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 Post subject: FAIR: Contradicting the Church since 1997
PostPosted: Thu Nov 04, 2010 1:38 pm 
Dark Lord of the Sith
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On the main page of the FAIR Wiki, we are greeted with FAIR's noble epitaph:

FAIR: Defending The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints since 1997

But we must ask ourselves, is FAIR really defending the Church, or are they defending apologetic theories? This is somewhat like asking ourselves if the sky is blue, but let's look more deeply, anyway.

Note: the Mopologist answer about whether the sky is blue would of course be an irrelevant post-modern exposition about what is color, anyway, and how some people are color blind and the sky changes color sometimes and so the sky isn't really blue (the sky will be blue, however, when a given Mopologist theory depends on the sky being blue).

Anyway, let's start with a random example: animal sacrifice. Does the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints teach that as part of the "restoration of all things," at some point God will command animal sacrifice to be reinstated?

First, look up "official doctrine" on the FAIR Wiki, and you will be directed here, where FAIR uses selected statements by church leaders that are not official doctrine to explain what official doctrine is alleged by FAIR to be. This FAIR Wiki article begins, however, with what apologists believe is their ultimate trump card to things they wish church leaders had not taught: the famous Anonymous Press Release about "Approaching Mormon Doctrine." This press release, which FAIR quotes and uses in part to define vicariously for the Church what the Church's teachings are, reads in part:

With divine inspiration, the First Presidency (the prophet and his two counselors) and the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles (the second-highest governing body of the Church) counsel together to establish doctrine that is consistently proclaimed in official Church publications. This doctrine resides in the four “standard works” of scripture (the Holy Bible, the Book of Mormon, the Doctrine and Covenants and the Pearl of Great Price), official declarations and proclamations, and the Articles of Faith.


You'll soon see why I underlined "official church publications" as a place we find official doctrine.

Now, then: restoring animal sacrifice. According to a FAIR Wiki entry on this issue, "Critics claim that Joseph Smith favored 'Old Testament practices' including 'teaching animal sacrifice.'" Apparently, Joseph Fielding Smith was a critic of the Church, since he taught:

Now in the nature of things, the law of sacrifice will have to be restored, or all things which were decreed by the Lord would not be restored. It will be necessary, therefore, for the sons of Levi, who offered the blood sacrifices anciently in Israel, to offer such a sacrifice again to round out and complete this ordinance in this dispensation. Sacrifice by the shedding of blood was instituted in the days of Adam and of necessity will have to be restored.
The sacrifice of animals will be done to complete the restoration when the temple spoken of is built; at the beginning of the millennium, or in the restoration, blood sacrifices will be performed long enough to complete the fulness of the restoration in this dispensation. Afterwards sacrifice will be of some other character.


The FAIR Wiki, however, is summarily dismissive of President Smith's teaching.

Joseph Fielding Smith had a personal opinion about this subject; that animal sacrifice would happen again to fulfill a symbolic role[.]

Hmm. It sure is a blessing that struggling members of the Church can turn to apologists to remove these roadblocks to faith. Let us now turn to an official Church publication concerning the restoration of Old Testament-style animal sacrifice:

Doctrine and Covenants Institute Student Manual
Section 13 - The Restoration of the Aaronic Priesthood

D&C 13:1 . What Is Meant by the Sons of Levi Offering an Offering of Righteousness unto the Lord?

The Prophet Joseph Smith commented as follows on this scripture:

“It is generally supposed that sacrifice was entirely done away when the Great Sacrifice [i.e.,] the sacrifice of the Lord Jesus was offered up, and that there will be no necessity for the ordinance of sacrifice in the future; but those who assert this are certainly not acquainted with the duties, privileges and authority of the Priesthood, or with the Prophets.

“The offering of sacrifice has ever been connected and forms a part of the duties of the Priesthood. It began with the Priesthood, and will be continued until after the coming of Christ, from generation to generation. . . .

“These sacrifices, as well as every ordinance belonging to the Priesthood, will, when the Temple of the Lord shall be built, and the sons of Levi be purified, be fully restored and attended to in all their powers, ramifications, and blessings. This ever did and ever will exist when the powers of the Melchizedek Priesthood are sufficiently manifest; else how can the restitution of all things spoken of by the Holy Prophets be brought to pass. It is not to be understood that the law of Moses will be established again with all its rites and variety of ceremonies; this has never been spoken of by the prophets; but those things which existed prior to Moses’ day, namely, sacrifice, will be continued.” ( Teachings, pp. 172–73.)

President Joseph Fielding Smith further explained that “we are living in the dispensation of the fulness of times into which all things are to be gathered, and all things are to be restored since the beginning. Even this earth is to be restored to the condition which prevailed before Adam’s transgression. Now in the nature of things, the law of sacrifice will have to be restored, or all things which were decreed by the Lord would not be restored. It will be necessary, therefore, for the sons of Levi, who offered the blood sacrifices anciently in Israel, to offer such a sacrifice again to round out and complete this ordinance in this dispensation. Sacrifice by the shedding of blood was instituted in the days of Adam and of necessity will have to be restored.

