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'What would dead church leaders think? Short-sighted reasoning


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9 minutes ago, Calm said:

It isn’t proof it is a bad thing though either. 

Of course not. 

I am a political libertarian. A pure libertarian believes strongly in open borders. Other libertarians favor this in principle, but are at the same time concerned with practicality. Do you leave your home's door unlocked at all times, or not? The same principle of the open/locked door has an analog in national borders. In 2019 my wife and I went on a week's vacation in Austria. All I needed to pass Austria's border was my US passport. Austrian border law permitted me to stay in that country for up to 6 months (I think) without any further fuss. My wife, being a EU citizen (at the time, though UK is no longer part of that), could just come in and stay as long as she wanted, without limit. My libertarian heart loves that. I would love for as many Mexicans to freely enter the US as want to. I've known quite a few of them, both illegals and legals, and by and large I have no complaint with them in the US. 

But I do have doubts as to the practicality or the wisdom of open borders at this time.

9 minutes ago, Calm said:

It would be wisest Imo to seek the principle behind the choices Brigham and others were making at the time, what results they desired and why and then see how best it can be achieved in the here and now. 

I think that Brigham had no objection to open borders. Perhaps he would still have no objection in these days. I don't know if our leaders (either party) are wise enough to make the proper decisions. 

9 minutes ago, Calm said:

At the very least, current church policy is to support and protect to some degree immigrants in the US, even illegals with policies that allow illegals to be baptized, hold callings, even go on missions with protections so as not to draw attention to their illegal status. 

That says a lot to me. 

The D&C admonishes us to support the constitutional law of the land. But what if that constitutional law goes against illegal immigrants? Would not then Church policy be in actual violation of an important revealed principle of divinely-approved government? 

That worries me.

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13 minutes ago, Stargazer said:

divinely-approved government? 

Just because one aspect of government might at one time have had God’s approval doesn’t mean his approval is given in perpetuity.  
 

And there is a lot of debate about what is constitutional.

Joseph fled appointed government actions at times, submitted to others. Same with Brigham. He was willing to fight against the United States Army even. It wasn’t called the Mormon Rebellion because it sounded cute. 
 

Polygamy continued for a time even when it was made illegal ‘constitutionally’ (Congress making a law and Supreme Court judgment supporting it). Obeying the law of the land apparently has some exceptions, likely rare, but it is not a given of our history is a guide. 

Edited by Calm
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47 minutes ago, The Nehor said:

It didn’t ‘turn into’ a political discussion. It was one from the OP. It was obviously one. It was an attempt to discredit the words of a dead prophet because the OP did not like wha the dead prophet said because it gave fuel to his political enemies.

You're correct, but I'm not sure about this being an attempt to discredit the words of a dead prophet. Like I said, what the dead prophet said a hundred years ago in context with conditions a hundred years old does not necessarily apply to our time and in different circumstances. At one time it was doctrine to sacrifice animals and circumcise male babies. That time is past. And it is no disrespect to dead prophets to say that that was then, but this is now.

I tend to follow what God's prophet says about the here and now. It's called "continuing revelation".

47 minutes ago, The Nehor said:

The words of a dead prophet on a particularly political point are fairly weak evidence for what God would want today but I am inclined to believe that they are worthy of consideration and are better than no evidence. I certainly don’t think the political machinations of the Nephites and Lamanites are irrelevant to us today. God sure seemed interested in getting those stories to us even when they often seem to be of little spiritual value.

Maybe they are worthy of consideration. But maybe what Russell M. Nelson says today is far more relevant. In Nephi's time it was a good idea to get on board that boat. But that boat isn't relevant today. 

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1 minute ago, Stargazer said:

You're correct, but I'm not sure about this being an attempt to discredit the words of a dead prophet. Like I said, what the dead prophet said a hundred years ago in context with conditions a hundred years old does not necessarily apply to our time and in different circumstances. At one time it was doctrine to sacrifice animals and circumcise male babies. That time is past. And it is no disrespect to dead prophets to say that that was then, but this is now.

I tend to follow what God's prophet says about the here and now. It's called "continuing revelation".

Maybe they are worthy of consideration. But maybe what Russell M. Nelson says today is far more relevant. In Nephi's time it was a good idea to get on board that boat. But that boat isn't relevant today. 

