Mormon Apostle Dallin Oaks speaks of truth, respect

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  • Third try screen name Mapleton, UT
    Sept. 14, 2011 11:47 a.m.

    I just watched the entire fireside.
    On 9/11 it seems clear he was warning us about Islamophobia.
    And I found it easy to apply the principles when it comes to Prop 8.
    Things became less clear when trying to justify the honor code injunction regarding homosexual behavior. And it all fell apart when trying to sort out the issue of illegal aliens.
    Methinks the church sometimes plays the globalist elite role rather poorly.

  • cymrul West Valley City, UT
    Sept. 13, 2011 10:22 a.m.

    We believe in absolute truth, including the existence of God and the right and wrong established by His commandments,"

    What is he meaning when he says "the wrong established by His commandments" What wrongs is he referring to?

  • Yoshinobu FLORENCE, OR
    Sept. 12, 2011 11:06 p.m.

    Thanks CTguy30, that's exactly what I got out of it. I think Elder Oaks' main goal was proving that a balance between truth and tolerance does exist. He gave few suggestions as to the implementation of that balance, but I think that's mostly because that implementation is very personal and depends on our situation. I'm really not sure why some people are trying to throw Elder Oaks under the bus here (i.e. "he's an apostle not a prophet," "political correctness has crept into the church," etc.). Nothing in this talk was new doctrine, it was mostly a review about the example Jesus Christ set for tolerance and peace, but presented in a novel light and circumstance (and, I might add, a very appropriate time as well). I think the quote Elder Oaks gave from Dr. Alwi Shihab about tolerance is something we should all aim to live up to.

  • CTguy30 Colchester, CT
    Sept. 12, 2011 8:42 p.m.

    I once sat in a physics class of about 250 students in a lecture hall. As the instructor put up the equation and asked if anyone could see the solution...not one hand went up. Not one of us could see the student did raise his hand and offered that he believed that since he couldn't see the solution, the solution (or say absolute truth) must not exist...
    After explaining it to us and showing us the solution...not one of us understood it...therefore, the one student maintained that the solution didn't exist. Later on in the semester...we all came to understand that solution or absolute truth...
    I trust Elder Oaks as I did that professor...I believe [Oaks}, along with other righteous men, SEE the solution. We often cannot, and some may even stand up and offer that since they can't see it, it must not exist. An absolute truth is offered only to those who seek it; everyone doesn't have to accept it right now for it to be absolute. Some choose to walk by faith, and TRUST that they will come to know the TRUTH.

  • Esquire Springville, UT
    Sept. 12, 2011 6:52 p.m.

    Absolute truth, yet there are so many instances of situational actions. How is this reconciled? Doesn't action follow genuine belief?

  • The Caravan Moves On Enid, OK
    Sept. 12, 2011 5:43 p.m.

    @ Let the Truth be Told | 12:13 a.m. Sept. 12, 2011


    Not one single scripture in the Bible says, and I quote you here, that " all men are children of God?" Not one verse?

    What about this?: "The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit that we are the children of God. And if children, then heirs. Heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ, if so be that we suffer with him." - Romans 8:16-17

  • junkgeek Agua Dulce, TX
    Sept. 12, 2011 5:31 p.m.

    Latter-day Larry - You're both right, it was an apostolic opinion, given that Elder Oaks does not have the keys to pronounce doctrinal changes.

    I just want to know what Sister Oaks said.

  • sharrona layton, UT
    Sept. 12, 2011 5:30 p.m.

    A Voice of Reason, We are God's children and that we are all brothers and sisters. True, in a generic sense.
    For in him we live and move and have our being. As some of your own poets have said, We are his offspring. (Acts 17:28)

    But as many as received Him, to them He gave the AUTHORITY(exousia,1849) to become children of God, to those who believe in His name: who were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God. (John 1:12-13)

    And[Christians] because ye are sons, God hath sent forth the Spirit of his Son into your hearts, crying, Abba, Father.(Gal 4:6)

    James Talmage ,Divinely appointed Judges Called gods, In Psalm 82:6 ,judges invested by divine appointment are called gods.(Jesus the Christ p.501)
    is it not written in your law, I said Ye are gods,(John 10:34) Present tense, Not even Mormonism teaches you are a god right now.

  • Bill in Nebraska Maryville, MO
    Sept. 12, 2011 5:19 p.m.

    As the Lord has stated, "Whether by my voice or the voice of my servants, it is the same." Yes, there are times when certain things were said that could be solely opinion. However, we were not there when the things were said and so many of them are second hand reports, or we have just snippets of what was said. To try and justify something based on that and that alone is naive to say the least.

    When an Apostle of the Lord states, "There are those who are given the gift to know and then those given the gift to believe on their words. I ask that YOU believe on my words." That is an an Apostle testifying of his sacred calling and urging all present to believe on his words. So yes, the whole talk was revelation.

  • Tyler Ray Taylorsville, UT
    Sept. 12, 2011 5:01 p.m.

