Fether

How will you follow the Prophet’s Counsel?

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Just now, The Folk Prophet said:

But as I said....Facebook sure ain't it.

I generally agree, but like all of us, I don’t always follow that rule. I’m also very blessed to have good friends in my personal life who can disagree/fight/argue and leave our pistols down at 5. 

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14 hours ago, Traveler said:

I do not think I can agree that masks are all that effective.  Initially the CDC and other experts said that in general masks do not filter the COVID virus.  Then they said that if we wore masks for 3 weeks we could "flatten the curve".  There have been suggestions to indicate that wearing multiple masks is what will really work.  Then we were told that the so called vaccine was effective - followed by wearing a mask for those with the vaccine is necessary.

You make a very important point. The type of mask and whether one wears it correctly makes all the difference for reduction of pathogen transmission. Perhaps I should have said that masks CAN be effective if the proper masks are used correctly. Even if that were the case, the mandates would still be ineffective.

I completely agree with your frustration concerning our health leader's Orwellian flip-flopping guidance over this pandemic.

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5 minutes ago, clwnuke said:

I completely agree with your frustration concerning our health leader's Orwellian flip-flopping guidance over this pandemic.

What on earth do you mean?  Oceania has always been at war with Eastasia.

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5 hours ago, Just_A_Guy said:

In defense of attacking the far left:

Progressivism, by its nature, is in a constant state of transition where today’s “far left” is tomorrow’s mainstream.  Things that Barack Obama would never have dared to openly support in 2008–gay marriage and the gay cake wars, fully nationalized/socialized healthcare, retreat from “the good war” in Afghanistan, taxation of conservative-leaning secular and religious nonprofit organizations, universal basic income, and critical race theory and reparations—are mainstream Democratic positions today.

Traditionally, the left goes more to the left; and the right also goes more to the left.  Extremists are the advancing vanguard of the left and the retreating rearguard of the right; the one is a threat, the other is mostly irrelevant.

Pfft.  The "near left" and even today's moderates are enemies to liberty.   

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10 hours ago, Fether said:

Sources? Can you provide a background on why you think congress, the senate, the president, and the Supreme Court are all wannabe dictators?

Because according to the US constitution, there is a bill of rights. Abridging things such as church attendance, or any peaceful assembly is specifically prohibited. Where, except in a politician’s feeble brain, is the government’s right to mandate me doing anything I don’t want to do in this phony emergency?

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10 hours ago, LDSGator said:

Fair enough. You obviously have no idea what living under a “dictatorship” really is like, but fair enough. 
 

Hint: Google Afghanistan. 

Probably more experience than you. In 1993 I was in Guatemala when there was a government coup.

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30 minutes ago, mrmarklin said:

Probably more experience than you. In 1993 I was in Guatemala when there was a government coup.

Right, not arguing I’m Mr. Experience here. You surely have had a vastly more interesting life than I have. 
 

And, you are still incorrect. 

Edited by LDSGator

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Today I received a report that one of my fully vaccinated brothers in the Elders Quorum who attended Sacrament meeting yesterday was admitted to the hospital this morning and subsequently tested positive for COVID. Fortunately my wife and I had decided to attend virtually rather than cause anyone further concern with our non-vaccinated status (although I did attend Ward Council later, masked and distanced).

Unfortunately, we have had to inform all the ward members that they have all been exposed.

A good reminder that vaccinated or not, we are all possible transmission vectors.

Edited by clwnuke
bad grammar

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19 hours ago, The Folk Prophet said:

But I don't think I've ever called my fellow Saints murderers because they had reservations about some medicine or another. I don't think I've ever phrased things in terms of "I'm begging you with all the love and patience I have left to let go of your pride" or the like

This! It is telling -- the natural man -- sadly how often I have read this statement from others.

This is also sad when you think of the number of abortions -- a type of murder -- that occurs every year world wide (40-50 million deaths). It is one of the deepest seeds of hypocrisy who are yelling "murder" for not getting a vaccine or wearing a face mask while supporting and lobbying for abortion -- the killing of the most innocent form of human life.

In comparison, the deaths from Covid are no where near the deaths of human infants. The difference, one is performed willingly while the other is a natural course of human life. Virus come and virus go.

