Project Doctrine of Christ

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  1. I think we all need to take a break. This mincing of words is contentious. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints is the restored church on the earth today. In it men have been called to serve as prophets, seers and revelators. I love and sustain them in their callings. God speaks to all mankind through the Light of Christ and through the power of the Holy Ghost. Jesus is the Christ and Savior of the world. He saves. He has a voice. He speaks to mankind through the power of the Holy Ghost. We are invited to learn of Him personally. We can have a personal relationship with Him. He desires to sanctify us and teach us. He is the mediator of the new covenant. He is the great promise keeper even the one given to Adam & Eve in the garden (Moses 5:1-15). He is wonderful. He is patient. He is kind. He is truth.
  2. NO!!!! Stop it already! OF COURSE listen to the church leaders. Of course obey as they lead you to Christ. Wow.
  3. Where's the criticism? How dare you (Standing up for myself). I have been nothing but respectful to all church leaders and still am.
  4. Yes, fallible like Moses and every other church leader. Like Moses, he was pointing the children of Israel to Christ. He even was commanded to take them to the mount and see the Lord in His glory. He was "leading" them to Christ. He was pointing them to Christ. He was even referring them to Christ as if to say, "go to Him. He will save you. He wants to sanctify you and bring you into His presence and teach you." Would you go to mount or do you rely on Moses to be a mediator. Just saying personal revelation is alive and well. And I'm ok with the fact that there are some of my comments that went un-addressed.
  5. I will be held accountable for the words that the Lord speaks to me and what I do with them. I am ok with being accountable to the Lord. He is the one that saves, chastises, teaches, forgives, loves and more. An apostle does not save me and that does not belittle my respect for their service. But they are fallible. A person cannot agree they are fallible and then say that every word that proceeds forth from their mouth is the word of God. Since the restoration, church leaders have disagreed with one another on many subjects. In many of those cases they are citing their opinion and that is ok. What they knew at the time was good for their individual journey. I am not picking and choosing what I like or will do for convenience (I think that's what you mean by "cafeteria" mormon). I just thought it was straight forward doctrine: Jesus Christ is the Savior, He saves, He is perfect, He is truth, He has a voice, He is a teacher, He is a personal God, He has perfect empathy, He sanctifies, He is omniscient, He is omnipotent, He is omni-benevolent, He offers a personal journey, the role of church leaders is not to micromanage the personal lives of 15+ million people but rather to point them and direct them and lead them to the Savior Jesus Christ who is their personal Savior and teacher and much more.
  6. If the purpose is to renew the "covenant" or promise of "remembering Him" and seeking to "take His name upon us" then yes we can renew that covenant or promise. The Lord's own words in teaching the sacrament in the Book of Mormon don't talk about renewing a baptismal covenant or even all covenants. Steve says it better than I do:
  7. Hard to keep up with all the comments, patience. We use personal revelation equally (for all of them) to discern whether they are using their words to "lead" us to Christ.
  8. Then this is ok. Everyone will be held accountable for the light and truth they have received or believe they have received. Let them be. Let everyone be. It is ok. It is personal revelation. it is ok to even be deceived at times for how will we know the difference between light and dark if we don't experience them (2 Nephi 2). Let every person learn through the spirit line upon line through their journey. It's their journey. Anyone that sincerely seeks, knocks and asks will be led on a unique personal journey to learn light from dark.