“The sacrifice of animals will be done to complete the restoration when the temple spoken of is built; at the beginning of the millennium, or in the restoration, blood sacrifices will be performed long enough to complete the fulness of the restoration in this dispensation. Afterwards sacrifice will be of some other character.” ( Doctrines of Salvation, 3:94.)


Notice that the exact same quote from Joseph Fielding Smith that FAIR dismisses as "personal opinion" is considered to be official doctrine by the Church. So what we are left with is FAIR blithely disregarding the teachings of the Church because they appear to be embarrassing or weird.

For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek.

Romans 1:16

Unlike Paul, however, FAIR clearly is ashamed of the gospel, or they defend what the Church teaches instead of disregarding official doctrine as "personal opinion."

The above is but one simple example, but it illustrates how Moplogists do not remove roadblocks at all. Instead, they evangelize the bastardized pseudo-Mormonism that they have invented. This is why Mormon apologetics kills faith in the Church. First, it leads the struggling member to wonder why this priestcraft is being used to "defend" the Church instead of inspired answers from the purported prophets, seers and revelators who lead the Church. Second, by contradicting the Church to "defend" it, apologists create cognitive dissonance. The struggling member is invited to believe that the Church is true and simultaneously disregard the Church's teachings in favor of heretical theories that are either pulled out of thin air or contrary to LDS doctrine (or both). As Jesus taught,

No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon.

Matthew 6:24

Examining apologists contradicting the Church and contradicting themselves is an ongoing project for the faculty at Cassius University. Please feel free to share some of your favorite examples of Mopolgist priestcraft in this thread.

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 Post subject: Re: FAIR: Contradicting the Church since 1997
PostPosted: Thu Nov 04, 2010 1:59 pm 
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Genius!

Pure genius!

We need to dedicate a thread and pin it, listing the many examples of official "unofficial" doctrines. This is pure gold.

One of my favorites is the Spencer Kimball conference talk, where he tells the worldwide Church that "white and delightsome" refers to skin color, because he knows Indians who associated with the Church began to become whiter by several shades, and he said the local missionaries joked about doing blood transfusions to speed up the process.

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 Post subject: Re: FAIR: Contradicting the Church since 1997
PostPosted: Thu Nov 04, 2010 2:12 pm 
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[url=http://en.fairmormon.org/Mormonism_and_science/Global_or_local_Flood#Are_Church_members_required_to_believe_in_a_global_flood.3F]
Are Church Members Required to Believe in a Global Flood?[/url]

Amazing. FAIR actually quotes an official source of doctrine (Ensign) declaring that the LDS accept a literal global flood in an article that essentially says it doesn't matter if you believe in a literal global flood or not.

WTF

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 Post subject: Re: FAIR: Contradicting the Church since 1997
PostPosted: Thu Nov 04, 2010 2:15 pm 
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I wonder what PETA would do if they thought the LDS church was going to ramp up animal sacrifices again?


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 Post subject: Re: FAIR: Contradicting the Church since 1997
PostPosted: Thu Nov 04, 2010 2:35 pm 
the very elect
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Kevin Graham wrote:
Genius!

Pure genius!

We need to dedicate a thread and pin it, listing the many examples of official "unofficial" doctrines. This is pure gold.

One of my favorites is the Spencer Kimball conference talk, where he tells the worldwide Church that "white and delightsome" refers to skin color, because he knows Indians who associated with the Church began to become whiter by several shades, and he said the local missionaries joked about doing blood transfusions to speed up the process.

Darth's stuff is always golden!

However, mo'pologist are quick to point out that when Spencer said that stuff about the Indians it was BEFORE he was Yoda and obviously lacked the Force™.

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 Post subject: Re: FAIR: Contradicting the Church since 1997
PostPosted: Thu Nov 04, 2010 2:37 pm 
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Fabulous scholarship, Darth J, and indeed devastating. Truly Mopologetics is off the reservation and flailing about in its bid to cobble together a Mormonism that will not embarrass them. That's what happens when Zion shakes hands with Babylon.

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 Post subject: Re: FAIR: Contradicting the Church since 1997
PostPosted: Thu Nov 04, 2010 2:43 pm 
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LDS truthseeker wrote:
I wonder what PETA would do if they thought the LDS church was going to ramp up animal sacrifices again?

I asked the bishop of my ward about this when he told me that polygamy was simply part of the "restoration of all things".

"Yeah?", I asked, "What about good ol' animal sacrafices? Why weren't those restored?"

He was stumped.

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 Post subject: Re: FAIR: Contradicting the Church since 1997
PostPosted: Thu Nov 04, 2010 2:44 pm 
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Quote:
However, mo'pologist are quick to point out that when Spencer said that stuff about the Indians it was BEFORE he was Yoda and obviously lacked the Force™.


