Friday, December 31, 2010

Endless Celestial Sex? What are we Told in Regard This?

Question has arisen in regard the idea of Heavenly Father and our Heavenly Mothers needing to have "endless celestial sex" in order to produce the billions of spirit bodies required for our intelligences. After all there are billions of people on this planet alone. Therefore one could conclude that Heavenly Father needed to have sex billions of times. Yet is this the fact?

In addition to this question some aren't sure whether Gods engage in sex at all. Is God really our Heavenly Father or just our Heavenly Inventor? some pose. Is Heavenly Mother just really a Heavenly Nanny, that raised, but did not bear us?

Brigham Young stated _
"[God] created man, as we create our children; for there is no other process of creation in heaven, on the earth, in the earth, or under the earth, or in all the eternities, that is, that were, or that ever will be." Brigham Young, Journal of Discourses 11:122

So Brigham is declaring that the act of sex, conception, pregnancy and delivery is the only method by which any creation of any living entity takes place. Of course some animals and insects lay eggs etc. Yet parenthood is required. Families are truly eternal.

Joseph Smith confirms this _
"Whenever did a tree or anything spring into existence without a progenitor?" Teachings of the Prophet JS Section 6 1843-1844:373:1

Therefore all bodies have to be created by parental processes according to both Brigham and Joseph.

Paul confirms this further by presenting the relationship of Heavenly Father as a father relating to the way our fleshly fathers are fathers _
"Furthermore we have had fathers of our flesh which corrected us, and we gave them reverence: shall we not much rather be in subjection to the Father of spirits, and live?" Hebrews 12:9

Jesus Christ also mentions this concept _
"Or what man is there of you, whom if his son ask bread, will he give him a stone? Or if he ask a fish, will he give him a serpent? If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more shall your Father which is in heaven give good things to them that ask him?" Matthew 7:9-11

If they meant something different than a father in the real sense then these texts would lose context, for how can you relate cheese to chalk?

D&C 77:2 informs us that _
"...the spirit of man in the likeness of his person, as also the spirit of the beast, and every other creature which God has created."

So the spirit bodies of all living creatures are in the likeness of their physical bodies. This means that all creatures had eternal parents that look the same as them. All those parents had them as spirit children in the pre-existence.

That there was a birth process rather than our spirit bodies being invented is additionally evidenced by the fact that Jesus Christ was the first born spirit.

In regard Christ Paul writes _
"Who is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of every creature." Col 1:15

Then there is the fact that some are considered to have been brought forth in the morning of this process. Even Lucifer is one of those sons of the morning (D&C 76:26).

So if God just invented our spirit bodies, he surely could have just done a bulk lot and done us all together.

Bruce R. McConkie _"Our spirit bodies had their beginning in pre-existence when we were born as the spirit children of God our Father. Through that birth process spirit element was organized into intelligent entities." Mormon Doctrine, p. 750

We know from the D&C that our intelligences were eternal, and therefore existed before we were born to Heavenly Father and Heavenly Mother as spirit children.

"Man was also in the beginning with God. Intelligence, or the light of truth, was not created or made, neither indeed can be." D&C 93:29

Naturally when it uses the term "man" it is referring to those who eventually become mankind. Man was not actually made as man until the creation of Adam and Eve. Yet our intelligences are eternal and we made the decision to go along with Heavenly Father's idea to become part of his family and receive spirit bodies. We grew and made decisions. But when it came to getting a physical body one third decided to go no further with our Heavenly Parents plan. They followed Satan and refused to get physical bodies.

Question is presented of how parents with physical bodies can produce spirit bodies? After all don't physical parents produce physical bodied children here on earth? Note the following from Brigham Young.

"the Father actually begat the spirits, and they were brought forth and lived with Him. Then He commenced the work of creating earthly tabernacles, precisely as he had been created in this flesh himself, by partaking of the course material that was organized and composed this earth, until His system was charged with it, consequently the tabernacles of His children were organized from the coarse materials of this earth." Journal of Discourses : 4 : Brigham Young 1857/02/08 :215

So when our Heavenly Parents had Adam and Eve all that was necessary for them to produce children made from the dust of this earth was for them to partake of the dust of this earth until they had sufficient to produce the 2 children. Thus the babies that God and Goddesses produce are made of the substances that they eat. To produce physical bodies they eat physical matter and to produce spirit bodies they just eat spirit matter.

Note also that he is stating that the matter had to be inside Heavenly Father for the beings to be created. This also supports the idea of a birth rather than a popped up creation.

One would question why we need parents? The answer is that when our spirit is placed in our physical body it has no idea how to get a body to function. The time in the womb is a time when our spirit learns this skill. When we come out we have to additionally learn to move our bodies and speak. All this also takes time. How can you possibly take a spirit and just place it in a body and have the person live? It can't be done. Also our spirit bodies required similar adjustment to. We need parents.

Yet amidst all this the idea has been presented that our Heavenly Parents would need to be in a constant state of having sex to produce all these offspring. This is false.

When the average healthy male has sex with a woman he will place in her between 40 million and 1.2 billion sperm in ejaculation. Unfortunately, us being fallen beings, there is a good chance that absolutely none of the sperm will obtain the objective. All those sperm will have died in vain.

Yet what if the producer of those sperm is a glorified immortal being? Will the multitude of sperm die? Of course not! They will live on and the mother can store them until required. (Sorry to those who may wish otherwise, but no endless celestial sex).

Additionally God's ability to produce the numbers required would obviously be far superior to the average healthy fallen male. Thus it may only be required for him to do so once with each wife to produce untold billions.

I must add to this that Godlike sex is absolutely nothing like what is commonly practiced among mankind. It is a spiritual activity that doesn't register physical responses (ie no lust). It works on a spirit to spirit love basis. Physical bodies are required, but no physical focus is done.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Arguments Against the LDS Church by Anti-Mormon Sites.

I am choosing one site and looking at the arguments presented from it. I will choose a site from time to time and examine those also. The site presents the idea that it is quoting Biblical texts to oppose church doctrine. I am just taking the first claims that it makes, for the moment, due to time and space restrictions.

The Bible & ChristianityThe Book of Mormon & Mormonism
On The Bible
The words of God and Jesus cannot wither, fade, fall or pass away; this Bible, the Word of God, cannot be corrupted. (Isaiah 40:8; Matthew 24:35; Luke 21:33; 1 Peter 1:23-25)

    My words shall not pass away. Mat 24:35
    Not the smallest letter shall disappear Mat 5:18
    Forever, thy word is settled Psa 119:89
    Word of God shall stand forever 1Pe 1:25
    Grass Wither, Word stands forever. Isa 40:8

    All scripture inspired. 2Ti 3:16, 17
    Holy Spirit author of Bible 2Pe 1:21
    The word of God, living and active Hbr 4:12
    Absolutely trustworthy 1Ki 8:56
    The Lord speaks it will be fulfilled Eze 12:25

  • Given us all things that pertain to life. 2Pe 1:3
    Power of God for salvation Rom 1:16
    Gives hope Rom 15:4
    Gives, knowledge of eternal life. 1Jo 5:13

    Gives light in dark places 2Pe 1:19
    Purifies the life Psa 119:9
    Believers share a common teacher, the Holy Spirit Eph 4:4, 5
    If he does not depend mans wisdom 2Cr 2:9-14
    If he lets the Bible instruct him 2Ti 3:16
    If he searches the scriptures regularly, daily Act 17:11
    If he seeks to get his approval from the Bible 2Ti 2:15
    If Christ is his only Master. Mat 23:8-12

    Do not add or take away. Deu 12:32
    Do not add to His words Psa 30:6
    If any man add, God will add plagues Rev 22:18
    If any one takes away, God will take away Rev 22:19

  • Manuscript evidence proves that the Bible has not undergone any changes. There are 24,000 partial and complete, ancient handwritten manuscript copies of the New Testament, as well as hundreds of the Old Testament, dating back to the third century. The Dead Sea Scrolls that were found contained all the books of the Old Testament except the book of Esther. These scrolls have been dated as far back as 300-200 B.C. Therefore, the Bible the early church had 2000 years ago is the same Bible we have today. (Reference: DVD Trustworthiness of the Bible by Charlie Campbell.)
  • The Bible has been corrupted by errors of translation and transmission, as well as by deliberate action. (WMT; CJS; 1 Nephi 13:26-29, BOM)

  • The Book of Mormon is purported to be "a second witness to the Bible"-a witness that condemns and claims the Bible is in error. 1 Nephi 13:24-40 informs us that many "plain and precious things" are taken from the Bible, (verse 28), and 2 Nephi chapter twenty-nine states that anyone who claims the Bible is sufficient and they need no other book is "a fool." The Mormon church has four books which are accepted as scripture.

  • "By the standard works of the Church is meant the following four volumes of scripture: The Bible, Book of Mormon, Doctrine and Covenants, and Pearl of Great Price. The Church uses the King James Version of the Bible, but acceptance of the Bible is coupled with a reservation that it is true only insofar as translated correctly, (Eighth Article of Faith.) The other three, having been revealed in modern times in English, are accepted without qualification."

    (Mormon Doctrine, Bruce McConkie, Pg 764).

    The Mormon Church makes this statement about the Bible:

  • "After the book (Bible) hath gone forth through the hands of the great and abominable church...there are many plain and precious things taken away from the book." 1 Nephi 13:28

  • There is no evidence for this statement. Christ promised to be with his church always, even to the end of the world. Matthew 28:20 and the Holy Spirit has been given to the church forever, John 14:16, by whose guidance the church continues to live and work. Because of the guiding of the Spirit, through the word there is no need for the Book of Mormon, Doctrine and Covenants or Pearl of Great Price.

