Rejecting the Living Prophets by Following Future Prophets

[Cross posted from Sixteen Small Stones]

kept-my-cupOne of the key doctrines of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is that we have living prophets and apostles today who are authorized by God to receive revelations for the church and for the world. The scriptures are full of stories of how the people of the church rejected the messages of the living prophets, often justifying themselves by appealing to the words of previous prophets. Even Jesus was rejected by appealing to Moses or Abraham.

As President of the Twelve Apostles, Ezra Taft Benson warned: “Beware of those who would set up the dead prophets against the living prophets, for the living prophets always take precedence.” (Fourteen Fundamentals in Following the Prophet, 1980)

Elder Dallin H. Oaks explained further: ”…the most important difference between dead prophets and living ones is that those who are dead are not here to receive and declare the Lord’s latest words to his people. If they were, there would be no differences among the messages of the prophets.” (Our Strengths Can Become Our Downfall, 1992)

I’ve noticed a troubling parallel among some progressive members of the church: Rejecting living prophets in favor of what they anticipate future prophets will do*. Continue reading

Power of the Priesthood

Albert Ellis QuoteUnlike many, I don’t believe that a patriarchal priesthood creates a power imbalance that leads to gendered injustices, such as domestic violence. I don’t think it is necessary to give women the priesthood or adopt identical family roles. Yet, though I don’t believe they are cause-and-effect, these things do play into a power dynamic that exists independently. I believe this power dynamic can be changed if we are willing. I realize that in a few short sentences, I have managed to alienate both sides of the divide. But I think my perspective, as a woman faithful in the Church and a survivor of domestic violence, has something to add to the conversation.

My husband was not a member of the Church when I met him. I was a freshly-returned missionary, he was separated from his wife. We both worked at the same retail store. At some point, I invited him to hear the discussions in my parents’ home. During the course of his investigation, he confessed to me many problems in his past and present. Still stuck somewhat in the role of missionary, it was easy to forgive things that I would not have, had I been looking at him as a potential future mate. I think that’s why he was able to get to me.

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Handbook #2 Highlights: LDS Reasons for Disabilities or Handicaps

[Cross Posted from Sixteen Small Stones]

handbook2

This is the third entry in a series of blog posts about some of the interesting and important policies of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints contained in the church’s official Handbook #2. Familiarity and compliance with LDS Church guidelines is important. For background, see the introductory post.

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Handbook #2 Highlights: Notes and Recordings of Talks and Addresses by LDS General Authorities

[Cross posted from Sixteen Small Stones]

handbook2

This is the second entry in a series of blog posts about some of the interesting and important policies of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints contained in the church’s official Handbook #2. Familiarity and compliance with LDS Church guidelines is encouraged. For background, see the introductory post.

Notes and Recordings of Talks and Addresses by General Authorities

Church members should not record the talks or addresses that General Authorities and Area Seventies give at stake conferences, missionary meetings, or other meetings. However, members may record broadcasts of general conference on home equipment for personal, noncommercial use.” (emphasis added)

Handbook 2: 21.1.33

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Handbook #2 Highlights: Recreational Hypnotism

[Cross Posted from Sixteen Small Stones]

Background

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has two handbooks that represent the church’s policies, procedures, and guidelines. While Handbook #1 is available only for Stake Presidents and Bishops in the church, Handbook #2 is meant to be a guide for members of ward and stake councils and is available to anyone.

handbook2

It is important for all members to be familiar with the content of Handbook #2, but in my experience, even among very devout and active members of the church, there are many who don’t even know the handbook is available, let alone what it says.

I have been reading through Handbook #2 and there are a number of policies and positions of the church of which I suspect many church members are not aware. This is the first in a series of blog posts in which I will highlight some of the interesting contents of the handbook.

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