Doesn't change the fact that he was an Apostle (a Jedi in training) who was testifying as an Apostle in Church conference. That's as official as it gets.

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 Post subject: Re: FAIR: Contradicting the Church since 1997
PostPosted: Thu Nov 04, 2010 2:52 pm 
the very elect
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Kevin Graham wrote:
Quote:
However, mo'pologist are quick to point out that when Spencer said that stuff about the Indians it was BEFORE he was Yoda and obviously lacked the Force™.


Doesn't change the fact that he was an Apostle (a Jedi in training) who was testifying as an Apostle in Church conference. That's as official as it gets.

Perhaps he was speaking as a sinful man with a mind racked with fornicating unlawful carnal knowledge causing him to be without the spirit at that moment due to some infractions involving lust of the Laurels on the front row and masturbating to those thoughts in the men's room during the break?

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 Post subject: Re: FAIR: Contradicting the Church since 1997
PostPosted: Fri Nov 05, 2010 2:49 am 
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Although the title of this thread is directed at FAIR, I hope that students of Mormon apologetics will not be misled into thinking that only FAIR contradicts the church it purports to defend. Let's now swing down to Utah County and visit the Maxwell Institute.

In a 2001 issue of the FARMS Review, Ari D. Bruening and David L. Paulsen wrote an article entitled "The Development of the Mormon Understanding of God: Early Mormon Modalism and Other Myths." In this article, they review a book by Kurt Widmer about the evolving beliefs in Mormonism about the nature of God. One issue with which the authors take particular exception is the suggestion that Mormonism is henotheistic: that Mormons worship the members of the Godhead (God the Father, Jesus Christ, and the Holy Ghost) but believe that other gods exist in addition to the members of the Godhead. Here is what our Maxwell Institute apologists have to say about it:

Widmer's claim that modern Mormons believe in some form of henotheism may come from one or more of three sources: (1) Some modern Latter-day Saints believe in the existence of gods outside of the Godhead. (2) Latter-day Saints believe that the three members of the Godhead are each individually equally divine and equally God. (3) Mormonism asserts that humans may become gods. We argue that the first belief, while henotheistic, has never been an official doctrine of the church. The second belief is quintessential trinitarianism; the third, the LDS doctrine of deification, is perfectly compatible with trinitarianism.

While it cannot be denied that some members of the church accept the existence of gods outside of the Godhead, no official doctrine exists concerning this matter, canonized or otherwise. Speculations concerning a plurality of gods usually begin with Joseph Smith's King Follett Discourse and a couplet by Lorenzo Snow. Joseph Smith and Lorenzo Snow seem to have taught, in essence, that God the Father was once a man and that he progressed to godhood. Nineteenth-century members of the church and even General Authorities, including Lorenzo Snow, may have used the King Follett Discourse in order to speculate about the origins of God, but modern (twentieth-century) LDS teachings about the origin of God or about a plurality of gods are hard to find. While the belief in gods beyond the Godhead does constitute henotheism, that there may or may not be other gods besides the three Gods worshiped by Mormons is a matter of speculation, not of official doctrine. Hence, the label of henotheism should not be applied to official LDS doctrine.


Let us examine the apologists' assertions about what is not official church doctrine.

Perhaps I am a fundamentalist, but I have always felt that the Doctrine and Covenants was a source of official church doctrine. The title itself should be a giveaway, after all. In Section 132 of Doctrine and Covenants, we read:

Abraham received concubines, and they bore him children; and it was accounted unto him for righteousness, because they were given unto him, and he abode in my law; as Isaac also and Jacob did none other things than that which they were commanded; and because they did none other things than that which they were commanded, they have entered into their exaltation, according to the promises, and sit upon thrones, and are not angels but are gods.

D&C 132:37

Doctrine and Covenants teaches us that there are at least three gods outside of the Godhead: Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. This contradicts the apologists' claim that the existence of gods outside of the Godhead is not official doctrine.

What about "The Family: A Proclamation to the World", signed by the members of the First Presidency and the Quorum of the Twelve in 1995?

All human beings—male and female—are created in the image of God. Each is a beloved spirit son or daughter of heavenly parents, and, as such, each has a divine nature and destiny.

Again, this may be the fundamentalist in me, but I was under the impression that official proclamations such as this one that was issued six years before the Maxwell Institute article being discussed are official church doctrine. In what is colloquially referred to among LDS members as "the Proclamation on the Family", the First Presidency and the Quorum of the Twelve, with their priesthood keys as prophets, seers, and revelators, proclaimed to the world that the human race has at least one Heavenly Mother. Heavenly Mother is not a member of the Godhead, but She would obviously be a goddess. This contradicts the apologists' claim that the existence of gods outside of the Godhead is not official doctrine.

Since we're talking about church doctrine, what about hymns? Are hymns a source of official church doctrine? Indeed they are.

Dallin H. Oaks
November 1994 Ensign

The singing of hymns is one of the best ways to learn the doctrine of the restored gospel.