  • There are over 25,000 archaeological discoveries proving the accuracy and trustworthiness of the Bible. There are NO archaeological discoveries supporting the existence of the Book of Mormon's cities, battles, people groups, nor have their alleged artifacts (i.e. Kinderhook plates) been proven authentic-- they in fact have been proven to be a hoax.

  • Evidence for the Bible

    While on the one hand I support the fact that the Bible is a true record, to claim archaeological evidence is a false claim. The only real EVIDENCE, is evidence to support the fact that Jerusalem existed and that names used in the NT were genuine names used by people in that area. Also we have evidence that a church following Christ existed a century later. Yet even that evidence came from the Catholic church itself.

    The suggestion that the Dead Sea scrolls could date at around 300-200 BC are extremely optomistic. The Wikipedia gives dates of 150 BC to 70 AD. Additionally there is difference in words given in these scrolls and those in the Old Testament. Some showing great diversity from what we have written in the Old Testament today.

    While these texts provide a much older text of the Old Testament, that the Old Testament existed at that time should never really have been in doubt. After all the New Testament texts had quoted from it at that time, so why would we believe that it didn't exist at that time? The question is whether there is evidence of it being dated beyond that time?

    One big problem we face in proving the Bible is that God's law forbad Israel from making any art _ "You shall not make any graven image or any likeness of anything that is in the sky above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the waters beneath the earth." Deut 5:8. When Solomon built the temple he had to get Gentiles from other nations to do any carving that was required. Therefore archaeologists can only find crude artifacts and not many at that. There is no evidence of any great civilization having existing in that area.

    Additionally the Romans completely destroyed Jerusalem in 70 AD and probably destroyed many other Jewish settlements in the surrounding area at the same time. So nothing remains there either.

    Unfortunately no record has been found showing any Babylonian conquest of any people called Israelites or Jews. Neither has any Persian or Assyrian records been found of such. Yet records are found of other conquests they had. No record of Moses nor of any Egyptian King being drowned in the sea. No record of Joseph or Israel in Egypt either. No record of Philistines, King David or even Solomon's kingdom. Neither is there record of the Egyptians defeat of Josiah.

    While claims are made of discovering Jericho no real evidence has been forthcoming to prove the town was really Jericho.

    On the other hand evidence for the Book of Mormon is so overwhelming that it has been proven in a court of law to be an authentic history of the Ancient American people. Thus in the front of the book the church has been permitted to mention that the book was "translated" by Joseph Smith rather than, as it used to have to say, "written by Joseph Smith." Protestants opposed it and lost the case. So if it is so obviously a fraud then why was it PROVEN authentic by an unbiased court system?

    Ironically the greatest archaeological evidence for the Bible is the Book of Mormon; whether Protestants like it or not.

    In regard the suggestion that the Bible is flawless, even protestant and Catholic leaders and writers say otherwise. states the following _

    *No original manuscript of any biblical book has survived! All of the texts written by the biblical authors themselves have been lost or destroyed over the centuries. All we have are copies of copies of copies, most of them copied hundreds of years after the original texts were written.

    *The extant manuscripts contain numerous textual variations! There are literally thousands of differences in the surviving biblical manuscripts, many of them minor (spelling variations, synonyms, different word orders), but some of them major (whole sections missing or added).

    *Important old manuscripts were found in the last 200 years! Recent discoveries of older manuscripts (esp. the Dead Sea Scrolls and the Codex Sinaiticus) have helped scholars get closer to the original text of the Bible, so that modern translations can be more accurate than medieval ones.

    *The meanings of some biblical texts are unknown or uncertain! Some Hebrew or Greek words occur only once in the Bible, but nowhere else in ancient literature, so their exact meanings are unknown; and some biblical phrases are ambiguous, with more than one possible meaning. Ancient languages are very different from modern languages! Not only do Ancient Hebrew and Greek use completely different alphabets and vocabularies, but their grammatical rules and structures (word order, prepositions, conjugations of verbs, etc.) are very different from modern English.

    *Every "translation" is already inevitably an "interpretation"! Anyone who knows more than one modern language realizes that "translations" often have meanings that are slightly different from the original, and that different people inevitably translate the same texts in slightly different ways.

    *All living languages continually change and develop over time! Not only is "Modern English" very different from 16th century English, but the language used in Great Britain, America, Australia, and other countries are slightly different from each other (in spelling, grammar, idioms, word meanings, etc.).

    *Cultural developments require new sensitivities in language! Recent awareness of the evils of racism, sexism, anti-Semitism, and other forms of discrimination have shown have certain language is slanted or biased, with corresponding efforts to develop more "inclusive" language alternatives.

    Even the ultra Protestant site "Carm" admits the problem with the following absurdly optomistic claim _

    "The internal consistency of the New Testament documents is about 99.5% textually pure." (

    The Wikipedia states in regard the ancient Sinaiticus Codex used in many Bible translations _

    "The codex has been corrected many thousands of times, making it one of the most corrected manuscripts in existence" ( states the following _

    "The NASB, the NIV, the Jehovah's Witness bible ("New World Translation"), and most modern translations and paraphrases use the Westcott and Hort Greek Text, which is supported by only a small portion (5% or less) of existing manuscripts, including Codex Vaticanus, Codex Sinaiticus, Alexandrian Codex, Parisian Codex, and Codex Bezae.

    For obvious reasons, this text is referred to as the "Minority Texts." Westcott and Hort relied heavily on the Vaticanus and Sinaiticus for their Greek Text, which is particularly odd, considering the fact that these two codices contradict each other over 3,000 times in the gospels alone."

    Also note _

    In regard the arguments themselves.

    1.The Book of Mormon doesn't dispute that whatever God says stands and will not fail. It mentions that the Bible text has been played with. The Bible quotes given don't prove to the contrary.

    2.The Book of Mormon doesn't dispute that the Bible was an inspired document. What it is stating is that man has fiddled with it AFTERWARD.

    3.The Church clearly declares that the fulness of the everlasting gospel is contained in the Bible. In fact it is contained in the New Testament. This, however, doesn't invalidate the advantages of additional understanding that can be obtained from reading the Old Testament nor any other Scripture that can be obtained, as all Scripture is profitable for all (2 Tim 3:16-17).

    It should further be noted that according to the Bible the Old Testament and a testimony of Christ is sufficient for salvation without the New Testament at all. Paul tells Timothy, "and that from a child you have had the holy Scripture [obviously not the 2 books of Timothy for starters] which are able to make you wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus." (2 Tim 3:15). The Scriptures he was brought up with as a child can't have included the then unwritten books of the New Testament. So even the New Testament isn't necessary for salvation. Yet why would we go without these 27 extra books in the New Testament?

    4.If this were true we wouldn't have the millions of "Christian" churches all claiming to follow the Bible, but seeing it differently.

    5.No one has claimed that God's word should be changed. They have stated that it already has been changed and needs to be put back where it was.

    If any of the antis who read this wish for me to answer their site I am quite happy to do so provided it has something worth answering in it. Many sites just contain inuendo and quote from dubious sources. Also posing arguments about dead people is meaningless as they aren't here to explain their words. You need to have something either from the Bible, additional scripture or life to demonstrate your opinion that the church is incorrect. Any links to anti sites made in comments will be removed, unless I deem them relevant.

    Tuesday, December 14, 2010

    Fourteen Fundamentals Examined Part 1

    Ezra Taft Benson, President of the Quorum of the Twelve apostles at the time, gave a talk entitled “Fourteen Fundamentals in Following the Prophet” (Address given Tuesday, February 26, 1980 at Brigham Young University).

    His claims are somewhat contraversial. In fact even some relatively conservative members have ripped them to pieces of late, not just the DAMs. In fairness to him I thought it wise to do examinations of the claims of this talk. I won't do all 14 at once though.

    It is neither my intention to defend falsehood on the one hand, nor to find fault where it doesn't exist, on the other. So I am seeking to do a realistic appraisal of his claims.

    In looking at his statements I think we have to remember that he was talking at BYU. He wasn't anticipating that his words would be analysed under a microscope on the internet. Also I think the talk was anticipated to be simplistic, not used as a doctrinal backing for a particular line of thought (as has occurred).

    Also we need to observe that, except for one, these qualities aren't entirely unique to the president of the church. He has only attempted to inform us what to keep in mind in following instructions from the president.

    Brother Benson states the following, "Here then is the grand key — Follow the prophet — and here are fourteen fundamentals in following the prophet." He then qualifies that when he uses the term "the prophet," he means "the President of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints." This qualifying of the title "the prophet" is important to the subject, as we view the claims.

    First Claim: The prophet is the only man who speaks for the Lord in everything.

    To support this claim he quotes the following
    "In section 132 verse 7 of the Doctrine and Covenants the Lord speaks of the prophet—the president—and says:
    'There is never but one on the earth at a time on whom this power and the keys of this priesthood are conferred.'

    Then in section 21 verses 4–6, the Lord states:
    'Wherefore, meaning the church, you shall give heed to all his words and commandments which he shall give to you as he receives them, walking in all holiness before me; For his word you shall receive, as if from my own mouth, in all patience and faith. For by doing these things the gates of hell shall not prevail against you.'”

    Firstly we have an incredibly ambiguous statement. It needs a LOT of defining. What does he mean; the president speaks for the Lord in "EVERYTHING?" For example, the president couldn't instruct on how to fly a Concorde. And we know Brother Benson's not implying he could. So we need to examine just what he is proposing.

    His real meaning should be revealed by the references he's quoted.

