How do we Agitate Faithfully?

In the previous post on my blog Dehlin and Bennett Put on Notice, I was surprised that the discussion of April Young Bennett’s resignation of the board of Ordain Women, instead of John Dehlin’s pending excommunication. (Incidentally, Dr. Nancy Ross of Dixie State University in St. George, Utah and Jessica Finnigan at King’s College London are conducting a poll asking about opinions about Mormon feminist activism and some of the recent changes in the LDS Church.)

The discussion turned to the question of (1) proper terminology in talking about Ordain Women, and (2) how to appropriately agitate for change. For example, some commenters felt that April’s comment that the LDS church was guilty of “censor[ing] ideas” by forcing her to resign her position in Ordain Women. There is a sentiment that the term “censoring” is an inflammatory term that conjures images of book burning, which the LDS Church clearly doesn’t do. However, the dictionary definition includes the ideas of

1) an official who monitors books, plays, news reports, etc. For the purpose of suppressing parts deemed objectionable on moral, political or objectionable grounds. 2) any person who supervises the manners or morality of others.

It seems that the LDS Church is suppressing ideas here, and is certainly supervising the morality of Mrs. Bennett. Is “Censorship” an appropriate term when the church attempts to discipline church members with respect to Ordain Women?

Some think Ordain Women should be classified as an apostate group, yet Elder Christofferson recently responded to a question about Ordain Women and those members who support Gay Marriage, saying

“There hasn’t been any litmus test or standard imposed that you couldn’t support that if you want to support it,” Christofferson said, “if that’s your belief and you think it’s right.”

Any Latter-day Saint can have a belief “on either side of this issue,” he said. “That’s not uncommon.”

How do we respond to LDS members who are so adamantly opposed to Ordain Women or Same Sex Marriage? Is it good enough to merely point to Elder Christofferson’s statement?

49 comments on “How do we Agitate Faithfully?

  1. Ordain women was tacked on to the end of the question in a Q&A focused on gay marriage.. I wouldn’t read too much into that regarding Ordain Women.

  2. That answer to the question above is very easy. You don’t agitate, ever! It creates contention, usurps the rightful authority of the Lord’s anointed, and is simply rude. Why can’t liberal freaks get that through their head?

  3. Jettboy, are you calling Jesus a “liberal freak”? Jesus certainly didn’t privately plead with the Pharisees and Sadducees. If we are to follow Jesus, we should follow him in ALL THINGS. I’m just trying to agitate like Jesus. Well, maybe I’m not trying to get crucified, but there is no question that Jesus not only agitated, but pissed off the Church leaders with his agitation.

  4. He had authority to do so. Me, you, and OW do NOT. Even the big argument between Peter and Paul was between those who had authority for any changes in the Church. Me, you, and many others are to exemplify the Savior when he obeyed his superior, God. It is true he begged for his life, but in the end he accepted his fate and mission. He didn’t have a public temper-tantrum when things didn’t start going his way.

  5. Back in the day, nobody said Jesus had authority either. He had a VERY public temper tantrum when he turned over the tables of the money changers. Kate was polite by comparison, VERY respectful, and didn’t raise her voice or turn over anything. She was much more polite than Jesus was, and to call her act a temper tantrum shows how biased you are. You’re interested in rhetoric, not facts.

  6. “Back in the day, nobody said Jesus had authority either”

    He did and We know he had it, and doesn’t matter if the other spiritually dead did not. You bet I am biased for the Kingdom of God and the purity of His Words and Commandments.

  7. You have to be careful saying we should emulate Jesus in all things. He walked around homeless in sandals and supposedly never married. I dislike the word agitate because of its negative connotation. The scriptures are full of people crying (praying) to the Lord for all sorts of causes. Sometimes the Lord answered prayers to their condemnation. Other times to their blessing. I especially dislike the notion that a 5 second off the cuff comment by President Hinckley has been used to advocate and justify some actions. I don’t see anything in his many talks to support agitation as its being implemented today.

  8. IDIAT, what word would you have me use (other than agitate)?

  9. Jettboy, if you lived in the days of Jesus, I am quite certain your conservative nature would have advocated FOR the Pharisees/Sadducees and against Jesus. Conservatives think anyone who rocks the boat is wrong, and Jesus was the biggest boat rocker there was.

  10. Implore the Lord, that is, not men.

  11. IDIAT, so you’re telling me that the widow wasn’t supposed to implore the Unjust Judge, she was only supposed to implore the Lord?

    Are you saying that Emma should have just kept her trap shut and cleaned the tobacco spit without saying anything to Joseph? She should just implore the Lord and Joseph magically would have received the WoW?

    Such a line of reasoning is simply an attempt to silence. “Let your light so shine” said Jesus, “Don’t hide it under a bushel.” You’re telling us to hide our imploring under a bushel. That’s just plain rubbish.

    Should the Brethren have simply implored the Lord in Prop 8 in California. Oh yeah, I guess not, because apparently God is a respecter of persons. The only people who should implore in a society are the Brethren, and everyone else should keep their trap shut. That’s just complete BS.

  12. Did they agitate over a period of time or simply voice a complaint? As for church leaders, I am confident they implore constantly. Regardless, go ahead and aggravate.

  13. IDIAT, I am quite certain you find faithful agitation quite aggravating; that’s how conservatives roll. Conservatives found the civil rights protests aggravating, as well as strikes by workers in the 1930s. But now of course the civil rights legislation and worker protections are considered proper conservative positions, and they never go back and re-evaluate the agitation. They just find it aggravating.

    “Did they agitate over a period of time or simply voice a complaint?” Are you really not familiar with the Parable of the Unjust Judge? Go read it again.

    I’d really like you to comment on the Parable, as well as Emma to tell me why your position DOESN’T contradict your “imploring” position. I’d also like you to comment on why God is a respecter of persons and only listens to the imploring of the Brethren, and not people like Kate Kelly.

    Hawkgrrl said over at W&T,

    When we take up a position that our leaders are unquestionable and can’t be criticized and that any dissenting opinions are automatically wrong, and everyone has one eye on SLC for approval before they will simply do what is right (hoping that COB will agree first), then we have a N. Korea problem, whatever the cause.

  14. Perhaps you and I differ on what “faithful agitation” means.

    On WoW – see https://history.lds.org/article/doctrine-and-covenants-word-of-wisdom?lang=eng I don’t think Emma was as instrumental in the revelation on WoW as you think. She may have complained about the mess left by the brothers, but I would hardly describe it as “agitation.”

    Parable of the Unjust Judge – it shows the value of persistent prayer, not agitation.

