2 Nephi 28: 4

2 Nephi 28: 4:

“And they shall contend one with another; and their priests shall contend one with another, and they shall teach with their learning, and deny the Holy Ghost, which giveth utterance.”

Nephi foresees that churches in our day will argue over the claim to have truth. When it comes to the Latter-day Saints, the relentless accusation made against us is that we aren’t “Christian.” This accusation is made by those who claim the right to define the word “Christian” to necessarily include acceptance of the creeds of Historic Christianity. These creeds are an amalgam of Neo-Platonic philosophy mingled with scripture.

We just ought to concede the point. We should proudly acknowledge we are NOT part of Historic Christianity. We disagree with Historic Christianity, and at a fundamental level we denounce it as false. We are a restoration of Primitive Christianity. We do not share in accepting the creeds which Christ Himself denounced as “an abomination in His sight.”  (JS-H 1: 19.)

Oddly, from our end, we try and avoid the argument, fit in, claim we are “good Christians too,” and part of the larger community of churches. There isn’t as much fight left in us as there was once. Or, perhaps more correctly, our arguments are focused instead, toward those who attempt to preserve practices from the early part of the Restoration. In other words, we try to make ourselves seem more like Historic Christianity, and avoid or discard what once set us apart. We have inverted the picture from where we began. (Nephi will address that, as well.)

Although there are numerous examples of how we have altered our views to become more like other faiths, we can take just one to illustrate the point. We have abandoned plural marriage. But it is hard for us to claim the doctrine is false because it remains in Section 132 of the Doctrine and Covenants. While we do not practice it, and believe those who do have failed to stay on track, we cannot gainsay that the doctrine is true. Yet no other church is so vehement in denouncing and persecuting those who practice plural marriage. It is as if we want to lead the argument against the practice in order to distract people from the fact that the practice is approved in our scriptures.

Let me be clear that I do not advocate the practice nor recommend it. Nor do I think those who continue the practice do so either with approval or authority. I’ve explained the defects in their arguments to authority in Beloved Enos, and I am confident in the explanation given there.They do not possess the keys to continue that practice. Their own position is self-defeating.

Nor do I think these people will be given the hand of fellowship until Zion returns. But when it does, I do not expect those who follow the practice if plural marriage in a humble and devout way, having real intent, and proceeding prayerfully will be excluded from the gathering. It also seems self-evident that if John D. Lee, who was executed for the Mountain Meadows Massacre, has been reinstated to the privileges of the church, that those practicing plural marriage after the 1905 letter from President Joseph F. Smith will some day not also be reinstated to church membership.

Well, that was an aside merely to illustrate a point. We fail to contend about errors of other faiths, fail to defend our unique status, and in turn attack doctrines that we know to be true. 

What Nephi will focus on in his prophecy is not the contention, but the absence of guidance from the Holy Ghost. This criticism will become the theme of the coming chapters. This collection of chapters at the end of 2 Nephi are his final warnings in which he tells us the great themes of prophecy that rest so heavily upon his soul. He is most alarmed that, in our day, men will ” teach with their learning, and deny the Holy Ghost, which giveth utterance.” What do you suppose it means to “teach with their learning?”

We know that other churches employ trained theological experts to professionally teach them as a paid clergy. We have always been critical of that approach because once a minister has been to college and been trained for the ministry, they mingle the philosophies of men with scripture. We have always been taught that even a child with the Spirit can edify a congregation in Sacrament by speaking with the influence of the Holy Ghost. We intend our meetings to be directed in word and thought by the Holy Ghost. But how much of what we are taught in our meetings and conferences are the result of man’s learning? Of focus group opinion gathering? Of opinion polling? Of careful study of trends and development of data bases from social sciences? (See Slippery on February 22, 2010.)

How much of what we are taught is from the “Spirit which giveth utterance?” How often are we fed as the Lord directed in D&C 84: 85 through entirely spontaneous utterance?  If Joseph was commanded to speak spontaneously so the Spirit could direct him (D&C 100: 5-6; see also D&C 24: 5-6) then why is a Correlation Department allowed to control talks today and prevent any spontaneous speaking in our conferences?

