Bracing myself for LDS General Conference

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It’s that time of year again, when my Twitterfeed starts exploding with memes related to this weekend’s General Conference.

Indeed, there are lots of reasons for Mormons to get excited. Talks will be given. Cinnamon rolls will be eaten. More cinnamon rolls will be eaten.

Moreover, the opening session of General Conference – the women’s meeting that happened last Saturday – was downright wonderful. The Relief Society’s focus on helping refugees and the emphasis of the whole “I Was a Stranger” program made me so happy.

That session inspired me to do more, to be more, and isn’t that the point of General Conference?

So why am I going into this weekend’s meetings with a spirit of grim resolve?

I’m reminded of an experience I had years ago when taking a group of kids trick-or-treating. At the very first house we went to, two-year-old Tyler got clobbered with the screen door and had to be comforted by his mother with copious hugs and an advance on his candy take for the evening.

When he was finally ready to proceed to the next house, Tyler mustered his courage and got through the ordeal without a problem. Then he proudly held up his pumpkin treat bag to show off its newest sugary addition.

“And Mommy!” he announced excitedly. “That guy didn’t even hit me in the head!”

Somehow after his initial experience Tyler had gotten the impression that trick or treating was going to be a kind of quid pro quo in which he submitted himself for abuse in exchange for candy.

He was over the moon to learn he could receive the candy without getting bloodied in the process.

The First Presidency at the General Women's Session on Saturday, March 26, 2016 in the Conference Center. Copyright Intellectual Reserve, Inc. All rights reserved.

The First Presidency at the General Women’s Session on Saturday, March 26, 2016 in the Conference Center. Copyright Intellectual Reserve, Inc. All rights reserved.

It’s a dramatic example, I know, but there’s a part of me that feels this way about General Conference. It’s billed as something amazing and wonderful, and sometimes it is those things for me (see here and here), but there’s often a part of me that’s bracing to be punched in the nose.

Like when our church leaders say that certain families that don’t fit our mold are counterfeit.

Or when they have the opportunity to select new leaders who reflect our church’s global diversity but instead default to three white men from Utah.

Or when they tell us that the gospel has to be all-or-nothing, and “selective obedience” is only practiced by people who give lip service to loving and honoring God. (For the record, selective obedience is what provides me with the ability to understand that a church that is 90% true is absolutely worth sticking around for despite my disagreements. Without selective obedience, I would no longer be Mormon, end of story.)

Yesterday I spoke with a reporter who wanted to know how progressive Mormons are feeling about this weekend, given that this is the first General Conference that has occurred since the LGBT policy change in November began defining some LGBT members as apostates and their children as unwelcome to receive baptism, baby blessings, and other rites of a Mormon childhood.

I can’t speak for others, but I’ll tell you how I feel: very apprehensive. Honestly, it has seemed to me that ever since that policy was leaked so disastrously, church leaders have made the problem even worse by attempting to dig in their heels and defend it — most notably in January when Elder Nelson insisted that the new exclusions were founded in a revelation from God.

And yet I will go to General Conference, and I will try – using the best tools of selective obedience – to discern what is truthful and eternal among any remarks that are made because of fear, cultural conditioning, and human limitations.

I will pray for my leaders, and for myself, that we can all better glimpse what it means to live as God’s children.

I will listen for a prophet’s voice, just as the memes encourage me to do. But I will do so on my own terms.


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  • George Nixon Shuler

    I wonder if Glen Beck has a booth in the exhibit hall? His Bishop ought to reign him in; Beck’s bizarre uttering coupled with his well-publicized conversion to LDS, is the thing working the hardest against showing how y’all can be good people. At of people tolerate antigay hatred from church leaders; tolerating a screaming adolescent shock jock who incites violence as he did against the elderly professor Frances Fox Piven is something else.

  • Yeah, me too. It’s sad that it’s such a welcome surprise when I find myself actually inspired by Conference, and that it’s so much more common for things to come up like the ones you cited, or President Packer’s infamous “why would a loving Heavenly Father do that to anyone” line.

  • Allen Warner

    I am also apprehensive. I regularly wish that General Authorities would just stop talking about homosexuality, gay marriage, religious freedom, political correctness, persecution for speaking the truth and any of the other subtle ways of referring to the issue. I would love to go to church and listen to General Conference without any shots fired in the culture wars. I note that Dallin H. Oaks recently called for a ceasefire in these wars. I hope he and the rest of the speakers at conference can manage to abide by it. I used to love General Conference. I would like to enjoy it again.

