To assume whatever Church leaders speak officially is true is to abdicate
one's own conscience, morality and agency. LDS claim prophets are not
infallible and The Church recently released essays citing instances where the
leadership has made mistakes. So why would one ever NOT consider the merits of
what is being said? Brigham Young said: "I am more afraid that
this people have so much confidence in their leaders that they will not inquire
for themselves of God whether they are led by him. I am fearful they settle down
in a state of blind self security. Let every man and woman know, by the
whispering of the Spirit of God to themselves, whether their leaders are walking
in the path the Lord dictates, or not." Hugh B. Brown said:
"Thoughts and expressions compete in the marketplace of thought, and in that
competition truth emerges triumphant. Only error fears freedom of
expression."Mormonism began with Joseph Smith questioning. Has
the faith moved so far from those roots that a sincere discussion of ideas and
their merits is no longer useful/allowed?
MJ - It is "contrary to the order of heaven" for a servant of God
todeceive. D&C 129:7With these things in mind, how is it
even possible for church leaders to counsel us in a way that is contrary to God?
God cannot lie, and He has said his servants won't deceive us.KJK -
D&C 129:7 deals with immortal beings, not mortal sinful men (which includes
the prophet). The prophets have stated that we are to reject their words if
their words are contrary to scripture. They therefore obviously feel that they
can be in error (not lying, just mistaken).Harold B. Lee stated that
the scriptures are the measuring sticks we are to use measure every man's
doctrine. This includes the prophet.
I have a question. In LDS scripture it says:If anyone teaches other
than "by the spirit of truth" he is notof God. D&C
50:17-18It is "contrary to the order of heaven" for a
servant of God todeceive. D&C 129:7With these things in
mind, how is it even possible for church leaders to counsel us in a way that is
contrary to God? God cannot lie, and He has said his servants won't deceive
us.I personally think that if one believes in the light of Christ
they should place more weight on those feelings, since they are directly from
God, than counsel from anyone claiming a more direct line of communication on
@charles"What many members don't realize is that revelation is
a one-way street. It doesn't come from the members ..." Please
read Joseph's descriptions of how revelation came. It was almost always a
two-way street. "The brethren (or Emma) asked me and I asked the Lord and
here's his answer." Some have counted as many of 75% of Joseph's
revelations beginning with some variation of these words. The vast
majority of revelation is not a bolt of lightening from heaven. It originates in
the hearts of members who ask authorities questions who, in turn, ask the Lord
on their behalf.
Twin Lights - But overall, I think that we owe our leaders wide latitude and the
assumption that they just might be right. It can be too easy when confronted
with uncomfortable (but still correct) counsel to assume that the giver is
wrong. Labeling the counsel as misguided may give us an unmerited free pass.When confronted with difficult counsel, our best bet is to assume it is
correct and to begin asking ourselves what are likely to be some very tough
questions.KJK - Excellent advice. Joseph Fielding Smith said that
the tough question to ask was whether a teaching, no matter who gave it,
complies with scripture. If it doesn't, we are to reject it. Here is what he
said - "If Joseph Fielding Smith writes something which is out of
harmony with the revelations, then every member of the Church is duty bound to
reject it." Harold B. Lee and others said the same thing. Any counsel, like supporting Prop.8, which is contrary to scripture, must be
rejected, even if it was given by the prophet himself, per Joseph Fielding
Smith.Joseph Smith also condemned leaders who demand unquestioning
obedience of their flock.
Nosea,I follow you on the issue of obeying only in righteousness and
you are wise to note that this warrants caution should we get it wrong.Do our leaders sometimes provide bad counsel? Perhaps.But
overall, I think that we owe our leaders wide latitude and the assumption that
they just might be right. It can be too easy when confronted with uncomfortable
(but still correct) counsel to assume that the giver is wrong. Labeling the
counsel as misguided may give us an unmerited free pass.When
confronted with difficult counsel, our best bet is to assume it is correct and
to begin asking ourselves what are likely to be some very tough questions.FeathertailIn many cases and situations it can seem that
those not living the commandments are happy. But this is different from being
blessed by God and he does not bless us for choosing the wrong. I
have never found that following the prophet means stopping our ears, blinding
our eyes, or hardening our hearts to the hurt of others. Quite the opposite.
And why would God bless you for choosing the wrong?
Obedience may be "the first law of heaven." But Jesus taught that the
first and great commandment is to love God, and the second is to love your
neighbor.What is a faithful Latter-Day Saint supposed to do when
obedience and love conflict with each other? What does "faithful" even
mean in this case? Faithful to her leaders or faithful to her family and to her
own conscience?These conflicts seem unreal to those who aren't
experiencing them right now, and it's easy to give out the Primary answers. It's
not so easy to tell your son to obey the prophet's teachings on homosexuality,
when you know that it's making him miserable. And you know others in his
position, who follow their hearts instead, who are happy.Why does
following the prophet mean having to stop up your ears, blind your eyes, and
harden your heart to the hurting of others?
