The Folk Prophet

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Everything posted by The Folk Prophet

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
  8. 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.
  9. 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.
  10. 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.
  11. Evil has no power to cause us fear or to creep us out. That is a response to evil that is of our own making. Moreover, to fear evil is to expose a lack of faith. Not that we can be perfect in faith. But with perfect faith, we will fear no evil. Even a devil in the room should cause no concern or fear if we are of perfect faith. Moreover, I don't believe evil can physically threaten our well being without the use of external sources (a.k.a. sending a bad guy after you) unless we actually allow the evil to do so. Turn your back on it and it has no power over you. I wasn't suggesting he ignore the reality of an evil spirit. I was suggesting that it may well be more in their heads, and if so to buck up and get right with reality. I have a firm belief in the reality of evil spirits. And I do think they have great influence in this life. I think that more of what we see in the madness of the world is in reality a direct result of evil spirits than most people probably think. But I don't think being creeped out is usually a sign of evil spirits. That is, in my opinion, more often a state of our own minds and perspective than evidence of reality. Learn to not be creeped out and you won't be creeped out. Simple as that. It's not about the evil spirits. As far as true evil spirits are concerned, that's pretty plain. Keep the commandments and they will have no power over you. Can you feel them sometimes. Sure, but I would contend that it is situational and not random. As in, some crazy guy starts preaching whacko bloody murder at you and you sense evil spirits, rather than, "I just sense there's an evil spirit in my bedroom". I will add again, just to be clear. I'm only giving my thoughts, so if the OP disagrees and feels a legitimate need to continue to seek methods of exorcism, that is certainly his prerogative.
  12. I somewhat agree with you, but that does not mean that they are not true or that there is no truth in them. Everything the church doesn't teach is not automatically false. Whereas I can certainly see your point and you may be right in this, I can also reasonably see that they are saying (as I interpret it) "We don't know, therefore we repudiate these teachings as truth." rather than, as you are inferring from it, "We DO know, therefor we repudiate these teaching as truth and thereby claim them as absolutely false." I think the latter is reading things into it that are not said.
  13. I vote 2. However, this only applies to an omniscient being who understands why He instigated the races, how race ties into our experience and test in life, etc., etc... We must allow that God knows more than us and trust him. Any presumption that we understand better than God or his prophets runs quickly afoul of arrogance and pride. The problem is that we have learned to equate the word racism with prejudice and bias. As in the definition "having or showing the belief that a particular race is superior to another." But in it's truest sense, anything that discriminates by race is racist. And discrimination by race can be positive, if that discrimination is positive, as in programs or scholarships designed to help those races. Whereas I make no argument as to the effectiveness of these programs, I wouldn't say that every instance of these programs are based on evil or malice intent. Yet they are literally racist, depending I suppose on the exact definition of racism. This generates a problem I think in the church's statement of "Church leaders today unequivocally condemn all racism, past and present, in any form." As has been noted however, what about the Book of Mormon? Clearly, the church is not condemning the Book of Mormon, which says to me that they are using the term racism specifically as defined above (from a Google search, a.k.a. the superiority of a race). Per one definition of racism (racial superiority) the Church is correct and the Book of Mormon is not racist. Per another definition (discrimination because of race) the Church would be in conflict with it's own scripture and the Book of Mormon is clearly racist. God, clearly has given situations or blessings to one race that he denies another. But it is not because of superiority of those races because, as we know, God is no respecter of persons. But it is also blatantly clear that we are not all given equal opportunity in this life as far as the mortal existence is concerned. Some are smart, some stupid, some tall, some short, some bald, some with flowing locks, some disabled, some athletically superior. This does not mean that God has viewed us differently and has given to us unfairly accordingly. Rather, He sees us as we really are and has given us our lot according to His wisdom and omniscience in accordance with the greatest levels of fairness. And all will be judged fairly and according to how we handle our stewardship. The fact that some have more than me in this life is not relevant to God's respect for me. And none of God's choices relevant to race in the past are applicable to how we think of and interact with others now. God makes choices according to His knowledge and understanding and with a perfect fairness. But we have been clearly commanded how to treat others. A realization that God has a higher understanding of our life experience can never justify our mistreatment of others in any regard (with the exception of direct revelation, which of course would mean that we were not "mis"-treating, though it might look so to the world - I believe this to be the case with the Priesthood ban).
