carlimac

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About all the difficulties of 2020, do you feel we’re getting enough direction from our Church leaders? Or would you prefer more? 
 

We aren’t Israelites so I don’t expect them to tell us every little thing we should be doing and thinking, for instance to wear a mask or not, to protest or not... we all have to use our best judgement. But I sense a lot of angst and infighting between church members concerning these societal issues. It might be good to get some reassurance or more specific instruction about how to handle the fall out from all this. 

 

 

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I feel right now we are getting enough direction overall, in some instances perhaps too much direction...depending on which leaders you are referring to (the Prophet and the Apostles, or are you talking more locally speaking?).

I do not see a need for them to give any great amount of direction currently.  If you listened in the past, you should have food storage to last you during the current events (or I hope so, for our fellow brothers and sisters) if resources have gotten scarce where you are at, and we also have instructionary manuals and other items that one should have for study in the home, also given in the past via instructions.

We have been given instructions for this situation in many ways already, the question is whether one was listening and heard the instructions or not, or heeded them or cast them aside before the various items hit us.

Some unexpected things occurred (toilet paper shortages for example) but overall, I think many have well sheltered the storm thus far. 

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The direction we are receiving from Church headquarters has been done very well and has been sufficient.

True, there is a lot of angst between church members regarding specific recommendations. I would say "fear" is a lot of the reason behind it. Even locally where I live, I am amazed at how different people respond and how quick people are to judge. This I feel will happen the majority of the time when events are more fuliginous leaving it open to subjective interpretation.

I personally find masks to be unhelpful. How often do I see a person touching their mask (even myself)? I have also no problem following the given counsel.

What type of reassurance are you thinking?

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11 hours ago, carlimac said:

About all the difficulties of 2020, do you feel we’re getting enough direction from our Church leaders? Or would you prefer more? 
 

We aren’t Israelites so I don’t expect them to tell us every little thing we should be doing and thinking, for instance to wear a mask or not, to protest or not... we all have to use our best judgement. But I sense a lot of angst and infighting between church members concerning these societal issues. It might be good to get some reassurance or more specific instruction about how to handle the fall out from all this. 

Sure I'd like for a little more fight and vigor, I'd like a little more defense of marriage, or traditional values.  But the leaders have already told us, they aren't going to do that.

"But in coming days, it will not be possible to survive spiritually without the guiding, directing, comforting, and constant influence of the Holy Ghost."

"Time is running out"

You ain't going be able to rely on borrowed light. That's what the leadership is directly telling the members. It's going to get a little bumpy and if you are looking to the Church to save your hide when it is bumpy, you are looking in the wrong place.  The members (especially the traditional conservative ones) have relied upon the leaders of the Church to fight their battles for them, they thought they could sit back and just have the bully pulpit of GC tell people what to do and then all they need to do is tell others "see, see right here see so-and-so GC leader said blah, so you must agree with me and if you don't  . . .gasp . . . .you're an apostate!"

When that's not how it works.  You can't rely upon the leaders of the Church to do the hard work of conversion to Christ.

So like the individual above said:

What exactly do you wish for them to do or say? We have God's Word, we have 5 volumes of Scripture. When you read, study and ponder the Scriptures, it's pretty obvious what is true and what is false . . . and you don't need some slick glossy modern "Come Follow Me" manual to do so. Just read them and study them and when you don't understand something ask God.

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12 hours ago, carlimac said:

About all the difficulties of 2020, do you feel we’re getting enough direction from our Church leaders? Or would you prefer more? 

We aren’t Israelites so I don’t expect them to tell us every little thing we should be doing and thinking, for instance to wear a mask or not, to protest or not... we all have to use our best judgement. But I sense a lot of angst and infighting between church members concerning these societal issues. It might be good to get some reassurance or more specific instruction about how to handle the fall out from all this. 