Another irony, all the people crying face mask and vaccine, particularly face mask, I don't remember them crying about face masks during Flu pandemics. The swine flu took more children in the first year, but I don't remember any hysteria creating our schools to close. The flu was passed on to people and it was passed on to older residents who died from the flu, but I don't remember anyone going to Facebook crying, whining, and fear mongering over these deaths?

Reminds of the Lord's words in scripture how easily it is for his sons and daughters to be driven by the waves and winds of the sea.

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The resistance to the prophet's counsel on masks and vaccination reminds me of a couple of items from Church history: the neglect of Joseph Smith's counsel to gather to Missouri in an orderly, assigned fashion (many saints rushed to get there); the readiness of the members of the School of the Prophets to accept the Word of Wisdom; the resistance to the new doctrine of the three kingdoms of glory. These are not evil people, and they are not condemned / disciplined for their beliefs, but it shows how much damage and lack of progress can be caused "in good faith."

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1 hour ago, CV75 said:

The resistance to the prophet's counsel on masks and vaccination reminds me of a couple of items from Church history: the neglect of Joseph Smith's counsel to gather to Missouri in an orderly, assigned fashion (many saints rushed to get there); the readiness of the members of the School of the Prophets to accept the Word of Wisdom; the resistance to the new doctrine of the three kingdoms of glory. These are not evil people, and they are not condemned / disciplined for their beliefs, but it shows how much damage and lack of progress can be caused "in good faith."

The difference is that there wasn’t a question about PR back then. Today, it seems to me that PR is a big deal to the church. That is where people are having the hang up.

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56 minutes ago, Fether said:

The difference is that there wasn’t a question about PR back then. Today, it seems to me that PR is a big deal to the church. That is where people are having the hang up.

I think if it had been PR, they'd have done it back in April or May.  Having it come out after they've had their own time to study it makes me think the opposite, that it isn't (just) PR. 

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How will you follow the prophet's counsel?

By carefully reflecting. Thus far, I have taken the counsel to mean that I am still to prayerfully make personal and family decisions. Counsel with competent medical professionals as needed and wear masks in church if social distancing isn't possible and local government health authorities advise to do so. If my ward or stake asks us to mask up, I will do so. For the time being, our local restrictions have been lifted and just about no one in church is wearing masks. I asked my bishop if he knows if in light of this announcement we should be doing so in our area and he replied he is waiting for further direction at the stake level, but in the meantime he doesn't believe it's necessary on account of it not being asked by our health authorities and government leaders who the first presidency suggested we look to for direction.

On 8/15/2021 at 10:50 AM, Fether said:

Will you start wearing masks even where it isn’t mandated?

 I haven't read that to be the direction given, but I will follow local church guidance on the issue. If the Stake or ward asks us to wear masks, that's easy to do.

On 8/15/2021 at 10:50 AM, Fether said:

Will you be getting the vaccine?

That's a harder question to answer. I haven't ruled it out entirely, but I've been leaning towards not getting one for a variety of reasons. 

1.) I've had bad vaccine reactions in the past and have been counselled by a medical professional to be cautious and selective about any future vaccines and to definitely avoid further tetanus boosters.

2.) The approved vaccines in my area don't appear to stop infection and spread of the delta variant and with more variants sure to follow it is likely to be as futile as getting a Flu shot that every year we hear the same contradictory messaging around Christmas that the shot this year proved to be a poor match and doesn't offer much protection, but get it anyway as it's the best we have to offer. Since, the vaccine narrative at this point has even changed from protecting others to simply protecting myself and I'm in a low risk for having complications from covid, I would prefer to gain natural immunity for a more robust and accurate response to future threats beyond just antibody-mediated immunity, but the whole complex process.

3.) I believe this urging from the first presidency to be either a combination of largely giving advice based on personal reasoning speaking as men, or a calculated move on the part of church communications positions signed off by the 1st presidency and don't consider it an admonition from the lord to get the vaccine.

4.) I've prayed about it and haven't felt that getting it is right for me at this time. I would have left it at that, but since this has come again I am again studying it out and praying it out more. I'll need a strong witness to change my mind though as I don't want to risk taking the route of continuing to pray for a different answer on account of outside pressures as Joseph Smith did with Martin Harris and the lost manuscript.

