Huge Revelation That Many Mormons Missed


2014-10-1010-president-thomas-s-monson-590x331-ldsorg-articleOne of the central tenets of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is that God reveals His will through living prophets, this is called Modern Revelation.  As an extension of that principle, Latter-day Saints believe it is essential to follow what the Living Prophet says. Twice a year, members of the Church have the opportunity to listen to talks from Church leaders during a semi-annual General Conference. These talks include addresses from the Church’s Prophet. In our day this is President Thomas S. Monson.

Now, if you are a Mormon, like me, you may have noticed that there is a growing number of what are referred to as “cafeteria Mormons.” These are members of the Church who pick and choose what they want to believe. When it comes to following to the Prophet , I find that many of these Mormons want to put words in the Prophet’s mouth rather than listen to what has actually come out of it. When they hear the Prophet speak they excuse themselves from following what he said and instead follow what they wish he said.

I fear that this is why many members of the Church didn’t notice the ground breaking modern revelation that came through President Monson at this latest general conference. If we believe that whatever the Prophet has most recently spoken about a subject is God’s will revealed through modern revelation, then I can only conclude that too many of these “cafeteria Mormons” are stuck in their own traditions and not willing to follow the Prophet.

So just what did the Prophet say most recently that was an amazing revelation? This last weekend(as of this writing) Thomas S. Monson, President and Prophet of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints spoke at General Conference.  He gave two talks, both of which I will talk about here. In his second talk on Sunday morning he said:

 “Essential to the plan is Jesus Christ. Without His atoning sacrifice all would be lost. It’s not enough, however, merely to believe in Him and His mission; we need to work and learn, search and pray, repent and improve. We need to know God’s laws and live them.”

Wow, isn’t that incredible! Unfortunately too many members of the Church will simply gloss over his words or ignore them and continue on doing what they’ve always been doing. They will say, “He didn’t actually mean what he said he really meant(insert-favorite-false-teaching-here).” Others, if you ask them what the Prophet’s most recent message was they will probably draw a blank, so I will reemphasize the crux of what he said:

“We need to know God’s laws and live them.”

What is it President Monson reminded us to know and live? God’s Laws. Notice anything missing? I’m willing to bet those cafeteria Mormons didn’t. But for the sake of clarity I’ll point it out what you probably already know. If you listen to President Monson’s talk you’ll notice he told us to know and keep God’s Laws, yet he never mentioned knowing and keeping Church culture or tradition. He also didn’t mention knowing and keeping Church policies and handbooks. He said, “We need to know GOD’S LAWS and LIVE THEM.

Yet, there are some spurious groups of Church members, including unfortunately, some leaders; that completely missed this modern revelation and continue to take President Monson’s words out of context. God, through President Monson’s most recent words just changed the entire landscape of the Church.

Ok, ok, maybe I’m over reacting a bit. Maybe when he spoke he implied the handbook and other policies even though he didn’t actually say it. But, as you know, implication doesn’t count as modern revelation. However, just to make sure I’m not going crazy here, and to avoid standing on a shaky foundation let’s look at His talk during the Priesthood session of this same Conference.

During this talk President Monson spoke about the Word of Wisdom. At the end of his talk he reaffirmed the importance of observing it by saying:

“May we care for our bodies and our minds by observing the principles set forth in the Word of wisdom; a divinely provided plan. With all my heart and soul I testify of the glorious blessings which await us as we do.”

words-of-wisdom-clip-art-3v3rw6-clipartSo let’s have a quick look at the Word of Wisdom. Looking at the actual text of Section 89 we notice that the revelation contains stuff that is slightly different than what is contained in the modern Church policy and tradition version. That’s not really a problem if you believe that God uses modern revelation through living Prophets to tell us what His will for us NOW is.

Modern Church policy and tradition holds that the Word of Wisdom contains the following provisions, to name a few:

– That that the Word of Wisdom is a commandment.

– That all alcohol use is forbidden.

– That caffeine is forbidden.

– That the don’ts are more important than the dos.

However, the actual text of the Section 89 is somewhat different than what we think of when we hear the phrase “Word of Wisdom.” These differences include:

– It is explicitly stated that it is not to go by way of commandment.

– Wine can be used for the sacrament.

– “Hot drinks,” not explicitly tea and coffee, are forbidden.

