Lesson #11 Follow the Living Prophet (revision 2)

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dash1730
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Lesson #11 Follow the Living Prophet (revision 2)

Post by dash1730 » 11 Jun 2015, 15:45

Following is the final version of Lesson # 11 using Pres' Benson's 14 Fundamentals talk at BYU for its material. IMO the lesson was nothing more than restating the title of the lesson in a variety of ways, but made no attempt to inform or instruct the reader beyond "just obey." I feel it had many logical inconsistencies within it (saying we should focus on the current prophet, rather than on "lesser authorities". Well, since we sustain 15 men as prophets, seers & revelators, that was an incorrect statement. And if we should value the current prophet, over the others, then why is this manual series based on past prophets, for the last 26 years??) IMO, this is one of the worse lessons I the correlation committee has produced. So I expanded the discussion to include free agency and personal revelation.


Chapter 11:
Follow the Living Prophet

Teachings of Presidents of the Church: Ezra Taft Benson, (2014), 146–55

Intro to Lesson:
Last Feb Lesson # 3 “Free agency” w/ discussion of “Following the Prophet”
Today’s lesson #11 “Following the prophet” w/ discussion about “Free Agency”

This lesson very clear on priority of Follow the Prophet,
As is, it is an incomplete discussion
Righteous obedience must be tempored with an understanding of Free Agency & Personal Revelation. In this lesson, we will discuss all three.
Informed Faith not Blind Faith

Lesson begins by discussing FHE

From the Life of Ezra Taft Benson
1
One night when Ezra Taft Benson was 15 (1914) years old, he sat at the supper table with the rest of his family and listened to his father read a letter from President Joseph F. Smith and his counselors in the First Presidency. In part, the letter said: “We advise and urge the inauguration of a ‘Home Evening’ throughout the Church, at which time fathers and mothers may gather their boys and girls about them in the home and teach them the word of the Lord. … If the Saints obey this counsel, we promise that great blessings will result. Love at home and obedience to parents will increase. Faith will be developed in the hearts of the youth of Israel, and they will gain power to combat the evil influences and temptations which beset them.”1
President Benson later recalled: “When [my father] concluded the letter, he said, ‘The Presidency has spoken, and this is the word of the Lord to us!’ From that time forward, we diligently held family home evenings in my boyhood home.”2
When President Benson had a family of his own, he and his wife carried on the tradition he had learned from his parents. He said, “I testify out of this experience [in my parents’ home] and the experience of family nights in my own home that great spiritual blessings can result.”3
In 1947 the First Presidency directed Church members to renew efforts to hold home evenings. President Benson, then a member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, emphasized that subject in a general conference address. He testified of the family is “a divine institution,”4 and he reminded the Saints of the blessings that would come if they would follow the counsel of the prophet to strengthen their families and hold home evenings. He testified: “Our happiness here and hereafter is tied up with our successful discharge of this great responsibility. It merits, my brethren and sisters, our prayerful planning and attention, and I am confident in my own heart that great dividends will result, that great joy and satisfaction will come if we heed this as all other counsels given to us by the Presidency of the Church.”5
Having experienced blessings that result from heeding the counsel of the Lord’s chosen servants, Ezra Taft Benson frequently urged Latter-day Saints to keep their eyes on the living prophet. He boldly testified of the divine calling of each President of the Church with whom he served.6 When President Spencer W. Kimball, who had been ordained an Apostle on the same day as President Benson, delivered his first address as President of the Church to a group of Church leaders, President Benson “arose and with a voice filled with emotion, echoing the feeling of all present, said, in substance: ‘President Kimball, through all the years that these meetings have been held, we have never heard such an address as you have just given. Truly, there is a prophet in Israel.’”7 And when that divine calling came to President Benson after the death of President Kimball, he accepted it with humility and determination. He said: “My wife, Flora, and I have prayed continually that President Kimball’s days would be prolonged on this earth and another miracle performed on his behalf. Now that the Lord has spoken, we will do our best, under his guiding direction, to move the work forward in the earth.”8
Today, Latter-day Saints gather in the Conference Center and throughout the world to listen to the living prophet.

FHE truer today than a century ago
Disintegrating families
Latch key kids
I’m to busy, the school should train kids
But schools blocked by law from teaching morality, ethics or religion
Teachings of Ezra Taft Benson
1
I.The President of the Church is the Lord’s mouthpiece on the earth.
Learn to keep your eye on the prophet. He is the Lord’s mouthpiece and the
only man who can speak for the Lord today. Let his inspired counsel take
precedence. Let his inspired words be a basis for evaluating the counsel of all
lesser authorities. Then live close to the Spirit so you may know the truth of
all things.9
A.Why do we need the Spirit when we have a prophet to direct us?
1. Not order takers, doing only what we’re told.
a.Not like fundamentalists memorizing w/o understanding.
Not blind obedience
Can’t doubt Muslim terrorists’ strength of conviction
b. Plenty of pl in society offering to lead us,
some good, many not so good.
We need the Spirit to choose who to believe.