  9. My point is simple or at least I a trying to simplify. Forgive me for my inability to word everything as smooth as needed. To your point, "rather than suggesting we need to attain and receive all of the knowledge from scratch from the Lord as if we didn't have his servants, the prophets to guide us", yes, servants or church leaders are supposed to "guide us." That means they point or direct a person to the Lord for the truth. That's why they recommend and teach people as best they can to learn how to discern truth using God's spirit (the voice of the Lord.) More on my point is that personal revelation trumps anything that any one person will say. The words of church leaders, being infallable (and that's ok btw I don't love or respect them any less), are not always the words of God. God is 100% truth. Thus the reason to point people to using personal revelation. It is the responsibility of all individuals to receive personal revelation and discern whether any person is speaking on behalf of the Lord or which points or portions of which they are speaking are actually God's truth. The quotes from church leaders I used before were just reinforcing that. Per your "the brethren are united" comment. I see what you are saying but to further add to the previous point about the importance of personal revelation and how church leaders do not always speak 100% truth (God's words or God's truth). Simple example: There have been many dead church leaders and there are many living church leaders who have taken the supposed time, effort and prayer to prepare talks for leadership meetings and even general conference that then utter that "partaking of the sacrament on Sundays is a renewal of our baptismal covenant and cleanses us from sin" and so on, right. Then along comes Elder Neal Anderson who teaches that "Renewing our baptismal covenants is not found in the scriptures. It is not appropriate. Many of you have used it in talks. We [Church Leaders] have used it in talks. But it is not something that is used in the scriptures. And it can't be the keynote of what we say about the sacrament." I also find it interesting that Elder Anderson is referencing "dead prophets" in the scriptures to clarify truth. But my point here is that even church leaders are not always sync'd when it comes to teaching truth. He also realizes the importance of using the scriptures to clarify truth because I'm sure he realizes that the baptism of water does not have the effect of remission of sins (which happens at one's baptism of fire and the Holy Ghost) also according to the scriptures. Just trying to bring out the importance of personal revelation. Any judgment of God (final or not) is according to the light knowledge and truth we have obtained through personal revelation through the power of the Holy Ghost. Personal revelation is soooo important. I do not want my words to ever be interpreted that I think less of church leaders for being imperfect. Not at all. I love and sustain them in their personal journeys. Their journey is equally as important as my journey. God is NO respecter of persons. They are learning all the time as I am learning all the time. Within their journey they are supposed to be "leading" people to Christ and His truth (thus the term "leader") just as I am supposed to be pointing anyone to Christ and His truth. Christ is "the Leader." Man does not lead man. That's what the adversary promotes. Church leaders when really serving the Lord are "leading" people to Christ and His truth. So much so, I was really enjoying my local church leader stake president at Stake Conference a couple of weeks ago as He gave an entire talk on "seeking the face of the Lord." That it was the most important thing we could be doing. He quoted many scriptures about dedicating our lives to a personal relationship with God and to ultimately seek for His face here in the flesh. The Stake President did not tell me how and give me a checklist, but he was just "leading" me to Christ. Thus I enjoyed the experience of using the spirit to discern the truth of God and what God would have me do to come closer to Him.
  10. Thank you for illustrating my point. Church leaders do not always speak for the Lord. Every word that they speak is not the word of the Lord. Thus the importance of personal revelation. The quotes along with the written word in scripture say get the truth from God for He will never tell you something that is not true. It is the responsibility of each person to discern using the power of the Holy Ghost whether any person is speaking the words of God.