    The first one points out that only the president has the full set of keys (entitlement to automatic revelation for an office). The second reference informs us that WHEN a president receives revelation from God that revelation should be accepted as if God himself had said it.

    In regard this latter I think it important to mention that this promise isn't unique to the president of the church.

    "What I the Lord have spoken, I have spoken, and I excuse not myself; and though the heavens and the earth pass away, my word shall not pass away, but shall all be fulfilled, whether by my own voice or by the voice of my servants, it is the same." D&C 1:38

    So if God speaks to ANY of his servants and they pass that message on, it is the same as if God himself has said it.

    In regard to anyone sent forth to preach the gospel the D&C states,

    "And this is the example to them, that they shall speak as they are moved upon by the Holy Ghost. And whatever they shall speak when moved upon by the Holy Ghost shall be scripture, shall be the will of the Lord, shall be the mind of the Lord, shall be the word of the Lord, shall be the voice of the Lord, and the power of God unto salvation." D&C 68:3-4.

    I would further expand that and say that anyone who is moved upon by the Holy Ghost to say anything, is speaking for the Lord. And what they say in that regard is to be taken as if God himself were speaking.

    It should be noted that the texts quoted by Brother Benson don't claim that all things the president says are the words of God. What they say is that IF he is walking in all holiness before God then the words God has GIVEN him come from God. Not everything that the president says has been received by revelation. He has many of his own opinions, as we all do.

    So considering all the disecting that is going on, his first claim would be better to have stated,
    "The president of the church is the only man who is automatically entitled to speak for the Lord in all things relative to the church organisation and its basic teachings. And he also joins all his brothers and sisters in that when any of God's servants are instructed of God they may speak as if God himself has spoken."

    Second Claim: The living prophet is more vital to us than the Standard Works.

    To support this claim he refers to a statement that was made by Brigham Young and supported by Joseph Smith, after an erroneous claim was made by a particular local leader. The claim was the following,

    "You have got the word of God before you here in the Bible, Book of Mormon, and Doctrine and Covenants; you have the written word of God, and you who give revelations should give revelations according to those books, as what is written in those books is the word of God. We should confine ourselves to them."

    Brother Brigham got up and made a statement to the extreme opposite of this extreme statement. Amidst it he said,

    "When compared with the living oracles those books are nothing to me; those books do not convey the word of God direct to us now, as do the words of a Prophet or a man bearing the Holy Priesthood in our day and generation. I would rather have the living oracles than all the writing in the books."

    Are we serious? Did he really think before saying this or has he just gone off to the other extreme, to combat the nonsense he has just heard? I believe that if I spoke to Brigham today he would admit it was the latter.

    The words of the Savior in the sermon on the mount are the most important things that can be said. Nothing ANY person speaking today says is "more vital". This is why he delivered the same message when he came to the Americas. This is why this same message is taught by disguise in the temple.

    Yet, as God was restoring many truths to the earth at that time, it is reasonable to see Joseph Smith's message as extremely vital to Brigham. Yet Thomas S. Monson hasn't come up with any new doctrine. His use is in administrative areas within the church and encouragement.

    Brother Benson's claim could have been better to have said,
    "Continued revelation to a living president is vital, to keep the church and basic doctrines taught, where God would have them at this time."

    You can find the other 4 sections to this posted on the following dates:
    Part 2 Nov 29
    Part 3 Oct 18
    Part 4 Sep 19
    Part 5 Aug 20

    Sunday, November 28, 2010

    Fourteen Fundamentals Examined Part 2

    This is a continuation, examining 14 contraversial claims made by Ezra Taft Benson in regard following prophets.

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

    To support and define this claim he quotes the following

    "God’s revelation to Adam did not instruct Noah how to build the Ark. Noah needed his own revelation. Therefore the most important prophet so far as you and I are concerned is the one living in our day and age to whom the Lord is currently revealing His will for us. Therefore the most important reading we can do is any of the words of the prophet contained each month in our Church Magazines. Our instructions about what we should do for each six months are found in the General Conference addresses which are printed in the Church magazine.
    Beware of those who would set up the dead prophets against the living prophets, for the living prophets always take precedence."

    To support this he starts off with a good arguement. Which certainly fares well as one side of the equation. But without considering the other side at all, he then says that church magazines are better than the Scriptures. Then he presents his opinion that living prophets take presedence over dead ones.

    I would present the following statement from Harold B. Lee, who was president at the time he said it.

    "If anyone, regardless of his position in the Church, were to advance a doctrine that is not substantiated by the standard Church works, meaning the Bible, the Book of Mormon, the Doctrine and Covenants, and the Pearl of Great Price, you may know that his statement is merely his private opinion. The only one authorized to bring forth any new doctrine is the President of the Church, who, when he does, will declare it as revelation from God, and it will be so accepted by the Council of the Twelve and sustained by the body of the Church. And if any man speak a doctrine which contradicts what is in the standard Church works, you may know by that same token that it is false and you are not bound to accept it as truth." The First Area General Conference for Germany, Austria, Holland, Italy, Switzerland, France, Belgium, and Spain of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, held in Munich Germany, August 24-26, 1973, with Reports and Discourses, 69.

    This presents that no one's words can just be taken as the mind and will of the Lord. Their words must be supported by the Scriptures to be regarded as anything but personal opinion. In the case of the president there is exception WHERE it is presented to the church and sustained as new doctrine. In such cases it is then placed in the Standard Works to become part of the accepted doctrine of the church. Sustaining people to positions DOESN'T mean we sustain every opinion they present.

    If these statements of the president were the mind and will of the Lord at the time of Harold B. Lee, are we to believe that God changed his ways between 1973 and 1980? And was this acceptable because Brother Lee was dead when Brother Benson (who was then president of the quorum of twelve) proposed this?

    The death of an individual does NOT alter truth. Those principles Christ preached in the Scriptures to Joseph Smith, Christ's apostles and other inspired men are as relevant today as they were on the day they were written. They don't become removeable truths because the people who stated them have since died.

    Jesus Christ's sermon on the mount is far more important to us than anything any prophet states or stated throughout history. You'll find it in the Standard Works written by dead apostles.

    I think Brother Benson's statement would have been better to have said,
    "The living president may, at any time, receive revelation that we need to hear at this time. Therefore as a suppliment to Scripture reading I would advise reading of what the current president is talking about."

    Fourth Claim: The prophet will never lead the Church astray.

    In support of this claim he quotes the following from Brother Wilford Woodruff,

    “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, pp. 212–13.)

    Then he presents the following from Brother Marion G. Romney (of the Council of Twelve),

    “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.’ ” (Conference Report, October 1960, p. 78.)

    I have written on this matter in a recent post. So some of this will be a direct quote from that post.

    This was stated because of the great opposition he faced from church members and leaders due to his declaration opposing the present practice of plural marriage. So his statement should be kept in context.

    Today there are those that choose to believe that this is a reason to feel that nothing the President of the church says can be wrong. However that statement not only says that the President of the church would be removed out of his place but that ANYONE attempting to lead people astray, from the words of God, would.

    To be moved out of their place they must have some "place" to be moved out of. It is posing church positions. So are we to believe that all bishops, stake presidents, high councilmen, elder's quorum presidents, relief society presidents, scout leaders, class secretaries, ward mission leaders, home teachers, visiting teachers etc are infallible in their offices: That every word they say is the mind and will of God?

    Because that's what you would have to believe to use Wilford Woodruff's statement as used by some, concerning opinions expressed by the president of the church.

    Note also that he states that it would have to be a deliberate attempt to lead astray, on behalf of the leader - "...If I were to attempt that...any other man who attempts to lead the children of men astray..."

    I think we have to use a bit of sense in our understanding of his intention. He is posing that such a major change, as he was presenting, wouldn't be allowed by God if it were wrong. To make more out of it not only is ridiculous (as demonstrated 3 paragraphs above) but doesn't fit in the context, nor with other statements of church presidents to the contrary.

    Additionally such thinking leaves members open to anti-material where they demonstrate the differences of ideas expressed by church presidents and other GAs. We need to move beyond such ideas, as we learn in the gospel.

    The idea that we should look to another man, in some position, to tell us what God has to say, is essential for new members, those with mental retardation problems, children under 8, those who have recently reactivated, people suffering altzeimers disease, those coming to church only for social reasons and those having serious troubles seeing the point in obeying God (such as Israel at the time of Moses).

    For any others there are 2 men that actually ARE infallible. One we call "Heavenly Father." And the other we call "Jesus Christ." Fortunately both are very much available for comment. You don't need to book an appointment to see them. You can just ask at any time.

    Along with them we have the Holy Ghost, who is quite happy to reside inside you ALL the time. He can guide you in anything. He also is infallible.

    That sounds a much better idea to me. The other is just being spiritually lazy, in my opinion.
    I have to add that if Brother Woodruff's statement were to be taken as Brother Benson suggests then how did the apostacy occur? Someone lead the church astray as its president.

    I would further add that Brother Grant's teaching of blind obedience would only be suitable when a person is incapable of receiving personal guidance from the Holy Ghost. Otherwise they'd better get on their knees and find out or they will be accountable for what they do.

    His statement would have been better to have stated _God seems to have suggested that no further restoration will be occurring before the millenium. Therefore the president of the church will continue to have God's authority.

    Fifth Claim: The prophet is not required to have any particular earthly training or diplomas to speak on any subject or act on any matter at any time.

