Question concerning “Continuing Revelation”


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7 hours ago, Maverick said:

I think you may have misunderstood what I was saying. I wasn't claiming that "Church members have cause to feel significantly and sincerely befuddled by conflicting 'church teachings.'" My point is that there have been significant differences in what has been taught as doctrine from various presidents of the church, acting in their official capacity. In the church's essay on Race and the Priesthood for example, the church disavows all past "theories" by presidents and apostles of the church on the reasons for the ban, even though they were taught as official doctrine at the time from the pulpit in General Conference, in official letters of the First Presidency to the church, and in official church publications. And this isn't limited to teachings on race and the priesthood. Quite a few other examples exist. Members need not be "significantly and sincerely befuddled" by this. But it does show that we can't just take what is taught as doctrine by the brethren as the direct word of God received by revelation. 

I disagree, and would refer back to what I said earlier. 

  • I've already acknowledged that individual GAs may at times err; and in case I wasn't clear enough, I'll state:  they may err even from the conference pulpit.  (They probably won't, especially in our highly-correlated age.  But they can.)
  • If you take the race-and-priesthood issue specifically and parse the material that was released in the name of the entire first presidency or the entire Q12, you really don't see anything that's been subsequently rescinded.  To the extent that individual Church presidents made statements that were later walked back (Brigham Young to the Territorial Legislature or what-have-you)--see my earlier statement about the OD-1 material and "harmless error".  
6 hours ago, Maverick said:

[1]One of the major arguments that proponents of same-sex marriage within the church make is that the D&C, Book of Mormon, and Pearl of Great Price do not condemn gay marriage or gay sex. The claim is that all the anti-gay teachings come from the bible and mostly from the Old Testament. [2] They also claim that these passages in the Bible aren't actually condemning gay marriage in the first place. This could pave the way for a disavowal of the interpretations of these scriptures that the church has used in the past to condemn gay marriage. [3] And if the church were to allow gay marriage and even perform them, all past teachings by church leaders could just be disavowed as theories taught with limited understanding.

[4]Again, I would be firmly against this and hope it never happens. But I wouldn't be shocked if it did happen in the next 10-20 years, especially if there's a dramatic shift among the church membership in accepting gay marriage as a valid marriage and lifestyle. And I think we're already seeing a pretty major shift in this direction from the younger generation. 

[1]  In general, these same sorts of exegeses (and others, suggesting that particular passages were directed to particular cultures/times/places and are no longer appropriate to our modern circumstances) could be made about any future change in doctrine/practice, right up to my earlier hypothetical about the Church approving human trafficking.  Heck, the nature of continuing revelation and the vagaries of the existing corpus of canon mean that one could make a straight-faced argument justifying a "revelation" affirming that the Atonement was actually done in 1956 by a Chicago plumber named Earl who died by choking on a piece of cake. 

The fact that something is arguable, does not make it mainstream.

[2]  As you no doubt are keenly aware, such arguments are a red herring since both the Old and New Testaments explicitly condemn gay sex.  

[3]  As you no doubt are keenly aware, the Church has institutionally entrenched itself into a position on the perpetual sinfulness of gay sex and justifications thereof, in a way it never entrenched itself on the issue of the perpetual nature of or the detailed justifications for priesthood ban.  And as you are further no doubt keenly aware, the "theories taught with limited understanding" verbiage comes from Elder McConkie who was addressing one particular (and frankly not-very-authoritative) sub-corollary of the ban justifications which, unlike the other justifications, *did* suggest that the ban was effectively perpetual (at least until the Millennium)  But Elder McConkie himself continued to his dying day to maintain that the ban itself was divinely instituted and that in principle, the Lord takes the restored Gospel to different peoples at different times.  