  11. I appreciate your passion. I respect your opinion. I will just leave it with these comments from some of our favorite church leaders telling us to avoid this excessive dependence upon leaders in the latter and modern day: Joseph Smith: “Because of...the apparent imperfections of men on whom God confers authority, the question is sometimes asked,—to what extent is obedience to those who hold the priesthood required? This is a very important question, and one which should be understood by all Saints. In attempting to answer this question, we would repeat, in short, what we have already written, that willing obedience to the laws of God, administered by the Priesthood, is indispensable to salvation; but we would further add, that a proper conservative to this power exists for the benefit of all, and none are required to tamely and blindly submit to a man because he has a portion of the Priesthood. We have heard men who hold the Priesthood remark, that they would do any thing they were told to do by those who presided over them, if they knew it was wrong: but such obedience as this is worse than folly to us; it is slavery in the extreme; and the man who would thus willingly degrade himself, should not claim a rank among intelligent beings, until he turns from his folly. A man of God, who seeks for the redemption of his fellows, would despise the idea of seeing another become his slave, who had an equal right with himself to the favour of God; he would rather see him stand by his side, a sworn enemy to wrong, so long as there was place found for it among men. Others, in the extreme exercise of their almighty (!) authority, have taught that such obedience was necessary, and that no matter what the Saints were told to do by their Presidents, they should do it without asking any questions. “When the Elders of Israel will so far indulge in these extreme notions of obedience, as to teach them to the people, it is generally because they have it in their hearts to do wrong themselves, and wish to pave the way to accomplish that wrong; or else because they have done wrong, and wish to use the cloak of their authority to cover it with, lest it should be discovered by their superiors, who would require an atonement at their hands.” [Priesthood," Millennial Star 14/38 (13 November 1852)] “The obligation of revelation for the individual is often referred to as an “ascent vision experience.” It remains of paramount importance to all believers to seek the Lord’s face. Brigham Young said, “What a pity it would be if we were led by one man [or men – the arm of flesh] to utter destruction! Are you afraid of this? I am more afraid that this people have so much confidence in their leaders that they will not inquire of themselves of God whether they are led by Him. I am fearful they settle down in a state of blind self-security, trusting their eternal destiny in the hands of their leaders with a reckless confidence that in itself would thwart the purposes of God in their salvation, and weaken that influence they could give to their leaders, did they know for themselves, by the revelations of Jesus, that they are led in the right way. Let every man and woman know, by the whispering of the Spirit of God to themselves, whether their leaders are walking in the path that the Lord dictates, or not. This has been my exhortation continually” (Journal of Discourses, vol. 9, pps. 149-50). “President J. Reuben Clark, Jr., warned that “the ravening wolves are amongst us from our own membership and they, more than any others, are clothed in sheep’s clothing, because they wear the habiliments of the Priesthood. … We should be careful of them.” (The Improvement Era, May 1949, p. 268.) Ezra Taft Benson: “The world largely ignores the first and great commandment–to love God–but talks a lot about loving their brother. They worship at the altar of man. Would Nephi have slain Laban if he had put the love of neighbor above the love of God? Would Abraham have taken Isaac up for a sacrifice if he had put the second commandment first? "It is from within the Church that the greatest hindrance comes. Six of the original Twelve Apostles selected by Joseph Smith were excommunicated. The Three Witnesses to the Book of Mormon left the Church. Three of Joseph Smith’s Counselors fell - one even helped plot his death. A natural question that might arise would be, that if the Lord knew in advance that these men would fall, as he undoubtedly did, why did he have his Prophet call them to such high office? The answer is: to fill the Lord’s purposes. For even the Master followed the will the will of the Father by selecting Judas. “Perhaps it is His own design that faults and weaknesses should appear in high places in order that His Saints may learn to trust in Him and not in any man or men. And this would parallel Lehi’s warning; put not your “. . . trust in the arm of flesh. . . .” (2 Nephi 4:34). What a pity it would be if we were led by one man to utter destruction! I am more afraid that this people have so much confidence in their leaders that they will not inquire of themselves of God whether they are led by Him. I am fearful they settle down in a state of blind self-security, trusting their eternal destiny in the hands of their leaders." SOURCE: Be Not Deceived, Elder Ezra Taft Benson Of the Council of the Twelve Apostles, Ezra Taft Benson, Conference Report, October 1963, p. 15-19, “Precepts of men or principles of God: Yes, it is