    “I’d really like you to comment on the Parable, as well as Emma to tell me why your position DOESN’T contradict your “imploring” position. I’d also like you to comment on why God is a respecter of persons and only listens to the imploring of the Brethren, and not people like Kate Kelly.” Did I not encourage prayer to the Lord? Did I not encourage you and others to implore (pray to) the Lord? I never said He only listens to church leaders. Either you’re not reading what I’m writing or you’re so caught up in your defending your position that it’s going right over your head.

    No one is taking the position that leaders are unquestionable or can’t be criticized. But I like the way you and others have received revelation on behalf of the church so that you know “what is right,” and that it is a simple matter. I’ve observed over a lifetime that those who consistently disagree with the church’s positions set themselves up as prophets, seers and revelators in their own minds, and seek a following. This is no different.

  15. The good news is that most of them agitate themselves right out of the church. The bad news is they take others with them. Man, you have no idea what the Scriptures mean, twisting them to your own liberal agitating perceptions. In every example you use either the widow with the judge or hiding a bushel, it is NOT about the public demonstrations.. It is about our relationship to God.

    “then we have a N. Korea problem, whatever the cause.”

    You bet, because its a Kingdom and not a democracy. Never has been and never will be. God asks for faith and obedience. In every instance where the Saints “agitated,” or as the Scriptures call it murmuring, they were cursed by God.and prayers left unanswered. You want to be prophet, seer, and revelator then go create your own Church.

  16. “Perhaps you and I differ on what “faithful agitation” means.”

    I’m sure of that.

    Regarding Emma, as well as faithful agitation, here’s a manual from BYU:

    The Word of Wisdom was an inspired response to specific problems or paradoxes within the Church and to pressing social issues in contemporary American society. Brigham Young recalled in 1868 that Joseph Smith was bothered by the seeming incongruity of discussing spiritual matters in a cloud of tobacco smoke and that Joseph’s wife, Emma Smith, was bothered at having to clean the quid-littered floor. It is also probable that the Prophet was sensitive to, and supportive of, the widespread temperance sentiment of the 1830s. As was his custom, the Prophet went to the Lord for instructions, and section 89 is distinctive in the sense that it is a divinely approved code of health.

    So yes, you’re giving short shrift to Emma, as well as the Temperance movement in America. Certainly Joseph was aware of it, and even BYU admits it probably influenced him.

    Luke 18:2-5

    There was in a city a judge, which feared not God, neither regarded man:

    3 And there was a widow in that city; and she came unto him, saying, Avenge me of mine adversary.

    4 And he would not for a while: but afterward he said within himself, Though I fear not God, nor regard man;

    5 Yet because this widow troubleth me, I will avenge her, lest by her continual coming she weary me.

    She was not only agitating the judge, but aggravating him as well.

    Jettboy, go start your own sexist, bigoted church. I want no part of it in mine. You’re the worst at wresting the scriptures to support bigotry. You would do well to listen to Hugh B. Brown

    extremism involves two prime ingredients: An excessively simple diagnosis of the world’s ills and a conviction that there are identifiable villains back of it all. . . . Blind belief in one’s cause and a low view of the morality of other Americans–these seem mild failings. But they are the soil in which ranker weeds take root . . . terrorism, and the deep, destructive cleavages that paralyze a society.[John Gardner, No Easy Victories (New York: Harper and Row, 1969), 8, 9.]

    See my post a while back: http://mormonmatters.org/2010/08/03/elder-brown-defines-political-extremism/

  17. um, I’m not the one who feels threatened by the Church. My views are the mainstream of the membership, not yours.

  18. Jesus’s views weren’t mainstream either.

  19. Joseph Smith also said

    “Our heavenly Father is more liberal in His views, and boundless in His mercies and blessings, than we are ready to believe or receive…”

    Even Elder Holland quoted this, on LDS.org.

    Jettboy, I’m sure it is nice to ignore things that go against your conservative thinking.

  20. For that matter, polygamy was a liberal, not conservative form of marriage. Consecration is a liberal, not conservative economy. Joseph Smith’s position on freeing slaves was a liberal, not conservative position in 1844. None of these were mainstream ideas. But I guess Joseph should have quietly implored God for these things, instead of unleashing them on the mainstream public. Hide it under a bushel, do Not let your light so shine before men, said Jesus after all.

  21. He founded the religion. He was the prophet. We have a prophet and 12 apostles now. Me and you are not. It doesn’t have to do with conservatism, but of the rights and authority of the Church leadership. Are they called of God or not? If they are then it is not our business to tell them how to run the business of the Church, what revelations they should have, or what to do. The leader of OW was excommunicated. John D. will most likely be exed. How about you ask the question why with these?

  22. “How about you ask the question why with these?”

    Sorry, I don’t understand your question. Are you asking, Why are JD and Kate exed? I think they are exed for quite different reasons. John has made it known that he is not a believer. The charge of apostasy is appropriate. Having said that, I’m still not a fan of excommunication, and prefer the Jewish method that NOBODY is exed, not even for murder. Jewish rationale is that “God is the judge, not man.” But the evidence for John’s apostasy is the most clear case of apostasy of any of the recent high profile cases, so I’m not going to protest too much in his case.

    Kate is a believer. She is a much different case. It has been demonstrated over the past 125 years that the ONLY way we get new revelations is by agitation. Official Declaration 1 was precisely the result of U.S. government agitation (more along the lines of coercion) with regards to polygamy, and it took about 30 years of intense agitation by the government to get the Brethren to even consider seeking a new revelation (and even then, 2 apostles were exed because they didn’t consider Woodruff’s revelation binding on them–funny they received the same punishment as JD and KK.)

    Fast forward to the 1960s, and we had intense agitation from the NAACP, as well as articles from Lester Bush and the like questioning the wisdom of the priesthood ban. It probably took 20 yrs of intense agitation before we got Official Declaration 2 and the 1978 rescinding of the ban (a ban that wasn’t established by revelation in the first place, but was somehow blamed on God anyway, according to statements by the First Presidency in the 50s and 60s.) Clearly, the Brethren do not seek revelation EXCEPT by intense public pressure. If the pattern continues, it probably will take another 15-25 years of intense pressure following Kelly’s excommunication, and a new prophet to get Official Declaration 3 to rescind the ban on women and priesthood. (Rumors have it that the current prophet is suffering from dementia, so he doesn’t seem lucid enough to receive a revelation at present anyway.) Maybe the next revelation about retiring apostles after age 70, first proposed by Hugh B. Brown about 4 decades ago, will happen so we might get revelation that doesn’t come from incapacitated prophets. But I’m not holding my breath.