I know the purpose behind correlation was to insure false doctrine was not taught. They seem to have instead insured that no doctrine is taught.

In my view, correlation has failed in its purpose. It has stifled the Spirit and stripped us of doctrine which should be prized and taught. Furthermore, it has not insured the doctrine it permits to be taught is true or consistent with scripture or earlier teachings.

Even though correlation has not prevented us from having errors of doctrine I do not believe an error of doctrine makes a person a bad man. Joseph Smith said: “I did not like the old man being called up for erring in doctrine. It looks too much like the Methodist, and not like the Latter-day Saints. Methodists have creeds which a man must believe or be asked out of their church. I want the liberty of thinking and believing as I please. It feels so good not to be trammeled. It does not prove that a man is not a good man because he errs in doctrine.” (DHC 5: 340.)  I do not believe anyone should ever be subject to church discipline for believing false doctrine. The false teaching should be overcome by teaching the truth, not by stifling discussion. The quickest way for truth to triumph is to allow free discussion. When we are open, the truth will always win out.

I agree with Joseph Smith that teaching false doctrine does not prove “that a man is not a good man.” Take the Proclamation on the Family, for example. It states: All human beings —male and female— are created in the image of God. Each is a beloved spirit son or daughter of heavenly parents, and, as such, each has a divine nature and destiny. Gender is an essential characteristic of individual premortal, mortal, and eternal identity and purpose.”  This statement conflicts with what President Joseph Fielding Smith taught in the arrangement prepared by Bruce R. McConkie (and therefore undoubtedly approved by Elder McConkie as well): “Some of the functions in the celestial body will not appear in the terrestrial body, neither in the telestial body, and the power of procreation will be removed. I take it that men and women will, in these kingdoms, be just what the so-called Christian world expects us all to be: neither man nor woman, merely immortal beings having received the resurrection. (Doctrines of Salvation 2:287-288; emphasis added.)  In another place President Smith taught, “Is not the sectarian world justified in their doctrine generally proclaimed, that after the resurrection there will be neither male nor female sex? It is a logical conclusion for them to reach and apparently is in full harmony with what the Lord has revealed regarding the kingdoms into which evidently the vast majority of mankind is likely to go.” (Answers to Gospel Questions, Vol 4, p.66–a set that was also edited by Elder Bruce R. McConkie.)

If it is a grave offense to now err in doctrine, either President Smith and his son-in-law Elder McConkie should be condemned, or those who signed the Proclamation on the Family in September 1995 (the entire First Presidency and Quorum of the Twelve) should be condemned. They contradict one another. The Apostle Paul would seem to agree with President Smith and Elder McConkie. (See Gal. 3: 28.) The “Christian” world, of course, denounces marriage in eternity precisely because they disbelieve sexual identity ends with mortality. They base this upon Luke 20: 34-35, Matt. 22: 30, and Mark 12: 25 as well as Paul’s statement in Galatians.

It appears to me that someone errs in doctrine. Despite that, I absolutely DO NOT BELIEVE that either the First Presidency and Quorum of the Twelve in 1995, nor President Joseph Fielding Smith and Bruce R. McConkie are bad men. Nor do I think that the contradiction should be managed by the Correlation Department. I think it should stand and become something on which each of us consider, ponder, pray and reach some conclusion for ourselves. It isn’t necessary for us to always have controversies taken away from us, particularly at the expense of losing our doctrine.

The approach now is to prevent spontaneous talks from being delivered under the influence of the Holy Spirit because of fear that we would excite criticism by contradicting one another. I think this is wrong. If we want to be cautious about doctrine, then we ought to call men who understand and teach doctrine to preside. I see trustworthy men and women on KBYU discussing doctrine all the time. Elder Packer was a Seminary Instructor before his call to be a General Authority, and he has always been reliable on doctrine. I would love to hear him speak spontaneously every time he speaks. Elder Scott, also, seems to me to be a man who, if allowed to speak without a prepared text would have a great deal to share. It would be delightful to hear him speak extemporaneously. There is something valuable enough when an inspired man does this that the D&C admonished Joseph Smith to only address the Saints in this manner. If that was the Lord’s desire for Joseph, and it remains in the D&C, then it is little wonder we pay a price as a result of the correlation process.

