" of the Law of Chastity to the viewing of pornography is fairly clear-cut, even though we're speaking of principally of "application" (of a "principle" gleaned from a "doctrine").

Turning to your question regarding LGBTQ issues, I think there are "doctrines" in play, such as the Law of Chastity and various concepts pertaining to the nature and purpose of marriage.  From these we can/should/must glean "principles," and then develop appropriate "applications."  And by "we" I mean each of us needs to act withing our sphere of influence and stewardship.  For me, that's my family.  But for the General Authorities, they have stewardship over the entirety of the Church, and hence have a greater responsibility to formulate "principles" and "applications."  This is a pretty difficult thing to do, given the state of things.  We live in an era of sexual licentiousness, increased measures of apathy and irreligiosity, hostility toward religion, and other challenges.  Nevertheless, the General Authorities have a job to do.  They have a mandate.  They cannot remain silent.  Their duty is to preach the Gospel, including those parts of it that have become socially and politically unpopular in recent years.  In this they are doing a pretty good job.  Not perfect, and certaintly with past and recent mistakes having been made, but quite admirable over all.  The opposition to their efforts is fierce and wide-ranging.

The Law of Chastity being "doctrine," what "principles" should the General Authorities develop?  What "applications"?  Again, the Brethren are working on that, and I think they are doing a good job.  And if a Latter-day Saint, acting with sincerity and in good faith, with a desire to discern and understand and submit to the will of God, studies the scriptures and the messages of modern prophets and apostles, I think he will be able, for himself, to develop "applications" based on "principles" gleaned from "doctrine."  And when this process is complete, I think such a person will find himself standing with the Brethren on this issue, and also understand the "applications" and "principles" they have developed and implemented to those within their stewardship (which is to say, the entirety of the Church).

As pertaining to the issues of homosexual conduct and same-sex marriage, I think the Brethren are presently substantially correct in doctrine, in principle, and in application.  I also believe that the counsel we have received from them is substantially (though not necessarily perfectly) in accordance with the mind and will of God.  To the extent they have implemented a particular "application" in a way that did not work, they are taking appropriate measures to resolve the issue.  By way of example, I think the 2015 policy change was a reasonable "application."  The introduction of it was not done well, though, and the opposition to it was fierce.  So the Brethren have worked to resolve the issue.  Not by abandoning doctrine, or doctrinal principles, but by changing an "application."  That is within their purview.  And I think members of the Church need to acknowledge that the Brethren have some pretty broad discretionary authority in such matters, that they are working hard to utilize that authority properly and in good faith, and that the underlying doctrines remain.  

That some disaffected members of the Church, and criticis and enemies of the Church, are opposing what the Brethren are doing may merit some additional scrutiny, but not much.  Such folks do not, in my view, generally reflect a sincere or good faith effort at understanding the LDS Church or allowing it to function under what it understands its mandate to be.  Such folks also tend to harbor criticisms of the Church that, not coincidentally, follow the whims and vagaries of popular opinion.  Such opinions are, I think, at risk of fulfilling/exemplifying Mormon 5:18.  So I'll not give such opinions much credence.

Quote

In other words, if a dead prophets proclamations are so authoritative as to be dismissed by the generations following their death, why would the living prophets proclamations be of any greater value?

I think you meant to say "if a dead prophet's proclamations are so non-authoritative as to be dismissed by the generations following their death..."  Would that be correct?

By way of answer, I would say that the function of prophets and apostles is to provide continuing guidance and instruction, including course corrections where necessary.

I would also say that your question presupposes prophetic infallibility, which is not part of our belief system.

Quote

To me it seems like a very slippery slope. 

Hence the value of continuing revelation, which provides traction against such slipperiness.

You seem to be suggesting that we take an all-or-nothing approach.  That prophets and apostles must be infallibly perfect, such that even a single error or lapse negates the entirety of their work and authority.  I find such facile absolutism to be unpersuasive.

Quote

If we discount the views of past church leaders

Facile.  And false.  Again, you are foisting an all-or-nothing, absolutist, expectations-of-prophetic-infallibility mindset onto us.  I reject that mindset.

We have plenty of ways to sift through statements by prophets and apostles, both past and present.  We have the scriptures.  We have past and present General Conference talks.  We have "the best books."  We have family and friends, and local leaders, and living prophets and apostles, all of whom can provide counsel and insight.  We have our own education and experience, and intellect and reasoning skills.  Most of all, we have the Spirit.  We have the right to seek and receive personal revelation.

Of course, none of these are - standing alone - completely reliable.  I believe the Spirit Himself is reliable, but I don't completely trust my capacity to discern His influence and instruction as to all things and in all ways.  I am a flawed person, so I don't claim to have a perfect understanding of all things, and I also must consider the possibility that I harbor errors and omissions of fact and in judgment.  Moreover, counsel from the Spirit comes after study and effort, and obedience, and exercising faith.  But when I utilize all the foregoing tools in the toolbox, and then turn to God in faith and humility and supplication, I usually get some pretty good answers.

Quote

why does that not undermine how we should view current church leaders in their roles as prophet seers and revelators?

Because facile, all-or-nothing demands for prophetic infallibility are not reasonable.

Because we have many resources to discern truth from error.

Because discerning truth from error does not require us to rise up in judgment of the Lord's annointed.

Because Mormon 9:31 gives a pretty good bit of counsel on this point: "Condemn me not because of mine imperfection, neither my father, because of his imperfection, neither them who have written before him; but rather give thanks unto God that he hath made manifest unto you our imperfections, that ye may learn to be more wise than we have been."

