One doubt that I frequently encounter among those who have lost faith that this Church is being led by Christ through continuing revelation Is that we have not received a canonized revelation in several decades and that the Prophets after Joseph Smith have on the whole received very few revelations. I came across a very interesting quote in a talk given by Bruce R. McConkie to the Sperry Symposium which sheds some light on why this is so. The quote is lengthy, but I am going to quote it in full and then I will address some of the insights it provides. Continue reading
We’re 10 days out from General Conference. I am still thinking about it and letting the lessons I learned from it percolate in my head. I hope you had your own personal theme develop for you as you listened to the speakers.
I was impressed by speaker after speaker with three themes.
First, FOLLOW THE PROPHET! Yes, I realize that’s in all caps, because yes, I am screaming that at the world. We just need to follow the prophet to find the answers to our questions, the solutions to our problems and for maximum happiness in this life. Sister McConkie taught in her talk “We heed prophetic word even when it may seem unreasonable, inconvenient, and uncomfortable. According to the world’s standards, following the prophet may be unpopular, politically incorrect, or socially unacceptable. But following the prophet is always right.” Did we get that? Following the prophet is always right, despite what is popular out there in the world.
Elder Lynn G. Robbins of the 70s also addressed following the prophet instead of following popular trends as well. He asked us, “Which way do you face?”, and challenged us to not invert the first and second great commandments. Again we were reminded, “The scornful often accuse prophets of not living in the 21st century or of being bigoted. They attempt to persuade or even pressure the Church into lowering God’s standards to the level of their own inappropriate behavior, which in the words of Elder Neal A. Maxwell, will ‘develop self-contentment instead of seeking self-improvement’ and repentance. Lowering the Lord’s standards to the level of a society’s inappropriate behavior is—apostasy.” That was the money quote for me, lowering the Lord’s standards to the level of society is apostasy. Makes you think about the things we’re interested in and advocating for. I hope we all asked ourselves if “our issues” match up with what the prophets are teaching us, and if they don’t, instead of rationalizing them away, we’re willing to change our thoughts to match the council of the prophets and the standards and doctrines of the Church.
My second theme of General Conference was the importance of receiving our own witness of the teachings of the prophets. Elder Eyring’s talk specifically addressed this and the principle of “confirming revelation.” He said, “Human judgment and logical thinking will not be enough to get answers to the questions that matter most in life. We need revelation from God.” Did we hear that? We cannot rely on our own judgments, the opinions of friends, junk we see on facebook, or the latest and greatest train of thought. We must receive our own “confirming revelation” like Nephi of old.
I am heart broken to see so many friends, who are also members of the Church, cherry picking the words of the prophets to fit their agendas, rejecting the doctrines of the church, specifically those regarding chastity, morality and marriage, for worldly standards and practices. The thing is, the world is always in a constant state of flux, and revels in emotionally charged rhetoric that will surely short change us on our salvation. I’ve also been told numerous times by these same friends that they had “personal revelation” and/or a “witness of the spirit” that things like The Family Proclamation and the Church’s stand and support of traditional marriage are not true. I’ll just be bold here and state that these witnesses cannot be true. It might have been a witness, but a witness that is not inline with the doctrines of the Church and the words of the modern, living prophets is not from the Lord. The Holy Spirit is not going to give any of us a confirmation or a witness of something that goes against what the Lord has taught. The Holy Ghost will always witness the truthfulness of the Gospel and the truthfulness of the words of the prophets.
It’s General Conference time again, and we’re going to be posting summaries and our thoughs here on The Millennial Star blog. Thanks for stopping by!
I’ll preface my summary by saying that I tried to get as much down as I could, but is as usually the case with young children in the room, everyone needed everything, all at the same time.
President Uchtdorf conducted the session.
Prelude hymn: How Firm A Foundation
Opening hymn: Press Forward Saints
Elder Carl B. Cook offered the opening prayer.
The Mormon Tabernacle choir sang, Lead Kindly Light … all of the music was beautiful. I love the choir!
President Monson spoke first. He told us we were gathered as a great family of saints. He then spoke about his experience dedicating the Gilbert, Arizona temple in March. Here is where I will put in a little personal note. The Gilbert Temple is just down the street from where I grew up. Many family members and the children of my friends were able to participate in the cultural celebration, Live True to the Faith. Hearing their experiences, along with Pres. Monson’s experiences was very sweet for me. It truly was a blessing, even with all of the rain, and cold to watch the program and know that it did in fact make lasting memories for the people and the home I love so dearly.
Pres. Monson continued …
In May the Ft. Lauderdale temple will be dedicated, and will be the 143rd temple of the church. When all of the temples which are currently under construction and those that have been announced have been built, there will be 170 temples world wide. It was mentioned later on in another talk that right now, 85% of the members of the church live within 200 miles of a temple. Temples truly dot the earth!
We will continue to build temples and to look for places where there is a need for temples. We are a temple building and a temple attending people. May we be filled with the spirit, uplifted and inspired as we listen and learn.
I’m calling his talk “Defending the Faith”. We will be called to defend our faith and will be attacked personally. We have to have courage and courtesy on our part as we endure these attacks. He shared a story of some sister missionaries who were attacked by a man weidling mashed potatoes. I appreacited this story, as a returned missionary myself. In one of my areas, we had a neighbor who would wait every day to throw her garbage on us. I actually am thankful to her. She taught me how to love my enemeies as a missionary! Continue reading
I’ll start out by saying, I am not a feminist. But I am a daughter of God, who loves me very much. I believe that, I know that, and I am not disappointed in this. I’m not going to try and convince anyone that what I’m going to write about today is right either.
Yesterday I made a comment on a Facebook thread. The topic of the tread had to do with the planned protest by Mormon feminists and the Ordain Women group to demand entrance to the Conference Center for the Priesthood Session of the Conference. For some background, these women wrote and asked Church headquarters for tickets to the session, and were politely turned down. Their plans now include marching to the Conference Center to make a scene. This is exactly what they want, a scene to be blown up in the media and online.
In response to my comment, another friend contacted me privately and asked me why I opposed what these women are doing, and gave me several examples of how people had asked the Lord for a change and it was granted, so why not this? I was direct in my answer to him, and will be here as well. I am opposed to what these women are planning because it will cause contention, and because their protest is disrespectful of the leaders of the Church and the council system of the Church. The Book of Mormon is very clear in 3 Nephi 11:29, that “Contention is not of me, but is of the Devil, who stireth up the hearts of men to contend one with another.”
In a few short days, Latter-Day Saints from around the world will assemble in various locations for the 180th Annual General Conference of the Church.
For my family, part of the preparation for General Conference involves finding suitable activities for our young children to do during Conference. The Friend magazine and online site is an excellent resource for such activities. As most parents with young children will attest to, keeping small children occupied during Conference is a challenging and sometimes daunting task. My wife and I find that providing snacks for our children during sessions is also a good way to keep them occupied and happy. For those attending Conference in meetinghouses, consider bringing snacks like fruit roll-ups or fruit snacks. These are generally easy to pack and do not create a mess. Some stakes set-up a television in the Primary or Relief Society room where parents with small children can watch Conference, without distracting others.