I agree it doesn’t necessarily apply. I do think even a dead prophet’s words are worthy of consideration.

Continuing revelation? What an amazing concept. Is it new?

Of course what President Nelson says today would be far more relevant and if he and President Young shared different counsel for different times I would side with President Nelson. The problem is that, as far as I am aware, President Nelson hasn’t spoken on the topic and I don’t expect him to. So I am willing to consider the words of Brigham Young on the topic and give them some weight.

I also give weight (though less than for President Young) to what Reagan said:

“I've spoken of the shining city all my political life, but I don't know if I ever quite communicated what I saw when I said it. But in my mind it was a tall, proud city built on rocks stronger than oceans, wind-swept, God-blessed, and teeming with people of all kinds living in harmony and peace; a city with free ports that hummed with commerce and creativity. And if there had to be city walls, the walls had doors and the doors were open to anyone with the will and the heart to get here. That's how I saw it, and see it still.”

What a difference a few decades make…..

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2 minutes ago, Calm said:

Just because one aspect of government might at one time have had God’s approval doesn’t mean his approval is given in perpetuity.  

Do you think the Constitution has lost divine approval? And if so, why?

What I think, is that the Constitution continues to have divine approval. However, the expression of the laws that have been found to be constitutional may not always have His approval.

2 minutes ago, Calm said:

And there is a lot of debate about what is constitutional.

Always has been. But the Constitution itself seems to have evolved closer to perfection over time than it started out to be. Its interpretation, however, seems not to have kept up. The "sappers and miners" of the federal judiciary have been making a hash of it, as Thomas Jefferson pointed out:

“The Judiciary of the United States is the subtle corps of sappers and miners constantly working under ground to undermine the foundations of our confederated fabric."  

2 minutes ago, Calm said:

Joseph fled appointed government actions at times, submitted to others. Same with Brigham. He was willing to fight against the United States Army even. 

I never said the government was perfect. I'm one of those miscreants who believes that one of the reasons for the 2nd Amendment is to enable the people to oppose the government by force, if necessary. I believe that the three boxes of patriotism are: 1) the soap box; 2) the ballot box; and 3) the ammo box. By saying that, I'm not expressing approval of the contretemps that erupted on January 6, 2021. Like I've told The Nehor, I don't know enough (even if he thinks he does) to judge that thing. I believe that much was going on behind the scenes that we don't know much about, and that it involved more than just a few useful idiots in silly costumes. I think it may have had a lot more in common with Nazi Germany's Reichstag fire than it did with nincompoop citizens going off the reservation. "The Nazi Party used the fire as a pretext to claim that communists were plotting against the German government, which made the fire pivotal in the establishment of Nazi Germany." Whether this was a Reichstag fire or not, I cannot tell. But I reserve the right to believe that I don't know what exactly was happening, and the fact that the dominant media seems to know all about it makes my doubt approach certainty. 

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11 minutes ago, Stargazer said:

Do you think the Constitution has lost divine approval? And if so, why?

I don’t believe the Constitution as a whole ever had full out divine approval****…I just can’t see the sections on slavery or limiting the vote to only some of the population as inspired for example…nor do I believe God views the whole document now as inspired. I fully admit this is pure bias as I can’t make sense of it another way at this time. 
 

What made and makes it most inspired in my view is the ability to change it so that as we become more aligned with the Will of God, so can our government without having to go back to square one by having a revolution. However, like everything that increases our agency, it risks going the wrong way at times. And there was crap in the original document and crap in the current interpretations Imo that God most definitely is not happy with…but he is allowing us to grow up by learning from our mistakes. 

****I would say it is somewhat similar to “the Bible is the Word of God as far as it is translated correctly” and the Book of Mormon admitting there are the mistakes of men in its pages. Man’s fingers on documents means there is a lot of garbage among the good fruit…the problem is determining at what point the garbage makes something toxic as opposed to helping out with fertilizing by decomposing. 

Edited by Calm
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7 hours ago, pogi said:

Actually, you should read your OP.  You didn’t say anything about divine inspiration in the OP - which is why I brought it up.  You didn’t define “X”, you just made it sound like you think that they would always agree with “X”. 

