Today was Stake Conference. Our daughter has a cold and had a restless night. Needless to say my wife and I also had a restless night. Finally about 3AM she got to sleep and so did we. So when 7AM rolled around, and the Priesthood session started, I was zonked out on the couch, fast asleep. Even though I missed Priesthood session we did make it to the regular session at 10AM.
We arrived just as the were doing the sustainings. We were sitting down when they sustained the Brethren™ as Prophets, Seers, and Revelators. I felt a strong impression to raise my hand when they asked for anyone opposed. Some of you reading this may take this as an indication that I am under the influence of Satan and I am listening to false promptings. But I do ask myself what would happen if I raised my hand in opposition. Would I be run out of town? Would everyone in the whole stake view me as “that guy that raised his hand?” Would no one ever talk to me again or would I suddenly receive and outpouring of Love™ from the members of our ward? But most of all would I get called aside later and be able voice my concerns? Would I have the chance to talk to the leadership about the fact that, despite sustaining these men as Prophets, Seers, and Revelators, I did not hear one prophecy, vision, or revelation during this last conference. Also would they say that the vote was not unanimous at the end? But alas in the end I neither raised my hand to sustain nor to oppose. This was mainly because my hands were full of baby stuff. But I wonder what will happen next time.
Some good messages I got in conference were that, “The most important of the Lord’s work is in the home.” or something to that effect. I just drove it home(pun intended) to me how important it is to be more self reliant in the gospel. Church isn’t the place to do those things that I need to, like the sacrament for example.
Another speaker talked on family prayer. Her comments helped remind me to be much more specific in my prayers. She talked about thanking the Lord for your spouse in couple’s prayer. I’ve been doing that but don’t ever mention any specific things.
One speaker talked about Preach My Gospel. He mentioned the PMG section on the Apostasy which states, “Without the Apostles, over time the doctrines were corrupted, and unauthorized changes were made in the Church organization and Priesthood ordinances, such as baptism and conferring the gift of the Holy Ghost.”
This made me think about all the changes that have been made in the Church today even with apostles.
– The Temple ordinances have been changed. In fact I bet that even a member who attends the temple regularly would feel awkward going though the endowment as it was originally formatted.
– What about instituting Home Teaching rather than allowing the Teachers and Priests to fulfill their duties in section 20.
– The Word of Wisdom was given not by command or constraint but has become made into a commandment. And in fact I would say it has become one of the defining attributes of the Saints. Shouldn’t the gifts of the Spirit be one of the defining attributes of the Saints?
– Changing tithing from one time consecration of all your surplus property, then ever year after that ten percent of your increase; to ten percent of any income you receive even if you can’t make end’s meet(Don’t worry the Lord will bless you for obeying the Law of Tithing as given by the Brethren™ not the Lord).
– Altering the design of the garments which was given by angels.
– Preventing the Saints from obeying an eternal irrevokable principle of the Restoration.
– Some ordinances such as Re-baptism and Adoption.
– We have lost the Council of Fifty, which was God’s government on the Earth(would you rather be a citizen of the United States of America or the Kingdom of God?)
– We have lost the organized Anointed Quorum. It was in this quorum than many great mysteries were revealed that were not known to the common membership.
– The Aaronic Priesthood has become a youth program.
– The history and principles of the restoration have been white washed and watered-down to be more appealing to the outside world.
Do we accept these changes, and many more, because they were “authorized”? Does the Lord the eternal Laws and Principles of Heaven to suit the needs or men? Or does he teach them in a way that is specific for each generation. Is God a respecter of persons who actually cares what generation we are born into? Does He exempt some generations from eternal laws just because of worldly culture they are born into? Are we really that much different from the time of the 1830’s that we need an almost completely different gospel? I don’t think so.
If changes to the gospel, ordinances, teachings, and principles of Christ are signs of Apostasy, what can we say about the Church today?
Our Stake President spoke on stoning prophets. Specificaly he spoke about how in the internet there are many people “stoning” Boyd Packer from what he said during conference. He then gave examples of prophets who had been “stoned.” he referenced Samuel that Lamanite who taught the people while standing on the wall. The people rejected him and shot at him with arrows.
Abinadi was burned. He preached against the wicked King Noah and his priests. The priests even quoted scripture to him to justify their position.
So can people speaking against Boyd Packer be equated with those examples? Who was Samuel the Lamanite? Well he was just some guy that the Lord gave a message to. He wasn’t part of the Church hierarchy.
What about Abinadi? We wasn’t part of the church Hierarchy either. Wicked King Noah and his Priests WERE the Church hierarchy. They were the Brethren of their time. They were the equivalent of the First Presidency and Twelve Apostles.
So can we really equate Boyd Packer with a random righteous man that the Lord called to preach a message? What about their messages? Samuel and Abinadi preached against wickedness in the church. They taught us to repent and come to Christ.
What did Boyd Packer teach? He taught, among other things, “If we are not alert, there are those today who not only tolerate but advocate voting to change laws that would legalize immorality, as if a vote would somehow alter the designs of God’s laws and nature.”
“If we are not alert” we might be led to thing this line of reasoning actually works. First he talks about laws and legalization, which are things of men. And then he talks about God’s laws. When people try and legalize something they are doing so only for that nation. They are not trying to change the laws of God. True you cannot vote away the Law of Gravity, but you can vote on what forms of marriage are acceptable to the State.
Which brings me to the real point. Does the State dictate God’s Laws? If every state in the USA legalized Homosexual Marriages, and a homosexual couple got married, would that mean that God must then accept that marriage? Of course not, the idea is ridiculous. So why then do we care so much about what is legalized in the Babylonian nations of the world? Shouldn’t we be more worried about obeying God’s laws rather than legislating our religious views in the nations of the world?
Packer went on to say, “To legalize that which is basically wrong or evil will not prevent the pain and penalties that will follow as surely as night follows day.” Is this really true? Does Heavenly Father really care about what the wicked do with their nations? I think that Heavenly Father would rather see that the Saints keep the commandments, than ensure that the wicked don’t legalize gay marriage.
So compare that to the messages of Samuel and Abinadi. Funny enough Brother Packer’s talk is titled, Cleansing the Inner Vessel. Abinadi didn’t go around teaching the people not to legalize bad things. Rather he taught that the leaders of the church were wicked and not following the commandments.
You simply cannot equate our modern leadership with the righteous and often random(meaning outside the church leadership) men of the scriptures.
To bring back the thought about state sponsored marriage. If homosexual marriage that is legal does not mean that God must accept that marriage, what makes us think that God must accept our legal heterosexual marriages? Does that State really play any part in the validity of a marriage in God’s eyes? The simple answer is, No.
It is here I want to refer you to this blog post: http://ldsanarchy.wordpress.com/2010/10/11/marriage-without-a-marriage-license-is-ordained-of-god/
In conclusion are we really stoning the prophets when we examine their messages and find them lacking. When comparing the messages of our “Prophets, Seers, and Revelators” which do not contain prophecies, visions, or revelations; is it stoning them to point that out?
Our Stake President concluded with saying, “we need to be careful when listening to a prophet’s message. We should consider their message carefully.” I agree 100% with that idea. We should do as Deuteronomy states:
1 If there arise among you a prophet, or a dreamer of dreams, and giveth thee a sign or a wonder,
2 And the sign or the wonder come to pass, whereof he spake unto thee, saying, Let us go after other gods, which thou hast not known, and let us serve them;
3 Thou shalt not hearken unto the words of that prophet, or that dreamer of dreams; for the Lord your God proveth you, to know whether ye love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul.