Out of Obscurity... and into what?

Public forum to discuss questions about Mormon history and doctrine.
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Bruce in Montana
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Re: Out of Obscurity... and into what?

Post by Bruce in Montana » 05 Jun 2009, 12:45

Joseph Smith was pretty clear, IMHO, on ordinances and principles not changing.

TPJS 181 A key: Every principle proceeding from God is eternal and any principle which is not eternal if of the devil.

TPJS 264 The Gospel has always been the same; the ordinances to fulfill its requirements the same.

I respectfully submit that the Church can be a bit out of order on a few things and still be fulfulling a devine purpose. One shouldn't throw the baby out with the bathwater and should instead look at the good the Church does.
I think some folks will fall away from the Church over the fact that it's becoming more and more secular because they are actually looking for a reason to not live the rigid requirements. I've seen it for years and was somewhat guilty of it myself at one time. It feels so much better to blame the Church than to admit that you don't have the intestinal fortitude to endure to the end....or that you've just become apathetic.
D&C 85 verse 7 speaks of one coming to set in order the house of God. Well, why would it need setting in order if it wasn't first out of order? I don't think Church members should worry too much about it. Everything is going to be set right eventually. It's a full-time job just trying to live the commandments and do the things we need to be doing.

My opinion only...
Mileage may vary
There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio,
Than are dreamt of in your philosophy.
-William S.

Curt Sunshine
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Re: Out of Obscurity... and into what?

Post by Curt Sunshine » 05 Jun 2009, 16:38

Bruce, while we don't agree on a lot of things (while agreeing on a lot of others things), I really appreciate having your fundamentalist perspective. It's good sometimes to be reminded of that viewpoint, to use as a touchstone of sorts as we carve out our own perspectives - and you always are respectful when you express your views.

I think Joseph was quite clear about the central principles of ordinances not changing, but I think he also altered lots of things (including the outward form of ordinances) without hesitation as he found ways to express the central principle in a different way. The temple ceremonies are a great example of that, imo.
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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just me
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Re: Out of Obscurity... and into what?

Post by just me » 05 Jun 2009, 18:47

Ray Degraw wrote:Bruce, while we don't agree on a lot of things (while agreeing on a lot of others things), I really appreciate having your fundamentalist perspective. It's good sometimes to be reminded of that viewpoint, to use as a touchstone of sorts as we carve out our own perspectives - and you always are respectful when you express your views.

I think Joseph was quite clear about the central principles of ordinances not changing, but I think he also altered lots of things (including the outward form of ordinances) without hesitation as he found ways to express the central principle in a different way. The temple ceremonies are a great example of that, imo.
Great point! The Kirtland Temple was had VERY different ordinances done in it. Personally, I think Kirtland had it right on.
But, yes, JS had no issues changing and altering. All these outward things are a perfect expression of where we are in our progression.

Aside from that. I feel like I am on much more "firm a foundation" now that I realize what exactly is the pure doctrine of Christ and what is not.
Most of us, sooner or later, find that at critical points in our lives we must strike out on our own to make a path where none exists.~Elaine Pagels

Ultimately, you are the path-the path begins and ends with you.~Stephan Bodian

He who think he knows, doesn’t know: He who knows he doesn’t know, knows.~Sanskrit proverb

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Bruce in Montana
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Re: Out of Obscurity... and into what?

Post by Bruce in Montana » 05 Jun 2009, 19:42

Good points guys. Maybe I should rephrase my comments and call the things that should not change "essential principles".
I think Joseph Smith uses the term "ordinances" interchangably and it does cause a bit of confussion.
The "essential principles" of the gospel, we are taught, were introduced or established before this world was formed and should not change, but I agree with you guys that the outward expression of them does change.

Examples of stuff that should not change IMHO:
Baptism by immersion
Laying on of hands to bless others
Knowing the true nature of God
etc

"Endowment" is another term that Joseph used that the meaning has changed a bit. The endowments in the Kirtland Temple were certainly not what Mormons think of as "the endowment".
Until we're all speaking the pure Adamic language again, we're going to continue having these semantic problems :)
There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio,
Than are dreamt of in your philosophy.
-William S.

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jmb275
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Re: Out of Obscurity... and into what?

Post by jmb275 » 07 Jun 2009, 00:53

Count me as "admit[ting] that you don't have the intestinal fortitude to endure to the end." Although I think anyone who knows me will know that am very committed to what I believe in.
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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jmb275
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Re: Out of Obscurity... and into what?