  • I share your apprehension Jana. I can’t watch ldsconf w family any more – everyone watching the only liberal of the family to feel appropriately chastised until I cave in repentance to the true and conservative ways of the Lord. (sigh) Elder Nelson’s remarks make me reaaallly nervous we’re going to get some retrenchment.

    Allen good call on the waiting to see if leaders are legit about ending the “culture wars.” If yall want it to end you need to quit stoking the flames.

  • Earl Parsons

    I’m curious to see if President Monson will share the revelation that led to the exclusion policy with the rest of the church. I’m sure many saints would love to hear about this important revelation on this important topic.

    Most likely he won’t say anything about the policy or marriage equality at all, just like he hasn’t mentioned it in any of the 220 general conference talks he’s given.

  • Bryant Cole

    Your last sentence seems jumbled and not intact. Or did you spill your coffee in your lap while typing??? Please restate, if you can.

  • Elder Anderson

    When was the last time a prophet spoke for God? After all, the definition of a prophet is “messenger”. He or she merely passes along the Lord’s words verbatim. You’d think that when the Lord had a message, somebody would be taking dictation or getting it on video. When Joseph Smith had a revelation, he wrote it down in a book as the Lord’s words, not his own, there for all to read.

  • Porter

    Elder Dale Renlund posted this hopeful message on Facebook three days ago: “We can stand firm in our beliefs and have a loving relationship with those who hold differing opinions. For example, I believe drinking alcohol is a violation of God’s law. So what do I do when I am hosting friends who do not believe as I do? My wife and I arrange to go to a restaurant with them where they can order as they choose to. And when they order wine with their meal, I do not get in their faces and call them out as sinners.

    Similarly, can I be friends with individuals who are living together without the benefit of marriage? Absolutely. And when I am with them, do I stand up in great indignation and call them to repentance, even though they are presently engaged in behavior I do not agree with? No, of course not.
    We can stand firm in our beliefs and have a loving relationship with those who hold differing opinions.”

    Now THAT is the kind of message I hope we hear at conference this weekend!

  • JR

    “…the definition of a prophet is ‘messenger’. He or she merely passes along the Lord’s words verbatim. You’d think that when the Lord had a message, somebody would be taking dictation or getting it on video. When Joseph Smith had a revelation, he wrote it down in a book as the Lord’s words, not his own…” Elder Anderson

    That is one definition of “prophet.” There are others. e.g., one of Wilford Woodruff’s was “anybody is a prophet who has the testimony of Jesus Christ, for that is the spirit of prophecy.” See Revelation 19:10. Your view of Joseph’s revelations as stenographic transmittal of the Lord’s words may be common, if it is not in error, it is at least called into question by the freedom with which Joseph made changes and additions after the first publication of some of them. I suspect there are other ways of understanding revelation and Joseph’s writing style.

    Thank you, Porter, for giving us non-Facebookers that quotation from Elder Renlund.

  • Elder Anderson

    I’m not here to nitpick about word definitions. The word prophet comes from a Greek word meaning “spokesman”, so that is the literal meaning. The prophet merely passes along the Lord’s revelation.

    Then do you think a revelation is? My question is, when is the last time an LDS prophet delivered and recorded a revelation? Joseph Smith wrote down what the Lord said. When is the last time an LDS prophet wrote down what the Lord gave him as a revelation?

  • Rod Johnson

    Joseph F. Smith, 1918, President Spencer W. Kimball, 1978? Priesthood to all worthy males.

  • Steve Warren

    Me, too, Jana. But I must confess that I also feel that nearly all the talks will bore me because we too often strive to utter safe “correlated” words, which stems from our excessive obedience theology. Still, I’ll view 4 hours or so and hope for the best.

    “You must work through the Spirit. If that leads you into conflict with the program of the Church, you follow the voice of the Spirit.” (Elder S. Dilworth Young, First Council of the Seventy, 1945)

  • Elder Anderson

    Really? What were the Lord’s exact words in those two cases?

  • Rod Johnson

    So, read them. If you have a real desire to understand, you will. Otherwise, more grist for your mill. I suspect that to be the case.

  • Elder Anderson

    So, I found a link to the 1978 reference you gave. It says that Kimball received a revelation. Nowhere does it report the words of the Lord. I want to see an example of a prophet saying “I received *this* revelation, and here is what the Lord said.” Not, “I received a revelation that the church ought to do…”.

    https://www.lds.org/scriptures/dc-testament/od/2

    It seems to me that Joseph Smith received revelations all the time, and he recorded them. What, for example, were the Lord’s latest words to President Monson? The Church announced he had a revelation recently. Where can I read what the Lord said?