5.) I ponder on quotes such as the following:

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"I am more afraid that this people have so much confidence in their leaders that they will not inquire for themselves of God whether they are led by Him" ~ Brigham Young (1862)

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“You must work through the Spirit. If that leads you into conflict with the program of the Church, you follow the voice of the Spirit.” (Elder S. Dilworth Young, First Council of the Seventy, 1945)

 

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"Do not betray Jesus Christ ... do not betray the revelations of God whether in the bible, Book of Mormon, or Doctrine & Covenants or any of the word of God." - Joseph Smith

(This quote applies less to the exact topic at hand but stands in contrast to the living prophet being more important than a dead one, and yet we judge the validity of a current prophet on how his teachings match the dead in the standard works, so it's not as cut and dried as the living oracle having free will to do and say anything. There is a balancing act to following the prophet and we can take an extreme approach of he can never lead us astray and we simply need to listen without any extra effort or thought on our part to the flipside that we need to pray about everything he says and if we don't have a confirmation it isn't truth or at least not incumbent upon us individually - I personally think that somewhere in the middle is more likely best, but lean towards the side of having spiritual confirmation)

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Once upon a time, after reading the 14th chapter of Ezekiel, Joseph Smith "said the Lord had declared by the Prophet [Ezekiel], that the people should each stand for himself, and depend on no man or men in that state of corruption of the Jewish Church – that righteous persons could only deliver their own souls – applied it to the present state of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints – said if the people departed from the Lord, they must fall– that they were depending on the Prophet, hence were darkened in their minds, in consequence of neglecting the duties devolving upon themselves…" (TPJS, pg. 237-238)

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“We can tell when the speakers are ‘moved upon by the Holy Ghost’ only when we, ourselves, are ‘moved upon by the Holy Ghost.’

“In a way, this completely shifts the responsibility from them to us to determine when they so speak.” (Church News, 31 July 1954, p. 9.)

As well as the following:

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Elder Ezra Taft Benson said: “If we are living the gospel, we will feel in our hearts that the First Presidency of the Church not only have the right, but are also duty bound under heaven to give counsel on any subject which affects the temporal or spiritual welfare of the Latter-day Saints” (in Conference Report, Oct. 1950, p. 148).

 

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 The living prophet is more important to us than a dead prophet.

 

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Fourth: The prophet will never lead the Church astray.

President Wilford Woodruff stated: “I say to Israel, The Lord will never permit me or any other man who stands as president of the Church to lead you astray. It is not in the program. It is not in the mind of God.” (The Discourses of Wilford Woodruff, selected by G. Homer Durham [Salt Lake City: Bookcraft, 1946], pp. 212-213.)

President Marion G. Romney tells of this incident which happened to him:

I remember years ago when I was a Bishop I had President [Heber J.] Grant talk to our ward. After the meeting I drove him home. . . .Standing by me, he put his arm over my shoulder and said: “My boy, you always keep your eye on the President of the Church, and if he ever tells you to do anything, and it is wrong, and you do it, the Lord will bless you for it.” Then with a twinkle in his eye, he said, “But you don’t need to worry. The Lord will never let his mouthpiece lead the people astray.” [In Conference Report, October 1960, p. 78]

 

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5 For his aword ye shall receive, as if from mine own mouth, in all patience and faith.

