Defending the Faith: The Twelve were prepared for leadership

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  • Bill McGee Alpine, UT
    July 13, 2014 10:05 a.m.

    @DHRogers: Read Collier's "Brigham Young's Doctrine on Deity." Young spoke scores of times on Adam-God. His comments are not ambiguous and not subject to interpretation. Instead, he spoke clearly, emphatically, and in great detail on this topic. Once he announced this doctrine (which he claims to have learned from Joseph Smith) his talks in the JD do not contradict that position. Interestingly, he and Orson Pratt had a huge conflict over this, wherein Pratt refused to accept Young's doctrine on Adam and Young threatened Pratt with excommunication. Check out the meticulously researched book "Conflict in The Quorum." There is a ton of evidence for this if one would choose to look.

  • DHRogers Las Vegas, NV
    Aug. 12, 2013 5:20 p.m.

    Brigham Young’s statements are recorded in the Journal of Discourses. The JD was started by a man in England who wanted to record speeches made by Mormon missionaries. He developed shorthand and eventually enlisted others as stenographers.

    While the JD is a valuable source of history and information from the time, it is not an official publication of the LDS Church. It was not vetted for doctrinal accuracy or that the speeches were recorded accurately. The speeches were recorded at a time when recording devices did not exist. The speeches were not reviewed by the Church or by the speakers for accuracy of content or intent. There is no guarantee that they always accurately reflect what the speaker said or meant to say.

    The JD is not a source of official doctrine of the Church. Church leaders have repeatedly said that when they are speaking for the Lord they will publish this in official pronouncements. At other times, they are free to express their private views the same as any other individual. Many of these were recorded in the JD.

  • DHRogers Las Vegas, NV
    Aug. 12, 2013 5:19 p.m.


    Brigham Young gave over 1,500 sermons that were recorded by transcribers. Many of these were about the relationship between Adam and God. Those sermons consistently conform to standard LDS doctrine, not the so-called Adam-God theory. The few which supposedly address the Adam-God theory have been interpreted several different ways by different people. Whether one gets the Adam-God theory out of them is a matter of interpretation and would require that we ignore all of the other sermons Brigham Young gave on the subject which contradict the Adam-God theory This approach could be used on you or anybody. In other words, even though you have made your position clear multiple times a critic could take one of your statements out of context and quote you as contradiction your real position. That is what the critics do to Brigham Young.


  • sharrona layton, UT
    Aug. 10, 2013 7:48 p.m.

    RE the truth. All apostles are prophets. Anyone sent by God to deliver a prophecy or message is by definition a prophet. True,

    The nature of the office in O.T. prophet was the job of transmitting messages from God to the people, they were spokesman for the almighty. In the N.T. dispensation things changed.

    The “gift” of prophecy became secondary to the N.T. Apostles. i.e. “God has placed in the church first Apostles(#1.), second Prophets(#2.),third teachers…; 1Cor 12:28) .

    RE zoar63 I agree, This is My Beloved Son. Hear Him!(JS-H 1:17)/

    "In the past God spoke to our ancestors through the prophets at many times and in various ways, [context]-

    whom He has appointed heir of all things,through whom also He made the worlds=(time/aionas, Greek). Heb 1:1,2).

    A clear statement of creation ex nihlio. i.e.In (2Tim 1:9 & Titus 1:2) God existed before time, implying He created time.

  • the truth Holladay, UT
    Aug. 10, 2013 9:22 a.m.


    All apostles are prophets.

    Anyone sent by God to deliver a prophecy or message is by definition a prophet.

    Also translations can be tricky things, a word could ne translated as 'prophet', but not be a prophet in the strict sense.

    And some are called 'prophets' by other men.

    But there us is only one prophet that is the leader of the church, like Moses, or Samuel, or Jesus the Christ, or Joseph Smith, and they are always chosen by God not by themselves, and not by other men.

  • zoar63 Mesa, AZ
    Aug. 9, 2013 7:18 p.m.

    "The law and the[office of]prophets were until John: Luke 16:16."

    There were still prophets after John

    And in these days came prophets from Jerusalem unto Antioch.
    And there stood up one of them named Agabus, and signified by the Spirit that there should be great dearth throughout all the world: which came to pass in the days of Claudius Caesar.
    (Acts 11:27-28)

    (Claudius Caesar. Roman Emperor from 41 to 54 A.D.)

    NOW there were in the church that was at Antioch certain prophets and teachers; as Barnabas, and Simeon and Lucius of Cyrene, and Manaen, which had been brought up with Herod the tetrarch, and Saul. (Acts 13:1)

    See also Acts 15:32, 1Cor12:28-29, Eph3:5. Eph 4:11,

  • the truth Holladay, UT
    Aug. 9, 2013 5:17 p.m.


    Where is it written in doctrine that Sidney Rigdon was the rightful heir to the presidency?

