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Reconciling bruce r. McConkie


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4 hours ago, Fair Dinkum said:
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The Church is true.  Which one of his errors in belief stopped the Church being true?

I think calling an institution true is a bit silly. 

How about something like "I believe the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is what it claims to be."

4 hours ago, Fair Dinkum said:

I prefer saying that there are valuable lessons that the church teaches that if practiced in ones life can add value for some

That's too generic for me.  There are all sorts of groups and individuals that have "valuable lessons."  And I'm willing to listen to such things.

I believe that the Church propounds truths that are essential for our salvation.  As Joseph Smith put it

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“The fundamental principles of our religion are the testimony of the Apostles and Prophets, concerning Jesus Christ, that He died, was buried, and rose again the third day, and ascended into heaven; and all other things which pertain to our religion are only appendages to it” (Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, 121).

That what we know about Jesus Christ comes through "the testimony of the Apostles and Prophets" is indicative of the role they have to play.  They are conduits and purveyors of important and saving truths, but not the source of such things.

I also think the Articles of Faith also do a good job of summarizing fundamentals:

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3 We believe that through the Atonement of Christ, all mankind may be saved, by obedience to the laws and ordinances of the Gospel.

If that is so, when "the laws and ordinances of the Gospel" must be administered.  Hence the need for authority from God.  The Priesthood.

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4 We believe that the first principles and ordinances of the Gospel are: first, Faith in the Lord Jesus Christ; second, Repentance; third, Baptism by immersion for the remission of sins; fourth, Laying on of hands for the gift of the Holy Ghost.

The scriptures indicate that repentance can require the involvement of those with authority, and baptism and the gift of the Holy Ghost always requires such involvement.

The same must be said of the temple ordinances.

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5 We believe that a man must be called of God, by prophecy, and by the laying on of hands by those who are in authority, to preach the Gospel and administer in the ordinances thereof.

6 We believe in the same organization that existed in the Primitive Church, namely, apostles, prophets, pastors, teachers, evangelists, and so forth.

There are many voices out there.  But Jesus Christ organized a visible church during His ministry.  He called and ordained leaders of that church, and gave them authority to act on His behalf.  It makes sense to me that He would do so again in the last days.

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9 We believe all that God has revealed, all that He does now reveal, and we believe that He will yet reveal many great and important things pertaining to the Kingdom of God.

This references both personal revelation given to individuals and revelation given to the entirety of the Church, the latter of which necessarily requires . . . authority.  Prophets and apostles.

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10 We believe in the literal gathering of Israel and in the restoration of the Ten Tribes; that Zion (the New Jerusalem) will be built upon the American continent; that Christ will reign personally upon the earth; and, that the earth will be renewed and receive its paradisiacal glory.

The decision to follow Jesus Christ is an individual thing, but part of that decision is joining a community of others who are doing the same thing.  There are many such communities, but not a "unity of the faith" amongst them (Ephesians 4:13).  I think the sort of unity the Lord has in mind can only be achieved through coming together as a Church established and led by those in authority.  "And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers; For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ; Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man ... That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive."  (Ephesians 4:11-14.)

I think we as a community, as a church, still have a long way to go before attaining this "unity of the faith."  Until then, we will - to varying degrees, be like "children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness."  The duty, I think, is for us as individuals to form our own faith, while still joining and building up and strengthening the community.  The Church.

4 hours ago, Fair Dinkum said:

while for others these same lessons may cause pain and should be avoided 

Not sure what you mean here.

4 hours ago, Fair Dinkum said:

The church often also teaches doctrine that end up being not true. 

And yet the Restored Gospel accounts for that.  

4 hours ago, Fair Dinkum said:

So can a church be called true if it teaches things that are not true, given the passage of time?

Yes.

Do you recognize what you are doing here?  That you are imposing a requirement of infallibility?  

I think there is a difference, and a pretty big and significant one it is, between saying "The Church is true" and "The Church's leaders and members have never made a single error or mistake ever."

4 hours ago, Fair Dinkum said:

To call the church true while at the same time knowing that they have and may be doing so now, we won't know until more time passes, taught doctrines at are false and some that the church itself has disavowed is silly.  The church is probably, based solely on past performance, currently teaching doctrines that will be disavowed by some future 1st presidency and quorum of the 12.

