Savior's Doctrine?

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QuestionAbound
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Savior's Doctrine?

Post by QuestionAbound » 05 Apr 2018, 13:13

I am a seminary teacher.
Love the calling. I really do.
I also love the Book of Mormon.

We recently covered 3 Nephi 11:40.
I remember reading this as a teenager (before google) and wondered about it.
Now that I am re-reading it, I wonder....how does this line up with our Church organization?

And whoso shall declare more or less than this, and establish it for my doctrine, the same cometh of evil, and is not built upon my rock;

Is the Church guilty of adding to his doctrine, which, by the way, is simply this: repent and be baptized (according to 3 Ne 11).


Along those lines, here is what I have found in my own study of just the scriptures...

Savior's Doctrine: repent and be baptized
Savior's gospel: Love God. Love others.
*do those last two things, and everything else will just sort of fall into place

If it's as simple as that, why do we (church members) feel so conflicted so often??

Also (sorry), we are taught that the purpose of the earth is to make eternal families. If that is the sole purpose of the earth, um, why didn't the Savior teach that to the Nephites in the Americas? Kinda seems like that would be an important point he would make while there, don't ya think?

AmyJ
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Re: Savior's Doctrine?

Post by AmyJ » 06 Apr 2018, 06:24

I have similar questions.

Actually, my main similar doctrinal conundrum is that millions of people have died (notably women and children in childbirth, children, and the elderly) because of the spread of germs because people did not wash their hands - especially doctors between patients. So why is it that God gave "revelation" regarding the cleanliness rules taught in the Old Testament regarding food purification, and other ceremonial cleanliness rites - but apparently did not say anything about washing hands while taking care of patients or set up best practices as hand-washing as ritual ceremonies.

I think the conflict comes in when "best ideas" that are taught as subsets to "Loving God", and people impose checklists on others to make sure (for organizational, and/or benevolent and/or other reasons) those things happen.

Here is my take on "Inspiration" (Environments Set Up For It):
1. A person has to be interested/expertise/have a focus in that area. Nephi didn't know how to build boats, but he had limited expertise in project management built from traveling in the wilderness for years and re-building his bow. President Nelson had years of operations under his belt before the heart operation was "diagrammed" for him. President Utchdorf cited in his conference talk that the doctor who started the hand-washing practice had the training to realize that there had to be a reason that his patients were dying when other similar patients were not and do the observations and analysis to arrive at the conclusion that going from the bedside of the dead to the bedside of a laboring mom was not a good idea without hand-washing.
2. Quiet Meditation: Joseph Smith found a grove to pray in. Brother of Jared spent time considering his campfire.
3. Force of Personality/Connection: There has to be a reason that the "inspiration" gets out - either by a charismatic person broadcasting it to others who think about an internalize it (Pioneers who read the Book of Mormon after missionaries gave it), a close family member sharing it and making it advantageous to update a person's/group of people's narrative (which is why the recent prophets keep talking about the influence women have on the course their families take), logical thinking and applying, or politics.
4. Developmentally "Ready" for it: We talk a lot about people being developmentally ready to transition from the Law of Moses to the given by Jesus Christ because they were "ready". We have quite a few experts these days who have marked out common (ish) milestones/paths of development from Early Childhood Studies, Stages of Faith, timelines of biological development, etc.

I think that sometimes what we think is "revelation" is simply a resolution of the unconscious resolving cognitive dissonance in an specific area and coming forward with a specific plan of action and/or principle to weave into that person's (or group of people's) narrative. It isn't all bad - I look for "revelation" regularly in how to teach/discipline my oldest daughter effectively given her unique talents and disadvantages.

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dande48
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Re: Savior's Doctrine?

Post by dande48 » 06 Apr 2018, 07:20

QuestionAbound wrote:
05 Apr 2018, 13:13
Savior's Doctrine: repent and be baptized
Savior's gospel: Love God. Love others.
*do those last two things, and everything else will just sort of fall into place

If it's as simple as that, why do we (church members) feel so conflicted so often??
My two cents: Humans NEED conflict. They couldn't cope without it. If there is no conflict, they will go out of their way to create it. Hence, I have a hard time believing in the traditional view of Heaven. Everyone gets their own mansion, they have all their wants and needs provided for, everyone lives according to the commandments perfectly... there is no war, no hunger, no needs to fulfill, God-like powers with no struggle to grow. It'll only be a matter of time before a celestial being stands up, argues with God, starts a war in Heaven, and becomes the Devil. Take fourth Nephi for example, where the people live in a perfectly harmonious utopia for 400-ish years. There's not much to say, not much value or significance... it's only through conflict that humans feel like there's anything worth bothering about.