[4]  I think there are limits to how accommodating the Church leadership is to the idiocies of the Church membership.  There are not-insubstantial issues with young LDS adults breaking the law of chastity and concealing it from priesthood leaders (in my work, I just last month cross-examined a lovely young lady on a family law case who admitted that she, as a BYU student, had been shacking up with (and of course, fornicating with) her boyfriend for the last three months).  I daresay the Church leadership is aware of this as a general proposition; but they haven't gone so far as to say "fine, we changed our minds, go ahead and sex it up with whoever you want."  And one of the virtues of the Church's financial situation is that (absent the danger of violence or adverse government action) it can pretty much teach whatever it wants without regard to what the masses think about it or what those teachings do to its membership rolls or annual donation receipts. 

Those of the "younger generation" who are willing to pimp out their spiritual birthrights for the sexual revolution's mess of pottage can quit doing their thinking with their genitalia--or they can go to hell until they learn (or are forced) to ignore their genitalia, quit taking their theological cues from the shriekings of the sorrowing damned, and discern what God is actually telling them.

Edited by Just_A_Guy
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7 hours ago, Maverick said:

Why must we assume that any changed teachings are in fact a correction and not an departure from light and truth? 

There are a number of things that I could point to, but I think this would get us off track from the question in the OP. 

I disagree with this. The scriptures make it clear that God will reveal his mysteries to those who are worthy and prepared to receive them, even if those around them are not.

I wholeheartedly agree with this. 

Of course, changed teachings could theoretically represent a departure from the Lord’s will. Assumptions are optional of course. I have found that honestly knowing that my relationship with Lord is improving as a result of my good faith participation in the restored kingdom of God on earth indicates that this kingdom is indeed on the right trajectory and the Lord is in charge of it despite any distractions that may come our way.

I would encourage you to provide examples and ask the same OP question concerning it. An academic, object lesson.: Why hasn’t there been a revelation to correct this departure from the original X “Thus saith the Lord…” revelation?

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1 hour ago, Just_A_Guy said:

Those of the "younger generation" who are willing to pimp out their spiritual birthrights for the sexual revolution's

Do you really think most of the “younger generation” are that immoral? 90% of the young kids I know are decent and moral.
 

Not to mention, our generation wasn’t exactly full of virgins and halos. In our Catholic high school we had STD and pregnancy scares every month. Not being funny, being serious. 

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8 hours ago, Maverick said:

I guess the question is whether we should view the revelations published in the D&C quoting God's words directly through his prophet Joseph Smith the same way that we view Ezra Taft Benson's talk about pride? If the answer is that we should, then the logical question is if we should view all Conference talks by Presidents of the church the same way as the revelations in the D&C? 

That’s pretty simple minded.

If you believe in God, the Light of Christ, and the holy Ghost, and you have honed your spirit of discernment; then you personally know what is right and wrong, fringe and grey.

Most everyone knows when they are sinning.  It ain’t hard.

This past conference there was a talk given by Andrea Muñoz Spannaus wherein she took the 5 stones that David had prepared to fight Goliath and used them as a medium for a message about the “strength we need to be triumphant in our lives”

Faith, Trust, Courage, Obedience, and Praise

Then she added that she wished David had a 6th stone - Testimony.

She kinda lost me there with the analogy.

Her talk was fine and I know it was reviewed before she gave it.

But it just wasn’t the same caliber as Holland, Oaks, or Bednar.

Sometimes we just need a reminder to keep on the path.

 

The Beware of Pride talk was life changing, if one would allow it.

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6 minutes ago, LDSGator said:

Do you really think most of the “younger generation” are that immoral? 90% of the young kids I know are decent and moral.
 

Not to mention, our generation wasn’t exactly full of virgins and halos. In our Catholic high school we had STD and pregnancy scares every month. Not being funny, being serious. 

I’m a little confused by the juxtaposition here; the post asks if I think the younger generation is really that immoral and then goes on to state that we should expect immorality to be commonplace in the younger generation today because it was commonplace in our own generation in the last century. ;)

I absolutely stand by the proposition that participation in or support or extramarital (including, gay) sex constitutes a forfeiture of a Latter-day Saint’s spiritual birthright.  It is a redeemable forfeiture, to be sure; but a forfeiture it most certainly is.