The Church is learning and growing, just like we as individuals are.  To reject it because it was not 100% pristinely perfect in every respect from its inception is, to borrow a word, "silly."

I hope you can re-visit your expectations of infallibility and perfection.  Nobody, including yourself, could live up to the standard you are insisting upon here. 

Thanks,

-Smac

 

Edited by smac97
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59 minutes ago, Fair Dinkum said:

I think calling an institution true is a bit silly.  I prefer saying that there are valuable lessons that the church teaches that if practiced in ones life can add value for some while for others these same lessons may cause pain and should be avoided  The church often also teaches doctrine that end up being not true.  So can a church be called true if it teaches things that are not true, given the passage of time?

To call the church true while at the same time knowing that they have and may be doing so now, we won't know until more time passes, taught doctrines at are false and some that the church itself has disavowed is silly.  The church is probably, based solely on past performance, currently teaching doctrines that will be disavowed by some future 1st presidency and quorum of the 12.

I wonder what doctrine change will do it for those on the board that continually say how infallible the leaders are, but the church is true. Will it be that SSM couples will be welcomed in full fellowship?

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On 7/14/2021 at 10:24 PM, JLHPROF said:

The Church is true.  Which one of his errors in belief stopped the Church being true?

What he and other taught about the priesthood ban for one.

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3 minutes ago, Fair Dinkum said:

And yet it was a false doctrine that was part of the most sacred and highest rituals of the church for 27 years. Ummm. And again this is only one example.

So? Other things have changed about the temple endowment since then that they have determined are not needed for the members of today. Like I said before both we and church leaders still learn things line upon line. 

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15 minutes ago, Tacenda said:

I wonder what doctrine change will do it for those on the board that continually say how infallible the leaders are,

CFR, please.  Chapter and verse.  Citations to members of this board "continually say{ing} how infallible the leaders are."  That is nothing like what I read on this board.

15 minutes ago, Tacenda said:

but the church is true.

Perhaps you mean to say "how fallible the leaders are"?

15 minutes ago, Tacenda said:

Will it be that SSM couples will be welcomed in full fellowship?

I'm not really into imposing speculative/conjectural conditions on my devotion to the Lord and His Church.  "We believe all that God has revealed, all that He does now reveal, and we believe that He will yet reveal many great and important things pertaining to the Kingdom of God."  (AoF 1:9.)  

I really hope my heart and mind are open to further light and knowledge from God.  I think such things are coming to us and will continue to, but re-structuring the Law of Chastity so as to legitimize / authorize / ratify / endorse homosexual behavior and SSM is, in my view, likely not part of the plan.  So the choice available to individual members who have a "the Law of Chastity's prohibition against homosexual behavior is a dealbreaker for me" mindset will, I think, not really be "Do I accept the Law of Chastity as it is taught, or do I try to alter it by using my calling in the Church to that end," but rather "Do I accept the Law of Chastity and continue to sustain the leaders of the Church as prophets, seers and revelators, or do I leave."

I believe the doctrines of the Church are fundamentally based on revelation, not on the personal sociopolitical preferences of the majority of the members of the Church.  

I think there will be some, likely many, who in the long run do not stay with and in the Church.  I think it would be unreasonable to not anticipate this.  The Parable of the Ten Virgins is about the Church, not the World.  When the Lord said "if ye will not abide in my covenant ye are not worthy of me" (D&C 98:15), I think He was warning us against what was coming.  I think there are solid reasons we have so many scriptures listed in the "Topical Guide" under the headings for "Endurance," "Adversity," "Obedience," "Perseverance," "Steadfastness," "Patience," "Forbear," "Long-Suffering" and so on.

I think I'm in the Church, come what may.  I believe any member of the Church can be led astray, including leaders (witness the many who apostasized in the early days of the Church).  I also reject the notion of inerrancy (though I note that it is quite possible for a church leader to make a mistake, or even many mistakes, and yet not be "astray").  

However, I subscribe to the position that the Church and its leaders, collectively, will not be led astray.  

I believe in the prophecy found in Daniel 2 and in how it has been interpreted.  