It is the same principle as honor your parents -- you obey them in righteousness
only, but as when Lehi (both prophet and parent at the time) blamed the Lord for
their afflictions in the deseret, Nephi did not listen and took an opposite
course and built a new bow and arrow; his course was superior to that of his
rank leader in the priesthood. I personally have been councelled wrongly by even
Stake Presidents, have not followed such councel which was far from the
teachings in the scriptures, and have now seen the greater blessings from not
following such misguided councel, even when coming from a Stake President.
Prophets, such as Lehi even, have frequently displayed the fallability as well,
and it is up to each of us to determine when they truly are speaking by the
spirit or as man with their individual opinion. This warrants caution, as we
likewise will be held accountable if we get it wrong.
Excellent article! I too believe that following the prophet leads to safety,
peace, and happiness.
In reading through the comments, it seems there are members of the LDS church
who are looking for ways to excuse their personal views, beliefs and political
stances when they are opposed to the doctrines of the restored gospel of Jesus
Christ.I'm never seen so much dancing around the doctrines as
revealed through the Lord's prophets.What many members don't realize
is that revelation is a one-way street. It doesn't come from the members to the
GA's or the Lord, it comes from the Lord to His chosen prophet and apostles and
down to the members.I see so many basically trying to change the
revelation pattern and in doing so excuse their philosophies when they go
against the doctrines of the church.It's not really hard folks.
Lucifer has already deceived 1/3 of the hosts of heaven and wants more.Read the scriptures AND the Gen Conf edition of the Ensign, pray daily, go to
the temple, pay your tithing, do your VT/HT and be a good example to all.If ye love me, keep my commandments. The path is straight and narrow and
few be there that find it.
Thank you Dan as always- also if you have been to the Temple you might want to
re-think if you are supposed to be living the law of consecration- some here
think not but think through those covenants you have made and ask yourself- as a
full community no but as individuals?
"There is a representative in NY that is saying that religions do not have
the right to tell someone they can't be married in their church."Depends which their that statement refers to. Is it their as in the church
that doesn't want to marry them, or their as in the same-sex couple's church
that would marry them.The overwhelming majority of Americans, and
groups like the ACLU and other civil liberties groups deemed to be
"liberal" believe that churches have the right to refuse whatever
marriages they want. Incidentally it is not an issue that has come up in any of
these states that have gay marriage.
I suppose you could say that one pair of earrings is encouraged. It's written
very plainly in For Strength of Youth. As for prop 8 stuff. I can totally see
why there was an issue. It was to protect religion and the right of religion to
say no to individuals. There is a representative in NY that is saying that
religions do not have the right to tell someone they can't be married in their
church. I don't know about anyone else, but I can sure see where this idea could
To Denver, in Sandy UT: The President of the US would not preside over the
Prophet in a General Conference setting. The Prophet would still be the highest
Priesthood authority and would preside. However, if the President of the US
asked the Prophet to do something for safety, security reasons, etc., then the
Prophet would do so. But the President of the US attending General Conference, a
member of the Church or not, has absolutely no Priesthood authority over the
Prophet or anyone else!
The LDS Church has consistently taught its members to have compassion on others,
and not judge others. The statements on Prop 8 and immigration reform are on
different sides of the political spectrum. With Prop 8, the liberal
aspect of some members were tried. People, like myself, had to deeply question
their testimonies because of this. I realized that, as an institution, the
church had the right to tell its members what they felt was in the best interest
of the church. They understood that there would be some ramifications of the
statement. I decided that, even though some people were filled with hate toward
both the LDS Church and toward those that had same-sex attraction, one could
still have compassion and treat others as humans deserve to be treated- not heap
judgements on them.The stance on immigration reform is now trying
the conservative aspect of some members. It is my hope and belief that they will
come to similar conclusions. Do not judge others' actions and group them all
together, give them a label, and treat them with disrespect so you can feel
better about yourself. Questioning, followed by seeking answers,
strengthens one's core beliefs.
Re: HollyR - The quote you provided doesn't conflict with what Dr. Peterson
wrote. Dr. Peterson wrote that we need to keep our eye on the President of the
Church; that does not mean we blindly follow all those preside over us. Anyone
in the church is free to not do what the prophet counsels; you can question it,
disagree with it, and even disobey it. All Dr. Peterson wrote is that in the
matters that the prophet speaks definitively on, we should really pay attention
to them.In any case, if you read the context of the quote you see
that it is about those who might try to exercise unrighteous dominion solely
because of the Priesthood they've been given. It is referring to general
Priesthood holders in the Church. You also have to keep in mind that there were
a number of early Apostles who led people astray and people blindly followed
them because they were Apostles. However, we know the Prophet never will do that
so he is one person we should follow. We can still question him but we should be
cautious in doing so.
The world is on the brink of economic ruin and things are getting worse not
better, I am thankful for a Prophet who leads and guides us during this time of
growing uncertainty and turmoil. The counsel is that this is a season not for
panic but quiet and steady preparation and living the gospel, the unfolding of
many huge natural disasters gives me solid assurance that the prophet is leading
us in the right direction, the only question is will we have enough faith to
How about this: We have heard men who hold the priesthood remark that they would
do anything they were told to do by those who presided over them [even] if they
knew it was wrong: but such obedience as this is worse than folly to us; it is
slavery in the extreme; and the man who would thus willingly degrade himself
should not claim a rank among intelligent beings until he turns from his folly.