This is what the verse we are considering here it telling us SHOULD be the case. We cannot help but “deny the Holy Ghost, which giveth utterance” when we do not permit the Holy Ghost the opportunity to inspire by giving spontaneous utterance.

28 thoughts on “2 Nephi 28: 4

  1. President Wilford Woodruff:

    “I say to Israel, the Lord will never permit me or any other man who
    stands as president of this Church to lead you astray.”

  2. President Brigham Young:

    “What a pity it would be if we were led by one man to utter destruction! Are you afraid of this? I am more afraid that this people have so much confidence in their leaders that they will not inquire of themselves of God whether they are led by Him. I am fearful they will settle down in a state of blind self-security, trusting their eternal security in the hands of their leaders with a reckless confidence that in itself would thwart the purposes of God in their salvation, and weaken that influence they could give to their leaders, did they know for themselves, by the revelations of Jesus Christ, that they are led in the right way.” JD 9: 149-50.

    Joseph Smith cautioned about trusting to much in the prophet and neglecting the duties devolving upon the Saints individually. And George Q. Cannon also taught the principle that you cannot trust leadership to save you.

    You would, of course, already be familiar with that material if you had done as the blog suggests and first read what I’ve written.

    I assume you are not acquainted with the carefully prepared things I’ve written and therefore misapprehend the subjects under discussion.

  3. Acting in my ward calling, I regularly have the opportunity to ask people to speak in Sacrament and other meetings. At no time have I ever been told to limit the speakers’ freedom to speak as the Spirit moves them. Not by the Bishop, not by the Stake President, not by the handbook of instruction. In fact, the opposite is true, everyone involved wants speakers that will teach by the Spirit.

    The problem is, how many teachers and speakers are there in a given ward with the (current) capacity to do that? Precious few is my guess. And if we only call on those to speak who will do so extemporaneosly, “as the Spirit constraineth,” we’ll have a pretty short pitching rotation.

    And in the mean time, all those who are less spiritually accomplished will sit in the pews watching their spiritual muscles atrophy through disuse. How many times have you heard that you learn more by preparing a talk than you do by lstening to a talk?

    I dislike being correlated as much as the next guy, but the correlation process exists, I believe, not because of some nefarious cabal in Salt Lake, but because we the saints haven’t taken responsibility for our own spiritual maturity.

  4. I know you probably don’t want to get off on a tangent about Polygamy, so I will be brief.

    I agree that there may have been some ‘rare’ instances of the ‘authorized’ practice of polygamy by truely righteous men who did not desire it & who were more repulsed & pained by it than the wife.

    But I think it should be understood that the ‘unauthorized’ practice of polygamy is & always has been, an adulterous abomination & even one of the greatest abuses ever done to women, & a carnel & evil desire that many, if not most, men throughout history have had & forced upon women.

    I surely do not believe that those who commit such great sins, even with the consent & cooperation of weak & deceived women, will survive the cleansing of the earth. Which cleansing is for just such abuses & adultery, among others.

    For there are very few sins known to man that are worse & more abusive to women than polygamy.

  5. The words written here by Denver are difficult to read. But for me.. they ring true and cut me to the core. We need to get past the point of pretending that all is well in Zion. And so, the sifting begins.

