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Fether

Speak when NOT moved upon by the Holy Ghost

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The only thing I would say is that the scriptures are plain and clear with regards to the Lord's servants and His Church. Laman and Lemuel in comparison to Nephi and Sam are perfect examples of how to handle and how not to handle. That's just one example from scripture, there are plenty more.

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10 hours ago, Fether said:

So you believe that in 2015, God said “It is my will for you to require children of LGBTQ parents to receive permission from the prophet to be baptized” and then in 2019, God said “It is my will to require children of LGBTQ parents to receive permission from the prophet to be baptized “It is my will for you to not require children of LGBTQ parents to receive permission from the prophet to be baptized”?

Yes.

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12 hours ago, estradling75 said:

While I can't say for sure why the Lord changed commands on LGBTQ in the space of a few years... I do trust that it was him doing so... and he had very good reasons.

 

2 hours ago, laronius said:

Yes.

While I completely disagree … I can respect the view and understand why you think this

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I believe the best understanding of this thread comes to us through the Book of Isaiah - which I find echoed in other scripture.  That is that covenant Israel will step outside their protective covenants with G-d and be scattered.  But there will remain some that given the opportunity will return to renew their covenants.  The opportunity to renew will come through the Gentiles.  

There will always be some that will reject to covenant with G-d.  Anciently they were referred to infidels - which also meant under bondage to Satan.  I have always believed that to the degree someone turns from G-d and his covenants they will submit themselves to the bondage of Satan.  This can start with little things like the Word of Wisdom and blossom in deep sexual perversions among other unG-dly things.

Our primary job in these last days is to leave the comfort of the flock in search of that one sheep of G-d most lost in the wilderness of whatever perversions (including sexual) and bring back each and every lost soul that will.  Perhaps there will be more lost sheep restored in the spirit world but we are commanded to begin such work here and now.

I see changes in the church according to the times to "lengthen our stride".  Perhaps the changes we currently see and experience will be the last.  When I say this - I say it not as the last chance for those sheep that have strayed but as the last chance for those of us that would be shepherds in this life.  

 

The Traveler

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I made time this weekend to listen to some of Jim Bennett's interview that you sent me. While I really enjoyed Bennett's approach to the issues he disccussed, I'm not sure it all fully resolves the question(s) posed in the OP.

On 6/25/2021 at 3:13 PM, Fether said:

I’m stuck on the question of how do we differentiate between a blacks and priesthood policy and a “you shouldn’t have a king” situation.

I find it interesting, for example, that Bennett does not differentiate between these two situation. On the contrary, he claims that they are the same situation. to quote Bennet

Quote

we have no record of any revelation denying the priesthood to people of African descent. Instead, we have Brigham Young perpetuating the folk doctrine of the 19th Century which originated out of the Church that black people bear the curse of Cain. ... At the time, all the nations, even the oppressed ones, believed that races were part of a hierarchy of greater and lesser humans, and intermarriage was an unspeakable horror. How hard would it be to believe that on this issue, that the Church, in an echo of Israel of old, wanted to be “like all the nations?” .. Why did it endure for 125 years? Sadly, because it likely didn’t occur to anyone that there was anything wrong with it, as it was consistent with the racist mores of the time. I don’t think any church leaders bothered to question it for at least a century. And by the time they did, it’s not surprising that the answer was “the Lord will not hear you in that day,” the same as it was to ancient Israel. President McKay is the first on record to challenge it, but given that he was also a segregationist, it seems unlikely that he would be willing to accept an answer that would include an interracial couple being sealed in the temple. It wasn’t until Spencer W. Kimball came along that the prayers were heard and answered, because he was willing to accept the answer without qualifications. (About page 210 of his "Reply to the CES letter" document

https://canonizer.com/files/reply.pdf linked)

Browsing Bennett's blog, I found that he also clearly asserts that " I knew, as well as I knew anything, that this policy was wrong." (Edit to clarify -- referring to the 2015 LGBT policy). During the podcast interview, he talked some about his views on LGBT issues, and one thing he said repeatedly was that, in his opinion, our current stance on LGBT issues is "unsustainable". When Dehlin tried to bait him into making statements of exactly where he thinks we are wrong and what he believes is really true, he dodged the efforts to pin him down on something, but clearly he believes (and is willing to state publicly) that he disagrees with something(s) about the the Church's stances on LGBT issues.

