Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Infallible Authority, Chapter Fourteen

Where’s The Revelation?
by J.J. Dewey
(To read the previous entry, click here. To start this series at the beginning, click here.)

In the days of Ahab, King of Israel, all the prophets were deceived except one. In that day there were 401 prophets. (See 2 Chron. 18:5-7. )

Ahab inquired of the 401 as to whether he should go to battle. The 400 knew the king would be angry if they prophesied anything but victory for the king, so their own hearts and fears greatly influenced the answer they received. However, one man, Micaiah, was not so influenced and he, being the last one called on for a prophecy, said, “As the Lord liveth, even what my God saith, that will I speak.” (2 Chron. 18:13) Then he proceeded to prophesy evil and disaster for the king which thing made the king angry. Then Micaiah explained why everyone was deceived except him:

“I saw the Lord sitting upon his throne, and all the host of heaven standing on his right hand and on his left. And the Lord said, Who shall entice Ahab, king of Israel, that he may go-up and fall at Ramothgilead? And one spake saying after this manner, and another spake saying after that manner. Then there came out a spirit, and stood before the Lord, and said, I will entice him. And the Lord said unto him, Wherewith? And he said, I will go out, and be a lying spirit in the mouth of all his prophets. And the Lord said, Thou shalt entice him, and thou shalt also prevail: Go out, and do even so. Now therefore the Lord hath put a lying spirit in the mouth of these thy prophets.” (2 Chron. 18:18-22)

Isn’t it interesting, and yet somewhat frightening, that the Lord himself could and has sent a lying spirit to deceive Israel when their hearts desired the delusion? Will it happen again?

It not only will happen, but it has been prophesied: “They receive not the love of the truth that they might be saved. And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie: that they all might be damned who believed not the truth.” (2 Thes. 2: 10-12)

Read this chapter in reference and you will see that it deals with events just preceding the second coming. When has God sent strong delusion that people would believe a lie? If God sends the delusion, then it must be around the principle of revelation. This was the dialog amidst the 400 prophets of Ahab.
Could God send strong delusion to the prophets, seers and revelators today? It is prophesied that someone will receive it. If not the LDS, then who?

What then is the strong delusion given to the LDS in our day?

One doesn’t have to look far. Let us begin with the greatest delusion of all which is basically the following belief:

The authorities believe and proclaim that “modern revelation” is a principle active today. They have the faithful members believing that the President -as well as other authorities- receives and (this is the amazing part) gives out revelation to the church today.

Thus the members are under the very obvious illusion that they are receiving revelation from the authorities when no specific revelation is announced or even proclaimed. Members are told that revelation is everywhere, but when they look it is nowhere.

The church is like the government who tells us that tax breaks are everywhere, but when you attempt to find one for you nothing is there, except maybe more taxes.

When the LDS member actually looks for a modern revelation all he finds are old revelations quoted to him plus a little general advice on how to be a good modern Mormon.

Instead of believing in modern revelation what is the actual truth here?
If the authorities were to be honest they would distil the present doctrine into the following article of faith:
“We believe part of what God has revealed based on what suits our purposes. What he does now reveal (as proclaimed by authorities presently constituted) is repeated declarations of what he has revealed in the remote past. We have a nebulous belief that he will reveal some things in the future, but will excommunicate all who claim to be the bearers of the greater light of revelation.”
Real modern revelation is discouraged and when true inspiration surfaces he who receives it is cast out. Modern revelation is said to be everywhere, but it is seen nowhere.

Members are told to seek the Holy Spirit, but when that Spirit is received and the words of the Spirit are spoken the receiver is cast out. It is interesting to talk about the principle of revelation with a current LDS member. It often goes something like this:

Voice of Common Sense (VCS) “So you believe in modern revelation?”
LDS Member: “I certainly do.”
VCS: Where can I find one of these revelations?
LDS Member: “There’s lots of revelation. You don’t have to look very hard.”
VCS: “Great. I’d like to read just one. Could you show it to me?”
LDS Member: He pulls out his D&C and shows him Section 76. “Here’s a good one.”
VCS: “But this was given 170 years ago in 1832. That doesn’t seem very recent to me. I want to see one of these modern revelations you have been telling me about.”
LDS Member: “There’s lots of revelation given out in general conference twice a year and others in the Ensign magazine.”
VCS: “I see you have a stack on Ensigns over there, many with conference reports. Could you point out a revelation in one of them for me?”
LDS Member: “It’s not difficult to do. Revelation is on almost every page.”
VCS: “But could you show me just one?”
LDS Member: “Read a couple paragraphs in almost any conference report and you’ll see revelation.”
VCS: “But I’m interested in what you call a revelation. Could you show me just one?”
LDS Member: He becomes agitated and gives a look that tells VCS that he must be slow mentally. “Pick up any issue and just read!” he says with exasperation.
VCS: He picks up an issue and turns to a page giving the text to a speech by the President of the Church. “I’m reading a speech by the one you call the Prophet, Seer and Revelator, but I can’t see any prophesies, seership or revelation.
LDS Member: “Look again. There’s inspiration in every paragraph.”
VCS: “Everything sounds pretty ordinary to me, things that could be said by a Methodist leader who does not believe in revelation. For instance here he is telling members to present a good example to the world. The Methodists say things like that.”
LDS Member: He grabs the Ensign out of his hand and reads further into the text. “This is all inspired. Here the Prophet’s is pointing out the phenomenal growth the church has had and the hand that God has played in it. The church has gown so fast because it''s guided by revelation.”
VCS: “So if growth is evidence of revelation, does that mean that Fox News is guided by a prophet getting revelation also? Fox News has also had phenomenal growth.”
LDS Member: “Don’t be ridiculous!”
VCS: “Well, can you show me a current revelation about the growth of the church?”
LDS Member: He impatiently flips his finger on the article and says: “Open your eyes. It’s right here.”
VCS: He takes another look. “I don’t see any message here that claims to be from God relating to the growth of the church.”
LDS Member: “How about this then? Later in the article he talks about the building of temples. They are sprouting up all over the world. The sites were picked by revelation, the growth and building done by revelation and when built they are directed by revelation.”
VCS: “Show me one of these revelations.”
LDS Member: “The prophet is talking about it in the article right in front of your face.”
VCS: “Please point to the line that is the revelation.” He hands the member the Ensign.
LDS Member: He throws the magazine on the table in disgust: “The whole thing is revelation! Open your eyes!”
VCS: :”But show me just one thing. One sentence.”
LDS Member: “I have, but you won’t listen.”
VCS: “One Mormon told me that revelation is preceded by a ‘thus saith the Lord,’ like the Bible prophets used. I’ve listened to a number of Conference addresses and have never heard an authority use this term. I do not see the phrase anywhere in this article we are talking about.”
LDS Member: “The prophet doesn’t have to say ‘thus saith the Lord.’ He can just speak under inspiration.”
VCS: “So how can you tell when he’s giving a revelation and when he is just speaking as an ordinary guy?”
LDS Member: “It’s just obvious when you hear it.”
VCS: I read a statement by a general authority that no member is to accept a revelation for the church unless it is presented to the church as a revelation and then voted on by the members. I believe it was Mark E. Peterson who said this. Now I do not see any evidence that this speech by the President has been presented to the church as a revelation. Wouldn’t this imply that this and other talks from conference reports are to just be taken as teachings in the same way that the words of Methodist leaders are taken by their members?
LDS Member: “Let me assure you there is revelation in conference addresses even though they are not voted on.”
VCS: “What is a revelation anyway?”
LDS Member: “It is God speaking to someone here on earth.”
VCS: “Would you say that a revelation is something that is revealed? In other words, something that was previously unknown?”
LDS Member: “I suppose”
VCS: “Suppose God himself were to tell us that 2+2=4. This would not be a revelation because we already know it. You can’t reveal something that is already revealed. Does this sound right to you?”
LDS Member: “I suppose.”
VCS: “In section 76, that you pointed to earlier, it was revealed to Joseph that there were three kingdoms of glory along with information about them. Provided that he did receive this from God, then this would qualify as a revelation, would it not?”
LDS Member: Yes.
VCS: “But, if you gave a talk in Sunday school merely talking about what is in this revelation, this would not be a new revelation, for the doctrine is already revealed. Do you agree?”
LDS Member: “I suppose. Where are you going with this?”
VCS: “By the same reasoning then, even if the President of the Church teaches from revelations past, he would not be giving new revelations. Correct?”
LDS Member: “That may be true, but we are told new things all the time.”
VCS: “Tell me just one.”
LDS Member: “You were just reading about the building of new temples.”
VCS: “And Bill Gates just built a new home, but that doesn’t make him a prophet, now does it?”
LDS Member: “You can’t compare Bill Gates to the Prophet and Temples.”
VCS: “I just did. Now we agreed that a revelation is something revealed that was previously unknown. Tell me of one revelation in recent history, say the past 50 years, giving the church new knowledge.”
LDS Member: “I’m sure there are lots of them.”
VCS: “I’m beginning to sound like a broken record here, but can you tell me just one?”
LDS Member: “The brethren recently placed a revelation to Joseph F. Smith of the spirit world into the standard Works.”
VCS: “But, again, this is over 80 years old. Can you give me a modern revelation?”
LDS Member: “In 1978 a revelation was received on giving the Priesthood to blacks.”
VCS: “So where is this revelation?”
LDS Member: “It’s right here in the D&C.”
VCS: “That does not even claim to be a revelation. It merely states that it is a letter. Where is the revelation?”
LDS Member: “It says right here that ‘He has heard our prayers, and by revelation has confirmed that the long-promised day has come when every faithful, worthy man in the Church may receive the holy priesthood.’”
VCS: “Yes, it does say there was a revelation, but where is the revelation?”
LDS Member: “You’re looking at it.”
VCS: “I’m looking at a letter saying that there was a revelation. A letter saying there was a revelation is not a revelation. My question is where is the actual revelation?”
LDS Member: “If the Brethren say this is the revelation then that is good enough for me.”
VCS: “But the brethren do not say this. They merely say this is a letter which mentions the revelation. Hasn’t it been the policy of the church to have revelations binding upon the church to be put in writing as Joseph Smith did?”
LDS Member: “Things can change as the Lord directs.