    A voice of Reason,

    Though sometimes your comments are defensive I don't ever find them offensive and I think you're a good example of how discussions should go on des news.

    So Thanks!

  • Open Mind Taylorsville, UT
    Sept. 12, 2011 4:58 p.m.


    Not exactly. According to the Church website doctrine is given by prophets and apostles repeatedly, but as it has been mentioned, Elder Oaks is an apostle of God and per each General Conference, Latter Day Saints sustain him as a prophet seer and revelator as with all the apostles and therefore he does speak the words of Christ.

  • A voice of Reason Salt Lake City, UT
    Sept. 12, 2011 4:13 p.m.

    Latter-day Larry, I agree with the point you're making. I wouldn't say that everyone who says 'it isn't revelation' is necessarily being critical of the Apostles (or whomever) when they make such comments; but a common theme of criticism obviously exists within a great deal of the comments making this point.

    In response to this concern, I would invite another idea that adequately addresses this common criticism.

    First, I would suggest that they read the first and second points made in "Fourteen Fundamentals in Following the Prophet", by Ezra Taft Benson.

    Second, after reading those two references I would suggest that we not forget the most direct line of revelation that we have, ourselves. I'm not simply talking about personal prayer, but also the gift of the Holy Ghost. I have read things from Dallin H. Oaks that people have criticized, where I've even heard another member say that he had an agenda, and so on. However, I know without any doubt that his words were true, not because of his "rank" (if you will), or priesthood office, or the venue where it was given, but as the spirit testified of the truthfulness of his words.

  • A voice of Reason Salt Lake City, UT
    Sept. 12, 2011 3:48 p.m.


    Thanks a bunch. I laughed when I read the 'temptation' bit. Although I've lately been more 'riled up' than before, it doesn't reflect my real views all that accurately. I imagine the only things I ever feel justified in directly condemning (argument-wise I mean) would either be 1- Intentional misrepresenting of someone else's beliefs or 2- Arguments intending to discredit one's right to choose their beliefs and express them. --- I tend to only find these arguments from those arguing anti-______. These persons typically argue anti-LDS or anti-atheist, or anything where one's sole arguing goal is to fight another belief. I believe that such arguing is destructive and entirely ad hominem. While I get very defensive fairly frequently and when really pushed even very offensive... I really do know that the best approach is the peaceful sharing of ideas.

    Without a peaceful arena for public discourse and debate, one that would welcome diverse and disagreeing views... I can't really expect others to treat me with that same respect. I'll certainly try to encourage a more productive approach. I can't promise I may never get a little 'riled up' from time to time though, lol.

  • Latter-day Larry Bountiful, UT
    Sept. 12, 2011 3:26 p.m.

    Brahmabull -
    You may want to check D&C 68:4. If you listen to the talk or read it in its entirety and don't feel what I and many others felt, then you won't understand it. In fact, you _can't_ understand it; it will seem as, in Paul's words, foolishness to you (I Corinthians 2:14). Elder Oaks is no ordinary man, he is an apostle. He gave his apostolic witness to what he was saying at the conclusion of his talk. If that means nothing to you, then no wonder it seems to you as mere opinion.

  • worf Mcallen, TX
    Sept. 12, 2011 3:16 p.m.

    I have no problem being tolerant of others. Looking at world history and people through out my life, I haven't found many with common sense. Mainly, I've learned to rely on my own thoughts and opinions.

  • watcher@75 SMITHFIELD, UT
    Sept. 12, 2011 2:16 p.m.

    Establishing a law to help clarify temporal or spiritual intent is a natural normal human practice either in government or religion. Laws help maintain critical liberties of a free people. Look at the numerous motor vehicle and traffic laws as one mere example. Elder Oaks' comments here are abbreviated. The three absolute truths he addresses are by no means the only absolute truths in existence. He selected those three truths as some among the various contributors supporting tranquil inter-personal relationships. If we really want to know what he means, or allow him the time to explain legal principles, we can write him for an in depth treatise. He is most capable to do so not only from the spirit of his Apostolic calling, but as a former Utah Supreme Court Justice. His counsel importunes peace through the provident act of avoiding contention.

  • Joggle Clearfield, UT
    Sept. 12, 2011 1:52 p.m.

    An absolute truth, sometimes called a universal truth, is an unalterable and permanent fact. None of the things mentioned in this article are absolute truth because if they were most people would agree they are! They don't!

    Many religions contain absolute truths. For example, a Christian might say, "I know Jesus Christ is my Savior. By following his teachings, I will live in heaven when I die." To the believer this may be an absolute truth. Imposing this statement on others is where this absolute truth is disagreed upon or debated. While many may agree that the Christian believes absolutely that Jesus is his Savior, they are unlikely to agree that Jesus as everyone's Savior is an absolute truth. When a persons absolute truth is extended to all others, it can be viewed not as an absolute truth or universal truth, but rather a personal truth. As a mere human, when you have certain beliefs which you think you can prove to yourself and others who believe the same, but cannot prove to others who believe differently than "absolute truth" is a false claim. Just declaring something is absolute truth does not make it so.

