The Folk Prophet

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Everything posted by The Folk Prophet

  1. Respectfully, I can't agree with this (the first part, to be clear). Feelings are not a choice is contradictory to some pretty basic LDS doctrine. Moreover, what are we, 5-year-olds? "I can't help it. I'm just MAAAADDDD!!!!" :) We can, absolutely, choose how to feel. Denial of this is undermines the concept of being able to become like the Savior. It's fairly popular to equate animalistic, childish passions with self-worth and to equate our feelings to our value -- that we must accept who we are, we cannot change who we are, we have no control over who we are and what we "FEEL!!!!!!" Trendy, political correct points of view do not truth make. It would be more appropriate to say: Sometimes feelings are not a choice, but they can be controlled and altered, and many times we do, indeed, choose how to feel. Acting on feelings is always a choice.
  2. It's an interesting thought, and as Vort stated, we can really only speculate with our own pet theories. The reality is that we don't know if ordinances are eternal law or not. We don't know why God requires baptism. From a logical view point, in many ways, it seems sort of arbitrary. I mean, sure, there is symbolism. But there are many, many other ways that could have been set that could be symbolic in other ways. So why immersion in water? Why this act as an absolute requirement to enter into the kingdom of God? We only have one answer that is doctrinal. Because God commanded it. We should not infer from that command that it is an eternal law. Nor should we infer that it is not an eternal law. We do as God commands. It is as simple as that. Whereas I can certainly see the logical validity behind the idea that God is bound by eternal laws (as in He cannot lie or He would cease to be God, etc...) we don't know why He is bound by them. We don't know that there is a higher power known as eternal law that He is accountable to. This is only presumption based on our mortal view, as that is how we see law. What we do know is that we can trust God without any shadow of doubt. That His word is law. That His promises are sure. That His commands are strict and His justice fair. We can trust this without reservation. This is wherein it is important to understand ideas like His never changing. We can trust that He won't change his mind and give up on mankind, or that He will change and not fulfill His promises. He will not turn away from perfect love and righteousness. He will not fail in His purposes. It has nothing to do with, as the naysayers like to argue, with policy and procedure.
  3. There most certainly needs to be justification. But that is the purview of the prophets and apostles. We trust them because of the witness of the spirit to us that they are prophets and apostles and because we know the church is true and led by revelation. There does seem to be a bit of logical fallacy in the pervasive experience you've had. It should be commonly understood that ordinances should not be changed. Certainly not by us. But the idea that God cannot change ordinances through His prophets according to His will.... The logic does not reasonably follow to that conclusion.
  4. Right on. The problem is in changing something without authority. It's not in that ordinances cannot change. They clearly and obviously can.
  5. And in the cases of ordinances, they carry meaning only because God says that they do. :)
  6. If the Catholic Church were indeed the true church, and God did indeed lead it by revelation, and had indeed revealed that baptism was to be performed by sprinkling, then there is no difference. The clear point is that the Catholic church is not the true church, God does not lead it by revelation, and the change to sprinkling was not given by revelation. That is the difference. Anyhow, where does the "are not to be changed" philosophy come from? Who says they're not to be changed? If God says so, specifically, then one would reasonably expect that He won't change them. Otherwise, wherein does this idea that ordinances are not meant to be changed come from?
  7. Joseph Smith's Polygamy Volumes 1-3 by Brian C. Hales
  8. This seems fairly straightforward to me. The ordinances are given to us by God. So if He says something is okay to change, then it's okay to change. He knows what the core of the ordinances are and which parts need remain unchanged. He knows what wording can change and which cannot (Though wording is an interesting subject because words are interpretive and subject to localized understanding, etc... but God understands this all better than any man). Therefore, the answer to your question lies in the principle of revelation, upon which this church is built.
  9. No, I meant what I said. Though I may not have been as clear as I meant to be. I mean that I am defiantly defensive of the church against my own understand (when and if my own understanding conflicts with something the church has said). I am defiant against my own thinking. Deference would work too, but I was referencing the previous sentence.