  • Fred M

    I have yet to meet a member of the church who doesn’t practice selective obedience, Jana! We all do. We live the parts of the gospel that we agree with, and ignore or explain away the parts of it that we don’t (the Word of Wisdom’s verses about meat are a perfect example of this). The important thing is not to judge other people because their selective obedience is different than yours.

  • Mike

    How do you know when the prophet is speaking as a man? His lips are moving!

  • JR

    Elder Anderson, Etymology can be relevant, but does not determine the meaning of a word as it is used by different people at different times. You assert that “The prophet merely passes along the Lord’s revelation.” It appears that you are not interested in any possible use of the words “prophet” and “revelation” other than the meanings you ascribe to them.

    Similarly, I am not interested in your question, as I understand it. This lack of interest and the lack of shared understanding make further conversation pointless. I hope you find an answer that satisfies you.

  • Elder Anderson

    As I said, I’m not here to quibble over word meanings. Do you have one example of a prophet other than Joseph Smith relaying the words of the Lord, as in “The Lord said ….”?

    This question is relevant to Jana’s post. One reason that many LDS members find GC less interesting and inspiring than it could be is that many of the talks are simply a re-hash of what other prophets have said!

    Wouldn’t it be awesome, just once, to hear what the Lord has to say? You’d think that in all the years of GC at least one prophet would relay the Lord’s words to us. I don’t assert the speakers are or are not prophets, by any definition. I assert these men and women do not tell us what the Lord has to say in His own words, as Joseph Smith did. These men are the successors to Joseph Smith and hold all the keys. Why does the Lord not speak through them?

  • Elder Anderson

    Please give me your understanding and definition of the words “prophet” and “revelation”? You claim I’m not interested, but I’ve asked a couple of times.

  • George

    ThomasT,

    I missed it. When did Jana say she was right 100% of the time? Or claim to speak for God? I’ve not heard either.

    (Almost funny, by the way, giving her a homework assignment after calling her to repentance. Yikes.)

  • Jacob

    I’m confused, if you’re not ceartin that Thomas Spencer Monson is the Lord’s chosen prophet then why be a member of the church over which he presides? The concept of a living prophet is one of the primary aspects that differentiates the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints from other churches/religions.

  • Elder Anderson

    What are you confused about? Why not be a member? Did anybody say they didn’t think Monson was the Lord’s chosen prophet? Why can’t a person disagree with a prophet and not be a member? What’s wrong with that? Do think every person who thinks Barack Obama ought not to have been elected President or disagrees with any of his policies should renounce his or her US citizenship and move to another country?

  • Steve Warren

    Re: Do you have one example of a prophet other than Joseph Smith relaying the words of the Lord, as in “The Lord said ….”?

    In the Deseret News of June 18, 1873, Brigham Young is quoted as saying “God revealed to me” that Adam is our father and God. I think that’s roughly equivalent to “The Lord said.”

  • Señor Chang
  • HarryStamper

    The author here likened a general conference talk as to being “punched in the nose.” She didn’t like Elder Perry’s remarks about “families that don’t fit our mold are counterfeit.” Elder Perry specifically mentioned “counterfeit and alternative lifestyles that try to replace the family organization that God Himself established.” Someone proclaiming God ordains marriage between a man and woman is like a punch in the nose???….take a breath….there’s no more simple and basic message as that. The author also feels punched in the nose because at the last conference 3 “white men from Utah” were called to the Quorum of the 12 Apostles. Three “white men”……so skin color punched you in the nose…??? Offended you….??? As quoted often on this blog…”all are a like unto God”….God does not practice affirmative action contrary to the author’s wishes.

  • Geoff – Aus

    If we have talks about loving unconditionally, or as God loves can we take it that the Lord inspired them, so that others might question the treatment of gays and their children? I will.

  • Jacob

    The way I see it, Monson either is a prophet or he isn’t. If he does occupy that sacred office I would advise heeding his teachings even if they don’t align with one’s worldview.

  • A Happy Hubby

    In 1978 it was to change an errant policy. I don’t understand why we need a “revelation” to change a policy. It is just confusing.

    Then Elder Packard mentions the proclamation on the family as revelation in conference, then that word is changed when the Ensign text comes out.

    It feels to me that in my nearly 60 years of life I have not seen anything that feels like revelation that helps me guide my life any different than just “try to be like Christ”.

  • Elder Anderson

    I suppose you follow the Lord’s version of affirmative action? You believe in 100% obedience?