Boyd K. Packer
November 1991 Ensign

If we will listen, they are teaching the gospel, for the hymns of the Restoration are, in fact, a course in doctrine!

What, one may ask, does this have to with whether the existence of gods beyond the members of the Godhead is or ever has been official church doctrine? To that question, I would invite you to sing to yourself Hymn #292, Oh My Father, by one of Joseph Smith's plural wives, Eliza R. Snow, and note the gratuitous references to Heavenly Mother, who is not part of the Godhead. You might also want to sing Hymn #284, If You Could Hie to Kolob

Do you think that you could ever,
Through all eternity,
Find out the generation
Where Gods began to be?

Or see the grand beginning,
Where space did not extend?
Or view the last creation,
Where Gods and matter end?


The Maxwell Institute apologists also dismiss the King Follett Discourse as "speculation." Let us see whether a modern prophet of God considered the King Follett Discourse to be speculation or doctrine:

Gordon B. Hinckley
September 1994 Ensign

In March of the year he died—1844—the Prophet had amplified this doctrine in a monumental address which he delivered in the grove which was just below the temple site. The text of that address has become an important doctrinal document in the theology of the Church. It is known as the King Follett Sermon.


In case the word of a member of the First Presidency is not enough as to whether the King Follett Discourse is official church doctrine, perhaps a gospel doctrine manual will make that more clear.

Lesson 32: “To Seal the Testimony”, Doctrine and Covenants and Church History Gospel Doctrine Teacher’s Manual, 183

What truths about the Godhead were restored through the Prophet Joseph Smith? (See D&C 130:22–23; Joseph Smith—History 1:17; and the following quotation.)

In a sermon given at the funeral of Elder King Follett on 7 April 1844, the Prophet Joseph Smith taught:

“God himself was once as we are now, and is an exalted man, and sits enthroned in yonder heavens! That is the great secret. If the veil were rent today, and the great God who holds this world in its orbit, and who upholds all worlds and all things by his power, was to make himself visible,—I say, if you were to see him today, you would see him like a man in form—like yourselves in all the person, image, and very form as a man; for Adam was created in the very fashion, image and likeness of God, and received instruction from, and walked, talked and conversed with him, as one man talks and communes with another” (Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, sel. Joseph Fielding Smith [1976], 345).


Another example of the King Follett Sermon being relied on by the Church as official doctrine can be found in the Gospel Principles chapter on exaltation. And I promise there are other examples from church lesson manuals.

The King Follett Sermon/Discourse was also published in two parts in the April 1971 Ensign and the May 1971 Ensign. Call me a folk Mormon, but I've got this fundamentalist idea that talks by General Authorities printed in the Ensign represent church doctrine.

Given that President Hinckley affirmatively stated that the King Follett Sermon is "an important doctrinal document in the theology of the church," church lesson manuals cite it and quote it, and the Ensign has printed it, I think I have a stronger case than the unsupported assertion of Maxwell Institute apologists that the King Follett Sermon/Discourse is official church doctrine and is not considered mere "speculation" by the Church that the Maxwell Institute purports to defend. Having examined yet another direct contradiction of church teachings by apologists, let's return to that claim that it has never been official church doctrine that other gods exist outside of the Godhead. From the King Follett Sermon printed in the April 1971 Ensign:

Here, then, is eternal life—to know the only wise and true God; and you have got to learn how to be gods yourselves, and to be kings and priests to God, the same as all gods have done before you, namely, by going from one small degree to another, and from a small capacity to a great one; from grace to grace, from exaltation to exaltation, until you attain to the resurrection of the dead, and are able to dwell in everlasting burnings, and to sit in glory, as do those who sit enthroned in everlasting power.


The Plan of Salvation is the way that "all gods" before us became gods. This means that there are many gods outside of the Godhead, and contradicts the assertion by Maxwell Institute apologists that it has never been official church doctrine that any gods outside of the Godhead exist.

One must wonder at this point: are these apologists from the Maxwell Institute lying, or do they just not know what the teachings are of the church they say they are defending? To this question, you may draw your own conclusions. And to help you consider whether the mighty defenders of the faith at the Maxwell Institute are correct that it is not and never has been church doctrine that there are gods besides the members of the Godhead, here's a parting thought:

26 God shall give unto you knowledge by his Holy Spirit, yea, by the unspeakable gift of the Holy Ghost, that has not been revealed since the world was until now;
27 Which our forefathers have awaited with anxious expectation to be revealed in the last times, which their minds were pointed to by the angels, as held in reserve for the fulness of their glory;
28 A time to come in the which nothing shall be withheld, whether there be one God or many gods, they shall be manifest.
29 All thrones and dominions, principalities and powers, shall be revealed and set forth upon all who have endured valiantly for the gospel of Jesus Christ.
30 And also, if there be bounds set to the heavens or to the seas, or to the dry land, or to the sun, moon, or stars—
31 All the times of their revolutions, all the appointed days, months, and years, and all the days of their days, months, and years, and all their glories, laws, and set times, shall be revealed in the days of the dispensation of the fulness of times—
32 According to that which was ordained in the midst of the Council of the Eternal God of all other gods before this world was, that should be reserved unto the finishing and the end thereof, when every man shall enter into his eternal presence and into his immortal rest.