--Joseph Smith from The Millenial Star, Saturday November 13, 1852
Dr. Peterson, did the church, as body, vote on Page 292, between the two
official declarations ?
Mormoncowboy,Yes, I read the article.You said: How
democratic - God expects you to forfeit you moral obligation of voting your
conscience, and to instead participate in a block vote on Mormon politics. Can
we really say that the Church endorses patriotic ideals with rhetoric like
this??"Yes, Dr. Peterson pointed to three times when the Church
took a position on an issue. Members were encouraged to vote that way (which is
why the church takes a public position) but are not required to. I have known
many members who disagreed with the Churchs stances on ERA, Prop 8, or
immigration. From my observation, they still had their conscience and their
bishops were largely unconcerned. Is it any different when the
Catholic Church or any other denomination takes a public stance? In the case of
faithful Catholics, this is particularly true because they view the pope as
infallible regarding doctrine. Are they undemocratic or unpatriotic?
Um when the lord speaks we listen. When his servants say something if you have
an issue with it ask yourself did I or did I not receive a wittiness that the
church was true???
Nice article, but one worthy example of a First Presidency statement not
mentioned in the article is the 1981 Anti-MX Missile statement. This statement
disturbed many of my conservative LDS friends. I recall listening to a
long-time member of the seventy talk about how he struggled with the statement
before finally coming to terms with the First Presidency's rationale. I also
recall having lunch years after the issuance of the statement with a certain
Congressman (R) from Utah (no longer in office) who openly aired his view that
the First Presidency "got that one wrong."
DP--sounds like you are in classic LDS-fashion marginalizing the female gender
by vaguely and inaccurately referring to "ERA around 1980." Just want
to clarify that the date of the ERA that the church involved itself in was 1972.
Walt Nicholes | 9:34 a.m. July 7, 2011 Orem, UTThe scriptures
proclaim that the voice of the majority is usually right (Mosiah 29:26.) Heber
J. Grant (and others) declare that the prophet will never lead the people
astray. What if the voice of the people come into conflict with the counsel of
the prophet?----------You can find the answer to that question
in the next verse: And if the time comes that the voice of the people doth
choose iniquity, then is the time that the judgments of God will come upon you;
yea, then is the time he will visit you with great destruction even as he has
hitherto visited this land.and in Mormon chapter 6, when the Nephite
nation, which had grown irretrievably wicked, was completely obliterated.And those who heeded Gordon B. Hinckley's 19989 council to save and get
out of debt have been saved twice from economic hardship: in 2001 from the
dot-com crash and the post-9/11 slowdown, and in 2008 from the Great Recession.
This iis a dangerous article for the LDS. Three political directives given and
guidance that you should follow it. Is michael Ash done with his series?
Bill in Nebraska, I've studied each stand the leaders have taken. Reviewed their
words and prayed about it. EACH time I have received in the confirmation that
their words are true.That seer his name shall be called
Joseph(Smith), and it shall be after the name of his father. (JST 50:33)? JS
prophecyBrigham Young, Can you make a Christian of a Jew? I tell you
Nay, If a Jew comes into this church ,and the blood honestly professes to be a
Saint, a follower of Christ, and if the blood of Judah is in his veins, he will
apostatize.(JoD V. 2 p. 142)
@ Arizona. You must be young. McConkies third commandment of Peculiar People
(75): Thou shalt be modest in dress and appearance. It may come as a
surprise to some people to learn that modesty in dress and grooming is related
to salvation. returned missionaries to conform to the dress and grooming
standards that had prevailed in their missions. The Bible has a great deal
to say about costly and ornate apparel, about excessive use of jewelry, about
garish and worldly costumes, and yes, about hair styles. Women are told to avoid
"plaiting" the hair and not to wear 'broided hair.' The Holy Book
approves long hair for women and short hair for men: "Conformity to
dress and grooming standards is one of the tests the Lord imposes upon us to see
if we will take counsel and to see if we can stand up against the pressures of
the world. even if we are not sufficiently in tune to recognize the valid
reasons behind the dress and grooming standards, we are still expected to abide
Sort of a tempest in a teapot, I think. Here's another one to consider: There
is an obligation of a church president to be subject to "kings, presidents,
rulers" etc. in Article of Faith Number 12. Which would mean that if Mitt
Romney were elected President of the United States and visited General
Conference while President, the church's president would not preside at General
Conference-- since he would be subject to the United States' President (under
the Article of Faith). President Mitt Romney would preside. [Of course, that
would be equally true of President Obama, but he's not likely to attend. A
President Mitt Romney is more likely to do so.] But the issue is one which may
arise in a Presidential campaign (like John Kennedy's Catholicism and obligation
to the Pope) and someone ought to point this out.
(Moderators, there is nothing here that violates your posting guidelines)Independent,No harm in following those I cited, except for
the 18 mo. mission term which prevented over 100k baptisms. There IS harm from
supporting Prop.8 which violated official doctrine. I didn't compare the
leadership to NAZIs. I said that those individuals who demand complete
obedience to the prophets share a hardline view of obedience with the NAZIs.