  10. That's an interesting way to put it. I've had some tactical disagreements with the church's approach to things lately (mormonsandgays website and the latest on race and the priesthood) but generally keep those thoughts to myself. I tend to give the church the benefit of the doubt. Actually that's not accurate. I defiantly give the church the benefit of the doubt. And to me, that defiance is what keeps me safely away from the easy road to apostasy.
  11. Fair enough. It was my impression of the thread I guess. I suppose I just expected more of a "YES!" response rather than the, "it's not doctrine" sort of replies. No worries though.
  12. I think we tend to view "the church" unfairly as some sort of individual. With some issues I think that's valid -- specifically, doctrinal issues -- but generally, "the church" is led by committee. It's the same as the way, say, a bishopric runs a ward. They make calls, see issues, make changes, discuss, debate, fix, etc... They do so with prayer and humility and follow the spirit as they can. With an issue like this, I can very easily see them concluding that it is in their best interest advocate support of a side, then upon seeing the results, determine that perhaps a more neutral approach is better. So they first tell people to explicitly support Prop 8, then in Hawaii they recommend studying the Family Proc and make your own choice. This is not outside the bounds of reasonable reaction to something unforeseen by the church's best-effort choices. And the alteration of approach plays in no way into the doctrinal stand of the church. I agree that it is not conclusive evidence that we can legitimately support a point of view that is clearly in opposition to the church's, but feel that it COULD be viewed that way by some of good conscience, and that we should rightly give them that benefit of the doubt. My intent was not to imply a soul searching 360, as some would, but to accept that there is reasonable evidence that "the church" as we call it, is still finding it's footing in the political side of this issue somewhat. Time will tell where they politically land. My guess is they will land squarely where they began, and at that point opposing the pov will be apostasy. But at current, I don't reasonably see it as so black and white. That being said, apostasy, as we well know, is a slope, and being on it in any regard is dangerous. I do not advocate views that contradict the church's obvious position. I'm only suggesting understanding them. And it is possible that the church could ultimately conclude that, legally speaking, gay marriage is fundamentally fair even if it is immoral, in the same way that we can justly say that allowing alcohol at some level is legally viable in spite of it's use being unquestionably morally wrong in the church's position. I agree. It doesn't take an epiphany to adjust an approach that has been potentially harmful in some ways -- specifically in public relations. The church is clearly highly interested in (and rightly so) maintaining a public image that is generally viewed positively. This makes sense with the mission to gather Israel. The church is very clearly maintaining it's stance on the morality of it, but isn't quite as adamant on the political side of it, which seems a reasonable response. I can easily see them changing tactics again when and if this approach doesn't work, and obviously when the efforts fail, as they are likely to do. The chances of gay marriage becoming universally legal are high, imo. I absolutely agree. To understand how others can view something doesn't mean accepting moral nihilism. I can see their point of view, understand it, and even see some validity to it, without discarding my understanding of the issue. I will maintain that any acceptance of homosexuality is detrimental to society. But I also accept that that is a hard argument to make, even within the church, and that there are good and faithful members who see and understand what is, ultimately, a logical argument. It cannot be proven (yet) that gay marriage is bad for society. I believe it is. But prove it? That's a tough order. To be clear, I'm not saying or advocating on behalf of those who would argue for gay marriage solemnized in the temple and an abandonment of viewing it as a sin. There is no logical argument for that pov within the gospel and those who view it that way are clearly down the path of apostasy. But there are those who believe that, although still a grievous sin, it should be legally recognized as a valid state of marriage as far as the government is concerned, and some of these folk, though perhaps a bit misguided on their overall understanding of the scope of human existence and the varied histories of societies, etc., cannot legitimately be called apostate.
  13. Sorry to resurrect an old thread, but I was reading it and I'm a bit flabbergasted by the general responses. Is the consensus here really that LDS folk do NOT believe in a Heavenly Mother? Really? Come on. We do too. It's in our hymn book, after all. You can argue all day what's doctrinal and what isn't, but when we sing it in our meetings, it's hard to argue that we don't believe it. I believe it. Anyone who doesn't is denying some pretty basic LDS stuff. That's fine I guess. Everyone has their own level of understanding and belief. Everyone justifies what they want to believe with their sense of logic, etc... But as a whole, undoubtedly, the church does believe this and to argue otherwise is silly. We believe in eternal families. We believe in becoming Gods. We believe in eternal progeny. We believe in becoming like our Heavenly Father -- that we will inherit all that he has and is. To extrapolate from this that we have a Heavenly Mother, even setting aside teachings by Joseph Smith and other prophets, even setting aside the hymn book, is not much of a stretch. As to owning our own planet...anti-Mormon garbage. We believe we'll create worlds without number, sure. But owning our own planet is anti, inflammatory rhetoric meant to make Mormons sound like weirdos.