On the one hand it seems that we are to always simply follow the prophet, as he must surely be the mouthpiece of the lord and assurances have been given that he won't be able to lead the church astray. On the flip side, a way I've been given to know when a prophet is speaking as a prophet and not as a man is that the spirit testifies to me and I have the principle ratified via a personal testimony through the spirit. It's a challenge with this issue, because I can acknowledge that my own leanings are in conflict with the counsel to get the vaccine at this time, and perhaps that puts me in  a position of being hard-hearted and unwilling to allow the spirit to act on me in this matter. But there again, I have felt at peace with spiritual confirmation to stay my course the last while, but this messaging has come out again more strongly still against my personal witness leaving in the position of having to choose to doubt either more personal witness or the counsel of the brethren. Since my testimony is founded on experiences deemed to be a witness of the spirit, I believe that needs to be given the higher priority, but admittedly it's an awkward situation. If I don't accept a personal witness, I risk losing my testimony altogether because at the foundation level it's built on a spiritual witness as to the truthfulness of the Book of Mormon, and Joseph Smith's calling. But if I choose to "disobey" the urging of the 1st presidency I feel I also set a poor precedent of picking and choosing what counsel to follow, and I don't love the idea of setting a standard for selectively following prophetic guidance. So sadly, I'm left with the position that if I believe my personal witness I have to conclude that either the prophets counsel on this matter is generally good advice, but not for me, or that the brethren have bigger issues. If I choose to believe my prior witness on this matter is in error, I am choosing to be in constant doubt of any church teaching and not just the current counsel. It's not a fun place to be, and I don't want to hurt others in the process and wish to be careful about calling out the brethren while remaining to true to the witness within me.

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9 minutes ago, SpiritDragon said:

I believe this urging from the first presidency to be [...] speaking as men...

I have a hard time believing that President Nelson does anything as the prophet and President of the Church without petitioning the Lord for revelation. I'm not saying there aren't still good reasons to make the personal decision that a vaccine isn't for oneself. But to write off any official communiqué as "speaking as men" seems a bit spurious. And to assume President Nelson prayed whether he should get the vaccine, received confirmation he should, and then thought, "Well, that means the whole church should too!" without taking the matter of the church's best interest to the Lord as well.....  I dunno. Seems like pretty iffy reasoning to me. At best one might be able to argue (in my opinion) that the answer he received from the Lord on the matter was something akin to "make your best personal judgement on behalf of the church". But the idea that he didn't take it to the Lord first for confirmation would seem really odd to me considering the way he's spoken about revelation and the importance of it in the past. And the idea that the Lord would say something akin to "It doesn't matter. Prescribe to My people whatever you think is best", while well within the realms of possibility, doesn't seem (to my thinking) to be likely.

I'm not arguing that everyone should interpret what the letter says to mean that everyone must get the vaccine or they're not following the prophet. But I, personally, don't believe the "speaking as men" point of view holds a ton of merit.

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4 minutes ago, The Folk Prophet said:

I have a hard time believing that President Nelson does anything as the prophet and President of the Church without petitioning the Lord for revelation. I'm not saying there aren't still good reasons to make the personal decision that a vaccine isn't for oneself. But to write off any official communiqué as "speaking as men" seems a bit spurious. And to assume President Nelson prayed whether he should get the vaccine, received confirmation he should, and then thought, "Well, that means the whole church should too!" without taking the matter of the church's best interest to the Lord as well.....  I dunno. Seems like pretty iffy reasoning to me. At best one might be able to argue (in my opinion) that the answer he received from the Lord on the matter was something akin to "make your best personal judgement on behalf of the church". But the idea that he didn't take it to the Lord first for confirmation would seem really odd to me considering the way he's spoken about revelation and the importance of it in the past. And the idea that the Lord would say something akin to "It doesn't matter. Prescribe to My people whatever you think is best", while well within the realms of possibility, doesn't seem (to my thinking) to be likely.

I'm not arguing that everyone should interpret what the letter says to mean that everyone must get the vaccine or they're not following the prophet. But I, personally, don't believe the "speaking as men" point of view holds a ton of merit.

I appreciate your point of view and struggle with the position myself. It's my way (for now at least) to not have to deconstruct my testimony over this issue being at odds with my personal witness of the spirit as directed previously. I'm not saying that the prophet didn't put thought or prayer into the statement, but I can see how it could come across that way and I may just need to stop saying anything and keep it to myself as I don't want to be casting doubts, I'm simply sharing my own struggle and how I'm trying to hold true in the face of contradiction between church leadership and personal revelation. It could be counsel from God that doesn't apply to me, but that seems even more suspect to me than Russell M. Nelson simply falling back on personal biases through his medical training to favour this intervention (and I realize how that sounds like, "isn't this the carpenters son?" and I am probably the problem and need to figure out to get out of my own way). I mean there are any number of ways, I suppose, that one could justify why the counsel isn't what people think it is, or doesn't apply personally, but they are all problematic in one way or another as far as I can see. The problem for me is that on this topic, following the counsel as it is appears is also problematic given personal history and relationship with the spirit on the matter. Left with the choice between following the spirit or following the prophet, I'm following the spirit, but cautiously and trying to remain open to different avenues as I don't like doubting the prophet and have seen too many people go down what I perceive to be errant paths in the name of following personal revelation that contradicts the teachings of the church.

