For me, the line has moved back and forth as I gain more experience in life, and more knowledge of things. I do not need to cling to a fixed line that if crossed must only lead to the choice of rejecting. Because my end goal is not to measure the prophet. My end goal is to find god and seek his truth, and the prophets are voices in my journey to be happy. They are one data point to be considered in finding truth.
Trusting them requires some evaluation of their character, their intentions, their integrity. So I cannot ignore mistakes that happen. But I cannot only judge by imperfection. I can trust the imperfect person, with hesitance and skepticism, but trust nonetheless. Truly cafeteria style.
I see some inconsistency in what you say here, FS. Maybe you can clarify for me.FaithfulSkeptic wrote:That's pretty black & white - I think there are both good and bad fruits that have come from JS, BY, and the current Q15.18 A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit.
19 Every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire.
20 Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them.
Scriptures do seem to suggest black and white thinking...good or evil fruit. But they cannot be literal in meaning, because I know of no one claiming to be prophet that is all good, or all bad. You even mention that in your next statement as you see that in JS, BY and the current Q15.
So...if you can see that JS is not all bad fruit...how can you judge them? Is it really so black and white?
To me...it seems like the fruit has to be "good enough" for you to consider it good fruit...even if you know that literally means it is some good and some bad...because there is no perfectly good fruit from anyone.
On many occasions I see the wonderful fruit of the prophet Joseph Smith and ask the reverse question to others...how can you not believe he is an inspired man of god when the fruit of what he did is such a wonderful thing that blesses me and my family? Is that not equally black and white...if there is good fruit...you must believe? (Rhetoric...because I say "no". I can see good fruit and also see bad fruit in other religions and so I do not believe some things.). I don't have to believe when the fruit is good, I don't have to reject when the fruit has some blemishes and isn't perfect.
We went picking apples this weekend in our orchard. We filled boxes full of beautiful apples. And we had separate boxes filled of worm-ridden, diseased and bug infested apples that we will send to pig farmers who want them free from us. The fruit of the tree was good and we eat it. But not every fruit of the exact same tree was edible. Some is seriously sick and unacceptable. It's the same tree. How do I judge this fruit? How do I judge the tree? By the bad apples or by the good apples?
For me, I accept it is a good fruit tree when there is enough good fruit on it that I can make some apple crisp (my favorite) and I don't have bad experiences of every bite leads to bad fruit and bugs and gross stuff. After a while, I just start to trust the good fruit is there based on my experience of eating it...and when the bad stuff is found...I cut it out and reject it...and stick to the good fruit. I would be dumb to keep eating the bad fruit...if I constantly had bad fruit I would reject it and stop eating it, even if I kept trying to be hopeful and positive...at some point...it is just bad stuff.
Judging the "good enough" is where it comes down to. The line that GBSMith talks about, and that taste for the fruit is different for you than for me. I like tobasco sauce...it is good. Others do not and it is evil. The sauce is the same. Our tastes vary. We get to choose what is good fruit to us and what is evil fruit to us...there is not black and white absolutes in matters of taste, perspective, belief, faith, opinion, and trust. You live the principles and judge for yourself.
I dunno for everyone. But to me, it is because I read RSR and see mistakes and sins and things I don't like. Perhaps in my head there is some debate on if there are "serious" sins, as opposed to serious mistakes, or just serious things I don't understand and don't like. Perhaps, GB, you can give your serious sin JS did that invalidates him as a prophet to some people, and why someone who saw God at age 14 cannot make any sins the rest of his life and his message of seeing God or translating the book of mormon is proven to be a hoax.GBSmith wrote:Why are some OK with serous sins in leaders and for others it's a deal breaker.
I guess...even if I can be shown there is some serious sin...is it repetitive? Is it debatable? Is it the kind of thing that I can avoid...just like discarding the worm-ridden apples and not eat it...so I can stick to the juicy sweet fruit of the tree? Does the sin overshadow everything else, or is it separate?
Is the fruit of Joseph Smith's prophetic mission good enough? Or is it all so tainted it is not worth tasting even one apple, for fear it is too great of chance it will lead to eating worms?
I'm interested in how some people draw the line, that if crossed, is the deal breaker and never negotiable. Do we know reality and ourselves well enough, we can be so sure of our judgments of what God can and cannot do with imperfect mortals? Do we know how to judge "serious sins" so black and white?