Is this True? Gay Electroshock Therapy within the Church


clbent04

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27 minutes ago, LDSGator said:

As blunt as this sounds, you better get used to it @Just_A_Guy. No, that’s not me being mean. 
 

The days of Daniel Peterson/Brian Hales apologist styles are over. It’s now morphed into a much more caring, more accepting, more open Richard Bushman/Teryl Givens/Patrick Mason style of “Yes we made mistakes, here’s the good and bad, there is room for nuance.” 

You may be right in general terms; but as to specifics—I haven’t seen Bushman or Givens concede that point, and Mason is frankly kind of a LGBTQ libertine who concedes the point precisely because he does know the ramifications for doing so.  And Elder Holland’s recent talk suggests that the days of engaging in mealy-mouthed “apologetics” on the Church’s dime are numbered.

20 minutes ago, clbent04 said:

Who's to say the priesthood ban on blacks and slavery weren't allowed for the same reason?

Could it be God never wanted the priesthood ban on blacks, but He allowed it to happen as a result of where society was? 

I think this invokes questions about the degree of God’s sovereignty over human history.

Did God want the LDS Church to pull its missionaries out of Germany in September of 1939?  I doubt it.  But the move was necessary due to the beginning of World War 2.  It is one thing to say that the move was contrary to God’s will; it is another to say that George Albert Smith “erred” by making that decision.

The priesthood ban, I think, was of a similar nature.  Perhaps if American society in general, or the Church membership in particular, had been more righteous; the ban may have never been instituted or could have been lifted sooner.  But that doesn’t mean that Young (or McKay, who prayed for permission to lift the ban and was rejected) “erred” in understanding the will of God and applying that will through various Church policies.

Edited by Just_A_Guy
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Just now, Just_A_Guy said:

You may be right in general terms; but as to specifics—I haven’t seen Bushman or Givens concede that point, and Mason is frankly kind of a libertine who concedes the point precisely because he does know the ramifications for doing so.  And Holland’s talk suggests that the days of engaging in mealy-mouthed “apologetics” on the Church’s dime are numbered.

Time will tell. 

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26 minutes ago, Just_A_Guy said:

1.  But when it comes to personal revelation, isn’t everything potentially subjective?  Isn’t that a major reason why we have prophets—to provide a disinterested cross-check against the personal revelations we think we’re getting?  Surely the answer isn’t to pooh-pooh prophetic counsel and lean to our own understanding (which we may or may not classify as “inspiration”) out of some sort of conclusion the former is “subjective” whereas the latter objective?

 

18 minutes ago, Just_A_Guy said:

I think this invokes questions about the degree of God’s sovereignty over human history.

Did God want the LDS Church to pull its missionaries out of Germany in September of 1939?  I doubt it.  But the move was necessary due to the beginning of World War 2.  It is one thing to say that the move was contrary to God’s will; it is another to say that George Albert Smith “erred” by making that decision.

The priesthood ban, I think, was of a similar nature.  Perhaps if American society in general, or the Church membership in particular, had been more righteous; the ban may have never been instituted or could have been lifted sooner.  But that doesn’t mean that Young (or McKay, who prayed for permission to lift the ban and was rejected) “erred” in understanding the will of God and applying that will through various Church policies.

I'm not saying any of the prophets made an error regarding the priesthood ban.  I'm saying God would have preferred if society was righteous enough to where the ban wasn't necessary, but unfortunately it was.

If God condones something like the priesthood ban, do you think it's possible for the Holy Spirit to testify to a prophet to implement even if it creates a detour in our path to eternal life?  My point is, sometimes the detours are necessary for the stubborn likes of us.

Despite being a detour, the Holy Spirit can testify it's the will of God as the most effective path for us to take for our development.  After all, how many of us have been obedient and smart enough to take the beeline to eternal life?

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4 minutes ago, clbent04 said:

 

I'm not saying any of the prophets made an error regarding the priesthood ban.  I'm saying God would have preferred if society was righteous enough to where the ban wasn't necessary, but unfortunately it was.

If God condones something like the priesthood ban, do you think it's possible for the Holy Spirit to testify to a prophet to implement even if it creates a detour in our path to eternal life?  My point is, sometimes the detours are necessary for the stubborn likes of us.

Despite being a detour, the Holy Spirit can testify it's the will of God as the most effective path for us to take for our development.  After all, how many of us have been obedient and smart enough to take the beeline to eternal life?

Oh, sure.  In fact, I think we have a modern analogue with the Church’s ban on doing proxy temple work for Holocaust victims.  It’s a detour, and puts the spirits of dead Jews in a situation very similar than (worse than, theologically) that of blacks before the priesthood ban.  But in the short term, the decision keeps other doors open to us that would otherwise be closed and thus allows the overall work of the kingdom to move forward.

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2 hours ago, Just_A_Guy said:

I mentioned earlier an attempt I made to write a hypothetical statement on behalf of the Church that would basically say “yes, our predecessors led you astray about this key issue in the past, but we aren’t wrong now and you can rely on us going forward.  Really!  We promise!”  I couldn’t figure out a way to make it work.