– Caffeine is never mentioned.

– “Do’s” such as eating meat sparingly; and that herbs, fruit and meat are to be used with thanksgiving.

– Barley based “mild drinks,” not excluding beer, are acceptable.

It is believed in the Church that modern revelation trumps past revelation. So if the current President of the Church says that we should not drink alcohol even though Section 89 says wine and beer are ok, then we should follow what the living prophet says NOW. I believe most Mormons would agree with this.

So what did President Monson most recently say about the Word of Wisdom? Less than two days(at the time of this writing) ago at the beginning of his Priesthood session talk President Monson said:

“In 1833 the Lord revealed to the prophet Joseph Smith the plan for healthy living. That plan is found in the 89th section of the Doctrine and Covenants and is known as the Word of Wisdom. It gives specific direction regarding the food we eat and it prohibits the use of substances that are harmful to our bodies. Those who are obedient to the Lord’s commandments and who faithfully observe the Word of Wisdom are promised particular blessings among which are good health and added physical stamina.”

Did you catch what President Monson said? He said first that, “the Lord revealed to the prophet Joseph Smith the plan for healthy living.” So he is confirming that the Lord’s plan for healthy living was reveal to Joseph Smith. Then he told us that “That plan is found in the 89th section of the Doctrine and Covenants and is known as the Word of Wisdom.” Here President Monson specifically tells is what he means when he refers to the Word of Wisdom. He specifically stated that he is referring to section 89 when he referred to the Word of Wisdom in his talk. He did NOT say the handbook, Church website, policies, and/or traditions were the correct definition. So I’m not crazy. That is two talks where he told us to obey God’s laws and gave no mention of the handbook, manuals, and policies. He also directly contradicted the Church website and manuals in one talk.

Why isn’t this in the news?! This is huge. President Monson just told us that the Word of Wisdom is the actual text of Section 89 and did not include what the handbook or Church website says about it.

This is seriously a mind blowing change for any Mormon who believes we should Follow the Prophet.

Now I’m sure there are some segments of Mormonism who are probably screaming, “We’ll he may not have said it, but he meant that we should follow the Church’s teachings about the Word of Wisdom and other things.”

But these people are clearly ignoring the doctrine of Modern Revelation. President Monson clearly stated that we need to know and live God’s Laws and that the Word of Wisdom is found in section 89. These members of the Church would rather stick with what was said in the past than what has been said RIGHT NOW. These are the same people who would have stoned the ancient prophets for saying anything other than what they wanted to hear.

Just what are God’s Laws as President Monson mentioned? Well in his second talk he clearly referenced section 89. So maybe the scriptures are a good place to start. As a point of fact the handbook itself says it is not scripture:

17.1.1  Scriptures

The standard works of the Church are the Holy Bible, the Book of Mormon, the Doctrine and Covenants, and the Pearl of Great Price. In many languages, the Church has approved one edition of the Bible to be used in Church meetings and classes. Likewise, the latest authorized edition of the other three books of Latter-day Saint scriptures should be used. No other works are to be promoted or used in the Church as scripture.

Fortunately the scriptures in the standard works are readily available to us. Just crack them open and read. But, to save you some time I’ll summarize a few of God’s Laws here and how this emphasis on God’s Laws, by a modern prophet, will affect us.

Tithing

surplusIn Section 119 God revealed that tithing consists of each person giving their initial surplus to the Bishop. Then yearly for every year after that they are to give 10% of their interest.

This means that unless you give that initial surplus as commanded in Section 119 you cannot be a full tithe payer. After you have done that, only 10% of your interest is required for tithing. Additionally, tithing need not be money only.

Missionary Work

Missionaries are to be guided by God’s Laws in Section 84 and other commandments, which state that they are to go forth without purse or scrip, neither staff nor two coats. They are to receive their subsistence from the generosity of those they encounter. This is so that God may judge the people of that city through their actions(how willing they are to help the poor). Missionaries are also commanded that if they receive money and they have families they need to send it home to them. Or if they don’t have families they should send the money to the bishop.