    So the modern prophets don’t have a good track record of producing revelation in the past 125 years, except by the kind of agitation that Jesus, and Joseph Smith did. For some reason, these “liberal freaks” are the only ones that can produce revelation. New revelation is only accompanied by agitation of liberal freaks (Senators Edmunds and Tucker of the Edmunds-Tucker Act fame) agitating for change, as well as liberal freaks Lester Bush and the NAACP. The only revelation produced routinely in this church was the liberal freak Joseph Smith, unless you want to consider Wilford Woodruff a liberal freak for breaking the fundamentalist polygamy practices, or the liberal freak Spencer Kimball who liberalized priesthood ordination for all males, regardless of race.

    (Perhaps you ought to tone down your language if you don’t want it thrown back in your face. I’m guessing your terminology doesn’t sound very reverent when applied to church leaders, now does it?)

  23. From the Ordain Women website: http://ordainwomen.org/thank-you-elder-christofferson/

    We are grateful that yesterday we were able to ask questions live to two apostles, Elder Oaks and Elder Christofferson. The overwhelming response of questions sent to the Tribune demonstrate Church members’ hunger to hear more from those whom we sustain. An active member in good standing asked: “I want to understand whether publicly supporting gay marriage or groups like Ordain Women could cause me to lose my recommend. If I privately believe in these ideas would I still be temple-worthy, and if so, then why would the act of public expression make me unworthy if a privately held belief does not. What is the difference between a belief and its expression?”

    Elder Christofferson responded, “We have members in the Church with a variety of different opinions and beliefs and positions on these issues…but…in our view it doesn’t become a problem unless someone is out attacking the church and its leaders, trying to get others to follow them, to draw others away, trying to pull people out of the church, or away from its teachings and doctrines. That’s very different for us, than someone who feels one way or another on a political stance or a particular action to support a group, Affirmation or any others that you named.”

    We appreciate Elder Christofferson’s acknowledgement that Church members can have differing positions on issues like women’s ordination. We also are glad that he clarified what constitutes crossing a line: attacking the Church and its leaders by attempting to draw members out of the Church or away from its doctrines. We unequivocally state that Ordain Women seeks to help people remain in the church by providing a safe space to articulate their opinions on gender inequality, about which they previously might have felt alone. In fact, Kate Kelly urged everyone, “Don’t leave. Stay and make things [in the Church] better” in response to the outpouring of grief over her discipline.

    We also affirm that Ordain Women teaches no doctrine, let alone false doctrine. All our positions are in line with current Church doctrine and policies: that is, we recognize and comply with the current policy that only men are ordained to priesthood offices. We are simply expressing our heartfelt desire for further light and knowledge through continuing revelation from God. We are grateful that Ally Isom, Church spokesperson, clarified the question on 6/16/14 about where in Mormon doctrine it says that women cannot hold the priesthood when she answered, “It doesn’t.” We also are motivated by the following quote from the Encyclopedia of Mormonism: “Achieving the fulness of the priesthood of the Son of God is the great goal of all faithful Latter-day Saints, because it is the power of God unto salvation and eternal lives.”

    Because Mormon women lack institutional authority and access to those leaders who have the ability to receive revelation on behalf of the Church, public advocacy is one of the few options open to us. We desire to work with the Church, not against it, to keep people in the Church, particularly those who feel alone in their desire for women’s ordination through continuing revelation.

  24. I left a reply on this one a couple of days ago, but it seems not to have made it into the stack or maybe got deleted. My suggestion was for those who wish to make their supplications know to the Lord to follow the example of Enos in the Book of Mormon. He got his answer after only one day.


  25. “after only one day”

    Glenn, that is a nice, trite saying. Elijah Abel, Jane Manning James, and generations of LDS black members prayed for years (a lot longer than “only one day”) and never received the temple blessings you take for granted.

    Additionally, thousands have lost their lives in the genocide of Iraq/Syria (via ISIS), Jews in Germany (Nazi’s), Rwanda, to name just a few of the atrocities. Enos was an anomoly, but usually God doesn’t answer “after only one day”, and frequently leaves broken human beings in the atrocities. You should read my post on Immaculee Ilibigiza, a survivor of the Rwandan genocide. She was spared, after months of praying in a concealed bathroom with 6 other women, and I certainly think she had the faith of Enos. Yet many of her families suffered tortured deaths, despite her prayers. My daughter has been touched by the Diary of Anne Frank, another who didn’t survive prayers said by her and on her behalf

    Answers to prayers usually do not come “after only one day”, and many people often die at the hands of inconsiderate (or sometimes just plan satanic) people.

  26. MH,
    It is an obvious observation that not all prayers are answered in only one day, or answered the way we may wish. It is the example, the way, of “faithful” agitation of which I was speaking. And you added a few more examples of people who “faithfully” agitated. Thank you.
    I know a few people who “faithfully” agitated for years and did not receive an answer in their mortal lives, but were faithfully confident that they would receive that answer in the eternities. Others did receive their answers after years and years of prayers. The main thing is that they were willing to wait for the Lord to answer those prayers in His own due time and in His own way.
    I am learning that lesson in my own life. Being unwilling to faithfully wait on the Lord’s own due time has cost me dearly in a couple of cases when I tried to do things my way. The Lord’s way, when it happened, worked much better.


  27. Glenn, what bothers me most about your answer(as well as others) is that it seemingly absolves mortals from correcting injustices because we can blame God for all the injustices, blame God for being slow to answer prayers, and completely avoid any personal responsibility.

  28. MH, the first thing one has to do is to know when something is really an injustice and not just the product of our own paradigms, however they may have developed. As far as the things of the church, one has to know and understand the will and mind of the Lord. And the Lord has told how we can do that.

    That is hardly blaming the Lord for anything. It is trying to understand what He wants. You can never be sure that you are pursuing the right path if you do not seek and find the will and mind of the Lord. I don’t think that you would want to be found in opposition to God’s will.

    I am keeping my comments strictly on things that pertain to the church and its policies and doctrines so as not to get the conversation bogged down on tangents that have nothing to do with agitating faithfully in the church.

    We have to leave it to God to answer that which is in His purview. If the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints truly is just that, then when we are “agitating” we are agitating ultimately for God to do something.


  29. Glenn,

    Back in 2010, Elder Uchtdorf gave a talk titled “You Are My Hands” in which he described a statue of Christ that had been damaged by bombing in Germany. The statue had no hands, and Elder Uchtdorf said, “As we emulate His perfect example, our hands can become His hands; our eyes, His eyes; our heart, His heart.” I will add we can become his voice as well, standing up as Isaiah 1:17 said “Learn to do good. Seek justice. Help the oppressed. Defend the cause of orphans. Fight for the rights of widows.”