    To define this idea he states the following,

    "Sometimes there are those who feel their earthly knowledge on a certain subject is superior to the heavenly knowledge which God gives to his prophet on the same subject. They feel the prophet must have the same earthly credentials or training which they have had before they will accept anything the prophet has to say that might contradict their earthly schooling. How much earthly schooling did Joseph Smith have? Yet he gave revelations on all kinds of subjects. We haven’t yet had a prophet who earned a doctorate degree in any subject. We encourage earthly knowledge in many areas, but remember if there is ever a conflict between earthly knowledge and the words of the prophet, you stand with the prophet and you’ll be blessed and time will show you have done the right thing."

    I would fully support this claim: Relative to the subject it is completely correct. The only thing I would add to this (in the interest of perspective) is that this not only pertains to the president, but to those statements in Scripture and any statement by a person receiving revelation.

    Monday, November 15, 2010

    Reasons Why Anti-Women Sentiment and Injustice is Rising in our Society, Part 2

    Due to the contraversial nature of this subject I feel it necessary to first remind readers that blogs aren't official church sites (as I've stated at the top of the site). This is my own personal observations with some references to what God has said.

    Serious problems also exist in the area of protection orders. I counselled with two women who were having marriage disputes where both wives took out protection orders against their husbands (both of whom WERE violent - I knew them). The first made big point of how violent he was and how scared she was of him. She was definitely committed to not having him back. The next thing I know he's back and she's accepted it. This left me rather confused. With the second she was actually physically shaking with fear about what he might do to her and the children. She asked if I would come over if he turned up. He did turn up. And I gave it a couple of minutes (listening for any sound of violence, as they were next door). Upon going over I found her no longer shaking with fear. I realised that she was no longer shaking because she was talking with him rather than thinking of what could happen any moment when unable to see him _ as had been the case before. So the latter seemed preferable. In other words the protection order hadn't really worked against these two violent husbands, because of the wives genuine fears.

    On the other hand let's consider the case of Bill and Alice, who'd been married for about 20 years and things weren't going well. During their marriage Alice had initiated any violence that had occurred _ She had hit and kicked Bill four times, and Bill had hit back once and kicked back once in those years _ while not a perfect record, certainly for either to claim the other a serious threat would be a wild exaggeration.

    However Alice wanted a divorce, but wanted to live in the home (rented in Bills' name) and wanted custody of the children. She also wanted justification with her local church, where her husband had good standing. In the hall-way one day, while arguing, she pushed against him with her chest goading him, asking continually, "what are you going to do about it, go on, what are you going to do about it?" He regarded this as a claim that he wouldn't dare punch her _ as happens in schoolyards etc. So, foolishly, he gave her a small punch in the side, where he calculated she had plenty of flab to handle it.

    Unfortunately, by this action she had justification to take out a court order against him, and did so. At this point she had hit him 4 times and he'd hit her 3 times, but he had a court order against him. This, truly, was a farce, and an abuse of the point of the law. Unfortunately this is all I hear from the many examples I've seen and heard of. If some court orders are actually working against truly violent husbands it would appear to be rare, and far outweighed by the abuse that's happening.

    I urge all to consider these problems and refrain from extreme notions. More laws don’t resolve the problem, it requires a new thinking: Doing things God’s way for a change. Another great problem that shows up in all these areas is the very long jail sentences given to the proposed perpetrators of sex crimes. While all care must be given to protect women, equal care must be employed, by a just society, to protect innocent men from being incarcerated at the rate, and for the lengthy periods for which they presently are being.

    This is a suitable condition from Satan's point of view as it turns men off women and therefore creates more homosexual and lesbian problems. I couldn't tell you how many men I have come across who are now anti-women because of the apparent lack of fairness within society relative to men. Men complain that the women are more likely to get custody of the children, even when the woman has demonstrated serious problems. Women are more likely to get use, therefore, of the house.

    These problems and the threat of going to jail for sex crimes not committed are all responsible. Men complain that their ex-wives have actually threatened such against them if they argue custody etc.

    One further point in this regard is the freedom from prosecution for those making such claims. When God gave the law to Moses He made sure that there was fair penalty to those abusing it. Deuteronomy 19:18-19 states that if a person is found to be bearing false witness that the penalty for them shall be the penalty that would have been given to the accused. With such penalties we'd find far less court cases of sex claims, I'm sure. The Police involved in these things should also be sent to jail when it is obvious that they have been involved in the lie.

    Sooner or later all this will swing back against women, and this I don't wish to see. I urge women, for their own futures' sake, to refrain from abusing these laws for personal gain, and advise their friends the same.

    The real answers to a nation’s ills were delivered by Jesus Christ around 2000 years ago. He was raised under the leadership of a tyrannical government (the Romans) whom he made no attempt to depose. He knew that the answer lay in changing peoples' hearts. Make the people better and all these problems will fade away. However I'd also advise people to petition politicians for fairer and more sensible laws.

    Monday, November 01, 2010

    Reasons Why Anti-Women Sentiment and Injustice is Rising in our Society

    As the subject is so large I will be putting this out in 2 pieces.

    Due to the contraversial nature of this subject I feel it necessary to first remind readers that blogs aren't official church sites (as I've stated at the top of the site). This is my own personal observations with some references to what God has said.

    A serious problem in our society today is the incredible ease with which an innocent man can be jailed for rape, or sexual acts relative to children. Lots of noise is occurring about men not being found out. This is all focused on men having sexual problems. While all should be appalled if people of either sex aren't being found out, this has created a mass hysteria about sex crime allegations. While someone accused of murder needs to be proven guilty, a man accused of sex crimes (particularly those involving children) must prove his innocence _ an incredibly difficult thing to do. Twisted interpretations of phone conversations and innuendo become "evidence" in courtrooms that juries (also people in the same society) accept. Those convicted (particularly where bad "evidence" isn't exposed) feel that the government funded defence lawyers they were given were either amazingly inept or supporting the states case to convict in spite of being there to defend _ some making the other side look good.

    It is a blight on our society that a cheesed-off ex-wife can send an innocent man to jail for 15 years, at public expense, and (just to add insult to injury) be compensated with tens of thousands of dollars or more, also at public expense.

    Some argue (relative to child claims) that "children don't lie, particularly about these things." The structure of this sentence is a lie in itself. Let's examine it. "Children don't lie" it starts with. Then before people can realise what rubbish that is they then add the unknown factor - "partiularly about these things." Of course people have no idea whether they do or don't, and so assume it to be true. This shows a typical way the devil implants false perceptions into people's heads. It has been shown over and over again that children do lie about these things. Children certainly DO lie. What's worse is that children can easily be made to believe that something occurred which didn't. They only need to be told often enough, particularly if tired _ they start to visualise it in their head and it becomes real. This is particularly easy when it is loosely based on an actual (harmless) event. We are on the one hand saying that they are children, and therefore not capable of making an informed decision about sex. Yet on the other hand saying that they are all-knowing when giving testimony against the proposed offender. This is a contradiction.

    No one would sensibly propose that allegations aren't looked into, but it should be treated as any other allegation where good evidence must be presented to convict. Those lawyers there to defend must do so with genuine earnestness. If a case doesn't have such evidence it's time to accept that most probably it's because the person actually didn't do it, and the proposed crime didn't occur at all. If you think that the legal system is bad that all those accused who aren't convicted are guilty, then by the same logic you would have to conclude that all convicted by that bad system are innocent. By focusing your thoughts on only one side (i.e. he did it and got away with it) thinking becomes twisted and true justice lost.

    Serious difficulties also exist relative to rape. While it is true to say that "rape is rape", it is a bit like saying, "theft is theft" or "murder is murder". All these statements are true but courts make varying penalties in the latter two. A person has even murdered, been found guilty and then sent home, because of the circumstances surrounding the crime. Rape, however, seems to be treated quite differently; which is wrong. There are great differences in degree of rape and its effect and surrounding circumstances. While I abhor rape, and there is no such thing as a justified or right rape, I think it incredibly unjust to throw all rapes together as if a totally equal act.

    To quote one extreme: I remember years ago when I was in the army, I was on guard duty and a young woman approached me (we'll call her Rose) and said that she wished to complain because some army fellows had raped her. I knew this young woman by sight as she was in the army canteen every night and it was known that several guys would buy her drinks for the evening and at some point they would all go out and she would have sex with them all. This apparently happened every night, and I knew some who had been through this with her. I, myself, had seen her there whenever there myself (as much as I bothered to remember). Morally all were doing an incorrect act. Both Rose and those guys involved each night were abusing a wonderful thing _ the ability to procreate (have children).

    When I called out the guard commander and he heard the allegation he seemed to be even more surprised than I was when she told me (I'd only been there several months). I would assume that several guys had bought her drinks, taken her out and been a bit pushy. She may have felt that she wasn't being charmed enough, and wanted to be charmed first. And they've felt that they'd paid the price in buying her the beer. This doesn't make it right to just take sex against her will, naturally. But what kind of a deal was this anyway? Is it a good and wholesome one?

    But look at a woman who is walking home from work because her car broke down, minding her own business, and a carload of guys force her into a car and rape her. The latter is a far more aggressive action upon a far less involved woman. Also the question would arise as to how much trauma each of these women actually went through in this process. Rose, while showing a sign of feeling indignant, was very casual about it all, and showed no sign of trauma whatsoever. Considering that some women end up severely traumatised and even some in a mental institution by violent, aggressive rapes, I think in order that we have true justice we need to make some segregation somewhere. I must also say that I personally feel it a belittling of violent and aggressive rape victims to throw them in with situations like that of Rose (without detracting from the seriousness of that which happened to Rose).

    Along with this I see Rose guilty of assisting in the creation of rapists, and feel a penalty must be placed upon her.