    “If a man has sexual relations with a man as one does with a woman [they] are to be put to death..” Leviticus 20:13

    “I permit no woman to teach or have authority over men; she is to keep silent.” Timothy 2:11

    “No man who is blind or lame, disfigured or deformed [must] approach the altar, and so desecrate my sanctuary.” Leviticus 21:17-18

    “A man or woman who is a medium or spiritist among you must be put to death.” Leviticus 20:27

    seer noun

    a person who is supposed to be able, through supernatural insight, to see what the future holds. synonyms: soothsayer, oracle, prophet, …

  • R

    Beck is the anti-missionary

  • R

    What about the Seer and Revealator part

  • Allen Warner

    @Elder Anderson

    The definition of prophet combines two of my main interests: language and religion.

    The word prophet comes from a Greek term that means “one who speaks forth”. This actually comes from a General Conference talk, I think by Elder Oaks, where he discussed the etymology of the term and how it related to a prophet’s role.

    A prophet is someone who speaks for God. In the church, the prophet is occasionally referred to as the mouthpiece of the Lord, or the Lord’s spokesman.

    So, when is the prophet speaking for God? Most members would agree it is when they are inspired by the Holy Ghost.

    The most committed members say prophets are always inspired, but most of them don’t follow everything they say, instead following some things very closely and completely ignoring others. Many active and almost all less-active members clearly believe prophets are *not* always inspired, meaning a large majority of Mormons believe prophets make mistakes.

  • Elder Anderson

    To be clear, I have not been addressing the issue of “infallibility” nor “speaking as a man”.

    My question was: if modern prophets are truly receiving the words of the Lord in the form of revelations, then what are the Lord’s words? Joseph Smith recorded the Lord’s words. He didn’t say “I got a message from the Lord, and now *I* am telling you what to do.” Here is what JS said:

    “Where there is a prophet, a priest, or a righteous man unto whom God gives his oracles [i.e. “words” or “messages”], there is the kingdom of God; and where the oracles are not, there the kingdom of God is not.”

    For example, regarding gay marriage, Apostle Nelson said, “Each of us during that sacred moment felt a spiritual confirmation… It was our privilege as apostles to sustain what *had been revealed* to President Monson.”

    So, the Lord spoke to Monson. What did the Lord say to him? What has the Lord said to *any* modern LDS prophet?

  • Micah

    When one’s “worldview” entails excluding other earnest homo sapiens, it’s time to reevaluate the prowess of your prophet.

  • HarryStamper

    Micah…great comment….because it’s the reverse of the truth. The Church invites all to come unto Christ or participate with the church and it’s programs. The people who don’t…exclude themselves. Even the front of church buildings say “Visitors Welcome”…..non-members, in-active members even active members make their choice. For example, did God exclude Adam and Eve from the Garden of Eden or did their behavior exclude themselves? God was left with no choice but to banish them but He provided a way back…this process continues today for Adam’s posterity.

  • Elder Anderson

    1. Being born gay isn’t a behavior, nor is it a choice.

    2. God did have a choice. He banished them to prevent them eating from the tree of life and becoming immortal.

    3. The LDS church has a choice. Let gay people marry and accept them as they are. Getting married, having sex, and having a family are all valid choices for gay people.

  • A Happy Hubby

    Elder Anderson – if it make you feel any better, I get what you are asking and I actually have a bit of the same question.

  • Jacob

    Having an earnest belief in something doesn’t necessarily make it true. I’ve spoken with people who genuinely believe that President Obama is a Sunni Muslim.

  • Allen Warner

    I may misunderstand your question, but, yes, some of the sections in the Doctrine and Covenants are written as coming directly from the Lord. Others are not, yet they were voted on and accepted as scripture by members who knew Joseph Smith personally.

    The only way of knowing whether the President of the church, the Apostles or anyone else is speaking the truth is to find it out for ourselves. We have to use our own power to try to figure it out (think about it, study it, etc.) then rely on the Spirit to confirm or reject our conclusion or to take us beyond what we can figure out on our own if there isn’t enough information available. Perhaps few members do this today, but it is the pattern Joseph Smith himself followed.

    I do not think that Elder Nelson’s words are proof that the Lord spoke to Pres. Monson about gay marriage, by the way. It may have been his own assumption or belief. It doesn’t mean that Pres. Monson said he received a revelation on the matter.

  • credulous

    Jacob, Are you implying that you have an earnest belief that President Obama is NOT a Sunni Muslim? What next?!

  • Elder Anderson

    “It doesn’t mean … received a revelation.”