I don't think we should condemn and reject past prophets and apostles for their imperfections, nor current prophets and apostles for theirs.  Nor should we ignore such imperfections.  Rather, we should learn from such imperfections, give thanks to God for giving us opportunities to lean and grow in this way, and continue forward in a spirit of faith and humility and forgiveness and resilience.

Quote

We live in interesting times. 

We do, indeed.

Quote

Revelations from God seem not to stand up to the test of time

With respect, I disagree.  I think the revelations are doing just fine.

Quote

and can be completely reversed 180 degrees within only a few years time

I think you have an overly rigid and simplistic view of revelation, doctrine, Church governance, and other important principles.  I don't know if you are a member of the Church.  If you are, I encourage you to continue to study these matters in the ways we have been counseled.

Quote

vs say commandments like the 10 commandments which seem to be just as relevance today as when Moses (or whoever wrote them) made them available to the Israelite nation.

I don't think the "vs" is warranted.

Thanks,

-Smac

Edited by smac97
Link to comment
On 2/3/2020 at 1:15 PM, hope_for_things said:

Mormonism, sometimes you can't make something more funny sounding up if you tried. 

When it first came out, I thought the "Salamander Letter" was blatantly ridiculous.  But Pres. Hinckley was wise in exercise of patience and the truth eventually was revealed.

Link to comment
15 minutes ago, longview said:

When it first came out, I thought the "Salamander Letter" was blatantly ridiculous.  But Pres. Hinckley was wise in exercise of patience and the truth eventually was revealed.

Hoffman was clever in that he knew how to produce a plausible fraud based on his study of early Mormon documents.  He didn't put anything in his forgeries that would stand out as too extreme.  Your average member isn't familiar with the historical record, so of course it would sound ridiculous to this audience, but to historians they sounded reasonable.  

Link to comment
10 minutes ago, hope_for_things said:

Hoffman was clever in that he knew how to produce a plausible fraud based on his study of early Mormon documents.  He didn't put anything in his forgeries that would stand out as too extreme.  Your average member isn't familiar with the historical record, so of course it would sound ridiculous to this audience, but to historians they sounded reasonable.  

I consider myself to be a well-read member with a modest library (maybe a low level historian).  When I first read the "Salamander Letter", it had a strong feel of a "Mad Magazine" satirical article.  It was totally out of the norm.  Even when compared with a number of extraordinary stories that are already in church archives.

You really should a least name a few of the "historians" that were accommodating with the letter.  Color me skeptical.

Link to comment
1 hour ago, longview said:

I consider myself to be a well-read member with a modest library (maybe a low level historian).  When I first read the "Salamander Letter", it had a strong feel of a "Mad Magazine" satirical article.  It was totally out of the norm.  Even when compared with a number of extraordinary stories that are already in church archives.

You really should a least name a few of the "historians" that were accommodating with the letter.  Color me skeptical.

Are you talking about reading the letter real time during the contemporary events of the day before Hoffman was exposed as a serial forger?  I was just a kid at the time, so I certainly wasn't informed about the subject.  As an adult learning about this event and the history surrounding it, the only person I'm aware of who was famously skeptical of the legitimacy of the letter was Gerald Tanner.  All the church historians were falling hook line and sinker for Hoffman from what I've read.  Do you know of other exceptions besides Gerald who brought up concerns about the Salamander letter contemporaneously?   

Link to comment
46 minutes ago, hope_for_things said:

Are you talking about reading the letter real time during the contemporary events of the day before Hoffman was exposed as a serial forger?  I was just a kid at the time, so I certainly wasn't informed about the subject.  As an adult learning about this event and the history surrounding it, the only person I'm aware of who was famously skeptical of the legitimacy of the letter was Gerald Tanner.  All the church historians were falling hook line and sinker for Hoffman from what I've read.  Do you know of other exceptions besides Gerald who brought up concerns about the Salamander letter contemporaneously?   

I was 31 years old at time.  The publication did NOT pass the smell test.  That the Tanners who had a deep investment in proving the church to be a fraud and had years of deep study would immediately right off the bat dismiss the work.

Hook, line, sinker?  Now you're getting hysterical.  Name your best source.

I am at a part time job so I wait till tonight for further response.

Link to comment
49 minutes ago, longview said:

I was 31 years old at time.  The publication did NOT pass the smell test.  That the Tanners who had a deep investment in proving the church to be a fraud and had years of deep study would immediately right off the bat dismiss the work.

Hook, line, sinker?  Now you're getting hysterical.  Name your best source.

I am at a part time job so I wait till tonight for further response.

No offense but it sounds like you're not as familiar with the history on this.  Gerald Tanner (not his wife, she thought it was legit) was the only person that I can recall who expressed any public contemporaneous concerns with the Salamander letter.  The church purchased it for a reason, they thought it was legit and their historians confirmed it was good.  Just the wikipedia article gives you some of the basics of the history.  If you want a book recommendation, I think this one is the most comprehensive and even handed.  

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Salamander_letter

https://www.amazon.com/Salamander-Story-Mormon-Forgery-Murders/dp/0941214656/ref=sr_1_2?keywords=salamander+book+mormon&qid=1581018395&sr=8-2

There have been some really interesting interviews with people close to the Hoffman events in recent years.  Check out Rick Bennett's Gospel Tangents and look for interviews about the Hoffman forgeries.  

https://gospeltangents.com/episodes/

Link to comment
7 hours ago, cacheman said:

How about Ronald Walker and Dean Jessee.

https://apnews.com/4907b3f81eb35b8002d6baa699deaa9a

They were shaken but not necessarily convinced.

5 hours ago, hope_for_things said:

The church purchased it for a reason, they thought it was legit and their historians confirmed it was good.

I thought it were handwriting experts that could not rule out forgery.

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

    No registered users viewing this page.

×
×
  • Create New...