    Also a problem in all this is wife / girlfriend rape, where an accepted sexual relationship already exists, but has been violated. At what point did the woman say "no", and how convincingly did she convey this opinion? What if she says, "no", then he gives some reason for continuing, and she makes no further statement but makes some "humph" sound, and all this happens during the process of them having sex? He may have said something he shouldn't have and then apologised. Afterward she starts to feel miffed about it and claims rape against him. On the other hand there can be genuine violent rape by a husband / boyfriend (there are also cases of violence against husbands).

    Because of the many things that can occur in this regard I think a distinction has to be made between where permission for sex has already been given and not formerly retracted, and where never given. This area also is far too open for serious abuse by a disgruntled spouse / partner.

    It is interesting to note that God doesn't allow a wife to testify in regard her husband in the law of Moses. And by the same law a person who has sex with someone at all must marry them. So the same would apply for a live-in partner. He wasn't stupid in making these laws. He knew the abuse that would occur.

    This attack and injustice upon men has brought out a lot of anti-women sentiment. Particularly amongst those affected and due to the many other problems, some of which I will discuss in the next part.

    Sunday, October 17, 2010

    Fourteen Fundamentals Examined Part 3

    This is a continuation of an analysis of a controversial talk by Brother Ezra Taft Benson (then president of the quorum of the twelve). In it he presented 14 fundamentals to following a president of the church. Not all 14 have drawn criticism, but I'll cover all anyway. This is for the purpose of seeing his intent and making facts clearer.

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

    To support this claim he says the following,

    "Sometimes there are those who argue about words. They might say the prophet gave us counsel but that we are not obliged to follow it unless he says it is a commandment. But the Lord says of the Prophet, 'Thou shalt give heed unto all his words and commandments which he shall give unto you.' (D&C 21:4.)

    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.'

    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, 13:95.)"

    Firstly D&C 21:4 goes on to say, in the same verse, "AS he receiveth them, walking in all holiness before me." These are 2 significant additions to that which Brother Benson has presented. It is only those things the president has received from God, as he walks in all holiness before him, that we need to regard to be commandments from God. How can we know which is which if he doesn't declare it to be from the Lord?

    D&C 108:1 doesn't say whether Joseph Smith had or hadn't said "thus saith the Lord." It would be incredibly likely that he, in fact, did.

    In regard to anyone sent forth to preach the gospel the D&C states,

    "And this is the ensample unto them, that they shall speak as they are moved upon by the Holy Ghost. And whatsoever they shall speak when moved upon by the Holy Ghost shall be scripture, shall be the will of the Lord, shall be the mind of the Lord, shall be the word of the Lord, shall be the voice of the Lord, and the power of God unto salvation." D&C 68:3-4.

    So it would be wise to remember that this isn't unique to the president of the church, by any means. In fact anyone speaking by the Holy Ghost can be considered as speaking Scripture where the words he is then speaking are coming directly from the Holy Ghost. Even if the man has no official position (as we see demonstrated many times in Scripture, such as with the child Samuel receiving revelation to give to the prophet Eli [1 Sam 3]).

    Harold B. Lee has declared that the president should present any additional revelation to the church for a sustaining vote. Thus he would be declaring it such when it was from the Lord. So while technically what Bro Benson says is true, to be ACCEPTED as Scripture, by the church, he would have to declare it such.

    Seventh Claim: The prophet tells us what we need to know, not always what we want to know.

    To support this claim he states,

    “'Thou has declared unto us hard things, more than we are able to bear,' complained Nephi’s brethren. But Nephi answered by saying, 'The guilty taketh the truth to be hard, for it cutteth them to the very center.' (1 Ne. 16:1–2.)

    Said President Harold B. Lee:

    'You may not like what comes from the authority of the Church. It may conflict with your political views. It may contradict your social views. It may interfere with some of your social life … Your safety and ours depends upon whether or not we follow … Let’s keep our eye on the President of the Church.' (Conference Report, October 1970, p. 152–153.)

    But it is the living prophet who really upsets the world. 'Even in the Church,' said President Kimball, 'many are prone to garnish the sepulchres of yesterdays prophets and mentally stone the living ones.' (Instructor, 95:527.)

    Why? Because the living prophet gets at what we need to know now, and the world prefers that prophets either be dead or worry about their own affairs. Some so-called experts of political science want the prophet to keep still on politics. Some would-be authorities on evolution want the prophet to keep still on evolution. And so the list goes on and on.

    How we respond to the words of a living prophet when he tells us what we need to know, but would rather not hear, is a test of our faithfulness.

    Said President Marion G. Romney, 'It is an easy thing to believe in the dead prophets, but it is a greater thing to believe in the living prophets.' And then he gives this illustration:

    'One day when President Grant was living, I sat in my office across the street following a general conference. A man came over to see me, an elderly man. He was very upset about what had been said in this conference by some of the Brethren, including myself. I could tell from his speech that he came from a foreign land. After I had quieted him enough so he would listen, I said, ‘Why did you come to America?’ ‘I am here because a prophet of God told me to come.’ ‘Who was the prophet?’ I continued. ‘Wilford Woodruff.’ ‘Do you believe Wilford Woodruff was a prophet of God?’ ‘Yes, sir.’
    'Then came the sixty-four dollar question, ‘Do you believe that Heber J. Grant is a prophet of God?’ His answer, ‘I think he ought to keep his mouth shut about old-age assistance.’

    'Now I tell you that a man in his position is on the way to apostasy. He is forfeiting his chances for eternal life. So is everyone who cannot follow the living prophet of God.' (Conference Report, April 1953, p. 125.)"

    I must start by pointing out that Nephi wasn't the president of the church in making his statement. So it isn't a relavent quote for what Brother Benson is trying to present. However I would support the use of this text for the subject, as in reality this statement applies to all people asking anyone to change their ways for good.

    A relevant question in regard Brother Romney's story is whether the man he quotes actually HAS apostatised? Had he waited to find out, and it being so, it would make quoting the story closer to being justified.

    I know a guy who still, after over 30 years of disagreeing with a decision of Spencer Kimball's, is very active and having one-on-one communication with God. So if he's on his way to apostacy he's taking a long time getting there. I also don't believe that the direction of Brother Kimball's was something anyone needed to know (as Brother Benson feels it would be). In fact I can assure you that it wasn't. We have to keep in mind that these people are human and have human frailties. To put them up on a pedistal and expect to keep them there we must bury our heads in the sand. Which isn't very helpful spiritually.

    So while I believe in the statement overall I don't support it as some absolute.

    Eighth Claim: The Prophet is not limited by men’s reasoning.

    In support Bro Benson states,

    "There will be times when you will have to choose between the revelation of God and reasoning of men—between the prophet and the professor.

    Said the Prophet Joseph Smith,
    'Whatever God requires is right, no matter what it is, although we may not see the reason thereof until long after the events transpire.' (Scrapbook of Mormon Literature, vol. 2, p. 173).

    Would it seem reasonable to an eye doctor to be told to heal a blind man by spitting in the dirt, making clay and applying it to the man’s eyes and then telling him to wash in a contaminated pool? Yet this is precisely the course that Jesus took with one man, and he was healed. (See John 9:6–7.) Does it seem reasonable to cure leprosy by telling a man to wash seven times in a particular river, yet this is precisely what the prophet Elisha told a leper to do, and he was healed. (See 2 Kgs. 5.)

    'For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the Lord. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts.' (Isa. 55:8–9.)"

    I would have to support him in this statement. Again I would qualify that any prophetic person is in the same situation. But this doesn't alter the truth of it as applying to the President of the church.

    Tuesday, September 28, 2010

    The Value of a Life

    I have read of a sermon by a funeral parlour minister in which he mentioned that the sun always looms larger on the horizon - at the very pont of its exchange between heaven and earth. He pointed out how that human life is like that in that it is only at the point of exchange between heaven and earth (at birth and death) that the true worth of a person's life is realized.

    When a pop singer dies he suddenly becomes more famous than he may have ever been in life. We may say little to a relative until they pass on; and then we wish we had said more.

    I remember when young watching westerns. The baddie and the goodie would face each other out in the street and go for their guns. Of course the goodie won. It all seemed so glorious to me at that age. I had my own set of toy guns and holsters. I'd watch movies about the Roman legions and their conquest of the opposition. The power and the glory bit hit me. The Egyptian empire the same.

    Yet when I joined the army my perspective altered dramatically. They took us down the range and set up a 44 gallon (200 litre) drum full of water. They fired a shot at it and then took us over to see the result. It had a small hole in the front where the bullet had gone in. But the entire back of the drum was ripped apart. They told us that this is what happens to people when the bullet hits.

    Along with this they showed how the bullet could travel through a double brick wall and kill whoever was on the other side: There was no way to avoid them. They travel faster than sound, so if you hear the sound it missed.

    Then I found myself at the firing range looking at a human like target. It really began to sink in that they were anticipating that I would kill a human being.

    The reality of a person being killed hit me very strongly. I remember my mother speaking of hundreds or thousands dying in some disaster. While my mother and whoever she was speaking to would demonstrate their grief at the loss of life, I had felt nothing. Yet at this point the death of 5 people suddenly began to feel a major catastrophy to me.

    Since that time Heavenly Father and I have had discussions on the subject; and I now have assurance in his wisdom in when people pass on to the spirit world. Yet it is sad to lose a loved one: We miss them.

    When I now look back at those empires and westerns I see a different thing. I see the problems in the background. I see the wasted death, inequality and corruption that comes by not following what God lays down for peace and happiness.

