An often overlooked scripture...

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jmb275
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An often overlooked scripture...

Post by jmb275 » 26 May 2009, 21:54

Thus saith the Lord; Cursed be the man that trusteth in man, and maketh flesh his arm, and whose heart departeth from the Lord. (Jer. 17:5)

Is trusting in the prophet trusting in man, "and making flesh his arm"? Is this why on the surface we're encouraged to pray to receive a witness that the prophet is right? What if we get the answer that the prophet is not right? Are we in the wrong? How much trust in the prophet is too much?
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: An often overlooked scripture...

Post by Heber13 » 26 May 2009, 22:20

If the prophet is testifying of God, it is not in "man" we are trusting, but trusting in God.

I think of trusting in man as non-God sources, such as our city is too big and strong to fall so we are safe. Or I trust in President Obama to guide us through this crisis because he is a strong leader. Or more likely, I trust in myself that I got myself in this mess and I'll get myself out of it.

Instead of trusting in a mortal, we should trust in the source of power beyond this world, which is what a true prophet will testify. Did Joseph Smith ever say, "Trust me" or just trust in the Lord?
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."

Curt Sunshine
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Re: An often overlooked scripture...

Post by Curt Sunshine » 27 May 2009, 09:43

I think this scripture applies to prophets just like anyone else, since "it is our experience . . . all men . . . unrighteous dominion" and all that. I cut the apostles and prophets all kinds of slack due to their calling and organizational responsibilities, but, in the end, they still are "the arm of flesh" - and when you really listen to what they have to say, they almost always reiterate that in some way or another (except perhaps the ultimate alpha males [e.g., Brigham Young, Bruce R. McConkie] - who are, imo, vastly under-represented in the FP & Q12 when compared to most large corporations and world-wide organizations).
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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hawkgrrrl
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Re: An often overlooked scripture...

Post by hawkgrrrl » 27 May 2009, 13:22

jmb275 - I agree with you that this is a valid interpretation of this scripture. Of course, it has occurred to me that God himself relies on the arm of flesh, but only if he wants to get anything done on earth. Or is that just people who are uber-confident doing what they think God wants them to do? Makes ya wonder sometimes.

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Orson
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Re: An often overlooked scripture...

Post by Orson » 28 May 2009, 12:15

"Follow the Prophet" does not mean "follow Tomas Monson" or "follow Gordon Hinckley". A prophet is only a a prophet when he is acting as such - meaning when he is actually speaking the will of God.

In short - "follow the will of God", and YES it is our responsibility to decide for ourselves (through the spirit) what comes from God and what comes from man. We are the ones that are responsible for our own actions.
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.

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just me
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Re: An often overlooked scripture...

Post by just me » 28 May 2009, 22:45

Yes, I think the ultimate situation is to be our own prophet(ess) and revelator. The Word of God is written in our hearts. We have the tools we need and must learn to access them. If not, we can be led straight to...a condition we don't want to be in.

D&C 1:19 The weak things of the world shall come forth and break down the mighty and strong ones, that man should not counsel his fellow man, neither trust in the arm of flesh—
20 But that every man might speak in the name of God the Lord, even the Savior of the world;

When we take upon ourselves the name of Christ (not just in word) we will be walking in the path. God will lead us on that path-no man. There can be no middle man.

2 Nephi 4:34 O Lord, I have trusted in thee, and I will trust in thee forever. I will not put my trust in the arm of flesh; for I know that cursed is he that putteth his trust in the arm of flesh. Yea, cursed is he that putteth his trust in man or maketh flesh his arm.

1 John 4:1 Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world.

I might do a post for the "follow the prophet" side, but I've already stayed up too late. Maybe later!
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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Brian Johnston
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Re: An often overlooked scripture...

Post by Brian Johnston » 29 May 2009, 07:03

I think that is a meaningful interpretation. Scripture must be interpreted or used in the context of our day and time, in our life of the now. It is interesting to think about the original meanings, or the context in the day things were spoken by prophets. But in the end, we are using stuff to navigate our life course.

I've seen a lot of people torn up inside because of a dependence on past and/or present leaders of the Church. That whole infallibility myth causes a lot of grief for our brothers and sisters in the Church when it is time for them to deconstruct their faith. It is a shock. The shock has a lot of relation to their expectations of prophets.
"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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Heber13
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Re: An often overlooked scripture...

Post by Heber13 » 29 May 2009, 07:22

Valoel wrote:That whole infallibility myth causes a lot of grief for our brothers and sisters in the Church when it is time for them to deconstruct their faith. It is a shock. The shock has a lot of relation to their expectations of prophets.
I agree Valoel. And not just members of the church, but people throughout our society. I think some people become very anti-mormon because they are focused on things JS and BY said which are very confusing in our day. For one, without video tapes, I wonder how accurate the words of church history are and how fallible the recording process was. And for two, even if it is accurate in that context and time period, living prophets today should carry more importance that prophets 100 or even thousands of years ago. As long as there are drastic differences that can't be reconciled, I guess.

There have been a lot of posts on different threads about expectations of prophets. I find that interesting, and realize I need to think deeply about how I feel about the subject, which is good for me.
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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