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1 hour ago, dprh said:

I think if it had been PR, they'd have done it back in April or May.  Having it come out after they've had their own time to study it makes me think the opposite, that it isn't (just) PR. 

I actually agree. I was looking through other church announcements. Some are stamped by being from the first presidency, others are just church declarations and announcements. I wonder if it is worth greater consideration since the first presidency put their stamp on it this time as oppose to just making it a general church statement

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21 minutes ago, SpiritDragon said:

to not have to deconstruct my testimony over this issue being at odds with my personal witness of the spirit as directed previously.

I'm just not sure there's anything at odds. I'm sure President Nelson himself would plainly state that if you have personal revelation to not get vaccinated that you should not. As has been pointed out by many...the statement was not, "Whether you've been vaccinated or not will now be a question added to the temple recommend interview."

There is a distinct difference, but also a clear balance that needs to be had on things like this. The go to should be follow the prophet. The intent should be to do so. The unassailable willingness to do so should be there. But does anyone really believe the question of our worthiness on judgment day will be, "Why didn't you get the Covid vaccine?"

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6 hours ago, Anddenex said:

In comparison, the deaths from Covid are no where near the deaths of human infants. The difference, one is performed willingly while the other is a natural course of human life. Virus come and virus go.

That is an incredible comparison.  2020 COVID deaths were about 350k.  2018 abortions (the latest I could find) were over 600k! :( 

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37 minutes ago, dprh said:

That is an incredible comparison.  2020 COVID deaths were about 350k.  2018 abortions (the latest I could find) were over 600k! :( 

This is a sad realization.  But the sadist part of all this is that abortions are not necessary and could be solved in 99.999% of the time by simply modifying human behavior.

 

The Traveler

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4 hours ago, The Folk Prophet said:

I have a hard time believing that President Nelson does anything as the prophet and President of the Church without petitioning the Lord for revelation. I'm not saying there aren't still good reasons to make the personal decision that a vaccine isn't for oneself. But to write off any official communiqué as "speaking as men" seems a bit spurious. And to assume President Nelson prayed whether he should get the vaccine, received confirmation he should, and then thought, "Well, that means the whole church should too!" without taking the matter of the church's best interest to the Lord as well.....  I dunno. Seems like pretty iffy reasoning to me. At best one might be able to argue (in my opinion) that the answer he received from the Lord on the matter was something akin to "make your best personal judgement on behalf of the church". But the idea that he didn't take it to the Lord first for confirmation would seem really odd to me considering the way he's spoken about revelation and the importance of it in the past. And the idea that the Lord would say something akin to "It doesn't matter. Prescribe to My people whatever you think is best", while well within the realms of possibility, doesn't seem (to my thinking) to be likely.

I'm not arguing that everyone should interpret what the letter says to mean that everyone must get the vaccine or they're not following the prophet. But I, personally, don't believe the "speaking as men" point of view holds a ton of merit.

I think that President Nelson did take this to the Lord, I am sure that he contemplated, and studied the matter out in his mind.  That said, why was the message worded the way that it was? Was it his opinion and counsel about what we as members should do?  There was no "thus saith the Lord" moment. They "urge" face masks and "urge" vaccination. 

Probably no harm in following this counsel, everyone one should make their own decision. 

 

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9 minutes ago, omegaseamaster75 said:

I think that President Nelson did take this to the Lord, I am sure that he contemplated, and studied the matter out in his mind.  That said, why was the message worded the way that it was? Was it his opinion and counsel about what we as members should do?  There was no "thus saith the Lord" moment. They "urge" face masks and "urge" vaccination. 

Probably no harm in following this counsel, everyone one should make their own decision. 

 

 

I believe we should all err on the side of following the Prophet in all things.   I see no downside to doing so and potential issues with not doing so.  That said, I don't think the consequences for not following the Prophet are the same for all things.

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