I thought it would be self evident from context what I meant by “X”. But if it wasn’t clear to you then, it should be clear to you now, since I have defined my meaning. 

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5 hours ago, Stargazer said:

Of course this has to be turned into a political discussion.

The same thing happens in non-church political discussions, actually. Founding fathers get resurrected virtually and are brought in to "prove" the resurrector's particular political position. Would Lincoln or Roosevelt have approved of X? Neither Lincoln nor Roosevelt were faced with X, so how the hell would anyone know?

I see exactly what Scott is trying to say. I don't know why this is a difficult principle to grasp -- that the times of a past prophet are not the times of the current prophet. It is ridiculous to bring up old ones in order to attempt to prove one's own politico-psychic position. 

If Russell M. Nelson is not God's prophet on earth, then He has no prophet, and never did have one. And members of the church need to stop invoking past prophets to vet the current one, nor the current policies. Because the current policies reflect current conditions, not past conditions. Or they should, anyway. 

And just because open borders was at one time a good thing (and it was) is not proof that it is still a good thing. Times change. Conditions change. The world changes. 

Ah, someone gets it! 
 

Thank you for restating so clearly what I thought would have been a fairly common-sense, if not obvious, point. 

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2 hours ago, Calm said:

I don’t believe the Constitution as a whole ever had full out divine approval****…I just can’t see the sections on slavery or limiting the vote to only some of the population as inspired for example…nor do I believe God views the whole document now as inspired. I fully admit this is pure bias as I can’t make sense of it another way at this time. 

Those who speak intelligently of the U.S. Constitution as being divinely inspired are alluding not necessarily to each and every word in it but to its undergirding principles of personal liberty and moral agency, as clearly enunciated in the Doctrine and Covenants passages that pertain to the Constitution. 

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Posted (edited)
5 hours ago, The Nehor said:

It didn’t ‘turn into’ a political discussion. It was one from the OP. It was obviously one. It was an attempt to discredit the words of a dead prophet because the OP did not like wha the dead prophet said because it gave fuel to his political enemies.

You could scarcely be more wrong. 
 

The premise of the OP is precisely as Stargazer has restated it. I used an example from politics to illustrate my point because it was the most recent example I had encountered (here on this board, on another thread) of the out-of-context misuse of the views of a long-dead prophet to try to score debating points.*
 

Again, I call on you to stop trying to turn this into a political discussion. 

*Afterthought: If “appeal to authority” is the name of a common logical fallacy, we could call this variation on that fallacy the appeal to dead authority. 

Edited by Scott Lloyd
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8 hours ago, JLHPROF said:

Of course. I'll absolutely agree that where God's direction comes of course they agree.

But take immigration for example.  I don't see why Brigham would have changed his views on gathering and immigration.  Last I checked we still have the 10th article of faith.  Brigham's views support that.

This is the 10th Article of Faith:

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.

What do you believe “the gathering of Israel” to entail? Does it always and necessarily entail a physical relocation from one continent to another, one land to another, one locale to another? 
 

If your answer to the above question is yes, then do you believe the gathering of Israel has ceased, since converts from the Church are no longer being called to leave their homes and relocate to the Intermountain West in the United States, indeed haven’t been for well over a century?

Or do you believe Church leaders for well over a century have been wrong and uninspired in that they have stopped calling converts to do that? 

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10 hours ago, Peacefully said:

I was with you until you brought in the part about borders. Why did you go there, specifically? 

I’ve answered that question in response to another post, but I’ll repeat the response here for convenience. I used that example as an illustration of my point only  because it was the most recent instance I had encountered (here on this board, on another thread) of taking the views of a deceased Church leader out of context and misapplying them to current events in an effort to score debate points. 

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19 hours ago, Scott Lloyd said:

I lose patience with the occasional remark about what Joseph Smith or Brigham Young or whoever would think about X if he were alive today. 

It seems the height of folly to pretend to know what another person would say, think, or feel in a given situation.  More so for people who lived in the past.

L.P. Hartley

“The past is a foreign country; they do things differently there.”


L.P. Hartley, The Go-Between

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Posted (edited)
9 hours ago, Calm said:

And even if Brigham is in board with Saints staying in their own countries to build up Zion, how does that say anything about nonmembers who come knocking at the door?  Letting them in wherever it may be and then teaching them the Gospel is certainly one way to build each of our Zion communities. 