    Sunday, September 19, 2010

    Fourteen Fundamentals Examined Part 4

    This is a continuation of an analysis of a controversial talk by Brother Ezra Taft Benson (then president of the quorum of the twelve). In it he presented 14 fundamentals to following a president of the church. Not all 14 have drawn criticism, but I'll cover all anyway. This is for the purpose of seeing his intent and making facts clearer.

    Ninth Claim: The prophet can receive revelation on any matter—temporal or spiritual.
    To explain and support this claim he presented the following _

    "Said Brigham Young:
    'Some of the leading men in Kirtland were much opposed to Joseph the Prophet, meddling with temporal affairs …

    'In a public meeting of the Saints, I said, ‘Ye Elders of Israel, … will some of you draw the line of demarcation, between the spiritual and temporal in the kingdom of God, so that I may understand it?’ Not one of them could do it …

    'I defy any man on earth to point out the path a Prophet of God should walk in, or point out his duty, and just how far he must go, in dictating temporal or spiritual things. Temporal and spiritual things are inseparably connected, and ever will be.' (Journal of Discourses, 10:363–64.)"

    As with Brigham people have often presented to me that the prophet is correct in all things spiritual, but doesn't have to be in temporal things. To which I have never been able to find anyone capable of proving to me where one finishes and the other starts. Even something as seemingly temporal as going to the toilet has spiritual significance in looking after the body we have been given.

    Some would point out that claim isn't unique to the president of the church, but counts for all. This is true. There is only one of these 14 claims that I find totally unique to the president of the church. Yet it has to continually be remembered that he didn't claim them to be unique to the president.

    Tenth Claim: The prophet may well advise on civic matters.

    "When a people are righteous, they want the best to lead them in government. Alma was the head of the Church and of the government in the Book of Mormon; Joseph Smith was mayor of Nauvoo and Brigham Young was governor of Utah. Isaiah was deeply involved in giving counsel on political matters and of his words the Lord himself said, 'Great are the words of Isaiah.' (3 Ne. 23:1.)"

    This seems a restructuring of the last claim to some degree. And it seems a bit of a simplistic statement, as anyone can advise on civic matters. I think he is suggesting that the president could be inspired with answers on civic matters. Again this could be the case with anyone able to receive revelation. But it is worth noting, and seems indisputable.

    Eleventh Claim: The two groups who have the greatest difficulty in following the prophet are the proud who are learned and the proud who are rich.

    To justify this concept he presents the following _

    "The learned may feel the prophet is only inspired when he agrees with them, otherwise the prophet is just giving his opinion—speaking as a man. The rich may feel they have no need to take counsel of a lowly prophet.

    In the Book of Mormon we read:
    'O that cunning plan of the evil one! O the vainness, and the frailties, and the foolishness of men! When they are learned they think they are wise, and they hearken not unto the counsel of God, for they set it aside, supposing they know of themselves, wherefore, their wisdom is foolishness and it profiteth them not. And they shall perish.

    'But to be learned is good if they hearken unto the counsels of God.

    'And whoso knocketh, to him will he open; and the wise, and the learned, and they that are rich, who are puffed up because of their learning, and their wisdom, and their riches—yea, they are they whom he despiseth; and save they shall cast things away, and consider themselves fools before God, and come down in the depths of humility, he will not open unto them.' (2 Ne. 9:28–29, 42)"

    While fully supporting the part of the claim that says that those that consider themselves wise and rich are hard of spiritual hearing; I would have to add a third member to the group to make it complete.

    When Satan came to Christ and Eve he made an attack upon each of our 3 parts - intelligence, spirit body and physical body. These were intelligence - "desired to make one wise" "if you are the Son of God cast yourself down" (this is the "pride of life" [learned]). Spirit body - "pleasant to the eyes" "all these things will I give thee" (this is the "lust of the eyes" [rich]) And the Physical body - "good for food" "turn this stone into bread" (this is the "lust of the flesh"). (Gen 3:6, Matt 4:2-9, 1 Jn 2:16)

    So to me he has only represented two groups of the three. While pride and greed are serious problems, so is lust of the flesh. I don't see this group as being inferior problems to the other two. With the inclusion of this group I'm quite in agreement with him.

    Tuesday, September 07, 2010

    Hypocracy in Regard Child Pornography?

    I have sometimes wondered about just how much underage pornography existed on the internet. Recently I finally got around to investigating the matter.

    Most would probably be aware that displaying a female of 18 or over for pornographic purposes is at least legal. So I set out to find what could be obtained in regard those of 12 to 17. It wasn't long before I discovered, much to my horror, that typing in anything about that age group brought up pictures of girls between 6 and 11. Some even boasted as young as 3 years old.

    What I typed in was things such as _ 14 yo sexy nude. I varied it to 15 yo and even down to 12 yo. Yet the overwhelming response was to obtain sites where although those figures were quoted on the page to draw in visitors the girls shown were what they term a Lolita or Preteen (someone 11 yo or under). - amazing what you learn on the internet.

    While the girls weren't naked they certainly weren't well dressed. The intent was obvious as picture after picture appeared with them dressed in skimpy bikinis or high cut shorts etc.

    The sites presented that this was legal because the girls weren't naked.
    The thing that seemed eqally bewildering to me was that in spite of this no site posted such pictures of girls of 12 to 17. There were those sites that offered downloads that you could pay for of 14 yo girls etc, yet they displayed none.

    What insanity! We can see a 6 yo inappropriately displayed, while pictures of a 16 yo in such pose are policed.

    Obviously we need to put some judges, lawyers and politicians on the case that aren't visiting the sites themselves. It seems they weren't visiting the sites with those older but underaged. Is that cynicism, Doug, or have you just been reading the Book of Mormon too much?

    I think it time to change the laws sufficiently to disallow such legal pornography also.

    Thursday, August 19, 2010

    Fourteen Fundamentals Examined Part 5

    Ezra Taft Benson (president of the Quorum of the Twelve apostles at the time) gave a talk entitled “Fourteen Fundamentals in Following the Prophet” (Address given Tuesday, February 26, 1980 at Brigham Young University).

    His claims are somewhat controversial. In fact even some relatively conservative members have given them negative reviews of late, not just the DAMs. It is neither my intention to defend over simplifications he's given, on the one hand, nor to find fault where it doesn't exist, on the other. So I am seeking to do a realistic appraisal of his claims a few at a time.
    In looking at his statements I think we have to remember that he was talking at BYU. He wasn't anticipating that his words would be analysed under a microscope on the internet. Also I think the talk was anticipated to be simplistic, not used as a doctrinal backing for a particular line of thought (as has occurred).

    Also we need to observe that, except for one, these qualities aren't entirely unique to the president of the church. He has only attempted to inform us what to keep in mind in following instructions from the president.

    Brother Benson states the following, "Here then is the grand key — Follow the prophet — and here are fourteen fundamentals in following the prophet." He then qualifies that when he uses the term "the prophet," he means "the President of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints." This qualifying of the title "the prophet" is important to the subject, as we view the claims.

    I'm doing these back to front as that way when they are completed they can be read from start to finish. Claims 12 and 13 shouldn't really have much controversy from a church member's point of view. But claim 14 does need some discussion to put it in a more universally understood manner.

    Claim Twelve: The prophet will not necessarily be popular with the world or the worldly.

    "As a prophet reveals the truth it divides the people. The honest in heart heed his words but the unrighteous either ignore the prophet or fight him. When the prophet points out the sins of the world, the worldly either want to close the mouth of the prophet, or else act as if the prophet didn’t exist, rather than repent of their sins. Popularity is never a test of truth. Many a prophet has been killed or cast out. As we come closer to the Lord’s second coming you can expect that as the people of the world become more wicked, the prophet will be less popular with them."

    I don't think that too many would disagree with this. The only thing that I feel some would like to qualify is that it pertains to anyone preaching the gospel of Christ. So all members who speak out must expect the same.

    Claim Thirteen: The prophet and his counsellors make up the First Presidency—The highest quorum in the Church.

    "In the Doctrine and Covenants the Lord refers to the First Presidency as “the highest council of the Church” (D&C 107:80) and says “whosoever receiveth me, receiveth those, the First Presidency, whom I have sent …” (D&C 112:20)."

    I don't think any member would have trouble with this Claim.

    It should be remembered that he didn't claim the 14 fundamentals were all unique to the president; only that they should be remembered in following him. But this one is the one that is unique and fully qualified.

    Claim Fourteen: The prophet and the presidency—the living prophet and the First Presidency—follow them and be blessed—reject them and suffer.

    "...In a general conference of the Church, President N. Eldon Tanner stated:
    “The Prophet spoke out clearly on Friday morning, telling us what our responsibilities are …
    “A man said to me after that, ‘You know, there are people in our state who believe in following the Prophet in everything they think is right, but when it is something they think isn’t right, and it doesn’t appeal to them, then that’s different.’ He said, ‘Then they become their own prophet. They decide what the Lord wants and what the Lord doesn’t want.’
    “I thought how true, and how serious when we begin to choose which of the covenants, which of the commandments we will keep and follow, we are taking the law of the Lord into our own hands and become our own prophets, and believe me, we will be led astray, because we are false prophets to ourselves when we do not follow the Prophet of God. No, we should never discriminate between these commandments, as to those we should and should not keep.” (CR, October 1966, p. 98.)..."

    I agree with this idea in the main. The only problem with this type of thinking is that it refutes the teaching of even past presidents that we should be getting our own revelation and become a prophet unto ourselves. It blocks a person from personal spiritual progress beyond the point that the president receives revelation for the weak and weakest of Saints (D&C 89:3). It also ignores the point that some members feel the importance of living higher commandments that have been extracted from members generally, because of failure to abide higher laws of God (D&C Section 119 heading).

