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Reconciling bruce r. McConkie


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I have to admit that I have a bro-mance for Bruce R. McConkie.  I absolutely loved this man especially for his testimony of Christ, especially the most memorable one he gave just prior to his death from cancer. An extremely powerful articulate testimony indeed and for the clear manner in which he viewed the gospel of Jesus Christ and made all of the pieces fit together.

But of all of the brethren who were such giants to me in my youth, Elder McConkie is perhaps the one of several who have not aged well with the passage of time. The other being President Kimball & President Joseph Fielding Smith (but I'll save them for another day)

Elder McConkie held to a very literal young earth biblical timeline.  While I loved that young earth 6,000 year timeline, since it put everything in such a pretty little box all tied up with a beautiful ribbon, it was all make believe and false.

In fact so many of the teachings of Elder McConkie have turned out not to be true.

He held to a Literal:

Adam and Eve living in a Garden in Missouri 6,000 years ago

No evolution

No death before the Fall

The Catholic Church being the Great and Abominable Church of the Devil (Oh the fun we had with that one with my Catholic neighborhood friends)

Dinosaur Bones coming from other planets (bizarre I know)

Prophets who's pronouncements could be taken to the bank and withstand the test of time

A hemispheric setting for the Book of Mormon where all native peoples of both the Americas and the pacific were descendants of Lehi

Native American's being the principle ancestors of Lehi instead being a small undetectable trace

A literal curse of Cain (glad that one turned out to be false)

I could go on and on with teachings and beliefs held by Bruce R McConkie that have been proven beyond doubt to be false and not true.

Given the fact that so many of his teachings and beliefs have not stood the test of time, It makes me question even those that have.  I mean why should I or anyone else for that matter give any credence to any of his teachings if so many of this teachings have been proven to be false.  Does he even carry any credibility with anything anymore?

So how have YOU been able to reconcile Bruce R. McConkie knowing that so many of his teachings have been shown to be not true?

Bruce R. McConkie

Edited by Fair Dinkum
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I think we are counseled to learn everything about every subjects not because that means we'll then understand everything, but to realize the more we learn the more we understand differently than we did before.

I don't believe prophets testify of facts, but of doctrine.

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48 minutes ago, Fair Dinkum said:

Given the fact that so many of his teachings and beliefs have not stood the test of time, It makes me question even those that have.  I mean why should I or anyone else for that matter give any credence to any of his teachings if so many of this teachings have been proven to be false.  Does he even carry any credibility with anything anymore?

Why focus on him when you can decide whether or not to believe the teachings of the living prophets? I think the restored keys trump everything else, and receiving the ordinances is the most important mortal / tangible tie-in we have to benefiting from the Atonement of Jesus Christ.

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49 minutes ago, LoudmouthMormon said:

I think about how God reveals certain things to His prophets, and He also allows us to figure things out for ourselves.  The human race went umpteen thousands of years of recorded history, before coming to grips with the reality of mental illness, for example.  We had to figure out germ theory for ourselves, and other advances in medicine that expanded our lifespans, usually because of reduced infant mortality.

My wife (who was treated horribly by LDS folks who pretended to know better) has a simple saying.  "I trust God to act like God, and man to act like man."  

 

I'll add, my sister, who is a believer said churches are man made. 

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1 hour ago, Amulek said:

This seems like an interesting topic. When you have a sec, see if you can go back and clean up the copy/paste/formatting issues - will make it much easier to discuss.

 

Yeah botched that didn't I

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56 minutes ago, pogi said:

What do you mean by "reconcile Bruce R. McConkie", exactly?  Are you talking about his teachings, or his calling as an apostle? 

The answer to both of those is pretty simple - he is human and fallible.  Perfection is not a prerequisite of apostleship. 

I choose to sup from the edifying and enlightening teachings of his, which FAR outweigh the questionable statements, instead of wasting my time meandering in the fault and error inherent in human fallibility.   Seriously, what a waste!  One need not disregard the good and true and respectable qualities of Elder Bruce R. McConkie because he was human. 

Brigham Young taught us well when he said "don't just take my word for it".

