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Reconciling bruce r. McConkie


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1 hour ago, MrShorty said:

While I agree that we are encouraged to seek our own testimony, I don't think adequate air time has been given to exploring what should happen when the confirming witness or testimony does not come.

I will try to find the references, but "wait patiently" comes to mind, as does "putting the fundamentals first."

You mentioned too many things on the shelf, are these the fundamentals? I mentioned my basic testimony of the keys and the saving ordinances having been restored, which in my mind overshadow anything that might bother me about a leader's behavior or teachings. And a testimony is just knowledge by the power of the Holy Ghost, but there are also the Gift and companionship of the Holy Ghost to be maintained by faith.

I think nothing helps us endure with Christ more than the Gift of the Holy Ghost.

Now these may come across a simple words of encouragement, but the bottom line for me is that we can only act according to our knowledge and faith. Since the "formula" states that these are generally found in equal proportion, our introspection is often otherwise for various reasons, so then we can only make a choice to act even when they are evidently imbalanced.

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7 hours ago, bluebell said:

Yes.  I get a government that can't help in that kind of situation (or has chosen to not to by putting it's resources in other places) but I just can't imagine how no other person tried to help.

Hamba did and maybe someone else would have but been too late…but yeah, shocking to us who have sufficient for our needs most of the time and don’t feel that we need to limit sharing our resources to family and maybe friends, but strangers no. 
 

The Good Samaritan modern day version. 
 

Some might have avoided looking closely enough to tell it was an injury and not drunkenness, especially once the cardboard was on him. In Moscow there were unfortunately a number of drunks laying around the Metro (it was very nicely warm in winter), a few in puddles of urine. I admit to averting my eyes. Not speaking Russian and getting warned by friends about getting attacked if speaking to any if we refused to give them money, it seemed the only solution. I can’t remember if I took the time to look close enough to be sure they weren’t injured as my friend’s warning had been very emphatic not to engage or draw attention to ourselves in any way. And Moscow was not a city I was comfortable in at all.  Blank or angry looking stares from everyone, even when they were trying to sell you something….except at the bazaar, that was a fun place…still dangerous though, never show you have much money.  Knew people who had been mugged, swarmed and then hit over the head, flashes by a woman and then jumped, other stuff.  So I can imagine why some may have walked by out of fear. 
 

Bless Hamba that he did not. 

Edited by Calm
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7 hours ago, MrShorty said:

While I agree that we are encouraged to seek our own testimony, I don't think adequate air time has been given to exploring what should happen when the confirming witness or testimony does not come.

So well stated it needs more than just a rep point. 

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12 hours ago, bluebell said:

What happened to the man?  Did he make it to a hospital?

Yes, with assistance, both divine and mortal, I got him to hospital. It took two hours, and he completely stopped breathing on the floor of the police station, but that's another story. One of the doctors told me he had never seen someone so bled out who was still alive. I think they had to give him five units of blood, but at this point I can't remember. They even succeeded in reattaching the muscle, and he eventually left hospital on crutches.

12 hours ago, bluebell said:

I just can't imagine how no other person tried to help.

He was in the far corner of the train station so not really visible. And for anyone who may have seen, he just looked like someone who was sleeping in the train station -- a not uncommon sight. Beyond that, most people who passed through the station that morning would have been severely limited in the help they could offer, whether time or money.

4 hours ago, Calm said:

Bless Hamba that he did not. 

It was all the Lord's doing. I was Jonah that morning, and in more ways than I've described. I'm grateful for both the Gift of the Holy Ghost and the power of the priesthood. I'm also grateful for the power of covenants to 'compel' behaviour.

Edited by Hamba Tuhan
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12 hours ago, Hamba Tuhan said:

Not in my experience! I have found the results to be impossibly consistent in my life.

OK. In my experience, revelation usually tells me what to do, not what something is, but I'm clearly not you. In any case, I would still need personal evidence to support that message.

Have you ever seen me claim to have had a revelation that the Church is what it claims to be? Because I haven't. Ever.

There is literally nothing to reconcile. I have zero unmediated access to what any other person has experienced, including you, and there is no conflict within my personal experience.