Summary: This poor fellow thinks he sees revelations creeping out of every rock, but cannot produce even one. Someone not familiar with the LDS Church would most likely consider this dialog imaginary, that such a person believing in ephemeral illusive revelation could not exist in the real world, but such is not the case. There are millions of such LDS brainwashed into thinking they see revelation when none is even claimed.

Why is this belief in something that cannot be demonstrated or produced so strong and pervasive when no written revelations are even in existence?

It is because “modern revelation” is a core doctrine of the church, the “rock” upon which it is founded. If members admit that none exist then they will have to admit that they are standing upon sand rather than solid ground; that their leaders are fallible, and that would force them to consider that perhaps something is amiss. Perhaps God does not want to speak to the church, or could it even be that the church does not want to speak with God?
Copyright J.J. Dewey, used with permission

[A note from Rock about leaving comments: Many readers have posted as "Anonymous" even though they don't wish to, only because they see no other option. If you don't have a Google, Wordpress, or other username among those listed, you can enter a username in the dropdown box that reads "Name/URL."  Put your name in the "Name" box, ignore the request for a URL, and you should be good to go.
I have a pretty firm policy of never censoring or deleting comments,so if your comment does not immediately appear, it probably means it is being held in the spam filter, which seems to lock in arbitrarily on some posts for reasons unknown.  If you have submitted a comment and it doesn't immediately show up, give me a nudge at RockWaterman@gmail.com and I'll knock it loose. -Rock]

37 comments:

Jenkins said...

I just had this same conversation with a friend of mine just a few weeks ago. It gets very frustrating as the logic goes around in circles. However, they are quick to admit that the current 'prophet' is not a prophet like Joseph Smith was. Somehow Joseph Smith was special because he 'started a new dispensation'.

Thanks a lot for sharing all of this Rock!

Bruce Johns said...

The delimna for those of us who are recognizing the problems with the corporation is .... where do we go?
I'm 56 and raising a 6-yr-old grandaughter. She loves to "go to church" and I feel awful that she has to be expossed to the same old "follow the prophet" stuff.

Steven Lester said...

As I have said many times before, the only way that any real or lasting change will reestablish our Church as being "The Only True Church On The Earth Today" is for Jesus And Joseph to pull themselves away from the fifth dimension and stop by Earth during Conference and sack the big wigs completely. Short of that, The Lord's Corporation will never change. Never!

So, what's taking them so long? Are they just waiting for the portal to show up? Don't they CARE! But then again, who would really want to leave Heaven, even for an instant, to come back to this hellhole? I really don't blame them now that I think of that.

Suspicious Minds said...

Modern revelation according to Gordon Hinckley was rarely needed. In an interview he gave with David Ransom on November 9, 1997, Hinckley made these remarks about revelation and the need for it. I found it rather odd that Hinckley does NOT say unequivocally that HE KNOWS, only that "he thinks" his prayers are heard and answered and that there isn't a whole lot of modern day revelation needed. Hinckley really "doesn't know." I conclude then that he must have sploken as man and not as a prophet 99.9999999999...percent of the time. It's also interesting that Hinckley would NOT declare any personal relationship with Christ or God. No testimony or witness from a prophet, only his role in terms of the corporation.

http://www.lds-mormon.com/hinckley.shtml

DR: As the world leader of the the Church, how are you in touch with God? Can you explain that for me?

Gordon B. Hinckley: I pray. I pray to Him. Night and morning. I speak with Him. I think He hears my prayers. As He hears the prayers of others. I think He answers them.

DR: But more than that, because you’re leader of the Church. Do you have a special connection?

Gordon B. Hinckley: I have a special relationship in terms of the Church as an institution. Yes.

DR: And you receive........

Gordon B. Hinckley: For the entire Church.

DR: You receive?

Gordon B. Hinckley: Now we don’t need a lot of continuing revelation. We have a great, basic reservoir of revelation. But if a problem arises, as it does occasionally, a vexatious thing with which we have to deal, we go to the Lord in prayer. We discuss it as a First Presidency and as a Council of the Twelve Apostles. We pray about it and then comes the whisperings of a still small voice. And we know the direction we should take and we proceed accordingly.