JosephFieldingSmith stated that God wouldn't permit us to visit the moon or send
crafts to other worlds. BY believed that there were cities on the moon. SWK
was wrong on Mark Hofmann.ETB stated that the meaning of the verse
was to avoid those things which APPEAR to be evil, even if they were innocent.
The verse, in Greek, has nothing to do with how an act seems. It eschews evil
in all of its forms or manifestations.
To Thinkman: Really? You feel that earings and flip flops are doctrine and not
simply guidelines? I can see it now, Bruce R. McConkie writing Mormon Doctrine
and talking about earrings and flip flops!
Re Prop 8: Latter-day Saints are free to disagree with their church on the
issue without facing any sanction, said L. Whitney Clayton of the LDS Quorum of
the Seventy. "We love them and bear them no ill will."LDS
were allowed to follow their own conscience regarding prop 8. It was never a
commandment to do what the prophet asked.Why are you turning it into
a litmus test of who believes in the prophet or not?
This was a wonderful article. I, however cannot substain false prophets or
teachings. I have chosen to become inactive as a Latter-day Saint and this is
the first forum I anounced that, although many close friends have known for
months. This feels kind of good, maybe I'll get up the courage to call my mom
next.....Thank you for this article and the opportunity to share.
This issue is at the heart of the Gospel for me. Do we as LDS believe that our
leaders speak for God? I respect members like Bill in Nebraska who firmly say
yes. Personally, I do not know and that can be a very difficult place to be as a
member of the Church. My doubts come from many historical actions
and words from our Prophets and Apostles that I simply cannot attribute to a
loving, intelligent God. For example, the entire history of plural marriage (if
you really study it rather than just placing it on your that-was-a-long-time-ago
shelf) literally makes reason stare. It is beyond me how God could have thought
that an important part of His restored Gospel.That admittedly puts
me on a very slippery slope which goes something like this:If I
believe that JS or BY or any other Prophet said or did something as a man rather
than through revelation, then how can we really know when our leaders act or
speak as a man versus revelation? It is a very slippery slope of doubt that is
not enjoyable to be on. But I'm on it.
Hey Bill in Nebraska- In reference to you're on going debate with
Brahamabull. Actually, concerning the Family proclamation President
Packer in written text changed the word "revelation" to
"guide" I'm not sure why he would make this change. Revelation and
guide are no where close to the same word.You mentioned that the
Word of Wisdom was ahead of it's time, sorry, but that's not true. You should
check out The Cold Water society where and when it originated and also the
Temperance Society. There was a strong movement prior to the word of wisdom that
origanted from the Eastern states.As far as your comment regarding
how many people can have just one drink a day, and you respond "Not
many", i will reply, again not true." That is a poor defensive
arguement for the word of wisdom and is a scare tactic.It's important to
remember that we should try to be a little more open minded, a little more
willing to look at all the imformation before making comments that are not
lds4gaymarriage, I see what you are saying, but what is the harm in following
prophetic counsel in any of the examples you cited? I find it pretty worrisome
that you would compare the leadership of the church to Nazis, especially over
the issue of homosexuality. I'm curious, what else are the brethren supposedly
wrong about?And Pres. Benson ACTUALLY said "appearance of
evil" applied to flirting with other men. Why is this an issue?
When the prophet (or Apostle) speaks, when do we know it is doctrine or just an
opinion or a policy? The point is, we don't. Joseph Fielding Smith
proclaimed that we would never make it to the moon. Brigham Young said that the
people on the moon are like Quakers and he preached Blood Atonement and that
blacks will never have the priesthood. Bruce McKonkie said the same thing about
blacks never having the priesthood. I hope that you know that my
comments in my prvevious post were tongue-in-cheek to illustrate that one man's
view on flip flops or earrings is just that, one man's opinion. That is what
all of what the prophets and apostles, stake presidents and bishops give - their
opinion! We would all be wise to ensure that we remember that we each have
thinking and reasoning skills to come to our own conclusions of what is truth
versus what is error or just some man or woman's opinion. That is what I try to
do every day and try to instill in my children.
I still say, people shouldn't be allowed to get whart they want, including
better opportunities for themselves and their children, by breaking the law,
including other countries' immigration laws!
I sure hope ham and funeral potatoes aren't doctrine. If so, I might apostasize.
"We were not only told how to vote on Prop 8, but also (wink) encouraged to
campaign for it - where the only tolerance towards personal preference was to
decide how much "support" we are willing to give in the
affirmative."Sounds like you should have supported Prop 8. The
issue is simple. Do you sustain church leaders or not? No? Then what are you
worried about? Do whatever you want.
The problem with the church and illegal immigration, is there are no official
teachings or pronouncements being made in General Conference, a signed letter
sent to each congregations, or other traditional "official" means.