This means that the missionary program of the Church is going to need a complete overhaul. Any missionaries out there take your white handbook and throw it in the garbage. Any families of missionaries, stop paying into the missionary fund. There is to be no missionary fund. Missionaries will receive their food, clothing, housing, etc. from the generosity of those around them

Divorce

Christ declared in Matthew 5:32 that any man who divorces his wife, except in cases of fornication, and she remarries is causing her and her new husband to commit adultery. We are then under the command given in 1 Corinthians 7:11 that if a man and woman separate(not divorce) then she is to remain unmarried while he is to receive her if she comes back. We should see a lot fewer divorces.

Adultery and Fornication

We are to understand the scriptural meaning of adultery and fornication. That is, adultery is when a man has sexual relations with another man’s wife. This definition does not include a single or married man having sexual relations with a woman who is single. (Exodus 20:14; Deuteronomy 22:22)

Note: Just to clarify, I’m not saying that a single or married man having sexual relations with a single woman outside of marriage not a sin, nor am I advocating such behavior. I’m just saying that according to the scriptural definition it is not adultery. In fact the required act of repentance for such an action is given in the scriptures.

As for fornication we are to understand that it is a broad term referring to sexual sin and not specifically unmarried persons having sex. (Matthew 15:19; Jacob 3:12)

Sacrament

86439859The church will kneel together when the sacrament is blessed. While water may be used for the sacrament wine is also allowed. Priests will only administer the sacrament when and elder is not present. (Section 20:40, 46, 50, 58, 76; Section 27:1-5;

Elders

As contained in Section 20 elders are to administer the bread and wine in the sacrament. Additionally they are to take the lead of all meetings. Elder are also to travel to preach the gospel. (Section 20:38-45, 66; Section 124:139, 140)

This means that Bishops will not be the presiding authority at Church meetings, though they will still be in charge of the temporal needs of members in Wards.

Priests

First of all Priests will not be limited to a certain age group. It will now become common for grown men to be priests. Additionally, when elders are present they are NOT allowed to administer the Sacrament. But when elders are not present they may take the lead of meetings. Priests are also to assist elders in travelling and preaching the gospel. (Section 20:46-52)

Teachers and Deacons

Teachers will watch over the church and make sure the church gathers to meet. Teachers will not be involved in administering the sacrament. But they will take the lea d of meetings when neither an elder nor priest are present. (Section 20:53-58)

Deacons will not participate in administering the sacrament. (Section 20:58)

Word of Wisdom

I already touched on this but I’ll summarized again here. To start off the Word of Wisdom is no longer to be considered a commandment. Additionally wine is acceptable for use in the sacrament(a much better symbol than water by the way). Third you can drink barley based “mild drinks,” not excluding beer, and still say you keep the word of wisdom. Eating meat sparingly and fruit in season with thanksgiving is on equal footing with all of the “don’ts.”

Gathering to Zion

We can now give up the so-called “spiritual gathering,” where members are called to gather and build Zion where they are. We must prepare to physically gather to Zion and the Lord will prepare the way for this to happen (Section 101:67-69).

I don’t think I need to go on much more. I’m sure you think I’m coo-coo-bananas at this point. But you have the scriptures, you can read for yourself. This is a very interesting time in Mormonism. President Monson has just given us modern revelation that we are to know and live God’s Laws. At the same time  he did not emphasize the need to follow the handbook, when he could have. Thus in light of President Monson’s most recent words we can surmise that in cases where the Laws of God conflict with the handbook, policies, and culture; we should follow God’s Laws.  As I showed earlier proof of this view was given in his Priesthood Session talk where he did not use the Church’s website reference to abstaining from all alcohol, and instead used Section 89 which allows wine for sacrament and beer.

businessman_at_crossroadsMembers of the church now stand at a cross roads. Do we say President Monson implied something that he never said, or do we listen to what he actually said? Do we continue to follow the traditions and policies of the Church the conflict with God’s laws, or are we going to Follow the Prophet?

Preach My Gospel says this:

“Those who listen to and follow the counsel of living prophets and apostles will not go astray. The teachings of living prophets provide an anchor of eternal truth in a world of shifting values and help us avoid misery and sorrow. The confusion and strife of the world will not overwhelm us, and we can enjoy the assurance of being in harmony with God’s will.”

Are you willing to listen to what the Prophet, President Monson, has said most recently? Or are you still stuck in the past. For me I will stand with President Monson. No matter what my fellow members say about me, or what discipline I may face from Church Leaders, at least I can stand firm and solemnly declare I was not being led astray, because I was willing to Follow the Prophet.