    He was just a counselor. Once the president was dead he was no longer counselor but just an apostle like the other apostles.

    God chooses his prophet not men, and certainly not a man by himself.

  • zoar63 Mesa, AZ
    Aug. 9, 2013 5:01 p.m.


    "In the past God spoke to our ancestors through the prophets at many times and in various ways, but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son,..Heb 1:1-2)."

    I agree

    It no sooner appeared than I found myself delivered from the enemy which held me bound. When the light rested upon me I saw two Personages, whose brightness and glory defy all description, standing above me in the air. One of them spake unto me, calling me by name and said, pointing to the other--This is My Beloved Son. Hear Him!
    (JS-H 1:17)

  • Craig Clark Boulder, CO
    Aug. 9, 2013 4:12 p.m.

    Are men born to greatness? Or do events make the man? Where would Lincoln rank as a President were it not for the Civil War crisis? George Washington was a risky choice to command the Continental Army. No professional military training and limited battlefield experience. But he was resourceful, knew how to lead, and learned from his mistakes which some men never do.

    Brigham Young may not have known what he was doing half the time. But he was wise enough to not let on when he was winging it, getting some things terribly wrong and getting other things spectacularly right.

    A great leader is often just the right man in the right place at the right time. It's we who later make them into heroes and gods.

  • Michigander Westland, MI
    Aug. 9, 2013 3:08 p.m.

    RE: Mighty Mouse, that is only evidence of BY's keen political and business savvy, not his priesthood authority.

    "by their fruits ye shall know them" - we use only grape WINE for the Lord's Supper (sacrament).

  • 9MM Murray, UT
    Aug. 9, 2013 2:21 p.m.

    I am grateful the priesthood was restored,and that a means was provided to allow it's succession until the millennium.

  • Mighty Mouse Salt Lake City, Utah
    Aug. 9, 2013 10:55 a.m.

    Thank you Brother Peterson for reminding us how the Lord prepares His prophets for the moment. If you have any doubts about the prophetic calling of Brigham Young examine his fruits: Led the exodus of mob scattered saints from Missouri to Illinois, participated in the establishment of the church in England, held the saints together and completed the construction of the Nauvoo Temple in the face of government tolerated mob violence in Illinois, led the largest mass migration in the history of the United States which extended all the way across the Atlantic to the British Isles and Scandinavia, colonized countless cities and towns that continue to thrive today from Canada to Mexico, introduced irrigation to make the arid West blossom like the rose, imported technologies to produce iron, sugar, silk, cotton and wine when the settlements of the saints were isolated by a 1,000 miles of frontier from the nearest markets, etc. etc. By their fruits ye shall know them.

  • sharrona layton, UT
    Aug. 9, 2013 10:24 a.m.

    RE: the truth, Understanding has increased, by revelation and by need, and other ways, and of course precept upon precept, line upon line?

    What does what the KJV rendered as "precept upon precept" Isa 28 :10,13 really mean. Most modern translations annotate this poor translation.
    i.e.(Isa 28:10,13 NET) they will hear meaningless gibberish, senseless babbling, a syllable here, a syllable there.

    Brigham Young,” I never yet preached a sermon ad sent it out to the children of men, that they may not call it Scripture, Let me have the privilege of correcting a sermon and it is a good as Scripture as they deserve.” (JoD v 13 p. 95 also see v. 13. P 264)

    RE; Craig Clark: Peter on Paul, "Our beloved brother Paul also wrote to you with the wisdom God gave him— 16 speaking of these things in all of his letters. Some of his comments are hard to understand, and those who are ignorant and unstable have twisted his letters to mean something quite different, just as they do with other parts of Scripture. And this will result in their destruction."(2Peter 3:15-17 NLT)

  • Michigander Westland, MI
    Aug. 9, 2013 9:29 a.m.

    The good news is that the mantle or priesthood authority that Joseph Smith had in 1844, and his 1st Counselor and rightful successor in the Church Presidency Sidney Rigdon had from 1844-1847, was placed upon William Bickerton in 1845. Their church still exists today ("TCOJC", WHQ: Monongahela, PA) and is growing throughout the earth today.

    Aug. 9, 2013 2:40 a.m.

    For those who believe Joseph Smith's revelations were invented out of necessity, that's not new theory; it's one of Fawn Brodie's central theses. But there is no way to prove either side of the issue; it all rests on faith of one sort or another: either faith in one's ability to observe and reason by one's own intellect without any regard to spiritual things, or faith in Jesus Christ as the source of Smith's revelations. There is no getting away from faith.
    As I've said in other posts, empiricism has too many limitations to discover and validate all truth. Truth about spiritual things cannot be gained by a strictly academic exercise.

  • the truth Holladay, UT
    Aug. 8, 2013 5:46 p.m.


