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spacious maze
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Post by spacious maze » 11 Oct 2009, 23:09

Just a question to all us strugglers: do you think church authorities are still receiving revelation? (and I mean the JS kind)

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Re: Revelation

Post by MisterCurie » 12 Oct 2009, 04:56

I'm feeling a bit pessimistic and sour today, so I lean toward yes - they are receiving the JS type of revelation (as described by Fawn Brodie).

On my better days I lean toward they are receiving revelation the same as you and I receiving, with all the difficulties there are in interpretting what that revelation actually means.

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Re: Revelation

Post by Brian Johnston » 12 Oct 2009, 07:32

I think people are receiving more dramatic revelations sometimes, but mostly just the promptings and intuition kind. This isn't so much a part of our Church these days, at least not talking about them so openly.

My center of authority shifted towards the internal many years ago. So I think these might be revelations, but it doesn't mean the same thing to me in a practical way anymore unless I have the revelation (or a confirmation).
"It's strange to be here. The mystery never leaves you alone." -John O'Donohue, Anam Cara, speaking of experiencing life.

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Bill Atkinson
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Re: Revelation

Post by Bill Atkinson » 12 Oct 2009, 07:50

The best "report" we have of a JS type of revelation in the more recent history of the Church is Spencer W Kimball's struggle to get a revelation on Blacks and the Priesthood. This apprently was a fairly long process of intense prayer day after day until finally a revelation came. I think that indicates that JS types of revelations like we see in the D&C don't happen very often. We can probably think of the Proclamation on the Family as at least being prompted by such a kind of revelation but that is the only more recent example I can think of off hand.

So I think that they are just like you and me, human beings struggling with faith seeking the guidance of the Holy Ghost. I think one doctrinal point would be that we have had plenty of examples both in scripture and in the early history of the Church of people (Oliver Cowdery for example) who experienced revelations but that did not keep them in the gospel. So the gift of the Holy Ghost, learning to listen to the still small voice, to experiece that peace of mind and certainly when something is confirmed to you can be seen as a more "sure witness" than a "Thus sayeth the Lord" utterances.
All true artists, whether they know it or not, create from a place of no-mind, from inner stillness.
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Re: Revelation

Post by Poppyseed » 12 Oct 2009, 08:28

I have been asking this same question. My general answer is YES. BUT..I think there are determining factors. The will and wisdom of the Lord being one of them. Are the people spiritually ready or is there more proving that needs to take place before knowledge is given. How are the people responding to the degree of knowledge given on any subject? I mean, I haven't been a god so I don't know what it would be like to see the big picture and have global objectives. Being a parent is my best hint as it is not always wise or necessary to tell my kids everything or give them what they want just because they want it.

I wonder though about circumstances when it appears that the church needs revelations and the heavens seem to be closed. Kimball and the priesthood is a good example. As I try to understand and exercize faith at the same time, I find some parts of my thinking falling short. With some of the issues of today, I want more heavenly answers that come from the church HQ. But perhaps the desires for revelation aren't necessarily the only prerequisits for recieving it. OR....perhaps our wishes are granted but not necessarily on our timelines.

I have also been fascinated by the results of personal revelations in the lives of people. It seems occasionally I meet an individual who has an exceptional understanding that is above and beyond that of the general church population. Maybe there aren't limits on revelation. Maybe its just a matter of meeting the criteria for certain doors to open and it seems that the church has very rarely been able to reach those levels together as a group.
“Be not afraid of growing slowly; be afraid only of standing still.” --old Chinese proverb

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Re: Revelation

Post by Heber13 » 12 Oct 2009, 11:14

I agree with Bill, that they are receiving promptings and direction the same as we do, but they get it for the church and I get it for myself. I also think they are holier men than I am, so they probably get more frequent and stronger revelations than I do (just an assumption). But just as some people have seen visions (I'm not a visionary person...not my gift), I think some GAs and apostles have some of those experiences too...but it is the exception, not the every day occurrence or something that necessarily comes with being called to an office.

I don't think angels or God has to appear to every new prophet for them to be prophets.

