The Folk Prophet

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Everything posted by The Folk Prophet

  1. I buy the theory in part, and think I understand what you're saying. But as I see it the logic isn't complete. Firstly B is part of A. Loving one another is true doctrine, and the key doctrine to knowing His disciples. But it is not the complete doctrine. The implication that it is the only doctrine that really ultimately matters is where it falls apart. If I understand what you're saying, loving God and your neighbor matters more than paying tithing and obeying the Word of Wisdom. Well...true. But that does not mean that not paying tithing or breaking the WOW is acceptable as long as you love others. True doctrine can be for a specific time or people (as the examples above) and may not be eternal. But that does not downplay the importance of primary law of the gospel, which is obedience. Charity is the why. Obedience is the how.
  2. No worries. I agree in general terms with you. I do not know if that would be appropriate though (more research would be required for me to say), and feel confident that it would not be necessary.
  3. There's a distinct difference between "can" and "should". This is one of those line upon line things that was clarified over time. There are a lot of records of people doing things that were later shown to be inaccurate in overall propriety. In some cases that did not necessarily mean the previous practice was invalid for the understanding at hand. But as enlightenment was given, that appropriateness changed. In some cases the validity was never in place in spite of the practice (as in the case of baptisms for the dead being performed without record keeping or sealings done outside the temple) wherein those things had to be re-administered correctly at a later time. Whether a woman can lay her hands on a head to give a blessing or not (currently) may be somewhat in question (though I would dare say that extensive research into church policy and statements over the years would show it as inappropriate). Whether she should or not is quite a bit more clear. And ultimately, even if she could or should, it would never be appropriate to say, "by the power of the Melchizedek priesthood which I hold" because she does not hold the Melchizedek priesthood. Ultimately, there is no need for her to do this though. The laying on of hands, as I've said several times now, is irrelevant. Faith is requisite to miracles. The holding of priesthood authority is not. Therefore, regardless of whether a woman could or could not ever heal by the laying on of hands (and there is evidence that at one time this was acceptable), it does not indicate that women once held the priesthood, and certainly doesn't indicate that women do now. Women do not hold the priesthood. To hold the priesthood requires the laying on of hands by one in authority to transfer that authority. Women are not so ordained. They do not hold it, nor have they ever. The administering of the ordinances in the temple is done under the authority and priesthood of the temple presidency. This is not indicative of holding the priesthood. It does, actually, help to explain your first point and how the laying on of hands by women worked.
  4. Well that depends on what your definition of "is" is...er...I mean what your definition of "it" is. "It" may not have been line upon line...depending on what "it" is. Some things are not line upon line...(except, they kind of are anyhow. A big bulk revelation still fits into the overall idea of line upon line). But even if you view it differently, I think components of the RS were unquestionably line upon line even if there was an all at once difference when it was reestablished post Nauvoo.
  5. This is an awesome and appropriate reply and I add my support of the ideas expressed. Thanks Martain.
  6. Diverging a bit off topic here, but I often use modern English versions of the scriptures as a companion to the King James version. No reason why they church needs to officially adopt one in my opinion. That the KJV is official (and wherein, accordingly, our primary study should start) does not preclude utilization of other versions. Interesting though.
  7. Interesting theory. But I think you're misinterpreting "doctrine" a bit. You talk about the "true way" and doctrine like they're different. But they are not. Doctrine = the true way. I think I understand what you're getting at, but I think it's slanting some things a bit to suit a theory.
  8. As I understand it, there were distinct descriptive wording changes that took place, line upon line, over time, concerning our understanding and usage of words like "ordination", "keys", "quorum", etc... The fact that these terms were used doesn't really mean much as to evidence of power or authority. We don't use "ordain" now in ways they did in the early church. Over time this has been clarified and standardized. Ordaining is different than setting apart. In the early church...the words weren't always used the same. "Keys", same thing. Now we talk about keys in very distinctive terms. Only a few specific callings have keys (bishop, EQ pres, etc.) But the idea of what a key is has taken on specific meaning over time. In general terms, giving keys is simply assigning authority or rights, and in general terms that could be applied to any calling or organization (you now have the keys to run the sunbeam class or whatever) but we do not use it this way. That does not mean it was never used that generally, even by Joseph Smith who was also learning line-upon-line, and moreover, may have had no real need to have that level of clarity in his wording. Ordaining and the giving of keys and the usage of the term quorum are contemporary descriptions of specific things, and we carefully use them to help clarify understanding organization and authority. But the usage of those words in the early church in a meeting does not imply the women had more authority or power than they do now. Women have every bit as much authority and power now as they did then, with the obvious potential and highly contested (even in the early church) ability to lay hand on the sick -- this was contested and unclear for many, many years in the church. Over time, as the way the church works (line upon line) the proper understanding developed. To discount the current church's policy in favor of Joseph Smith's original ideas is to discount continuing revelation. It is quite clear that women were never authorized to baptize or seal, etc... And as I have pointed out, the ability to heal the sick by faith has never gone from women. Laying hands on or not is irrelevant.