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8 minutes ago, Just_A_Guy said:

I’m a little confused by the juxtaposition here; the post asks if I think the younger generation is really that immoral and then goes on to state that we should expect immorality to be commonplace in the younger generation today because it was commonplace in our own generation in the last century. ;)

 

I’m lost. 


I think young people get a bad reputation for no reason. Older generations also are too dense to see that if young people are that corrupt, then maybe how they were raised might have something to do with it. Also, our own generation had immorality too. 
 

Notice that I don’t approve of immorality, but I don’t approve of generation bashing either. 

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14 minutes ago, Just_A_Guy said:

I absolutely stand by the proposition that participation in or support or extramarital (including, gay) sex constitutes a forfeiture of a Latter-day Saint’s spiritual birthright.  It is a redeemable forfeiture, to be sure; but a forfeiture it most certainly is.

Sure, no argument there. But if a majority young people do that, then how they were taught was wrong. Something failed on the older generation side. After all, if every student fails a test, it’s a problem with the teacher.  

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9 hours ago, Maverick said:

I am a huge proponent of the Proclamation on the Family and am strictly against gay sex, same-sex marriage, etc. And I do sincerely hope that the church never allows same-sex marriage or gay sex. And while certainly hope this never happens, I think there's a possibility that this could happen one day.

I wonder - what does it mean to you to be "against gay sex", and what does it mean to you to have the church "never allow" it?

Membership in the church is voluntary.  People can do whatever they want to in this church, and reap whatever consequences spring from their actions, be it positive or negative.  The church isn't our mommy, telling us what we can and can't do.  It's not about allowed or not allowed.  The church is our guide, giving us counsel on how to be and how to act, inviting us to come to beliefs which our doctrine indicates is true, urging us to gain, maintain, and strengthen our testimonies.  It's missions are to perfect the saints, proclaim the gospel, redeem the dead, and care for the poor and needy.  It doesn't enforce keeping the commandments, it urges keeping the commandments. 

When you talk in terms of "against" and "never allowing", the immediate question is "or what?".  The main actions the church can take with members, who either aren't keeping the commandments, or are breaking the commandments, are primarily to urge, proclaim, teach, and love.  Some things the church figures are serious enough breaches of community norms (i.e. sins), that the ultimate power - that of removing membership - gets involved.  It's like a chess club dealing with a member who wants to play checkers.  Ok, you're still welcome in chess club, but you can expect we'll be playing chess, and inviting or even urging you to do the same.  And if you disrupt our chess games to push for checkers, we'll probably disinvite you to future meetings and tournaments.   Replace chess with bringing unto Christ, and checkers with sins, and there you go.  

Another way of thinking about it, is we're also "against" and don't "allow" cheating on a spouse.  But there are endless active LDS folks with behavior like that in their past, and that's a good thing, because being LDS and living as one is a blessing that's available to all, just as the atonement is.  We're also "against and "don't allow" p0rn or lusting after your neighbor's wife in your own head.  But there are endless active LDS folks engaged in it, and we want to keep them in the church, because we believe being in the church is a good thing.  Isn't same-sex behavior or thoughts or orientations sort of the exact same thing? 

I guess another way of asking my question, how do you know you're "against gay sex"?  What sorts of actions or beliefs spring from you when you see gay?  

 

9 hours ago, Maverick said:

I wouldn't be shocked if it did happen in the next 10-20 years, especially if there's a dramatic shift among the church membership in accepting gay marriage as a valid marriage and lifestyle. And I think we're already seeing a pretty major shift in this direction from the younger generation. 

Something that surprised the heck out of me recently, was found in a recent poll:  https://www.sltrib.com/religion/2024/03/08/jana-riess-who-is-leaving-lds/

Quote

80,000 physical postcards to randomly selected households in the Mormon Corridor — and supplemented it with targeted Facebook ads to a Utah audience. Both methods led respondents to take an online survey that was then weighted to be representative of the Latter-day Saint population. After they removed late and invalid responses, they had a sample of 2,625 current and 1,183 former Latter-day Saints.
...
In the survey, only 4% of current members identified as LGBTQ

That 4% number floored me.  4 out of every 100 members of the church identifies somewhere in that acronym?  With roughly 6.8 million LDS members in America, most of whom live in the corridor, that equals roughly a quarter-million members who might identify as LGBTQ. Who are these people?  Are they happy?  At what rates do they keep the commandments or break them?  Are they active?  Do they hold callings?  Are they surly teens waiting to age out and leave the church as soon as they can?  