 

He taught things as an apostle that are demonstrable false.  How have you been able to accept anything else he taught as being authoritative given the fact that so much of what he taught is not true.  The man simply has no credibility.

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58 minutes ago, CV75 said:

Why focus on him when you can decide whether or not to believe the teachings of the living prophets? I think the restored keys trump everything else, and receiving the ordinances is the most important mortal / tangible tie-in we have to benefiting from the Atonement of Jesus Christ.

Yet at one time he WAS the one holding the keys of being a living prophet and yet anyone following his directives would have been led into falsehoods.  How can we place any faith in those who hold the keys today given the fact that we know given enough time even their pronouncement could come back to bit us in the ...

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1 hour ago, pogi said:

What do you mean by "reconcile Bruce R. McConkie", exactly?  Are you talking about his teachings, or his calling as an apostle? 

The answer to both of those is pretty simple - he is human and fallible.  Perfection is not a prerequisite of apostleship. 

I choose to sup from the edifying and enlightening teachings of his, which FAR outweigh the questionable statements, instead of wasting my time meandering in the fault and error inherent in human fallibility.   Seriously, what a waste!  One need not disregard the good and true and respectable qualities of Elder Bruce R. McConkie because he was human. 

Brigham Young taught us well when he said "don't just take my word for it".

 

This is only a guess...but I'm going to guess that you take President Nelsons pronouncements as gospel and run your life accordingly and yet in a few years many of the key things you made important life descission on might turn out to be false.  So you made decisions on a false foundation.

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5 minutes ago, Fair Dinkum said:

Yet at one time he WAS the one holding the keys of being a living prophet and yet anyone following his directives would have been led into falsehoods.  How can we place any faith in those who hold the keys today given the fact that we know given enough time even their pronouncement could come back to bit us in the ...

Are there any of Elder McConkie's teachings which you disagree with that has put anyone's salvation at risk?  Some of the things you mention (dinosaur bones, young earth creation, death before the fall) really don't seem to have much to do with salvation.  Is there any part of Elder McConkie's testimony of Christ that is incorrect?

Elder McConkie certainly had his opinions, but we know that it is the united voice of the Quorum of the Twelve and the First Presidency that defines doctrine, not just one person. 

The below quote from Kevin Christensen's earlier post bears repeating.

53 minutes ago, Kevin Christensen said:

If he does not measure up to your expectations, it is always beneficial to ask, "What should I expect?"  That is precisely the point of Jesus telling us to check our own eye for beams before making judgements.  "Then shall ye see clearly."

 

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36 minutes ago, Fair Dinkum said:

He taught things as an apostle that are demonstrable false.  How have you been able to accept anything else he taught as being authoritative given the fact that so much of what he taught is not true.  The man simply has no credibility.

Most people are familiar with the Biblical accounts of Jesus rebuking the apostles for their unbelief and mistakes in the gospel.  Most will recognize their stiff disagreements on different teachings. 

This is from a different religion, but I concur with their teachings:

Quote

Genuine apostles do make mistakes and are fallible, but that doesn’t negate the fact that they are called, and have a grace from God for certain tasks. Nobody expects pastors or evangelists or teachers to be infallible, and neither are apostles or prophets. All are called by God, given grace, and anointed and still must walk with Christ in humility to fulfil their call.

https://www.peace.org.au/apostolic/the-apostolic-revelation/do-apostles-make-mistakes.html

Because he made mistakes doesn't remove the credibility of his calling as an apostle, it simply means that he made mistakes.   We have a fundamentally different understanding of apostleship. 

Edited by pogi
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28 minutes ago, Fair Dinkum said:

This is only a guess...but I'm going to guess that you take President Nelsons pronouncements as gospel and run your life accordingly and yet in a few years many of the key things you made important life descission on might turn out to be false.  So you made decisions on a false foundation.

You are assuming I am a blind follower.  Why?

Even if we were to assume that was true, we could only conclude that I too am human and fallible in doing so, and have much to learn and grow along with the apostles.

Edited by pogi
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2 hours ago, Fair Dinkum said:

So how have YOU been able to reconcile Bruce R. McConkie knowing that so many of his teachings have been shown to be not true?

