I was asked if there was a day coming when men/women will be required to condemn those in the church whose conduct does not measure up. I responded:
There is certainly a day of separation coming. Angels are already begging to begin that process. The Lord has told them “not yet” but promised them it will happen “by and by” as His preparations continue.
The Lord is in charge. We needn’t worry about how His purposes will all be fulfilled. Patience with the larger picture is easier when we realize that for each of us the smaller, individual picture is what is important. We have plenty to do individually to receive our invitation into the Church of the Firstborn. As we do what is necessary to receive that invitation, then we will become more effective ministers of salvation for others. Worrying about the salvation of all others before being saved ourselves is a needless thought.
The evil of this day is sufficient (Matt. 6: 34) because it really is enough to live well one day at a time. Eternity will be composed of living well one day. For God all is as one day. (Alma 40: 8.) When we have done that, we are ready to receive eternity. Until then, worrying about the larger and more chaotic picture of what is going on keeps us from changing the only environment over which we have any influence or control. That is the environment of our hearts.
There is really no reason to complain about the church. That is a role I would never want to assume. Satan’s title is “the accuser of our brethren” (Rev. 12: 10). Of what does he accuse them? The answer is of all their natural failings, mistakes, shortcomings and errors. We are all ample examples of such shortcomings. No matter how good a life we may lead, we all fall short. The answer to this problem is not to accuse others but to forgive them. We cloak others in a robe of charity, and we in turn merit charity.
This is why Christ requires us to forgive all others. We get forgiveness as we give forgiveness to others. There is an extensive discussion of this in Come, Let Us Adore Him. It is true doctrine.
I think avoiding the role of “accuser” and filling the role of patient forbearance with others’ shortcomings is the only wise course in life.
I think this is interesting history. I should like to know more of this kind of thing.
Joseph Smith, by revelation, established two presiding offices: The President of the High Priesthood and the Patriarch of the Church. The President (Joseph Smith) presided. But the Patriarch stood by with keys to ordain the next President and provide for orderly transition from one President to the next.
The Patriarchal office is by lineage or descent. That way it cannot be stolen by an interloper; thereby creating a separation of power inside the one Church (or kingdom).
Joseph became President through divine ordination by the Lord and messengers sent by the Lord.
Brigham Young was sustained as President, relying upon his ordination as an Apostle.
John Taylor was also sustained, relying also upon his ordination as an Apostle.
These precedents were relied upon through Joseph F. Smith, who had an ordinance/ordination accompany his assumption of the office of President of the Church. That ordination was performed by his half-brother, John Smith, the Patriarch of the Church.
Heber J. Grant was conflicted about the Patriarch because he considered himself a descendant of Joseph Smith by sealing and the Patriarch was competition to that; and therefore he did not want the Patriarch to ordain him president. He had the Twelve ordain him. He also initiated the name change from “Presiding Patriarch” to “Patriarch to the Church.”
Heber J. Grant’s practice continued thereafter.
Interestingly the term “Prophet” was not applied to a living man holding the office of “President of the Church” until 1955, during the administration of David O. McKay. The term “Prophet” until that time always meant exclusively Joseph Smith, and not the office holder of President. Before then it was “President Young” and “President Taylor” and “President Woodruff” and so on. However, in 1955 the Church News began a new practice of referring to the living President McKay as a “Prophet.” It was felt that changing the reference to the living President would result in quicker acceptance of direction from him, and less criticism of the President. (President Grant was the most unpopular Church President in the Church’s history, and that was something they hoped to avoid happening again.) It worked. No-one wants to reject counsel from a living prophet of God.
So since that time the practice has been for living Presidents to continue to be referred to by the title “Prophet” by all General Authorities and other leaders. However, I have noticed that the President never refers to himself as “Prophet” in any declaration I have been able to find. He accepts that term as used by others, but does not apply it to himself.