    The Prophet Caiaphas received revelation about Christ. He interpreted its application to mean that they should seek the death of Christ (Jn 11:49-53). Should I have followed the president of the church (the Prophet Caiaphas) had I been there?

    1 Kings 13:18 states that a prophet lied deliberately to another prophet, causing his death. The story also demonstrates another prophet disobeying God (verse 26 states that this man was a prophet).

    The prophet Balaam got the Israelites to do wickedly. His idea was to make God displeased with them so he could get paid by the king of the Moabites to curse them with God's approval. (Num 22:17,Rev 2:14)

    So had I been a Jew at the time of Caiaphas would I have suffered if I didn't follow his council in regard opposing Christ? Was the prophet who was lied to by another prophet blessed because he followed his lie? Certainly not. And could I have supported the prophet Balaam in his wickedness and have been blessed?

    Brigham Young stated _
    "There are those among this people who are influenced, controlled, and biased in their thoughts, actions, and feelings by some other individual or family, on whom they place their dependence for spiritual and temporal instruction, and for salvation in the end. These persons do not depend upon themselves for salvation, but upon another of their poor, weak, fellow mortals. 'I do not depend upon any inherent goodness of my own,' say they, 'to introduce me into the kingdom of glory, but I depend upon you, brother Joseph, upon you, brother Brigham, upon you, brother Heber, or upon you, brother James; I believe your judgment is superior to mine, and consequently I let you judge for me; your spirit is better than mine, therefore you can do good for me; I will submit myself wholly to you, and place in you all my confidence for life and salvation; where you go I will go, and where you tarry there I will stay; expecting that you will introduce me through the gates into the heavenly Jerusalem.'" (Journal of Discourses: 1:Brigham Young 1853/02/20 : 310)

    We have to do a lot more than just sit around like blind fools following another person other than Jesus Christ and Heavenly Father. We have to use revelation to gain eternal life (D&C 42:61 and 45:57). This is the thing that makes us different to any other religion claiming to follow Christ. We can talk to God and have him talk back. Either through the Holy Ghost, Jesus Christ or Heavenly Father.

    Additionally Brigham stated _
    "Now those men, or those women, who know no more about the power of God, and the influences of the Holy Spirit, than to be led entirely by another person, suspending their own understanding, and pinning their faith upon another's sleeve, will never be capable of entering into the celestial glory, to be crowned as they anticipate; they will never be capable of becoming Gods. They cannot rule themselves, to say nothing of ruling others..." (Journal of Discourses: 1:Brigham Young 1853/02/20 : 310)

    From this examination of Brother Benson's talk we should be able to see that his intention was to encourage people to have faith in the person that God has chosen as mouthpiece for him in the church organisation. It is important to members and non-members to be looking to this source of truth. To propose that the president of the church is somehow flawless or that all he says is as if God were speaking, is an extreme, it is true. But to rip Brother Benson apart because he should have been less emphatic seems an even greater extreme to me.

    Thursday, August 05, 2010

    Does God Really Want us to Obtain Food by the Sweat of our Brows?

    I have often heard claim that God commanded us to work for a living. While I don't dispute that work is a good thing, and Solomon made some statements supporting it, is it true to attribute such a commandment to God? Or should we just stick to pointing out its importance to our balanced developement?

    Moses 5:1 says, "...Adam began to till the earth, and to have dominion over all the beasts of the field, and to eat his bread by the sweat of his brow, as I the Lord had commanded him..."

    This is interpreted by many to say that the commandment that God was referring to was the latter statement about work.

    As a contradiction to this claim we have the following statement by Christ to his disciples, relative to obtaining food and clothing etc.

    "But you seek first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added to you." Matt 6:33

    This presents that some are called upon to look to God for sustanance. So how could God be giving two contrary instructions making one a commandment? - particularly both being in the gospel.

    Looking at the idea that we are commanded to work we can also quote the statement to Adam, made by God, in the Garden of Eden.

    "In the sweat of your face shall you eat bread, until you return to the ground; for out of it were you taken: for dust you are, and to dust shall you return." Gen 3:19

    Quoted on its own, one option would be to read this as a commandment. So let's look at the surrounding statements to see what they reveal relative to what this statement means.

    Looking back at verse 17 we find _

    "And to Adam he said, Because you have listened to what your wife said, and have eaten of the tree of which I commanded you, saying, You shall not eat of it: cursed is the ground for your sake; in sorrow shall you eat of it all the days of your life; Thorns also and thistles shall it bring forth to you; and you shall eat the herb of the field." Gen 3:17-18

    So God has pronounced a curse upon Adam because of his wrong action (as declared in verses 17-19 inclusive). The parts of this curse are that because of evil actions _

    1. The ground won't produce its best.

    2. Thorns and thistles will infest the ground.

    3. That from then on we had to eat herbs also, instead of just seeds and fruit (Gen 1:29).

    4. That we will now have to sweat from the work to get the ground to produce things.

    5. That we will die and our bodies rot to dust.

    Yet looking at this, number 4 doesn't come out as a commandment, merely a part of a curse. To turn these into commandments would be ridiculous looking at number 5 (not to mention the absurdity of seeing the first 2 as commandments).

    So while I support productive living, I see this verse as being quoted out of context.

    What does it matter, some may ask? It matters because God is giving a lesson for use in these verses which is being obscured by incorrect interpretation by people.

    It would be better to quote Christ, in regard working _

    "My Father is working up until now, and I work." John 5:17

    This presents that both Christ and Heavenly Father are always working. Thus if we wish to do the same as them afterward, we must learn the principle of work now. Of course this is a spiritual work that they are engaged in.

    Wednesday, July 14, 2010

    The Effect of the Fall Took about 2400 Years to Complete.

    Reading the Scriptures a person could come to the opinion that the fall was an instant action that was a once off. But the Scriptures demonstrate that the fall actually took place over a long period of time.

    We should first look at how long Adam lived. God told Adam and Eve _

    "But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, you shall not eat of it: for in the day that you eat from it you will surely die." Gen 2:17

    This word "day" means a time; and is used in regard the creation to mean one period of light and a period of darkness, by the measure that God was using for the creation (Gen 1:13). It should be noted that our sun, from which we draw time, wasn't made until days into the creation (Gen 1:16-19). So how long was this day that Adam would die within if he transgressed?

    The Scriptures inform us that it was a thousand years (2 Pet 3:8, Abr 3:4). And how long did Adam live?

    "And all the days that Adam lived were nine hundred and thirty years: and he died." Gen 5:5 (Also note Moses 6:12)

    So in the day (thousand year period) that Adam transgressed he died, as God declared. In fact no one lived beyond the day.

    Yet this didn't end the fall. The fall is demonstrated to have continued as a result of ongoing sin. The shortest lifespan before Noah was Noah's father Lamech living for 777 years (Gen 5:31). Yet Noah himself lived longer than Adam (Gen 9:29). So it took more than those generations to really show what was happening.

    Gen 6:3 has the Lord declaring man's days to be 120 years. But this is put in the wrong place, because this is a long time before that became true. After the flood we see from the genealogy a great drop in the life-span from generation to generation. We see in the genealogy of Shem, the son of Noah _

    Gen 11:12-13 Arphaxad lived for 438 years only.
    Gen 11:14-15 Salah lived for 433 years.
    Gen 11:16-17 Eber lived for 464 years.
    Gen 11:18-19 Peleg lived for 239 years.
    Gen 11:20-21 Reu lived for 239 years.
    Gen 11:22-23 Serug lived for 230 years.
    Gen 11:24-25 Nahor lived for 148 years.
    Gen 11:32 Terah lived 205 years.
    Gen 25:7 Abraham lived 175 years.

    While this is a strange decline, it is demonstrating that the fall wasn't instant. Matter changed over the time. This change is another reason why "scientific" dating methods are useless before Moses, as the fall didn't have its full effect. No one can possibly understand what matter was like during that time, and at what rate it was affected. Particularly since we have no idea what matter was like originally (before the fall).

    Also of note is that while Noah lived for over 900 years, his grandson (Arphaxad) only lived over 400 years. So obviously Noah's righteousness needs to be taken into consideration. Yet in spite of hick-ups the decline after the flood was rapid.

    Moses declared that by his time people were living only 70 to 80 years at best _

    "The days of our years are seventy; and if by reason of strength they be eighty, yet is their strength labour and sorrow; for it is soon cut off, and we fly away."

    Considering that we live around that time now, it suggests that no further falling of matter occurred thereafter.

    Thursday, June 24, 2010

    Who's More Racial Prejudice, Latter-Day Saints, Protestants or Atheists?

    I have heard claims of prejudice aimed at church members due to the negros not receiving the priesthood prior to 1978. This has been done by both Protestants and Atheists. Yet what is the reality? Who's belief could really be demonstrated as the most racial prejudice?

    Yet an aditional advantage that the negro didn't do temple ordinances is that they have often been slaves. This would have been a compromise to such. Also masters could have demanded they use the priesthood for incorrect reasons.

    But leaving these points aside let's look at the ideas of all 3.

    Latter-Day Saints

    There is not a person of any race that has been witheld from baptism at any time. Even after people are DEAD they can still accept the gospel of Christ REGARDLESS of what race they came from, or what time they lived in: Every person who has lived upon this earth will have a chance to accept Jesus Christ. Also the gift of the Holy Ghost has been bestowed upon all who wish to accept it.

    While, prior to coming here, the negros didn't wish to receive the priesthood during this life (this restricts ordinances available), they still have the same opportunity to change their minds after death. There is no eternal restriction on them whatsoever.