My personal feelings -- I think things have been quite clear.  I have instructions and can carry through ("go and do").  I don't need to be constantly nagged/harassed about things and I'm glad the Church hasn't done that.  Now if I could get YouTube commercials to stop nagging me...

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12 hours ago, carlimac said:

About all the difficulties of 2020, do you feel we’re getting enough direction from our Church leaders? Or would you prefer more? 

We aren’t Israelites so I don’t expect them to tell us every little thing we should be doing and thinking, for instance to wear a mask or not, to protest or not... we all have to use our best judgement. But I sense a lot of angst and infighting between church members concerning these societal issues. It might be good to get some reassurance or more specific instruction about how to handle the fall out from all this. 

I would echo @Anddenex.  What guidance are you looking for?

I think, perhaps, that it might be more "comforting" to know that there will be an end to all this stuff.  Well, if there were, would it change anything?  It will come back again later.

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37 minutes ago, BobMaster said:

Sure I'd like for a little more fight and vigor, I'd like a little more defense of marriage, or traditional values.  But the leaders have already told us, they aren't going to do that.

"But in coming days, it will not be possible to survive spiritually without the guiding, directing, comforting, and constant influence of the Holy Ghost."

"Time is running out"

You ain't going be able to rely on borrowed light. That's what the leadership is directly telling the members.

This is the crux. If they say too much how then will we learn to trust in the Spirit (God's mind, voice, and will). What I see are brethren who are more than ever teaching by principle and action to govern ourselves through the principles that have already been given.

Let us not return to a time where the people wished for a "king" who would tell them how to live, rather than the people learning for themselves through guided principles by the power of the Holy Spirit. And to be frank, this is how we end "fear." The more we have the Spirit of the Lord, the more we know it, the less we will fear because we know the voice, mind, and heart of Him who has all power and authority.

Edited by Anddenex

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14 hours ago, carlimac said:

About all the difficulties of 2020, do you feel we’re getting enough direction from our Church leaders? Or would you prefer more? 
 

We aren’t Israelites so I don’t expect them to tell us every little thing we should be doing and thinking, for instance to wear a mask or not, to protest or not... we all have to use our best judgement. But I sense a lot of angst and infighting between church members concerning these societal issues. It might be good to get some reassurance or more specific instruction about how to handle the fall out from all this. 

 

 

All the info needed to get through these hard times are found in the ensign, general conference talks, scripture, and personal revelation.

Edited by Fether

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15 hours ago, carlimac said:

About all the difficulties of 2020, do you feel we’re getting enough direction from our Church leaders?

Yes, I feel that we're getting enough direction.

15 hours ago, carlimac said:

But I sense a lot of angst and infighting between church members concerning these societal issues.

That's on them (whoever is fighting), not the church leadership.

Quote

It might be good to get some reassurance or more specific instruction about how to handle the fall out from all this. 

Plenty has been said including specific instructions on how to handle everything.   What more do you need?

https://www.churchofjesuschrist.org/search?lang=eng&query=COVID-19&highlight=true&page=1

https://www.churchofjesuschrist.org/search?lang=eng&query=racial issues&highlight=true&page=1

https://www.churchofjesuschrist.org/search?lang=eng&query=finance&highlight=true&page=1

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7 hours ago, Anddenex said:

The direction we are receiving from Church headquarters has been done very well and has been sufficient.

True, there is a lot of angst between church members regarding specific recommendations. I would say "fear" is a lot of the reason behind it. Even locally where I live, I am amazed at how different people respond and how quick people are to judge. This I feel will happen the majority of the time when events are more fuliginous leaving it open to subjective interpretation.

I personally find masks to be unhelpful. How often do I see a person touching their mask (even myself)? I have also no problem following the given counsel.

What type of reassurance are you thinking?

Maybe more concerning current racial problems. I recently saw a tweet from a Church related group and it was as all complaints about how racist the Church is. I was frankly disappointed 1) If there is racism going on, Why??? and 2) That there are people in the church that seem to be looking for racism. We are expected to forgive our trespassers- of which there were many in our history. Shouldn’t the whole race and slavery stuff in the Church’s past be forgiven, too?  I can’t think of a single reason anyone should feel we are still racist.