DR: And this is a Revelation?

Gordon B. Hinckley: This is a Revelation.

DR: How often have you received such revelations?

Gordon B. Hinckley: Oh, I don’t know. I feel satisfied that in some circumstances we’ve had such revelation.

Dead Poet said...

I've actually been pondering a question about revelation for a while. Obviously the "lack" of revelation is bothersome for a lot of people. But if you look at all the scriptures, which cover thousands and thousands of years, there is actually relatively few revelations (to clarify, I am not talking about personal revelation) given to prophets to proclaim to the people. There is also quoting of past prophets done by current ones when they are speaking. Even Christ did that. Look at Alma: it's mostly about the wars they fought. What about those guys in Jacob that are basically skipped over? No revelations, no wars, nothing really. Just "I'm so and so, I kept the record and I'm now handing it to this other guy." There's at least 3 of those, which could easily cover 100 years. I'm sure they actually wrote something more than that, but it wasn't important, so it wasn't included. And I'm guessing that when Mormon edited the plates, he focused on putting the revelations in, at least the ones he knew pertained to us, or that we would need to hear. We don't know what was on the plates that he decided wouldn't go in. The fact that the sealed portion is sealed says to me that there is more revelation in there, but what about all the rest? Again, thousands of years passed. We don't have the complete record. I wonder how big the Book of Mormon would be if we did.

My point is, the church has only been back for just under 200 years. Joseph Smith received a lot of revelations because he had to restore everything. I don't know if he restored absolutely everything, but the revelations certainly slowed down over the next few prophets. That doesn't meant that they had turned from their duties; maybe it just means that there are none to be had AT THE MOMENT.

In my defense, I am not a TBM. I am questioning a lot of things right now; it's one of the reasons I come to this blog. But while it seems the end of the world will be coming tomorrow, and our leaders are saying nothing about it, well, maybe they aren't saying anything because the end of the world isn't here yet. Maybe they aren't actually getting anything yet.

I have no idea why the current military situation we are in was not prophesied about, except that it really hasn't affected us except money wise. We aren't the country being bombed and invaded. I have no theories for why our leaders aren't telling our political leaders that they are seriously screwing up, except that they are afraid of something. Or maybe they are being told not to, to just let things go this time. That all of this needs to happen, to usher in something (if this is the case, that they are actually being told NOT to do these things, I wish they would tell us that).

I do think that there are issues that need to be addressed now, and one is the issue of the priesthood for women, and why it was taken from us without revelation to do so. THAT is something that I'm sure the Lord would reveal, but I'm also sure that the old guys running this church are pretty certain that a) we are women, and therefore a step lower than men so don't deserve it (generational thing, I'm sure they would deny this) and b) think that if the Lord really wanted us to have the priesthood, He would just tell someone, no need to actually ask (BALONEY). They don't want to deal with it, so they just continue to sweep it under the rug and give us platitudes about being equal to our husbands, except.... and that we get to help the Lord create new bodies and give birth (which truly is amazing) and that is our "half".

Anyway, those are my thoughts, jumbled as they are. Please don't flame me. And please correct me if I'm wrong, though I reserve the right to disagree.

Dead Poet said...

Suspicious Mind, you must have posted right before me. It is weird that he basically said that he doesn't know if he's received any revelation or not. I'm pretty certain that our early prophets would never say that they don't know how many they had received. At least they may say that they don't know the exact number, but they would say that it was many and that they knew for certain when it was. Not that they were "fairly satisfied" (to me: not 100% sure) that they had received revelation. I wouldn't declare something a revelation if that was the way I felt about it either.

Zo-ma-rah said...

Rock, I see he mentioned you in the last paragraph.

Suspicious Minds said...

If the truth was restored by Joseph Smith, why has it been revised again and again and again contrary to so-called revelation given by JS?

Zo-ma-rah said...

A more serious comment. I might be contented with the "our leaders are genuine, the Lord just is not revealing anything because we aren't living what we already have" argument, except for one thing.

Hinckley says, "We have a great, basic reservoir of revelation."

That's all fine and dandy in theory. But the problem is that we are not living by what revelation we already have. And it's not just that we aren't being good enough or aren't working hard enough to live by what we have. The Corporate Church has made it IMPOSSIBLE to live by the revelations contained in the Doctrine and Covenants and remain in good standing with the church. It's not that the Church won't live what we have already received, but we CAN'T live what we have already received.

The only way to follow all the instructions given in the Doctrine and Covenants(aka, our "great, basic reservoir of revelation") is to leave the Corporate Church and start practicing by ones self. There might be some other groups out there living by teh revelations but I'm not aware of any.

