Revelation vs cultural prejudices vs doctrinal speculations

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Minyan Man
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Revelation vs cultural prejudices vs doctrinal speculations

Post by Minyan Man » 06 Sep 2016, 17:33

I am currently reading: Wrestling the Angel by: Terryl Givens.
I am reading the section on: Blacks and Mormonism (pg 237).
It seems that BY announced a ban on black participation in the PH in 1852. He did not articulate a rationale at the time, beyond declaring
that members of the African race could not bear the PH & attributing such denial to the curse of Cain. There was no formal revelation or
"Thus saith the Lord". Fast forward to June of 1978 & SWK revisits the practice & terms the practice as "ambiguous & possibly an error".
He then says "all worthy males were eligible for PH ordination, regardless of race or color." (all quotes are from Bro Givens.)
He then said, "The momentous shift represented the most dramatic revelation pronounced by an LDS prophet since the ban on plural marriage
over a century earlier. In March 2013, the church acknowledged in a new introduction to the official revocation of the PH ban that "Church records
offer no clear insights into the origins of this practice."
He then says: "Historians may quibble over the fact that abundant sources indicate a number of cultural prejudices and doctrinal speculations that led
to the ban in the mid-1840's."

My question has to do with the recent announcement about Gay families.
I. Is there a scriptural basis for this policy? If I bring this up in church, I know members will point to: THE FAMILY: A PROCLAMATION TO THE WORLD.
(The only scription in it is: Psalm 127:3)

2. Is this another cultural prejudice or doctrinal speculation?

3. What can the average member do that opposes the policy?

4. Has the Church commented about this book? (Just curious.)

(Maybe this has been discussed somewhere else. If it has, feel free to delete or point me in the right direction.)
This is a quick overview of one section in Bro Givens book.
I highly recommend this book, for this topic & others.

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nibbler
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Re: Revelation vs cultural prejudices vs doctrinal speculati

Post by nibbler » 07 Sep 2016, 06:10

2. Is this another cultural prejudice or doctrinal speculation?
I lean toward all revelations being subject to cultural prejudice to varying degrees.
3. What can the average member do that opposes the policy?
Wait.

IMO the November policy was for leaders, not average members. If the policy is ever rolled back via another most dramatic revelation it's the leaders that will be in a position to have to make changes. The average member is going to treat gay people as well or as poorly as they want irrespective of policy. That's oversimplifying but nothing is stopping the average member of being more welcoming of gay people, I already see it in a few isolated areas in the vineyard. I think as more members are welcoming of gay people much of the fear will dissipate and the policy will change.
Sometimes, the thing you've been looking for your whole life is right there beside you all along.
-Peter Quill

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Heber13
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Re: Revelation vs cultural prejudices vs doctrinal speculati

Post by Heber13 » 07 Sep 2016, 15:08

I think it is a personal faith question. Where is your faith on answers to these questions? What feels right to you? What is in line with scriptures and prophets of the past?

There are no clear answers. Because there are things that are interpreted in the church, by prophets, apostles, GAs, PR, CES, correlation committees, and the general membership (traditions), and yet...in my mind...all those interpretations are up for debate, study, challenge and disagreement. It HAS to be. My God wants me to wrestle and show where my heart is...not just follow a manual or be a lemming.

Take this teaching from the Church, from New Testament Study Guide:
Romans 1
Made of the seed (v. 3) Descendant
Fruit (v. 13) Converts to the gospel
Barbarians (v. 14) Foreigners
Wrath (v. 18) Punishment, anger
Maliciousness (v. 29) Desire to hurt another
Malignity (v. 29) Hatefulness
Whisperers (v. 29) Gossipers, slanderers
Without natural affection (v. 31) Unloving toward family and friends

Romans 1:24–32—“God Also Gave Them Up”

When people reject God, He “gives them up,” or delivers them to suffer the punishment for their sins. This abandonment does not mean that God does not love His children, but shows that they who are wicked abandon Him so He cannot help them. As Paul said, they choose to worship and serve the creature of sin, rather than the Creator (see Romans 1:25). The “uncleanness” and “vile affections” Paul referred to in verses 24–27 are sins of homosexuality and other sexual sins.
Romans chapter 1 says nothing about homosexuality. Yet...the church interprets it as a sin that Paul was referring to. Why? Where is that coming from? Who said that?

Actually...it seems to even contradict what the study guide gives above it in the study help for topics and terms:
Without natural affection = Unloving toward family and friends

The connection between that scripture and homosexuality is an interpretation that I am not sure where it came from and how correct (or incorrect) it is.