    The best way I can describe the feelings I felt when first waking up to these truths and/or our aweful situation that we find ourselves in the world, in our country.. and in the church is the following.
    It is as if I have lived my whole life being told and believing that I was a natural son to my parents and then one day my parents tell me that I was adopted. Feelings of Sadness, Betrayal, Anger.. A true paradigm shift.. yes, very painful, upsetting, unbelievable. (Just in case I wasn’t clear…That was an analogy.. and didn’t happen in reality)

    We, as members of the church read the Book of Mormon (and have probably been taught) that all of the examples of righteousness and blessings refer to the LDS church.. while all of the wickedness and cursings are referring to those who are NOT members of the church. It is a big pill to swallow when you begin to realize that All is not well in Zion despite what we hear at General Conference and all of the warnings and wickedness could be referring to us.. yes us Latter-day Saints.
    Denver had been instrumental in helping us see past the rose colored glasses that so many, if not all of us look through.
    We are living in a fallen state, (I like to call in Hell..) however, I am grateful for the light that still penetrates the darkness. The church/ nor the President of the church will not, and can not save us.. as much as we would like to think they will.

    Carry on Denver… after someone reads most if not all of your books and all of the posts.. they will have a better understanding of what you are saying and know that you have voiced over and over again about the important role the Church needs to play and your love for it.

  6. Here’s a great quote from Joseph Fielding Smith I just found that I think lends some helpful insight to methods used on these blogs and comments:

    “It makes no difference what is written or what anyone has said, if what has been said is in conflict with what the Lord has revealed, we can set it aside. My words, and the teachings of any other member of the Church, high or low, if they do not square with the revelations, we need not accept them. Let us have that matter clear.” Doctrines of Salvation 3:203, emphasis in original.

    Denver has been sticking strictly to the text, in my opinion. Can we not consider the above litmus test on anyone and everyone?

  7. Gordon
    Which Ward do you live in? Think I will change. We are given subject and often even source in both Ward and seems to follow throughout the Stake.


  8. I’ve compiled a list of sites that help for interpreting scripture that I thought some of you might be interested in: Strong’s Concordance of the Hebrew and Greek (for original definitions), Webster’s 1828 Dictionary (for the definitions of words during Joseph’s time), an online Etymology dictionary (for the history of the words from Joseph’s time back to the Greek and Hebrew). The list can be found at my blog brianzang.blogspot.com . I would ignore most of the posts. They are experimental journal type things that I keep changing. Well, I really only change the one about baptism, since I don’t understand it yet (shows you how elementary I am). I like using that site as a springboard to the other sites while I am reading scriptures.

  9. At what point does the Lord reject us and our dead? At what point does our sacrifices become no longer accepted? That is the question.

  10. I like what David Christenson said. I grew up thinking the church was perfect and I was caught up in the “culture” of the church. When things happened in my family and life that didn’t fit the culture, it really threw me for a loop! Glad I have settled some things within myself. I am so gratful for new perspectives that Denver has given. I love his books and have felt the spirit very near as I have read each one. His love of the gospel, the Savior and his dedication to the church is very apparent. Some people who respond on this blog are too quick to be offended. If you read something that doesn’t fit for you…ask yourself why it doesn’t, study it out and pray about it. Otherwise you can get distracted and hop on a hobby horse! Love this blog, even though sometimes it shakes me to the core:) And Gordon…the times I have been asked to speak in Sacrament Meeting, I have always been given a topic and I have always thought, “Why do I have to be told what to speak on???”

  11. The blinders for me began to come off about 28 years ago when I had friends who worked for Bonneville Productions and the Deseret News. I believe neither of them is in the Church today. (This is not to say that these two companies were doing anything wrong, but what my friends were exposed to while working with departments and employees of the Church would freak you out of your minds.)

    Then there’s my friend who is a clinical psychologist specializing in helping LDS women who have been sexually abused. Her stories could put us right up there with the Catholics in the headlines. Wouldn’t that be happy?

    Then there’s my friend who worked as a private contractor for the Church and with the Lord’s help had his life preserved while he stopped the head of the department he was working for from embezzling $800,000 on a single project.

    There is massive corruption in the Church Office Building and in many departments of the Church. I’m sure many if not all of us could tell horror stories that we’re aware of. A close friend of our family is a zillionaire because his family owns the company which has the contract for the sliding, accordian-type doors at the back of every LDS chapel in the world. (He did, however, give my husband a ride in one of his two $90,000 BMW’s.)

    At the same time, I could tell you much larger numbers of wonderful stories of miracles and inspired actions by those who lead the Church on every level.