    Yet, far too often, we blame our inaction on God. A First Presidency statement as late as December 15, 1969 stated that blacks did not receive the priesthood “for reasons which we believe are known to God, but which He has not made fully known to man.” Finally, in 2013, the Church released an essay that doesn’t blame the ban on God anymore: “The Church was established in 1830, during an era of great racial division in the United States…..Following the death of Brigham Young, subsequent Church presidents restricted blacks from receiving the temple endowment or being married in the temple. Over time, Church leaders and members advanced many theories to explain the priesthood and temple restrictions. None of these explanations is accepted today as the official doctrine of the Church.” I would assume that includes the 1969 statement.

    So yes, I think that it was an injustice that Elijah Abel and Jane Manning James (who quietly implored) did not receive temple blessings. I do not believe that God sent a revelation denying Elijah or Jane, and it was wrong that they couldn’t get their temple blessings. It took the public demonstrations of the 1960s and early 1970s mentioned in Newell Bringhurst’s book to agitate change of this unjust policy that lasted for more than a century before finally being removed in 1978. (I plan to write a new post detailing this agitation, as it seems to me that is has largely been forgotten by those who continue to blame God for this unjust policy, rather than blaming man’s racism.)

    We need to call out forms of oppression, whether it be against blacks, women, or other oppressed groups, just as Isaiah said. Sometimes this agitation angers those in power, just as Christ angered the Sadducees when he cleansed the temple. We are Christ’s eyes, hands, and voices, and we need to quit blaming God for our own racism and sexism.

    I can also demonstrate the same pattern with the polygamy persecutions and 1890 revelation, but I’ll stop for now. Agitation is the ONLY way to get revelation, as we have just 2 new revelations in the past 124 years. I think we need to quit Disgracing God to Save a Prophet, because that is the ultimate form of taking God’s name in vain.

  30. We do not have to disgrace God to save a prophet. From anecdotal evidences, both Joseph Smith and Brigham Young are in good standing with God. Anecdotal evidences also note that several prophets before Spencer W. Kimball were asking God about the priesthood ban.

    The thing that you have not demonstrated is a knowledge that you know what God’s will is on any of the hot button topics that you have espoused. You seem to try to be disgracing some prophets because they did not respond in ways that you deem to be “correct”. Please describe the revelation(s) that have led you to those particular positions.

    You are not the first to so so, and will not be the last. There were a lot of people in the early days of the church that disagreed with Joseph Smith, vehemently disagreed with him, on issues such as polygamy. Maybe you feel that was a manmade revelation also?

    A final question? If you were called as a prophet of God to head the Church and had several personal conversations wiuth Him, would you at some furture time make a policy decision, such as ordaining woment to the priesthood, without first seeking extremely diligently to know and understand the mind of the Lord on the matter???? Or would you just do it because a lot of people were agitating for it???


  31. “If you were called as a prophet of God to head the Church and had several personal conversations wiuth Him….”

    Uhh false assumption. Name one prophet outside of Joseph Smith that said he “had several personal conversations with Him.” Joseph Smith, Moses, Adam–that’s it that “had several personal conversations with Him.” Everybody else has at most 1, and even Kimball is included as not having a conversation with God. So we need to cut the fallacy off right there. Check out my post on Pres Kimball’s unspoken revelation–even SWK didn’t have a personal conversation.

    But in your hypothetical, I would follow Pres Kimball’s example.

    Revelations will probably never come unless they are desired. I think few people receive revelations while lounging on the couch or while playing cards or while relaxing. I believe most revelations would come when a man is on his tip toes, reaching as high as he can for something which he knows he needs, and then there bursts upon him the answer to his problems.

    Glenn, this comes back to why does God change his mind all the time if he is the same yesterday, today, and forever? Why a ban, and then no ban? Did God change, or did man? I blame man changing EVERY SINGLE TIME. God doesn’t change his mind because he is the same yesterday, today, and forever. Either the ban was God-inspired or it wasn’t. I vote the ban was never inspired. If it was inspired, then God is a changeable God, and if that is the case, then you worship a different concept of God than I do (which is probably the case.)

  32. MH, it is not a fallacy to believe that prophets other than Joseph Smith have had verbal conversations with the Lord. I do not have the time to comb the annals of each of the LDS prophets in an attempt to ascertain which of them claimed to have had some type of verbal instructions from God. But a very prominent example is from Wilford Woodruff’s comments on the 1890 Manifesto discontinuing the practice of polygamy”

    “The Lord has told me to ask the Latter-day Saints a question, and He also told me that if they would listen to what I said to them and answer the question put to them, by the Spirit and power of God, they would all answer alike, and they would all believe alike with regard to this matter.”

    That sounds like a desription of a specific verbal communication.

    However, my hypothetical was directed at the one that claimed to have had several personal conversations with God, i.e. Joseph Smith.

    Do you think that Joseph Smith was lying about the Lord directing him to begin the practice of polygamy, the angel with the sword bit, and all???

    Do you think that Wilford Woodruff was lying when he discontinued the practice of polygamy claiming that it was a direct revelation from God???

    If you believe both of those, that effectively refutes your contention that God does not change his mind.

    The scriptures themselves refute that contention. One is from an interaction with Moses himself, a prophet that maybe you and I can agree that had several personal conversations with God.

    When Moses came down from the mountain after his forty days with the Lord and the Lord saw that the children of Israel had so quickly turned to the worship of the infamous golden calf, His words to Moses were:
    “Now therefore let me alone, that my wrath may wax hot against them, and that I may consume them: and I will make of thee a great nation.” (Exodus 32:10)

    But Moses was able to reason with the Lord and get Him to change his mind.

    God does change his policies. Once the children of Israel were encamped in the Promised land, they did not send out missionaries to convert people. Those who wised to convert had to come to Israel. Missionaries were only sent forth to the world after Jesus’ ministry was complete. The Gospel was only taken to the Gentiles, who were considered unclean, after Peter had received vision and told to eat of the things that had been heretofore considered unclean.

    During the time of the Mosaic law, the priesthood was only held among the Levites, yet during Christ’s ministry and afterwards, male Jew and Gentile alike, from any tribe or walk of life could convert, be baptized and obtain the priesthood.

    And there are some policies that He does not change, because it has been prophesized that He would not. Such as “Surely the Lord God will do nothing, but he revealeth his secret unto his servants the prophets.” (Amos 3:7)

    I am not going to throw any of God’s prophets under the bus for following the commandments of God, even though they be something that I cannot understand at this time. Not Joshua, not Samuel, nor any of the others. (David threw himself under the bus, as did Saul.)


  33. Glenn, I think we have different conceptions of what “personal conversations with Him” means. Are you saying that Snow personally met Jesus just as Joseph met Jesus in the First Vision? Because that’s what I think of when I hear “had several personal conversations.”