Edited by carlimac

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1 minute ago, carlimac said:

I can’t think of a single reason anyone should feel we are still racist.

That's because you naively ignore the political power of victimhood status.

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16 hours ago, carlimac said:

We aren’t Israelites so I don’t expect them to tell us every little thing we should be doing and thinking, for instance to wear a mask or not, to protest or not...

we all have to use our best judgement.

But I sense a lot of angst and infighting between church members concerning these societal issues. It might be good to get some reassurance or more specific instruction about how to handle the fall out from all this. 

We're supposed to use our best judgment on how to handle political issues as well.  Please understand that no political party of political position holds a monopoly on good principles.  No party holds a monopoly on good public policy or bad public policy.  We all have our opinions on which party has the preponderance of good over bad.  But the GAs have told us that if you want the Lord's endorsement of one party over the other, you'll be waiting a very long time.

As far as the protest and the riots and the defunding the police, I don't see why we need them to say any more than what they've already said over the years about the Constitution, like:

Quote

Next to being one in worshipping God, there is nothing in this world upon which the Church should be more united than in upholding and defending the Constitution of the United States.

 -- David O. McKay

and the need for civil Government (D&C 134).

The problem lies not in the lack of counsel, but that we are all looking for a "side" to take.  There is no "side" to take but the truth.  Instead, we tend to side with a side of the political isle, or with a group or with an ideology.  We shouldn't do that. 

Now, for the pirate hymn: Just watch it and you'll understand the connection.

Edited by Carborendum

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1 hour ago, carlimac said:

Maybe more concerning racial problems. I recently saw a tweet from a Church related group and it was as all complaints about how racist the Church is. I was frankly disappointed 1) If there is racism going on, Why??? and 2) That there are people in the church that seem to be looking for racism. We are expected to forgive our trespassers- of which there were many in our history. Should the whole race and slavery stuff in the church’s past be forgiven, too?  I can’t think of a single reason anyone should feel we are still racist.

I personally think what President Nelson said on June 1st was sufficient regarding all hate, prejudice, and racists action:

Quote

 

We join with many throughout this nation and around the world who are deeply saddened at recent evidences of racism and a blatant disregard for human life. We abhor the reality that some would deny others respect and the most basic of freedoms because of the color of his or her skin.

We are also saddened when these assaults on human dignity lead to escalating violence and unrest.

The Creator of us all calls on each of us to abandon attitudes of prejudice against any group of God’s children. Any of us who has prejudice toward another race needs to repent!

 

The Church group you are speaking of will one day have to realize the following verse of scripture, "But this much I can tell you, that if ye do not watch yourselves, and your thoughts, and your words, and your deeds...," as they kick against the pricks.

I would agree, I find membership complaints about "how racist the Church is" to be disappointing. I wouldn't be surprised if there is "racism" in the Church, but the Church is not racist. Reminds me of the Book of Mormon and how we were informed that the Church began to act in the pride and then the author corrects himself saying (paraphrazed), "Better said, it is not the Church but those who profess to belong to the Church that are exercising pride."

As long as their is "pride" we will continue to experience some form of disunity, which will create scenarios as described from Church related groups. Even here on Third Hour the Church can never satisfy their prejudice (which I suppose is a little ironic). Religious hobbies or political hobbies will result in what you have described with people, "looking for racism."

I would agree pertaining to the Church, sadly I am sure there are members who have experienced racism in the Church, or what they would consider racist. We can't ignore that also.

 

 

Edited by Anddenex

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2 hours ago, Anddenex said:

 

I would agree pertaining to the Church, sadly I am sure there are members who have experienced racism in the Church, or what they would consider racist. We can't ignore that also.