II.Kinds of stewardships: prophetic revelation vs personal revelation
A. What is the prophet’s stewardship?
1. Doctrine, Policy, Procedure, Administration
2. 15+ M Mormons in 160 countries
a. Overwhelming responsibility as world falls apart
Generalities

Requote Benson from above:
Learn to keep your eye on the prophet. He is the Lord’s mouthpiece and
the only man who can speak for the Lord today. Let his inspired counsel
take precedence. Let his inspired words be a basis for evaluating the
counsel of all lesser authorities

B. Sounds as if all begins and ends with the current.
1. What about 15 prophets, seers and revelators?
2. Jeffrey R. Holland (15 prophets, seers & revelators)
https://www.lds.org/general-conference/ ... /prophets-
seers-and-revelators?lang=eng


III. What about 26 years of studying past prophets?
A.Compare current roles: prophet vs past prophets?
1. Current prophet: Timely relevance, single voice for God
2. Past prophets: History gives us context
B. Story of Blacks & Priesthood doctrine demonstrates value of Q15 &
doctrine

1.President is first among equals (1st Pres + Q12 )
https://dialoguejournal.com/wpcontent/uploads/2010/06
/Dialogue_V35N01_157.pdf
a. e.g. Pres McKay – discomfort: Blacks & priesthood 1951
McKay felt it unjust and very much wanted to correct this
policy Apostle HB Lee (?) died ‘73 strongly resisted it.
Pres McKay didn’t feel time was right, though he emplored
the Lord to his death in 1970
b. e.g. Pres Kimball – Blacks & priesthood 1979

c. Spencer W Kimball
Deseret News, Church Section, January 6, 1979, page 4
"Day after day, and especially on Saturdays and Sundays when there were
no sessions in the temple, I went there when I could be
alone. I was very humble . . . I was searching for this . . . I wanted to
be sure. . . . We had this special prayer circle, then I knew that the time
had come. I had a great deal to fight, of course, myself largely, because I
had grown up with this thought that Negroes should not have the
priesthood and I was prepared to go all the rest of my life till my death
and fight for it and defend it as it was. But this
revelation and assurance came to me so clearly that there was no
question about it."

d. Bruce R. McConkie
CES Religious Educators Symposium address “All Are Alike unto God”
On this occasion, because of the importuning and the faith, and because
the hour and the time had arrived, the Lord in his providences poured out
the Holy Ghost upon the First Presidency and the Twelve in a miraculous
and marvelous manner, beyond anything that any then present had ever
experienced.

The revelation came to the president of the Church; it also came to each
individual present. There were ten members of the Council of the Twelve
and hree of the First Presidency there assembled.

The result was that President Kimball knew, and each one of us
knew, independent of any other person, by direct and personal revelation
to us, that the time had obligations, including the priesthood and the
blessings of the house of the Lord, to those of every nation, culture, and
race, including the black race.

2 I cared about that issue in the ‘70’s, but it wasn’t my stewardship.
a. What is my responsibility?
Identify & follow true Prophet (Prophetic Revelation)
Apply those principles in my & my family’s life,my various callings &
responsibilities.
C Personal Revelation essential & fundamental to Mormon theology
1. Who is responsible for Yourself & Family (not Pres Monson)
a.You must determine how to implement GA’s direction in your life
Monday FHE w/ kids regardless of ages 7:00 – 8:30
Drink Dr Peppers
Oppose ERA (1982)
b. Informed Faith, not Blind Faith Rational + spiritual
c. Moroni 10:6 By the gift of the Holy Ghost ye may know the truth of all
things

2. Benson, Lesson #3
“Usually the Lord gives us the overall objectives to be
accomplished and some guidelines to follow, but he expects us to work out
most of the details and methods. The methods and procedures are
usually developed through study and prayer and by living so that we can
obtain and follow the promptings of the Spirit.”