Bennett's opinion runs contrary to many opinions -- including leaders. Somewhere in my reading I encountered another document (Millet, I believe it was this time) where then Elder Oaks said

Quote

It’s not the pattern of the Lord to give reasons. We can put reason to revelation. We can put reasons to commandments. When we do we’re on our own. Some people put reasons to the one we’re talking about here, and they turned out to be spectacularly wrong. There is a lesson in that. The lesson I’ve drawn from that [is that] I decided a long time ago that I had faith in the command and I had no faith in the reasons that had been suggested for it. (In the further illustrations section of this document:

https://rsc.byu.edu/vol-4-no-3-2003/what-our-doctrine)

So, I guess tying this back to the OP -- is it appropriate for Bennett to publicly express these disagreements with the Church and its leadership? One thing Bennett said in his interview was that he has been surprised at times how many conservative members of the Church respond to a blog post or opinion of his with some kind of "you ought to leave the Church." It seems that some who read his stuff don't think his opinions are appropriate.

I notice that much of our discussion has used the word "protest". Is the difference for Bennett (if Bennett's expressions of disagreement are appropriate) that he is "disagreeing" and not "protesting"? Is there a difference between public disagreement and public protest?

Ultimately, I stand by what I said in my first response. As much as I might like Bennett's views and the way he approaches disagreement with the Church and its leaders, I find myself unconvinced that his approach is something the Church officially sanctions and endorses. I still doubt that there is a satisfactory answer to what should we do with disagreements. At times, I sensed that Bennett was uncomfortable with his position relative to the Church's position, just as I find myself uncomfortable relative to the Church's position. It still sometimes seems like this question is as much or more about how to sit with that discomfort rather than trying to find resolution.

 

Edited by MrShorty

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On 6/25/2021 at 10:23 AM, Fether said:

I want to hear your thoughts on the questions below. I don't necessarily care if you answer every individual one or not, just want to hear your thoughts.

What is our responsibility and what is the appropriate response to policies or statements made by the church that we may disagree with? Is the church to be our source of truth and we are to wait on them for further revelation on important church/worldwide matters? Are those that protested the priesthood ban peacefully to be seen as doing the right thing, the wrong thing, or an appropriate thing to do when feeling like the church made a misstep? Same question for those that opposed the 2015 LGBTQ policy? What about the LGBTQ ban on temple sealings? If it isn't appropriate to protest these matters, do you believe revelation would have been sought on these matters had there been on concern for them? Jim Bennett once said that we don't receive revelation until we ask the question, is that accurate in the cases of the policies above? If no one was protesting, would the questions have ever been asked? 

What is our responsibility and what is the appropriate response to policies or statements made by the church that we may disagree with?

The first disagreement from scripture, that we are aware of, is that of Satan. Lucifer knew better than anyone else, even the Father, as to how the plan should work. The tactics the Adversary used then are the same tactics being used now against the Church. What tactics were used by Satan:

1) Sophistry
2) Slander
3) Pride. I know better. My way or the highway. My way is right. Your way is wrong. I feel really really strong about this.
4) Force
5) Gathering of public opinion and turning others away from the truth

Our responsibility is to be like Christ. The individuals who "fight" against the Church, similar to Satan, would also fight against Christ -- if he were leading the Church now -- which is the greatest of all ironies as those people profess they are following -- the truth (their own truth)! We can disagree while moving forward in unity. This is spoken plainly and clearly in our scriptures.

Is the church to be our source of truth and we are to wait on them for further revelation on important church/worldwide matters?

The Church isn't the "source" of truth. The Holy Spirit and Christ (who is the way, the truth, and the life) are the source of truth. The Church is the Lord's kingdom upon the earth. We can learn all we want. The Lord can reveal as much truth as we are willing and able to receive; although, we don't have the permission to reveal any truth that is not yet known. If the Lord wants something done with his Church he will reveal his will to his servants the prophets. The Lord will not go to some lay member and reveal his will to them (although we can learn ahead of time changes which are to come) pertaining to his Church, his kingdom. This is spoken plainly and clearly in scripture.

Are those that protested the priesthood ban peacefully to be seen as doing the right thing, the wrong thing, or an appropriate thing to do when feeling like the church made a misstep? Same question for those that opposed the 2015 LGBTQ policy? What about the LGBTQ ban on temple sealings?

