"Follow the Brethren"

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mom3
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Re: "Follow the Brethren"

Post by mom3 » 08 Sep 2014, 17:26

Well - there goes the Givens' message....Nice try while it lasted. Thanks cwald for the update.
"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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DarkJedi
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Re: "Follow the Brethren"

Post by DarkJedi » 08 Sep 2014, 17:43

cwald wrote:
oliver wrote:In addition to two talks given in General Conference, the fourteen fundamentals of following the prophet have been placed in the new Sunday School manual:

https://www.lds.org/manual/teachings-of ... t?lang=eng

Every point is in the lesson, mostly verbatim. There are a couple of points that they reword while keeping the original meaning. As terrible as it was to hear this sacrilegious non-sense uttered from the pulpit, it is even worse to have it sanctioned for teaching in our Sunday School classes.

This lesson is blasphemous for the following reasons:
1) It teaches people to give their God given agency to the president of the church.
2) It establishes the president of the church as an infallible object of worship
3) It countermands the scriptures and church policy by placing the words of the church president over that which was properly canonized.
I know I'll be skipping that lesson - or maybe I should volunteer to give it and make it my own.
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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Roy
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Re: "Follow the Brethren"

Post by Roy » 08 Sep 2014, 17:53

Haven wrote: I was a primary teachers for many years and those lessons are very much about following the prophet. As much or more so than the Savior, depending on the week. The leaders know what is being taught in primary and Sunday school.
I am in primary now and have been for about a year. My personal pet peave is memorizing. I do not think it provides a good church experience to the children (except maybe those that excel at memorization). More than this I do not think it equips the kids in any meaningful way for the challenges they are to face. It might in some ways make them a more indoctrinated Mormon - but not a better person. Last year they memorized the names of the Q15. When I asked my child,s teacher why they were memorizing this I was told it helps the children recognize the names of important church figures.

Shortly after I was called as a primary teacher, we had a teachers meeting and I voiced my displeasure for memorization. We still memorize the A of F but at least it is optional both for the kids and the teachers.

I do very much agree that when the LDS gospel is simplified for teaching to LDS kids - it too often gets boiled down to following the church and the brethren and church culture.
SilentDawning wrote:There are scriptures that indicate God's will and Jesus' will are the same, so we don't distinguish between the two that much. And there are scriptures that try to unify the voice of the Brethren and God/Jesus "Whether by my own voice, or the voice of my servants, it is the same".
I also agree with this. The following song is one that our primary is memorizing:
I'll seek the Lord early while in my youth,
And he will help me to know the truth.
I'll search the scriptures and find him there,
Then go to our Father in fervent prayer.
I'll seek the Lord early, and I'll obey
His living prophets in all they say.
I'll keep his commandments; his love will abound.
I will seek the Lord early, and he will be found.
Notice how obedience to the prophets in "all they say" is one of the steps to finding the Lord.
"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

Curt Sunshine
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Re: "Follow the Brethren"

Post by Curt Sunshine » 08 Sep 2014, 18:12

It is disheartening to see the 14 Fundamentals in any manual - but it's not the Sunday School manual. It's the third hour manual for PH and RS: the "Teachings of the Presidents of the Church" manual for President Benson. If it wasn't in that manual, some of you probably would accuse the Church of white-washing. (said with a smile and tongue in cheek - but also about half seriously, in some cases) :D

Also, there is the following:
Prayerfully select from the chapter those teachings that you feel will be most helpful to those you teach.


There isn't much in that chapter I feel would be helpful, if I was the teacher, so I would be focusing on a very small part of it and making the lesson be an extended discussion of that very small part. :P

If it had been the Sunday School lesson, I really would have been disappointed - to say the least.
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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nibbler
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Re: "Follow the Brethren"

Post by nibbler » 08 Sep 2014, 18:38

Here's 14 fundamental #4 straight out of the Gospel Principles manual, which is being taught to recent converts and investigators during Sunday school.

https://www.lds.org/manual/gospel-princ ... ets-of-god
We should do those things the prophets tell us to do. President Wilford Woodruff said that a prophet will never be allowed to lead the Church astray:

“The Lord will never permit me or any other man who stands as President of this Church to lead you astray. It is not in the programme. It is not in the mind of God. If I were to attempt that, the Lord would remove me out of my place” (Teachings of Presidents of the Church: Wilford Woodruff [2004], 199).
There are lots of other 14 fundamentals in there as well, I just highlighted perhaps the most controversial one.

To be honest I don't get the distinction between things being taught in SS vs being taught in PH/RS. If it's taught in church from an official church manual that has the stamp of approval on the back what difference does it make which hour it is taught in?
Ray DeGraw wrote:If it wasn't in that manual, some of you probably would accuse the Church of white-washing. (said with a smile and tongue in cheek - but also about half seriously, in some cases) :D
I'll be whole serious ;) If it wasn't in the ETB manual people would accuse the church of white-washing? I kind of get what you are saying but I think the crowd that would want to see the 14 fundamentals in the ETB manual only want to see them in the context of "this is what was taught, it is incorrect, here is the correct position" but what they are getting is a reinforcement of the 14 fundamentals. I've got to think that crowd would rather not see the 14 fundamentals make an appearance at all rather than a lesson that only reinforces them.