    I love the Church, as most of you do, and as I see Denver does. It’s full of both wheat and tares. There is wheat at every level and tares at every level. But this is the Lord’s basic-model church (meaning He also has His advanced level, the Church of the Firstborn.)

    Our job is to make sure we’re wheat, not throw out the baby because there are tares in the bathwater, and take advantage of every opportunity to grow in faith and sanctification.

    It isn’t bad to know about crap going on in the Church. The scary thing is to be unwilling to know it, because if you can’t know it when it is indeed there, you’re in great jeopardy of falling when you can no longer deny it. I believe it’s better to know the truth and not be afraid of it, and to love the good and forgive the bad, while doing our best to correct it where possible. Meanwhile, nothing but ourselves can keep us from “following the light of Christ into His presence.”

  12. Thank you for having the courage to teach truth! I have for so long felt stifled by those who imply that if you should ever disagree with anyone with priestly authority – you are on the high to apostasy. The notion completely flies in the face of section 121 and yet it permeates our culture. Our ward has 2 general authorities in it and a bunch of institute guys. Don’t get me wrong, I love them all but oh how tired I am that everyone is afraid to disagree with any of their comments for fear of wrath. I did so once at a heavy price. Everyone blindly followed this brother’s false doctrine simply bc of his title in the church. Everyone made sure I knew they agreed with him and not me, and yet it was a simple doctrinal question that I had right. Of course there were those who, fearing any controversy, heaven forbid, said that we were both right. How sad. I guess Jesus and Satan were both right too in the war in heaven – don’t think so. And yet, every word spoken by any one with such authority is held as scripture. I love the quote for John Taylor in one of Hyrum Andrus’ excellent books – I think it goes something like this:

    The definition of priestcraft is when one man speaks and everyone blindly obeys.

    Thank you Denver –

  13. Thank you for having the courage to teach truth! I have for so long felt stifled by those who imply that if you should ever disagree with anyone with priestly authority – you are on the high to apostasy. The notion completely flies in the face of section 121 and yet it permeates our culture. Our ward has 2 general authorities in it and a bunch of institute guys. Don’t get me wrong, I love them all but oh how tired I am that everyone is afraid to disagree with any of their comments for fear of wrath. I did so once at a heavy price. Everyone blindly followed this brother’s false doctrine simply bc of his title in the church. Everyone made sure I knew they agreed with him and not me, and yet it was a simple doctrinal question that I had right. Of course there were those who, fearing any controversy, heaven forbid, said that we were both right. How sad. I guess Jesus and Satan were both right too in the war in heaven – don’t think so. And yet, every word spoken by any one with such authority is held as scripture. I love the quote from John Taylor in one of Hyrum Andrus’ excellent books – I think it goes something like this:

    The definition of priestcraft is when one man speaks and everyone else blindly obeys.

    Thank you Denver. Please know that I am eternally grateful for your courage.

  14. What makes you think the Lord ever rejects any of us – save perdition only – Joseph said in the King Follet Sermon something to the effect that the Lord has set a plan whereby every soul will be ferreted out and saved. He didn’t atone for EVERY SIN and SICKNESS to let that go to waste – it may take a little time, but there is a “WAY” provided for all, save perdition. It’s up to us how long and hard the way. Let’s get a move on and find the ‘way’ for us.

  15. I think about how actually fun and edifying it could be if we could openly and without fear discuss false doctrine and other problems in the church. It is totally possible to discuss problems with a good spirit when there is no fear involved. The real problem happens when there’s fear involved in even having a discussion. One side or both start talking with a negative spirit and it deteriorates from there.

    Here’s a simple example: I have a master’s degree in linguistics, and so I noticed a few years back when Elder Oaks gave a talk on why we should use scriptural language when we pray (thee, thou, etc.) He said that it shows reverence and respect for Deity. Now, although this is a nice thought, it’s actually false. English is a Germanic language, and “thee, thou, thy”, etc., are familiar forms used with family, children, and animals.