I agree with Wilford Woodruff that "The Lord will never permit me or any other man who stands as President of this Church to lead you astray. It is not in the programme. It is not in the mind of God."  I think that's right.

I believe in The Book of Mormon, in its testimony of Jesus Christ, and of the implications that are associated with the prophetic mantle involved in its production, preservation, and transmission to us.

I believe the sentiment expressed here (attributed to Joseph Smith): "‘I will give you a key that will never rust, —if you will stay with the majority of the Twelve Apostles, and the records of the Church, you will never be led astray."

The Church is not perfect.  But it is, in my view, overwhelmingly good.  I love it a lot.  

I am very sad to see friends and family leave the Church.  I continue to love them, and hope they return.

Thanks,

-Smac

Edited by smac97
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13 minutes ago, Teancum said:

Why do you think the Church does not need Biblical scholars?  Seems to me Ehrman has expanded our knowledge of what the Bible is and how  it came to be.  And it seems to me that the LDS Church only could use a better understanding of the Bible.

Although at one time in my life I spent a lot of time in Biblical scholarship, I don't think Biblical scholarship is necessary in the Church.  I used to own a dozen or so different commentaries.  I remember how I held my nose reading Bruce R. McConkie's NT commentary when it deviated so far from established learning about particular passages. I have many books by New Testament and Hebrew scholars.  I remember feeling proud for myself teaching classes and drawing upon these commentaries. 

I am reaching the point where I don't think this stuff is even helpful.  I have long considered and understood this talk by Elder Oaks:  https://www.churchofjesuschrist.org/study/ensign/1995/01/scripture-reading-and-revelation?lang=eng.  

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9 minutes ago, Fair Dinkum said:

And had I lived in the late 19th century and had received a spiritual confirmation that Adam-God as taught by BY was true or in the early 1950's and received a spiritual confirmation that the Curse of Cain doctrine was true then what?  Did the spirit lie to me?  Did I not receive a true spiritual confirmation as I had believed?  Certainly I would have had the full backing of LDS leadership with my spiritual confirmation and had I somehow gone against them and expounded my angst against the false doctrine they taught as eternal truths I would have been excommunicated.

Which brings me to today.  If I receive a spiritual confirmation that say some current doctrine is true that is in a few years disavowed by the church, why did the spirit give me a false confirmation?  So why should I believe that anything that I receive a spiritual confirmation on can be relied on as a meaningful means to defining truth?

This is just a thought / question. so take it as it is… would the spirit testify of unimportant doctrine? 

Important:

- reality of the Book of Mormon

- JSjr a prophet

- who to marry

-when to start a family

Unimportant:

- was the fall symbolic or real

- was Noah’s flood symbolic or real

- will we all be polygamists in Heaven

- was Adam our God

- What is going on on other worlds (a question Moses asked God, but he refused to answer because it didn’t matter)

 

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On 7/14/2021 at 10:24 PM, JLHPROF said:

The Church is true.  Which one of his errors in belief stopped the Church being true?

What he and other taught about the priesthood ban for one.

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43 minutes ago, Tacenda said:

I wonder what doctrine change will do it for those on the board that continually say how fallible the leaders are, but the church is true. Will it be that SSM couples will be welcomed in full fellowship?

Quoted myself, thanks @smac97 for replying with a CFR. I mean't to say fallible, as you suggested. And thanks for the input, giving me time I don't probably deserve. 

Edited by Tacenda
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1 hour ago, pogi said:

Well, they can and do teach true principles, but they can also make mistakes. 

Yup, we are in agreement.  My question then and one of the sub-points to this why I started this thread is How can who tell when they are teaching correct principles or if they are teaching you principles the believe are true are actually actually human mistakes/errors or their best shot but actually speculation?

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41 minutes ago, Bob Crockett said:

Although at one time in my life I spent a lot of time in Biblical scholarship, I don't think Biblical scholarship is necessary in the Church.  I used to own a dozen or so different commentaries.  I remember how I held my nose reading Bruce R. McConkie's NT commentary when it deviated so far from established learning about particular passages. I have many books by New Testament and Hebrew scholars.  I remember feeling proud for myself teaching classes and drawing upon these commentaries. 