I wonder - has the church found a good balance on the issue?  Ok, so you like checkers.  This is the chess club, and we'll be doing chess club things.  You're welcome to come as much as you want, and participate as much as you want, and we'll love the heck out of you.  Just don't try to get us to stop playing chess, or force your checkers playing on us, and we're good.

 

 

 

 

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20 minutes ago, LDSGator said:

Same. I’ve only met one openly liberal faithful LDS. A former democratic congressmen. I’ve never met an LGBT active member. 

I've met two.  One married, one not.  Both of 'em temple worthy the last time they told me.  One of them I know very well. 

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1 hour ago, LDSGator said:

I’m lost. 


I think young people get a bad reputation for no reason. Older generations also are too dense to see that if young people are that corrupt, then maybe how they were raised might have something to do with it. Also, our own generation had immorality too. 
 

Notice that I don’t approve of immorality, but I don’t approve of generation bashing either. 

I should note that I didn’t condemn the entire younger generation; I condemned that subset of them which has abandoned a certain set of principles.

1 hour ago, LDSGator said:

Sure, no argument there. But if a majority young people do that, then how they were taught was wrong. Something failed on the older generation side. After all, if every student fails a test, it’s a problem with the teacher.  

I’m probably getting into the weeds here, but . . . I disagree with this.  Kids don’t always do what they’re taught.  In fact, for millennia people have bemoaned the tendency of adolescents to do precisely the opposite of what they were taught. Humans are not computers; and I think it’s a stretch to suggest most incidences of human dysfunction are the result of some sort of manufacturer’s or programmer’s error.  

Edited by Just_A_Guy
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35 minutes ago, NeuroTypical said:

Something that surprised the heck out of me recently, was found in a recent poll:  https://www.sltrib.com/religion/2024/03/08/jana-riess-who-is-leaving-lds/

Based on the URL, I thought that Riess was the antecedent to "who". I generally do not click on links to the SL tribune, any more than I would click on links to Pornhub, but in a moment of weakness I did, and read enough to confirm that Sister Riess is not in fact the antecedent to "who". Not yet, at least.

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16 minutes ago, Just_A_Guy said:

I’m probably getting into the weeds here, but . . . I disagree with this.  Kids don’t always do what they’re taught.  In fact, for millennia people have bemoaned the tendency of adolescents to do precisely the opposite of what they were taught.  

No worries. I see it the same way I always did. It’s a cliche and old people use to whine about young people and wash their hands of any accountability that they have.  
 

It reminds me of people who are divorced four times, look in the mirror, pat themselves on the back and say “I did nothing wrong. Everyone else is a narcissist but me.” 

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On 4/9/2024 at 10:14 PM, Maverick said:

If there’s no difference why change it from being considered a “revelation” to “inspired council?”

Whoever made the change obviously thought there was a difference significant enough to warrant the wording needing to be changed. 

There have been many times when I've heard one word or phrase in Conference, but saw the written version was off by just a bit.

I finally realized that sometimes, a speaker knows his talk well enough that he doesn't need to read it off the teleprompter.  This has been the case for me many a time.

So, he speaks it as he remembers it. He may still glance up a few times so he doesn't lose his place.  But for the most part, it just comes from whatever he remembers.

Meanwhile, the original written version is what is published on the website and in the Liahona/Ensign.  There really is no curating the similarities and differences between spoken v. written.  Both are recorded.  Both are official.  Both mean the same thing. 

So, the written word vs the spoken word may differ in detail, without a difference in meaning.

While I'm a fan and practicioner of exegesis, at some point, we must realize that the only "official meaning" of prophetic words is through the Spirit.  And as long as your interpretation is within the reasonable limits of what has been spoken, then you have a credible claim to having revelation confirm the prophets' words.