    What is so wonderful is that Heavenly Father allows us to address Him in the most familiar possible way. Using “thee and thou” is like calling Him “Daddy”. The form “you”, which we are discouraged from using in prayer, is the formal form used to show respect, distance, and lack of familiarity. Interestingly, kings have historically also been addressed by the informal, familiar form.

    So, in this instance, Elder Oaks was making a mistake, IMO, which is no big shock or horror. I believe he simply was not aware of the linguistic meaning of the words. But because we can never “criticize the Brethren”, this false teaching has stood to what I believe is the detriment of all who have heard or read his talk. He gave a false impression which put more distance between us and God, and not less, which is what scriptural language was intended to do.

    I don’t believe that telling this example is speaking evil of the Lord’s anointed. It’s just a wonderful opportunity to clarify an honest mistake. Why can’t we do this whenever needed? It’s both refreshing and edifying to be able to do so.

  16. Kathy,

    The next time you’re asked to speak and assigned a topic, ignore them. Speak about whatever the Spirit guides you to speak about. If anyone complains, quote D&C 24:6. If they persist, quote D&C 100:5. If they still persist, then hit them over the head with a hymnal.

  17. A few weeks ago, for our stake conference, Elder Sitati of the first quorum of the 70 was the presiding authority. He accepted an invitation to visit the girls’ camp which was concluding as our conference began. I was privileged enough to be at girls’ camp during the time he came to visit and speak with the young women there. He did not prepare anything. He got up to the pulpit and asked the youth to ask him anything. All of the answers to the questions he was posed were so filled with the Spirit. At the end of his address, he took a few minutes to speak about what was on his mind and heart. I heard multiple people comment afterward about how his words were specific answers to prayers. He needed no prepared script. It was refreshing to be taught extemporaneously that way. I wasn’t able to attend the adult session the following evening, but was told he did the same thing and it was equally powerful and wonderful. I too long for more open discussion of truths and spontaneous teaching by the Spirit.

  18. A bit off topic and I don’t know why the realization hit me at this particular time, but it came to me last night as I was reading this entry that the Lord is withdrawing or has withdrawn the fullness from the Gentile church because we as a people have rejected it. First our rejection, then His withdrawing.

    I have seen the fruits of the correlation program in my own ward. Not only are the speakers in sacrament meeting told the topic to speak on, but they are given the conference talk on which to base it. Our bishop has even presumed to tell us what to study during family home evenings. The authoritarian bent is under full steam here (Denver area). This is not to say that our bishop is not a kind and loving man. Just that this particular tradition of the fathers is under full sway here.

    I find it particularly ironic that this year the Relief Society and Priesthood are supposed to be studying Gospel Principles in light of the several year span when we were encouraged to study the words of the prophets from the beginning of this dispensation. Even if those words were carefully filtered and sometimes down right opposite of what they meant to say. I reject the position that the Church can only cater to the needs of new members. Thus the provision for at Gospel Doctrine and Gospel Essentials classes.

    Regarding the fundamentalists having priesthood keys: I personally do not know if they do. Then again given the words of the early brethren on the result of us forsaking plural marriage and giving the priesthood to those who should not have it, the LDS Church may be lacking a bit too in that area. There is precedent in the scriptures for other groups than the main Church having priesthood authority – Witness Alma the Elder, Abindai, Samuel the Lamanite, the 12 disciples among the Nephites, the Nephites themselves, the Jaredites, the holy ones the Lord has preserved unto Himself, etc. Perhaps they have more priesthood than we know of. Given the persecution heaped upon them (and the relative lack endured by the LDS), perhaps they are the Lord’s followers in a better manner than we are.

    I’d like to thank Denver for discussing these topics. I’ve never heard them touched upon in Church. In fact the only time I’ve ever heard them explained is by friends who were fundamentalists. Odd.

  19. I’m the executive secretary in my ward, so I get to wake up for 6:30am bishopric meeting every Sunday. Anyway, a little over a month ago we were discussing how to assign topics for Sacrament meeting. I suggested that we follow the General Conference model, give the speaker adequate time to pray and select a topic on their own, and have them report back on what they will speak about.

