How should we respond if we think a former prophet said something wrong?
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Kat (Gille) TilbyJuly 26, 2020
Thank you, Mark, for a well-thought-out article. When I saw your name at the top I knew this would be worth reading in its entirety. Excellent points presented logically and thoroughly.
AmandaJuly 21, 2020
This is my favorite article that Meridian Magazine has published. I have seen some of these quotes from the past prophets, and while they haven’t shaken my testimony, I know people who have really struggled with the idea that prophets could have said or believed something wrong. I love the idea of responding with faith and humility. We are all imperfect, and prophets are not exempt from mortal flaws or the ideas of their day and culture. Luckily, God can use us and inspire us in spite of our flaws.
BruceJuly 21, 2020
Great article, thank you!
J HamiltonJuly 20, 2020
Not sure if "Vickie" will see this (or anyone else interested), but despite repeated research, so far there is no record of the Prophet Joseph ever receiving a revelation barring blacks from the Priesthood or temple ordinances. In fact, early black Saints were ordained & received temple ordinances (i.e. washing & anointing). Suggestions: first, please look at the Church's website "Gospel Topics" (I know it's easier to read an article and call it good, but please learn to do your own research) under "Race and the Priesthood". Also suggested is Faith Matters podcast by Terryl Givens and Paul Reeve "The Real Story of the Priesthood". Finally, please, please realize that when a man is called as a prophet, the Lord does NOT take away his free agency. It is INCUMBENT on each of us who value our faith, our testimonies, and all we hold dear, to pray, study and ponder about everything that comes across the pulpit. If nothing else, 2020 should teach you that you can no longer idle along on cruise control. Your relationship is with the Savior; others are here merely to help you on the journey.
DoreenJuly 19, 2020
Thank you for this article. I feel it’s important to look to our present day prophets for direction and past prophets are also witnesses of true doctrine. The Lord works with imperfect people and I’m grateful he is still willing to work with me. This article gives me some direction of how to approach discussions of what may appear to be contradictory statements from prophets or maybe are. I so agree with how the past needs to be understood in the time period of which the direction was given and that the Lord works with us where we are at. I have found that studying the doctrine of the church I look to many sources, prophets, conference talks, scripture, prayer, and my own personal experience and revelation, along with priesthood blessings, to come together as a witness of the truth. Not just one statement. . . This is a big topic to ponder on.
vickieJuly 19, 2020
I JOINED the church in 1977 just before revelation regarding all worthy males receiving the priesthood.. i had heard that joseph smith never had any problems accepting anyone who was worthy. . i can imagine how hard it was for him to accept the revelation given to him that not all men could join the priesthood. i had an experience myself regarding this, and when i heard this revelation my heart lept for joy. i dont understand why it did but it did. i called everyone i knew and told them and how exciting this was. I had had a sort of premonition that this was going to happen prior to the news of it. i wont go into detail about it...but it grew my testimony of the church.
CHRISTOPHER DESANTISJuly 19, 2020
What a beautiful article. I especially love the quote by Bruce R. McConkie; if a man like him can accept that light and knowledge are given line upon line, precept on precept, who are we to say otherwise?
Jason SpiesmanJuly 19, 2020
Excellent!! Simply excellent compilation of many gems for which we will either learn to appreciate in faith or kick ourselves out of Christ’s church, hurting so many in our path! We truly need to be “That person is not truly converted until he sees the power of God resting upon the leaders of this church, and until it goes down into his heart like fire.” (HBL) so that we can be useful in the Lord’s hands. WAY TOO MANY of our good brothers and sisters are mislead and deceived. Hopefully, we can be helpful. What greater effort can exist????
Heather ArnettJuly 14, 2020
Well written article. Thank you very much! I loved how you mentioned Elder Oaks referring to presentism and the dangers in that thinking. I feel that is how Satan is attacking our country and its former leaders today. I know we will all be grateful for the mercy for which Heavenly Father affords us, who understands the full context of our hearts, when we are judged for our words, deeds, and actions. He will be kinder than we have been to each other.
Ronald PolsleyJuly 9, 2020
“We don’t have a professional clergy–a paid ministry that gives official interpretation of the scriptures–as we’ve always said we don’t. There’s no office in the Church that qualifies the holder to give the official interpretation of the Church. We’re to read the scriptures for ourselves, as guided by the Spirit.” -Hugh Nibley
Margaret BatesJuly 9, 2020
I appreciate the suggestion of conceptualizing past quotes by church leaders of long ago. I even believe that current-day church leaders can speak either Apostolically, or as a person with a bias in one direction or another. We must always use our own gift of revelation to discern the one from the other. I appreciate this article greatly as I am currently reading "Saints" and am gaining a greater understanding of actions and statements and policies made in the context of their time. Thank you
Oliver KauderieJuly 9, 2020
There is a huge difference between “making mistakes” and teaching false doctrine. Yes we all make mistakes because of our human weaknesses, but teaching false doctrine is what qualifies you as a false prophet.