That is hard. I agree that I don't see an easy path from "past prophets were wrong about this key issue" and "current prophets are reliable on key issues." We are fond of saying that God can ask us to do hard things, so maybe it's just a matter of pressing on and keep trying, but it is a difficult path.

The next problem I see, though, is that I'm not sure it gets better if I start from "God really did tell us to do this immoral/less moral/lower law thing." Sure, the path from there to "relying on current prophets to also accurately relay the word of God" is easier, but I find myself then struggling with questions about the nature of God and Truth. If God can give one command on a key issue (reasons only He knows -- @clbent04's detour theory seems as good as any), and then do an about face 100 years later (again, reasons and timing only He knows -- maybe because the detour is no longer necessary is as good as any), can I rely on God to be telling us capital T Truth through His prophets?

Cynical answers might include, "God doesn't really care." or "Absolute Truth/morality doesn't exist" or "God is capricious/flighty". Personally, I don't go with the cynical answers. I believe God is good and that He wants, "the immortality and eternal life of man." If God is the ultimate source of key "errors" like the priesthood and temple ban, then there must have been a path through the racially charged system that resulted for men and women to be saved and exalted. If so, are there any practices that are truly beyond God's ability to find a path to salvation and exaltation through? Does this become some kind of universalism?

I really don't know, but thanks for provoking the thoughts.

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1 hour ago, MrShorty said:

That is hard. I agree that I don't see an easy path from "past prophets were wrong about this key issue" and "current prophets are reliable on key issues." We are fond of saying that God can ask us to do hard things, so maybe it's just a matter of pressing on and keep trying, but it is a difficult path.

The next problem I see, though, is that I'm not sure it gets better if I start from "God really did tell us to do this immoral/less moral/lower law thing." Sure, the path from there to "relying on current prophets to also accurately relay the word of God" is easier, but I find myself then struggling with questions about the nature of God and Truth. [1] If God can give one command on a key issue (reasons only He knows -- @clbent04's detour theory seems as good as any), and then do an about face 100 years later (again, reasons and timing only He knows -- maybe because the detour is no longer necessary is as good as any), can I rely on God to be telling us capital T Truth through His prophets?

Cynical answers might include, "God doesn't really care." or "Absolute Truth/morality doesn't exist" or "God is capricious/flighty". Personally, I don't go with the cynical answers. I believe God is good and that He wants, "the immortality and eternal life of man." [2] If God is the ultimate source of key "errors" like the priesthood and temple ban, then there must have been a path through the racially charged system that resulted for men and women to be saved and exalted. [3] If so, are there any practices that are truly beyond God's ability to find a path to salvation and exaltation through? Does this become some kind of universalism?

I really don't know, but thanks for provoking the thoughts.

So, I *think* I understand where you’re going;  but let me ask a question and you can tell me if I’m going off on some wild tangent:

1)  I think that often, though, the prophets themselves tend to pretty clear in designating a policy as a temporary or ad hoc or not-universally-applicable measure.  Young and his successors did it re the temple/priesthood ban.  Joseph Smith, in conjunction with the BoM prophet Jacob (and even Brigham Young) did it re plural marriage.  Again, often critics and progressives tend to downplay the amount of wiggle-room that early Church leaders left on these and other issues—again, because as people who disagree with modern Church leadership, they have a vested interest in discrediting the hierarchy structures that impede the changes they want to see.

2)  As it pertains to the priesthood and temple ban, and wondering if God wouldn’t provide a way that would allow for exaltation in spite of the system’s possible ill effects—isn’t that where proxy temple work comes in?

3) Probably not, but the fact that God can co-opt evil and turn it to good doesn’t justify the evildoer.  Frankl’s experiences do not justify Hitler.

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5 hours ago, LDSGator said:

The days of Daniel Peterson/Brian Hales apologist styles are over. It’s now morphed into a much more caring, more accepting, more open Richard Bushman/Teryl Givens/Patrick Mason style of “Yes we made mistakes, here’s the good and bad, there is room for nuance.” 

coffee-puke.gif

There is nothing "less caring" about telling the truth.

There is nothing "more caring" about falsely admitting culpability.

There is nothing noble about a so-called Latter-day Saint claiming that the Church or its leaders were wrong on such a topic.

There is nothing virtuous about virtue-signaling.

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20 hours ago, Just_A_Guy said:

1)  I think that often, though, the prophets themselves tend to pretty clear in designating a policy as a temporary or ad hoc or not-universally-applicable measure.

A couple of different thoughts:

1a) "often" is not the same "always, without fail". The Biblical prophets did not seem to expect an end to slavery (the BoM prophets did, though).

1b) I'm not sure, in the case of the priesthood/temple ban, if the known temporary state changes much for me. As you note, Pres. McKay reportedly asked (some accounts suggest repeatedly) about lifting the ban and God reportedly told him, "no". I am uncertain of the exact dates or date range here, but the problem with the "perpetuation" of the ban still seems the same as the "origin" of the ban. If the prophets in the '50s and '60s could/would not receive the revelation to change the ban, can they be trusted to know the current mind and will of God on our difficult issues? If God really did tell the prophets to perpetuate the ban, how can we trust that God won't change His mind on the other important issues we face?