Well I had a long response  but for some reason it disappeared.  Short response.  My prayers when and revelation seeking when I was going through my major faith crisis and transition gave me an answer to that I should no longer participate in or defend the LDS Church as I had my entire life up till then.  Why?  Because JS was not what he claimed and the Church is not either. My experience with this revelation is in direct conflict to yours.  So how can this be a reliable method to find truth?

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10 hours ago, Teancum said:

My prayers when and revelation seeking when I was going through my major faith crisis and transition gave me an answer to that I should no longer participate in or defend the LDS Church as I had my entire life up till then.  Why?  Because JS was not what he claimed and the Church is not either. My experience with this revelation is in direct conflict to yours.  So how can this be a reliable method to find truth?

Interesting. You think this is an unreliable method to find truth, and yet you assert above that, based on this very method, you stopped participating in and defending the Church ... as though you believe that it led you to find the truth.

I honestly don't know what you want from me. Do you want me to somehow force myself to stop having experiences like the one I described above so that I can join you in your unbelief. I can't see how that would benefit me in any way. Such experiences have refined me -- making me a kinder, better, more generous man -- and have brought me joy and rejoicing that persist to this very moment. It certainly wouldn't have been a benefit to the young man whom I was blessed to assist that morning.

Would it benefit you in some way?

Edited by Hamba Tuhan
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12 hours ago, MrShorty said:

I will agree with this. Here are some of my expectations (some help me reconcile Elder McKonkie's teachings, others don't):

1) As an apostle/prophet -- a special witness of Christ -- I expect him to express a solid testimony of the Savior. In don't know that I expect to agree in every detail (such as Talmage's claim to Christ being born on 6 Apr.), but I do expect a testimony of the Savior.

2) I expect an apostle/prophet to have a solid testimony of the scriptures. Again, I expect to disagree in some interpretive details (which stories are "literal" and which are not).

3) I expect an apostle/prophet to express a testimony of prior prophets and apostles. I don't expect a later prophet/apostle to "correct" any errors of prior prophets apostles -- those kinds of things seem to be quite rare. I am not quite sure what to do with this expectation, because it suggests that apostles/prophets are more interested in loyalty to their "peers" than to finding truth. I do expect that they disagree amongst themselves (Joseph Fielding Smith, B H Roberts, and James Talmage showed how this might play out in public), but I also expect them to keep their disagreements private and internal.

4) I expect to sometimes disagree with what a prophet/apostle teaches. I think this is part of what we are discussing in this thread.

5) I expect that prophets/apostles sometimes claim something is revelation that is not.

6) I expect apostles/prophets to sometimes claim something is "foundational" (as @CV75 mentioned) that I do not believe is foundational (such as Elder McKonkie calling Evolution a deadly heresy). I expect to sometimes agree/sometimes disagree with apostles and prophets on what belongs in our truth cart.

7) I expect prophets/apostles to be sincere in their teachings/beliefs. They may be in error, but I believe they will be sincere. I'm still not sure what to make of this. To again paraphrase Ben Spackman -- what is our model of prophets that allows them to make sincere errors in determining what is right and wrong.

8 ) If I am too vocal in my disagreements, I expect to be "disciplined" by my correligionists or even by my priesthood leaders -- and it won't matter who is "right".

9) I expect prophets/apostles to be "conservative" -- meaning that, where there is uncertainty, they will defer to "tradition" rather than change. Therefore, change -- when needed -- will be slow -- maybe even "late" -- when compared to society at large.

That's a good start to my list of expectations. What expectations should we have?

RE: #3, the prophets are subject to becoming a “case” (D&C 102) and in that way may need to be corrected. As far as incorrect or disavowed teachings, I think this is taken more in the attitude of increasing light and knowledge.

RE: #6, a finer point (Joseph Smith): “The fundamental principles of our religion is the testimony of the apostles and prophets concerning Jesus Christ, “that he died, was buried, and rose again the third day, and ascended up into heaven;” and all other things are only appendages to these, which pertain to our religion. But in connection with these, we believe in the gift of the Holy Ghost, the power of faith, the enjoyment of the spiritual gifts according to the will of God, the restoration of the house of Israel, and the final triumph of truth.” The “appendages” rely on the keys.

RE: #7, I think one good model is related to #6, where Christ delegates the keys and His servants learn as they go in good faith (just as any member). The blessings of those keys are found in the personal ordinances we receive, and the enjoyment of these blessings are unaffected by any administrator’s imperfections. This leads to #8, in which those who become contentious may be subject to becoming a “case” (as in #3).