What do you mean by peaceably? If they did anything similar to Satan, and his rebellion, then obviously they did the wrong thing no matter how accurate or correct their protest may be. If they simply said, "I don't agree with this, and I look forward to the day of change," and happily served the Lord and his Church -- how is there anything wrong with this?

My mission president was the bishop over a ward when the announcement came to the Church in 1978. These were faithful brethren who peaceably disagreed and hoped for a change. Their patriarchal blessings talked about the change to come. They served faithfully. They loved their fellowmen. They humbly and patiently waited for the hand of the Lord to be revealed. They weren't like the adversary (and our modern day antagonists: John Dehlin, Jeremy Runnells, Kate Kelly, etc...) who used slander, sophistry, pride, force, nor gathering of public opinion (turning others away from the truth). What better example could their be of what it means to be like Christ, especially when the policy directly affected them?

I disagreed with the Church's decision to continue with Scouts (after the Scouts decision), but that didn't stop me from fulfilling my priesthood duties. I didn't create my own site and try to draw attention to myself and "my" desires. I didn't slander. I did have questions for sure. I'm pretty sure my disagreement (public and private) didn't hurt anyone's testimony.

These things are spoken plainly and clearly in scripture.

If it isn't appropriate to protest these matters, do you believe revelation would have been sought on these matters had there been on concern for them?

Was it appropriate for people to protest "The Law of Moses" when it was first introduced by Moses? How did the Lord respond to those who protested the will of the Lord to Moses? In some ways it would be nice if the Lord treated these questions in the same manner, and in more ways I am glad he does not. But surely, the way the Lord initially dealt with "protest" sure made it very clear on the Lord's stance and how he felt about Moses and all of Moses's weaknesses.

Are their policies that can be brought into question, and are their truths that shouldn't be brought into question (because they are simply true)? Would it have mattered to our Father in heaven, if more questions and concerns were brought up about his plan? No, because it is true. Policies can change, doctrinal truths do not (i.e. agency and its importance, who Christ is and how he is the only name under heaven by which we can be saved, gender being an essential characteristic). No matter the protest. No matter the disagreement. No matter the questions, somethings won't change, and those who continue their protests, their questions, their disagreements (in these matters) are only fulfilling the will of Satan -- desiring the eternal misery of others because he himself is also miserable.

Questions regarding the priesthood would have eventually ended without the protest and questions. I am a little different though, in thought, because I don't believe -- personally -- if Joseph Smith wasn't martyred that a priesthood ban would have been given.

The great aspect of this is that these things -- by examples -- are clearly and plainly taught in scripture. We already know the answers if we are carefully studying the revealed word -- both modern and past.

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On 6/28/2021 at 8:52 AM, MrShorty said:

 

I find it interesting, for example, that Bennett does not differentiate between these two situation. On the contrary, he claims that they are the same situation. to quote Bennet

Quote

we have no record of any revelation denying the priesthood to people of African descent. [1] Instead, we have Brigham Young perpetuating the folk doctrine of the 19th Century which originated out of the Church that black people bear the curse of Cain. ... [2] At the time, all the nations, even the oppressed ones, believed that races were part of a hierarchy of greater and lesser humans, and intermarriage was an unspeakable horror. How hard would it be to believe that on this issue, that the Church, in an echo of Israel of old, wanted to be “like all the nations?” .. Why did it endure for 125 years? [3] Sadly, because it likely didn’t occur to anyone that there was anything wrong with it, as it was consistent with the racist mores of the time. I don’t think any church leaders bothered to question it for at least a century. [4] And by the time they did, it’s not surprising that the answer was “the Lord will not hear you in that day,” the same as it was to ancient Israel. President McKay is the first on record to challenge it, but given that he was also a segregationist, it seems unlikely that he would be willing to accept an answer that would include an interracial couple being sealed in the temple. It wasn’t until Spencer W. Kimball came along that the prayers were heard and answered, because he was willing to accept the answer without qualifications. (About page 210 of his "Reply to the CES letter" document

https://canonizer.com/files/reply.pdf linked)

 

I don't mean to become a one-trick pony here, or to engage in too much of a threadjack.  But Bennett is--if not bold-faced lying--at least sorely mistaken on several historical points; and we don't defend Mormonism effectively by perpetuating falsehoods about it.  To respond to a few of Bennett's allegations:

1)  This is a half-truth.  We don't have a transcript of the revelation (e.g. D&C 76), or a roughly-contemporaneous announcement that a revelation had been received (e.g. OD-2).  But Young himself openly and explicitly attributed the ban to revelation.  

