05
Jun
12

Revelation

Chapter 11 of the Teachings of George Albert Smith deals with revelation.  One of its main emphases is Mormonism’s teaching that the Lord gives revelation for the church only through the church president.  “Let us remember that the President of this Church has been officially designated as the pilot of the Church here in mortality to represent the Master of heaven and earth.”

Its other emphasis is that each member can receive personal revelations conditioned on keeping the commandments and living a godly life.  Most of the time this revelation is said to come through their feelings.  The manual True to the Faith puts it this way:  “we often describe a spiritual prompting by saying, ‘I had a feeling.’” (p.144)

It also addresses the fact that this is something that the Mormon Church has received criticism on.  “By the unbeliever, the members of the Church of Jesus Christ in all ages of the world have been considered a peculiar people. When the Lord has spoken through his servants, there have been at different periods of time many people in the earth who have said, ‘I do not believe in revelation.’ This age is no exception to the rule. The thousands, yes, the millions, of our Father’s children who live in the earth are but repeating the history of the past when they deny that God has revealed again his will to the children of men, and say that they have no need of any further revelation.”

Obviously, I would be placed in that grouping.  But, just for the record, I do believe in revelation.  I believe that the Lord is still powerfully and wonderfully revealing himself and his will in the Bible.  It tells me absolutely everything I need to know for my life now and for eternal life.  In my personal devotions, I am just finishing a thorough study of the first three chapters of Ephesians.  Talk about a breath-taking revelation of God’s grace!  As I studied those chapters once again, the Lord revealed anew to me the greatness of his love for me – how he did absolutely everything so that I will live with him for all eternity.  Verse after magnificent verse reveals the unsearchable riches we have in Christ.  In Christ we are blessed with every spiritual blessing.

And what was so striking was, not once was there a qualification of having to be worthy for all this.  In fact, Paul talks about the wonderful grace given him to be an apostle even though he was the least of the saints.  Not once was there a condition of having to keep the commandments.  No, the entire focus is on what God had done for me through Christ.  The only imperative verb (command) in the entire first three chapters is to remember our former state before Christ. That’s it.  The rest is a description of God acting for me.

What God has done for me in Christ – that, my friends, is the fullness of the gospel.  That is true revelation.  That, and the rest of biblical revelation, is all the revelation I need.

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17 Responses to “Revelation”


  1. June 6, 2012 at 3:03 am

    This video was made by a currently active and practicing Mormon and I believe it shows why our feelings can’t be trusted…

  2. 2 Kent
    June 6, 2012 at 4:52 pm

    Instead of getting people not to leave the Mormon Church or how to come back to the Mormon Church by trying to explain inconsistancies in the Mormon Church history and teachings, this video probably can have the opposite effect by getting people to keep asking more questions and digging in deeper on these issues and it can get people to leave their church. To that I say, thank God, Amen!

  3. 3 joshtried
    June 8, 2012 at 1:38 pm

    “But, just for the record, I do believe in revelation. I believe that the Lord is still powerfully and wonderfully revealing himself and his will in the Bible. It tells me absolutely everything I need to know for my life now and for eternal life.”
    So, when exactly does the Bible stop? When does “revelation” stop? And why is it limited to only declaring true what is already in the Bible? The entire book of Revelations was not in the Bible when Jesus Christ walked the earth, yet it is accepted. You try and limit what has the ability to be called scripture, and thus limit what can be revealed. If a prophet of God, if Elijah himself came back right now and gave you a word of God that wasnt in your precious constrained Bible as it stands now, you would reject it and perish. Honestly, i feel very sorry for a person with this limited of a mind set. You try and claim God as all powerful, but limit his word to about the same amount of words written for “Lord of the Rings.” And yet, in this same breathe you claim that we limit God’s power. I dont limit his ability to reveal anything. If he wants to come down right now and give me anything, i wouldnt reject it simply because it isnt in the Bible. Is the creation of the U.S.A. in the Bible? Did it happen after the Bible was written? What about the dissolution of the USSR? What about Baton Rouge getting wiped out? Are any of these specific events in the Bible? Im pretty sure they are not. Yet, according to your statement, these acts, and any of a similar nature, cant be revealed to mankind because they are not in the Bible. I sure am glad the people of Nineveh listened to Jonah when he showed up. I think that book would have ended a little bit differently if they had said “Well, quote me in the Bible where it says this is going to happen!!”, dont you?

