Does President Monson see God or Jesus Christ?

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Ilovechrist77
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Does President Monson see God or Jesus Christ?

Post by Ilovechrist77 » 12 Nov 2011, 00:40

I was taught when I grew up in the church that our prophets of the church, just like the ancient ones, can see the Heavenly Father or Jesus Christ. What bothers me now is that you don't hear about any experiences the modern-day prophets have had like that. It seems like sharing those experiences stopped after Brigham Young or around the early days of our restored church. Why has that changed? These are the reasons I thought about. (1) Heavenly Father or his son Jesus don't feel it's necessary to appear to President Monson to reveal anything new., so those visions have stopped. (2) Those experiences are just "too sacred" anymore to talk about because the Lord forbade it. (3) Monson sees them but since there are no new teachings the forbids to talk about his visions. Finally (4), Thomas Monson doesn't have strong enough faith to see them. What are your thoughts?

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SilentDawning
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Re: Does President Monson see God or Jesus Christ?

Post by SilentDawning » 12 Nov 2011, 04:46

I don't believe he has seen him.

It seems that it's a precursor to STARTING a new paradigm of religion is a claim to some kind of divine visitation. So is the generation of new scripture a pre-requisite. Both elements were part of what gave Mohammed (Islam) his credibility and Joseph Smith for the Restoration. However, once the followership is established, and the Church policies create a system in which family members are held to the religion by other means, continued visitations are no longer necessary. These other means include upbringing, family culture, tradition, Church culture, the spiritual implications of denying the priesthood or their temple marriages, and policies which tend to cement new members to the religion.

So, the claim to visitations is no longer necessary to achieve their aim -- commitment -- after the initial kick-start.

Richard G. Scott and Bruce R. McConkie (in his last talk) both imply they have seen Christ, without actually coming out and saying it. However, like most of the things in our religion, one will have to decide for themself if this is true.
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doug
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Re: Does President Monson see God or Jesus Christ?

Post by doug » 12 Nov 2011, 09:47

My thoughts are that if he can see Them, then so can you.
The easy confidence with which I know another man's religion is folly teaches me to suspect that my own is also. -- Mark Twain

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Re: Does President Monson see God or Jesus Christ?

Post by Curt Sunshine » 12 Nov 2011, 11:48

You know what I'm going to do in this comment - link to previous posts about prophets seeing God. :D

"The Church Needs a Prophet." (viewtopic.php?f=6&t=317&hilit=visions) - 43 comments

"What about Prophecy and Seership?" (viewtopic.php?f=6&t=317&hilit=visions) - 33 comments

"Revelation" (viewtopic.php?f=9&t=905&hilit=visions) - 18 comments
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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.

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Re: Does President Monson see God or Jesus Christ?

Post by Curt Sunshine » 12 Nov 2011, 11:52

Fwiw, I don't read Elder McConkie's final talk as saying he had seen Christ. I actually read it as saying he had not - but that his faith had turned to a knowledge that he considered to be just as sure as an actual visitation.

That fits his personality and belief structure better, imo - since he was . . . somewhat sure of his convictions. ;)
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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Ilovechrist77
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Re: Does President Monson see God or Jesus Christ?

Post by Ilovechrist77 » 12 Nov 2011, 15:05

Thanks for the comments. I can accept that prophets can see God, but isn't necessary to be a prophet.

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Re: Does President Monson see God or Jesus Christ?