Here Pres Benson suggests Informed Faith
Personal understanding
Spiritual confirmation

3. Church emphasizes we develop our own testimony (personal revelation)
a. JS: “I teach them correct principles and let them rule themselves.”
b. Institutional supports
Missionaries tell investigators is to pray about JS, BofM, restoration.
Monthly testimony meeting, opportunity. Temple recommend
interviews: do you have a testimony of God the Father,
his Son Jesus Christ and in the Holy Ghost, & restored gospel
4. My life is my stewardship (not Pres Monson’s)
a. Useful guidance, doctrine,
b. Practical policy & procedure
c. My calling, apply those principles to myself & my family
Thou shalt not kill or steel 2 biggies
Nephi did both w/ divine direction

IV. Following the prophet in context of Free Agency & Personal Revelation

A. Free Agency: the foundation of mortality
1. Council in heaven
a. Free agency introduced in pre-existence
b. First event in recorded history
c. Purpose: Laying the foundation for mortality
Lucifer offered guaranteed obedience
Jehovah offered free agency & atonement
We were given freedom to choose
d. God rejected Lucifer’s offer even though 1/3 host of heaven
wanted the security (D&C 29:36-37)
36 And it came to pass that Adam, being tempted of the
devil—for, behold, the devil was before Adam, for he rebelled
against me, saying, Give me thine honor, which is my
power; and also a third part of the hosts of heaven turned he
away from me because of their agency;
37 And they were thrust down, and thus came the devil and his
angels;

2. Moses 4: 3
Wherefore, because that Satan rebelled against me, and sought to
destroy the agency of man, which I, the Lord God, had given him… I
caused that he should be cast down;
3. Lesson #3 Elder Benson
“Elder Benson frequently reminded Latter-day Saints of the importance
of agency—the freedom “to choose the course they should follow.”6 His
teachings about the principle of agency included more than just a
reminder to “choose between right and wrong.”7 He spoke of agency is
the ability to “make important decisions that will have bearing on our
salvation” and that will “affect our happiness in eternity.”8 He
encouraged Latter-day Saints and others to use their agency to “act
on their own,” without waiting to be commanded in all things.9 The
principle of agency, he said, “(it) runs like a golden thread throughout
the gospel plan of the Lord for the blessing of his children.”

4. Except for Atonement
No principle is more fundamental to plan of exaltation than Free
Agency.

Moses 4:1-4 Lucifer in the council of heaven. He sought to destroy
the agency of man
D&C 29 1/3 host of heaven lost over Free Agency
5 Know this that every soul is free. Hymn #240
6 Joseph Smith
How do you rule your People?
I teach them correct principles and let them rule themselves
7 Uchtdorf

What-Is-Truth?
http://www.lds.org/broadcasts/article/p ... country=am

Latter-day Saints are not asked to blindly accept everything they hear. We are encouraged to think and discover truth for ourselves. We are expected to ponder, to search, to evaluate, and thereby to come to a personal knowledge of the truth.

8. Brigham Young
“I am … afraid that this people have so much confidence in their leaders that they will not inquire for themselves of God whether they are led by him. I am fearful they settle down in a state of blind self-security. … Let every man and woman know, by the whispering of the Spirit of God to themselves, whether their leaders are walking in the path the Lord dictates.”19


9. Joseph Smith, Teachings of Presidents of the Church: (2007), 264 )
We seek for truth wherever we may find it. The Prophet Joseph Smith taught that “Mormonism is truth. … The first and fundamental principle of our holy religion is, that we believe that we have a right to embrace all, and every item of truth, without limitation or … being … prohibited by the creeds or superstitious notions of men.”

10. AF # 13
We believe in being honest, true, chaste, benevolent, virtuous, and in doing good to all men; indeed, we may say that we follow the admonition of Paul—We believe all things, we hope all things, we have endured many things, and hope to be able to endure all things. If there is anything virtuous, lovely, or of good report or praiseworthy, we seek after these things.

Bare Testimony of restored gospel by living prophets.
Last edited by dash1730 on 21 Jun 2015, 18:59, edited 3 times in total.
I may not walk the straight and narrow, but I try to cross it as often as I can.
---J Golden Kimball

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LookingHard
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Re: Lesson #11 Follow the Living Prophet

Post by LookingHard » 11 Jun 2015, 16:40

Marlin Jensen, Church Historian, talked about how when he read the book on Mountain Meadows Massacre that was commissioned by the church and written by 3 BYU professors - "The main lesson that he learned is that all latter day saints should know is that there is nothing virtuous to blind obedience.

dash1730
Posts: 295
Joined: 17 Oct 2009, 14:21

Re: Lesson #11 Follow the Living Prophet

Post by dash1730 » 11 Jun 2015, 17:09

Lookinghard
Love the quote. It's way to an unorthodox source for my crowd.
I may not walk the straight and narrow, but I try to cross it as often as I can.
---J Golden Kimball

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DarkJedi
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Joined: 24 Aug 2013, 20:53

Re: Lesson #11 Follow the Living Prophet

Post by DarkJedi » 11 Jun 2015, 18:00

I'm teaching this lesson, too. I volunteered so I could steer it the way I want. You're farther along in your preparation and I probably won't have enough time to cover all that you have planned, but I do appreciate your sharing. Thank you.
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."