    And, just for the record, i want to quote Martin Luther here from “The Bondage of the Will”
    (pg 96)
    Those who are unwilling for souls to be redeemed, like the pope and his adherents-leave it for them to bind the Word of God and keep men from life and from the kingdom of heaven, for they neither enter in themselves, nor allow others to enter.
    (pg 93)
    But I, by God’s grace, clearly see what you cannot see; indeed, i foresee other, greater upheavals in store for a future generation, compared with which these present are but as the whisper of a faint breeze, or the murmur of a gentle brook.

    So I ask, what greater upheavals in relation to the gospel of Jesus Christ have come to pass, or will come to pass?
    I also ask, is limiting the Word of God to a single set of books that through the ages have not been categorically accepted not the same thing as “to bind the Word”???

  4. 4 JBR
    June 8, 2012 at 4:13 pm

    Josh,
    You said:

    “But, just for the record, I do believe in revelation. I believe that the Lord is still powerfully and wonderfully revealing himself and his will in the Bible. It tells me absolutely everything I need to know for my life now and for eternal life.” …. but

    RESPONSE:
    So do Christians… and we are commanded to use the scriptures (the Bible) to verify any other person who claims to be speaking in behalf and\or receiving revelations. Which that is why as Mark wrote:

    “What God has done for me in Christ – that, my friends, is the fullness of the gospel. That is true revelation. That, and the rest of biblical revelation, is all the revelation I need.”

  5. 5 joshtried
    June 8, 2012 at 10:54 pm

    JBR, i was quoting Mark for that first part, and showing how that statement was flawed.
    Mark originally said “But, just for the record, I do believe in revelation. I believe that the Lord is still powerfully and wonderfully revealing himself and his will in the Bible. It tells me absolutely everything I need to know for my life now and for eternal life.”
    I started here: So, when exactly does the Bible stop?
    my apologies if that was confusing, i was a bit tired as i wrote that.

    On top of that, i think you completely missed my point. To this statement “That, and the rest of biblical revelation, is all the revelation I need.” I say it is not all you need, but all you want. If worldly revelation has stopped, you can curl up in the nice warm blanket that you call the complete truth. If it continues, then we are right. I cant see how anyone can say that God would leave us without a prophet when throughout time he is consistent in providing one to the people.

  6. June 9, 2012 at 1:00 am

    Mormonism contradicts the Bible. In fact Mormon Scripture (The LDS prophets and apostes) contadict themselves. Watch the video above.

  7. 7 joshtried
    June 9, 2012 at 1:08 am

    Your belief that LDS scripture contradicts the Bible has been shown many times to be flawed. I care not if men contradict God. Every single apostle alive during Christ contradicted him. Moses went against God and hit vs. spoke. Man is flawed, and I recognize this. You attempt to hold our prophets and apostles to one standard, yet hold the apostles alive during the time of Christ to a different standard. I am worried that you are satisfied in this.

  8. June 9, 2012 at 1:35 am

    Josh said: “Your belief that LDS scripture contradicts the Bible has been shown many times to be flawed. I care not if men contradict God. Every single apostle alive during Christ contradicted him. Moses went against God and hit vs. spoke. Man is flawed, and I recognize this. You attempt to hold our prophets and apostles to one standard, yet hold the apostles alive during the time of Christ to a different standard. I am worried that you are satisfied in this.”

    I am talking more specifically about doctrinal contradictions not sin.

  9. June 9, 2012 at 1:38 am

    “I am talking more specifically about doctrinal contradictions not sin.”

    I also want to add to that, this->…Doctrine claimed to have come from God.

  10. 10 joshtried
    June 9, 2012 at 1:58 am

    Would a doctrinal contradiction not be sin? Jesus said “I go to die,” and the apostles replied “Not on our watch!!!”
    God said the Jews were the chosen people, and TGEN he said to graft the gentiles into the jews… Is this not a doctrinal contradiction?

  11. June 9, 2012 at 3:14 am

    Josh said: “Would a doctrinal contradiction not be sin?”

    Yes. Sorry, I didn’t say that too clearly. It’s my fault. All doctrinal contradiction would be a sin. However not all sin is a doctrinal contradiction. When I wrote that, I was thinking about what you said about Moses re: “Moses went against God and hit vs. spoke” That would be a sin but not a doctrinal contradiction.