    While translating the Book of Abraham, Joseph Smith recorded in regard the negro, Pharoah (grandson of Ham), "Pharoah, being a righteous man, established his kingdom and judged his people wisely and justly all his days..." Abraham 1:26

    So we have a wise and just negro king. Hardly a concept of inferior negros.


    The Atheist would have us believe we evolved (generally speaking). This is a process of survival of the fittest. It teaches a progress of creatures.

    They would have us believe that we evolved in stages to become the superior being we are today. In this process we first had what people? The blacks! This is their version of the inferior of us human beings. Then came the brown races next. They propose we have progressed through to become the superior white race of modern science.

    So much for Atheists.


    Well, where do I start?

    Protestantism teaches that only in the land of Israel were people that were talked to by God. This means that every other being on earth for all those years are doomed to hell forever. To burn and burn and burn forever, because they didn't belong to the right race.

    What is more they consider that even before Jacob (Israel) only a few select people had any communication with God. Thus almost everyone on earth for about 4 thousand years are all doomed to hell because they weren't in the right place or of the right race.

    Then came Christ who eventually had the gospel spread further. Yet what of all the people in North and South America, most of the African continent, Australia, New Zealand, Samoa and all the rest of those islands and most of Asia? Again we have enormous racial prejudice.

    This went on for well over another thousand years. So we end up with well over 5 thousand years of amazing racial prejudice.

    And what of today? We have China having gone through over 60 years of communist rule with no religion allowed. This is a nation that has by far the largest population of any country in the world. Our Protestant friends have them all going off to hell to burn. Hey, burn the lot, you say! Here a billion burnt, there a billion burnt. "I'm saved though," says Mr and Mrs Protestant. "I can't understand these people who are prejudice against the Chinese," they say.

    Looking at it
    It is very obvious that certain races have been more blessed than others. Whether a person wants to claim this as some luck or whatever is up to them. But the Scriptures clearly show that God has selected some races (such as Israel) and places to put down the spirits that were showing the most potential. However it has to be also observed that some good spirits have gone into all races. He has also put some bad spirits into all races. So we can't just judge a person by their race.

    Monday, June 14, 2010

    LDS Doctrine? Church Doctrine? What is it?

    The question is sometimes put forward of what the church actually believes. And what do I believe myself? Do all LDS believe the same thing? And if not, then why not? And if so why do some general authorities seem to have opposing opinions here and there over the years?

    If all members (regardless of their areas of responsibility in the church - callings) believed the same thing then something would be very wrong.

    "For look, this is what the Lord God says: I will give to the children of men line upon line, precept upon precept, here a little and there a little; and blessed are those who take note of my precepts, and lend an ear to my counsel, for they shall learn wisdom; for to him that receives I will give more; and from them that shall say, We have enough, from them shall be taken away even that which they have." 2 Nephi 28:30

    Here Nephi has expressed that the Lord gives a person knowledge a piece at a time, as they are ready. And those who don't accept it not only won't get any more, but will actually start to lose that which they have. In regard this idea Alma expresses that God won't even make it available to those who don't accept and enthusiastically obey what he has already given.

    "And now Alma began to expound these things to him saying: It is given to many to know the mysteries of God; nevertheless they are laid under a strict command that they shall not impart only according to the portion of his word which he grants to the children of men, according to the heed and diligence which they give to him. And therefore, he that will harden his heart, the same receives the lesser portion of the word; and he that will not harden his heart, to him is given the greater portion of the word, until it is given to him to know the mysteries of God until he knows them in full. And they that will harden their hearts, to them is given the lesser portion of the word until they know nothing concerning his mysteries..." Alma 12:9-11

    This statement of Alma's points out the huge gap that will exist between those accepting previously hidden knowledge and those who don't. It also points out that the diligence with which they accept and obey the knowledge counts. Additionally it is presenting that people will grow in this knowledge until they know the mysteries in full. This latter is saying that the person does this by a growth process that obviously takes time. Thus people will be on different levels of doctrinal understanding on each of the many subjects we need to learn.

    These new doctrines must be learnt independently. They aren't taught by presidents of the church. The president of the church very rarely presents new doctrine. The last time was in 1978. Thus the rate of learning new doctrine is the responsibility of the individual.

    The then president of the church, Joseph Smith, taught this same principle.

    "Joseph Smith taught that every man and woman should seek the Lord for wisdom, that they might get knowledge from Him who is the fountain of knowledge.." George A. Smith (Deseret News: Semiweekly; Nov 29 1870)

    "The things of God are of deep import; and time, and experience, and careful and ponderous and solemn thoughts can only find them out. Thy mind, O man: if thou wilt lead a soul unto salvation, must stretch as high as the utmost heavens, and search into and contemplate the darkest abyss, and the broad expanse of eternity- thou must commune with God." Joseph Smith (History of the Church 3:295-296, Mar 20 1839)

    Many such truths exist in the Scriptures and in comments expressed by some past members with all sorts of callings (including those assigned as church president). As the Spirit works in us to enlighten our understanding we can reject this or accept it. Thus we have a great difference in opinion of individuals regardless of their positions.

    We also see differences of levels of doctrinal understanding existing within the church just after Christ died.

    "I have fed you with milk, and not with meat: for before now you were not able to bear it, and even now you are not able." 1 Cor 3:2

    So Paul is declaring he had knowledge which he wasn't giving to the Corinthians. In regard this knowledge he said that they should be receiving it, but were too slack.

    "For by this time you ought to be teachers, yet you have need that one teaches you again that which is the first principles of the oracles of God; and have become one of those that has need of milk, and not of strong meat. For every one that uses milk is unskilful in the word of righteousness: for he is a babe. But strong meat belongs to them that are of full age, even those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil." Heb 5:12-14

    When Christ was doing his mission there was also a difference of ability to understand his sayings in the Jewish church of God (originally established through Moses).

    "There was a division among the Jews for these sayings." John 10:19

    At the time of Moses there was a similar circumstance. In regard Israel at Moses' time Paul stated,

    "For we also have had the gospel preached to us, just as they did; but the message they heard was of no value to them, because those who heard did not combine it with faith." Heb 4:2

    So a variety of understanding is going to exist among members at any time of history. Today is no different.

    Yet in regard what could be classified as church doctrine this would depend on what church member you asked. I believe we have to make a line between church doctrine and doctrine believed by church members. To me the church doctrine should be the basics presented in the Standard Works of Scripture. That is that we believe in Jesus Christ as the special Son of Heavenly Father. We believe that Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ are resurrected human beings and that we are entirely in their image AND likeness. We believe that he atoned for the sins of those who truly repent. And he makes possible the resurrection. We believe that the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints is the kingdom of God on earth. We believe that God has given authority to certain men within the church to perform the sacred ordinances as he would have them done. We believe in revelation from God to mankind. We believe in using the gift of the Holy Ghost. We believe in prayer. We believe in learning and doing those things that God would have us do. We believe in the restoration of authority by Jesus Christ to Joseph Smith.

    In fact we could turn to the 13 Articles of Faith, and use those as a statement of what church doctrine is.

    There are members that want to add seemingly endless amounts of manuals, magazines, books of their choice and other materials to the above list. Promoters of this seem to only believe these materials where they agree with them. If they don't they will usually say that it isn't what the current prophet is saying (Where the quote isn't from him - which is most of the time), and suddenly that makes that source incorrect for that quote. Sadly they will even try this sometimes with the Standard Works.

    In regard these materials and "the current prophet" philosophies I'd like to give two quotes, from such materials and the current prophet at the time; Harold B. Lee:

    "Stand Ye in Holy Places" by Harold B. Lee 15:162:6
    "It is not to be thought that every word spoken by the General Authorities is inspired, or that they are moved upon by the Holy Ghost in everything they write. I don't care what his position is, if he writes something or speaks something that goes beyond anything that you can find in the standard church works, unless that one be the prophet, seer, and revelator--please note that one exception--you may immediately say, "Well, that is his own idea." And if he says something that contradicts what is found in the standard church works, you may know by that same token that it is false, REGARDLESS OF THE POSITION OF THE MAN WHO SAYS IT [my emphasis]." Also quoted in the Seminaries and Institute manual (1974), printed when he was the current prophet.

    When church president, Harold B. Lee said in a European area conference:

    "If anyone, regardless of his position in the Church, were to advance a doctrine that is not substantiated by the standard Church works, meaning the Bible, the Book of Mormon, the Doctrine and Covenants, and the Pearl of Great Price, you may know that his statement is merely his private opinion. The only one authorized to bring forth any new doctrine is the President of the Church, who, when he does, will declare it as revelation from God, and it will be so accepted by the Council of the Twelve and sustained by the body of the Church. And if any man speak a doctrine which contradicts what is in the standard Church works, you may know by that same token that it is false and you are not bound to accept it as truth." The First Area General Conference for Germany, Austria, Holland, Italy, Switzerland, France, Belgium, and Spain of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, held in Munich Germany, August 24-26, 1973, with Reports and Discourses, 69.

    When new doctrine is sustained by the members then it is placed in the Standard Works. These are the only materials that are accepted church doctrine by the entire membership. We don't sustain opinions of men as Scripture merely by sustaining them in their callings. Else I would be claiming that every word spoken by the Mia Maids teacher is the mind and will of the Lord. Let's get real.

    To my LDS doctrine, I use the Spirit, as Alma has suggested. I believe direct revelation is given to anyone who serves God and seeks the truth. As this includes myself, I believe in that which I have been inspired with. I have found all the things Heavenly Father, Jesus Christ and the Holy Ghost say to be true. Whether I'm reading the Scriptures or listening to the opinions of people, I listen to the Holy Ghost to advise in regard to its truth and application.