I am reaching the point where I don't think this stuff is even helpful.  I have long considered and understood this talk by Elder Oaks:  https://www.churchofjesuschrist.org/study/ensign/1995/01/scripture-reading-and-revelation?lang=eng.  

Yes. I liked what elder Oaks said:
"One trouble with commentaries is that their authors sometimes focus on only one meaning, to the exclusion of others. As a result, commentaries, if not used with great care, may illuminate the author’s chosen and correct meaning but close our eyes and restrict our horizons to other possible meanings. Sometimes those other, less obvious meanings can be the ones most valuable and useful to us as we seek to understand our own dispensation and to obtain answers to our own questions. This is why the teaching of the Holy Ghost is a better guide to scriptural interpretation than even the best commentary."

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20 minutes ago, Fair Dinkum said:

Yup, we are in agreement.  My question then and one of the sub-points to this why I started this thread is How can who tell when they are teaching correct principles or if they are teaching you principles the believe are true are actually actually human mistakes/errors or their best shot but actually speculation?

Alma 32 is the best method we have. 

We must recognize that we too are human and fallible.  Just as you should not expect perfection from prophets and scientists, you should not expect perfection in yourself.  It is a process.  Line upon line.  The point is to learn from mistakes, not to avoid them all together. 

The Lord doesn't expect perfection in mortality.  Perfection is a process.  He only expects us to start the process and work at it.  It is much like learning a new language.  We become more affluent in the spirit with practice and mistakes. 

Edited by pogi
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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, Fether said:

This is just a thought / question. so take it as it is… would the spirit testify of unimportant doctrine? 

Important:

- reality of the Book of Mormon

- JSjr a prophet

- who to marry

-when to start a family

Unimportant:

- was the fall symbolic or real

- was Noah’s flood symbolic or real

- will we all be polygamists in Heaven

- was Adam our God

- What is going on on other worlds (a question Moses asked God, but he refused to answer because it didn’t matter)

 

The spirit or at least what I have interpreted as the "Spirit®" has born witness to me countless times in my life.  I have generally interpreted those spiritual witnesses as confirmations of the truth.   I no longer feel that having a spiritual witness from this "Spirit®" is a reliable witness of anything.

My bosom would burn with the spirit when listening to the lies of Paul H Dunn, my bosom would burn when Spencer Kimball taught that Lamanites stretched from Tierra del Fuego to the artic and the islands of the Pacific.  Pacific islanders are no more Lamanites than I am, a white man of English decent.  In fact the spirit just bore witness to me that what I've just posted here is true.  Weird huh.

Edited by Fair Dinkum
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Posted (edited)
36 minutes ago, pogi said:

Alma 32 is the best method we have. 

We must recognize that we too are human and fallible.  Just as you should not expect perfection from prophets and scientists, you should not expect perfection in yourself.  It is a process.  Line upon line.  The point is to learn from mistakes, not to avoid them all together. 

The Lord doesn't expect perfection in mortality.  Perfection is a process.  He only expects us to start the process and work at it.  It is much like learning a new language.  We become more affluent in the spirit with practice and mistakes. 

If the spirit is a measure of what is true and your ruler says that 15" = a foot and when I use it it says 8" = a foot and when someone else reads it it says that 18" = a foot we would all conclude that the ruler is not a reliable means to measure anything.

 

If the spirit can confirm that non-truths are true, it can not be relied on as a reliable means to confirm truth. 

Edited by Fair Dinkum
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2 hours ago, Fair Dinkum said:

I think calling an institution true is a bit silly.  I prefer saying that there are valuable lessons that the church teaches that if practiced in ones life can add value for some while for others these same lessons may cause pain and should be avoided  The church often also teaches doctrine that end up being not true.  So can a church be called true if it teaches things that are not true, given the passage of time?

To call the church true while at the same time knowing that they have and may be doing so now, we won't know until more time passes, taught doctrines at are false and some that the church itself has disavowed is silly.  The church is probably, based solely on past performance, currently teaching doctrines that will be disavowed by some future 1st presidency and quorum of the 12.