    In the movie “Windows of Heaven” (which I’m sure you’ve seen), Snow never has a visitation. Rather, the revelation comes to his mind. This is not a “personal conversation.” There is no dialogue, it is not a personal conversation. Watch the video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0LJuITHtbJo#t=855

    Do you call this a personal conversation? I do not. If we can’t agree on that point, then I’m afraid we’re not going to come to a meeting of the minds.

  34. Its must be a predominately US issue. As its not really on the radar in other countries. The main global issue that I hear talked about is when are we going to have a more Multicultural quorum of the Twelve. The church is a global church now not just an American one . The quorum of the 12 should reflect this.

    The Latin american countries have been agitating for this for a very long time.
    while only anecdotal, my dad just returned from a mission in England. Several of the seventy that he talked to over the time of his mission expressed frustration at the responses that they got from the elder members of the Twelve. A seventy expressed that we are probably going to have to wait till they die to see much progress in the church.
    My dad Is a very faithful member of the church I don’t have reason to doubt what he said. I have left out naming the two apostles. As I am still trying to be respectful to them.

  35. I just saw this on my Facebook feed: Black students at Colorado State University protesting the LDS church during halftime of a basketball game at Moby Arena in 1970.


  36. MH, I am not talking about personal visitations where one sees Jesus, but rather a conversation where one receives a revelation or instructions, usually in response to prayers, that are verbal in nature.

    Wilford Woodruff’s description of part of the information or revelation that he had regarding ending the earthly practice of polygamy would seem to fit the description of a verbal instruction. I.E. the one that I quoted.


  37. Glenn, I really object to calling a revelation a “personal conversation”, and here’s why. Here on this blog right now, you and I are having a “personal conversation.” There’s dialogue. You ask me questions, I respond. I ask you questions, you respond. There is dialogue. If you misunderstand something I say, it can be clarified, and vice-versa. This is a personal conversation.

    Now, it may be a true “revelation” to you that I think the priesthood ban was not inspired by God. I may not have used those exact words, and you may be surprised to learn that, but hopefully I have revealed to you through our personal conversation that I believe the priesthood/temple ban was not initiated by God. This revelation to you is a true revelation. I do not believe the priesthood/temple ban was initiated by God.

    However, if you said that I revealed to you that I didn’t like Kate Kelly’s recent Op Ed and THEREFORE Ordain Women is an apostate group, well that is a false revelation for a few reasons. (1) You and I have never had a personal conversation about the Op Ed. (2) I do not feel that Ordain women is an apostate group. Now, this false revelation may have some truth to it. Frankly, I was disappointed that Kate said “Sadly, the Mormon faith has become a place that incentivizes the survival of the least fit. Since strict obedience is demanded and harshly enforced, only the least talented, least articulate, least nuanced thinkers, least likely to take a stand against abuse, and the least courageous people thrive in the Church today.” I wish she had not written that. I am sure it was written in a moment of anger, so the “revelation” that I was disappointed in Kate’s words is true. However, to tie that statement to calling OW an apostate group is not how I feel, is an over-reach of my position. This would be a false revelation based on a partial truth, and this “revelation” is not based on a “personal conversation” that you and I have not had until this very comment. I would greatly object to anyone terming this a revelation, because I have not revealed such thoughts. For anyone to infer this was my position, then I would deem such information both (1) a false revelation, and (2) not a personal conversation.

    Snow, Woodruff, and Kimball had revelations, I do not deny that. But I do deny that they had “personal conversations” with God. Only Joseph Smith, Moses, and Adam had personal conversations with God. All other prophets may have received revelations, but it wasn’t a “personal conversation.” To describe this as a personal conversation just gives the wrong impression of the nature of the so-called “conversation.” Conversation indicated dialogue. Snow, as represented in the movie Windows of Heaven, had a revelation. He didn’t have a personal conversation. Kimball is much more clear that it is a non-verbal revelation, but I think that Snow also had a non-verbal revelation, and I think the movie is a highly accurate portrayal of what happened in St. George.

  38. MH, The three prophets you mentioned are on record as having face to face meetings with God. That does not preclude any of the others from having had personal conversations with God, or in the least receiving verbal instructions from God. I was merely pointing out one instance where it would appear that a prophet had received verbal instructions and information rather than impressions.
    But I’m not going to get hung up on semantics. The main thing, the main point I was making was about a prophet making a policy decision, such as instituting polygamy, or what ever, without checking to find out the will of God on the matter. I was using the polygamy issue because it was a prophet that is on record as having personal, face to face meetings with God.
    It may not have been in the same manner, but the revelation to cease the earthly practice of polygamy was something that Wilford Woodruff did not take upon himself waited upo the will of the Lord before he took action.
    The revelation that ended the priesthood ban came after at least two prophets before Spencer W. Kimball had enquired of the Lord on the subject. The inquiries came long before the outside agitation. There is no way of proving one way or another whether outside agitation had any influence upon that revelation.
    The only point I have been trying to make iis that there are some things that are soley within the Lord’s purview and the only effective means of agitating before the Lord is with fasting and prayer. Whether women will ever be ordained to the priesthood is one of those things. (I do not know if it will happen or not. I don’t know if this is a policy or doctrine.)
    There are other things at the local levels and maybe at higher levels that can be changed and there are already methods for helping those changes to come about. That usually involves faithful activity, attending meetings, ward council, priesthood, Relief Society, etc. There are so many ways to get a person’s message, needs, and desires about this or that before the local and stake leaders.


  39. Glenn, I am going to get hung up on semantics, because this is more than simply semantics. This describes the nature of “conversation/revelation”, and you are simply mischaracterizing how prophets receive revelation.

    The apostle Paul said “we see through a glass darkly.” We know prophets make mistakes. Paul and Peter had a massive fight over circumcision. We KNOW Peter was wrong, yet he won the battle at the time, Paul won the war. Prophets like Peter do get things wrong, and let cultural misunderstandings into the church, and it takes agitators like Paul to get rid of these cultural misunderstandings. Prophets have prejudices. Jonah got sunburned waiting for the Ninevites to be destroyed, but they repented (to his dismay) instead. It’s hard for me to fathom a prophet hoping for destruction of people instead of rejoicing in their repentance. Yet we still call Jonah a prophet, despite this rather unsavory episode.

    I’m surprised you want to go the polygamy route; you might want to read my perspective on polygamy. Since I wrote that post in 2009, I learned that Denver Snuffer believes section 132 is actually 4 revelations jumbled together, and that Joseph incorrectly tied eternal marriage together with polygamy. It’s an interesting thesis, and I think worth exploring more. The fact of the matter is that there are some really shady things going on with polygamy that later prophets mostly jettissoned: polyandry being the foremost. Later prophets practiced it more openly than Joseph’s secret marriages to teen brides Fanny Alger and Mary Rollins Lightner and 30 other women. Joseph’s proposition of Nancy Rigdon seems quite suspicious to me, and I have a VERY hard time believing that God commanded Joseph to proposition other men’s wives. This does not seem like a true revelation to me, and has a high stink factor. (For someone who had personal conversations with God, Joseph’s implementation of the revelation has a high stink factor. Perhaps we can agree on the stink factor.)