Chuck SanfordJuly 9, 2020
Decades ago, shortly after my baptism, I recognized that I am a perfect example of how the Lord uses the imperfect things of this world to accomplish His perfect principles. I am so very grateful for what I have learned in His gospel about how to treat other people.
Gregorio BillikopfJuly 9, 2020
I believe that these men of God were called by inspiration and acted by inspiration. The more I read and study their lives the more I am convinced of it. I believe these men were mortal men who, like all of us, made mistakes. Whatever the mistakes, however, when we think we know what those mistakes are, we truly are on the road to apostasy. So my favorite line in this excellent paper is “ ... consider to be flaws ‘may turn out to be divinely sanctioned and divinely directed from an eternal perspective.’” Best wishes from Chile.
Ronald BarnesJuly 9, 2020
Many prophets ago I was given knowledge, pure knowledge, that the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saint is lead by a true prophet of God. What past prophets have told us is important, but not as important as what the current prophet tells us. By that I don't mean Russell M. Nelson only. I mean every man that is the President of the Church at the time, who ever he may be; past, present, and future.
RussellJuly 9, 2020
How do you reconcile this nuanced view of past prophets inaccurate teachings with teachings like? "Prophets are rarely popular, but we will always teach the truth.” - Russell M Nelson, BYU Devotional September 2019 "whether by mine own voice or by the voice of my servants, it is the same." - D&C 1:38 If the prophet acts as the mouthpiece of God (literally the same as His voice) and always teach truth, how can you feel good about discarding what prophets have taught in their official capacity even if those teachings don't appear valid in your personal view?
MimiJuly 9, 2020
I think we tend to idolize our leaders and forget that they can have blind spots. I believe they are inspired and have appreciated and followed their counsel all of my life. But as I have gotten older I have realized all humans have flaws. Studying church history has been eye opening for me and strengthened my testimony of the gospel. Church leaders (like the founding fathers) were passionate and at times disagreed with one another. Recognizing mistakes and past failures helps us to move forward and grow. Let's acknowledge our past mistakes and build the kingdom and become better.
Jeff ThomasJuly 9, 2020
A well grounded article that puts concerns in proper context. Thank you.
Ken LongmoreJuly 9, 2020
I taught this precept to my children many times over the years and it has been a saving grace to them that has allowed their testimonies flourish, unhindered by attacks from those who would “seek to destroy.” Well done. Thank you.
LeaniJuly 9, 2020
Thank you for writing and sharing this. I am about to share it with my family because we discussed this issue just a few days ago. Well done!
AshleyJuly 9, 2020
My heart has been searching for answers that are specifically addressed in this article. This article has brought me peace. Thank you!
TamiJuly 9, 2020
Very well explained and inspiring.
AliJuly 9, 2020
Excellent thoughts. It is the totality of the gospel and miraculous progression that shows God is over this work. So grateful for the trust God has in imperfect me and each one of us.
Janet K CookJuly 9, 2020
This is a well written article, thank you for posting it. What we need to turn our attention to is how we can change the attitudes of people of the church so they are less racist. Racist attitudes abound throughout the church. Granted, they are probably worse in Utah, but there are still people throughout the world who hate people of other races in their country. It would be really, really helpful if we had a church-wide anti-racism curriculum for a year or two so that we could improve the Christlike behavior of our entire church.
Lynn D JohnsonJuly 9, 2020
Timely and astonishingly well researched. You have pulled together some great resources. I think this should be published in the Ensign.
Edward Rehder IIIJuly 9, 2020
Amen and Thank you!
Melissa MarkhamJuly 9, 2020
Thank you so much for this beautiful and insightful discussion of prophets and truth. Like Maeser, I am grateful for the "sticks" that keep us on the path!
Ronald KjarJuly 9, 2020
That's as good and timely an article as perhaps I've ever read. Thank you!
Gloria HouseJuly 9, 2020
Thank the Dear Lord that my salvation will not depend on what any man will say or do. Or what people think. My only judge is the Father of us all.
Taylor StonelyJuly 9, 2020
Thank you for an inspired article! I appreciate you reminding us that our past church leaders were imperfect, and yet, the Lord's purposes were still accomplished.
GilesJuly 9, 2020
Wonderful perspective, nuanced and informed in its explanation. An excellent piece in response to the cancel culture of recrimination and doubt. Thanks.
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