D&C 121:26-32

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 Post subject: Re: FAIR: Contradicting the Church since 1997
PostPosted: Fri Nov 05, 2010 9:33 am 
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Polygamy-Porter wrote: I asked the bishop of my ward about this when he told me that polygamy was simply part of the "restoration of all things".

"Yeah?", I asked, "What about good ol' animal sacrafices? Why weren't those restored?"

---------------------------------------------

Next time ask him when Prophetess will once again be part of the Church?

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 Post subject: Re: FAIR: Contradicting the Church since 1997
PostPosted: Fri Nov 05, 2010 9:47 am 
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I don't think there is any question that some day the rite of animal sacrifice will be performed. It may be only once, and it may be only ceremonial, but it will be done according to restorationist teachings.

The Church does indeed teach "many gods." But that does not mean the same thing as worshiping many gods. Indeed, when the English translators of the Hebrew renders the word "elohiym" in Psalms 8:5, they render the word "angels," as do the Greek translators of the Hebrew.

Thus, we see one example of the word "gods" and "angels" being used interchangeably. As we see in Rev. 19:10, angels look like they should be worshiped but only God is worshiped.

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 Post subject: Re: FAIR: Contradicting the Church since 1997
PostPosted: Fri Nov 05, 2010 9:58 am 
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Quote:
You'll soon see why I underlined "official church publications" as a place we find official doctrine.


I seem to recall your initial resistance......

Well this lesson you have learned my young padowan. And not only does it also apply to published hymns, but to the gospel art kit as well.

Quote:
As man now is, God once was: As God now is, man may be” (quoted in LeRoi C. Snow, “Devotion to a Divine Inspiration,” Improvement Era, June 1919, 656)
Gospel Art Picture Kit President of the Church, 1898–1901


Of course the LS couplet is also quoted in several Ensign articles as well.

Quote:
Polygamy-Porter wrote: I asked the bishop of my ward about this when he told me that polygamy was simply part of the "restoration of all things".

"Yeah?", I asked, "What about good ol' animal sacrafices? Why weren't those restored?"


Because those looked forward to Christ and now Christ has come and made that sacrifice.

Quote:
I don't think there is any question that some day the rite of animal sacrifice will be performed. It may be only once, and it may be only ceremonial


Yes it will. The aforementioned D&C 13:1

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 Post subject: Re: FAIR: Contradicting the Church since 1997
PostPosted: Fri Nov 05, 2010 10:20 am 
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Quote:
Fabulous scholarship, Darth J, and indeed devastating. Truly Mopologetics is off the reservation and flailing about in its bid to cobble together a Mormonism that will not embarrass them. That's what happens when Zion shakes hands with Babylon.


That what the Church publishes is doctrine is old news. The tiny apologetic wing of FAIR may simply be one of the outposts that hasn't got the word, though I did find a few there who understood that doctrine derives from publication just as any typical member of the Church does.

Quote:
Genius!

Pure genius!

We need to dedicate a thread and pin it, listing the many examples of official "unofficial" doctrines. This is pure gold.


I wouldn't get too excited. Because many of you have spent your lives following FAIR/FARMS, you've been locked in the dark ages as much as some of them. Don't forget it was me and a couple of others who brought you out into the light on this issue. Darth J was simply one of the first to understand and accept the logic and common sense that an organization sets the bounds of it's own doctrine rather than having it defined by outsiders and critics. Admittedly, he's seen some utility in it for attack purposes rather than as pursuit of the truth, but it's a start.

Notice also how adhering to the Church's stance on doctrine has almost produced a substantive thread? Perhaps those of you that can should actually reference these claims about FAIR/FARMS members' contrary to the LDS Church positions on doctrine and bring them up on the MADB.

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 Post subject: Re: FAIR: Contradicting the Church since 1997
PostPosted: Fri Nov 05, 2010 12:53 pm 
Joseph wrote:
Polygamy-Porter wrote: I asked the bishop of my ward about this when he told me that polygamy was simply part of the "restoration of all things".

"Yeah?", I asked, "What about good ol' animal sacrafices? Why weren't those restored?"

---------------------------------------------

Next time ask him when Prophetess will once again be part of the Church?



Still unable to grasp the simple quote feature, I see.


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 Post subject: Re: FAIR: Contradicting the Church since 1997
PostPosted: Fri Nov 05, 2010 1:48 pm 
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Quote:
I wouldn't get too excited. Because many of you have spent your lives following FAIR/FARMS, you've been locked in the dark ages as much as some of them. Don't forget it was me and a couple of others who brought you out into the light on this issue.