    Having said that, I love the sealing powers we get from 132, so I’m not denying that revelation as true. But this is similar to the case above where I illustrated that there can be true parts to a false revelation. I’ve attended several meetings with Brian Hales, the foremost “apologist” for polygamy. Hales admits that Joseph’s practice of polygamy and theology surrounding it doesn’t match Biblical polygamy. God didn’t give Hagar to Abraham, Sarah did. God didn’t give Leah to Jacob, Laban did. Biblical polygamy doesn’t match 132. I believe that polygamy was wrong when Abraham did it, when Jacob did it, especially when David/Solomon did it, and when Joseph did it. And D&C 132 talks about concubines. We see how disgusting concubines are when ISIS sells Yzidi women in Iraq as sex slaves–and they call it “concubines.” It is absolute misogynist BS, and 100% wrong. I can’t see God has ever commanded concubines, or given them to any man. It’s 100% wrong, and I dare you to testify the truthfulness of concubines mentioned in D&C 132.

    Hales has been asked several times if Joseph shook the hands with “angel with a drawn sword”, and Hales response is always that Joseph never questioned whether the angel was from God or the Devil. However, many people in Joseph’s day and our day question Joseph’s perception of this so-called incident relayed by Lightner.

    So Glenn, let me hear you bear testimony of your spiritual witness that Joseph properly married Fanny Alger, Mary Rollins Lightner, and other men’s wives. Please testify how you are certain that God commanded these sealings. Please testify of the truthfulness of D&C 132:51-57 where God supposedly focused condemnation squarely at Emma telling her to

    “receive all those that have been given unto my servant Joseph” and “forgive my servant Joseph his trespasses” or “she shall be destroyed, saith the Lord.”

    Emma’s reaction to this 4th “revelation” as quoted in William Clayton journal entry for July 12, 1843.

    she did not believe a word of it and appeared very rebellious. J[oseph] told me to Deed all unencumbered lots [Joseph’s remaining building lots in Nauvoo] to E[mma] & the children. He appears much troubled about E[mma]. (Emma was ready to divorce Joseph over the issue, and wanted the building lots as a form of alimony.)

    I dare you to testify the truthfulness of those verses in particular. I note that according to your criteria, this was a “personal conversation” between Joseph and God because it clearly states “she shall be destroyed, *saith the Lord*.”

    Wilford Woodruff said that a prophet shall never lead the church astray, or God will take out the prophet. Could it be that Joseph’s death was God’s way of taking him out when he strayed into polygamy?

    You are welcome to believe that God changes his mind, but I don’t.

  40. MH, We are really far apart on a lot of issues. Your contention that polygamy was wrong in the days of old do not bear scriptural scrutiny. As you noted, God did not personally give Abraham or Jacob their polygamous wives, yet he did not chastise them for their supposed folly, for all the world to know and not follow in their foot steps.

    In fact, nowhere in the scriptures can you find God ever denouncing the practice, even in the case of evil men. That was not one of the things that they were accused of.

    And then their was the Law of Moses where a brother was required by the law to marry a deceased brother’s wife if the deceased brother and his wife had produced no male seed.

    The scriptures also tacitly note that the Law of Moses allowed polygamous marriages. See Deuteronomy 21:15-17 for starters.

    If you will remember, adultery was an offense for which death was the punishment under the Mosaic Law. Yet, men were obviously allowed and even commanded to take more than one wife under the Mosaic law. Had it been against that law, the sin of adultery would have applied to all those (Moses included) who broke it.

    But was Moses chastised for taking another wife??? Read again what happened with Aaron and Miriam when they criticized Moses for marrying an Ethiopian woman. There was no mention that Zipporah was dead at the time.

    Now, for a direct, scriptural moment, where we are told that God actually gave a man additional wives. Let us look at 1 Samuel 12:7-8.

    “7 And Nathan said to David, Thou art the man. Thus saith the Lord God of Israel, I anointed thee king over Israel, and I delivered thee out of the hand of Saul;

    8 And I gave thee thy master’s house, and thy master’s wives into thy bosom, and gave thee the house of Israel and of Judah; and if that had been too little, I would moreover have given unto thee such and such things.”

    Here Nathan the prophet was chastising David for the murder of Urriah the Hittite. But in that chastisement, we find recorded for all of our eyes to read, that the Lord actually gave David Saul’s wives also.

    MH, I do have a testimony that Joseph Smith was a prophet, and that he died in good standing with the Lord. As I have stated, there is anecdotal evidence that he was in good standing with the Lord after his death. There are several people who have claimed to have been visited by Joseph after his death, among them Eliza R. Snow, Emma Smith, and Wilford Woodruff.

    And I do believe that if polygamy were wrong in the eyes of the Lord among the people of old and the people of today, He would have told us, and told us in no uncertain terms. I believe that if Joseph had been a fallen prophet, that God would have told us, and in no uncertain terms so that the church would not have been led astray.

    I do have a testimony of Section 132 of the Doctrine and Covenants also. I also believe that the Lord appeared to Wilford Woodruff, or revealed to him the decision to cease the practice of polygamy by the church.

    I am sure that you believe that God does not change His mind. However, I have demonstrated by the scriptures that God does indeed change His mind and His policies. Else wise, you would not be one that is able to hold the priesthood today, unless you could trace your lineage to that of Aaron, for the Aaronic Priesthood, or who knows for the Melchizedek Priesthood.


  41. Glenn,

    With all due respect, we aren’t communicating at all. I don’t think this is a productive conversation, so perhaps it has run its course. You didn’t address any of my points, and your counter-points actually reinforce what I said. Perhaps I didn’t state them clearly enough, or perhaps you simply found nothing to refute in my arguments, so let me make one last attempt to have you address the comments I made previously.

    1. The issue of “personal communication/revelation” is not a semantics issue. It is substantive.

    2. Peter was wrong with circumcision and Paul was right. Prophets and apostles get things wrong sometimes. This is why Paul’s agitation was correct. You didn’t even bother to address this.

    3. Prophets have prejudices. I gave Jonah as an example. You didn’t address this at all.

    4. D&C 132:51-57 condemns Emma for her resistance to polygamy. I asked you specifically if you had a testimony of this condemnation. You ignored this.

    5. Joseph was sealed to teens Fanny Alger and Mary Rollins Lightner. I asked you specifically if you had a testimony of teen brides and Joseph Smith. You ignored this.