  9. I would read it as living intentionally and deliberately to be as the Savior in all things.
  10. The fact that you think you're incapable of it does not mean you are incapable of it. With God, all things are possible. Part of the atonement of Christ is in it's power that weaknesses may be overcome. And all of us are perfectly capable of becoming like the Savior--that is to say--perfect. Perfectly humble, perfectly obedient, perfectly understanding, perfectly knowledgeable. We can't expect to be there tomorrow. We can't expect to be there even in this life. But you can absolutely completely do away with everything you've come to believe if those beliefs are, actually, incorrect. Compromise is a start. But if you keep at it with faith, humility, trust, and obedience, you will get there. This is a big part of grace. There have been many times in the history of the Lord's interaction with mankind wherein mankind has had to totally swallow their pride and understanding and completely rely upon the Lord and his word or will. I'm convinced that the challenge you are facing is the core of the test of mortality. Can we put off our own views and feelings in favor of the word of the Lord? This struggle is not unique to you. We all must face it somewhere, somehow. And it is a lifelong process, for sure. A lifelong learning to acknowledge our nothingness, weakness, unprofitably, etc.
  11. Talking about the power of the priesthood in terms of the ability to perform healings is like talking about the power of a computer in terms of being able to tell what time it is. The ability to heal is nice. It is a gift. It is part of how God shows love for us. It is a means to bring people closer to God. But it's a drop in a bucket compared to the true value and meaning of the priesthood. Whether a woman heals someone through a faith of prayer or through the laying on of hands has no bearing on that blessing. Either way, the person is just as healed. Either way, it really comes down to faith. The point being, you don't need the priesthood in order to exercise faith to miracles.
  12. I think that one of the most important thing to know in the gospel is that we cannot trust our own feelings and thoughts on anything beyond a witness that things are true. Beyond that, we have to accept that we are mortal, imperfect, susceptible to misunderstanding, deception, etc. Our mortal perspective is, ultimately, meaningless compared to the wisdom of God. The sooner we can let go of our own selves and look to God for understanding the better. With some subjects that is easy, and with some subjects that can be very, very hard. Either way, every premise, every bit of research, every moment of study -- all this should begin with the hypothesis that God's word (and by extension His prophet's and apostle's words) is right. What we naturally feel on any subject is irrelevant. Feelings have no bearing on truth. We can come to understand and feel the same as God on all things. But part of that is accepting His perfection and our weakness (His brilliance and our idiocy is another way we could put it). Trusting that God loves better than we ever can, and that His understanding of mercy and justice is absolutely fair and equitable. If we have a testimony of the truthfulness of the gospel and the reality that this is God's church and doctrine, then we can eventually reconcile our contrasting personal feelings. If, on the other hand, we hold to any sort of delusion that we know better... Well, like I said, as mortals, we are incapable of really understanding anything (meaning that we're stupid, every one (relatively speaking)).
  13. God resting is in the scriptures. But WHY He rested is not. However, to your point, there is plenty of scriptural evidence to support the idea that we will not have any physical ailments, including fatigue, post resurrection. We will have sorrow and pain, but not physically. We will sorrow for lost souls, sorrow for others, etc... Like I said. Interesting. But ultimately, we can't know why God "rested".
  14. I usually fast forward... which leads to a follow-up question, should I fold my arms and close my eyes anyway?
  15. Something missing from the discussion here is the oath and covenant of the priesthood. Brethren hold the priesthood as a covenant. This is far more weighty than what, I think, we actually understand. Power in the priesthood isn't really the important part in my opinion. Faith is faith and God answers the prayers of the faithful in miraculous ways, priesthood aside. But the authority of the priesthood comes with an obligation to serve. In exchange, we are given blessings. But the blessing of healing the sick (which is usually the most common thing gone to) are not really that important in the grand scheme of things. The blessings of the priesthood are directly tied to our rights to exaltation. Without the priesthood we have no baptism, no endowments of power (given to men and women), no sealings, hence no celestial marriage, no joining of father to son, mother to daughter. No turning the hearts of the fathers. In short, no salvation. No fulfillment of the Abrahamic covenant. All of these things are given to men and women. This is the power and the blessing of the priesthood, of which women are just as much recipients as men. Getting cured from disease or getting a blessing of comfort is nice. It's comforting. But the priesthood and it's glory are so much more important and amazing than that. The priesthood is the gift of salvation. Men are authorized to perform ordinances to this end, and ultimately under covenant to do so.