RE: #9, the idea that “change -- when needed -- will be slow -- maybe even "late" -- when compared to society at large” is very interesting to me. I think the “when needed” and the attendant timing in themselves carry an element of expectation. I’ve heard it said that we are saved individually (the ordinances) but are exalted as families (I’ll add to that communities, as in “Zion”) as we balance individual progress with seeking each other’s welfare.

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@CV75 (and anyone else with thoughts on the subject):

RE #3 and 9: Do we really believe in increasing light and knowledge, or is this just a straw we keep that progressives can grasp at? Seriously, though, for me it is interesting how the "increasing light and knowledge" (something reminiscent of Leo Winegar's restorative light model I mentioned earlier) interacts with and counters #9 -- our conservatism. How much easier would some of the needed changes come if we had a better history with more humility and less certainty. It sometimes feels like our certainty is what interferes with receiving greater light and knowledge. Do you think it is possible for a prophet's/apostle's certainty in what they believe or reluctance to accept new light and knowledge can interfere with receiving new light and knowledge?

Re your response to #7: Sometimes when we focus on the authority to perform saving ordinances, I wonder about the need to stay in the Church, since I've already received all of the necessary ordinances (except maybe for the obscure ones like the 2nd anointing, whatever that is). I suppose it hits at what it means that prophets can bind and LOOSE on Earth and Heaven, whether I really believe that they can take away those ordinances. If I don't believe they can take those ordinances and covenants away from me, then I sometimes don't feel motivated to stick around just because they were the ones to administer those ordinances.

At the same time, it seems like switching the focus to the authority to perform ordinances doesn't really answer the question about why God would let them make sincere mistakes? Is God unconcerned about false teachings that prophets and apostles might give? Sometimes these discussions feel like we are saying that God really doesn't care about doctrines that are taught.

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52 minutes ago, MrShorty said:

Do you think it is possible for a prophet's/apostle's certainty in what they believe or reluctance to accept new light and knowledge can interfere with receiving new light and knowledge?

Isn’t that in part what we believe happened with many of the Jews at the time of Christ?  Traditions, especially good traditions, are very comforting.  Truth can be much more than that, giving us our anchor in life.  If we have something good, sometimes we forget that there is always better out there.  In fact, we may fall into a trap of thinking it is ungrateful to God and a rejection of the truth we have to believe more is to come, including much that can look to us in our limited mortal understanding as dramatically different, something that forces us to put aside the good we have rather than add to it.

Edited by Calm
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11 hours ago, MrShorty said:

@CV75 (and anyone else with thoughts on the subject):

RE #3 and 9: Do we really believe in increasing light and knowledge, or is this just a straw we keep that progressives can grasp at? Seriously, though, for me it is interesting how the "increasing light and knowledge" (something reminiscent of Leo Winegar's restorative light model I mentioned earlier) interacts with and counters #9 -- our conservatism. How much easier would some of the needed changes come if we had a better history with more humility and less certainty. It sometimes feels like our certainty is what interferes with receiving greater light and knowledge. Do you think it is possible for a prophet's/apostle's certainty in what they believe or reluctance to accept new light and knowledge can interfere with receiving new light and knowledge?

Re your response to #7: Sometimes when we focus on the authority to perform saving ordinances, I wonder about the need to stay in the Church, since I've already received all of the necessary ordinances (except maybe for the obscure ones like the 2nd anointing, whatever that is). I suppose it hits at what it means that prophets can bind and LOOSE on Earth and Heaven, whether I really believe that they can take away those ordinances. If I don't believe they can take those ordinances and covenants away from me, then I sometimes don't feel motivated to stick around just because they were the ones to administer those ordinances.

At the same time, it seems like switching the focus to the authority to perform ordinances doesn't really answer the question about why God would let them make sincere mistakes? Is God unconcerned about false teachings that prophets and apostles might give? Sometimes these discussions feel like we are saying that God really doesn't care about doctrines that are taught.

In relation to the connection (if any) between mistakes and authority, I would say that God allows "sincere mistakes" because the authority of the ordinances is His priority. He stands behind His own authority, and grants His children the agency to make mistakes. For example, the authority to bestow the Gift of the Holy Ghost allows the receiver to enjoy it to the degree they are willing, and to handle others’ mistakes with grace. The Atonement of Christ was instituted long before anyone made any mistakes (or worse), in anticipation of just that.