Here, we must draw a distinction between lawful and orderly immigration vs illegal and chaotic immigration. It’s the difference between “knocking at the door” and waiting patiently for admittance vs breaking in and entering uninvited. 
 

You might believe that borders should be open and that immigration should be uncontrolled and unrestricted, and you would be entitled to that view. But you should not ascribe that opinion to the Church of Jesus Christ, especially by taking out of context the views of Church leaders who lived nearly a century-and-a-half ago and applying them to current political controversies. 
 

And I’ll repeat again for emphasis: My intent with this thread is NOT to discuss immigration policy or any other political issue, but rather, the practice of using non-contextual opinions and statements of deceased Church leaders to bolster unrelated arguments. 

Edited by Scott Lloyd
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1 minute ago, ksfisher said:

It seems the height of folly to pretend to know what another person would say, think, or feel in a given situation.  More so for people who lived in the past.

L.P. Hartley

“The past is a foreign country; they do things differently there.”


L.P. Hartley, The Go-Between

I’ve always appreciated that quote. 

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1 hour ago, Scott Lloyd said:

This is the 10th Article of Faith:

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.

What do you believe “the gathering of Israel” to entail? Does it always and necessarily entail a physical relocation from one continent to another, one land to another, one locale to another? 
 

If your answer to the above question is yes, then do you believe the gathering of Israel has ceased, since converts from the Church are no longer being called to leave their homes and relocate to the Intermountain West in the United States, indeed haven’t been for well over a century?

Or do you believe Church leaders for well over a century have been wrong and uninspired in that they have stopped calling converts to do that? 

Yes I believe the gathering to be literal, as also the scriptures such as the one @The Nehor quoted.

I believe it may currently be in abeyance as a Church requirement (like some other laws) but the law and prophecy was never changed regardless of immigration laws.

The gathering to Zion mentioned will again be literal and will be on either this continent (New Jerusalem) or the old (Jerusalem Israel).

And people will flee to the US and Zion.  Better up our refugee allowances.

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

Yes I believe the gathering to be literal, as also the scriptures such as the one @The Nehor quoted.

I believe it may currently be in abeyance as a Church requirement (like some other laws) but the law and prophecy was never changed regardless of immigration laws.

The gathering to Zion mentioned will again be literal and will be on either this continent (New Jerusalem) or the old (Jerusalem Israel).

And people will flee to the US and Zion.  Better up our refugee allowances.

I’m afraid I can’t agree with your conception. The time of physical relocation has passed, but the gathering of Israel, always spiritual in nature, has never ceased and will continue up to the time of the Second Coming of Christ wherever a stake of Zion has been established in the world.  There is no doctrine of the gospel that says the gathering in the latter days is to be “held in abeyance.”
 

As President Russell M. Nelson has taught:

The choice to come unto Christ is not a matter of physical location; it is a matter of individual commitment. People can be “brought to the knowledge of the Lord” without leaving their homelands. True, in the early days of the Church, conversion often meant emigration as well. But now the gathering takes place in each nation. The Lord has decreed the establishment of Zion in each realm where He has given His Saints their birth and nationality. Scripture foretells that the people “shall be gathered home to the lands of their inheritance, and shall be established in all their lands of promise.” “Every nation is the gathering place for its own people.” The place of gathering for Brazilian Saints is in Brazil; the place of gathering for Nigerian Saints is in Nigeria; the place of gathering for Korean Saints is in Korea; and so forth. Zion is “the pure in heart.” Zion is wherever righteous Saints are. Publications, communications, and congregations are now such that nearly all members have access to the doctrines, keys, ordinances, and blessings of the gospel, regardless of their location.
Spiritual security will always depend upon how one lives, not where one lives. Saints in every land have equal claim upon the blessings of the Lord.
This work of Almighty God is true. He lives. Jesus is the Christ. This is His Church, restored to accomplish its divine destiny, including the promised gathering of Israel. President Gordon B. Hinckley is God’s prophet today. I so testify in the name of Jesus Christ, amen.

