Monson vs. Smith

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keepswimmin
Posts: 19
Joined: 15 May 2014, 16:43

Monson vs. Smith

Post by keepswimmin » 23 May 2014, 10:27

If you've read my introduction you'll know I'm having a hard time with some "doctrine". I've spent a lot of time in the past week working through my issues trying to pinpoint what I do believe vs what I do not. I've read a lot of articles and things that are mormon supporting and than a lot of not so mormon supporting. I'm having a very hard time trusting Joseph was a prophet.. there is too much against it I agree on and too little supporting it that sounds like justifications. But when I watch or read the articles/talks from current GA or even as far back as the 80s.. I have faith in their words. I told my husband and he chuckled and said well that is a very big factor (as for Joseph). I have read false prophets make false prophecies in Gods name that never come to pass.. which Joseph had done.. but our current Prophet I feel the spirit in his words. I searched in the bible for something propheseying the coming forth of the Book of Mormon.. the only thing I could find was Revelations 14:6, this scripture is one that keeps pulling me back. If the church is true and God knew that he needed to bring forth the fullness of the Gospel in these latter days, why can I not find more on it that isn't LDS doctrine? I also have this really neat drawing a missionary illustrated of our beliefs.. it starts with premortal life, war in heaven, purpose of life, earthly life, spirit prison spirit paradise, judgement day, resurrection and the 3 kingdoms. I went over this last night and each part has scripture references.. I found that in the things we believe as a church (premortal, war in heaven, 3 kingdoms) and few others I cant think of off the top of my head are only in our Book of Mormon or D&C.. can anyone that trusts completely in this aspect of the church help me?

Where I'm at as of now (like I said I'm studying, researching and trying to see what I feel truth in) is it is really hard for me to trust Joseph Smith was a Prophet of God, when I read D&C I don't feel the spirit, I don't trust the plan of salvation should be so complicated, I trust the current GA to have some truth and inspiration, I am having a hard time with brigham youngs doctrines he taught (I understand man makes mistake, but when it has been declared in the name of God we have been warned if it is unfamiliar or against Gods plan it evil.. I.e. adam-God doctrine.), I understanding tithing as far as we should help to support Gods work.. but I feel LDS see it as a way to be "worthy" and I don't believe in buying our worthiness.

Now please understand some of these things are my current feelings and understandings.. I'm not evil talking the church I am simply trying to find the truth if this is Gods one true church or not.. I am praying and asking for guidance and trusting in him. Last night I felt the spirit while watching a talk by Uchtdorf which brought tears to my eyes.. but then I think back to early day prophets and don't feel trust (as of now). Any opinions, good reads or thoughts would be appreciated I'm open to anything right now as I think we should all seek out to find out the truth for ourselves. Why else would we be blessed with prayer and personal revelation but not be allowed to question and only.follow the GA?

(Sorry if ny posts aren't very well written or organized, I have to use my cell which makes it difficult to go through and edit it to look proper)

thalmar
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Joined: 19 Jan 2014, 13:46

Re: Monson vs. Smith

Post by thalmar » 23 May 2014, 12:01

I have never liked that GAs tell you to go find your own answers through prayer and personal testimony, yet always have the unspoken expectation that you better receive the right answer or you are deceived. If you are going to tell others they must find out for themselves, you better actually give them the freedom to disagree with you. Now, granted I understand that the church must protect itself against people who receive inspiration and then take it upon themselves to preach their own doctrine in the church. But when it comes to your own personal life, I should not feel obligated to receive the "correct inspiration" in order to feel worthy. I felt inspired (both through prayer and my own reasoned, well thought out decision making process) to divorce my first wife, and it has turned out to be just as good a decision as I felt it was at the time. Yet, when I told him where my prayers were leading me regarding my marriage, I was literally told by my branch president at the time that "You have been deceived by the devil." He proceeded to use scriptures about Korihor and Cain to demonstrate what devilish deception can do to a person.

I honestly believe, at this point in my life, that some people are genuinely inspired to remain in the church and that others are genuinely inspired to leave the church. After all, the world is full of billions of people, almost all of which are not LDS. I think it is narrow thinking to believe that God will always direct all people into this church. If that was his plan, then he has done a poor job at it, when .002% (or something around there) of the world is LDS. Divine work must be done on all fronts, with all people. When the scriptures talk about a great and marvelous work, I believe it is a worldwide evolution, of which the LDS church is only one part of.

But despite what I believe, I am also working toward a place of peace in recognizing that my beliefs will always change and evolve. I try to avoid the certainty of believing my current beliefs are finally "the right way." I believe that inspiration is never meant to be a certain process. I believe that Joseph Smith received inspiration. I believe that many prophets and members of the church have received inspiration. But it is getting harder and harder to believe that they receive inspiration that entails true facts. I feel like inspiration is trying to communicate through a tin can and a string. God's thoughts are so much higher than ours that anything he says to us passes through magnitudes of layers that are like the world's worst 'telephone game.' But I believe it is meant to be that way, because we are meant to walk by faith in this life, and not walk by certainty in the truths we try to grasp.