  14. To answer this question we need to be more clear. The power of God delegated to men to do WHAT? There is a pretty great misconception about the point of the priesthood out there. It is not, as seems to be the common pov in Sunday classes, to heal the sick. This is one advantage of the power, but it is not really the point. The power of God could, theoretically, never once in the entire range of human existence, EVER physically heal a single soul, and it would have no bearing whatsoever on the eternities. No mountains moved, no oceans divided, no water into wine, and in the end, it would not really make any difference. What does make a difference? Wherein is the Priesthood actually important? In the saving ordinances. The Priesthood gives us the authority and the power to save souls. That is wherein it is important. That is wherein it matters. The ability and authority to save souls is clearly and directly given to us by God. It is not magically inherent in our own existence or in the nature of the universe. We cannot save ourselves. We cannot be saved without God, and more specifically, without Christ. We cannot be saved through ANY other means or name but His. His priesthood is given to us to that end. Moreover, the priesthood is not magic. It's not some supernatural force bestowed upon beings. God's power is. That's all there is to it. The priesthood is an OATH and a COVENANT. It is a RIGHT. That covenant is not with some universal magic, and the oath is not made to some grand nothingness. Nor is the right unalienable, as we like to think of rights, but is "inseparably connected with the powers of heaven". It is a covenant between God and us. We use the priesthood in fulfillment of that Covenant, and by following His will, we are blessed to serve him and to help bring about his purpose, which purpose is the immortality and eternal life of man. This is the priesthood.
  15. It gets a bit iffy though when dealing with certain political issues. To support the idea of gay marriage as a right doesn't necessarily contradict the organization of the church which clearly teaches that we have the right to our own political views. We should support heterosexual marriage as the valid form. We should view homosexuality as sinful. But to allow something we see as sinful via law doesn't mean we're in apostasy, per se. We can take something like drug legalization as an example. We can uphold the Word of Wisdom in all it's respects and yet still believe that the legalization of certain drugs would help to diminish crime. Many see gay marriage in the same sort of light. They may believe in traditional marriage, but they may politically see value in supporting marriage rights. The church allows for this, and with good reason. They may be right. For the record, I am not a supporter of gay marriage in any way, but I can see that viewing it differently doesn't necessitate excommunication. There is a reason that the church generally stays out of politics. And whereas the church has, in the past, specifically called for action against gay marriage, they changed their approach. We have to ask ourselves why. Unlike those who believe the church merely caves to political pressure, I believe that they examined the issue as it became more volatile, saw that there was a reasonably argument on both sides, and altered their advice accordingly. I am, personally, fairly confident that legalizing gay marriage is the beginning of the end, and accordingly we should do all within our power to stop it. But there are good and faithful members who see it differently. And seeing it differently does not make them less good or less faithful.
  16. Meh. I keep quoting you too. 'sall good. :) I think there are plenty of instances of mistakes in ordinances that does not invalidate them. My point was simply that, in principle, certain ordinances are explicitly defined as "to be repeated exactly" and others are not. The Handbook 2 instruction on the wording of receiving the Holy Ghost falls into a bit of an ambiguous category. Concerning baptism, for example, the handbook says: "the baptism must be repeated if the words are not spoken exactly as given in Doctrine and Covenants 20:73 or if part of the person’s body or clothing is not immersed completely." No such instruction is given for the confirmation.
  17. Interesting. I would guess that in the ancient church, they were tied together in some way. And I would contend that in BOM times they were certainly. But I could be wrong on both counts. In the example Christ set there was no confirmation described prior to the descent of the Holy Ghost...though Christ being confirmed to his own church wouldn't necessarily make sense...but there are no real other examples of confirmation of his disciples either, and yet that doesn't mean it didn't happen. Either way, I agree. It's irrelevant to how we practice today.