I’m not sure what I would call my progress through life if not “increasing light and knowledge” as I’ve enjoyed the Gift of the Holy Ghost – including increased humility, empathy, faith, etc. I think these enjoyments operate within the confines of individual and collective attitudes regarding social conservatism and liberalism, and by its definition, do not impede the operation of “divine grace” individually or collectively.  We do our best in good faith, and individuals are saved, and families/communities are exalted. Can we do better? Of course: I recommend a book, “The Righteous Mind: Why Good People are Divided by Politics and Religion” by Jonathan Haidt.

I would consider that the motivation to stick around is to abide the ordinances by building Zion with those who may be further ahead and further behind our level of progress. Also, to renew the ordinances (e.g., sacrament) and to get them to others (e.g., missionary ad temple activity). Covenants like  tithing and ways to express them (like service, ministering and fast offerings) require transactions with the Church authorities. Testimony (knowledge) and actions (faith) need such an environment in which to grow. Can people do this without organized religion? Yes, but they would still need to organize to work together, an appeal to some authority even if moral authority alone, and a common aim and belief in achieving it.

I think it helpful to speak for ourselves and act accordingly when it comes to how much light and knowledge we have acquired for the benefit of ourselves and others. That will require continued interaction with our fellow saints.

Edited by CV75
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10 hours ago, Calm said:

Isn’t that in part what we believe happened with many of the Jews at the time of Christ?  Traditions, especially good traditions, are very comforting.  Truth can be much more than that, giving us our anchor in life.  If we have something good, sometimes we forget that there is always better out there.  In fact, we may fall into a trap of thinking it is ungrateful to God and a rejection of the truth we have to believe more is to come, including much that can look to us in our limited mortal understanding as dramatically different, something that forces us to put aside the good we have rather than add to it.

Jesus pointed out where the religious leaders of His day fell short in this regard, and His teachings persist to this day in the New Testament and Book of Mormon. Should He be displeased or disappointed with the direction the Church leaders are taking today, I think He would prick their conscience as He does ours; I do not think there is a lot of difference between His means of interaction with Church leaders and with individual members, and He regards us all the same

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13 hours ago, MrShorty said:

Sometimes these discussions feel like we are saying that God really doesn't care about doctrines that are taught.

The two great commandments- love God and your neighbor as yourself doesn't require much more Doctrine, but it does require an organization to carry it out and spread the word.

It's hard to love your neighbor if you don't have any 

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2 hours ago, CV75 said:

Can people do this without organized religion? Yes, but they would still need to organize to work together, an appeal to some authority even if moral authority alone, and a common aim and belief in achieving it.

And then, even if there are only secular motivations like "Save the Whales", THAT becomes a secular religion, fulfilling the need for saving something, giving one a set of beliefs to be spread, and giving a purpose or goal in life for its members, a "hope for things unseen"

Political parties can be seen as " organized religions" if one wants to!

You can't get anything done WITHOUT "organized religion" imo ! 

Edited by mfbukowski
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15 hours ago, MrShorty said:

Do we really believe in increasing light and knowledge, or is this just a straw we keep that progressives can grasp at? 
Do you think it is possible for a prophet's/apostle's certainty in what they believe or reluctance to accept new light and knowledge can interfere with receiving new light and knowledge?

1. Progressives appear to grasp at the idea that an "increase" in light and knowledge will somehow provide "different" light and knowledge.  That is my number one issue with the mindset.  The idea that a previous revelation is wrong and the new one will be right.  If it was actually a revelation then a new revelation won't contradict it.  Increasing light and knowledge means more information, not different.

2. We are told the prophet cannot lead us astray.  However the proviso on that statement is the prophet has to be receiving revelation.  Without actual revelation then we absolutely will be led astray.  And in that situation their certainty of belief would definitely interfere.  A prophet is only a prophet when acting as such and that especially includes when declaring they have the mind and will of God on an issue.  Without true revelation they are as prone to error as any other mortal.

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On 7/18/2021 at 1:26 PM, Teancum said:

But revelation is not testable and science does not ask me to follow a prophet and base my life on that prophet even though these prophet get a lot of things wrong. So yea science is EXTREMELY different than "revelation." If you think former LDS critics seem to expect more from revelation (not infallibility) is is because they were taught to follow what the leaders say and not deviate. It is the apologists who seem to want to diminish the value or accuracy of their "revelations."