Jeremiah Stoddard said...

It's a comforting thought that maybe things are well in the church and direct revelation is simply a rare thing. Indeed, I tried to convince myself that revelation was secondary to the peculiar purpose of this dispensation: Temple work in behalf of the dead. However, I suspect that's not the case for a few reasons. Abinadom, for example, admitted that revelation wasn't occurring in his day, but implied that it was a sign of iniquity among his people, who were engaged in perpetual warfare at the time (sound familiar?). This is in Omni 1:11, and note the verse immediately following indicates a revelation given to the handful of semi-righteous that are left to flee from the coming destruction. Ouch! And, if Jarom 1:2 is an indicator, prophets would often not write down their prophesies and revelations on more permanent media. Indeed there are many lost works of prophets who either simply passed down their revelations through oral teachings or wrote them down on perishable media that was lost over the centuries, so revelation was likely more frequent than the impression we get from the surviving writings. We know, for example, that there was a book of Enoch, and the Bible itself references many missing works (Book of Jasher, Book of the Wars of the Lord, two additional books of Chronicles, Shemaiah the Prophet, Iddo the Seer, Book of Nathan the Prophet, Book of Gad the Seer, Sayings of the Seers, etc). Peter taught Clement of Rome that revelation -- "the will and counsel of God" -- was only absent due to the evil traits of society: "bad instruction, wicked associations, evil habits, unprofitable conversation, and unrighteous presumptions" (see Clementine Recognitions). Justin Martyr, not much more than 100 years after the death of Christ, claimed that the Christians were still receiving revelation -- and furthermore, that the fact that the Jews weren't was a sign of their apostasy: "For the prophetical gifts remain with us, even to the present time. And hence you ought to understand that[the gifts] formerly among your nation have been transferred to us" (see Dialogue with Trypho). Even Origen claimed "traces of the Holy Spirit" still among the Christians over 200 years after Christ's death. These traces were not merely subtle emotions mistermed the still small voice, but visible miracles performed among them: "They expel evil spirits, and perform many cures, and foresee certain events, according to the will of the Logos." You can see the appearance of apostasy set in as Christians went from the presence of Jesus, to consistent revelation and miracles (as mentioned in the new testament) to the slow decline of signs over the centuries until supernatural occurrences were all but gone. The early Christian apologists had documented this same thing happening to the Jews right as it was happening to them, and now the Mormons repeat the same about the early Christians while the signs dwindle toward extinction among them...

Dead Poet said...

Suspicious Minds, that is a good point, if it has happened. I am not saying that it is not a possibility. I am only just starting to dip my toes into this stuff, and I have to take it slow. Can you give me some examples of prophecies given by JS that have been changed? (Not polygamy, I have never believed that was ever a commandment of God, and Rock, among others, has convinced me that JS never lived it, and preached against it).

Dead Poet said...

Zo-ma-rah, please don't think that I think the Lord isn't revealing things because we aren't living what we have. I don't think that is the case at all, though I have heard that argument too. My seminary teacher was once talking to us about all the scriptures we have yet to receive, if we just live good enough. Then he broke down in tears, and asked us (the teenagers) to please live good enough; he wanted to see those scriptures revealed before he died (he was middle-aged). I don't think that's the first time I heard it, but it certainly stuck in my mind.

I don't have any idea why the Lord would choose to not reveal anything; I have theories, but I do like to think that our leaders are doing what they think is best (You know how that saying goes, the path to hell...). I mean, aren't we all?

So, HOW has the corporate church made it impossible to live what we have? I have heard of those excommunicated for declaring that they have received revelation, but are there any other examples? Maybe give me a revelation (not polygamy; see above) and how they have kept us from living it?

Dead Poet said...

Jeremiah, thanks so much for all the examples! I didn't even think of all the missing books from the Bible. I've always wondered what might be in the Apocrypha that is part of the Gospel that we are missing out on because it is not a part of the standard Bible. Though I'm not going to read it any time soon. I have a hard enough time with the scriptures that I do have. I do see a correlation, a little.

goingtozion said...

Jeremiah is right on, I was just about to post something very similar. It is a reflection on what where we are and what we are like as a people.

Zomarah brings up a great point and it should be made known to everyone. As far as Dead Poet's question: the word of wisdom, sealings, multiple baptisms, gathering to Zion, prophesying, calling others to repentance, etc.

So along with what Zomarah and Jeremiah have said, where are the first presidency and quorum of the 12 leading the LDS church? Where has it been taken by those men? It has changed the whole point of all truth is Mormonism to a horrible idea that Mormonism is the source of all truth. Instead of seeking to become like God and know Him, we are taught to get into a funnel with the LDS president at the top. The people have become the nightmare that Brigham Young saw and warned against.

