Friday, June 19, 2015

Follow the prophets

Four years ago LDS mother Jennifer Willis wrote to LDS apostle Dallin H. Oaks, asking him what is required to come into the presence of our Savior, to make one's calling and election sure, to become a personal witness for Christ, to become a member of the Church of the Firstborn, and to be sanctified by the Spirit, as did the prophets of old. It was Sister Willis' understanding that LDS apostles and prophets experience these things. She wanted to know what she needed to do to replicate their experience.

In her letter, however, she expressed some confusion. She quoted several modern LDS apostles whose testimonies seemed to be somewhat less than one would expect of someone having had those prophetic experiences listed above. Why the incongruence, she wondered.

What Sister Willis got in response ought to concern every sincere seeker of truth in the LDS church. 

13 comments:

  1. They are yet his servants.

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  2. I think a more balanced approach is just: https://scottstover.wordpress.com/2015/06/19/an-apostles-lament/

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  3. Log to say they are his servants is inadequate. My home teacher is his servant too . They claim special status. They claim special keys. They claim special authority from God. All apostles that I am aware of were qualified by their experiences. Mattias was chosen ( LUke 1:22) as a replacement to Judas because he could testify that he had seen the resurrected Lord. The Nephite apostles were chosen because they could bear the same testimony ( 3 Nephi 11:14-22). As you know the charge given the initial 12 apostles given by those that ordained them was to continue to strive until they could testify they had seen the resurrected Lord. Yet now according to Elder Oaks ( whom i know personally and like) the standard has changed and it may be improper to even bear such testimony if you could. Melvin j Ballard , David b Haight , Orson Whitney, George Cannon,and John w Taylor didn't seem to be under such constraints. Paul didn't seem to have gotten the memo. Where is the claim that God has changed his mind about what constitutes one of his apostles . If he has the 12 could put the issue to bed by openly declaring that the nature of the calling has changed. Even for those of us who still attend ,serve ,hold TR etc this is deeply troubling. It is not enough to simply dismiss this issue as elder Oaks and others do . This goes right to the heart of their present calling and status. They should declare the truth and declare it boldly

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  4. Boo,
    Well said, and I agree. There should be no equivocating on the part of those who proclaim themselves to be His "Special Witnesses" to bear witness of His resurrection. The world is in desperate need of that message!
    James Russell Uhl

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  5. Well, Boo, since you asked, I suppose the claim that God has changed his mind about what constitutes one of his apostles is right there in your comment - after all, it wasn't eyewitnesses Cowdery ordained.

    And "special witnesses to the name of Christ," as they have consistently referred to themselves, does not seem to be equivalent to "eyewitnesses of the resurrected Christ." Being eyewitness does not ever seem to have been the qualifying requirement of an Apostle to be called such in these latter days.

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  6. This link, from an impeccably orthodox source, establishes something which, I suppose, would only mean something to someone who has been born again: http://en.fairmormon.org/Mormonism_and_prophets/Revelation_after_Joseph_Smith/Must_all_apostles_literally_see_Christ

    The money quote: "I bear witness to you that those who hold the apostolic calling may, and do, know of the reality of the mission of the Lord. To know is to be born and quickened in the inner man." - Harold B. Lee, Stand Ye in Holy Places (Salt Lake City, Utah: Deseret Book Co., 1974), 64–65.

    While the apparent ideal is that an Apostle in the modern Church has at least been born again, this condition is not necessary, and apparently may be dispensed with.

    Again, we're talking about the way things are, not the way things ought to be - reality is what it is. Acceptance is the final stage of grief.

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  7. Ah well now that we are apparently discussing the ways things actually are in what Daymon Smith calls " the non-church church" rather than the way things ought to be or the way god indicated they should be in the Church of Jesus Christ ( ie you have just moved the playing field and changed the rules of the game simultaneously) I suppose your advice is to learn to deal with the new reality of the non-church church. I will try but your right as Kuber Ross showed it is impossible to move from a loss to acceptance of that loss instantaneously .

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  8. I never did particularly like H B Lee. He is the author of correlation after all and if he had had his way the blacks still wouldn't have the priesthood

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  9. Where did the words "apostolic witness" come from? I cannot find it in the scriptures. Perhaps it was part of Joseph Smith's teachings?

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  10. "[Y]our advice is to learn to deal with the new reality of the non-church church."

    Precisely. And if it is intolerable, and if you disbelieve she has the One Ring of Power as she claims, then leave for balmier climes. If you can tolerate her company, or if you believe she has the One Ring of Power, then hang around.

    Does no good to simply snipe at Mother dear for being old, fat, cranky, and not quite the beauty she was in her youth, as she thinks she still is.

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  11. Ah but it is my church as much as it is any other mortal mans. I have loved it and sacrificed for it too much and too long to simply say like so many others " I am done" and walk away. We still have opportunities to preach the gospel and serve our brothers and sisters in the non church church more than in many places. Thus I have chosen to stay ( until they kick me out ) and speak the truth as the Spirit moves me. Speaking the truth is not sniping unless you subscribe to Pres Packard's view that the truth must always be edifying, I prefer Hugh B Brown's vire that we should not be afraid of the unvarnished truth.

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