Post by wayfarer » 12 Nov 2011, 19:54

Ilovechrist77 wrote:I was taught when I grew up in the church that our prophets of the church, just like the ancient ones, can see the Heavenly Father or Jesus Christ. What bothers me now is that you don't hear about any experiences the modern-day prophets have had like that. It seems like sharing those experiences stopped after Brigham Young or around the early days of our restored church. Why has that changed? These are the reasons I thought about. (1) Heavenly Father or his son Jesus don't feel it's necessary to appear to President Monson to reveal anything new., so those visions have stopped. (2) Those experiences are just "too sacred" anymore to talk about because the Lord forbade it. (3) Monson sees them but since there are no new teachings the forbids to talk about his visions. Finally (4), Thomas Monson doesn't have strong enough faith to see them. What are your thoughts?
Consider the following verse from the Doctrine and Covenants:
Doctrine & Covenants 8:2-3 wrote:Yea, behold, I will tell you in your mind and in your heart, by the Holy Ghost, which shall come upon you and which shall dwell in your heart. Now, behold, this is the spirit of revelation; behold, this is the spirit by which Moses brought the children of Israel through the Red Sea on dry ground.
if this explicit definition of revelation, the same type of revelation moses received, is within one's "mind and heart", then in what way did Joseph Smith 'see' Heavenly Father or Jesus Christ? Ancient prophets received inspiration that they interpreted as revelation, and wrote down what they perceived. How should modern prophets be any different?

I would be careful with the mythology that says that the revelation of the face of god is in any way literally with seeing eyes. I think this mythology has been literalized in the church so as to provide a degree of certitude and legitimacy to the prophets. As well, prophets today are eulogized in life as being as close to perfect as one gets, and any faults are whitewashed away. Ancient prophets were not painted in these terms, and neither should we buy into such myths as being literally true. The mythology, legends, and whitewashing of Joseph Smith and Brigham Young inevitably lead to serious disenchantment when we find out real human facts about Joseph Smith and the way he 'translated' scriptures. your points 1-4 in your quote above all arise from the magical/mythical worldview of what a modern or ancient prophet really is.

The scriptures are clear that revelations and visions must be with 'spiritual' eyes, which goes back to the verse above -- in one's mind and heart. These things are 'inspiration', and even at best, inspiration is an imprecise endeavor.

Let me suggest that the modern prophets do see god moving in his power, as do you and I if we but look up. consider the following:
Doctrine & Covenants 88 wrote: 45 The earth rolls upon her wings, and the sun giveth his light by day, and the moon giveth her light by night, and the stars also give their light, as they roll upon their wings in their glory, in the midst of the power of God.
46 Unto what shall I liken these kingdoms, that ye may understand?
47 Behold, all these are kingdoms, and any man who hath seen any or the least of these hath seen God moving in his majesty and power.
48 I say unto you, he hath seen him; nevertheless, he who came unto his own was not comprehended.
49 The light shineth in darkness, and the darkness comprehendeth it not; nevertheless, the day shall come when you shall comprehend even God, being quickened in him and by him.
50 Then shall ye know that ye have seen me, that I am, and that I am the true light that is in you, and that you are in me; otherwise ye could not abound.
literally, look up. Have you observed the stars, the sun, the moon? Have you observed the workings of nature? If you have observed any of these, then you have seen God moving in his majesty and power. The challenge is that one has to recognize what one is seeing, and set aside the myths and literalism that surrounds us in our spiritual infancy.

TSM is a man. Are all of his statements equally inspired? no. Was he inspired to push for Prop 8? Absolutely not, in my humble opinion. Yet, he is the guy that the church accepts as the prophet, and in that capacity, he has the keys necessary to lead the church -- by definition, if nothing else. I think there's more than that, but that's my opinion.
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Re: Does President Monson see God or Jesus Christ?

Post by Roy » 13 Nov 2011, 10:45

I would like to add the following thread to the conversation back-story:

viewtopic.php?f=9&t=2434&hilit=+temple+walked
wayfarer wrote:if this explicit definition of revelation, the same type of revelation moses received, is within one's "mind and heart", then in what way did Joseph Smith 'see' Heavenly Father or Jesus Christ? Ancient prophets received inspiration that they interpreted as revelation, and wrote down what they perceived. How should modern prophets be any different?
Thanks for the post and reference Wayfarer.

I believe it is a relatively simple proposition to believe that current church leaders could operate without direct revelation for indefinite periods of time (theoretically an individual prophet could spend his entire tenure without that lightning bolt moment [lightning bolt moment to mean either a personal visitation or a profound revelatory experience a la the manifesto or making priesthood available to all worthy males].