The notion of supporting illegal immigration and amnesty is
contradictory to many official teachings in the scriptures and the basic
teachings from the church regarding personal responsibility and consequences for
actions.It seems that in this case, the public affairs office of the
church is representing the "corporation" part of the organization,
which wants cheap labor, instead of the "religious" part of the
organization.Because of all of the confusion and rancor this is
causing, it would be nice if the prophet would actually reveal the will of God
on this issue, in a way that would prevent future generations from thinking he
was "speaking as a man", which seems to be how current apologists
downplay controversies from the past.
I don't know the exact definition of doctrine, or even have a clear
understanding of what constitutes official priesthood counsel or revelation vs a
personal opinion, but I don't care. I've never found it difficult to just follow
the counsel of our leaders personally. I've never understood why this is such a
big issue. Honestly, what piece of counsel have they ever given that would be
such a challenge to follow, regardless of whether or not it was official church
doctrine? Maybe I'd see things differently if I had a gay brother or something,
but for most of us, this isn't an issue. It's important not to be fanatical
about our favorite doctrines or things that some general authority said once.
This makes it easier to follow the current prophet and stay in the mainstream of
the church. I think the Lord knows his prophets aren't perfect, but he wants us
to follow them anyway. Obedience is greater than sacrifice. If that makes me a
sheep, so be it. It's working for me. I don't see that I am missing out on
anything significant by following any counsel from the Brethren that might not
technically be doctrine.
@Bill in Nebraska"True, but how many people do you know will only
drink one a day. NOT MANY. "Many people I know do that. It's
easier for me to think of people who drink one a day (or sometimes will drink 2
in one day but for a week will not average more than one a day) than to think of
people who average more than one a day.
Pres. Woodruff's statement regarding never leading the Church astray does not
mean that the prophets don't make mistakes. Consider - In April
1982, the prophet lowered the length of missions for elders from 24 months to 18
months. The stated thought was that if the time and financial commitments were
less, more would go. They didn't. Conference reports show that over 100k fewer
baptisms occured because of this.On January 5th, 1982, the First
Presidency issued an official statement saying that a certain marital act was an
"unholy and impure practice", but couples are no longer warned of
this. If it really violates temple covenants, why aren't we told to refrain
from it?Prophets also misinterpret scripture. Pres. benson said,
" Would a husband be pleased if he saw his wife flirting and being coy with
another man? My beloved brothers and sisters, this is what Paul meant when he
said: 'Abstain from all appearance of evil' (1 Thessalonians 5:22)."The problem is that the word translated as "appearance"
actually means "occurance" or "manifestation". The LDS KJV
confirms this. Paul was ACTUALLY saying to avoid evil, no matter in what form
it appears, occurs or manifests itself.
LDS CULTURE likes to promote the idea that the prophets are infallable, but the
prophets themselves never claim it.President Charles W. Penrose of
the First Presidency, once wrote: "We do not believe in the infallibility
of man. When God reveals anything it is truth, and truth is infallible. No
President has claimed infallibility."Regarding following
leaders, even when we know that they are wrong, Joseph Smith taught that it is
wrong to follow leaders when they are wrong - "We have heard men who hold
the priesthood remark that they would do anything they were told to do by those
who preside over them [even] if they knew it was wrong; but such obedience as
this is worse than folly to us; it is slavery in the extreme; and the man who
would thus willingly degrade himself, should not claim a rank among intelligent
beings, until he turns from his folly. A man of God would despise the
idea."I doubt that on Judgement Day that the Lord will accept
the Nurenburg Defense - "I vass tjust vollowink ohrders" - from those
Saints who knowingly did wrong because their leaders asked them to.
Heber J. Grant was a democrat.
Bill - I shouldn't even respond to your rediculous comment that I am not a
member of the church, but I will. You think that you know me and what I do
without ever having met me. That is like me saying that you don't eat vegetables
and fruit as you claim. That would just be rediculous. You do not know me, so
don't sit there and assume that YOU know whether I am a member of the church
better than I do. The word of wisdom was not ahead of its time - many writings
coming from the same time frame as the WOW can be found with similar teachings
on food consumption. They even say tobacco is bad, etc. You are correct when you
say that meat should be eaten sparingly. I think we (yes me, you, all members of
the church) would be more healthy if we followed the original word of wisdom.
Drinking 8 sodas a day violates the spirit of the word of wisdom. Overeating or
overdrinking on anything is not healthy and violates the spirit of the law.
Everything in moderation is the message I get every time I read the Word of
"Strive to develop a maturity of mind and emotion and a depth of spirit
which enables you to differ with others on matters of politics without calling
into question the integrity of those with whom you differ. Allow within the
bounds of your definition of religious orthodoxy variation of political belief.
Do not have the temerity to dogmatize on issues where the Lord has seen fit to
be silent." -- Pres. Hugh B. Brown, '68 BYU commencement addressSeems like all Dr. Peterson is saying is the obverse of Pres. Brown's last
sentence: "Do not have the audacity to dogmatize on issues where the Lord
has seen fit to comment."