EDIT: BTW, I couldn't find the talk you referenced.  I looked at the talks from Pres. Packer for both the April and Oct sessions from 2012 to 2015.  None of them used the words you referred to.

Edited by Carborendum
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1 hour ago, Carborendum said:

EDIT: BTW, I couldn't find the talk you referenced.  I looked at the talks from Pres. Packer for both the April and Oct sessions from 2012 to 2015.  None of them used the words you referred to.

OK, so I got curious.

On 4/9/2024 at 2:26 PM, Maverick said:

No, it isn’t. Boyd K. Packer said in Conference back in 2013, I believe, that it should be considered a revelation, but then in the printed version of the talk it was changed to “inspired council.”

It would have been "inspired counsel" (counsel = advice; council = group of people).

So, I sharpened my google-fu and searched (cuz the Church website search options are lacking).

In October 2011, "Counsel to Youth", we find:

Quote

In “The Family: A Proclamation to the World,” an inspired document issued by the First Presidency and the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, ...

...but the video says the same thing.

In "Parents in Zion" (Oct 1998), it's listed with other things as "inspired guidance".

The end.  So I removed Packer from the equation and required "family", "proclamation", and "inspired".

Elder Richard J. Maynes calls a portion of the proclamation "inspired counsel".

Elder Scott says it was "inspired of the Lord".

And, I'm tired of perusing the results.  At this point, I think it's up to @Maverick to provide a link.

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13 hours ago, Maverick said:

To be clear, I am a huge proponent of the Proclamation on the Family and am strictly against gay sex, same-sex marriage, etc. And I do sincerely hope that the church never allows same-sex marriage or gay sex. And while certainly hope this never happens, I think there's a possibility that this could happen one day. And not necessarily in the very distant future either. 

One of the major arguments that proponents of same-sex marriage within the church make is that the D&C, Book of Mormon, and Pearl of Great Price do not condemn gay marriage or gay sex. The claim is that all the anti-gay teachings come from the bible and mostly from the Old Testament. They also claim that these passages in the Bible aren't actually condemning gay marriage in the first place. This could pave the way for a disavowal of the interpretations of these scriptures that the church has used in the past to condemn gay marriage. And if the church were to allow gay marriage and even perform them, all past teachings by church leaders could just be disavowed as theories taught with limited understanding.

Again, I would be firmly against this and hope it never happens. But I wouldn't be shocked if it did happen in the next 10-20 years, especially if there's a dramatic shift among the church membership in accepting gay marriage as a valid marriage and lifestyle. And I think we're already seeing a pretty major shift in this direction from the younger generation. 

The Church will never seal same-sex couples in the temple.  I understand why those who want it would wrest scriptures and everything else under the sun to argue that it will happen and why (ETA: they think) it's reasonable to believe it will.  I don't understand why anyone else thinks it could.  The principles of eternal marriage and procreation by exalted couples could not possibly be clearer or more obvious.  The notion that the Lord would let his Church go that far from truth in this dispensation is absurd.  Any prophet who tried would be stopped (probably well before he tried).  Not that there's any hint any of them would.  Same-sex couples cannot procreate.  There will be no "adoption" or "surrogacy" in the Celestial Kingdom.  The mere idea is absurd.  Scripture is clear that there will be no marriage of any sort anywhere other than the highest degree of the Celestial Kingdom.

The Lord changes policy, procedure, and modes of presentation to fit our needs.  He does not reverse eternal principles.

If anyone doubts this, I recommend a deep spiritual dive into the eternal principles of marriage and family (procreation), while repenting, keeping covenants, fasting, praying, ministering, attending one's meetings, serving, and attending the temple - and asking the Lord every day to give one a testimony and understanding of the eternal principles (the things behind the related commandments).  What you receive you will likely have to keep to yourself, so plan for that and prove trustworthy.

Same-sex sealings is simply never going to be a thing.