Calling the Church true refers to its being Christ's Church, holding his direct authority, and being run by him.
Even if they teach incorrect doctrine from time to time due to human error like McConkie, they are the only "true" Church because they are the only Church established directly by Christ himself (Catholic originations claims notwithstanding).

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10 minutes ago, juliann said:

Now you are mocking. We have had enough talks about the dangers of "spiritual twinkies" that we can't blame anyone but ourselves if we replace spirituality with Hallmark movie emotions. It will happen, though, and we have to accept that in ourselves as well. For me, it always goes back to good old fashioned research. I put great stock in an intellectual approach to the gospel. Just because I accept the supernatural doesn't mean I have to accept nonsensical applications of it. 

It's not my intent to mock, but yeah, I see what you're saying.  I'll dial it back.

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1 hour ago, Teancum said:

What he and other taught about the priesthood ban for one.

How does that invalidate the Church as an organization?  I don't know of any Church teaching that would invalidate the Church if wrong except for those surrounding priesthood, revelation, and Christ.

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27 minutes ago, Fair Dinkum said:

If the spirit is a measure of what is true and your ruler says that 15" = a foot and when I use it it says 8" = a foot and when someone else reads it it says that 18" = a foot we would all conclude that the ruler is not a reliable means to measure anything.

 

If the spirit can confirm that non-truths are true, it can not be relied on as a reliable means to confirm truth. 

Perhaps we should dismiss science for all the same reasons.  There is much disagreement in science in terms of interpreting the data.  

Edited by pogi
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Posted (edited)
30 minutes ago, juliann said:

Now you are mocking. 

Juliann has rightly called me out.  I sincerely apologize.  I respect your faith and have come here to test my own issues and appreciate each of your perspectives and the time you have given to entertain my various issues.

You've been extremely patient with me and I sincerely appreciate it, perhaps I just need to take a break and catch my breath or find a splash pad to cool off.

I just learned yesterday that 3 close relatives have recently left the church.  Of course no one in my family dared share this information with me on fear that it would only embolden me and my issues that I have only in very simple terms even disclosed with these same family members.

I honestly want the church to be everything it claims to be.  I have given countless hours of service and based on that alone should probably be were many of you are instead of where I now find myself.  I would never have ever believed I'd become a non-believer and yet here I am.

Again I sincerely apologize for anything I might had posted the gave offence, it was not my intent.  Cheers and G'day, I'm going to take a break

 

Edited by Fair Dinkum
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18 minutes ago, Fair Dinkum said:

Juliann has rightly called me out.  I sincerely apologize.  I respect your faith and have come here to test my own issues and appreciate each of your perspectives and the time you have given to entertain my various issues.

You've been extremely patient with me and I sincerely appreciate it, perhaps I just need to take a break and catch my breath or find a splash pad to cool off.

I just learned yesterday that 3 close relatives have recently left the church.  Of course no one in my family dared share this information with me on fear that it would only embolden me and my issues that I have only in very simple terms even disclosed with these same family members.

I honestly want the church to be everything it claims to be.  I have given countless hours of service and based on that alone should probably be were many of you are instead of where I now find myself.  I would never have ever believed I'd become a non-believer and yet here I am.

Again I sincerely apologize for anything I might had posted the gave offence, it was not my intent.  Cheers and G'day, I'm going to take a break

 

Your concerns are valid. We can take a little well intended mockery. 

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This may be a dopey comparison, but it made me think of my garden. I have had gardens most of my life. The soil is horrible where I live now. So I had a vegetable garden area dug up and replaced with good soil. The plants look beautiful and green this year. But none are setting fruit! It occured to me that there were no bee enticing flowers in the area. So yesterday, I went to Lowes and followed bees around. I bought the flowers who were attracting the most bees and planted them in between the recalcitrant vegetables.  I guess I have to see if it works to continue this analogy. LOL

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5 hours ago, Hamba Tuhan said:

The Restoration has been revolutionary in so many ways since its very beginnings -- including epistemology! -- and yet many of our critics and some members seem never to have grasped what it is or what it is designed to do.

Agree totally.

It IS epistemology, and that is what got me in the door before I felt the spirit.

That's why I push epistemology so much, but it seems few get it.

But I get some great compliments from those who do, and that is what keeps me here.  And others are starting to get it too.

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