 

 

Perhaps another helpful message would be that to accuse others of racism, simply because you see everything through that prism, can be damaging to those you are accusing. A message about being patient with each other’s imperfections and switch up your focus if you really believe everyone is out to demean you.  There probably have been messages about this sort of thing over the years but it would be appreciated by many to hear it now, whether it’s in the form of a social media post or even an official statement. Members need to rise above this kind of mentality. And that includes a whole bunch of white skinned folks, too. Essentially, get over it and do something more Christ-like than forEVER looking for something to be offended about.

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4 hours ago, carlimac said:

 I can’t think of a single reason anyone should feel we are still racist.

It's complicated. Some people want to feel like victims because it takes away their responsibility. After all, if they aren't at fault, they can do bad things and no one can hold them accountable. Now, having said that, I've seen virtually everyone play the martyr/persecuted victim before. Christians, Jews, Atheists, African Americans, White people, LDS..We all can have our moments where we act like the world is out to get us because of what we believe or what we look like. 

I don't like to label a large group of people as "racist" because it's such a serious term. Are their racist LDS? You bet. Are there racist atheists, agnostics, Catholics, Lutherans? You bet. 

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5 hours ago, Anddenex said:

I would agree, I find membership complaints about "how racist the Church is" to be disappointing.

No, no, no.  This is the thing most people don't understand and can't seem to grasp.  The very definition of racism has changed.

Racism according to critical justice theory (which is taught in all the universities and then put into HR departments) is that racism can ONLY be a combination of power and race.  In other words, when one race has build the institutions of power in a country, that is the ONLY race that can be racist.

The Church, because it was build by white men and maintained by white man, is by very definition racist.  The United States government (Constitution, Declaration, etc.) are be definition racist because they were created by white men.  The theory claims that blacks (or other minority groups) CANNOT be racist because they didn't create the power structures.  They (the minorities) have the full ability to call names, discriminate, say hateful things targeted to a specific race (whites) and it's not racists b/c they didn't create the power structures.

It's a head I win, tails you lose ideology . . .all designed to overthrow the Western World.

And it is working just like a charm, so when you and I say the Church isn't racist-we think well we do our best to treat everyone the same and therefore we are not racist.  But that's not what the critical theory states.  Whites can only not be racists by a) admitting that they are and that they created institutions of power and b) implementing policies whereby other minorities get in line first over them. 

The only thing that would make the Church NOT racist would be to ensure that that blacks and other minorities are given priority in things like callings and positions of power.

Edited by BobMaster

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9 hours ago, Anddenex said:

This is the crux. If they say too much how then will we learn to trust in the Spirit (God's mind, voice, and will). What I see are brethren who are more than ever teaching by principle and action to govern ourselves through the principles that have already been given.

Let us not return to a time where the people wished for a "king" who would tell them how to live, rather than the people learning for themselves through guided principles by the power of the Holy Spirit. And to be frank, this is how we end "fear." The more we have the Spirit of the Lord, the more we know it, the less we will fear because we know the voice, mind, and heart of Him who has all power and authority.

Yes, except I for one would love to hear the Voice of God like in Joseph Smith's day or as spoken in the scriptures . . .but considering no one else in the Church really desires for it to happen-it won't happen.  Something about ask and ye shall receive-the body of the Church isn't asking God for it, so He's not going to give it.

So unless they are going to start actually revealing the Word of God . . .well let's just say, I don't particularly care to hear the latest and greatest tortured rational about fitting God's Word (i.e. scripture) into modern social justice warrior theory, like some blathering about how we need to listen to those who are steeped in sin and give ear to them or somehow taking the entirety of Scripture and boiling it down to one verse plucked out of context and then hammered to death as if that one verse is the only thing that matters.

Edited by BobMaster

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The following scriptures come to mind as I have read this and other recent threads.

Quote

JSH 1:10 In the midst of this war of words and tumult of opinions, I often said to myself: What is to be done? Who of all these parties are right; or, are they all wrong together? If any one of them be aright, which is it, and how shall I know it?