I listened to a Mormon Matter podcast today. In it, someone said, "Do not confuse the finger pointing toward the moon to be the moon itself." In other words, don't confuse the inspiration pointing toward God to be the same thing as the way God and his truths really are. We are striving to point towards God, not striving to have certain, infallible truths about God in this life. I think we are here learning to feel what truth feels like, not have an accurate intellectual understanding of truth. We are here to taste good and evil, not be expert theologians on what good and evil factually are.

keepswimmin
Posts: 19
Joined: 15 May 2014, 16:43

Re: Monson vs. Smith

Post by keepswimmin » 23 May 2014, 12:13

Thalmar I liked the way you put that.. I had talked with some people who hold leadeship positions and they told me to read the BoM and pray.. we all know what they meant was to do that so I believe in it. I love God and Jesus Christ with all of my heart.. I want to live ith them some day.. which is why I'm taking my search so seriously. I don't want to turn away from the church in fear it is his true church.. but I cannot grasp a lot of our beliefs.. especially how the "good" people will go to terrestial but the "great" to celestial.. why would he deny us to live with him when we always loved and believed him nut didn't always go above and beyond with our time here.. from my understanding we will only make it if we live true obedient lives, complete our temple ordinances and do our VERY best.. I know God is a very very Holy man BUT he is our father.. will he really reject us if we struggled within the church and ordinances and the temptations of life... idk.

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DarkJedi
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Re: Monson vs. Smith

Post by DarkJedi » 23 May 2014, 12:17

Hey, Keepswimmin, glad you're sticking around. It's good you're looking at what you do believe, too - I really do think that is key. If this is any help to you in a general sort of way, shortly after I started to look at what I do believe I looked at the temple recommend questions as a guide. I figured if the TR is a measure of worthiness, then answering the questions should be of value - I was actually surprised to find out how "worthy" I was, nevertheless I could not at that point answer all of them appropriately.

Many of us struggle with these same things you mention in this post - even after many years. I struggle with Joseph as a prophet. I do believe he had a profound spiritual experience in the grove, and I believe that for many reasons. For one thing, I believe his testimony, even after looking at the different versions of the story (all nicely compiled for us on lds.org these days). I also believe that he would not have gone through all he did if he didn't believe it. All he had to do was walk away, go build a farmstead on the frontier, and disappear. But he didn't do that. Beyond that vision, however, I don't actually believe much of it. I can't really point out specific things and say, that section I believe, this one I don't, I only believe certain verses in this one, etc. In a very general sort of way I believe he may have been inspired to organize a church, but I don't think God commanded him in all things - I don't necessarily believe God organized this church, I believe Joseph and his successors did.

As modern prophets go, I do sustain Pres. Monson as the prophet and leader of the church. He's a good man doing what he thinks is right and that doesn't include persecution of others or drinking deadly Kool-Aid. I do believe he has the keys passed down to him from his predecessors and that he holds them (if they actually exist, that is). I don't particularly like his speaking style, he bores me, and I tend to tune out stories about little Tommy and the widows that he repeats. At the same time, I recognize that he talks primarily about one thing - loving others, and those stories all relate to that. Both of his counselors also focus on that idea and other very core tenets of the gospel, as do some of the apostles. I'm not sure if he's inspired or not, but as long as he is teaching core principles of the gospel I cannot fault him. I also don't believe any of the prophets since Joseph Smith has received revelation more than promptings or impressions of the spirit which we can all have. I think Brigham Young was a great man, a kingdom builder, and a great leader. Without him I think the church would not have survived. But I don't think much of what he did was inspired and I think he alone is responsible for much false doctrine held onto by many to this day. Were I alive in his day I would hope that I would have been sent to the far reaches of Deseret.

I also have trouble with the whole restored gospel thing - I believe that since Christ's mortal ministry some people have always believed in him and his story, and that's what the gospel is. There are so many "other doctrines" that are only contained in the BoM and D&C, and since I question and doubt both of those, I question and doubt those doctrines. My middle way here is that I believe we know so little about pre-earth life and so little about the afterlife that it's not worth worrying about. You will not hear me teach or testify about these things, and I tune out others who do so.

I'm curious. I am an Uchtdorfite, and I have to be very careful that I don't do what I accuse others of doing - worshiping an idol. What talk of his was it that brought you to tears?
In the absence of knowledge or faith there is always hope.

Once there was a gentile...who came before Hillel. He said "Convert me on the condition that you teach me the whole Torah while I stand on one foot." Hillel converted him, saying: That which is despicable to you, do not do to your fellow, this is the whole Torah, and the rest is commentary, go and learn it."