2)  This is a bait-and-switch.  Young was initially OK with early priesthood ordinations of black men (including one who was married to a white woman at the time Young interacted with him), indicating that the contemporaneous attitudes regarding black people and/or revulsion at the prospect of miscegination did not dictate Young's thinking in the matter.  I believe historian Paul Reeve has laid out that Young's thought process was an outgrowth of his understanding about how the priesthood, the temple sealing, continuation of seed, and the patriarchal order were interconnected; resulting in Young's conclusion that Cain could not exceed Abel in "glory" or priesthood or righteous seed by having murdered Abel before Abel had a chance to have posterity.   This may or may not have been a doctrinally sound rationale (I rather think that it wasn't), but the *only* degree to which the attitudes Bennett cites play into this, is to the extent that 19th century society viewed blacks as being literal descendants of Cain.  

3)  It's just plain untrue to suggest that no one in LDS leadership wrestled with, or even openly opposed, the ban.  Orson Pratt had issues with it in Young's own lifetime; so did one of the Snows (offhand, I don't recall if it was Lorenzo or Erastus).  Repeated Church statements on the issue in the early 20th century (which simultaneously affirmed the policy and rejected a number of folk explanations therefor) indicate that it had occurred to many, many people that there was something--if not "wrong", at least "troubling", about the policy.  

4)  What a filthy, filthy smear against McKay.  Again:  You can't effectively defend Mormonism by making up crap about it or about its leaders.  (And, @MrShorty, I don't mean to suggest that you are originating or deliberately perpetuating these falsehoods; it's just that Bennett's stuff happened to be in your post.)

Quote

From Prince and Wright, "David O. McKay and the Rise of Modern Mormonism", 103-104:

In the years since 1978, many in the church have supposed that Kimball received the revelation because he asked the Lord, whereas his predecessors, including McKay, did not ask.  This perception was reinforced by McKay's discretion in discussing the issue with only his closest associates.  Indeed, as is apparent from the flurry of activity in late 1969, he declined to discuss parts of it even with fellow General Authorities, for reasons that he never made apparent either publicly or privately.  Yet in the decades following his death, it has gradually become apparent that he wrestled with the subject for years and years, making it a matter of intense prayer on numerous occasions.

His earliest inquiry, as far as we have record, was referred to earlier in this chapter and occurred in 1954, shortly after his return from South Africa.  Other inquiries followed, though generally the dates are not known.  On one occasion his daughter-in-law, Mildred Calderwood McKay, who served on the general board of the Primary, the church auxiliary for children, expressed her anguish that black male children, who commingled with white children during their Primary years (through age twelve), were excluded from the Aaronic Priesthood when they turned twelve.  "Can't they be ordained also?" she asked.  He replied sadly, "No."  "Then I think it is time for a new revelation."  He answered, "So do I."

Marion D. Hanks, a General Authority called by McKay in 1953, spoke with McKay in the late 1960s prior to traveling to Vietnam to visit LDS servicemen.  Hanks related an incident from a prior trip to Vietnam, in which he had comforted a wounded black LDS soldier.  As he told the story, McKay began to weep.  Referring to the priesthood ban, McKay said, "I have prayed and prayed and prayed, but there has been no answer."

Lola Gygi Timmins, a secretary in McKay's office from 1960 to 1968, recalled a day when he returned from a meeting with the First Presidency and Quorum of the Twelve in the Temple.  The subject had come up in several such meetings; and obviously venting some private feelings, he told secretaries in his reception room that he had inquired of the Lord several times on the matter, and that the answer was, "Not yet."

But the most remarkable account came from Richard Jackson, an architect who served in the Church Building Department from 1968 through the time of McKay's death in 1970:

I remember one day that President McKay came into the office.  We could see that he was very much distressed.  He said, "I've had it!  I'm not going to do it again!"  Somebody said, "What?"  He said, "Well, I'm badgered constantly about giving the priesthood to the Negro.  I've inquired of the Lord repeatedly.  The last time I did it was late last night.  I was told, with no discussion, not to bring the subject up with the Lord again; that the time will come, but it will not be my time, and to leave the subject alone."  We were all, of course, a little dumbstruck.  I don't think it has ever been written that that happened . . . . I've never told anybody about that.  I can still see him coming in with a bit of a distraught appearance, which was unusual for President McKay.  He always appeared as if he had everything under control.  

