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14 Fundamentals of Falsifying the Prophet

Posted: 10 Jan 2015, 19:36
by Sheldon
Here is a great blog post on ETB's infamous speech at BYU called "The 14 Fundamentals in Following the Prophet."

The reason this is so interesting now is that it is the foundation of a full lesson in our upcoming Priesthood/RS manual this year (#11)This blog post will give you all a good background for when this lesson comes up.

The part that I found most disturbing, and shows the church has not changed is obfuscation of the truth, is the way the Teachings of ETB manual references the original BYU speech. Instead of footnoting the original speech found on a church owned BYU web site, or an article in the June 1981 Liahona, the manual references Tambuli. Anybody know what Tambuli is? Its the Filipino language magazine for the Philippines that is NOT online or in English. That is the only reference to the original speech in the whole lesson, even though the lesson is complete based on that talk. The writers of the lesson does not want anybody to ready the original speech, so they hide it. The blog post tells why they hide it.

Re: 14 Fundamentals of Falsifying the Prophet

Posted: 10 Jan 2015, 20:49
by Roy
When this talk was repeated in GC it was very traumatic for many that were trying to Stay with non-traditional beliefs.

I remember having a talk after priesthood with a member of the Stake Presidency about his use of the phrase "the church is perfect." I felt that it would be so easy to explain that the church cannot be "perfect" unless we twist the definition to mean something different from what it usually means. He kept inquiring about my faith, when I simply wanted to talk about word definitions.

My quandary is the same here. It is difficult to speak contrary to the content (church is perfect, prophet will never lead the church astray) because doing so is too close to the heart of the church. My personal plan is to make very certain that I miss this particular priesthood lesson (it helps to work in primary).
Sheldon wrote:The part that I found most disturbing, and shows the church has not changed is obfuscation of the truth, is the way the Teachings of ETB manual references the original BYU speech. Instead of footnoting the original speech found on a church owned BYU web site, or an article in the June 1981 Liahona, the manual references Tambuli. Anybody know what Tambuli is? Its the Filipino language magazine for the Philippines that is NOT online or in English. That is the only reference to the original speech in the whole lesson, even though the lesson is complete based on that talk. The writers of the lesson does not want anybody to ready the original speech, so they hide it.


I was teaching the Gospel Principles class when they came out with the new manual. I was curious what types of changes had been made. One big change was that every reference that had been made to journal of discourses, discourses of Brigham Young, or Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith had been replaced by references to the the new RS/Priesthood manuals Teachings of the Presidents of the Church: Brigham Young and Joseph Smith. To be fair, one purpose for the change was so that members would not have to own or reference these older books in order to understand the gospel. Many members from different countries might never have access to such old reference materials. OTOH, this kept the gospel knowledge firmly in the realm of correlation. Want to know more about topic Y? Reference our other correlated manual that only includes selected pre-screened excerpts of the prophets words. Seems to make perfect sense from a correlation committee perspective. Not in a necessarily sinister way, their job is to guide the main body of teaching and belief for the church. Why then would they want to reference in their manuals books that contain troubling and outdated material in addition to the principle they ware trying to expound upon.

Re: 14 Fundamentals of Falsifying the Prophet

Posted: 10 Jan 2015, 22:10
by Roy
Question.

If the 14 Fundamentals talk is so problematic that they need to keep changing portions of it, and softening it, and making references to the original talk harder to find, then why include the talk at all?

What might the consequences have been to just leave it out? Surely the manuals can't contain everything that these prophets ever taught. Something has to end up on the cutting room floor. Why did this (heavily modified) talk not get axed from the final draft?

Re: 14 Fundamentals of Falsifying the Prophet

Posted: 11 Jan 2015, 01:29
by rachael
This. This is the main factor of my inactivity. I could not accept or perpetuate THIS. Not in a teacher capacity. It is ironic that a seventy attended my adult SS class and I was released. I was happy with that calling ( we were in the OT rotation), and after Malachi, I planned to tell members about the Macabee reign to fill in the gaps to the NT. We had a few weeks before the correlated NT schedule. The previous teacher got us a little ahead of schedule.

The stuff in the adult manual was almost primary-ish to me (probably overly critical on my part). Then I got called to RS. The manual was 14F-ish. There was a "bitty committee" that was unwelcoming to investigators and newbies, especially over the issue of "appropriate attire."

I've already faced displinary actions and was exiled 20+ yrs. Not gonna martyr myself over the latest manual but not gonna aquiesque either. couldn't do it.

I can accept a talking snake or donkey. I can accept the BoM is true whether a stone in a hat (or as a commenter in hawkgrrl's funniest comments where a poster said it doesn't matter if JS put his head in a hat or a horse's arse to translate). Even Paul in some of his epistles admitted it was his opinion only, and BY, as self assured as he was, said we should get our own revelation. Bereans would not do it. standard works do not support a borg mentality or extremism.(at least the NT). I cannot. Or maybe I make excuses since I immensely enjoy mild barley drinks

Re: 14 Fundamentals of Falsifying the Prophet

Posted: 11 Jan 2015, 12:10
by nibbler
I had debated on whether the lesson in the new manual would be an appropriate one to skip or whether it was a can't miss lesson. I could prepare ahead of time (the lesson comes up in 6 months right?) and maybe come up with some constructive comments that are aimed at re-centering the discussion on the gospel.