    I still think that’d be a great system, I would LOVE being given that kind of flexibility.

    Instead, we made a list of topics from the table of contents in the Gospel Principles manual, and have used those as the basis for assigning topics. And the speakers are lucky to get 4-5 days notice.

  20. I like Denver’s refreshing tone that allows for an easier renewal to fellowship for fundamentalists than we often allow them in our hearts, but I do think their position is self-defeating, too. One of the laws of the Gospel is to go the second mile with those in authority. Fundamentalists, by point of position, would be un-exercised in this principle as a people (excluding individual exceptions) and upon re-entrance to fellowship at the gate would be starting on square one without much experience here. Not all persecution is the type that prophets receive granting them eternal rewards. Some persecution comes because of our own iniquities. It is inequitable to avoid going the second mile with the authorities of the day with rebellious sedition. It will canker the soul. Notwithstanding how grand and glorious plural marriage and other doctrine may be as principles, there are higher principles still. Or rather, to practice a higher principle to the exclusion of the law of the Gospel is to debase that principle. If we were intended to go the second mile with the Progressives and give up plural marriage, according to the Lord’s parable of the mammon of unrighteousness, this was to be temporary. Let God judge those who want the amnesty with Babylon to remain even after we’ve become strong enough to be independent. Whatever keys of sealing power may be given direct from God to individuals, it still appears that only one on earth has the administrative keys to stop and start this practice of plural marriage. I believe President Monson has these keys today. I pray we will let him use them the way the Lord directs. We must all adopt the forgiving attitude that Denver advocates, for how many of us can say we have gone the second mile to perfection in the way the Lord understands that doctrine? Who can cast the first stone at these adulterers caught in the act, as it were?

  21. Moroni 6:9 says the same thing about being led by the Holy Ghost.

    I think Mosiah is helpful here, as in Mosiah 29:26-27. But now my question is, is there a petition we can sign or someone we can write to about this?

  22. I believe that ‘evil speaking’ of the Lord’s Church or brethern is speaking of something which is ‘untrue’ about them or a negative thing which is ‘not necessary’ to share or voice around & make them look unnecessarily bad.

    But often there are real problems which arise where leaders say or do something wrong, harmful or even abusive. Such things need to be taken care of in a proper way to protect the innocent & the vulnerable.

    If a leader is doing something harmful or teaching something false that will hurt people or lead them to believe or do wrong, we are justified to speak up as necessary to protect others who may be vulnerable. We can go to higher authority about the matter if needed, if we feel we will be listened to.

    It may be only a ‘few’ people who need to be told of such or it may be that ‘many’ would benefit from such clarification if the leader is higher up & has taught or did something that could lead many astray. The Spirit can help us determine this.

    There are many quotes by the Prophets which say that we are not to follow or consider correct any action or teaching from any Apostle or lower leader which does not agree with what the Scriptures & the Presidents of the Church have taught.

    Thus, there have been & are many instances of this in talks, teachings & actions of leaders that we can feel justified, even duty bound, to help others not be mislead to believe in any incorrect doctrine or behavior that has been said or done.

    The Church teaches that Apostles & other leaders have no authority to declare ‘new doctrine’, just as no other member of the Church has such authority. All leaders must act & teach just as correctly as all other members must in their callings.

    Only The President of the Church is authorized to teach ‘new doctrine’.

  23. Anonymous said “Only The President of the Church is authorized to teach ‘new doctrine’.”

    …Yet the Book of Mormon says anyone meeting certain criteria of righteousness can reveal things which have never been revealed, and with the quote from Joseph Fielding Smith I posted somewhere else around here, we can put down anything anyone says, including Presidents of the Church, as false if it conflicts with the revelations in the scriptures….interesting conundrum to contemplate…what is doctrine? What is revealing things never revealed before? Maybe there isn’t a conflict, or maybe the ‘new doctrine for only Presidents’ is a policy based on interpretations of scripture that the Brethren could revise in the future and change everything. Or maybe none of us, including Denver, would ever undertake to supplant the President of the Church whose right it is to proclaim the doctrine of the Church, but we are still free to proclaim any and all doctrines that come from the Lord as the truth, bearing witness of them, but never saying the Church agrees to it as doctrine…