I also think there were periods of JS life when he received lots of visitations and strong revelations, and then other periods where he did more of the administration and ministering and didn't have constant intense manifestations that he had in some periods of his life.

If the Lord has no need to send new or big revelations, He doesn't do it just because we want that to happen all the time to continue to satisfy our faith or curiosity. It is done when needed, and if a small prompting to a prophet suffices...that's all that needs to be sent from heaven. And because the church is large and already moving in a direction...I think it is needed less now then when it was starting up and the persecutions were fierce. Many pioneers had huge heavenly experiences before they had to travel to SLC to sustain their faith for the trip.
Luke: "Why didn't you tell me? You told me Vader betrayed and murdered my father."
Obi-Wan: "Your father... was seduced by the dark side of the Force. He ceased to be Anakin Skywalker and became Darth Vader. When that happened, the good man who was your father was destroyed. So what I told you was true... from a certain point of view."
Luke: "A certain point of view?"
Obi-Wan: "Luke, you're going to find that many of the truths we cling to...depend greatly on our point of view."

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Re: Revelation

Post by bridget_night » 12 Oct 2009, 14:03

Good question spacious maze.

I remember listening to cassette tapes from Hugh B. Brown, one of my favorite apostles, under David O McKay, who was a lawyer and from Canada. He was the one who did the quote: "He who has never doubted, has never thought." In one of his tapes he talked about what he went through when he was called as an apostle. He said something to the effect: "It seems whenever someone is called to this calling, they have to go through a huge battle with the devil" and then goes on to describe what a horrendous experience it was for him to fight with the devil. I think there are many good GA's who are sincere and caring, but I have come to learn to not put them on a pedestal like I used to. I have learned that they are no different than other prophets in the scriptures who struggle with their own predjudices and weaknesses. Sometimes, I think they have said prophecies that did not come true or were very biased and even harmful. I would imagine though that Satan would work much harder on GA's then someone not in that position. There are times when I thought they should have known whether something that was supposed to be scripture or records presented to them, but turned out to be a hoax. That is why I absolutely believe I need personal revelation to confirm to me when it comes to accepting any revelations from the church leaders.

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Re: Revelation

Post by Old-Timer » 12 Oct 2009, 15:08

Fwiw, I have had lots and lots of inspiration moments - and a few really powerful, undeniable revelations. I don't expect anything different of the apostles and prophets - so I do believe they receive revelations that we would term to be revelations.

Honestly, I don't think our society would accept another Joseph Smith - even less than it did the first one.
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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Re: Revelation

Post by Rix » 13 Oct 2009, 15:47

Heber13 wrote:I also think they are holier men than I am,...
My $.002, I disagree with this. I know it is traditionally viewed like this, but I really don't see any of us "holier" than another, regardless of the title or calling. I do think we all have our roles in this life -- some to lead, others to follow. But I actually view the stratification of humanity as a result of human pride and ego, and has been quite disastrous in our history.

Now I DO respect the church leaders for what they do. It is admirable for them to keep the faith continuously, and constantly find the words to strengthen the faith of the members. Without them, many would lead lives of chaos and despair.

I just think the ordinary, common member is equal in every way in the eyes of God.

(and especially you, Heber!!!) ;)

Überzeugungen sind oft die gefährlichsten Feinde der Wahrheit.
[Certainty (that one is correct) is often the most dangerous enemy of the
truth.] - Friedrich Nietzsche

God is a metaphor for that which transcends all levels of intellectual thought. It's as simple as that. -- Joseph Campbell

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Ella Menno
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Re: Revelation

Post by Ella Menno » 13 Oct 2009, 20:54

I have to agree with Rix on this one. I don't think the GAs are necessarily "holier" than others, they just have a different role and calling in life. For example, I believe I was given my questioning nature as a gift of God. I will likely never be a GA (well, that and I have the wrong chromosomes) because of that. One who is or will be a GA is more likely to tow the party line and be a super TBM. Perhaps the ability to be unwavering in the faith is part of their special gifts. I would be so unhappy having to be under the microscope that way. They can do their part, and I will do mine. I do think that the GAs receive some revelation, but not so much the "thus sayeth the Lord" types lately. I know I also receive revelation for myself. I don't think it is much different.

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