JSH 1:13 At length I came to the conclusion that I must either remain in adarkness and confusion, or else I must do as James directs, that is, ask of God.

In the end, I believe the two keys to: winning the day, wading through a war of words, maintaining our sanity & helping those around us will be:

1. Not seeking out contention. This also includes fault finding and disseminating criticism of other church members and our Church leaders.

Quote

3 Nephi 11:29 For verily, verily I say unto you, he that hath the spirit of acontention is not of me, but is of the bdevil, who is the father of contention, and he stirreth up the hearts of men to contend with anger, one with another.

2. Allowing our lights to shine and bring the Spirit into our lives. With the darkness around us, the contrast of the light can be even clearer to those around us.

Quote

Matthew 5:16 Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.

As we move forward I can, you can, we each can ask ourselves, "Have I taken upon me the name of Christ?" if so, do my words and actions, especially during these times reflect that?

 

Edited by NeedleinA

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12 hours ago, BobMaster said:

No, no, no.  This is the thing most people don't understand and can't seem to grasp.  The very definition of racism has changed.

Racism according to critical justice theory (which is taught in all the universities and then put into HR departments) is that racism can ONLY be a combination of power and race.  In other words, when one race has build the institutions of power in a country, that is the ONLY race that can be racist.

The Church, because it was build by white men and maintained by white man, is by very definition racist.  The United States government (Constitution, Declaration, etc.) are be definition racist because they were created by white men.  The theory claims that blacks (or other minority groups) CANNOT be racist because they didn't create the power structures.  They (the minorities) have the full ability to call names, discriminate, say hateful things targeted to a specific race (whites) and it's not racists b/c they didn't create the power structures.

It's a head I win, tails you lose ideology . . .all designed to overthrow the Western World.

And it is working just like a charm, so when you and I say the Church isn't racist-we think well we do our best to treat everyone the same and therefore we are not racist.  But that's not what the critical theory states.  Whites can only not be racists by a) admitting that they are and that they created institutions of power and b) implementing policies whereby other minorities get in line first over them. 

The only thing that would make the Church NOT racist would be to ensure that that blacks and other minorities are given priority in things like callings and positions of power.

The situation is similar when it comes to the lgbtqxyz ilk.  Simply allowing them to practice in a manner they choose is not enough.  You must also think and feel the same way they do, or else you are actually a bigot who is discriminating against them.  You must embrace their ideals.  As Giddianhi said in 3 Nephi: "Therefore I write unto you, desiring that ye would yield up unto this my people,...Or in other words, yield yourselves up unto us, and unite with us and become acquainted with our secret works, and become our brethren that ye may be like unto us...I am the governor of this the secret society of Gadianton; which society and the works thereof I know to be good."

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12 hours ago, BobMaster said:

 . .but considering no one else in the Church really desires for it to happen

What is the basis of this statement?

12 hours ago, BobMaster said:

-it won't happen. 

Who, besides you, says it doesn't happen?

Edited by Carborendum

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10 hours ago, NeedleinA said:

The following scriptures come to mind as I have read this and other recent threads.

In the end, I believe the two keys to: winning the day, wading through a war of words, maintaining our sanity & helping those around us will be:

1. Not seeking out contention. This also includes fault finding and disseminating criticism of other church members and our Church leaders.

2. Allowing our lights to shine and bring the Spirit into our lives. With the darkness around us, the contrast of the light can be even clearer to those around us.

As we move forward I can, you can, we each can ask ourselves, "Have I taken upon me the name of Christ?" if so, do my words and actions, especially during these times reflect that?

 

Not seeking out "contention".  The scripture states "with anger".  

If you believe in something and believe that your way is the way that God wants, you will have to contend.  If you don't contend, then you don't have the conviction strong enough for your beliefs.  You can't just be someone who says "leave me alone"-as much as I'd like to do that.  You pick a side to fight on and then you fight, but not with anger.