Thinkman: "Elder Ballard counseling against wearing flip flops and jean
skirts to church was new doctrine"Elder Ballard didn't actually
say "jean skirts." He said, "flip-flops and other casual
clothing."His actual words in context were, "Her [a family
friend] primary observation after each trip is how much the young women behave
like their mothers. If the mothers are thrifty, so are their daughters. If the
mothers are modest, so are the girls. If the mothers wear flip-flops and other
casual clothing to sacrament meeting, so do their daughters. Mothers, your
example is extremely important to your daughterseven if they dont acknowledge
it."In context, it is quite easy to see his counsel isn't
really about what to wear to sacrament meeting. It is about mothers being aware
of the example they are setting for their daughters. It's obvious he doesn't
think casual clothing is appropriate (neither do I), but he isn't giving counsel
against it here.
Continued:The question ask if you obey the Word of Wisdom. Not how
much you eat, how much beer you drink, how much wine you drink or anything of
that nature. It is up to the individual to answer it honestly. Obesisty for
some is genetic and others it is plain glutton. I eat meat mostly at dinner
time. Sometime at other meals. Still I eat with a full plate of vegetables.
My desserts are fruits. I eat very little salt. It is up to the individual.
I'm not heavy nor pudgy. I eat quite healthy. Most LDS do so and it has been
recorded that LDS who obey the WOW strickly live longer than their peers.It is recorded that one beer, one glass of wine and etc. is good for the
heart. True, but how many people do you know will only drink one a day. NOT
MANY. Tobacco has been stated not good for man or beast. Yet many still smoke
and the warnings are getting stronger. Yes, the WOW was ahead of its time and
the revelation is even more aparant today.
The problem is that Brahmabull is not a member of the Church. As has been
stated in these comments and by Mr. Peterson, The Family - Proclamation to the
World is revelation, not new doctrine but concise and true revelation. It is
binding on the Church to obey its guidance. Many say I follow the Prophet
blindly, but the problem is they have not been in my shoes so they are going
strickly on opinion. I've studied each stand the leaders have taken. Reviewed
their words and prayed about it. EACH time I have received in the confirmation
that their words are true. A prophet of the Lord can not and will not lead The
Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints astray. The problem
with some is that they don't understand that when the Word of Wisdom was first
given that it was a guide. Today it is a commandment. Why, because as precept
upon precept comes from the Lord, things become more and more clear. This is
what has happened with the Word of Wisdom. Also, Brahmabull, meat is still
supposed to be ate sparingly. One is asked if they obey the Word of Wisdom.
Brahmabull:God can and does reveal his will piecemeal from time to
time. Tithing, for example, was the result of the failed consecration efforts of
the Church. Your idea that the Church does change policy is well-taken; I can
think of too many examples to count. However, the doctrines stay the same.However, I do not agree with your statement about disregarding
scripture. I do not believe that members of the LDS Church can simply disregard
portions of the Doctrine and Covenants because they are "subject to being
To Steve Warren:Thank you!
To Cold Ute:The source for my quote is Elder Samuel Richards, the
Millennial Star, Nov. 12, 1852. His "we" likely references a couple of
other apostles who were also in the British Isles at the time. I put a more
complete version below:"We have heard men who hold the
priesthood remark, that they would do anything they were told to do by those who
presided over them, if they knew it was wrong; but such obedience as this is
worse than folly to us; it is slavery in the extreme; and the man who would thus
willingly degrade himself should not claim a rank among intelligent beings,
until he turns from his folly. A man of God . . . would despise the idea.
Others, in the extreme exercise of their almighty authority have taught that
such obedience was necessary, and that no matter what the saints were told to do
by their presidents, they should do it without asking any questions. When Elders
of Israel will so far indulge in these extreme notions of obedience as to teach
them to the people, it is generally because they have it in their minds to do
We the people - I see what you are saying, however there are many things written
in the Doctrine and Covenants that are not binding to the church today. Example:
the word of wisdom as revealed by Joseph Smith is not followed by the church
today. The original word of wisdom allowed for the drinking of beer and the
occasional liquor. That was backed up by statments by Brigham Young, Wilford
Woodruff, and others. Meat was said to only be eaten in times of winter and
famine and sparingly so. So beer was ok, meat was not. Now the church doesn't
care how much meat one eats, but drink a beer and you can't go to the temple.
Doesn't make sense that the church could change the word of wisdom that god
himself revealed to Joseph. So any statement taken from the D and C is subject
to being disputed. If we can ignore the word of wisdom as stated in the D and C,
then the same could be said about any statement in the D and C.
Thinkman - I respect your opinion, but do disagree with it. Wearing flip flops
to church and only wearing 1 pair of earrings is neither revelation or doctrine.
Doctrine is a teaching, or eternal truth. I am pretty sure there didn't need to
be a revelation for people not to wear flip flops and earrings to church. I am
also quite sure that god doesn't care if people wear flip flops and more than
one pair of earrings to church - you can still hold a temple reccommend if you
do those things, so really it is just a suggestion. To say that god cares about
such trivial things would be rediculous in my view. I think god would be more
concerned on people being good people, following the commandmants of god, being
honest, chaste, etc. Again, I think he wouldn't care what you wore to church in
the end. Afterall, in Jerusalem he and the apostles wore sandals, and he never
ever said anything on the topic because it doesn't pertain to one's eternal
Immigration sure does stir up the worst in "Zion Mormons".Many years ago I incurred the ire of a district president for saying that the
book "Marvelous Work and a Wonder" was not scripture. I went to the
Branch President for a temple recommend and he signed it. The District
President would not.Being a district the recommend also had to be
signed by the Mission President. My comment had preceded me to the Mission
President who, after an interview, simply said I was mostly correct and signed.