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keepswimmin
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Joined: 15 May 2014, 16:43

Re: Monson vs. Smith

Post by keepswimmin » 23 May 2014, 12:29

Which is another thing that comes to mind.. i get if they are prophets of god we should recognize that.. but I feel he gets just as much attention from us as God does.. which in a way is "worshipping an image". It was "come join with us" at the end he is even brought to tears.. it wasn't so much wwhat HE said but what he made me realize of Christ.. how he truly did sacrifice and suffer.. and how alone he must have felt. I love our savior so much and I would never and could never deny him. And with as much as I do trust in him.. I feel if this was the TRUE way or ONLY way I'd feel it towards the church.

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DarkJedi
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Re: Monson vs. Smith

Post by DarkJedi » 23 May 2014, 12:46

keepswimmin wrote:Which is another thing that comes to mind.. i get if they are prophets of god we should recognize that.. but I feel he gets just as much attention from us as God does.. which in a way is "worshipping an image". It was "come join with us" at the end he is even brought to tears.. it wasn't so much wwhat HE said but what he made me realize of Christ.. how he truly did sacrifice and suffer.. and how alone he must have felt. I love our savior so much and I would never and could never deny him. And with as much as I do trust in him.. I feel if this was the TRUE way or ONLY way I'd feel it towards the church.
I suspected that was the talk, Keepswimmin. I love that talk and constantly reference it. That talk quite literally is the reason I am here today. He has done some other great ones, too.

And, I do have a problem with the celebrity status and worship of GAs. Again, I think they're good people doing what they think is right - but God is no respecter of persons and I don't think the idolization many give to them is a good thing.
In the absence of knowledge or faith there is always hope.

Once there was a gentile...who came before Hillel. He said "Convert me on the condition that you teach me the whole Torah while I stand on one foot." Hillel converted him, saying: That which is despicable to you, do not do to your fellow, this is the whole Torah, and the rest is commentary, go and learn it."

My Introduction

keepswimmin
Posts: 19
Joined: 15 May 2014, 16:43

Re: Monson vs. Smith

Post by keepswimmin » 23 May 2014, 13:17

I agree.. I mean in reality any given pastor in other churches can give a leson and you may feel the spirit testifying its truth. I just am at a point where I feel they teach truth, but I feel some things the church believes are absolute necessity, are not really all that necessary. Its so complex and I feel as long as we are TRULY seeking God and his truth and that we can recognize his spirit, we are all OK. I mean maybe one day I will start to under the "mysteries" of his kingdom, but as of right now it is all confusing to me and I do not feel he will punish me for putting up questions and being hesitant in believing some things.. especially things that if are true should be the most sacred things we hold.. after all isn't that what we should do? Know for OURSELVES and not trust someone else whose judgement you trust?

P.s. I'm glad you're an uchtdorf fan.. he has some wise words.

Curt Sunshine
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Re: Monson vs. Smith

Post by Curt Sunshine » 23 May 2014, 20:59

Joseph was, naturally, a visionary restorationist. That was both his genius and his downfall, I believe - the reason he was told his name would be had for both good and evil throughout the world. Both visions and restoration can be tricky, since it's not easy to know which things ought to be envisioned or not and which things ought to be restored or not.

I think Pres. Monson is one of the best examples of a scriptural prophet we have had in the Church - someone who is almost single-minded about an issue of great importance that is vital to the time period. In Pres. Monson's case, that would be service to the poor, the widowed, etc. I think his choice of Pres. Uchtdorf and Pres. Eyring as his counselors reinforces that cause.
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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DarkJedi
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Re: Monson vs. Smith

Post by DarkJedi » 24 May 2014, 05:18

Ray DeGraw wrote:I think Pres. Monson is one of the best examples of a scriptural prophet we have had in the Church - someone who is almost single-minded about an issue of great importance that is vital to the time period. In Pres. Monson's case, that would be service to the poor, the widowed, etc. I think his choice of Pres. Uchtdorf and Pres. Eyring as his counselors reinforces that cause.
I am truly amazed at how many people don't get this, Ray. Admittedly the light only came on for me in the last few months, but whenever I have said something like this to real live people (and lately I have had several opportunities) I get that look that says "Hmm, I hadn't really thought about that." The key, I think, is that Pres. Monson teaches in parables and is not generally very direct (with the exception of his April Sunday morning address).
In the absence of knowledge or faith there is always hope.

Once there was a gentile...who came before Hillel. He said "Convert me on the condition that you teach me the whole Torah while I stand on one foot." Hillel converted him, saying: That which is despicable to you, do not do to your fellow, this is the whole Torah, and the rest is commentary, go and learn it."

My Introduction

Curt Sunshine
Site Admin
Posts: 16832
Joined: 21 Oct 2008, 20:24

Re: Monson vs. Smith

Post by Curt Sunshine » 24 May 2014, 05:48

Also, I wrote the following on my personal blog back in October 2009:

"Paul v. John - Oaks v. Uchtdorf: Why We Need a Quorum of 12 Apostles" - http://thingsofmysoul.blogspot.com/2009 ... -need.html
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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