Our Prophetic Church

Public forum to discuss questions about Mormon history and doctrine.
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Orson
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Our Prophetic Church

Post by Orson » 18 May 2009, 14:55

I couldn't help but think of Tom as I sat in priesthood yesterday.

Teachings of Joseph Smith page 384: "No man is a minister of Jesus Christ without being a Prophet." If any man has the testimony of Jesus he has the spirit of prophecy.


We are not just a church with a prophet, we are a prophetic church.
My avatar - both physical and spiritual.

I first found faith, and thought I had all truth. I then discovered doubt, and claimed a more accurate truth. Now I’ve greeted paradox and a deeper truth than I have ever known.

Curt Sunshine
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Re: Our Prophetic Church

Post by Curt Sunshine » 18 May 2009, 17:35

I agree that we are meant to be, and I think we are much more than many people realize - but much less than I hope we will be.
I see through my glass, darkly - as I play my saxophone in harmony with the other instruments in God's orchestra. (h/t Elder Joseph Wirthlin)

Even if people view many things differently, the core Gospel principles (LOVE; belief in the unseen but hoped; self-reflective change; symbolic cleansing; striving to recognize the will of the divine; never giving up) are universal.

"For every complex problem there is an answer that is clear, simple, and wrong." H. L. Mencken

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jmb275
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Re: Our Prophetic Church

Post by jmb275 » 18 May 2009, 22:10

I actually had those same thoughts during the priesthood lesson. I am glad I was introduced to this idea on this forum.
I am like a huge, rough stone rolling down from a high mountain; and the only polishing I get is when some corner gets rubbed off by coming in contact with something else, striking with accelerated force against religious bigotry, priestcraft, lawyer-craft, doctor-craft, lying editors, suborned judges and jurors, and the authority of perjured executives, backed by mobs, blasphemers, licentious and corrupt men and women--all hell knocking off a corner here and a corner there.
- Joseph Smith, (Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, 304)

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Brian Johnston
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Re: Our Prophetic Church

Post by Brian Johnston » 28 May 2009, 11:04

Yes. I love this idea in mormonism. We often focus on the administrative position of President of the Church, who is a prophet, seer and revelator. But he is only one of millions of prophets, seers and revelators. I like how our religion contains strong concepts of personal and direct contact with deity.
"It's strange to be here. The mystery never leaves you alone." -John O'Donohue, Anam Cara, speaking of experiencing life.

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hawkgrrrl
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Re: Our Prophetic Church

Post by hawkgrrrl » 28 May 2009, 12:21

I think the other thing that makes this difficult is our expectations of what it means to be prophetic - mostly (in my case) as applied to others vs. to myself. Knowing how difficult it is to distinguish between confirmation bias and inspiration, dreams that are meaningful and ones that are merely dyspeptic, and the bias inherent in what questions we even ask, I find myself skeptical of the prophetic talents of others. My skepticism increases the more confident they are in their prophetic abilities, especially when it is likely that their prophesy or inspiration also matches their pre-existing perception.

Yet, theoretically, if we are living a good life, serving others, being kind to animals, etc., our own pre-conceptions will probably coincide with what is correct (or godly) a higher percentage of the time, so we will receive fewer and fewer "rebukes" or "corrections" (that the D&C is so full of) or "provocative prophesies" from on high, and more and more "oh, yeah, that's what I thought." So, on a good day, this leads me to assume that those who are living very kind and good lives are generally right, but it really makes it clear to me that I must do likewise and be able to rely on my own prophetic gifts to confirm or deny what I hear.

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Heber13
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Re: Our Prophetic Church

Post by Heber13 » 28 May 2009, 16:39

Isn't there a difference between revelation and prophecy?

I think we can all have revelation.

Prophecy is to unfold truth in things that may not yet have happened. Prophets testify of the plan of salvation that is still unfolding.

I'm no sure if we can all have the gift of prophecy.

To others it is given to believe on their words, that they also might have eternal life if they continue faithful. (D&C 46:14).

And to others it is given to prophesy; (D&C 46:22).
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."

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Re: Our Prophetic Church

Post by jmb275 » 28 May 2009, 22:19

Well, Heber13, I'm assuming you're speaking about the spiritual sense, but I think I prophesy all the time at work. I have to make decisions as an engineer all the time. Obviously I try to make intelligent design decisions. Sometimes it is not easy for me to decide. But sometimes I will hear someone else's design, and intuitively feel it won't work. I can easily predict (often times with great accuracy) in what ways the design will fail. I don't pretend that the spirit is guiding me or anything, but occasionally I have an intuitive feel for a design that I can't always trace to a single illogical design choice.

Is this the gift of prophecy? Does prophecy only exist with spiritual things?
I am like a huge, rough stone rolling down from a high mountain; and the only polishing I get is when some corner gets rubbed off by coming in contact with something else, striking with accelerated force against religious bigotry, priestcraft, lawyer-craft, doctor-craft, lying editors, suborned judges and jurors, and the authority of perjured executives, backed by mobs, blasphemers, licentious and corrupt men and women--all hell knocking off a corner here and a corner there.
- Joseph Smith, (Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, 304)

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Brian Johnston
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Re: Our Prophetic Church

Post by Brian Johnston » 29 May 2009, 06:55

I sometimes consider that prophecy is a product of our subconscious mind. I am not an expert or serious student of psychology, but from what I understand and see, our subconscious mind is enormously powerful. It is constantly making connections, taking care of life functions, associating pieces of information, and churning through all the "data input" we receive. Some of what we call that "gut feeling" is actually a methodical analysis, but it is not a conscious one on the surface of our mind.

I don't think this necessarily excludes the divine. That can be a part of it too -- a spiritual connection to God and all life around us. I am not even convinced completely this happens in the brain. That is another whole topic though. Some people have a talent for churning this data more than others. We call those successful "prophets." We all do this to some extent or another. I think prayer and meditation are tools to help tap into and develop the use of our vast processing power.
"It's strange to be here. The mystery never leaves you alone." -John O'Donohue, Anam Cara, speaking of experiencing life.

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Re: Our Prophetic Church

Post by jmb275 » 29 May 2009, 20:57

Good comment Valoel. I wouldn't classify myself as a serious student of psychology either, but from the reading and researching I have done I would say we don't give our subconscious mind near the credit it deserves. I think it is responsible for many things we do, and feel. Unfortunately, from the research I have done, I would also conclude that it's not very good at determining truth. This is ultimately what led me to reject my own spiritual experiences as a reliable means of determining that the church is "true."

Sometimes our "gut" gets it right. But on the whole it is responsible for self-preservation, and if left unchecked by the cognitive thought processes, it can lead us to ridiculous conclusions. This is, how I personally believe that alien abductees, psychics, mediums, and others work. They use their subconscious minds to a great extent and don't check them against the rational portions of their brain.
I am like a huge, rough stone rolling down from a high mountain; and the only polishing I get is when some corner gets rubbed off by coming in contact with something else, striking with accelerated force against religious bigotry, priestcraft, lawyer-craft, doctor-craft, lying editors, suborned judges and jurors, and the authority of perjured executives, backed by mobs, blasphemers, licentious and corrupt men and women--all hell knocking off a corner here and a corner there.
- Joseph Smith, (Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, 304)

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Brian Johnston
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Re: Our Prophetic Church

Post by Brian Johnston » 31 May 2009, 20:10

So use them both?

I would reverse that and say the other emphasis is equally flawed -- that of pure, conscious logic alone. It doesn't have to be only one or the other. They are both a part of what makes us human.
"It's strange to be here. The mystery never leaves you alone." -John O'Donohue, Anam Cara, speaking of experiencing life.

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