Prince elsewhere talks about numerous instances where McKay clarified that the ban was a temporal policy rather than an immutable doctrine, that he insisted it would one day change, and that he interpreted it very narrowly so as to allow the ordination of other people of color including Fijans, Egyptians, and Australian aborigines; he also lamented the ban's existence as an impediment to the success of the Nigerian mission.  To suggest that McKay wouldn't have been willing to lift the ban if he felt he had authorization, is frankly silly.

 

Edited by Just_A_Guy

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7 minutes ago, Just_A_Guy said:

[quoting someone else] "Cain could not usurp Abel's priesthood privileges by having denied Abel a posterity (through murder) while himself having a posterity that could get glory through the priesthood."

Who says Abel has no living descendants? I assume that by this point, he is a father of all living people. Or are we to assume that Abel had neither wife nor children, just because such are not explicitly mentioned? I assume the opposite.

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9 minutes ago, Just_A_Guy said:

You can't effectively defend Mormonism by making up crap about it or about its leaders.

This should be read over the pulpit at sacrament meetings worldwide under the imprimatur of the First Presidency.

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5 minutes ago, Vort said:

Who says Abel has no living descendants? I assume that by this point, he is a father of all living people. Or are we to assume that Abel had neither wife nor children, just because such are not explicitly mentioned? I assume the opposite.

I believe President Young seems to have thought that Abel died childless, though I don't have time to ferret out the quotes.  Moses 6:2 seems to suggest that Adam viewed Seth as a sort of replacement for the slain Abel, which would be a peculiar position to take if Abel had left surviving children.  

Edited by Just_A_Guy

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12 minutes ago, Just_A_Guy said:

I believe President Young seems to have thought that Abel died childless, though I don't have time to ferret out the quotes.  Moses 6:2 seems to suggest that Adam viewed Seth as a sort of replacement for the slain Abel, which would be a peculiar position to take if Abel had left surviving children.  

For @Vort, from Journal of Discourses  2:136:

We have this illustrated in the account of Cain and Abel. Cain conversed with his God every day, and knew all about the plan of creating this earth, for his father told him. But, for the want of humility, and through jealousy, and an anxiety to possess the kingdom, and to have the whole of it under his own control, and not allow anybody else the right to say one word, what did he do? He killed his brother. The Lord put a mark on him; and there are some of his children in this room. When all the other children of Adam have had the privilege of receiving the Priesthood, and of coming into the kingdom of God, and of being redeemed from the four quarters of the earth, and have received their resurrection from the dead, then it will be time enough to remove the curse from Cain and his posterity. He deprived his brother of the privilege of pursuing his journey through life, and of extending his kingdom by multiplying upon the earth; and because he did this, he is the last to share the joys of the kingdom of God.

Edited by Just_A_Guy

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51 minutes ago, Just_A_Guy said:

I believe President Young seems to have thought that Abel died childless, though I don't have time to ferret out the quotes.  Moses 6:2 seems to suggest that Adam viewed Seth as a sort of replacement for the slain Abel, which would be a peculiar position to take if Abel had left surviving children.  

Not at all.  Consider the Law of Moses stated that when a man died, any widows or orphans would become the responsibility of the brother (or nearest kinsman) to care for.  

If we assume there were only the two of them at first:

  • Cain was cast out.
  • Abel was dead.
  • Seth came along and would have had to (eventually) take care of his brother's family.

But I think we'd need to take a look at the timeline to see if this is a plausible explanation. Age gaps and all.  I don't believe the Bible states when Abel was born or killed.  So, I have no idea.

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34 minutes ago, Carborendum said:

Not at all.  Consider the Law of Moses stated that when a man died, any widows or orphans would become the responsibility of the brother (or nearest kinsman) to care for.  

If we assume there were only the two of them at first:

  • Cain was cast out.
  • Abel was dead.
  • Seth came along and would have had to (eventually) take care of his brother's family.