I am reminded of a neighbor who had stopped attending church services regularly when her parents were divorced. She was 10 at the time. Her attendence after that point was sporadic, rare weekends she spent with her father, and she never attended seminary or institute.  She felt like she knew everything there was to know about the church, but when I talked to her, I realized that all her ideas were based on Primary level learning.

This comment: "Because they were taught to follow what the leaders say and not deviate" also reminds me of Junior Primary level learning.

"Follow the prophet, follow the prophet, follow the prophet, don't go astray." 

Don't get me wrong. "Primary answers" are succinct and essential building blocks for further learning. But they are rarely complete answers. 

As members progress beyond Primary, they will start to hear this (Senior Primary):

"Follow the prophet,when he's speaking as a prophet."

Then they will hear this (Twelve Year Old):

"Follow the prophet, when he's speaking as a prophet, which you will know because the words will published as revelation or direction from the leaders with the approval of the church council.

We look to the scriptures (BoM, PoGP, D&C, the Bible - as far as it's translated correctly), General Conference talks, proclamations or letters sent out to be read over the pulpit for all of our doctrine and guidance, and we are not "deviating" if we choose to ignore what a leader says outside these sources.

You could stop right there and throw out eighty percent of the critic's stated issues, since most of what they quibble about has nothing to do with actual church doctrine. 

Members should not, however, stop at that point. They should move on to an adult level which will allow them to hear and follow the Prophet regardless of the venue, but also to know when a leader is not speaking as a prophet.

When is a prophet speaking as a prophet? When the spirit speaks to you and says, "This is God's message to you. Hear him."

Perhaps I'm being unfair, but when critics express themselves with words that indicate "Primary" level learning on gospel related topics, I'm inclined to believe that this is the level at which their understanding rests. 

 

 

 

 

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19 minutes ago, Emily said:

I am reminded of a neighbor who had stopped attending church services regularly when her parents were divorced. She was 10 at the time. Her attendence after that point was sporadic, rare weekends she spent with her father, and she never attended seminary or institute.  She felt like she knew everything there was to know about the church, but when I talked to her, I realized that all her ideas were based on Primary level learning.

This comment: "Because they were taught to follow what the leaders say and not deviate" also reminds me of Junior Primary level learning.

"Follow the prophet, follow the prophet, follow the prophet, don't go astray." 

Don't get me wrong. "Primary answers" are succinct and essential building blocks for further learning. But they are rarely complete answers. 

As members progress beyond Primary, they will start to hear this (Senior Primary):

"Follow the prophet,when he's speaking as a prophet."

Then they will hear this (Twelve Year Old):

"Follow the prophet, when he's speaking as a prophet, which you will know because the words will published as revelation or direction from the leaders with the approval of the church council.

We look to the scriptures (BoM, PoGP, D&C, the Bible - as far as it's translated correctly), General Conference talks, proclamations or letters sent out to be read over the pulpit for all of our doctrine and guidance, and we are not "deviating" if we choose to ignore what a leader says outside these sources.

You could stop right there and throw out eighty percent of the critic's stated issues, since most of what they quibble about has nothing to do with actual church doctrine. 

Members should not, however, stop at that point. They should move on to an adult level which will allow them to hear and follow the Prophet regardless of the venue, but also to know when a leader is not speaking as a prophet.

When is a prophet speaking as a prophet? When the spirit speaks to you and says, "This is God's message to you. Hear him."

Perhaps I'm being unfair, but when critics express themselves with words that indicate "Primary" level learning on gospel related topics, I'm inclined to believe that this is the level at which their understanding rests. 

 

 

 

 

 

What if the damage has been done? What if some of the lessons were damaging? Children should be taught as adults are, to not take everything at face value and not believe those primary teachers or even youth teachers are correct in everything they say. In the past there has been some serious shaming going on in those lessons. I heard a woman's story from her own mouth of how she was shamed and she was already in a very abusive household.

I say the follow the prophet song should be thrown out of the primary curriculum or substitute Jesus Christ's name there. Children shouldn't be taught to always obey their elders no matter what. Especially in this day and age.