The recorded times when a Church President was asked if he was “a Prophet” include testimony by Joseph F. Smith when asked by the Senate Committee in the hearings to seat Senator Smoot. His response was “my people sustain me as such.” President McKay was asked by a reporter and his response was “look me in the eye and tell me I’m not a prophet.” President Lee essentially repeated the same response to a reporter as President McKay. And when he was interviewed by the Press President Hinckley essentially repeated Joseph F. Smith’s response, saying in effect: “I’m sustained by the Church as such.” There may be others, but those are the ones I recall at the moment.
All of which is, I suppose, interesting history. I of course, sustain as “prophets, seers and revelators” the First Presidency and Quorum of the Twelve every Ward Conference, Stake Conference, General Conference and temple recommend interview.
When it comes to the subject of one’s eternal salvation, I can’t understand why someone would simply trust others and leave it to them to tell them what is necessary. I should think everyone would study this matter night and day, and reach their own conclusion about what is important, what is not, what will save, and what is simply foolishness.
Joseph said he advised all to go on and search deeper and deeper into the mysteries of God. Alma said about the same thing in Alma 12: 9-11.
When it comes to sacred knowledge, the absence of curiosity and relentless inquiry is evidence of apathy and indifference. Joseph posed the question in the Lectures on Faith of how we can hope to inherit the same reward as the ancients without following the same path as they did. Great question, that. Brings to mind Abraham’s description of his own relentless search to find God in Abraham 1: 2. I think that is the formula. As is also D&C 93: 1.
I’ve been thinking about the “guarantee” we have as Latter-day Saints that God takes peculiar delight in us. We’re His “chosen” and He looks down from heaven and grins broadly when He considers our enlightened advantage over our fellowman. I’m not sure I can reconcile that happy view of our circumstances with His frank assessment of us in D&C 112: 23-26.
I’m thinking that the first order of the day for me is repentance.
When I first joined the church we sustained the Patriarch of the Church, along with the First Presidency and the Quorum of the Twelve as a “Prophet, Seer and Revelator.” I would expect that at some point Patriarch Smith will be succeeded by his oldest, direct, descendant, unless there is still a living sibling of his upon whom the office would devolve (which I doubt).
When the office was established, it formed an independent line of priesthood authority. This line was not be dependent upon selection by temporary office holders drawn from many family lines. Instead the Smith family, through whom the church was restored, would hold this hereditary office forever. It will be interesting to see how this office is handled in the future.
There’s an article which estimates that 16% of the population (teens to 49 yrs.) of the United States has genital herpes. You can read it here:http://www.reuters.com/article/idUSN0923528620100309
Now there’s an advertisement for the law of chastity….
or anti-itch Gold Bond…
or a wire hair brush to scratch with….
The woman/man has not been born who is worth forfeiting what is lost by breaking covenants with the Lord.
The Patriarch of the Church is Eldred G. Smith, now aged 103 years. His office used to ordain the President of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints using the hereditary priesthood line running back to Father Smith, Joseph and Hyrum.
Eldred G. Smith was made Emeritus in 1979, but continues to have an office in the Church Office Building.
Sometimes it is the thinnest of threads which keeps a people from judgment. A “little leaven” or a “little salt” can save a whole lump. The want of “five righteous” has and can destroy a whole city. When you consider so thin a thread as that, you must surely realize there are no private sins. Each life has cosmic meaning.
Christ’s great victory was won by this simple formula: “He suffered temptations but gave no heed unto them.” (D&C 20: 22.)
In reflecting back on John Pratt’s recent article on Venus and its tie to the Lord’s life, I have concluded that the phrase “under the earth” as used in Moses 6: 63 is referring to the cycles of the “wandering stars” or planets. It does not refer to the subterranean composition of the earth’s mantle.
Venus disappears on the horizon, taking it “under the earth.” Then it reappears again, symbolizing the resurrection of the Lord. Venus being the great symbol of Christ, as John Pratt has shown.
Toyotas and light beer are of more interest to us than the procession of the equinoxes through the zodiac. All things do bear testimony of God. But we prefer the billboards on the side of the highway.