Post by jmb275 » 07 Jun 2009, 01:01

Heber13 wrote:Do you think there are any absolute doctrines that could not change?
That is a great question. For me, pretty much your points 1-5 have been fairly well deconstructed in one form or the other. Numbers 4 and 5 particularly are of little importance to me anymore. I think at this point I could see virtually any change in doctrine of policy and still remain a member. Well, okay, as I wrote that I realized that if it becomes any more authoritarian I may not be able to stomach it anymore. I long for the days of Hugh B. Brown, Henry Eyring, James Talmage, J. Golden Kimball, and the other more liberal minded general authorities. I would like to see some of them in the mix in the church hierarchy. But alas, it does not seem to be the direction we are headed.

I guess if I did have to nail something down it would be love and service. For example, if the church adopted a formal clergy I would see little reason to stick around since I feel like serving others is what makes the church great for me.
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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Heber13
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Re: Out of Obscurity... and into what?

Post by Heber13 » 08 Jun 2009, 20:52

jmb257 wrote:Well, okay, as I wrote that I realized that if it becomes any more authoritarian I may not be able to stomach it anymore. I long for the days of Hugh B. Brown, Henry Eyring, James Talmage, J. Golden Kimball, and the other more liberal minded general authorities.
an interesting response, JMB. You know, it seems that is the way of things. The push is for more liberal minded, less rulesy, more tolerant religions. It just seems that is my impression of other religions, which is what many mormons feel is unique and attractive...we are not like other churches, we are unique, different, unbending, the truth that stays constant in an ever changing world.

But it doesn't really stay constant. It changes also. I just wonder how far it will go.
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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Brian Johnston
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Re: Out of Obscurity... and into what?

Post by Brian Johnston » 10 Jun 2009, 07:34

just me wrote:Maybe a good question is: What is doctrine? What is the core that cannot change?
Over at New Order Mormon, there have been discussion trying to figure out exactly what are the basic and unchanging doctrines of the LDS Church. We came to this humorous conclusion once a while ago. Three simple doctrines in order of priority:

1. The Church is true.
2. Follow the Prophet.
3. If your question has not been answered yet, go back to #1

:-) It was funny. :-)
"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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jmb275
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Re: Out of Obscurity... and into what?

Post by jmb275 » 15 Jun 2009, 09:29

Heber13 wrote:
jmb257 wrote:Well, okay, as I wrote that I realized that if it becomes any more authoritarian I may not be able to stomach it anymore. I long for the days of Hugh B. Brown, Henry Eyring, James Talmage, J. Golden Kimball, and the other more liberal minded general authorities.
an interesting response, JMB. You know, it seems that is the way of things. The push is for more liberal minded, less rulesy, more tolerant religions. It just seems that is my impression of other religions, which is what many mormons feel is unique and attractive...we are not like other churches, we are unique, different, unbending, the truth that stays constant in an ever changing world.
Well, this is extremely subjective. Many Mormons feel it is unique, but there are loads of people out there who wouldn't/don't like it. I'm fine with that, but realizing that my point of view definitely does not fit the mold. Also, personally, I think this is part of the stage 3 faith that is encouraged by most religions. The fact is, we live in a changing world. And part of being successful in life is learning to adapt to it. Many people love, and take comfort in unchanging rules. These are the SJs in life. And thank goodness for them. But there are many others who promote the change necessary to keep an organization from diminishing. And thank goodness for them too. Take for example companies who don't embrace the latest technology. They almost invariably wither away. Those who learn to rapidly, and efficiently adapt to changing markets and technologies flourish. Mormonism exists today because it has adapted (albeit under tremendous pressure).
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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jmb275
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Re: Out of Obscurity... and into what?

Post by jmb275 » 15 Jun 2009, 09:31

Valoel wrote:
just me wrote:Maybe a good question is: What is doctrine? What is the core that cannot change?
Over at New Order Mormon, there have been discussion trying to figure out exactly what are the basic and unchanging doctrines of the LDS Church. We came to this humorous conclusion once a while ago. Three simple doctrines in order of priority:

1. The Church is true.
2. Follow the Prophet.
3. If your question has not been answered yet, go back to #1

:-) It was funny. :-)
Funny yes, but also I suspect very serious for some TBMs.
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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