    Brigham Young taught as he currently understood and what was currently revealed at the time.

    Men are imperfect, and imperfect in their understanding.

    Understanding has increased, by revelation and by need, and other ways, and of course precept upon precept, line upon line.

  • Northern Lights Arco, ID
    Aug. 8, 2013 3:23 p.m.


    Not sure how you define ill-prepared. How many groups of twelve men today could organize the relocation of a city the size of Ogden Utah (70,000+) over 1,200 miles using nothing but eighteenth-century technology? In my personal opinion, the Twelve were prepared well enough for what they needed to do.

  • sharrona layton, UT
    Aug. 8, 2013 2:08 p.m.

    RE: Craig Clark, Brigham Young was the steady hand.

    Brigham Young proclaimed that Adam was Michael the Archangel, and that he was also the Ancient of Days. Young went on to conclude that Adam was, in fact, "our Father and our God, and the only God with whom we have to do." In this message, Mormonism's second president explained that Eve was only one of Adam's wives and that Jesus Christ "was not begotten by the Holy Ghost." Instead, Young said, He "was begotten in the flesh by the same character that was in the garden of Eden, and who is our Father in Heaven."

    RE: Dan Maloy, The 15 living Apostles, Did you count the Apostle John? see(D&C 7)1–3.

    @ Why would anyone with that knowledge of the facts think that "everyone" would recognize and accept Christ's apostles today? True,

    The law and the[office of]prophets were until John: Luke 16:16.

    In the past God spoke to our ancestors through the prophets at many times and in various ways, but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son,..Heb 1:1-2).

  • Craig Clark Boulder, CO
    Aug. 8, 2013 11:45 a.m.

    The Twelve were ill-prepared to assume leadership when Joseph was killed. But one of its number was equipped to be a strong leader and he was shrewd enough to not overplay his hand. Sidney Rigdon didn’t disguise his eagerness to take charge. But Brigham Young was the steady hand. He emerged in that dark hour because he inspired confidence in a badly shaken people who were unsure of who to turn to.

  • Dan Maloy Enid, OK
    Aug. 8, 2013 11:35 a.m.

    My great, great, great grandfather, Luke S. Johnson, was a member of the original 12 Apostles chosen under the direction of Joseph Smith. He remained faithful until he felt that Joseph had become a 'fallen' prophet. At that time he was removed from the Quorum of the Twleve. However, he later realized he had made a mistake and rejoined the Church. He emigrated to Utah and was called to be a bishop in Tooele and died in full faith and fellowship of the Church.

    Temporary apostasy from the truth or not, I am proud to be a descendant of one who proved faithful in the end.

    The 15 living Apostles are giants among men; the very best among us in terms of character and spirituality. To those who disagree, I ask....

    - Did Jesus Christ receive recognition and acceptance by everyone in his day?
    - Did Christ's 12 Apostles that HE chose in his day receive recognition and acceptance by everyone after Christ ascended into heaven?

    You know those answers are "no" and "no".

    So why would anyone with that knowledge of the facts think that "everyone" would recognize and accept Christ's apostles today?

    To those looking for the truth, ponder that.

  • A Scientist Provo, UT
    Aug. 8, 2013 10:54 a.m.

    Necessity is the mother of invention... including the invention of "keys" held jointly by the Twelve Apostles, "revelations" about plural marriages, "revelations" about Tithing, as well as blacks receiving priesthood, and numerous other inventions by Church leaders.

  • DR Hampton Portage, MI
    Aug. 8, 2013 9:47 a.m.

    This is an insightful analysis of LDS church history on the vital issue of succession to the prophet Joseph Smith. A complementary perspective on succession is obtained by comparing the major branches emerging from that time: the LDS church and the Community of Christ. As these two drift farther apart, their rivalry lessens. The Community of Christ isn't the same and doesn't want to be the same as the LDS church. Rightful succession doesn't seem to be as big an issue to them as it once was.

  • Michigander Westland, MI
    Aug. 8, 2013 9:34 a.m.

    Sept 8, 1844 - A special council publicly excommunicates Sidney Rigdon for his succession claim in opposition to the Twelve. Rigdon is not present. Before the membership votes "President Young arose and requested the congregation to place themselves so that they could see all who voted. We want to know who goes for Sidney and who are for the Twelve." Ten Mormons who vote in favor of Rigdon at this meeting are suspended from fellowship pending trial before the High Council, an action to be extended to all "who shall hereafter be found advocating his principles." Benjamin Winchester, a prominent elder, writes: "As regards the trial of Elder Rigdon at Nauvoo, it was a forced affair, got up by the Twelve to get him out of their way, that they might the better arrogate to themselves higher authority than they ever had, or anybody ever dreamed they would have; and also (as they perhaps hope) to prevent a complete expose of the spiritual wife system, which they knew would deeply implicate themselves."