It is somewhat more difficult to postulate that JS received the first vision as a vision and not a visitation or that JS and all the witnesses to the BOM saw it through visionary methods/spiritual eyes rather than actually handling physical plates. It would certainly blur the line between the church being 100% true or the worst demonic falsehood (I forget the exact wording but this idea has been repeated recently in the last GC) and it would seem that the standard practice in church leadership at the moment is to reinforce that dichotomy.

Not that this leap is impossible, but it does require a paradigm change and it is impossible to tell how many individuals would fall into the proverbial chasm rather than make a safe landing on the other side. Perhaps this is why the Church seems to be doubling down on the all or nothing rhetoric.
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Re: Does President Monson see God or Jesus Christ?

Post by wayfarer » 13 Nov 2011, 13:04

Roy wrote:It is somewhat more difficult to postulate that JS received the first vision as a vision and not a visitation or that JS and all the witnesses to the BOM saw it through visionary methods/spiritual eyes rather than actually handling physical plates. It would certainly blur the line between the church being 100% true or the worst demonic falsehood (I forget the exact wording but this idea has been repeated recently in the last GC) and it would seem that the standard practice in church leadership at the moment is to reinforce that dichotomy...

Not that this leap is impossible, but it does require a paradigm change and it is impossible to tell how many individuals would fall into the proverbial chasm rather than make a safe landing on the other side. Perhaps this is why the Church seems to be doubling down on the all or nothing rhetoric.
You are correct -- it isn't easy, and i think the doubling down has a lot to do with painting themselves in a corner, doctrinally on this. Respecting the first vision, JS essentially says he 'blacked out' when the adversary was trying to prevent the first vision. with the changing first vision story, however one wants to make of that, the first vision is an unwitnessed event, and well could have been completely in JS's mind and heart (however you want to accept that).

The plates are different, owing to the 8+3 witnesses. I accept that the golden plates story is most likely a fabrication, but to me the spiritual value of the Book of Mormon is very significant and positive. Yes, this is absolutely a paradox, and in harmony with William James _Varieties of Religious Experience_. James distinguishes between existential judgment of religions, basically noting that all seem to have fantastic, literally insane origins, from the spiritual value judgment of the faith. No religion is proud of its origin, as it turns out, because when you get to the bottom of all, there are always elements of pious fraud.

The church cannot cover the truth forever, and in this next 12 months of high visibility as Romney may likely be the Republican candidate, the truth will be more and more out there. There is no graceful way for the church to admit the true history of the book of mormon. Yet, there is very little wiggle room left. Might there have been golden plates? The Book of Abraham, and the historical descriptions of the translation process pretty much show that the generation of the Book of Mormon did not require any plates to exist. given JS's track-record with magical desception, who knows what happened? eleven people claimed to see plates, but they claimed to do so 'with spiritual eyes', whatever that means. None of the 8+3 were independent observers, they all may have been connected somehow to JS's schemes, Although there are no outright denials to my knowledge, there are some who have pointed out the 'spiritual nature' of the witness. Again, the lack of their denials may well be that they themselves painted their own integrity in the corner on this.

I was on a mission 75-77, and was in the church office building on that fateful day in June 1978 when the 'revelation' was announced about blacks and the priesthood. Prior to the revelation, there were a lot of people digging in their heels on this topic. Maybe this is the same we're seeing in GC about BoM historicity. It's quite the braggadaccio, however, to say it's either 100% true or a 100% fraud. It's best to dismiss such false dichotomies.
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Re: Does President Monson see God or Jesus Christ?

Post by Cadence » 13 Nov 2011, 14:02

I am sure if God deemed it necessary to show himself he would. Evidence however leads me to conclude that he has not shown himself literally except on rare occasions if ever. What is really the value to any group to have one of its members see God. It may be of value to that individual but no one else. If I told everyone I had seen a UFO, and it was undeniably not of this world it would have an impact on my life but everyone else would most likely think me a liar or just a little nutty. It s the same if TSM says he saw God what would change? Nothing would change except those who believe ever word out of his mouth would feel justified.
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