The Council System in the Church

Rational Faiths has recently posted an article arguing that — by the LDS Church’s own definitions — the LDS Church has slipped into apostasy. The central argument (there are side arguments I won’t touch on here) is that in LDS rhetoric and literature, the primitive Christian Church fell into apostasy when it began to rely on councils and creeds rather than apostolic direction and prophetic revelation.

Today, the author argues, the LDS Church does the same — rather than being led by a prophet receiving direct revelation from God, the Church is led by the Council of the First Presidency and the Twelve Apostles, a council, he argues, that directs the Church by issuing creeds, activities very similar to those the LDS Church attributes to the great apostasy. Two comments: Continue reading

From the July 2015 Ensign

This article.

It is true that not everyone has the opportunity to marry in this life, nor is every couple blessed with children in mortality. Latter-day prophets have assured us that those who are faithful will eventually be given these blessings, either in this life or the next. Nevertheless, just because not everyone achieves the ideal does not mean we should stop holding it up as the standard to seek. Eternal marriage and family relationships should be a desire and priority for every Latter-day Saint, regardless of circumstances.

As has always been the case, Satan proposes alternatives to our Heavenly Father’s plan, and nowhere is this more apparent than with the family. In contrast to our Heavenly Father’s plan of happiness through righteousness in marriage and family life, Satan proposes alternative lifestyles that are rooted in sinfulness and selfishness. He is cursed to never marry or have a family, and he entices us to live like him instead of like our Heavenly Father. He lies to us, telling us that marriage and family are an inconvenience and a bondage. He promises us that we will find greater joy and fulfillment in some other way or through some other arrangement. He tempts us not to marry and, if we do marry, to not have children.

The deviations the adversary proposes include premarital sexual relations, pornography, abuse of spouse and children, elective abortion for personal or social convenience, marital infidelity, unjustified divorce, cohabitation, homosexual relations, and unwarranted sterilization. If he cannot convince us to do these things, he tempts us to support and encourage others to do them. But these alternative lifestyles will not bring the true happiness we seek in this life, nor will they bring the full blessings of salvation in the next. Out of loyalty to our Heavenly Father’s plan and out of love for mankind, we must discourage and oppose measures that are not designed to maintain and strengthen marriage between a man and a woman and “the family as the fundamental unit of society.”

LDS Advocate Brings the Internet to Our Side

value-divine-natureOkay, the title is intentionally over the top. But I do have a friend that made this cool little iOS app that brings together a lot of LDS internet resources. So I thought I’d give him a little ‘free advertising’ by letting our readers know about it. Here is what he has to say about the app:

If you’re interested in having immediate access to online information on LDS topics, you’ll want to get a new iTunes app named “LDS Advocate.” It recently launched in the iTunes App store. It gives easy access to a curated list of sites, blog postings and YouTube videos containing faith affirming information on a range of LDS topics.

Such as: Continue reading

Discussing the Church’s letter on same-sex marriage in a conservative ward

On Sunday during the third hour of Sacrament meeting, the bishop of our ward held a joint meeting to discuss the Church’s letter on same-sex marriage. As you may know, that letter responds to the U.S. Supreme Court decision legalizing gay marriage, reaffirming the Church’s stance opposed to gay marriage but also emphasizing the importance of reaching out to neighbors and friends in love and fellowship.

At my ward, Priesthood and Relief Society, as well as the young men and young women, were in the meeting. So we had about 100 people in the cultural hall. The bishop read the letter, and then there was about a half-hour discussion.

It was truly amazing. There was not a single comment — not one, bloggernaclites! — criticizing gay people in any way. There were no comments saying this was a sign of the end of the world. There were no comments even criticizing the Supreme Court.

The overwhelming theme coming from more than 30 comments from adult and youth members was: love your neighbor. Be Christ-like. Avoid contention. Show charity to all people.
Continue reading

Pity for the Promiscuous

Jeff G. has posted a response of sorts to a certain strain of argument that seems to carry the day among a certain class of Mormons.

I’m not going to repeat his arguments.  Instead, I have a different take, because I think people can be fooled by these arguments, since they seem so warm, fuzzy, and compassionate.  However, these arguments are actually quite pernicious, and their ultimate end point is to undermine the gospel.

To illustrate, I’m going to just reword part of one argument:

Continue reading