“May we ever be courageous and prepared to stand for what we believe, and if we must stand alone in the process, may we do so courageously, strengthened by the knowledge that in reality we are never alone when we stand with our Father in Heaven.” – President Monson, October 2011

Dare to be a Mormon;

Dare to stand alone.

Dare to have a purpose firm;

Dare to make it known.

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17 Responses to Huge Revelation That Many Mormons Missed

  1. Liz says:

    This is awesome. And spot on.

  2. Matt Chadwick says:

    New revelation. ? I quoted the same words to my children a day previous of president monson. Those are words from the 1970s film man search for happiness. Good text about the difference between salvation and exaltation. Not new revelation.

    Matt

  3. TheChurchisTrue says:

    Can we cool it with the Snuffer cynicism?

  4. I think that’s a great comment by Thomas Monson, but I wouldn’t qualify it as revelation. It seems to me that revelation is announced as such in the scriptures. It comes with a “thus saith the Lord” or the like.

    I’m not discounting the validity of his words, or even that they should not (though will be) discounted by members of the church. I just think we need to be very careful about what we call “revelation.”

    In the early history of the church revelation received a ratifying vote of common consent in order to be considered binding by the church. We’ve moved away from that standard and seem all too willing to label things revelation when it suits us.

    I actually think this issue contributes to the group of “cafeteria Mormons” attitudes the author condemns in his post.

  5. Charlie says:

    So what about Plural Marriage?

    • zo-ma-rah says:

      I specifically avoided that topic on purpose. People are already dismissing this as “oh you just want to justify drink beer.” If I included Plural Marriage. I’m sure even more people would dismiss it as me trying to justify having sex with more than one woman.

      But, I’m not done exploring Plural Marriage on my blog.

  6. Sam Young says:

    Rock Waterman introduced this on a facebook post as being somewhat tongue-in-cheek. Well, Rock, I respectfully disagree. I take this analysis as dead on accurate. “We need to know God’s laws and live them.” How can any member take this as tongue-in-cheek? Especially, when spoken by the living Prophet.

    Mike, Great Job!!! I’d like to add one clear & concise commandment that to your list: the Law of Common Consent. Neglected and disobeyed for decades. The church will continue to lose hundreds of thousands of members until this mandate of God is implemented. If we all started drinking ice tea, the church would do just fine. If we don’t start living Common Consent, the church is headed for more destruction. It has already been destroyed in the hearts of 70% of those who once called themselves Mormons. Our forbidden history, our harmful doctrine, and our damaging policies are rapidly pursuing the 30% who are left. Common Consent can’t fix our dreadful history. But, the bad doctrine and policies can be corrected. Not by the whims of 15 men. Rather, by the collective wisdom of the Saints.

    In the past week, 254 members have stepped forward into the light of Common Consent. We invite any who strongly disapprove of church policies to join us.

    “The Register of Common Consent–A Record of Those Who Disapprove” is found here:
    https://www.gopetition.com/petitions/register-for-voting-opposed.html

  7. erichard111 says:

    I appreciate your wry effort to wake members up. We can only hope!

    Faithful members covenant to live the Law of the Gospel as contained in the Doctrine and Covenants. Thus, the church has a GOVERNMENT BY LAW, and not a GOVERNMENT BY MEN.

    Not even the President of the church (whom the church calls the Prophet) is above the law. Members have the LEGITIMATE right to NOT sustain President Monson when they develop a controversy over him that does not get resolved. If it came to it, there could be a trial over President Monson to end the controversy. And it would not be a mock trial: it is possible that President Monson could be removed from office. That is how things work in a government by law.

    Those that try to place President Monson above any possible error, teaching the false doctrine that God would never allow him to fail the church, are simply denying the revelations of God. (D&C 107:81-84)

    That doctrine is idolatry, which in Old Testament times was spoken of as spiritual adultery. The spirit of that doctrine IS the pacified spirit that leads one to hell warned of in 2 Nephi 28:21

    The Lord is trying the Saints in all things as promised in D&C 136:31. In particular, I believe the Lord is trying the Saints with a situation where they need to learn to stand on their own, independent of any brother, leader or even Prophet. (JST Mark 9:40-48)

    Thus today, the true Spirit will guide a faithful member to NOT sustain President Monson or any of the present LDS leadership.

