whtaylor

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  1. whtaylor

    Baptismal Covenants

    Yes, it seems odd that the words of the covenant are not used at the time the covenant is made, but as I have said in other posts--who am I to question how God wants his ordinances performed. I have been taught from the time I was a child that when we partake of the sacrament we renew our baptismal covenant. You make a good point. The concept of such a renewal of covenants through the sacrament should be scriptural. I'll have to do some further scripture study on that question. Then again...we believe that modern revelation via conference talks, etc. is just as valid as the doctrine taught in the standard works. I'm sure if I dig, I could come up with some quote from a prophet, church manual (approved by GAs) or some conference talk that states we renew our baptismal covenants when we take the sacrament.
  2. whtaylor

    Baptismal Covenants

    I don't understand why you believe I am arguing against the scriptures or that I am rationalizing. I'm not aware of any post where I have made any argument contrary to the scriptures. Why would I be rationalizing? Give me an example so I can better understand your comment. Where have BOM prophets placed mourning and bearing above tithing? Maybe I used two poor examples...perhaps I should have used not murdering and not commiting adultery rather than tithing and word of wisdom. I think BOM and Old Testament prophets believed those commandments to be pretty important and to have been contained within our baptismal covenant...of course these commandments should be obeyed by everyone and therefore would not distinguish us particularly from non-members. Hey, for that matter, I know many non-mormons who mourne with those that mourn and bear each other's burdens. So what is your point?
  3. whtaylor

    Baptismal Covenants

    True.
  4. whtaylor

    Baptismal Covenants

    What you say is true. I agree. In the long run and from an eternal perspective it really doesn't matter what each individual believes to be the actual covenants made at baptism. The baptismal covenant is broad enough to include everything. I guess I could teach and state, correctly, that the payment of tithing and the refraining from drinking alcoholic beverages are baptismal covenants. Since both are commandments and I covenanted to obey the commandments, I am technically correct....but I think that some would find it odd that I singled-out those two commandments (from literally thousands) to focus on as being baptismal covenants. I just believe that it is more accurate and simple to stick with the covenants as outlined in the sacramental prayers. By placing a focus on mourning with mourners, bearing the burdens of others, etc., and stating that these are "baptismal covenants", we misconstrue the actual covenants (which are much broader, as you have pointed out). The sacrament is such a sacred ordinance for me, individually, that I don't want the simple, basic covenants added to--even by well-meaning individuals. If I were asked in priesthool meeting or sunday school class to name the baptismal covenants and I said "pay tithing", although correct, I would get a lot of odd looks. If, however, I said "bear one another's burdens", no one would think twice and I would be considered a positive contributor to the class.
  5. whtaylor

    Baptismal Covenants

    Why do you believe that this particular doctrine regarding the baptismal covenant or any other doctrine for that matter cannot be approached from a retrospective perspective? Who is to say that your approach from an ante hoc perspective is any more correct than my approach. God sees things past, present, and future as being one. God is the one who reveals ordinances and the specifications for their performance. I guess God could have required us to state the covenant we were taking upon ourselves as part of the baptismal ordinance, but he did not. Who am I to question God? If you read Mosiah 18 carefully and are honest with yourself you will realize that Alma did not teach the people that those things mentioned in verses 8-9 were "covenants" made at baptism. Alma states in verse 10: "Now I say unto you, if this [the things he had mentioned in the previous scriptures] be the desire of your hearts, what have you against being baptized in the name of the Lord, as a witness before him that ye have entered into a covenant with him, [here it comes--this is the covenant] that ye will serve him [i.e. take upon you his name--become his agent] and keep his commandments, that he may pour out his Spirit more abundantly upon you?" All three of these covenants mentioned by Alma are in the sacramental prayer and not one of the items mentioned in 8-9 are included in that prayer. I'm convinced that Alma understood the actual covenant far better than many members of the church do today--possibly even including myself.
  6. whtaylor