But I think we'd need to take a look at the timeline to see if this is a plausible explanation. Age gaps and all.  I don't believe the Bible states when Abel was born or killed.  So, I have no idea.

Just to make things even more fun:  to what degree was levitate marriage practiced by the patriarchs before the implementation of Mosaic law?

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On 6/25/2021 at 12:23 PM, Fether said:

This is probably a similar thread as the one on loving your neighbor, I am mostly just seeking to further understand this relationship between personal revelation, direction from the church, God's will, and social movement against stances of the church.

A couple of events and references for this post. None of these are complaints or critiques. I am just trying to state events as they happened, and use the events to preface my question. If you feel like I misrepresented the events or the references in any way, feel free to call me out.


Blacks and the Priesthood:
- Brigham Young introducing policies that barred people of color from the priesthood
- Some members rejecting this policy as being from God and protesting the church leaders to change it in ways they saw fit
- Some members accepting the policy as being from God and rebuking the protestors
- Bruce R McConkie famously saying blacks will never have the priesthood
- Church Policy changing
- Bruce R McConkie apologizing and saying "we were acting on limited light" and that God has spoken more to us.

2015 Policy barring children of LGBTQ from being baptized
- Church came out and announced children of LGBTQ could not be baptized before they are 18
- Many members saw what the church was attempting to do and appreciated it and received a spiritual witness that it was appropriate
- Many other members had serious problems with it and had spiritual experiences confirming their concerns and protested it in ways they saw fit
- The church came out later and reversed the policy

Non-traditional LGBTQ Couple are not to be sealed in the temple (Just a reference to a policy, I don't disagree with it, just using it as an example of a policy that is still in force that some take issue with)
- Family Proclamation states marriage is between a man and a woman and gender is an eternal principle
- Many have had spiritual experiences that confirm these teachings and they uphold them as being from God
- Many have had spiritual experiences that confirm to them that these are not from God and they protest it in the way they see fit
- Nothing has changed


I want to hear your thoughts on the questions below. I don't necessarily care if you answer every individual one or not, just want to hear your thoughts.

What is our responsibility and what is the appropriate response to policies or statements made by the church that we may disagree with? Is the church to be our source of truth and we are to wait on them for further revelation on important church/worldwide matters? Are those that protested the priesthood ban peacefully to be seen as doing the right thing, the wrong thing, or an appropriate thing to do when feeling like the church made a misstep? Same question for those that opposed the 2015 LGBTQ policy? What about the LGBTQ ban on temple sealings? If it isn't appropriate to protest these matters, do you believe revelation would have been sought on these matters had there been on concern for them? Jim Bennett once said that we don't receive revelation until we ask the question, is that accurate in the cases of the policies above? If no one was protesting, would the questions have ever been asked? 

I think 3 Nephi 11: 28-30 should guide our treatment form anything we receive by the Holy Ghost (D&C 84:54) which we understand to contradict the policies and teachings of the Church. A protest is different than a question.

It is good to remember that the Lord did not chastise the brother of Jared for not knowing that He should take upon Himself flesh and blood -- it simply was not within the scope of that gospel dispensation (and the brother of Jared was not to share his vision until after this doctrine had been established in another dispensation).

The spirit of council participation is a good pattern to follow (D&C 88). I count public discourse to be a type of council, broadly speaking. A protest is different than a question or an alternate opinion.

I personally think revelation was sought on these things for much longer than the Church is given credit for, and the Brethren are acting in good faith with the light they have been given. Sometimes the question isn't answered, answered right away, or answered in the way expected or desired. A protest is different than a question, an alternate opinion or accepting the timing of the Lord.

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4 hours ago, Just_A_Guy said:

Just to make things even more fun:  to what degree was levitate marriage practiced by the patriarchs before the implementation of Mosaic law?

It is my opinion that a lot of the ideas of the Mosaic Law were "around" in tribes here or there.  But it wasn't "codified" until Moses.  But people held to certain traditions and some practices because "it was the right thing to do at the time."

Today, if someone (a widower) were to marry his late brothers surviving wife, it may seem kinda weird.  But if you think about it, absent the previous marriages, they should be fair game.  It just seems weird to some people.

Considering that by necessity all of Adam and Eve's children were in incestuous relationships, they wouldn't have had the same hang ups.  Yes, there's more to it than that.  But it set up a societal mentality.