I also listened to a Native American woman tell her story of how her primary teacher taught her that if she lived righteously her skin would turn white and how she tried with all her might to do that but each day she'd wake up with her brown skin and she'd be in tears and her mother asked her why she was crying and she told her about what her teacher had said.

She was adopted by a white couple and thank goodness her mother set the primary teacher straight. There were two Native American women being interviewed in the podcast I listened to and they both said they hated singing the Book of Mormon Stories song because they'd both at different times be told to stand up and do the actions for the primary, and how the song didn't make them feel too good. 

Edited by Tacenda
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On 7/20/2021 at 6:34 AM, Teancum said:

My prayers when and revelation seeking when I was going through my major faith crisis and transition gave me an answer to that I should no longer participate in or defend the LDS Church as I had my entire life up till then.  Why?  Because JS was not what he claimed and the Church is not either. My experience with this revelation is in direct conflict to yours.  So how can this be a reliable method to find truth?

Just out of curiosity, was your revelation only that you should "no longer participate or defend the LDS church"  or did the revelation also include the "Why?" portion of your statement?

It's unclear in how you phrased this post if the "why" was a unique thought given as part of the revelation, or if that was the reason for the revelation that you developed after receiving the revelation.

Also, by "not participating", did that mean having your name removed from the records? Or are you still officially a member?

I'm also curious, did you receive revelation to start criticizing, that is actively fighting against the church? Were you asked to convince others to leave the church? Or were you told to simply stop participating?

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1 hour ago, Tacenda said:

I say the follow the prophet song should be thrown out of the primary curriculum or substitute Jesus Christ's name there. Children shouldn't be taught to always obey their elders no matter what. Especially in this day and age.

I also listened to a Native American woman tell her story of how her primary teacher taught her that if she lived righteously her skin would turn white and how she tried with all her might to do that but each day she'd wake up with her brown skin and she'd be in tears and her mother asked her why she was crying and she told her about what her teacher had said.

Young children have to start with basic concepts before they can move to more complicated concepts.

My grandson has a series of books that he adores, "Organic Chemistry for Babies", "Rocket Science for Babies" etc. All the books start with, "This is a ball." And the book goes on to show the ball being stuck to other balls, attracting or repelling other balls, balls being squished or twisted or propelled - in attempts to explain principles of science in a way a young child can understand. 

To my grandson, it's all about what is happening to the "ball" even though in reality, molecules bear no resemblance to stuck together balls, quantum levels do not resemble the rings of Saturn, and space is not a bedsheet. But it's a start. It's a necessary start for any student who will go on to learn the mathematical language  needed to understand higher concepts. Until a student is familiar with that language, they will NEVER understand what an atom really is or what "warping space" really means. But you can't teach babies advanced math in preschool, even though that's what is required to teach them the real truth

The song, "Follow the Prophet" gives children a basic idea of what prophets are, and why we need them. It teaches a word that is necessary in gospel language. It's not a perfect song, but children sing it and are able to define "prophet" in a rudimentary fashion.

Once you understand what a prophet is, and what he's supposed to do, and what you are supposed to do - then you can start to learn more about what he is not, how far his authority goes, and exactly what "following a prophet" entails. But you need the basics to begin.

The situation with your Native American friend is a prime example of juvenile thinking. The teacher only knew one definition for the word, "white" and assumed that her interpretation was correct, regardless of all scientific and contextual evidence to the contrary. She didn't discuss alternative explanations with other members, she didn't seek help from the spirit. She just embroidered a theory from her limited knowledge, or picked up the theory from other members with equally limited knowledge, and spread it around.

It's very unfortunate that your friend was exposed to this teacher. The teacher could have been safe in her ignorance if she had at least stuck to the approved curriculum. She did not stick to approved curriculum and created confusion.

So the teacher failed to follow church teaching guidelines, she failed to consider the context in the scriptures, she failed to consider scientific evidence which would reject her nonsensical theory, and she failed to be sensitive to the needs of the children in her class.  But all of the above were her failures. It was not a failure of the scriptures or the church curriculum, or the prophet.

It was a common enough failure that the church decided to change "white" to "pure" in a later printings of the Book of Mormon.

One could say the change in that wording should have been made sooner. Before that particular myth of "changing skin colors" crept into the church, hurt the feelings of so many members, caused other members to question the truthfulness of the Book of Mormon as a while, and gave some members an excuse to leave the church.