  18. I've always seen them as inseparable (confirmation and the ordinances). Baptism is prerequisite for confirmation, The gift of the Holy Ghost follows. But the idea of being baptized and then not becoming a member isn't really a valid idea. One cannot do it. Not in the cards. So whether the gift of the Holy Ghost follows baptism or Confirmation isn't really relevant. They are, all three, tied together. That being said, I had always, sort of, thought technically the same as you, that it was baptism that led to it. The D&C vs I quoted was a learning point for me as well.
  19. That question kind of puts the whole thing into a proper light in a way. The answer is that unless it was really, really, really wrong, nothing would be said and the confirmation would still be valid. It is not like the baptismal prayer or sacramental prayer which must be repeated if not said exactly. If you said something really mistaken, like reference to a spaghetti monster or something, I'm sure they'd ask you to do it again.
  20. Modern day scripture pretty clearly set the doctrinal basis for this in D&C 33:15. “Whoso having faith you shall confirm in my church, by the laying on of the hands, and I will bestow the gift of the Holy Ghost upon them.” I think it's fairly conclusive and we can safely accept that it is, indeed, contingent upon confirmation into the church. However, after thinking about it a bit, I acquiesce to your first response in that it doesn't seem to really matter if it's a "command" or not. The gift of the Holy Ghost is a response to the confirmation. The wording in the prayer seems to be a statement to the confirmed to accept it. My personal take remains, in that I think it should be stated as an explicit directive, but I'm not as adamant as before on this point.
  21. While conforming to the letter of it, I'm not sure this one fills the spirit of the instruction, which is to tell them, in no uncertain terms, to Receive the Holy Ghost. Phrasing it this way makes it ambiguous. Leads to potential questions. Did I really receive it? Was that valid? Etc... Better to be explicit.
  22. The handbook does not say "such words as". It says: 4. Uses the words “Receive the Holy Ghost” (not “receive the gift of the Holy Ghost”). This is clearly defined, unlike a lot of the prayer. The specifics of how you lead into this isn't defined. Typically, you hear "I say unto you..." or something along those lines. But reasonably one could simply say, "Receive the Holy Ghost." as a complete statement with no filler before or after.
  23. Your dilemma is one of the key learning points of life. Don't get discouraged. It is the same for all. Learning to hear and understand the spirit is a life-long process that we all must go through. It is not a simple thing and it takes great faith, patience, long-suffering, sacrifice, and determination to get there, bit by bit, line upon line. Don't give up just because you have been set back in your understanding a bit. That set-back is a learning opportunity. But you will only learn if you respond to it with humility, faith, study, prayer, etc... And it will happen again and again. We, as fallible humans, will be constantly put in our place by these sorts of things. We can respond in pride and move away from the Lord or respond in humility and move closer to Him. Eventually, you and all of us, will get there if we keep true to the faith. We must trust the Lord even when we don't understand.
  24. I guess it depends on what's meant by retaliation. In the context of the statement I think the answer to your question is, absolutely, yes. But if you stretch the meaning of retaliation to include any sort of oppositional response whatsoever, then I don't think so.
  25. Your Peter comparison fails in that, as you point out, the Lord told him it was not so. If Brigham Young was in error, your comparison implies that either the Lord didn't bother to tell Brigham that it was not so, or that Brigham chose to ignore it. In the Peter example, the Lord did not allow a hundred of years of error to proceed against His will. Wouldn't we expect the same, reasonably, from the Brigham Young situation, if it was indeed in error? And the fact that Joseph ordained African Americans is not so telling as you imply. You presume things into it that are not self-evident. We believe in continuing revelation and that policies and practices can change according to the times and needs of the church. The whole "if Joseph didn't say or believe it then it can't be true for the modern church" pov is not congruent with these things. They did all sorts of things in the early church that have been changed over time. The implication of this being indicative of error is highly problematic in numerous ways. I can't say I understand this politically correct, I-know-better-than-a-prophet sort of thinking that seems to be pervading the church.