It wouldn't have been weird for a younger brother to then marry his widowed sister (and sister-in-law).  If that tradition kept up throughout the Patriarchal and Abrahamic dispensations, it would have just made sense to include it in the Law of Moses.

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On 6/25/2021 at 4:13 PM, Fether said:

We knew that this policy created concern and confusion for some and heartache for others. That grieved us. Whenever the sons and daughters of God weep—for whatever reasons—we weep. So our supplications to the Lord continued.

This has nothing to do with protests.  Words mean something:

Quote

to give manifest expression to objection or disapproval; remonstrate.

1) Are we supposed to object to or express disapproval of an official act of the Apostles?  No.
2) Can we express the fact that it is difficult and is causing some stress that they may not be aware of? Yes.

The first is putting ourselves and our needs above that which we hear from the Apostles.

The second is recognizing our place and asking for relief.

The first is Satan's plan to have it his way or the highway.

The second is praying in humility.

Quote

O my Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me: nevertheless not as I will, but as thou wilt.

Edited by Carborendum

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@Just_A_Guy I kind of agree that we want to be careful not to follow the tangent too far, but it also seems to me that the tangent is potentially a case study for the question in the OP. I don't know how best to approach this, but maybe a couple of points.

Re: 1) It's true that Pres. Young believed the ban was the result of revelation. Bennett disagrees. As it relates to me, I frequently ask myself whether or not it is possible for prophets and apostles to mistakenly call something a revelation when it is not a revelation. As it relates to the OP, when one disagrees with a prophets assertion that something is a revelation, is it appropriate to publicly express that opinion as Bennett does here? I could say more, but I don't want to bog down in the tangent.

In the podcast interview, Bennett mentions that a ward member approached him in response to something he had published (not sure if it was in this document or in relation to something else on his blog) and suggested that he might be in troubled waters and should speak to leadership. He approached a councilor in his stake presidency (knew him from serving in a bishopric together?) and asked him. Reportedly, this member of the SP said that Bennett was trying to defend the Church, so he saw no reason for Bennett to back off from his writing. Whether or not we agree with Bennett's positions, Bennett seems to feel that he had a green light to put his opinions out there for public consumption.

I don't want to bog down trying to defend or promote individual arguments or assertions or claims that Bennett (or others) might make. The question that I see in the OP is, when one disagrees with the brethren, is it appropriate to make public statements to that effect? The overall tone of the responses seems to be that, no, it is not appropriate, and maybe it can just end there with some satisfied with that response and others less satisfied.

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2 hours ago, MrShorty said:

@Just_A_Guy I kind of agree that we want to be careful not to follow the tangent too far, but it also seems to me that the tangent is potentially a case study for the question in the OP. I don't know how best to approach this, but maybe a couple of points.

Re: 1) It's true that Pres. Young believed the ban was the result of revelation. Bennett disagrees. As it relates to me, I frequently ask myself whether or not it is possible for prophets and apostles to mistakenly call something a revelation when it is not a revelation. As it relates to the OP, when one disagrees with a prophets assertion that something is a revelation, is it appropriate to publicly express that opinion as Bennett does here? I could say more, but I don't want to bog down in the tangent.

In the podcast interview, Bennett mentions that a ward member approached him in response to something he had published (not sure if it was in this document or in relation to something else on his blog) and suggested that he might be in troubled waters and should speak to leadership. He approached a councilor in his stake presidency (knew him from serving in a bishopric together?) and asked him. Reportedly, this member of the SP said that Bennett was trying to defend the Church, so he saw no reason for Bennett to back off from his writing. Whether or not we agree with Bennett's positions, Bennett seems to feel that he had a green light to put his opinions out there for public consumption.

I don't want to bog down trying to defend or promote individual arguments or assertions or claims that Bennett (or others) might make. The question that I see in the OP is, when one disagrees with the brethren, is it appropriate to make public statements to that effect? The overall tone of the responses seems to be that, no, it is not appropriate, and maybe it can just end there with some satisfied with that response and others less satisfied.

(Continuing the tangent!)  That may be; but we have had folks like Kate Kelley, John Dehlin, Denver Snuffer, and Natasha Helfer-Parker repeatedly assure us that the Church was totally OK with their antics right up until the moment they were actually excommunicated.  Dehlin actually claimed to have fanboys/defenders in the Q70.