If the "Prophets, seers, revelators (translator withheld)" are not going to reveal anything, then they should call us and others to repentance and like prophets do, prophecy of what will occur if we do not change or if we do.

goingtozion said...

Dead Poet-

Word of Wisdom was revealed as counsel and not command, yet without revelation it has been changed to a commandment and enforceable and punishable for those who do not adhere to a contradictory health code. Such as using mild drinks of barley and wine. People cannot enter the temple because of it.

Sealings as taught by Joseph Smith were between everyone, both men to women and men to men and more. I'm not talking about polygamy, I'm talking about sealings. Try getting sealed to multiple people while all are alive or to someone of the same gender.

Baptisms were something that people did more than once. We are no longer allowed to perform baptisms for healings and other purposes.

The doctrine of gathering to Zion has been destroyed. Those who have done so have been commanded not to. The fruit of the restoration was Zion and everything pointed to it. Now we are taught lies and lead away while those in leadership positions cry all is well in Zion.

Only those in the positions of recognized LDS hierarchy are allowed to prophesy, anyone else, well read the general conference and CHI.

As far as calling others to repentance, look up George P. Lee.

I'm sure there is much more.

Jenkins said...

My personal feeling about prophets is that they are called of God. Not men. He looks on the heart and chooses the person He chooses. I don't believe Thomas Monson is a prophet as we read about in the scriptures. I think of him more as a High Priest. Even in the scriptures it seems that it is pretty well understood that God chooses His prophets and the people choose their church leaders (high priests).
So where will this prophet come from? In the time of Nephi there were multiple prophets warning the people. Perhaps there are prophets around us, telling us the next step on the path. I don't believe God always works in the an ordered way we are taught about. God is way too complicated to be that black and white. I also don't believe it will merely be a step back to what Joseph originally received, I think it will, in many ways be a radical step forward. I joke with my wife that the prophet will either be a gay man or a woman. Because I believe God has a sense of humor!

Jon said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Kong said...

why is the bible an authority? or the bom? or any scripture for that matter?

1000 years from now will the diaries of the founding fathers and the president's of the United States be compiled into 1 book and be called scripture?

My point is the principle of "general" revelation is wrong(imo). There is no such thing. There is only personal revelation.

The Lord reveals something to a Prophet and then tells him to tell everyone. It is then the responsibility of the individual to receive their own personnel revelation concerning the veracity of the prophets revelation and how it applies to their lives and those for whom they are responsible. They would then communicate that revelation and their own confirmation along with what it means and what is required of them to their charges who would also need to confirm and apply it themselves and their charges(if any).

It should be relatively simple for anyone to come to this conclusion, assuming you understand the system of agency that I expect is a universal law as opposed to something God created and imposed upon us (for this would create an immediate conflict with the idea of agency).

Agency and responsibility mean that we are fully responsible for our actions and we will answer for them unless we appeal to the protection of Christ (based on the teachings of the bom and bible of course). Having full responsibility for our own salvation then, it would make sense then , that God wouldn't put that salvation into the hands of another, but prepare a system that REQUIRED us to take the necessary steps to demonstrate responsibility for it(salvation).

Dead Poet said...

To me, a general revelation would be one that someone personally receives, and is then commanded to tell others about, regardless of if you think they will listen and follow or not, especially if it is to be told to everyone. For example, the revelation of baptism and how it works. Only one person receives the revelation, everyone else receives a confirmation of that revelation if it is correct.

A personal revelation is one that is personally received, and there is no command to tell others, except those it may affect, like immediate family. For instance, my husband and I received revelation that we were to move from New Hampshire to Utah, but we were not commanded to go and tell the world about it. We just told those who needed to know that we were moving.

As for agency, I've never heard anywhere that it isn't a universal law. In fact, my understanding is that because it is a universal law, if God had accepted Lucifer's plan, the universe would have collapsed into chaos because agency would have been removed, and God would no longer be God, because He broke one of the laws of the universe.

Dead Poet said...

Awesome, Goingtozion. Thanks so much!

Scott said...

I remember reading somewhere, I don't remember where or who said it, that the day would come when the leadership would fail and the members would have NOBODY to turn to but God Himself for their own guidance, even to the point of families conducting their own church meetings on Sunday, etc (actually, that sounds kind of fun!).
Perhaps one of you more familiar with latter-day writings can find what I'm talking about.

Jeremiah Stoddard said...

Kong: Right on! Personal revelation does have to reign supreme in the end, unless God is intending to give some people power over others. Based on human nature and the belief that God is "no respecter of persons," I'm inclined to believe that this is not the case.

More likely is the idea that we, with our big bulging egos, begin to fancy our own thoughts of authority over others, and claim that they are endorsed by God. We all know the results of that: the bureaucratization of religion. It resulted in the abusive hierarchy among the Jews at the time of Christ -- the Sanhedrin, the High Priest, etc, with obnoxious follow-the-prophet types known as Pharisees. It resulted in the rise of the Catholic Church in the centuries after Christ's death. And I suppose implications for Mormonism don't really need any mention...