Edited by zil2
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1 minute ago, Just_A_Guy said:

Thank you. The word "inspired" doesn't appear in this talk (hence my passing over it). Printed text:

Quote

Fifteen years ago, with the world in turmoil, the First Presidency and the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles issued “The Family: A Proclamation to the World,” the fifth proclamation in the history of the Church. It is a guide that members of the Church would do well to read and to follow.

Audio:

Quote

Fifteen years ago, with the world in turmoil, the First Presidency and the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles issued “The Family: A Proclamation to the World,” the fifth proclamation in the history of the Church.  It qualifies, according to definition, as a revelation and, uh, would do well is a guide that the members of the Church would do well to read and to follow.

Seems clear to me in the video that he was not following his written talk at that point - perhaps remembering a prior version.  I'm with @Carborendum on this - there was no "we gotta correct what he said" after the fact.  Rather, the written talk as submitted was published, but not read word for word during GC.  (I've seen this elsewhere, usually with only minor changes, sometimes with ad hoc comments about a prior speaker.  I've also seen those ad hoc comments added into the text, so it appears sometimes someone does change the text to match the talk as given.)

IMO, both versions of the talk are equally correct.

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17 minutes ago, zil2 said:

...attending the temple....

Adding: If you are married, do the following with your spouse.  If you are not married, find someone of the other gender to join you in this endeavor: As part of your pursuit for understanding and testimony, and after counseling with the Lord, get the names of a couple who need their temple work done - preferably, ancestors of one of you. Make the sacrifice required to go to the temple and do everything in one day: initiatory, endowment, sealing (as a couple, and to children, if any and if possible).  I believe that if one does this with a sincere, humble, prayerful request to gain testimony and understanding of this eternal principle, and confirmation that it requires both genders - male and female, husband and wife - that this will go a long way toward getting there.

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I have vague memories of PResident Hinckley describing how he received revelation about the design of small temples. I think it happened while he was on an overnight plane  trip ahd he started with some skeches on the back of an envelope. I'm not engaged in this discussion enough to go and search for that talk. However, the topic does resonate with something I've been thinking about lately, and that's Amos 3:7. 

7 Surely the Lord God will do nothing, abut he brevealeth his csecret unto his servants the dprophets.

If this verse is true, I think what happened with covid, specfically, the lack of a clear warning, would support the conclusion that if the Lord does reveal everything to the prophets, the prophets don't then pass everything on to us. The way the Prophet, and the church as a whole, responded to covid seemed to suggest that they were unaware, and unprepared, that it was coming.

 

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7 minutes ago, askandanswer said:

if the Lord does reveal everything to the prophets, the prophets don't then pass everything on to us.

I think this is true.  Also, that they may not pass on everything, but they will give us counsel that will help us to do what we need to do to best navigate the future.

7 minutes ago, askandanswer said:

The way the Prophet, and the church as a whole, responded to covid seemed to suggest that they were unaware, and unprepared, that it was coming.

I don't agree.  Whether the prophet knew specifics, I don't know, but it's clear he prepared us for spending a lot of time at home rather than at Sunday meetings.

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From a talk that I know some people here highly appreciate

https://speeches.byu.edu/talks/ezra-taft-benson/fourteen-fundamentals-following-prophet/

 

Sixth: The prophet does not have to say “Thus saith the Lord” to give us scripture.

Sometimes there are those who haggle over words. They might say the prophet gave us counsel but that we are not obligated to follow it unless he says it is a commandment. But the Lord says of the Prophet Joseph, “Thou shalt give heed unto all his words and commandments which he shall give unto you” (D&C 21:4; italics added).

And speaking of taking counsel from the prophet, in D&C 108:1, the Lord states: “Verily thus saith the Lord unto you, my servant Lyman: Your sins are forgiven you, because you have obeyed my voice in coming up hither this morning to receive counsel of him whom I have appointed” (italics added).

Said Brigham Young, “I have never yet preached a sermon and sent it out to the children of men, that they may not call scripture” (Journal of Discourses, 26 vols. [London: Latter-day Saints’ Book Depot], 13:95).

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