    Baptismal Covenants

    I beg to differ. The sacramental prayer is the baptismal covenant. Members and leaders alike would agree that we renew our baptismal covenants by partaking of the sacrament. To renew anything, you have to have made it prior to the time of renewal. Why would we be required by God to recite the sacramental prayer word perfect and with exactness if the exact words were not important. Why are the words of the sacramental prayer so important? I posit that the words are important because the prayer explicitly outlines our baptismal covenant. The sacramental prayer allows no margin for error in explaining exactly what we covenant to do and the promise we receive if we are faithful in keeping that covenant. The baptismal covenant remains the same before or after the ordinance is performed. Nothing in the ordinance changes the nature or effect of the baptism. The suggesting that I look for scriptural references that "explain the covenant" before a person is baptized is ludicrous. You, as well as I , know that the only scriptural reference that meets your criteria for defining the baptismal covenant is the Mosiah scripture. You have deftly used your own argument to support your argument and avoided my original request. I asked you for citation from Joseph Smith, Jr. or his contemporaries, not a self-serving scriptural citation that is the object of the inquiry. Joseph Smith, Jr. was obviously aware of the teachings of several Anti-Christs contained in the Book of Mormon, yet that does not mean that he believed in such teachings or taught them. Doctrine must be based on truth to, in fact, be categorized as doctrine.
  7. whtaylor

    Baptismal Covenants

    I understand that all commandments can be placed into the two major categories of loving God and loving our fellowman, as summarized by Christ. I believe that I also understand the various elements of a covenant. When we covenant to take upon ourselves the name of Christ and to keep His commandents, we exercise our faith through action by engaging in not only overt acts--baptism and the partaking of the sacrament, but also by agreeing that we are willing to follow Christ by humbly keeping His commandments. We have the understanding that we will not necessarily be able to keep all the commandments, but that we will give it our best effort and that Christ will make up the difference. We do not covenant to keep all the commandments because no one other than Christ has been able or will be able to do so. We basically covenant to make a good faith effort. The atonement of Christ takes care of our deficiency. Unlike a typical legal contract, the parties are of unequal bargaining position, so the covenant is not a contract in the truest sense of the word--unless you want to consider it adhesive in nature. I am not accusing the brethren of misleading anyone concerning baptismal covenants. Surely if members do those things as outlined by Alma in Mosiah, they demonstrate their love of God and their fellow man...and it will be well with them. Surely the actions outlined by Alma are, as are many other commandments and behaviors, incapsulated within the actual covenants. Nevertheless, those actions outlined by Alma are not, have never been, and never will be "the baptismal covenants". I feel uncomfortable when men change plain and precious truths in favor of embellishment--even if they think that it offers additional insight. Like Nephi, I prefer plainness.
  8. whtaylor

    Baptismal Covenants

    Hence the point of my question. Why do members of the church and church authorities, through manuals, talks, and otherwise, promote a doctrine that at its core is incorrect? I guess for the rest of my life I am doomed to simply wince everytime I hear the Mosiah doctrine, knowing that the member, missionary, instructor has no idea what they are talking about and are simply mimicking what they have heard others say or what they have read in church manuals. Perhaps one of the tests of this life is to be a good sheeple and go with the flow...after all we are ultimately judged based on how obedient we are and our capacity to love and serve others and not the correctness of our beliefs.
  9. whtaylor

    Baptismal Covenants

    My point exactly...then why do members and leaders point to the four or so items singled-out by Alma at the Waters of Mormon as actual baptismal covenants? Is it simply because the setting was prior to or in a baptismal service? It makes no sense to me. Alma could have just as easily said: "Are you willing to be honest in all your dealings? Are you willing to be faithful to your wife? If so, what have ye against being baptized?"
  10. whtaylor