    6. Joseph was sealed to women already married to other men. I asked you specifically if you had a testimony of Joseph being sealed to other men’s wives. You ignored this.

    7. David and Solomon had concubines (women sex slaves as trophies of war). D&C 132 says God ordains this. ISIS does it and justifies this as God’s will and we find this despicable. I asked you specifically if you had a testimony of concubines. You ignored this.

    8. Biblical polygamy is different than the polygamy practiced by the early LDS Church. (1) all wives must be LDS. (2) Not only must they be LDS, but they must be worthy to enter the temple. (3) These sealings are binding for eternity.

    This is the one issue you came close to answering, but seemed to have missed the forest for the trees. I did not EVER say God condemned polygamy. If you read the Snuffer link above, Snuffer says God “permitted” polygamy, not condemned, so it seems you have mischaracterized what I said. (I condemn polygamy, but that’s not to say that God has condemned polygamy.)

    For proof, you gave me Moses marrying an Ethiopian woman. Well, sure God may have permitted it, but this is ANOTHER example that biblical polygamy doesn’t follow LDS polygamy. (1 and 2) The Ethiopian woman wasn’t Jewish (or if she was, her conversion is unrecorded.) Certainly is cannot be argued that David and Solomon’s wives were Jewish. They were political marriages or concubines. Either way, biblical polygamy is NOT the same as LDS polygamy. You’ve missed my point entirely in your attempt to show that God does not condemn polygamy (which I didn’t argue.)

    I do find attempts to justify polygamy wrong, but God “permits” genocide (Nazis, ISIS), and God permits all kinds of wrong things (slavery, discrimination, rape, incest, etc), and so far I haven’t heard a revelation where God specifically condemns Naziism, ISIS, or even the Crusades. The lack of a revelation doesn’t make Naziism, ISIS, or the Crusades right. They are reprehensible despite the lack of a modern revelation, and it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out God’s will in these cases. Maybe it takes a rocket scientist for the case for polygamy, but please answer these 8 points, and then maybe you can convince me I’m totally fouled up. But to date, you’ve completely ignored these issues, probably because there is no satisfactory answer.

  42. […] my previous post on how to agitate faithfully, I noted that the only revelations we have received in the past 125 years came about as a result of […]

  43. MH,

    Yes we are really far apart on so much of our discussions. It is difficult to agree on anything because you seem to believe the scriptures only those parts that fit your personal beliefs, such as the part in the Old testament where the Lord commands Joshua to wipe out the denizens of the promised land. You attribute that to a supposed prejudice on the part of Joshua, although you do not make it clear why Joshua would have been prejudiced aginst any particular group of people as he was one of those born in the wilderness during the 40 year sojourn of the Children of Israel.

    So now, I am going to address all of your points.

    1. All revelations given to prophets are pretty much personal revelations. You have painted a picture of only three prophets receiveing personal, direct, revelations in the form of face to face visitations. I have pretty much agreed that those are the only ones that we have record of. If you wish to define that as the standard for personal conversations, I will even accept that.
    However, non-verbal revelations cannot logically be assumed for revelations given to all other prophets. My proffered example was that of Wilford Woodruff whose revelation that led to the 1890 Manifesto ending the practice of polygamy in the Church has implicit verbal instructions.

    2. Peter and paul were not disagreeing on circumcision for the Gentile converts. Paul was remonstrating with Peter in Galatians 2:12 for “fearing them which were of the circumcision” and no longer dining with the Gentile converts when some of the Jewish converts came to Antioch where Peter and Paul were at the time.

    If you remember your Bible history, it was an abomination for a Jew to dine with one that was uncircumcized. In fact, if you remember, that was the very accusation which Peter was faced with in the case of Cornelius the Centurion.
    “2 And when Peter was come up to Jerusalem, they that were of the circumcision contended with him,
    3 Saying, Thou wentest in to men uncircumcised, and didst eat with them.” (Acts Chapter 11)

    Peter was not one of those contending for the Gentile converts to be circumcised. Go back and read Acts chapter 15 again. Here you will see that it was “certain men which came down from Judæa taught the brethren, and said, Except ye be circumcised after the manner of Moses, ye cannot be saved.”

    That dispute was taken to the Apostles and Elders at Jerusalem where Peter spoke about the issue:
    ” 7 And when there had been much disputing, Peter rose up, and said unto them, Men and brethren, ye know how that a good while ago God made choice among us, that the Gentiles by my mouth should hear the word of the gospel, and believe.
    8 And God, which knoweth the hearts, bare them witness, giving them the Holy Ghost, even as he did unto us;
    9 And put no difference between us and them, purifying their hearts by faith.
    10 Now therefore why tempt ye God, to put a yoke upon the neck of the disciples, which neither our fathers nor we were able to bear?”

    3. Prophets have prejudices. I do not disagree with you one bit on this. And your example was given a course correction twice, once before his ministry to Ninevah, and one after his ministry.

    4. I have a testimony of section 132 of the Doctrine and Covenants. I do not except any parts of it.

    5. I do not have a testimony of Joseph being sealed to Fanny Alger, or Mary Lightner, nor to the sealing of Joseph to any of his other wives, nor to the sealing of any person to any other person. I have a testimony of the sealing power as revealed in Section 132 of the D&C. I do not have a problem with those sealings, although I do not hink that Mary Lightner was a teenager when she was sealed to Joseph. He approached her with the revelation when she was a teen, but it was later in her life that she was sealed to Joseph, which you take up in number 6.

    6. I do not have a testimony of Joseph being sealed to any of the wives of other men. My testimony is with the sealing power established in D&C 132. I do not have a problem with it if God does not have a problem with it.

    7. I disagree with your characterization of concubines as sex slave trophies of war, although there were some women that were obtained through warfare, noted in Deuteronomy 21;11. Concubines were treated much as secondary wives, such as was the case of Abraham with Hagar, given to him by Sarah. And here in Section 132 of the D&C, the Lord notes that he commanded it. Nowhere does it say that any of David’s concubines were sex prizes of war. Instead 2 Samuel 5:13 says
    “And David took him more concubines and wives out of Jerusalem, after he was come from Hebron: and there were yet sons and daughters born to David.”

    But I do not have a testimony of concubines. They are not a doctrine for which I would need a testimony.

    8. I do not disagree that some aspects of biblical polygamy being different from the modern practice.
    I don’t see that being a point either way. It is not one I have disputed. However, that has nothing to do with whether God approved of polygamy or just allowed it. Whether a person was Jewish (well Israelite) is hardly a point. “Strangers” from other countries were allowed to convert and live in the country with Israel after they were established in the Promised Land.
    The point is that here God had his prophet at the head of his congregation faced with criticism from his brother, the High Priest, and sister Miriam. Such a perfect time to record once and for all that polygamy was not to be tolerated, especially among God’s chosen prophets. Yet, what happened. It was the murmurers that were punished. Well, maybe Miriam.