    What use would it be for Elders to save the Constitution if it ever is to be saved, if they plan to discredit freedom to assemble (outside Book of Mormon classes have long been discouraged as tending to lead to apostasy), and freedom of speech (unorthodox thinking can never be spoken)? Where do these Elders come from? What in the world is going on? Are we all mad? Start up the inquisition and get it over with! Fill up the measure of your fathers, ye children of the devil! Your fathers stone and kill the prophets, and you say you would never be like the Missourians, yet you support your murderous fathers by garnishing the graves of the dead prophets! You are children of the extermination order, not children of the pioneers!

  24. I’m willing to venture that if Thomas S. Monson revealed all the feelings in his heart, tell the Saints the real nature of their iniquities, and try and change the course of the Church, there are people in the Church that would call a Church tribunal on that good man, oust him out of his place, and even try and reinstate the firing squad in Utah to have him killed.

    We as a people say the President of the Church is the only one allowed to teach new doctrine, so long as he doesn’t teach any new doctrine. It is easier to keep one man silent than thousands filled with the Holy Ghost. It is the Saints fault that Joseph Smith was martyred anyway. They wouldn’t let him escape to the Rocky Mountains. Joseph’s heart broke and he proclaimed, “If my life is of no value to my friends, it is of no value to myself.” Could all of those prayers by Saints for God to avenge Joseph’s blood be answered upon this generation of Latter-day Saints themselves? Hypocrites!

  25. Let’s just suppose that Joseph Smith actually did say the quote that has been referred to several times in this post and elsewhere, that “the constitution will hang by a thread, and if it is to be saved at all, the elders of Israel will save it.” Just notice that the constitution hanging by a thread isn’t the same thing as the United States failing or being destroyed. It’s totally possible and scripturally certain that the United States is going to fail — and fully fail, no less.

    D&C 87: 6
    6 And thus, with the sword and by bloodshed the inhabitants of the earth shall mourn; and with famine, and plague, and earthquake, and the thunder of heaven, and the fierce and vivid lightning also, shall the inhabitants of the earth be made to feel the wrath, and indignation, and chastening hand of an Almighty God, until the consumption decreed hath made a full end of all nations;

    While it’s ending, or before or after, we can still preserve the constitution among ourselves. And maybe the elders of Israel will be the only ones to do it.

  26. …P.S. – Hopefully there are very few that need that kind of a tongue lashing I put up in my last two comments – I can stress a point about someone else’s sentiment and take it to an extreme when the Savior’s milder reproof “ye know not spirit ye are of” is probably more appropriate for most. There are those out there that deserve the Savior’s harshest reproofs, I believe, but I only intend to show an illustration of what road a certain sentiment will lead down to. Sorry if it seemed over the top. Blog comments have hardly any context without face to face interaction, and I am not a good example of speaking for the Lord.

    But we do have recorded instances of the Lord using such harsh reproof, and we would do well to consider under what circumstances those responses were brought forth and seek earnestly to avoid the same pitfalls, in my opinion.

  27. Also, when I said “Maybe there isn’t a conflict” in the above hypothetical, I think that is a key to the proposed conundrum and should be in bold, even though I went into a tirade of choosing one option over another to continue the hypothetical. Read that comment carefully if this subject line interests you. And to be clear, the conundrum is between the idea “Only The President of the Church is authorized to teach ‘new doctrine'” versus the Book of Mormon teaching about anyone revealing things never before revealed.

  28. I don’t believe the examples of John D. Lee and the current polygamists is a good comparison. I strongly believe Lee and others (including my relative that took part in that tragedy) felt they were doing the will of the leaders over them, however heinous it seemed. They had already lived through polygamy and blood atonement, if second-hand, and this wasn’t that big of a leap. I don’t think there’s any comparison, really.

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