— General conference, October 2008

Added later:

President Spencer W. Kimball taught:

Now, the gathering of Israel consists of joining the true church and their coming to a knowledge of the true God. … Any person, therefore, who has accepted the restored gospel, and who now seeks to worship the Lord in his own tongue and with the Saints in the nations where he lives, has complied with the law of the gathering of Israel and is heir to all of the blessings promised the Saints in these last days” (Spencer W. Kimball, The Teachings of Spencer W. Kimball, 438–39).

Edited by Scott Lloyd
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1 hour ago, JLHPROF said:

Yes I believe the gathering to be literal, as also the scriptures such as the one @The Nehor quoted.

I believe it may currently be in abeyance as a Church requirement (like some other laws) but the law and prophecy was never changed regardless of immigration laws.

The gathering to Zion mentioned will again be literal and will be on either this continent (New Jerusalem) or the old (Jerusalem Israel).

And people will flee to the US and Zion.  Better up our refugee allowances.

With the idea of Saints being told they should stay in their own countries it doesn't change the gathering of most people.  The gathering includes more than Saints as we are all Gods children.

Last year the refugee cap was 18,000. The year before was 30,000. 11,000 actually were admitted in 2020.  There are always fewer admitted than the cap. 

This year the cap is 62,500. We are seeing mostly families of 2-3 or 8 in Phoenix.  

Refugees as far as the US cap goes is a legal term.  There are other legal status definitions of others who come.

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16 minutes ago, Rain said:

With the idea of Saints being told they should stay in their own countries it doesn't change the gathering of most people.  The gathering includes more than Saints as we are all Gods children.

Last year the refugee cap was 18,000. The year before was 30,000. 11,000 actually were admitted in 2020.  There are always fewer admitted than the cap. 

This year the cap is 62,500. We are seeing mostly families of 2-3 or 8 in Phoenix.  

Refugees as far as the US cap goes is a legal term.  There are other legal status definitions of others who come.

In the context of the restored gospel, the gathering of Israel refers to people being taught the gospel and being received into the Church through the baptismal covenant (please see my last post). 

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1 hour ago, Scott Lloyd said:

In the context of the restored gospel, the gathering of Israel refers to people being taught the gospel and being received into the Church through the baptismal covenant (please see my last post). 

I agree. 

I thought it was so cool when Rongo mentioned French speaking missionaries called to Phoenix since I knew about all the Congolese refugees coming here. (Not all Congolese speak French, but it is the official language of the DRC). I love how the Lord takes these little bits and pieces from people and places all over the world and makes a great plan out of them. 🙂

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13 hours ago, Calm said:

I don’t believe the Constitution as a whole ever had full out divine approval****…I just can’t see the sections on slavery or limiting the vote to only some of the population as inspired for example…nor do I believe God views the whole document now as inspired. I fully admit this is pure bias as I can’t make sense of it another way at this time. 
 

What made and makes it most inspired in my view is the ability to change it so that as we become more aligned with the Will of God, so can our government without having to go back to square one by having a revolution. However, like everything that increases our agency, it risks going the wrong way at times. And there was crap in the original document and crap in the current interpretations Imo that God most definitely is not happy with…but he is allowing us to grow up by learning from our mistakes. 

****I would say it is somewhat similar to “the Bible is the Word of God as far as it is translated correctly” and the Book of Mormon admitting there are the mistakes of men in its pages. Man’s fingers on documents means there is a lot of garbage among the good fruit…the problem is determining at what point the garbage makes something toxic as opposed to helping out with fertilizing by decomposing. 

Darnit, I spent a good half hour writing a brilliant response to this, and upon hitting Save I got hit with the dreaded 403 Forbidden and lost all of it. I just don't have the patience or the time to re-do it right now. Suffice it to say, for the moment, DC 101:77-80 and DC 98:5-9. And the Constitution doesn't say who can vote and who cannot.

I've got to go out and take care of a number of tasks.

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2 hours ago, Stargazer said:

And the Constitution doesn't say who can vote and who cannot.

lol, that is what I get for not double checking given been decades since my last civics class…and last night was kind of blurry. Should have known better.  Mixed up interpretation of “persons” where the Constitution did not define what a person was for legal purposes (right?, don’t quite trust myself now :) ) and then applied it too broadly (not just requirements for representatives, but who could vote for them).

Edited by Calm
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