  • RanchHand Huntsville, UT
    Sept. 12, 2011 12:58 p.m.


    "believers should not shrink from seeking laws to maintain public conditions or policies that assist them in practicing the requirements of their faith ..."

    Sounds very much to me like they actually NEED the laws in order to "assist" them in keeping the "requirements" of their faith. If you truly had faith, you wouldn't need the "assist", would you? :0

    The problem with passing these laws that provide "assistance" to those of your (or any) faith, is that they HINDER other religious/non-religious who aren't in need of the "assistance".

    If you need "assistance" keeping the requirements of your faith, perhaps you should seek help from your local religious authorities instead of passing laws?

  • AZRods Maricopa, AZ
    Sept. 12, 2011 12:12 p.m.

    Ranchhand says "If you have to have a law for you to "practice the requirements of their faith", then they don't really have faith at all."

    Simply not so.
    If we need laws in society, it does not mean that we would all be law breakers without those laws.

    Many people are, by nature, less inclined to keep certain laws, whether they be
    laws of the land or laws of God. But it is our choice.

    Laws make us accountable, a consequence that many will find undesirable.

    You are right though, some people just don't get it;)

  • Third try screen name Mapleton, UT
    Sept. 12, 2011 10:53 a.m.

    So...where does that leave us when it comes to the Family Proclamation? Was President Packer right the first time? Or were his edited remarks the "truth"?
    I can understand that he might have misspoken a word like temptation, but not an entire phrase endorsing the Family Proclamation.
    Dare I suggest that political correctness has crept into the church regarding feminism, homosexuality and illegal aliens?
    And if so, where does absolute truth come into play?

  • RanchHand Huntsville, UT
    Sept. 12, 2011 10:29 a.m.

    "believers should not shrink from seeking laws to maintain public conditions or policies that assist them in practicing the requirements of their faith where those conditions or policies are also favorable to the public health, safety, or morals."

    If you have to have a law for you to "practice the requirements of their faith", then they don't really have faith at all.

    Not everyone shares the same "morals". Legislating your version automatically infringes on the rights of those who don't share your version.

    Being tolerant doesn't demand you abandon your own version of "truth", but that you allow others to live theirs without your interference.

    Some people just don't get it.

  • George Bronx, NY
    Sept. 12, 2011 9:49 a.m.

    @voice of reason
    I have noticed a difference in the tone of your post. while I am sure we will continue to disagree on issues I like the new tone very much, I will do my best to not be a source of temptation to turn back from the new tone. good luck.

  • Brahmabull sandy, ut
    Sept. 12, 2011 8:59 a.m.

    It is a nice article, but remember what elder Oaks says isn't doctrine, it is only opinion. So you have to take it for what it is worth.

  • A voice of Reason Salt Lake City, UT
    Sept. 12, 2011 8:29 a.m.

    From the article-

    "when believers take their views into the public square they must seek inspiration from the Lord and be selective and wise in choosing which principles to promote; when choosing to promote a position methods and advocacy should be tolerant of opinions and positions of those who do not share similar beliefs; believers should not be deterred by the charge that they are trying to legislate morality and "believers should not shrink from seeking laws to maintain public conditions or policies that assist them in practicing the requirements of their faith where those conditions or policies are also favorable to the public health, safety, or morals."


    Well said!

    I am imperfect and any frequenter on here would know that I have moments of less tolerance when I'm upset from an issue, but I try to be conscious of fair and inviting debate. Very recently, in my personal life I have experienced something that makes me want to invite the kindest debate possible. We really shouldn't be bitter at all, but we absolutely should seek to learn God's truth, not as others understand it or would portray it.

    The truth- our beliefs don't infringe freedom, but protect it.

  • A voice of Reason Salt Lake City, UT
    Sept. 12, 2011 8:25 a.m.

    Let the Truth be Told,

    I'm not going to go back and forth 'Bible-bashing', I simply want to encourage that there is reference in the Bible, whether we all agree or not, that one could at very least understand as meaning that we are God's children and that we are all brothers and sisters.

    Deuteronomy 14:1
    Psalm 82:6
    Matthew 5:48
    John 20:17

    While they all support the idea that God is indeed our supreme Father, the scripture in John also makes it clear that Jesus Christ at least in our relationship to God the Father, is indeed our brother.

    Again, we all may disagree on this point- but there is at least reasonable reference as to why we believe such a doctrine.

  • Let the Truth be Told slc, ut
    Sept. 12, 2011 12:13 a.m.

    He said there are three absolute truths individuals who believe in God usually share: people are brothers and sisters under God, taught within their religions to love and to do good to one another; living with differences is what the Gospel of Jesus Christ teaches us we must do and tolerance and respect for others does not cause us to abandon our commitment to truths and covenants.

    1: The bible in no way teaches that all men are brothers or that all men are children of God.
    2: Jesus said He was the ONLY Way
    3: I do, however, agree with number 3