I don't know why it wasn't changed sooner. 

Perhaps some changes just aren't made until the members ask for them? Perhaps some changes require a majority of us to get on our knees and ask, "Why? Why does this obvious error of man remain in the mythos of the church, becoming a stumbling block for the innocent and the weak?"

I can't answer that question. I do know that the "Revelation on the Priesthood" was an answer to many heartfelt prayers throughout the membership of the church (a resounding yes) as was the "Proclamation on the Family" (for many, a stinging no). So, I have to continue to believe that the Lord will say yes and He will say no, in His own time.

In the meantime, love your fellow man, and do your callings to the best of your ability. The rest will work out in the end.

 

Edited by Emily
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18 hours ago, Emily said:

I am reminded of a neighbor who had stopped attending church services regularly when her parents were divorced. She was 10 at the time. Her attendence after that point was sporadic, rare weekends she spent with her father, and she never attended seminary or institute.  She felt like she knew everything there was to know about the church, but when I talked to her, I realized that all her ideas were based on Primary level learning.

This comment: "Because they were taught to follow what the leaders say and not deviate" also reminds me of Junior Primary level learning.

"Follow the prophet, follow the prophet, follow the prophet, don't go astray." 

Don't get me wrong. "Primary answers" are succinct and essential building blocks for further learning. But they are rarely complete answers. 

As members progress beyond Primary, they will start to hear this (Senior Primary):

"Follow the prophet,when he's speaking as a prophet."

Then they will hear this (Twelve Year Old):

"Follow the prophet, when he's speaking as a prophet, which you will know because the words will published as revelation or direction from the leaders with the approval of the church council.

We look to the scriptures (BoM, PoGP, D&C, the Bible - as far as it's translated correctly), General Conference talks, proclamations or letters sent out to be read over the pulpit for all of our doctrine and guidance, and we are not "deviating" if we choose to ignore what a leader says outside these sources.

You could stop right there and throw out eighty percent of the critic's stated issues, since most of what they quibble about has nothing to do with actual church doctrine. 

Members should not, however, stop at that point. They should move on to an adult level which will allow them to hear and follow the Prophet regardless of the venue, but also to know when a leader is not speaking as a prophet.

When is a prophet speaking as a prophet? When the spirit speaks to you and says, "This is God's message to you. Hear him."

Perhaps I'm being unfair, but when critics express themselves with words that indicate "Primary" level learning on gospel related topics, I'm inclined to believe that this is the level at which their understanding rests. 

 

 

 

 

 

I can assure you that my level of understanding about things LDS has been and is well beyond primary level.  Are you being unfair. I would say your post it the typical confirmation bias approach many seem to need to sustain their testimony and to marginalize those who leave as well as the reasons they offer.

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18 hours ago, Emily said:

Just out of curiosity, was your revelation only that you should "no longer participate or defend the LDS church"  or did the revelation also include the "Why?" portion of your statement?

It's unclear in how you phrased this post if the "why" was a unique thought given as part of the revelation, or if that was the reason for the revelation that you developed after receiving the revelation.

Also, by "not participating", did that mean having your name removed from the records? Or are you still officially a member?

I'm also curious, did you receive revelation to start criticizing, that is actively fighting against the church? Were you asked to convince others to leave the church? Or were you told to simply stop participating?

The why is because Joseph Smith was not a prophet and the truth claims around the foundation of the LDS Church are not true.  What Smith's motives were I Do not know. I view him somewhat as a pious fraud that likely started to believe his own story. I view the church as about as valid and "true" as any other church.

I am still officially a member. I have no plans to have my name removed.  I may even go back some day. I am open to that.

As for your last comment, well you really now nothing about me. You have what,50 posts here?  I have been on this board for years, formerly as an active member and a avid hobby apologist.  I am quite friendly with the Church and its members. I have lots of LDS friends that I still interact with. The only place I critique the Church is on this board and another one that I visit periodically.  The only time I talk in real life to someone about my problems with the Church is if they ask and really want to know the reasons for my disaffection.  And most don't ask.  I even chat with the missionaries ever few weeks because I like missionaries. I would but them breakfast but they have some new dumb damn rule that they can only eat with a member if there is a non member present. 

But maybe I should seek guidance on whether or note to convince other to leave.  What do you think? 😏

 

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