    I have given you examples of where (1) God commanded a person to take another wife,(Deuteronomy 25:5) (2) where it was permitted by Mosaic Law, (Exodus 21:10) and (3) where God actually gave multiple wives to at least one person, David (Samuel 12:8). Those are hardly a “laissez faire” attitude.

    The only reason to justify polygamy is if God commands it.

    Your examples of God not specifically condemning ISIS, Nazism etc. are really off the mark. God condemns murder, rapine, etc. and does not have to revoice that condemnation of every group or person that commits it.

    But we are not talking about that. We are talking about God and His dealings with His Church and His prophets.

    It is okay if you condemn polygamy. That is your personal right. However, you do not have a scriptural basis, either ancient or modern to back your opinion up.


  44. Glenn, I feel like we’re a little closer, as you have made some concessions. “It is difficult to agree on anything because you seem to believe the scriptures only those parts that fit your personal beliefs….” Well, whose beliefs am I supposed to follow, yours?

    The reality is there are lots of things we don’t believe in the Bible any more. The bible endorses slavery, polygamy, concubines, but as Americans we find these practices repugnant. Yet some people don’t want to “liken these scriptures unto us”; other groups, like ISIS, the Laffertys do liken these scriptures unto them. I’m open about this difference. Seven years ago, I justified my position about Joshua’ Unholy War. I’ve tried to reconcile the stuff we don’t believe in the Bible. As Americans, we would never justify killing children. We find it repugnant when ISIS does. But there’s a large disconnect when we say that Joshua’s practice was God’s will.

    I’m glad you don’t have a testimony of teen brides, sealing to other men’s wives, concubines. But your defense of D&C 132 is very vague. You support 132 in general, but you don’t want to look at the details and defend them. So you’re just as guilty of picking and choosing your beliefs as you say that I am. “But I do not have a testimony of concubines. They are not a doctrine for which I would need a testimony.” You ignore the unpleasant parts of 132. I don’t.

  45. MH, We’ve wandered a bit far off the topic of “How do we agitate faithfully?” That is partly my fault there.

    When the scriptures note something that I am uncomfortable with, I do not throw the scriptures out as being wrong. Yes, slavery was allowed in the Old Testament. But the slaves were to be freed after six years of service. (Also, debts were to be cancelled after six years.)

    I am not so sure of my “rightness” that I can conclude that something I read in the scriptures which is repugnant to my sensibilities is not something that God actually did. I mean, there is the story of Sodom and Gomorrah, the flood, Uzzah, etc.

    I have more faith in God that He would have removed such a prophet as Joshua from his position and have plainly told us through the scriptures and other prophets that Joshua was not following God’s commands.

    In the case of Jonah and Ninevah, as I have mentioned several times, God issued a course correction and had it recorded for us to know. In the case of David and Uriah the Hittite, David was issued a rebuke, and although he did not lose his kingdom due to God’s earlier promise to David, the rebuke was recorded for us.

    You analogy to ISIS is inapt. They may be claiming scriptural authority for their actions, but Islamic doctrine states that Mohammed was the last prophet and have had no further revelations from Allah since.

    The LDS claim continuing revelation from God and a restoration of the gospel with Joseph Smith being the prophet of that restoration. Joseph did begin a clarifying rendering of the Bible, and several troubling aspects to me were removed, such as the case with Lot supposedly offering his daughters to the mob surrounding his house calling for him to send his two visitors out so they could “know them”. Or when the scriptures said that God hardened the Pharaoh’s heart against the Children of Israel just before the Exodus. Yet, he did not make any changes to other parts that are troubling to us. Is this something that might have happened? I don’t know. But I am not going to judge Joshua until I have the full story.

    As far as section 132 of the Doctrine and Covenants, I don’t know why you feel my testimony is “vague”. I believe that all of it was from God. I do not have a testimony of each and every personal action by Joseph Smith and all of the prophets that followed him. But I do feel that if Joseph had erred in his actions, the Lord would have rebuked him and it would have been recorded in our scriptures.

    I choose to believe that Joseph Smith was not lying to us about his revelations on polygamy. I choose to believe that Brigham Young and other prophets and other members of the Church received a testimony of that revelation, which went against their own personal feelings at the time.

    And I choose to believe that Wilford Woodruff received a revelation ending that practice.

    It is not that I ignore the unpleasant parts of Section 132. I just do not have a problem with it. I have faith that God is in more control of His church than you seem to have.


  46. MH, I want to get my comments directed back to the “agitate faithfully” area. I really do not like the word agitate. It has a connotation of confrontation and contention to me. I do believe that faithful, fervent prayer is the most effective means of “agitating” with the Lord.
    I do believe that faithful service in our local wards and branches, provides opportunities to get one’s voice heard.
    I do not believe that an organization such as Ordain Women will be able to “agitate faithfully” because such organizations cause contention and strife.


  47. Glenn, I picked the word “agitate” because that is what Pres. Hinckley used. Blame him for the word, or pick another. IDIAT picked implore, which I guess is fine, so long as implore includes the actions of the woman in the parable of the Unjust Judge. Whether it is implore or agitate is simply semantics to me. Ordain Women is imploring Pres Monson to seek a revelation. There is no sin in that.

    “such organizations {like Ordain Women} cause contention and strife.” Christ caused so much contention that he was killed, so I don’t think contention and strife are disqualifiers. Christ’s contention and strife in the temple formed a new religion, because the old one, opposed to his actions in the temple, killed him. If Christ implored/agitated which caused strife and contention, so be it. I don’t condemn Christ at all for his contention and strife.

    “I do not have a testimony of each and every personal action by Joseph Smith and all of the prophets that followed him. But I do feel that if Joseph had erred in his actions, the Lord would have rebuked him and it would have been recorded in our scriptures.”

    First of all, how can you say you believe Joseph properly practiced section 132 if he didn’t? D&C talks of marrying virgins. Verse 61

    if he espouse the second, and they are virgins, and have vowed to no other man, then is he justified; he cannot commit adultery for they are given unto him; for he cannot commit adultery with that that belongeth unto him and to no one else.

    Women married to other men are not virgins.

    Secondly, it seems that it wasn’t Emma that was destroyed, it was Joseph. God’s admonition is exactly backwards. “if Joseph had erred in his actions, the Lord would have rebuked him and it would have been recorded in our scriptures.” I think the Lord did rebuke him, and his death is recorded in section 135.

  48. […] my previous post on how to agitate faithfully, I noted that the only revelations we have received in the past 125 years came about as a result of […]

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