    Josh said: “Jesus said “I go to die,” and the apostles replied “Not on our watch!!! God said the Jews were the chosen people, and TGEN he said to graft the gentiles into the jews… Is this not a doctrinal contradiction?”

    I don’t consider these a doctrinal contradiction. What I mean when I used the words: “doctrinal contradiction” is when someone’s doctrine contradicts God’s word in the Bible and they claim that the contradiction is God’s word also. Or worse, they say that the contradictory teaching cancels or usurps what God has said in the Bible.

  12. 12 joshtried
    June 9, 2012 at 4:27 am

    From what I have seen of LDS vs Chtistian contradictions, those differences are in the Bible. For instance, (and man do I dislike bringing this up yet again…. Please dont open this can, I am merely showing a point) works are both said unnecessary and necessary in the Bible. Some Christians take one side and say they are not necessary, some take the other side and say they are. This is a contradiction and it is in the Bible. For one side to say the other is wrong is difficult, as there is a lot of scripture to support either side.
    Again, please dont open this can. I am not using works to prove or refute anything other than the delima of apparent contradictions within the Bible itself.
    Another example of a contradiction in the Bible was the “error” thing we came to the other day. 1 scripture says be weary, for the lying pen of scribes has handled the scripture, and God says he protects his word. Some say God protected his word in one way, others say he protected it in another.
    When you read something you feel contradicts the Bible from the BoM, a majority of the time we support the claim from something in the Bible. I say it is a personal choice to see or not see a contradiction. I can not speak to the spirit that is in you for discernment, but I can tell you the spirit that I have. I can tell you that often when working alone in the yard, I find myself singing songs of praise to the Lord. I can tell you that when I was alone in Iraq, I spoke to the Lord frequently. Now, if you choose to believe that these things are of Satan, so be it. I know they are not.

  13. June 9, 2012 at 5:47 am

    We believe that scripture never contradicts scripture because God cannot contradict himself and if there appears to be a contradiction, then the fault lies in our current understanding and not with God’s word.

    One LDS Prophet taught that Adam was God, another said he was not. Both claimed to be speaking for God.

    One LDS Prophet taught that polygamy was an everlasting requirement to enter the celestial kingdom, another prophet taught that it was not. Both claimed to be speaking for God.

    Those types of contradictions don’t happen in the Bible.

    Josh said: “Please dont open this can, I am merely showing a point”

    *smile*… You are asking the impossible my friend. This is one request that we simply can’t comply with. We have been called by God to do nothing other than preach the Gospel. The good news that works are not necessary for salvation is the Gospel we preach. The Bible doesn’t teach that good works are necessary for salvation. It does teach that good works are necessary…

    Check out this Q & A from http://www.wels.net

    ~~~Question “What is the relationship between faith and good works? Are good works necessary for salvation, even if it’s only indirectly?

    Answer: Article IV of the Formula of Concord takes up your question in great detail. When Scripture says that God saves people who “do not work” (Romans 4:5), and that he saves us “not by works” (Ephesians 2:8-9), “apart from observing the law” (Romans 3:28), “no longer by works” (Romans 11:6), and “not because of righteous things we had done” (Titus 3:5), etc., the answer becomes clear. Our good works are not “necessary for salvation” in any way, shape, or form—directly or indirectly, wholly or in part, before or after we are saved, etc.

    But this doesn’t make good works “optional” for a Christian. One reason is that God still commands them. The Bible’s teaching of justification by faith alone does not turn the 10 Commandments into the 10 Suggestions. Through our good works, we worship and glorify our Savior God (Romans 12:1-3). We show that our faith is alive and well in front of others, who can’t see our faith but can see the actions that faith produces (Matthew 5:16). And through our good works we love and serve other people.

