Two Models

If you came here looking for an article on attractive women you’ve come to the wrong place. Things are about to get ugly…very ugly.

Ok maybe it’s not all that bad. But during Christmas I had some conversations with my father about religion, revelation, policies etc. I came to realize there are at least two models in looking at church history and early revelation versus modern revelation. I will call these the foundational model and the framework model. By looking at these models I came to understand more about differing and how I can to my current views. I hope you enjoy this short little article.

Foundational Model

The Foundational Model views the early revelations and work of Joseph Smith as preparatory work. It laid the foundation for the church. Each succeeding generation build another layer on the foundation. Each layer is directed as the Lord sees fit. While a certain revelation may have applied to a previous layer; that revelation may or may not be applicable to our current layer.

In this model we listen to the direction of the leaders of the church and do it. Their direction dictates what we must do in our present layer. So it doesn’t matter what a previous leader said.

Layer by layer the Kingdom of God is build. We move from an incomplete foundation, towards complete and perfect house.

Why are priests not allowed to administer the sacrament when an elder is present in Section 20? Yet, in the CHI priest are supposed to pass the sacrament when elders are present. Which do we follow? Well of course the CHI because that dictates what we are to do during this “layer.”

Framework Model

The Framework model views the early revelations and work of Joseph Smith as establishing a framework rather than a foundation. The house is then built in and around the framework. Each generation does the same work within the same framework.

In this model the early revelations are the framework and stand forever. They cannot be contradicted by later revelations.

Rather then each generation building their own layer, all generations are bound together in accomplishing the same work. For example the revelations say to gather Israel to cities of Zion. Instead of that being the work of a generation 100 years ago, it is our work today. We take what they have done and do our part to see it is accomplished.



I’ve used this picture to illustrate the results of the Foundational Model. Let’s say this, it’s not pretty. Without a framework to work within, each layer is built differently. There is no anchor to ensure that the house remains true and straight.

One layer may focus on Plural Marriage, while another focuses on paying Tithing. The results are grossly disproportionate.


With this model the result is a beautifully built house. It is proportionate and built as the Master intended.

The biggest reason I have heard for support of the Foundational Model is that it is easy. A person does not have to study “all that other stuff.” Instead they can just listen to conference talks read the CHI and feel they are doing what they are supposed to. They just have to have faith that what they have been taught is correct.

I do not subscribe to the Foundational Model. Rather I believe that revelations from God and early work of the church established a framework. I don’t believe God will command one people to do one thing and succeeding generations to do another. God commanded us to literally gather Israel to Cities of Zion. There has never been a revelation commanding that to stop. Same thing with consecration, just because a current leader does not teach these things does not mean they are not commanded today.

I cannot have faith in what my leaders teach. I can only have faith in God. The framework has been established and it is up to us to build the Kingdom within that framework.

However, today the Church seems to support the Foundational Model. And with Correlation I predict the church will become more and more streamlined and efficient. But this will come at the expense of the framework God established. The church will become “more catholic than the Catholics.”

We cannot simply sit in church and accept everything that comes from the manuals. We must search the revelations of God. But we must also act upon those revelations. Just because Brother Thomas does not tell us to Gather to Cities of Zion does not mean the command is no longer required. God does not need to tell us more than once. He has already spoken in His revelations. If we read them and do not work to fulfill them, regardless of what Church leaders say, we will be held in condemnation for not being obedient to God.

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4 Responses to Two Models

  1. Monmon says:

    Ah, but I’ve heard some use the “Framework” model as a way to justify just about anything. If the early church revelations established a “framework,” then every single decision every made can be seen as merely filling in said framework. Everything from correlation, to extensions of the priesthood, to anything and everything else is merely working within that framework. The framework is seen as a “rough draft” whereby the details aren’t discussed, just the schematics. As such, future “revelations” or “inspirations” or whatever are merely filling in those details left out when the framework was provided.

    • Dave P. says:

      Going back to the vision Nephi received of the ship he was commanded to build and Joseph Smith’s vision of the Kirtland temple, I wish to propose a third model: The Agency Model. The Lord gave us our agency and has freely offered His guidance every step of the way. It is entirely possible to receive revelation and guidance for the foundation, framework, exterior, interior, etc., every step of the way with the covenant that He will do what He says if we do what He commands us.

      In fact, we’re commanded to seek His guidance and repent on a daily basis lest we fall and or/bring curses upon us instead of blessings. Joseph Smith was repeatedly warned not to give in to carnal desires or he would fall (see Section 3) and the Lord explicitly states what will happen in doing what He’s said vs. not doing it in regards to the Nauvoo temple in Section 124, 47-48. He will give warnings and inform us of the consequences, but will never impede on our agency, even if we get some things right at first and then mess up later (as was the case with the 116 pages).

  2. Justin says:

    Concerning a foundational model:

    I don’t think it would be unreasonable for a contractor to expect that, given a particular foundation he/she has laid out and poured, that were he/she not to be at the job-site on the day the crew started to build the framework — that the crew would build the frame within the bounds set by the foundation. Aren’t they looking at the same construction plans that the contractor used to pour the foundation?

    My point is — I’m fine with Joseph having poured the foundation and then left the job-site [mortality] with the construction plans [scriptures] in the hands of the crew. Now there is a test established for the next contractor/crew [church] — what will your building look like? Will you follow the outline given in the foundation and in the plans — or will your building be a new one of your own design [as your picture in the post represents].

    I think that we can arrive at both of the building pictures [crazy house and Kirtland temple] given a foundational model — which one we arrive at is the test that the Lord has placed upon each succeeding generation of church members.

  3. Chase says:

    @ Justin-However, I think church history informs us that we have not followed the construction plans.

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