Uh, hate to burst your ego but my praise for Darth had to do with his brilliant expose of FAIR's ignorance and hypocrisy, not because he is teaching us something we never knew (i.e. the distinction between doctrine and official doctrine). I have already told you that the "official doctrine" notion is a relatively recent construction that wouldn't make any sense to anyone in the Church prior to the 90's.

You pretend to separate yourself from the apologetic wing and criticize them for getting it wrong, but the fact is they are responsible for creating and increasing the popularity of this latest apologetic nonsense of "official doctrine." I already proved this several times, and you had no answer for it. I provided the Ensign article from the 80's that seemed completely oblivious to the notion of "official" doctrine. Indeed, you can't find any references to the phrase prior to the 80's (I searched the LDS.org database and came up with nothing), which is why one Apostle in the late 60's felt it was OK to publish a book about his "opinions" and call it "Mormon Doctrine."

The Church is a corporation that wants to limit its liability for getting so much wrong, and so they find great benefit with the apologetic.

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 Post subject: Re: FAIR: Contradicting the Church since 1997
PostPosted: Fri Nov 05, 2010 2:08 pm 
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1977 marks the year in which the question of "official doctrine" first appeared in the Mormon Church.

Should that which is written in Church publications and lesson manuals be taken as official doctrine?


Dean L. Larsen, “I Have a Question,” Ensign, Aug. 1977, 38

Elder Dean L. Larsen of the First Quorum of the Seventy and Managing Director of Curriculum Resources Church publications fall into four general categories: (1) materials related to the curriculum, such as lesson manuals, teachers’ supplements, and student materials; (2) magazines; (3) administrative documents, such as handbooks, leadership training materials, organizational guidelines and bulletins, etc.; and (4) missionary discussions, tracts, and support materials. All of the materials within these four categories are prepared under the direction of some officially recognized Church agency, and they are reviewed and cleared by the Church Correlation Review committees before they are published and issued to the Church.

A wide range of hardbound books, pamphlets, and other printed materials is constantly being printed and placed on the market by independent publishing companies. Many of these materials deal with religious matters. Some are written by Church members, including General Authorities. Publications that fall into this category are not generally authorized by the Church. The authors, compilers, and publishers assume full responsibility for the content and do not seek or receive official Church endorsement.

Over the years a careful selection of these hardbound, independently published books has been made and approved by the First Presidency and the Twelve for placement in Church meetinghouse libraries. They are to serve as approved resource materials for priesthood leaders, teachers, and the general membership. Any additions to this “authorized list” of hardbound books must be approved by the First Presidency and the Twelve. The number of books on this list is small. They can be identified by meetinghouse librarians.

While the content of the approved Church publications identified above does not claim the same endorsement that the standard works receive, nonetheless they are prepared with great care and are carefully screened before they are published. Writers of curriculum materials must be cleared by the First Presidency and the Council of the Twelve. Their product is reviewed closely by the heads of the organizations that are responsible for their implementation. Correlation Review committees check carefully for doctrinal accuracy and for harmony with established Church policies and procedures.

The General Handbook of Instructions is not only reviewed by Correlation, but also receives a close auditing from each individual member of the First Presidency and the Twelve.

Church magazines draw their content from a wide range of authors and contributors, in addition to those who serve as professional staff members. Those items that are published in the magazines receive not only the scrutiny and judgment of the editing staffs, but are also subject to clearance by the Correlation Review committees. Committee members are called as a result of their expertise in such areas as Church doctrine, Church history, and Church administration, and serve three different age groups: adult, youth, and children.

Much care is exercised to make certain that the official publications of the Church carry messages that are sound in doctrine and fully in harmony with currently approved policies and procedures. A constant effort is maintained to upgrade and correct the content of these materials so that they can merit the confidence and approval of Church leaders and the general membership.

======================================
That seems to have settled the matter for at least another five years, when someone else asked about it:
======================================

Is President Lorenzo Snow’s oft-repeated statement—“As man now is, God once was; as God now is, man may be”—accepted as official doctrine by the Church?

Gerald N. Lund, “I Have a Question,” Ensign, Feb. 1982, 39–40

Gerald N. Lund, Teacher Support Consultant for the Church Education System. To my knowledge there has been no “official” pronouncement by the First Presidency declaring that President Snow’s couplet is to be accepted as doctrine. But that is not a valid criteria for determining whether or not it is doctrine.

Generally, the First Presidency issues official doctrinal declarations when there is a general misunderstanding of the doctrine on the part of many people. Therefore, the Church teaches many principles which are accepted as doctrines but which the First Presidency has seen no need to declare in an official pronouncement. This particular doctrine has been taught not only by Lorenzo Snow, fifth President of the Church, but also by others of the Brethren before and since that time.