Most of his teachings are true, only a few were not true. And most of the ones that were not true have no effect on our eternal progression. The ones that were not true I chalk up to the scripture that says we learn things "line upon line, precept upon precept" (Isa 28: 10), God revealing to us new information as the people are able to bear(John 16:12) and no sooner.  This applies to all of us and the prophets.

Mormon Doctrine was Elder Bruce R. McConkie's best effort to provide Latter-day Saints with a gospel compendium to help them to instruct each other in the doctrine of the kingdom. Not he nor anyone else ever claimed it was perfect. In fact he admitted to some mistakes that appeared in the first edition and made corrections for subsequent editions. It was his best explanation of the doctrine of Christ as he understood it at the time. As Bruce R. McConkie states at the beginning of his book:  "For the work itself, I assume sole and full responsibility."

God does not take over a prophet's brain and make him do and say everything perfectly. But they certainly know a lot more about God and His doctrines than I do so I still heed their counsel and have faith that what they say will help me obtain eternal life.

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11 minutes ago, pogi said:

Most people are familiar with the Biblical accounts of Jesus rebuking the apostles for their unbelief and mistakes in the gospel.  Most will recognize their stiff disagreements on different teachings. 

This is from a different religion, but I concur with their teachings:

Because he made mistakes doesn't remove the credibility of his calling as an apostle, it simply means that he made mistakes.   We have a fundamentally different understanding of apostleship. 

I'm not suggesting that McConkie wasn't an apostle.  He certainly was an apostle.  But had I made important life decision on his teachings I would have paid an awful price.  Oh wait, I did make important life decisions based in part on things he taught and did pay a high price.

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Posted (edited)
2 hours ago, ksfisher said:

Are there any of Elder McConkie's teachings which you disagree with that has put anyone's salvation at risk?  Some of the things you mention (dinosaur bones, young earth creation, death before the fall) really don't seem to have much to do with salvation.  Is there any part of Elder McConkie's testimony of Christ that is incorrect?

We don't really know do we.  Maybe he is wrong on that as well.  Guess we'll find out/or won't when we die

2 hours ago, ksfisher said:

Elder McConkie certainly had his opinions, but we know that it is the united voice of the Quorum of the Twelve and the First Presidency that defines doctrine, not just one person. 

The below quote from Kevin Christensen's earlier post bears repeating.

 

Yeah things have changed quite a bit in the church. It has reigned in its apostles.  

Edited by Fair Dinkum
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12 minutes ago, pogi said:

You are assuming I am a blind follower.  Why?

Even if we were to assume that was true, we could only conclude that I too am human and fallible in doing so, and have much to learn and grow along with the apostles.

Not at all. I view you as an independent critical thinker

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Posted (edited)
6 minutes ago, JAHS said:

Most of his teachings are true, only a few were not true. And most of the ones that were not true have no effect on our eternal progression. The ones that were not true I chalk up to the scripture that says we learn things "line upon line, precept upon precept" (Isa 28: 10), God revealing to us new information as the people are able to bear(John 16:12) and no sooner.  This applies to all of us and the prophets.

Mormon Doctrine was Elder Bruce R. McConkie's best effort to provide Latter-day Saints with a gospel compendium to help them to instruct each other in the doctrine of the kingdom. Not he nor anyone else ever claimed it was perfect. In fact he admitted to some mistakes that appeared in the first edition and made corrections for subsequent editions. It was his best explanation of the doctrine of Christ as he understood it at the time. As Bruce R. McConkie states at the beginning of his book:  "For the work itself, I assume sole and full responsibility."

God does not take over a prophet's brain and make him do and say everything perfectly. But they certainly know a lot more about God and His doctrines than I do so I still heed their counsel and have faith that what they say will help me obtain eternal life.

So imagine you run into someone whom you view as an authority only to discover long into your relationship that 50% (Just using this as an example) of the information imparted to you to make life's decisions on was false information.  Does that not cut into the credibility of anything else this person might instruct you in? Example: A certain former politician has zero credibility with me because of his lies and belief in conspiracies.  He could almost say anything today to me and I would no more take him as being credible as  a known charlatan

Edited by Fair Dinkum
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