Steven Lester said...

I know that the Church in the few centuries before Luther came on the scene made the same argument about having the bank account of what they called grace, and could then sell portions of this "grace" to others through the payment of indulgences via coin of the realm. Our Church does the same thing. It sells blessings in the Temple for the payment of the tithe. Hinckley was just a business man working for the Church his whole life. The only reason he became the President was because he outlived everybody else. Monson is the same. Packer, I hope, will die before he gets the chance, but they are all the same, and clones of each other.

Anonymous said...

The 'major' so-called 'revelations' added to the scriptures since Joseph's day, are the ones about ending polygamy & again allowing the Blacks to have the Priesthood. Which don't appear to be 'revelations' as much as 'repentance' for the church, finally returning to the true doctrine that Joseph Smith taught, (& that BY opposed & changed) that there should be no polygamy in the Church & that the Blacks should have the Priesthood.

Not only does new 'true' revelation from Church leaders seem scarce to non-existent, but it would be very helpful & useful to identify & discuss all the false & contrary doctrine & revelation that has been taught & is still being so often taught in Gen. Conf. today & how often Apostles & Prophets contradict each other.

Not to mention listing all the outright plain evil that is being taught, supported & even encouraged by Church leaders today & in the past.

The reality is that we all are commanded to become Prophets & Prophetesses & continually receive new revelation & truth, even things that have never been revealed to the earth or current Prophet yet.

And we are commanded in the scriptures to share the revelation we receive with our families & all those who will listen & be warned.

I agree with Steven Lester, our only hope is to pray for deliverance & Christ to return & restore things as they should be.

jen said...

Hi Rock. Your blog was once incredibly helpful to me... In appreciation for your blog, I've nominated you for the Liebster Blog Award. To see more about that, you can visit my blog at: http://stillme-thejourney.blogspot.com/2012/01/liebster-blog-award.html

Alan Rock Waterman said...

Why thank you, Jen. I'm honored.

Anonymous said...

The author of this article. is. crazy.

Alan Rock Waterman said...

Why is it that whenever there is an ad hominem attack, it always comes from an anonymous source?

If you have an reasons for declaring the author crazy, the rest of would like to hear them. Who knows? Maybe you can persuade the author to come to his senses.

Brother Peterson said...

Gather with us! We are a group of Latter-Day Saints who still enjoy the fullness of the priesthood and all its intened gifts, and revelations. (Some may call us an offshoot, but I think of myself as the only orthodox mormon, being as we accept ALL of the Gospel.) for more info write GospelFullness@Gmail.com

Adam said...

Revelation is happening, almost daily. And it is confirming our awful situation. The times of the Gentiles are indeed coming to an end. I'm just hoping to hang on to some salt savor so I can make it through this.

Anonymous said...

My question is "what is there to be revealed?" We know the last days will be awash with wars and rumours of wars, so there is no need for the Prophet to declare there are going to be some wars (Iraq, Afghanistan). We have revelations covering all that we need at this time concerning doctrine etc.

The last "thus saith the Lord" type revelation the church received was from Brigham Young, now recorded as D&C:136. I find the last sentence of the last verse very interesting in this regard - "So no more at present. Amen and Amen." (note the double "Amen")
The whole verse reads "Be dilligent in keeping all my commandments, lest judgements come upon you, and your faith fail you, and your enemies triumph over you. So no more at present. Amen and Amen."

Have we been dilligent in keeping all of the commandments? Has our faith failed us? What about our enemies? If we answer these questions truthfully for ourselves we might get to the reason why the Lord said "no more at present".

Alan Rock Waterman said...

The problem, as I see it, is that we Mormons are fond of saying that we are currently led by a living prophet who regularly receives revelation to guide us and tell us God's will, when what we really have are presidents of a corporation who are, at best, functioning as place holders and not prophets, seers and revelators.

Since we cannot truly boast of having prophets, seers and revelators as in the days of old, we should recognize that we are running on fumes and shut up about the boasting.

Do we need to follow the commandments God has already given us? Without a doubt. But then we should admit that the heavens are currently closed to us for our disobedience and negligence.

Jon said...

Therefore, wo be unto him that is at ease in Zion!
...
Yea, wo be unto him that saith: We have received, and we need no more!
...
Wo be unto him that shall say: We have received the word of God, and we need no more of the word of God, for we have enough!


Granted I would just be happy with the brethren seeing God and sharing the experience. So that I might have a better faith. Not that my faith should rely on the arm of flesh, but it does help when the gift you are given is to trust in the testimony of others.

Anonymous said...