    But I realize that those that love the spirit of idolatry with all their hearts should not be criticized. Let them live with their choice and its consequences.

  8. tsurfdude says:

    I agree with what you have said, however for the sake of discussion and some entertainment want to say this:

    But aren’t the handbook and policy changes overseen and approved by the President of the Church? And if not directly the President, then one of the 12 sustained as prophets seers and revelators? So although they may not have verbally said in the past conference that you also need to follow the hand book and the various church policies, because their pen signed them, and they have approved them, does that also not obligate you to obey all of those as well?

    Otherwise aren’t you just as much a cafeteria member by only choosing the obey what was voiced from the GC pulpit? Pres Monson elsewhere has born testimony of the Church Hand Book of Instructions. So are you not then also obligated to learn of and follow it?

    • zo-ma-rah says:

      I agree that I may have stretched a bit far in this post. But at the very least we should take take President Monson’s statement to ranks in order of importance God’s Laws, then Handbook. So President Monson’s most recent statement would mean that yes the handbook may be important but God’s Laws trump it. So in a situation where God’s Laws and the handbook are contradictory we should follow God’s laws.

      • tsurfdude says:

        Oh, I quite enjoyed the stretch in your post, I may share it with some friends. We both know God’s law trumps mans policies. Problem is, many LDS folks are much more well versed in policies than God’s laws. So in that sense, I hope every LDS member takes Pres Monson’s message to heart. I know I am going to. I am very very very interested in God’s laws and plan to do just as Pres Monson said. Learn them and then ask God for sufficient grace and humility to obey them. Policies be damned…. because they surely will be. Anything not form God will ultimately prove damning.

  9. Alicia says:

    At first I thought you had a good point, but then the more I read I realized you are way, way off the mark. I won’t be reposting this. You are digging too deep and essentially presenting excuses for why the saints should now completely ignore current church policy. Our prophet didn’t say anything of the sort; you have taken an absolutely insane idea and run ran a mile with it.

  10. Andrew says:

    Obviously satire. Honestly, I’m just too tired of these subjects to even find it amusing though. Over at places like Millennial Star they write up articles just like this one, except they are serious. The total dearth of anything that could be reasonably termed as “revelation” just isn’t funny anymore, it’s pathetic. What’s sad is that members are so thirsty for something real that they will engage in the sort of rationalizations demonstrated by the author of this article. Conference is like a huge seance. Some really rough times ahead I think. A time will come when there is some real strife happening in the world and the pablum simply won’t cut it.

  11. Isaac says:

    Wow dude, first question: before this conference started, how badly were you hoping to glean a landslide revelation from what was said? How badly did you want to be the one to proudly proclaim your pious wisdom your humble blog readers and have them be struck with the fact that you’re right? Because honestly? That’s how this whole article reads, page after page of reaching for “landslide revelations” that just aren’t there.
    Let’s look at what you found: the prophet said “know Gods laws and live them,” then he said that we should live the principles set forth in the Word of Wisdom and that the word of wisdom was found in D&C 89..
    Seriously man? Seriously? That’s where you’re getting pages of drivel about throwing out church policy?! You say that there are those who will put words in the prophets mouth, who will only hear what they want to hear, and I’m here to say that of course he meant EXACTLY what he said. As I say that, let me point out a few things the prophet did NOT say, things that YOU are “wishing he meant.”
    He did NOT say “we should know Gods law and love it…that means we need to throw out church policy”
    He did NOT say “we should live the principles set forth in the D&C 89 and ignore everything that’s been revealed about it since then.”
    And guess what, if that’s what he had meant? THATS WHAT HE WOULD HAVE SAID! Honestly, in applying all of these non said things to the prophet, this is one of the best examples of “cafeteria Mormonism” that I’ve seen in a long time!
    Two final thoughts here, if you think that this is “landslide revelation” because either of these statements have never been made before, then you seriously need to do some more studying of church doctrine, because there are literally hundreds of examples. And lastly, you are correct about church culture adding frivolous and/or incorrect commandments to true doctrine, however that has always been the case, has never been accepted by upper church leadership, and could hardly be considered a new revelation. Literally the only value that I can glean from this article is to beware of cultural doctrines or commandments, which is true.

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