In her biography of her brother, Eliza R. Snow explains the circumstances which led Lorenzo Snow to pen the famous couplet: “Being present at a ‘Blessing Meeting,’ in the Temple, previous to his baptism into the Church; after listening to several patriarchal blessings pronounced upon the heads of different individuals with whose history he was acquainted, and of whom he knew the Patriarch was entirely ignorant; he was struck with astonishment to hear the peculiarities of those persons positively and plainly referred to in their blessings. And, as he afterwards expressed, he was convinced that an influence, superior to human prescience, dictated the words of the one who officiated.

“The Patriarch was the father of Joseph, the Prophet. That was the first time Lorenzo had met him. After the services, they were introduced, and Father Smith said to my brother that he would soon be convinced of the truth of the latter-day work, and be baptized; and he said: ‘You will become as great as you can possibly wish—EVEN AS GREAT AS GOD, and you cannot wish to be greater.’ ” (Eliza R. Snow, Biography and Family Record of Lorenzo Snow, Salt Lake City: Deseret News Co., 1884, pp. 9–10.)

Lorenzo Snow was baptized a short time later and began his service in the Church. In the spring of 1840 he was called to serve a mission in the British Isles. Before his departure he was in the home of a Church member who was preaching a sermon on the parable of the laborers in the vineyard. (See Matt. 20:1–16.) According to Elder Snow, “While attentively listening to his explanation, the Spirit of the Lord rested mightily upon me—the eyes of my understanding were opened, and I saw as clear as the sun at noonday, with wonder and astonishment, the pathway of God and man. I formed the following couplet which expresses the revelation, as it was shown me, and explains Father Smith’s dark saying to me at a blessing meeting in the Kirtland Temple, prior to my baptism. …

“As man now is, God once was:”

“As God now is, man may be.”

“I felt this to be a sacred communication, which I related to no one except my sister Eliza, until I reached England, when in a confidential private conversation with President Brigham Young, in Manchester, I related to him this extraordinary manifestation.” (Eliza R. Snow, pp. 46–47; italics added. Brigham Young was President of the Quorum of the Twelve at the time.)

President Snow’s son LeRoi later told that the Prophet Joseph Smith confirmed the validity of the revelation Elder Snow had received: “Soon after his return from England, in January, 1843, Lorenzo Snow related to the Prophet Joseph Smith his experience in Elder Sherwood’s home. This was in a confidential interview in Nauvoo. The Prophet’s reply was: ‘Brother Snow, that is a true gospel doctrine, and it is a revelation from God to you.’ ” (LeRoi C. Snow, Improvement Era, June 1919, p. 656.)

The Prophet Joseph Smith himself publicly taught the doctrine the following year, 1844, during a funeral sermon of Elder King Follett: “God himself was once as we are now, and is an exalted man, and sits enthroned in yonder heavens! … It is the first principle of the Gospel to know for a certainty the Character of God, and to know that we may converse with him as one man converses with another, and that he was once a man like us; yea, that God himself, the Father of us all, dwelt on an earth, the same as Jesus Christ himself did.” (Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, sel. Joseph Fielding Smith, Salt Lake City: Deseret Book, 1938, pp. 345–46.)

Once the Prophet Joseph had taught the doctrine publicly, Elder Snow also felt free to publicly teach it, and it was a common theme of his teachings throughout his life. About ten years before his death, while serving as the President of the Quorum of the Twelve, President Snow incorporated his original couplet into a longer poem. He addressed the poem to the Apostle Paul, who had written the following to the Philippian Saints:

“Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus:

“Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God.” (Philip. 2:5–6.)

Part of the poem reads:

The boy, like to his father grown,
Has but attained unto his own;
To grow to sire from state of son,
Is not ’gainst Nature’s course to run.

A son of God, like God to be,
Would not be robbing Deity.
(As cited in LeRoi C. Snow, p. 661.)

Numerous sources could be cited, but one should suffice to show that this doctrine is accepted and taught by the Brethren. In an address in 1971, President Joseph Fielding Smith, then serving as President of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, said:

“I think I can pay no greater tribute to [President Lorenzo Snow and Elder Erastus Snow] than to preach again that glorious doctrine which they taught and which was one of the favorite themes, particularly of President Lorenzo Snow. …

“We have been promised by the Lord that if we know how to worship, and know what we worship, we may come unto the Father in his name, and in due time receive of his fulness. We have the promise that if we keep his commandments, we shall receive of his fulness and be glorified in him as he is in the Father.

“This is a doctrine which delighted President Snow, as it does all of us. Early in his ministry he received by direct, personal revelation the knowledge that (in the Prophet Joseph Smith’s language), ‘God himself was once as we are now, and is an exalted man, and sits enthroned in yonder heavens,’ and that men ‘have got to learn how to be Gods … the same as all Gods have done before.’

“After this doctrine had been taught by the Prophet, President Snow felt free to teach it also, and he summarized it in one of the best known couplets in the Church. …

“This same doctrine has of course been known to the prophets of all the ages, and President Snow wrote an excellent poetic summary of it.” (Address on Snow Day, given at Snow College, 14 May 1971, pp. 1, 3–4; italics added.)