the precepts of men versus the principles of God. The more we follow the word of God, the less we are deceived, while those who follow the wisdom of men are deceived the most. Increasingly the Latter-day Saints must choose between the reasoning of men and the revelations of God. This is a crucial choice, for we have those within the Church today who, with their worldly wisdom, are leading some of our members astray. President J. Reuben Clark, Jr., warned that "the ravening wolves are amongst us from our own membership and they, more than any others, are clothed in sheep's clothing, because they wear the habiliments of the Priesthood . . . We should be careful of them." (The Improvement Era, May 1949, p. 268.) “The Lord does not always give reasons for each commandment. Sometimes faithful members, like Adam of old, are called upon to obey an injunction of the Lord even though they do not know the reason why it was given. Those who trust in God will obey him, knowing full well that time will provide the reasons and vindicate their obedience. “The arm of flesh may not approve nor understand why God has not bestowed the priesthood on women or the seed of Cain, but God's ways are not man's ways (Isa. 55:8-9). God does not have to justify all his ways for the puny mind of man. If a man gets in tune with the Lord, he will know that God's course of action is right, even though he may not know all the reasons why. “The Prophet Joseph Smith understood this principle when he said, ". . . the curse is not yet taken off from the sons of Canaan, neither will be until it is affected by as great a power as caused it to come; and the people who interfere the least with the purposes of God in this matter, will come under the least condemnation before Him; and those who are determined to pursue a course, which shows an opposition, and a feverish restlessness against the decrees of the Lord, will learn, when perhaps it is too late for their own good, that God can do His own work, without the aid of those who are not dictated by His counsel." (Documentary History of the Church, Vol. 2, p. 438.) President George Q. Cannon once taught, “Do not, brethren, put your trust in man though he be a Bishop, an apostle or a president; if you do, they will fail you at some time or place; they will do wrong or seem to, and your support will be gone; but if we lean on God, He will NEVER fail us. When men and women depend upon GOD ALONE and trust in HIM ALONE, their faith will not be shaken if the highest in the Church should step aside.” (DW 43:322 [Mar 7, 1891]). James E. Talmage: “The same principle applies to persons and to the Church as a whole today. God has not established His Church to make of its members irresponsible automatons, nor to exact from them blind obedience. Albeit, blessed is the man who, while unable to fathom or comprehend in full the Divine purpose underlying commandment and law, has such faith as to obey. So did Adam in offering sacrifice, yet, when questioned as to the significance of his service, he answered with faith and assurance worthy the patriarch of the race: "I know not, save the Lord commanded me." [James E. Talmage, The Vitality of Mormonism, p. 42.]
  12. Wow! Not sure what church you belong to but the scriptures are the word of God. Elder Christopherson does not have more credibility than the scriptures. I was not saying in any way that my thoughts carry more weight than Elder Christopherson's. My point was that the study guide has many scriptures. A person reads the scriptures. A person can ask for the power of the Holy Ghost to reveal God's truth. This is called personal revelation. It is how each of us receives truth and light from God. It is one of many different ways to develop a relationship with God. The scriptures therefore are a means of learning and then allowing the voice of the Lord to teach. I do accept that Elder Christopherson has been called of God. I sustain him in his current calling and roles. I also believe the scriptures when it says that God is no respecter of persons. God equally loves me, you and any church leader the same. God offers a unique journey to each person. God offers the same truth or witness to me, you and any church leader. As much as I love and sustain Elder Christopherson, he is also arm of flesh. There are many quotes from church leaders about not depending on the arm of flesh and not depending on church leaders because they will fail you. If you want me to paste the quotes in, just say so. The only one that will not fail you is the Lord because he is the source of all truth. Thus pointing people to the scriptures to sponsor personal study, pondering and receiving light and truth from the Lord because he is full of truth. Answering your questions: 1) Because it increases awareness of the promise given to Adam and Eve in the garden (Moses 5:1-15). It is as if we have forgotten the promise given to them. More in depth reasoning for the study guide is laid out in the first section (pages 9-17). 2) Because the leaders of the church are speaking to such a broad audience (15+ Million members) across a spectrum diverse spiritual levels. Thus they speak to the lowest common denominator for the most part. That is not a bad thing it is just a function of practicality. Do the church leaders not tell us to have personal scripture study, "feast on them", "search" them, "learn of Christ", "pray", seek for personal revelation and truth, and more? 3) See #2