Beyond that, I don’t know Bennett or his work well enough to try to argue whether he does or doesn’t constitute a good example of “loyal opposition”.  All I can say is that a) he’s objectively wrong in several of his historical assertions; and b) it takes a heckuva lot of chutzpah to be able to say you understand God’s voice to a long-dead prophet better than the prophet himself understood that voice; and c) I would hope that his actions are rooted in something more praiseworthy than the typical progressive/secularist mantra that “the God I worship wants me and my friends to enjoy guilt-free sexytime; and to justify my claim that that the prophets making me feel guilt about my sexual activities are abusing their position, I need to fabricate a history wherein their predecessors also abused their positions.”

Edited by Just_A_Guy

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found this quote from Elder Oaks in my notes by accident this morning. Not sure where it came from or the context… and frankly not interested in looking it up right now…

…But anyway…

questions are honored, but opposition is not”

Edited by Fether

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2 hours ago, Fether said:

found this quote from Elder Oaks in my notes by accident this morning. Not sure where it came from or the context… and frankly not interested in looking it up right now…

…But anyway…

questions are honored, but opposition is not”

“Excuse me, Joe; but have you ever noticed that your wife looks rather like a basset hound, and—hey, man, don’t get so angry; I’m just asking questions here!!!”

Edited by Just_A_Guy

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2 hours ago, Fether said:

questions are honored, but opposition is not”

A nice binary, but is there more nuance to this? How does someone like Bennett fit into this? It seems like Bennett is not merely asking questions ("Did Pres. Young receive a revelation to implement the priesthood and temple ban? Was the 2015 policy the result of revelation?"). Bennett seems to be stating that he disbelieves that these things were revelation. At the same time, I don't think it fair to claim that he is in full opposition to the Church and its leaders, either.

@Just_A_Guy You list a few currently well known "apostates". I guess the question I would ask back is -- is it inevitable for someone in Bennett's position (disagreeing with some claims to revelation) to end up becoming an apostate, or can one hold and publish these kinds of opinions and remain "not-apostate"? If so, what does that look like?

 

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6 minutes ago, MrShorty said:

A nice binary, but is there more nuance to this? How does someone like Bennett fit into this? It seems like Bennett is not merely asking questions ("Did Pres. Young receive a revelation to implement the priesthood and temple ban? Was the 2015 policy the result of revelation?"). Bennett seems to be stating that he disbelieves that these things were revelation. At the same time, I don't think it fair to claim that he is in full opposition to the Church and its leaders, either.

@Just_A_Guy You list a few currently well known "apostates". I guess the question I would ask back is -- is it inevitable for someone in Bennett's position (disagreeing with some claims to revelation) to end up becoming an apostate, or can one hold and publish these kinds of opinions and remain "not-apostate"? If so, what does that look like?

 

My other concern is that it sounds a little defensive. After all, if you think every question is subversive or based in opposition, than you’ve already assumed the questioners intentions. So they could ask the most innocent question and you’d misread it. Sounds more like it’s on you than them. 

Edited by LDSGator

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4 minutes ago, MrShorty said:

can one hold and publish these kinds of opinions and remain "not-apostate"? If so, what does that look like?

Well, the definition of "apostate" is "a person who renounces a religious belief or principle".  So if you're off holding and publishing contrary opinions, then you pretty much fit the dictionary definition.  Right?

I was inactive for 6 years back in the day, because I didn't believe the truth claims of the church, or even that God existed.  But I hadn't concluded anything in opposition, and I certainly wasn't preaching anything contrary, so I never reached the level of apostate.

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The scriptures say "With out Faith it is impossible to please God."  That applies to everything even questions.  And the new Testament gives us an example of this  Zechariah and Mary both are visited by an Angel who announces the pending birth of their kid. (John the Baptist and Jesus Christ).  They both had a question that can be summed up as "How is this possible?"  Zechariah is answered and rebuked for his question and doubts, and Mary gets an answer with no rebuke.  This shows that questions themselves are not a problem, it is the doubt/lack of faith that is the problem.

Now it is easy for us to tell if our questions are Faithful or Doubting... But it can be harder for others to tell (But sometimes it is not). Like with most actions we can take there is what we mean (our motives) and how it might be taken by/impact others.  We don't get to ignore this latter bit and call ourselves Followers of Christ, but there is also a limit to how far we can take it

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