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40 minutes ago, Carborendum said:

What is the basis of this statement?

Who, besides you, says it doesn't happen?

See the other thread that this one came from.  I pointed out very clearly and very plainly that WW never presented God's Voice or His Word on the matter to the body of the Saints. The same thing happened in '78 and the same thing will happen in the future when the Church issues Manifesto 3/4 either allowing women to the Priesthood or homosexual sealing in the Temple.

The claim of a revelation is not the same thing as the Revelation itself; like I said I for one long to hear God's Voice as spoken like in Joseph Smith's days-but that won't happen because very, very few in the Church want it to happen.  They seem to believe that what is happening now is the same thing as what happened then and it's clearly not.

The facts are plain, no open visions, nor Voice of God has been communicated and accepted to the Saints as a whole for over 100 years (1918 to be exact).  In today's world we have Manifestos and Proclamations-those are just mere public assertions and declarations but not the Voice of God.

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38 minutes ago, BobMaster said:

See the other thread that this one came from. 

OK, I've now read it.

I don't see anyone saying we "don't want it."   I read people saying that we're going to accept that this level of revelation is apparently what the Lord is offering us right now.  The disagreement seems to center on the difference between "the Voice of the Lord" being the only true type of revelation vs.  all different levels of revelation being "revelation."   i didn't read anyone say "NO, we don't need no stinking Voice of..."

So, I still wonder where you got the impression that "no one else wants it".

38 minutes ago, BobMaster said:

I pointed out very clearly and very plainly that WW never presented God's Voice or His Word on the matter to the body of the Saints. The same thing happened in '78 and the same thing will happen in the future when the Church issues Manifesto 3/4 either allowing women to the Priesthood or homosexual sealing in the Temple.

The claim of a revelation is not the same thing as the Revelation itself; like I said I for one long to hear God's Voice as spoken like in Joseph Smith's days-but that won't happen because very, very few in the Church want it to happen.

OK, so you've softened it to "very, very few."  I understand using hyperbole.  OK, I'll give you that much.  But I still think it is incorrect to say "very, very few want it to happen."  I think many, many in the Church would LOVE for it to happen.  But many are willing to accept the will of the Lord, that we get the prophet's words as the interpretation of the Voice of the Lord.

"By mine own voice or the voice of my servants...."

38 minutes ago, BobMaster said:

They seem to believe that what is happening now is the same thing as what happened then and it's clearly not.

The facts are plain, no open visions, nor Voice of God has been communicated and accepted to the Saints as a whole for over 100 years (1918 to be exact).  In today's world we have Manifestos and Proclamations-those are just mere public assertions and declarations but not the Voice of God.

...that you know of.

Now, I have to make an interpretation (hopefully in your favor).  In so doing, I would also add an additional implication of that interpretation.

I understand your statement now to mean:  We haven't heard "The VOTL" from the prophet for the whole Church.  I hope you understand that I was talking about individual revelation.

With communications the way they are and with the enemies of the Church misconstruing every word, I would tend to think that the Lord doesn't want his direct words revealed to the public.  

Quote

...Show them not unto any except them that believe...

 -- Moses 1:42

And look at what the world has done to the Pearl of Great Price.  What would the world do with every word of the Lord, if it were repeated verbatim?

Take a look at the news and how they split every hair they can to their political rivals.  Look at how even members of the Church debate fine line differences between the explicit words that are already revealed (both ancient and modern).

Instead, we've been told to seek understanding of the guidance that the Prophet gives us through confirmation of the Holy Ghost.  And many, MANY hear the Voice of the Lord.  And I mean that in the most literal sense.  But we have been advised to not share such things unless the Spirit encourages us to do so.  Therefore, you may not have heard of many of these experiences.  Or if you did, you may have dismissed them as some vain imaginings of an uninformed individual.