The Mission President was Boyd K. Packer.We must do our own
thinking. I can recall a few times that I questioned local authority but no
time have I questioned the Prophet
Bramabull:I do not agree with your statement about revelation. See
Doctrine and Covenants 68:4 "And whatsoever they shall speak when moved
upon by the aHoly Ghost shall be scripture, shall be the will of the Lord, shall
be the mind of the Lord, shall be the word of the Lord, shall be the voice of
the Lord, and the bpower of God unto salvation."Thinkman, I do
not agree with you, either. Statements against flip flops at Church or too many
pairs of earrings (though I agree with both) are not doctrine. Doctrine is a set
a of principles which a religion, in this case, presents as truth necessary for
salvation or central beliefs of the religion. Thus, to the LDS Church, the
Atonement, Resurrection, Eternal Marriage, the Fall of Man, the Creation, and
the nature of the Godhead are doctrines. Not wearing flip flops at
Church, visiting teaching, and even, yes, Green Jello are not doctrines, but
rather policies, counsel, programs, and, in the case of Jello, just plain tasty
(or nasty, depending on how it is prepared).
Twin Lights:Perhaps you didn't read the article, because Peterson
pointed three times when the Church did tell members how to vote. Two of those
times the pressure to vote a certain way was palpable, and the third time it was
a (wink) "opinion" from the Church that holds a vested interest in the
position it took (missionary work in Mexico). Of course the third time didn't
really come down much of a public vote, so the pressure needed to only be
applied to the State legislature.Peterson invoked the Harold B. Lee
quote in denfense of the Church against those who are upset with the recent
"unconservative" position that the Church took (is no one familiar
with the fact that the Church's political roots are tied to the democratic
party?). Lastly, the trouble the Church faced both in Missouri and Nauvoo were
instigated by the public distrust of bloc voting Mormons. We were not only told
how to vote on Prop 8, but also (wink) encouraged to campaign for it - where the
only tolerance towards personal preference was to decide how much
"support" we are willing to give in the affirmative.
Mr.Peterson- In reference to'My boy, you always keep your eye on the president
of the church and if he ever tells you to do anything, and it is wrong, and you
do it, the Lord will bless you for it.' Then with a twinkle in his eye, he said,
'But you don't need to worry. The Lord will never let his mouthpiece lead the
people astray.'"What if what the prophet says is in complete
opposition to the feelings we experience through the Light of Christ which is
given to all men and the Holy Ghost which is given to members of the church.An example would be women that were asked to be involved in polygamy. Acording
to their journals they felt it was wrong. Should they have obeyed?There is
also the subject of blood atonement. Brigham Young said "Shall I tell you
the law of God in regard to the African race? If the white man who belongs to
the chosen seed mixes his blood with the seed of Cain, the penalty, under the
law of God is death on the spot." Any thoughts?
Dr. Peterson interesting article. Thank You! However, support of the Prophet
does not mean blind following. Hear his words, and then follow the actions of a
reverred prophet of the past Nephi and pray for personal confirmation. Once
that comes, then as he did lead out in support.
To Steve Warren:Who gave the statement you quoted in your 9:39 a.m.
post and when and where was it given?Thanks.
Mormoncowboy,I don't think the quote from Harold B. Lee is
specifically political, but rather generally so.That is, it's not
about whether I vote for candidate A or candidate B or adhere myself to party A
or to party B. Rather that, on certain specific topics such as those mentioned
by Dr. Peterson, members on both sides of the political spectrum may sometimes
have to review their political views in light of the prophet's counsel.Note that in 35 years of interviews, I cannot recall ever having been asked
about my politics. Further, I can recall several incidents where local leaders
asked that political opinions not be expressed within church meetings.
Unfortunately, Dr. Peterson, presidents of the Church sometimes err, even on
doctrinal matters. Our duty is to always follow the Spirit and to follow the
leaders of the Church when they are correct. The following statement by a member
of the Twelve is a well-deserved rebuke for those who would automatically follow
Church leaders:"We have heard men who hold the priesthood
remark that they would do anything they were told to do by those who presided
over them, if they knew it was wrong; but such obedience as this is worse than
folly to us; it is slavery in the extreme; and the man who would thus willingly
degrade himself should not claim a rank among intelligent beings, until he turns
from his folly. A man of God . . . would despise the idea."
When the prophet speaks the thinking has been done. When we think
we may be in conflict with what the prophet has said. It almost seems that God,
as we learn from his prophets in the near past, doesn't want us to use critical
reasoning and thinking skills in the conduct of our lives.Bramabull,Have to disagree with you on the prophet not revealing
any new doctrine. Each and every general conference is considered to be a time
for providing revelation which is often new doctrine. The counsel (i.e.
revelation) and doctrine that Pres Hinckley gave on only wearing 1 pair of
earrings was new doctrine. Elder Ballard counseling against wearing flip flops
and jean skirts to church was new doctrine, ergo, new revelation from God as he
and the sitting prophet claim to be prophets, seers and revelators.