  14. I think disown is the best synonym here. The church disowns them as doctrine. There are plenty of unknown truths that are not doctrine though, and we should not speculate on them as if they are doctrinal based on our own mortal understanding of things. My view is similar to modobund's. I think we should not teach these things as true. I also think that we should allow for the possibility that they may be true. It isn't really relevant to mortal life, expect, perhaps, in that we should support our prophets (past and present) as thoroughly as possible. We should give them the benefit of the doubt if things are in questions, and strictly follow what is currently taught. What that means to me is that we do NOT teach these principles. We do not speak of them as viable explanations. The church is clear on that. However, we should also allow in our own sense of understanding the reality that our past prophets and apostles were, actually, led by the spirit, and therefore, what they said, while perhaps beyond our understanding, is probably at some level correct. To explain my thinking I'll share my thoughts on the curse of Cain thing. I think the usage of the specific wordings of "curse" and "Cain" are problematic in our current culture. However, that doesn't mean that similar thinking may not be valid. If we take the idea of a curse as a state set upon us that sets us apart in a negative way, then anything we have in this life that does so can be reasonable called a curse. That does not translate, necessarily to inequality in God's love for us, or our capability or worth as a person. We take the word curse to mean inequality, but it is not necessarily so. The Israelites were cursed when they were in bondage to Pharaoh. Would anyone argue that that defined them as lesser than the Egyptians in God's eyes? Would anyone claim that it was racist to say they were cursed by this state? That the African race was cursed in some regard due to their black skin when racism ran rampant seems fairly clear. We see the same thing in the treatment of the Jewish race (as prophesied) and their treatment over the years. Understanding that these "races" were cursed does not inherently say that they are lesser in the eyes of God or should be viewed as lesser in our own views. But they were, undeniably, cursed. As for the "Cain" part, I see this, perhaps, akin to the horses in the BOM thing. Just because they called something a horse that wasn't literally a horse, or because Joseph Smith translated it as horse (presuming that there weren't actual horses whose bones just simply haven't been discovered yet) doesn't mean the BOM is false. And if Brigham Young and others were wrong on using the name "Cain" due to cultural tradition or misreading the scriptures, it doesn't mean, necessarily, that the principle isn't right. Regardless, as clearly indicated by the church, this is only personal opinion (in this case mine) and no way reflects church doctrine. I believe the church doctrine, for decades now, has been pretty clear. We do not know.
  15. Have you considered that by "casting out" the evil spirits, so to speak, that you may be reinforcing some childish silliness that we've all go through rather than responding by something more akin to, "Knock it off. There's nothing in your room." Honestly, this sounds like a grown-up monsters-under-the-bed thing to me (which you may have fallen a bit victim to yourself). I don't want to be insensitive, so I'm only offing the thought for consideration. But I think there's a correlation between "acceptance" of evil spirits and their actual presence. Evil has no power that we do not give it.
  16. Have you every had a physical emotional "thrill" from something non-spiritual that seems quasi-spiritual? A great movie moment, a wonderful song bridge, a happy, happy moment in life, etc., etc... On top of that there's the "disguised as an angel of light" thing, which I believe applies to false spiritual manifestations. The bottom line is that the spirit will not testify to someone that the BOM is false. But the issue is, if they feel it has, how do you argue the point, right? You can't. What you can do is testify of the truth and set a continued example. You can try to explain the difference between emotional thrill and spiritual witness, but that's a hard thing to explain, a.k.a explain salt to someone who's never had it. But we testify of truth and we represent that Savior in all our doings and we leave the rest between them and the Lord.
  17. If "we don't know" is the truth, it can and should remain the party-line indefinitely. It is safer than presuming things not said. Personally, I think it much more valid an approach to speculate on what has been said rather than what hasn't been said, even if what has been said is from a century ago. We can reasonably accept that what has been said in disavowance (a word I may have just made up) of things said a century ago supersedes that by nature of continuing revelation (though I personally question the current statement by the church as "revelatory"...but that's a different point), but should not automatically imply further speculation about things that were not disavowed. The "liberal" Mormon p.o.v. seems to be that such speculation is just and valid because it's a natural conclusion to draw. Some wrong things were said about a subject, so it only stands to reason that all things said about said subject are of questionable repute. A logical fallacy. The fact is, as best I understand it, past prophets and apostles have stated that the priesthood ban was revelation. This has not be repudiated. Therefore, I will continue to believe that was from God. If and when the current prophets and apostles state clearly that it was not, I will accept that. Until that time, I believe, very firmly, that it is a wiser choice to stubbornly give the benefit of the doubt to things said by prophets and apostles. This is a safe path in my mind.
  18. How does " clear insights into the origins of this practice" become, ?Moreover, how does, "Some explanations with respect to this matter were made in the absence of direct revelation..." (emphasis mine) lead to the same conclusion and also become, ...and that Brigham Young... ?You seem to be reading things into what wasn't said and then stating that it is "clear". You need to re-read the church statement with a little less bias. "Some" explanations -- not "all" explanations were made in absence of direct revelation. And it says nothing whatsoever about the ban itself vis-a-vis revelation.
  19. I've adopted as my honest-to-goodness motto: "Never give up. Never surrender!" Say it to myself all the time.
  20. I read once, as an apologist defense of Danites running around slashing people's throats, that since we were a temple building people we couldn't be violent, and used the fact that David couldn't build the temple because the wars he'd been in as validation of the theory. I'd like to debate about that at some point. Not about the Danites, but about the no building temples idea if you've killed a bunch of people, even righteously.
  21. Only implying that the theological conflict of polygamy vs. obeying the law of the land gets removed from the mix. Not suggesting that this will mean anything. It's just interesting to think about.
  22. Was the implication in my post otherwise? If so, it was not meant to be.
  23. We just finished watching Galaxy Quest. I love that movie. "Let's go, before those things kill Guy!"