Some time ago I heard that the youth piloted a program that generated better discussion during classes. I thought the adults were to be phased into this program sometime soon (2015). Perhaps that was only Sunday school but I find myself extremely disappointed that next year's PH/RS manual is yet another teachings of the presidents. Most people don't know what to do with the format of the manual so I've seen the overwhelming majority of the 2nd and 3rd Sunday PH meetings be nothing more than a round robin straight reading of the manual. Another year of this?!?!?!? Mercy. Mercy.
To get the full value of joy you must have someone to divide it with.
― Mark Twain

Curt Sunshine
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Re: "Follow the Brethren"

Post by Curt Sunshine » 08 Sep 2014, 19:58

I agree, nibbler. As I said, a smile and tongue-in-cheek.

We have discussed the 14 Fundamentals in other threads extensively - and I am on record saying I think Elder Benson was trying to compete with Elder Maxwell in creating an alliterative number for the list. That also was tongue-in-cheek - but I think there is some truth in the alliteration attempt.

Frankly, the thing I like least about including it in the manual is that he didn't give the talk while he was President. Coming from an apostle, the list sounds like flattery of the first order - and I'm not kidding when I say that. It actually would have been easy to justify not including it.
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

Curt Sunshine
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Re: "Follow the Brethren"

Post by Curt Sunshine » 08 Sep 2014, 20:03

Just to say it directly, and realizing that the way it is framed is very problematic to me, we emphasize following and emulating Jesus and becoming like God more than we emphasize following the brethren. It's not as lop-sided as I would like it to be, but it is tipped toward the right goal.

Also, this isn't a new thing. It's all over in the Bible, as well - both Old and New Testaments, and it's part and parcel of our modern Mormon history. Structurally, we are more Catholic than Protestant, even if our services are more Protestant (low church) than Catholic (low church). That doesn't make it better, but it puts it in a more complete picture than implying it's a uniquely Mormon thing.
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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Haven
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Re: "Follow the Brethren"

Post by Haven » 08 Sep 2014, 22:13

Also, this isn't a new thing. It's all over in the Bible, as well - both Old and New Testaments, and it's part and parcel of our modern Mormon history. Structurally, we are more Catholic than Protestant, even if our services are more Protestant (low church) than Catholic (low church). That doesn't make it better, but it puts it in a more complete picture than implying it's a uniquely Mormon thing.
I don't know. I think we're borderline cultish the way we teach about and "obey" the prophets. My Catholic friends certainly respect the pope but they are not obedient to him. In fact, they rarely mention him at all. The prophets in the Bible definitely played an important role, but the LDS prophets have taken the role of a prophet to a whole new level that I don't believe was ever intended.

Roy
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Re: "Follow the Brethren"

Post by Roy » 09 Sep 2014, 09:02

Haven wrote:The prophets in the Bible definitely played an important role, but the LDS prophets have taken the role of a prophet to a whole new level that I don't believe was ever intended.
Other than Moses and a few other examples, many prophets seem to have been outside of the official structure of the church. The temple was overseen by the high priest. The church services where led by rabbi's or teachers. Prophets could come from anywhere and call both the church and the kingdom to repentance.

In our model, being a prophet is a hierarchical title.

I dare say that it would be very difficult for us to recognise any prophet (no matter their prophetic gifts) that was not among the Q15.
"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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mom3
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Re: "Follow the Brethren"

Post by mom3 » 09 Sep 2014, 10:33

Haven I am going to take your comment one step further - You wrote
My Catholic friends certainly respect the pope but they are not obedient to him. In fact, they rarely mention him at all
It isn't just your Catholic friends, I listen to Catholic radio a lot, I love the choirs - sometimes when I get in the car it's already on the station and some local Priest, Arch so and so, etc is on and it's crazy to listen to because the radio will say "Pope Francis said such and such, does he really want that." On air Arch so and so says, "Well no, what Pope Francis meant was - if you were a whatever you can renounce that sin and rejoin us. He wasn't saying you can come as you are."

I told my husband it sounds like the Pope is really not considered much of an authority. I am trying to picture President Holland giving his The Book of Mormon is True talk, and the next day some Stake President or Regional Rep is on NPR and the DJ says, "Is the Book of Mormon True?" and the Stake President saying, "Well what he meant was, yes we have printed copies of a book that was dictated, it's got some good stuff in it, but it really is up to you what you think of it."

So yeah - we left leaning progressive people think the Pope is the cats meow. Catholics - it's like never heard of him.
"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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