People will always disagree on the specifics. What constitutes as love? What is God? What does it mean to repent? What does it take to repent of what sins? What does baptism mean? If there is a God, there is an objectively correct answer to all of those questions. It's should be that simple. But humans will disagree. Even if God were to directly spell it all out and answer every question, humans would still argue it. It's the way we are.
QuestionAbound wrote:
05 Apr 2018, 13:13
Also (sorry), we are taught that the purpose of the earth is to make eternal families. If that is the sole purpose of the earth, um, why didn't the Savior teach that to the Nephites in the Americas? Kinda seems like that would be an important point he would make while there, don't ya think?
God probably hadn't finished refining his doctrine by then. Or maybe he forgot? I've also heard that the Nephites (like the Israelites) weren't ready for a fullness of the gospel, like we are. But I have a hard time believing that.
"The whole world is a comedy to those that think, a tragedy to those that feel." - Horace Walpole

"Even though there are no ways of knowing for sure, there are ways of knowing for pretty sure."
-Lemony Snicket

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DarkJedi
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Re: Savior's Doctrine?

Post by DarkJedi » 06 Apr 2018, 19:53

I have questioned this as well. You are absolutely correct that Christ calls his doctrine (given to him by the Father, AKA the Doctrine of Christ) believe, repent, be baptized in 3 Nephi 11. Yet, very often when people (including some of the Q15) refer to the Doctrine of Christ they add GotHG and endure to the end. In fairness, 3 Nephi 27 Christ does mention endure to the end, BUT in chapter 11 he refers to these things as his doctrine while in chapter 27 he calls it his gospel. There are definite differences in those two words and I have wondered why they are used in referring to similar "requirements" just a few chapters apart. My own take: I choose to believe in chapter 11 as it is very much in line with the Bible.

BTW, I do have a favorite talk on the subject: https://www.lds.org/general-conference/ ... t?lang=eng

I partly like that talk because it contains this gem:
At the same time it should be remembered that not every statement made by a Church leader, past or present, necessarily constitutes doctrine. It is commonly understood in the Church that a statement made by one leader on a single occasion often represents a personal, though well-considered, opinion, not meant to be official or binding for the whole Church. The Prophet Joseph Smith taught that “a prophet [is] a prophet only when he [is] acting as such.”
But I also note that despite the statement early in his talk referring directly to 3 Nephi 11 and asserting that the gospel really is that simple, DTC did indeed add the GotHG and endure toward the end of the talk.
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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mom3
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Re: Savior's Doctrine?

Post by mom3 » 06 Apr 2018, 21:58

The other twist I like to add to this are the sections on Charity - both Paul and Moroni.

Everything fails except Charity. Prophecy, miracles, healings, on and on - the only lasting thing is Charity. So then if we have these 3 clear statements.

The Doctrine - pure and simple
The Gospel - Love as he did
The Method- Charity

Why do we need all the other stuff? And if the BoM event of Christ is the fullest statements where is the Temple Marriage, Priesthood Ordinations (I know he calls and sets apart the Apostles), Family Home Evening, etc.

Total Baffler to Me.
"I stayed because it was God and Jesus Christ that I wanted to follow and be like, not individual human beings." Chieko Okazaki Dialogue interview

"I am coming to envision a new persona for the Church as humble followers of Jesus Christ....Joseph and his early followers came forth with lots of triumphalist rhetoric, but I think we need a new voice, one of humility, friendship and service. We should teach people to believe in God because it will soften their hearts and make them more willing to serve." - Richard Bushman

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SilentDawning
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Re: Savior's Doctrine?

Post by SilentDawning » 07 Apr 2018, 04:26

QuestionAbound wrote:
05 Apr 2018, 13:13
I am a seminary teacher.
Love the calling. I really do.
I also love the Book of Mormon.