My Introduction

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DarkJedi
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Re: Lesson #11 Follow the Living Prophet (revision 2)

Post by DarkJedi » 14 Jun 2015, 14:45

As a followup, I did teach the lesson today and it went well. We had a small group today, which included our most elderly HPs, some of which are very hard of hearing and leaving the contributing members to a handful (although one of the old guys did participate).

I started with the quote from the manual about FHE referenced in Dash's OP. We had a discussion about the history of FHE (some of them remembered when it started and many the re-emphasis in the 60s-70s). I summed that up by saying FHE is a good thing, even if it's not a formal lesson, because it strengthens families. I also pointed out that there are no references to FHE in scripture and that this would seem to be why we would have a prophet - to teach us things relevant to us.

I then asked them to name off some similar things which modern prophets have taught us that are good things and probably more relevant to our day than scriptural times. I started the list with FHE and added things like family prayer and scripture study, self reliance, the PotF, and tithing. The question was raised how far back we should go since we were talking about following the living prophet and I said that at the time these things were given they came from the living prophet and took the opportunity to point out the irony of the lesson point about the living prophet being the most important while we have been studying dead ones for the last 13 years (a couple of them chuckled). We discussed some of the items on the list a little more in depth and I let them share experiences and perceived blessings by following the counsel.

I then asked what Pres. Monson teaches us and got the two answers I would have given - love and temple worship. I read a few quotes from recent TSM talks on those subjects and added some of his testimony of the Savior. We discussed those as we went along.

Time was nearly up by then, so I easily elicited from the group that following this kind of counsel from the prophets is bound to bring us blessings and keep us on a good path (as opposed to leading us astray).

(On the way out of HPG, I heard the RS singing "Follow the Prophet." I asked my son how the EQ lesson was today and got an "it was good" answer. I asked him who taught and he gave me the name of a very orthodox member - I'm thinking my son probably didn't listen a great deal.)
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."

My Introduction

startpoor
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Re: Lesson #11 Follow the Living Prophet (revision 2)

Post by startpoor » 14 Jun 2015, 15:13

Thanks for sharing. After much nervousness our lesson wasn't so bad. In fact the teacher stayed away from all the really hardline stuff, and we had a good disc about why things are different now than in the past if God never changes.


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Happiness (n.) The state of being in compliance with Mormon norms, regardless of one’s actual resulting emotional state

George, Sr.: Faith is a fact. No, faith is a facet. I almost said faith is a fact.

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LookingHard
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Re: Lesson #11 Follow the Living Prophet (revision 2)

Post by LookingHard » 14 Jun 2015, 15:41

startpoor wrote:Thanks for sharing. After much nervousness our lesson wasn't so bad. In fact the teacher stayed away from all the really hardline stuff, and we had a good disc about why things are different now than in the past if God never changes.
About Tue same as mine. Didn't get too ETB and into stuff like, "when the prophet talks, the thinking is done"

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mom3
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Re: Lesson #11 Follow the Living Prophet (revision 2)

Post by mom3 » 14 Jun 2015, 16:35

Mine was today,too. The teacher took the general idea's but let it be more of a "What advice of a Prophet did you follow and Why or How did it work for you?" This allowed a lot of variance. Everything from the BofM to helping the needy and lots in between like family prayer, do it by Pres. Kimball, smile by President Hinckley. It was actually a lot of fun. We only had one "two earrings comment" the rest were little mini-testimonies that had been positive. No real 14 Fundamentals came out.
"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

Curt Sunshine
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Re: Lesson #11 Follow the Living Prophet (revision 2)

Post by Curt Sunshine » 14 Jun 2015, 21:31

My ward had it this week, while I was in my old ward getting ready to move my family this week. I was asked to teach it, but I couldn't. (I jokingly offered to do it via teleconference, but...)

My old ward had it last week.

Thus, I missed it entirely.
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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mom3
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Re: Lesson #11 Follow the Living Prophet (revision 2)

Post by mom3 » 14 Jun 2015, 22:06

Thus, I missed it entirely.
Can't tell you how sorry I am Ray. Sadly it looks likes there's no do-over's either. Darn it.
"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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