We recently had a class that was very similar, or at least many of the 14 fundamentals were brought up and many people testified of them. It was a lesson on the FP message in the January Ensign.

It's a complex issue, at least to me. Most of the 14 fundamentals make perfect sense to the orthodox mind. When we disagree on some points an orthodox person might not be open to the nuance or the "what ifs" they may only think "of course we follow the prophet, he speaks for god, it's a no-brainer." Any opinion contrary to that would be completely indefensible. Going into the class in debate mode isn't going to accomplish anything because the way I see it, everyone is correct in their own way.

It's tricky to rock that rhyme. We've got 6 months or so to meditate on it.

Re: 14 Fundamentals of Falsifying the Prophet

Posted: 11 Jan 2015, 12:34
by DarkJedi
nibbler wrote:I had debated on whether the lesson in the new manual would be an appropriate one to skip or whether it was a can't miss lesson. I could prepare ahead of time (the lesson comes up in 6 months right?) and maybe come up with some constructive comments that are aimed at re-centering the discussion on the gospel.

We recently had a class that was very similar, or at least many of the 14 fundamentals were brought up and many people testified of them. It was a lesson on the FP message in the January Ensign.

It's a complex issue, at least to me. Most of the 14 fundamentals make perfect sense to the orthodox mind. When we disagree on some points an orthodox person might not be open to the nuance or the "what ifs" they may only think "of course we follow the prophet, he speaks for god, it's a no-brainer." Any opinion contrary to that would be completely indefensible. Going into the class in debate mode isn't going to accomplish anything because the way I see it, everyone is correct in their own way.

It's tricky to rock that rhyme. We've got 6 months or so to meditate on it.
I, too, have been debating whether to skip, go, or teach. Our schedule has it the second Sunday in June, so we do have some time to decide.

To the OP, I agree with the premise of the linked article, and I do personally find the 14 Fs troubling. I'm not sure I buy all the assertions in the linked article, though. It would be interesting to have another view as to why the original source is not directly sourced. Googling it is easy.

Re: 14 Fundamentals of Falsifying the Prophet

Posted: 11 Jan 2015, 15:16
by mom3
The 14 Fundamentals Article by Ezra Taft Benson breaks my heart. At the same time the story that President Kimball responded as he did is iffy, too. Last week I was at my parents home and went through every book on Spencer W. Kimball they had - granted D. Michael Quinn's is not in there, but none of those books, biographies, etc even whisper at the problem. Therefore no discussion.

Orthodox members likely won't have Quinn's book. All other authorized books on either man's life, Benson or Kimball, have nothing on the matter.

Thus the 14 Fundamentals will be around for a long time.

Re: 14 Fundamentals of Falsifying the Prophet

Posted: 11 Jan 2015, 15:47
by DarkJedi
I fear you are right, Mom3. Even if we were to reference Quinn, orthodox members see him as an apostate so he has little credibility.

Re: 14 Fundamentals of Falsifying the Prophet

Posted: 11 Jan 2015, 16:00
by mackay11
nibbler wrote:I had debated on whether the lesson in the new manual would be an appropriate one to skip or whether it was a can't miss lesson. I could prepare ahead of time (the lesson comes up in 6 months right?) and maybe come up with some constructive comments that are aimed at re-centering the discussion on the gospel.

We recently had a class that was very similar, or at least many of the 14 fundamentals were brought up and many people testified of them. It was a lesson on the FP message in the January Ensign.

It's a complex issue, at least to me. Most of the 14 fundamentals make perfect sense to the orthodox mind. When we disagree on some points an orthodox person might not be open to the nuance or the "what ifs" they may only think "of course we follow the prophet, he speaks for god, it's a no-brainer." Any opinion contrary to that would be completely indefensible. Going into the class in debate mode isn't going to accomplish anything because the way I see it, everyone is correct in their own way.

It's tricky to rock that rhyme. We've got 6 months or so to meditate on it.
I've not been to church in a few months. I'd been asking myself over Christmas whether it would be worth going back from time to time.

I read the first pres message (via other channels) and was reassured in my current choice to stay home with my (long-term not attending) wife and kids.

Pretty much the single biggest thing that keeps me away is the fundamentalism of the attitude of many towards the idea that: "we're right because we have a prophet."

If Sunday were a group of people saying: " here's my view, but I'm open to lots of others," then I'd be more inclined to be there.

Joseph Fielding Smith last year was one of the last nails in the coffin for me. Having content like the 14 fundamentals this year, combined with the Oct conference and Jan 1st Pres message is simply the shovels of soil being dropped on top of it.

I had a long conversation with a close friend over the weekend. He has a similar view of Mormonism to many of us in this group. I have huge respect for him as he's proactively trying to be a small influence in his area for the Uchtdorf "big tent" approach to Mormonism. He spoke about how much like hard work it can often be. I have huge respect for those of you who continue persevering with that approach too. Sorry I jumped out of that particular boat.

Re: 14 Fundamentals of Falsifying the Prophet

Posted: 11 Jan 2015, 16:14
by mackay11
Maybe we should spend the next 6 months combing the quotes archive for good responses when the lesson happens.