    Baptismal Covenants

    Nice tweet. You must be one of those individuals who believes in the Mosiah baptismal covenant doctrine. Please explain yourself. I did not say that the Sacrament exactly mirrored baptism. I said that the sacrament prayer contains the covenants that we make at baptism. Through the sacrament we renew our baptismal covenants, which are specifically outlined in the sacrament prayer. Do you have a cite that demonstrates Joseph Smith, Jr. or anyor his contemporaries taught the Mosiah baptismal covenant doctrine? If you do, I would love to have it. If you look later on the thread, someone actually ran a search and found that it appeared in a book authored by Harold B. Lee and that it was also spoken of my Bruce R. McConkie--but exploded in the 1990s. It appears that the "doctrice" is more recent/modern than Joseph Smith, Jr.
  11. whtaylor

    Baptismal Covenants

    Thank you for running the GospeLink search, Just-a-Guy. I think that you are the only respondant who understood the question posed. Last night I picked up Mormon Doctrine, just to see what Brother McConkie had to say about the topic and to my amazement found in the baptism subsection of the book this Mosiah baptismal covenant belief. The apparent fact that this "doctrine" did not exist prior to the last few decades causes me to take pause. Although I appreciate the importance of the concept that the words of live prophets can trump and are more important than the words of dead prophets, I don't know quite how to deal with leaders who express their own beliefs as revealed truth, when many times the belief is simply personal opinion--nor have I figured out how I can distinguish when a leader is disseminating his beliefs or actual revelation. I believe in modern revelation and that authorities are sometimes inspired, but I do not believe that they are omniscent or infallible. Now some would say that is an apostate attitude, but I do not think so. I guess that is why it is so important to live close to the Spirit and to allow him to guide and assist us. The more I read Brother McConkie's writings, the more I believe I need to question some of his more fringe beliefs.
  12. whtaylor

    Baptismal Covenants

    I consider myself a stickler when it comes to doctrinal issues. Over the last several years, I have found more and more church members and authorities propounding a doctrine that while not entirely false, is not entirely correct. When an individual is baptized, the individual makes certain (3) covenants with the Lord and the Lord makes one (1) covenant with the individual. The specific covenants made are recited in the Sacramental prayers, which might I add, must be said precisely and without error each time the sacrament is administered. The individual covenants to: 1) Take upon themselves the name of Christ; 2) always remember Christ, and 3) Keep Christ's commandments. In turn, the individual is promised that he/she will always have Christ's spirit with them. I don't know where or when this doctrinal variance made its appearance, but members are beginning to regularly use Mosiah 18: 8-10, 13 as an outline of covenants we make at baptism. A careful reading of the scripture indicates that Alma was simply asking the people who he was teaching at the waters of Mormon what they had against being baptized and entering into the baptismal covenant if they indeed had certain feelings. No where in the scripture does Alma identify the attributes mentioned by him: * To bear one another's burdens * To be willing to mourn with those that mourn * To comfort those who stand in need of comfort * To stand as witnesses of God at all times and in all things, and in all places even until death. as baptismal covenants. Followers of Christ and members of the church should obviously possess these attributes and want to do these things, but that does not mean that individuals covenant to do these specific things when they are baptized. Arguably these actions are included in the baptismal covenant "keep the commandments", but so does keeping the Word of Wisdom, Keeping the Sabbath Day Holy, etc., yet we do not tell people that these commandments are part of the baptismal covenant. Am I making a mountain out of a mole hill? It just drives me up a wall when people include these four items as covenants when they are not included in the sacramental prayer. I feel that if the Lord wanted these included, he would have included them in the prayer. By the way, does anyone know what general authority is responsible for first disseminating this strange doctrine?
  13. whtaylor

    Hi

    I just registered and have a few questions. I was directed here from Wiki. Is this site affiliated with Wiki somehow? I read some information on Wiki that in my opinion is wrong. Is that changed through discussion on this site or is there some specific area within Wiki where submissions/corrections are submitted and discussed with administrators?