I was just posting a reply, and half way through it just disappeared! I'll start again.

The brethren are set apart as prophets, seers and revelators for a reason; so that when God has something new to reveal there is a recognised and authorised channel through which to do it. The presence of these brethren does not mean the Lord is duty bound to reveal things all the time. My goodness, we wouldn't be able to keep up!

Something else I spotted in the last "thus saith the Lord" revelation in the scriptures (D&C 136) which I find interesting for some reason is the phrase "listen together" (verse 41, the penultimate verse). The reason for this is that to my knowledge it appears only one other time in the D&C and that is right at the beginning in the preface in D&C 1:1. So we have Joseph saying right at the outset "listen together" (in other words, everyone pay attention to what is going to be revealed), and at the end we have Brigham Young saying "listen together" (everyone pay attention to what has been revealed).
I just find this very interesting, coming as it does from two different prophets and several years apart.

I would also take issue with the idea that the brethren today don't receive revelation. They don't perhaps receive "thus saith the Lord" revelations right now becaise the Lord has nothing new to reveal just yet; but I would suggest they receive inspiration as to how to impliment the considerable wealth of revelation we have received to date.

we should also remember that the nature of the church leadership is different now. It is not the same as in Joseph's day. In those days there was a presidential administration of the church. Nowadays it is an apostolic administration, so we should expect some differences.
We see this in the New Testament. Christ revealed a lot of things during his ministry, but only one revelation seems to have been received by Peter during the apostolic administration of the church following Christs departure. This was the revelation concerning taking the gospel to the Gentiles. Peter does not appear to have had any further revelations throughout his ministry, spanning several decades. So there is precedent here.
So when the Lord said through Brigham Young "no more at present", I guess we are still in the present.

Jon said...

It would be interesting to study the subject of what a seer and a revelator are exactly. Using the definition of a seer as someone who foretells the future and a revelator as someone who reveals God's word.

A seer who does not see is not a seer. Likewise a mechanic who doesn't repair mechanical devices and never has is not a mechanic.

So, a revelator would of necessity reveal something that hasn't been known before that comes from God, otherwise he is just like the rest of us and not a revelator.

A prophet is someone who teaches that Christ lives and is our savior. I can believe that the brethren are prophets, just as many members of the church (and out of the church) are.

An apostle is a person who is specially designated by the Lord to testify that He lives because they have seen Him. None of brethren have done this to my knowledge. How do we know this? Christ teaches us in 3rd Nephi that the apostles should tell the people that they have seen Him. From my understanding the apostles used to be taught to seek to see Christ. Then at some point they were taught not to because it leads to apostasy.

I suppose that is why it is important to me to have a witness that Christ lives and still talks to men on Earth. I would love to hear a testimony that Christ lives because that person has seen and talked to God.

It could be that the people of the church (in general) are just too wicked and so God has withdrawn himself again. We do have people preaching from the pulpit the glorification of war, something that the scriptures say we should renounce (renounce war that is).

MrHFMetz said...

Infallible authority; chapter 14.
Chapter 14?? So long you take on this subject? Nobody, no human institution is infallible, only our God is not.
The following quote is from Brigham Young:
I had the promise, years ago, that I never should apostatize and bring an evil upon this people. God revealed that through Joseph, long before he died; and if I am not doing right, you may calculate that the Lord is going to take me home. He will not send me to hell, but he will take me home to himself. "I will take you up here, Brigham, and give you a few lessons." I am going where He is, for I have that promise, and so have many others.
I am telling you these things for your comfort. (Brigham Young, July 28, 1861, JD 9:142)
This promise, that was given to BY and him only has been elevated to a doctrine for the church. That's where this infallability talk comes from. Correct me if I'm wrong. Maybe this has come up in one of the previous chapters, but I have not the time to go through all that.

MrHFMetz said...

Hmm, that was an interesting comment that I made, about a year ago; I totally forgot about it. Let me share something else. Brother Peterson writes above: "Gather with us! We...still enjoy a fulness of the Priesthood...". Well that is great. But first I would like to see the line of authority of Brother Peterson. With all respect, I have some doubts.
In the book "the Keys of the Priesthood Illustrated" (published in 1971 and written by Lynn and Steven Bishop; socalled Fundamentalists apparently, which is not my cup of tea, but a great book nontheless) on page 291 it reads that Lorin Woolley (to whom they trace back their priesthood authority) had once instructed the Council of Friends that none of them were to organize, colonize, or even hold regular meetings. When John Y. Barlow was about to set the House of God in order - according to his own ideas - Woolley said to him: "John that is neither your mission nor my mission. That is the mission of the One Mighty and Strong".
That is not to say that we have to sit down on our hands at home, of course we have to prepare ourselves to build up Zion in our own way and in our own environment, but when people start to talk about organizing I begin to get a little suspicious.