To christoph: Did the church ever vote on adding that to the printed
scriptures?Or was it just put in between the two Official Declarations?
We've discussed circular logic on these boards before. Does no one see the
circular logic in these statements? "If I were to attempt that (lead
members astray), the Lord would remove me." If a used car salesman made a
similar statement to you, what would you think? "Trust me because I say I
am trustworthy." I can understand following leader because you
believe he is a prophet, but backing that belief by arguing that "the
prophet said we should follow him because HE said that God said that he was
trustworthy and would remove him if he tried to deceive" is weak logic.Since the beginning of the church, prophets have instigated polygamy
(with polyandry) and rescinded it. Smith ordained African-Americans; Young
stopped the practice; Kimball returned it. There is no revelation from Brigham
regarding his policy, but because of it an entire portion of God's children
could not enjoy the fullness of the gospel's blessings. There are many
explanations and rationalization about the policy, but it seems Young had a
large sway over the direction of the church with little official guidance to
This article practically begs for a rebuttal, but I wonder if a rebuttal would
be tolerated in this forum?The scriptures proclaim that the voice of
the majority is usually right (Mosiah 29:26.) Heber J. Grant (and others)
declare that the prophet will never lead the people astray. What if the voice
of the people come into conflict with the counsel of the prophet?Bro. Peterson has said that the church Public Affairs department is not a
rogue operation. But it can issue a statement that provides plausible
deniability. And it can take a general direction given to it by leaders and
massage it in a way that may not reflect the original intent of the leaders.If God has spoken on this issue (as compared to the speaking reflecting
the combined wisdom of the Brethren) then let someone stand up and say -
"Thus saith the Lord." That alone will be sufficient for those who
feel that they have private inspiration to the contrary in the matter.
"You may not like what comes from the authority of the church," said
President Harold B. Lee, serving at the time as a counselor to President Joseph
Fielding Smith. "It may conflict with your political views. It may
contradict your social views. It may interfere with some of your social life.
Your safety and ours depends upon whether or not we follow. Let's keep our eye
on the president of the church."How democratic - God expects
you to forfeit you moral obligation of voting your conscience, and to instead
participate in a block vote on Mormon politics. Can we really say that the
Church endorses patriotic ideals with rhetoric like this??
Excellent article Dr. Peterson! A lot of people are still having problems with
Prop 8 when it's strikingly clear from modern revelation (and old revelation)
where the Lord and the prophets stand on marriage. And yet, there are too many
who nit pick and say that The Family: A Proclamation to the World is not
"revelation" and just an opinion. Isn't it interesting that people
will only believe the modern revelation that they want to believe, or what fits
in their social constructs?
Well said. You deftly described the perils of superimposing politics over
Cats - the prophet speaking is not scripture. It is guidance, suggestions, etc.
but it is not scripture. The prophet reveals no new doctrine, hasn't for quite
some time. He may reinforce current doctrine with the talks he gives, but it is
not considered scripture or revelation.
To answer "aka" ----- end of the D&C, page 292 in triple
combination, official declaration number 1. Granted, it is your second quote
that is there and not the first. I've heard somebody recently ask "what
if I give everything to the law of consecration (which we aren't living) and my
family starves to death" What happens then???.......Mr Peterson answers
it: your blood would be on God's hands and not the person asking you to obey.
God would have to make it up to you. To Mr. Peterson: did you ever tell Mr.
Hugh Nibley your politics? I would have liked to be in that room when you did.
Well put Dr. Peterson! I appreciate your clarity on this issue.
Dear aka: Your comment is exactly the reason we have living prophets and
continuing modern revelation. These statements by prophets are becoming our new
continuing sciptures. Either we sustain the Prophet or we don't. This is what
seperates the sheep from the goats. If we follow the Prophet we will be blessed
and protected from the evils of the world. If we don't, we will be left to our
own devices."I the Lord am bound when ye do what I say. But,
when ye do not what I say, ye have no promise." "If it is
by my word or the word of any of my servants, it is the SAME."We need to follow the Prophet and have the faith to know it is right. This is
the test for all of us.
Amen. Amen. And Amen. There's another sentence after President Woodruff's quote
that goes to the heart of agency: "If I were to attempt that (lead members
astray), the Lord would remove me ...". The challenge is that we mortals
will never know how/if a prophet has been "removed." Better to hedge
our bets, assume a great deal of "thinking has been done" from a
broader and more enlightened perspective.
Is there anything in the scriptures that teaches the doctrine that is found in
these two quotes?'My boy, you always keep your eye on the president
of the church and if he ever tells you to do anything, and it is wrong, and you
do it, the Lord will bless you for it.' Then with a twinkle in his eye, he said,
'But you don't need to worry. The Lord will never let his mouthpiece lead the
people astray.'""I say to Israel," Wilford Woodruff
declared, "the Lord will never permit me or any other man who stands as
president of the church to lead you astray. It is not in the program. It is not
in the mind of God."