  16. I wonder if Adam had a belly button. Hmm...... How can anyone possibly know such things, and what difference could it possibly make? It's an interesting question, but there is no answer we know of. We just don't know.
  17. My first question would be to ask you how you're doing with scripture study. How much time daily are you committing to it, etc.?
  18. I recommend you look for your answers outside of a forum. Particularly, look to the scriptures and the writings and words of prophets and apostles. There are plenty of answers about this sort of thing. I highly recommend The Miracle of Forgiveness, by Spencer W. Kimball, for example. You have a strong testimony of the gospel, that is clear. But you don't seem to have a strong testimony of the repentance process. You have some trust issues with the system. That trust indicates a lack of testimony, but you CAN gain a testimony of the process. Just as with anything, study it, read, ponder, pray, etc... The process of repentance is a VERY difficult thing. It is part of why sinning is such a big problem and partly why we are counselled so strenuously to avoid sin. I have to go back to humility. None of us can truly repent without humility. Your response to my initial post about humility tells me that you don't quite get that. Without getting that, you won't understand repentance. We cannot come to the Lord in repentance with pride and think our offering will be accepted. Humility is paramount. We must lose ourselves to find Him. Any advice given to someone about repentance, including visiting the bishop, must incorporated this thinking. We HAVE to subject ourselves to the Lord's way and will. The offering expected is a broken heart and a contrite spirit. Have you thought about what that means? A Broken heart. It's not just some catch phrase. There is important meaning in that.
  19. I think these examples/proverbs/etc., are further insight into HOW to judge righteously (or when it is inappropriate to judge at all). I think your point is valid, but not entirely supportive that hypocrisy is always the issue and therefore we should never judge. Thank you though for the thought and some discussion action, which I really wanted. :) I do not think it is as simple as judge not, but I also don't think it's as simple as don't judge not--if that makes any sense at all. In other words, discussion is certainly warranted.
  20. Disciples = all followers. Not just leader. Moreover, the instruction was specifically to tell it to the people, so... I'm not sure I follow the logic.
  21. Your whole premise is based on something that is not accurate. Final judgment and the reward of salvation is Jesus Christ's to give and His alone. Not going to the bishop does not necessarily equate to going to hell. Take, for example, someone who had sinned, had truly and honestly repented, intended to go to the bishop, but had not had the chance because of...we'll go with the military or something...and then they were killed. We don't exactly do bishop visits for the dead. That's because we don't need to. It is not requisite for salvation. That is an extreme example, of course, and an unlikely scenario. But one that isn't extreme or unlikely is a choice someone makes because of emotional or mental disorders that cause them the inability to comprehend. We are only accountable for that which we know and understand. Someone who is incapable of understanding something (even due to trauma) will not be held accountable. We can't tell who is and isn't capable of that understanding. The final judgment rests with the Lord. All we can do is teach what has been told us is the right path. Going to the bishop when someone has committed sexual transgression is the right path. But if someone literally cannot comprehend or deal with that because of of a legitimate loss of ability, it doesn't necessarily preclude the possibility of salvation. However, I would argue that more often then not that those not going to the bishop because of fear comes down to pride and lack of humility rather than a true and honest inability to comprehend and act. As someone else pointed out...we preach the rule and then deal with the exceptions. Moreover, your view of bishop's ability to handle complex problems based on abuse and other traumas shows a fair bit of bias. Bishops, certainly, deal with this sort of thing all the time. Abuse, sadly, is not uncommon. Bishops don't just sit on thrones passing down judgment. This is a perception based on fear, but not on reality.
  22. ...only by persuasion, by long-suffering, by gentleness and meekness, and by love unfeigned; By kindness, and pure knowledge, which shall greatly enlarge the soul without hypocrisy, and without guile— (D&C 121:41-42) That is all any of us can do.
  23. The accountability I refer to is not simply going to one's bishop. To say that going to the bishop equates to absolution is absolutely false. The bishop does not, in any way, absolve sin. There is only one who can absolve sin, and that is the Savior. Yes, we go to the bishop because it is the means the Lord has set for us in His kingdom on earth to work through the process and satisfy the requirements for that absolution. But it is only one part of the equation. It seems like you're saying: It's not fair that the rapist and the fornicator both have to go the bishop to be absolved from sin. But it's much, much more in depth than this. Frankly, the bishop, in reality, has much, much less to do with absolution for sin than our own change of hearts and our acceptance of the Savior. But it is part of the equation. I'm not just trying to argue the point, by the way. I have a strong testimony of the keys of the priesthood and the role of bishops in the kingdom of God. I honestly hope my point of view is helpful and not just frustrating. :)