Why do they throw in things like "God cannot help them"? Where does that interpretation come from? It seems logical we have consequences of our actions, God won't rob us of those. But it feels more like people are trying to make sense of scriptures that were written by mortals over various time periods and meanings...and they are trying to make sense of it...and as they do...are revealing their personal views, cultural bias and prejudice, and the lessons they are trying to teach at the moment. It sounds like they are trying to reaffirm faithful obedient people there is an advantage to obedience, and there is no help if laws are violated. There are so many contradictions with other teachings of the Atonement or what Christ lived like.

The church even admits that we need greater light and knowledge on things, we don't know all things. Continuing revelation is necessary.

The paradox is that revelation can be mixed in with the cultural prejudices and doctrinal speculation...and ongoing revelations correct and adjust them over time as we learn more. So...the answer to your question is not that these categories are mutually exclusive...but somehow...all happening at once. Evil and Good intertwined together. Find the good, reject the evil. It is all in there.

So...I reject it as a church teaching that those scriptures are clearly talking about all situations of homosexuality in one broad brush. If that is what they want to teach...I reject that. It doesn't make sense to me. It is a stretch. It is a jump to unconnected things and generalizes the uniqueness of individual circumstances and all the exceptions to rules. But I know the church teaches it and others at church accept it unquestioned. They try to frame it in a way that can be expressed and taught.

But not me. Some things can't be framed so definitively. Is all divorce bad? No. Is all Homosexuality sin? No. Are all church teachings revelation? No.

And because we see what happened in the past with things prophets said and taught...there is no way to dismiss the real (and likely) possibility that this interpretation is cultural prejudices and speculation. I have not been able to see it any differently.

I simply just accept that there are things taught in church as revelation to others that I don't think people really know if it is or not. But they choose to believe it.

I choose differently. That is OK. That is what faith is. Personal. A choice. A stance on something that cannot be seen or proven in the physical world, but a hope that leads to actions based on belief, after serious study and consideration.

It takes courage to take a stance that goes against the common (group) belief...but in your heart you honestly feel it is right for yourself.

Something tells me God cares more about what we choose and where our heart is, than anything that is said in the scriptures or taught in church.

We are here for experiences. Not to find the answers to some test.
Luke: "Why didn't you tell me? You told me Vader betrayed and murdered my father."
Obi-Wan: "Your father... was seduced by the dark side of the Force. He ceased to be Anakin Skywalker and became Darth Vader. When that happened, the good man who was your father was destroyed. So what I told you was true... from a certain point of view."
Luke: "A certain point of view?"
Obi-Wan: "Luke, you're going to find that many of the truths we cling to...depend greatly on our point of view."

Roy
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Re: Revelation vs cultural prejudices vs doctrinal speculati

Post by Roy » 06 Oct 2016, 16:33

Heber13 wrote:The paradox is that revelation can be mixed in with the cultural prejudices and doctrinal speculation...and ongoing revelations correct and adjust them over time as we learn more. So...the answer to your question is not that these categories are mutually exclusive...but somehow...all happening at once. Evil and Good intertwined together. Find the good, reject the evil. It is all in there.
I agree with you that revelation as it passes through the human filter of the mind of the prophet would be mixed with cultural limitations and prejudices. In this way, I do not believe that God condoned the morality of Slavery, Genocide, Polygamy, Racism, Sexism, Caste systems or many of the other objectionable practices that we see described in the bible.

On the other hand, Doctrinal speculation seems like almost a prerequisite for revelation. The Lord does not allow us to discover answers unless we care enough to ask the questions and ponder them out some for ourselves. In some ways, it takes someone to have the quality of vision before God will bless them with a vision. They must be cycling through permutations of what might be and be willing to ask themselves the question, "Why not?" In this way speculation is almost the opposite of cultural prejudices. It is creative, progressive, and stretches the bounds of culture.

Thus all revelation and even more broadly all ideas exist on a spectrum of perpetuating the cultural status quo or of pushing the limits of change.
"It is not so much the pain and suffering of life which crushes the individual as it is its meaninglessness and hopelessness." C. A. Elwood

“It is not the function of religion to answer all the questions about God’s moral government of the universe, but to give one courage, through faith, to go on in the face of questions he never finds the answer to in his present status.” TPC: Harold B. Lee 223

"I struggle now with establishing my faith that God may always be there, but may not always need to intervene" Heber13

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