It is clear that the teaching of President Lorenzo Snow is both acceptable and accepted doctrine in the Church today.
===================================

Of course 15 years later Gordon B. Hinckey lied publicly saying he didn't think it was doctrine and didn't know if it was taught at all!! The Prophet of God bows down to the advice of the apologetic wing.

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 Post subject: Re: FAIR: Contradicting the Church since 1997
PostPosted: Fri Nov 05, 2010 2:32 pm 
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1994, Hinckley addressing his followers at Conference:

"The whole design of the gospel is to lead us onward and upward to greater achievement, even, eventually, to godhood. This great possibility was enunciated by the Prophet Joseph Smith in the King Follet sermon and emphasized by President Lorenzo Snow. It is this grand and incomparable concept: As God now is, man may become! Our enemies have criticized us for believing in this." (Conference Report, Oct. 1994)

1997, Hinckley in a public interview with Time magazine:

Quote:
Q: Just another related question that comes up is the statements in the King Follet discourse by the Prophet.

A: Yeah

Q: ... about that, God the Father was once a man as we were. This is something that Christian writers are always addressing. Is this the teaching of the church today, that God the Father was once a man like we are?

A: I don’t know that we teach it. I don’t know that we emphasize it. I haven’t heard it discussed for a long time in public discourse. I don’t know. I don’t know all the circumstances under which that statement was made. I understand the philosophical background behind it. But I don’t know a lot about it and I don’t know that others know a lot about it.


1997, Hinckley in a public interview with the San Francisco Chronicle:

Quote:
Q: There are some significant differences in your beliefs. For instance, don't Mormon's believe that God was once a man?

A: I wouldn't say that. There is a little couplet coined, "As man is, God once was. As God is, man may become." Now that's more of a couplet than anything else. That gets into some pretty deep theology that we don't know very much about.


When criticized for lying, he tells his followers in a subsequent conference that he was misquoted and that they shouldn't rely on a deceptive media. But the fact is three different media outlets interviewed him and claimed to have received the same answer. What a pathetic man Hinckley was to blame the media when the fact is he lied to us all.

Again, in 1994 this was the "grand and incomparable concept" but three years later when cameras are in his face, suddenly it becomes just "a couplet more than anything else."

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 Post subject: Re: FAIR: Contradicting the Church since 1997
PostPosted: Fri Nov 05, 2010 3:46 pm 
Dark Lord of the Sith
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Yahoo Bot wrote:
I don't think there is any question that some day the rite of animal sacrifice will be performed. It may be only once, and it may be only ceremonial, but it will be done according to restorationist teachings.


Among chapel Mormons (who have heard about it) and in church curricula, I don't think there is any question about this, either. In the apologist community, however, the apostasy of dismissing church teachings as mere "speculation" always allows them to leave whatever they find to be embarrassing or inconvenient as an open question.

Quote:
The Church does indeed teach "many gods." But that does not mean the same thing as worshiping many gods. Indeed, when the English translators of the Hebrew renders the word "elohiym" in Psalms 8:5, they render the word "angels," as do the Greek translators of the Hebrew.

Thus, we see one example of the word "gods" and "angels" being used interchangeably. As we see in Rev. 19:10, angels look like they should be worshiped but only God is worshiped.


So what you're saying is that Mormonism is henotheistic. And what the erstwhile defenders of the faith at the Maxwell Institute are telling the world is that Mormonism is not henotheistic.

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 Post subject: Re: FAIR: Contradicting the Church since 1997
PostPosted: Fri Nov 05, 2010 8:28 pm 
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Darth J,

Please keep the good work coming. You are laying bare the disingenuous nature of Mopologetics. If you keep it up, very few people will have any excuse to lend Mopologia credence. Your colleagues at Cassius University thank you for your consciousness-raising research. Onward and upward!

All best,

Kishkumen

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 Post subject: Re: FAIR: Contradicting the Church since 1997
PostPosted: Sat Nov 06, 2010 9:22 am 
Dark Lord of the Sith
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Kevin Graham wrote:
Should that which is written in Church publications and lesson manuals be taken as official doctrine?[/b]

Dean L. Larsen, “I Have a Question,” Ensign, Aug. 1977, 38

...........

Is President Lorenzo Snow’s oft-repeated statement—“As man now is, God once was; as God now is, man may be”—accepted as official doctrine by the Church?

Gerald N. Lund, “I Have a Question,” Ensign, Feb. 1982, 39–40



Did you notice the disclaimer at the "I have a Question" section of the Ensign?

“I Have a Question,” Ensign, Aug 1977, 38–41

Questions of general gospel interest answered for guidance, not as official statements of Church policy.


“I Have a Question,” Ensign, Feb 1982, 38–40

Questions of general gospel interest answered for guidance, not as official statements of Church policy.

Isn't it great that these statements explaining what "official doctrine" is are themselves not official doctrine?

I wonder where the official doctrine that defines official doctrine is.

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