We recently covered 3 Nephi 11:40.
I remember reading this as a teenager (before google) and wondered about it.
Now that I am re-reading it, I wonder....how does this line up with our Church organization?

And whoso shall declare more or less than this, and establish it for my doctrine, the same cometh of evil, and is not built upon my rock;

Is the Church guilty of adding to his doctrine, which, by the way, is simply this: repent and be baptized (according to 3 Ne 11).


Along those lines, here is what I have found in my own study of just the scriptures...

Savior's Doctrine: repent and be baptized
Savior's gospel: Love God. Love others.
*do those last two things, and everything else will just sort of fall into place

If it's as simple as that, why do we (church members) feel so conflicted so often??

Also (sorry), we are taught that the purpose of the earth is to make eternal families. If that is the sole purpose of the earth, um, why didn't the Savior teach that to the Nephites in the Americas? Kinda seems like that would be an important point he would make while there, don't ya think?

As time passes, you realize the scriptures are very flexible. They can be interpreted however the user of the scriptures wants. The BoM says nothing about temple marriage, yet it contains "the fulness of the gospel". When you ask people how that can be, you get convoluted answers like "it tells you the minimum you have to do to get to the celestial kingdom" (which celestial kingdom, by the way, it's mentioned specifically in the BoM.

Fact is, JS brought the Bom to life, then found it necessary to create additional doctrine. he did so, in the D&C, but was stuck wtih the problem of his former "fuln ess of the gospel" descriptor about the BoM.

That is how I view it. It doesn't affect my testimony though. That too is flexible.
"It doesn't have to be about the Church (church) all the time!" -- SD

"Stage 5 is where you no longer believe the gospel as its literally or traditionally taught. Nonetheless, you find your own way to be active and at peace within it". -- SD

The individual has always had to struggle to keep from being overwhelmed by the tribe. No price is too high to pay for the privilege of owning yourself."

My introduction: viewtopic.php?f=8&t=1576

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Beefster
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Re: Savior's Doctrine?

Post by Beefster » 07 Apr 2018, 08:04

Maybe those simple things ARE the core essence of what God expects of us.

What if we aren't here on earth to be tested on our faith and obedience? What if the only test is whether we give or withhold unconditional love and everything else is an appendage to that?

Maybe it doesn't really matter what you believe.
Boys are governed by rules. Men are governed by principles.

Sometimes our journeys take us to unexpected places. That is a truly beautiful thing.

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DarkJedi
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Re: Savior's Doctrine?

Post by DarkJedi » 07 Apr 2018, 17:23

Beefster wrote:
07 Apr 2018, 08:04
Maybe those simple things ARE the core essence of what God expects of us.

What if we aren't here on earth to be tested on our faith and obedience? What if the only test is whether we give or withhold unconditional love and everything else is an appendage to that?

Maybe it doesn't really matter what you believe.
Personally I think you're spot on Beefster.
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
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Re: Savior's Doctrine?

Post by Curt Sunshine » 08 Apr 2018, 18:19

I don't get caught up in the whole adding/subtracting debate. I believe in ongoing revelation / evolution of understanding, so I don't want consistency. I see no addition or subtraction as stagnation, and organizations wither and die when they stagnate.

I focus solely on whether each aspect has meaning for me - or if I can make if have meaning through creative interpretation and application.
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

Roy
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Re: Savior's Doctrine?

Post by Roy » 09 Apr 2018, 08:06

Curt Sunshine wrote:
08 Apr 2018, 18:19
I don't get caught up in the whole adding/subtracting debate. I believe in ongoing revelation / evolution of understanding, so I don't want consistency. I see no addition or subtraction as stagnation, and organizations wither and die when they stagnate.

I focus solely on whether each aspect has meaning for me - or if I can make if have meaning through creative interpretation and application.
I wondered for a moment what "adding/subtracting" might look like. I imagined doctrine where good ideas or "shoulds" become quasi-doctrine over time. Then it reaches a point where there is a desire to simplify and go back to basics. Perhaps that is a personal journey or perhaps part of a movement - either way it seems to describe the cyclical nature of all religion.

Expecting unchanging doctrine does not seem realistic for humans.
"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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