The Lord wants us to have a direct line with him.  The function of the Prophet is to point in the right direction.

https://www.churchofjesuschrist.org/study/general-conference/1989/10/look-to-the-savior?lang=eng

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1 minute ago, Carborendum said:

So, I still wonder where you got the impression that "no one else wants it".

There must have been some kind of worldwide general membership survey that we both missed out on?

1 hour ago, BobMaster said:

Not seeking out "contention". 

I fear you missed the entire point. The difference is "seeking" contention.

1 hour ago, BobMaster said:

The facts are plain, no open visions, nor Voice of God has been communicated and accepted to the Saints as a whole for over 100 years (1918 to be exact).  In today's world we have Manifestos and Proclamations-those are just mere public assertions and declarations but not the Voice of God.

^^^ This.  In our online world today, seeking contention can easily look like joining a religious forum then asserting to its membership that the Voice of God is not with their leaders.
This path, this thought process, if followed can quickly take it's traveler to a place outside of harmony with the gospel.

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1 hour ago, BobMaster said:

See the other thread that this one came from.  I pointed out very clearly and very plainly that WW never presented God's Voice or His Word on the matter to the body of the Saints. The same thing happened in '78 and the same thing will happen in the future when the Church issues Manifesto 3/4 either allowing women to the Priesthood or homosexual sealing in the Temple.

The claim of a revelation is not the same thing as the Revelation itself; like I said I for one long to hear God's Voice as spoken like in Joseph Smith's days-but that won't happen because very, very few in the Church want it to happen.  They seem to believe that what is happening now is the same thing as what happened then and it's clearly not.

The facts are plain, no open visions, nor Voice of God has been communicated and accepted to the Saints as a whole for over 100 years (1918 to be exact).  In today's world we have Manifestos and Proclamations-those are just mere public assertions and declarations but not the Voice of God.

Perhaps my comment is nitpicking, but the early leaders of the church had to be very bold in their speaking so that the people would know that the Lord's prophet was communicating directly with Him. No one had done this before in thousands of years...so it needed to be made very clear to them that a prophet was upon the earth once more.

The following statement was made by Russel M. Nelson earlier this year. "My dear friends, today I wish to share with you a special invitation. There are a few wonderful occasions in the scriptures when our Heavenly Father personally introduced His Beloved Son, Jesus Christ, with a specific charge to “Hear Him!”

Today, this most-important invitation from our loving Heavenly Father to listen to the voice of the Lord and to follow His teachings is extended to us.

In this special year as we commemorate the 200th anniversary of the First Vision, I invite you to think deeply and often about this key question: How do you hear Him?"

The following is also written as part of the manifesto you talk about above as given by Wilford Woodruf. He did in fact present the will/word of the Lord: "The Lord will never permit me or any other man who stands as President of this Church to lead you astray. It is not in the programme. It is not in the mind of God. If I were to attempt that, the Lord would remove me out of my place,...The Lord showed me by vision and revelation exactly what would take place if we did not stop this practice....But I want to say this...the God of heaven commanded me to do what I did do; and when the hour came that I was commanded to do that, it was all clear to me. I went before the Lord, and I wrote what the Lord told me to write. …"

Now, there are many ways that anyone can hear the Lord. His voice doesn't have to be vocal to us, or to His prophet. However, it is folly to think that just because he doesn't tell us he heard the Lord's voice that he has not. There is no reason that the prophet must say, every time a new policy or practice is introduced, that he heard it from the mouth of the Lord Himself. Who else would it have come from...it is His church after all. As Carborendum referenced above "By mine own voice or the voice of my servants...." There is no reason the prophet or apostles must declare unto us any and all open visions they see. Now again, perhaps my comment is nitpicking, but claiming that things our prophets have and are saying and doing are mere "assertions" or "declarations" places you on very shaky ground. Have more faith. Just because people don't act or speak in a manner that you expect, or doesn't fit your definition of ideal doesn't mean that the revelation given is any different. The Lord and his prophet are deliberate in what they do.

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