    As Lutherans like to say, God doesn’t need our works, but our neighbor does. “Good works are necessary for salvation” would be a false statement. “Good works are necessary” is true–not for salvation, but for plenty of other reasons.”~~~
    .
    ——————————————————————————–

  14. 14 joshtried
    June 9, 2012 at 6:12 am

    You have hit a couple of important points that I will comment on. First, you are right that tge most probable conclusion when faced with contradictions found in the Bible is our understanding, but you must also concede the possiblity of being wrong yourself if you wish to hold this perception.
    Next, polygamy was never a requirement, as has been pointed out before. It was adhered to when God permitted, and forbidden when God forbode it. The new and evelasting covenant was and is eternal marriage, not polygamy.
    Adam God theory… I have no clue as I wasnt there. It is not in our scriptures that way (that I have ever seen). I know what we currently teach, and that is not Adam was God.
    The problem with both of these, and why polygamy at least is still brought up, is because you have already decided that I am wrong and these things are why. We have shown you were polygamy is accepted and required, and what relation it has to the “new and everlasting covenant” and yet you still try and say the new and everlasting covenant is polygamy itself. I can say before I joined this blog, I was ignorant of a lot of things Biblically, but I can also truthfully say I sought them out with an open mind. If you can say the same, then we have no further need for discussion as we both “know”the truth. If the is even the slightest of possibilities that you were not open to the truth outside of your comfort zone, then I want you to consider the possibility of your soul being in danger. I think we all owe it to ourselves to make sure that we do everything in our power to make sure our soul is saved, even if that doesnt conform to what we think we know.

  15. June 10, 2012 at 4:55 am

    Josh said: “…but you must also concede the possiblity of being wrong yourself if you wish to hold this perception.”

    I agree. We do hold ourselves to this along with everyone else. That’s why I used the word “our” rather than “you” or “they”.

    On Polygamy Brigham Young stated…

    ~”Now if any of you will deny the plurality of wives, and continue to do so, I promise that you will be damned,” (Journal of Discourses, vol. 3, p. 266). “The only men who become Gods, even the Sons of God, are those who enter into polygamy,” (Journal of Discourses, vol. 11, p. 269).~

    In Volume 11 of the Journal of Discourses the Curse of God on those who dictate against polygamy (p.211).
    ..
    The Book: “Mormon Doctrine” published during the 1980’s states: “Polygamy must be reinstituted for the upcoming earthly reign of Christ”
    ..
    “George A. Smith – Monogamists should be ashamed:

    “We breathe the free air, we have the best looking men and handsomest women, and if they envy us our position, well they may, for they are a poor, NARROW MINDED, PINCH-BACKED RACE OF MEN, WHO CHAIN THEMSELVES DOWN TO THE LAW OF MONOGAMY AND LIVE ALL THEIR DAYS UNDER THE DOMINION OF ONE WIFE. They ought to be ASHAMED OF SUCH CONDUCT, and the still fouler channel which flows from their practices; and it is not to be wondered at that they should envy those who so much better understand the social relations.” (Deseret News, April 16, 1856)

    From the Mormon church paper “millenial star”- Monogamy is a curse

    “… THE ONE-WIFE SYSTEM NOT ONLY DEGENERATES THE HUMAN FAMILY, BOTH PHYSICALLY AND INTELLECTUALLY, but it is entirely incompatible with philosophical notions of immortality; IT IS A LURE TO TEMPTATION, AND HAS ALWAYS PROVED A CURSE TO A PEOPLE.” (Millennial Star, Vol. 15, p. 227)

    Brigham Young – Monogamy is the source of prostitution and whoredom:

    “Since the founding of the Roman empire monogamy has prevailed more extensively than in times previous to that. The founders of that ancient empire were robbers and women stealers, and made laws favoring monogamy in consequence of the scarcity of women among them, and hence this MONOGAMIC SYSTEM which now prevails throughout Christendom, and which had been so fruitful a source of PROSTITUTION AND WHOREDOM throughout all the Christian monogamic cities of the Old and New World, until rottenness and decay are at the root of their institutions both national and religious.”
    (Journal of Discourses, Vol. 11, p. 128)

    Apostle Orson Pratt:

    “This law of MONOGAMY, or the MONOGAMIC SYSTEM, laid the foundation for prostitution and the evils and diseases of the most revolting nature and character under which modern Christendom groans,…”
    (Journal of Discourses, Vol. 13, page 195)

    Apostle Orson Hyde: Jesus was a polygamist

    “I discover that some of the Eastern papers represent me as a great blasphemer, because I said, in my lecture on Marriage, at our last Conference, that JESUS CHRIST WAS MARRIED at Cana of Galilee, THAT MARY, MARTHA, AND OTHERS WERE HIS WIVES, AND THAT HE BEGAT CHILDREN.
    (Journal of Discourses, Vol. 2, page 210)

    Brigham Young:

    “The Scripture says that He, the LORD, came walking in the Temple, with HIS TRAIN; I do not now who they were, unless HIS WIVES AND CHILDREN;…” (Journal of Discourses, Vol. 13, page 309)

    Apostle Orson Pratt:

    “…it will be seen that the GREAT MESSIAH who was the founder of the Christian religion, WAS A POLYGAMIST, …the MESSIAH chose…by MARRYING MANY honorable WIVES himself, show to all future generations that HE approbated the PLURALITY OF WIVES under the Christian dispensation, as well as under the dispensation in which His Polygamist ancestors lived. “We have now clearly shown that GOD THE FATHER HAD A PLURALITY OF WIVES, one or more being in eternity, by whom He begat our spirits as well as the spirit of Jesus His first Born, and another being upon the earth by whom He begat the tabernacle of Jesus, as his only begotten in this world. We have also proved most clearly that the Son followed the example of his Father, and became the great Bridegroom to whom kings’ daughters and many honorable wives were to be married We have also proved that both God the Father and our Lord Jesus Christ inherit THEIR WIVES IN ETERNITY as well as in time;… And then it would be so shocking to the modesty of the very pious ladies of Christendom to see Abraham and his wives, Jacob and his wives, JESUS AND HIS HONORABLE WIVES, all eating occasionally at the same table, and visiting one another, and conversing about their numerous children and their kingdoms. Oh, ye delicate ladies of Christendom how can you endure such a scene as this?… If you do not want your morals corrupted, and your delicate ears shocked, and your pious modesty put to the blush by the society of POLYGAMISTS and their wives, do not venture near the New Earth; for POLYGAMISTS will be honored there, and will be among the chief rulers in that Kingdom.”
    (The Seer, page 172)
    ..
    Search the Journal of Discourses on the Adam God Doctrine. (Brigham Young.)..The Journal of Discourses can be found online)

    Josh said: “I think we all owe it to ourselves to make sure that we do everything in our power to make sure our soul is saved, even if that doesnt conform to what we think we know.”

    I agree.

  16. 16 joshtried
    June 10, 2012 at 5:13 am

    As I just pointed out on the other blog, there is scripture, and then there is not. The is a prophet speaking from God, and then there is the man the prophet always is. We have discussed the JoD before, and how we do not hold it to be scripture. I am telling you what our scripture says.
    As to Jesus being a polygamist, who knows. Neither of us were there. If they felt they found scriptural evidence, they are entitled to that opinion. As for God being a polygamist, again, who knows. One could say he is a hermaphrodite (howecer thats spelled) as woman was literally taken out of man, and man was created in the image of God…. I dont know many that actually believe that though. So, if God isnt multigender, and we procreate through sex (as do 98% of organisms on this plant), would it not stand that we were created in similar fashion? Who knows.. I guess we will all find out when we get to speak with God.
    Will polygamy be reinstated before Christ comes? It is already in practice in parts of the world. Will it come back to the US? Why not? Its okay for gays to marry, why not multiple men and women?

  17. 17 shematwater
    June 11, 2012 at 7:38 pm

    I think the biggest problem people have in understanding the issue of Plural marriage is that they are unable to separate the doctrine from the practice. These are two very different things. The doctrine is the truth that the practice is based on, and a single truth can have more than one practice stemming from it.
    For instance, there is the doctrine of the Atonement. The practice stemming ffrom this doctrine was animal sacrifice, which has been done away with, and replaced with the sacrement. Both are based on the same doctrine of the atoning sacrifice of Christ and the Covenant made with the faithful, but they are very different practices.
    In the case of plural wives, there is the doctrine, and then there is the practice. The doctrine is true, and rejection of it will prove the damnation of many, as Brigham Young stated. However, the practice, as it is only instituted at certain times, and is never fully required, does not carry the same consequences. At this time the practice is prohibited, and thus to practice it is to defy the truth on which it is based, and thus condemn the person’s involved. When it is not prohibited it is also not required. A man should only take a second wife if he can provide for her, and has the concent of the first. To take additional wives against these governing principles can also lead to condemnation.
    The whole situation is actually very simple.

    As to Adam being God, I have found that it doesn’t matter what proof is given. Those who want the church to be false will latch onto this, even though it was never the meaning of Brigham Young or any other leader. They want it to be, and so they will always claim it is.


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