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1 hour ago, MrShorty said:

1b) I'm not sure, in the case of the priesthood/temple ban, if the known temporary state changes much for me. As you note, Pres. McKay reportedly asked (some accounts suggest repeatedly) about lifting the ban and God reportedly told him, "no". I am uncertain of the exact dates or date range here, but the problem with the "perpetuation" of the ban still seems the same as the "origin" of the ban. If the prophets in the '50s and '60s could/would not receive the revelation to change the ban, can they be trusted to know the current mind and will of God on our difficult issues? If God really did tell the prophets to perpetuate the ban, how can we trust that God won't change His mind on the other important issues we face?

There’s a ginormous presupposition here, and that’s the idea that God would have revoked the ban in the 50s/60s if only McKay could have been trusted to implement the revocation.

I deny that the failing was McKay’s.  Those closest to him knew very well—he wanted that revelation.  He never got it, but he dearly wanted it.  I’d recommend Prince’s “David O. McKay and the Rise of Modern Mormonism” on that issue.

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1 hour ago, Just_A_Guy said:

I deny that the failing was McKay’s.  Those closest to him knew very well—he wanted that revelation.  He never got it, but he dearly wanted it.  I’d recommend Prince’s “David O. McKay and the Rise of Modern Mormonism” on that issue.

I'm no fan of Greg Prince, but I do think this particular vignette effectively (if unintentionally) gives the lie to antiMormon claims. 

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@Just_A_Guy If we decide it is important, I guess we can spend time defending Pres. McKay's character, but I don't think that resolves the problem. If Pres. McKay was ready and willing to receive the revelation, but it didn't come, then either someone else was unwilling/unable to receive the revelation (and God chose not to out them) or God Himself chose to perpetuate the practice for reasons He did not explain. In either case, the revelatory process created/perpetuated a practice that does not represent eternal truth, and we still potentially face the question of how reliable are the alleged revelations of our current cohort of prophets and apostles.

That last made me wonder. Typically this discussion is focused on "prophetic fallibility," which, as you demonstrated, often leads to a perceived need to defend the character of the prophets. Maybe we need a new term for the concept. How about "revelatory fallibility" since the real problem is whether or not to trust the (alleged) revelations from God?

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10 minutes ago, MrShorty said:

@Just_A_Guy If we decide it is important, I guess we can spend time defending Pres. McKay's character, but I don't think that resolves the problem. If Pres. McKay was ready and willing to receive the revelation, but it didn't come, then either someone else was unwilling/unable to receive the revelation (and God chose not to out them) or God Himself chose to perpetuate the practice for reasons He did not explain. In either case, the revelatory process created/perpetuated a practice that does not represent eternal truth, and we still potentially face the question of how reliable are the alleged revelations of our current cohort of prophets and apostles.

That last made me wonder. Typically this discussion is focused on "prophetic fallibility," which, as you demonstrated, often leads to a perceived need to defend the character of the prophets. Maybe we need a new term for the concept. How about "revelatory fallibility" since the real problem is whether or not to trust the (alleged) revelations from God?

Well, I’m not quite sure I’m understanding you—particularly how the bolded parts above tie in together.  I can get that if a prophet reveals a bona fide ad hoc revelation from God implementing a policy that tends to be a “detour” around the policy He would prefer to implement, that may potentially leave the Church members still scratching their heads about what the eternal principle actually is.  But I don’t see how that creates an issue with the reliability of that or any other revelation the prophet may receive. (If we’re using “reliability” as a shorthand for the “usefulness” or “universality” or “applicability” of the revelation in alternative sets of circumstances, then sure.  But if we’re using “reliability” as a synonym for “authenticity” . . . you kind of lose me there.  It seems tautological that if we grant that a revelation is authentic/reliable, then that settles the question of whether it is authentic/reliable, no?

Edited by Just_A_Guy
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7 hours ago, MrShorty said:

Typically this discussion is focused on "prophetic fallibility," which, as you demonstrated, often leads to a perceived need to defend the character of the prophets. Maybe we need a new term for the concept. How about "revelatory fallibility" since the real problem is whether or not to trust the (alleged) revelations from God?

The discussion on this thread has helped me understand why God allows society to influence His revelation, and that God not only reveals eternal principles to us in revelation, but He also reveals necessary detours to help get us back on track from point A to point B.

How are we to distinguish what may be an eternal principle versus a necessary detour?  I'm not sure.  Maybe it's not as black and white as we'd like it to be, but if the Holy Spirit testifies it's the will of God, how important is it for us to know which category it may fall into if God knows that's what we should follow regardless?

The Holy Spirit testifies of the will of God for necessary detours, not always just eternal principles, otherwise how could prophets like Brigham Young had confirmation from the Holy Spirit to implement the priesthood ban in the first place?

Edited by clbent04
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