    Oh really? Well, read the entire speech on LDS.org and Nelson describes the process. It sounds pretty specific and assured to me. Plus, Nelson says *all* of them sustained the revelation, not just him. Are you saying all those guys didn’t even know what they were sustaining?

    https://www.lds.org/church/news/president-nelson-encourages-lds-millennials-to-be-morally-courageous?lang=eng

  • Sadly Mormon

    The only problem with Elder Nelson’s faith-promoting statement is that the exclusion policy appears to have been “revealed” to President Monson by Kirton & McConkie. I doubt the Lord had much to do with it.

  • Steve Warren

    The big story at this general conference may be President Monson’s health, particularly if the title of the song is changed to “We Thank Thee, O God, for a First Counselor.” (Now that would really energize the revelation debate.)

  • Allen Warner

    You bring up an issue that needs to be addressed someday. Ezra Taft Benson was not well in the last years of his life. I saw him speak at the Portland Temple dedication. He kind of rambled at one point. It was clear he was beginning to suffer from some degree of dementia. At another time, I remember one of his counselors making a point of saying that they took every decision to him for a yes/no approval, which made it clear that he was only ceremonially involved in leading the church. I also remember one of his sons, Steve Benson, who was a successful editorial cartoonist, saying that he was leaving the church over the way his father’s health problems were swept under the carpet (as a last straw sort of thing).

    I didn’t think that their omission was deceitful then and I still don’t. I do think that it would be harder to keep something like that private today. What will happen if a prophet has significant dementia and it is well-known?

  • Allen Warner

    Excuse me. Steve Benson is the grandson of Ezra Taft Benson.

  • Fred M

    I’d say it’s a lot more than “some.” The vast majority of revelations in D&C are written as coming directly from the Lord. Then when Joseph Smith died, that seems to have died out as well. I’ve always wondered why. A difference in style I guess? When receiving revelation Joseph spoke as if he were literally the mouthpiece of God. Everyone since then has spoken as if they were giving a talk. Which certainly could be inspired, but the presentation is radically different. I think a good parallel might be the difference between how Jesus spoke and how the apostles did. Has there ever been an explanation for this?

  • Elder Anderson

    You may be joking, but you are right. My opinion? It’s a legal maneuver to quietly exclude married gay members from church membership. That way, if there’s ever a secular challenge (as happened with Black priesthood) the church thinks it can claim “Oh, we don’t *have* any married gay members. See? It says so right here in our Handbook.”… that we quietly updated without telling anybody.

    Then, it leaked, and all hell broke loose. It looked like they were back-tracking. Because of the publicity backlash, the Bretheren issued a “clarification” to soften it.

    LDS faithful in the bloggernacle, in defending the Handbook change, were saying, “Oh, don’t worry, it’s only a policy, not doctrine, so it’s subject to local discretion.” I think the Bretheren worried it wouldn’t be enforced–*that’s* when the revelation was announced.

    Why? For their legal maneuver to work, they need 100% compliance, so it suddenly became “God’s will”.

  • Elder Anderson

    “It may have been his own assumption or belief. It doesn’t mean that Pres. Monson said he received a revelation on the matter.”

    By Jove you’re right! When I read Nelson’s talk *very* carefully, it only *implies* that Monson had a revelation. This talk uses some tricky wording designed to convince the casual listener that the policy was revealed by God to President Monson, but it’s actually a bunch of empty hand-waving. Besides, if it were an actual revelation, then Monson would need to read the Lord’s words from the pulpit and have the membership vote on it. I am now convinced this is not a revelation, but the church wants everybody to think it is so they will comply without question. Very interesting!

  • It must become more and more difficult for Mormon “elders” and “apostles” to be so public as Mormonism comes under more and more scrutiny. Begun by a false prophet, preaching a different Jesus and preaching a false gospel…and people are discovering this.

    http://downtownministries.blogspot.com/

  • LB35

    In the 70’s when Pres. Kimball and his councillors were all in poor health people accused Pres. Hinckley of hijacking the Church. Apostates use whatever excuse to reject the Lord’s anointed.

  • Allen Warner

    Thanks for your concern for our salvation.

    We are all aware of the opinions and options that are out there, however. If we thought they were valid, we would already have jumped on board.

    Would you like to know more about what we believe? You seem to be missing a lot.

  • Maddy

    I can understand that health issues are a private matter which requires sensitivity. On the other hand, I don’t see corporations and other organizations propping up ill or infirm CEOs in public to give a certain impression that the CEO is still calling the shots. Without going into details we ought to be able to hear President Monson’s/Benson/Hinckley etc health Is limiting his capabilities at this time.

  • John

    This author wonderfully demonstrates by the concept of “selective obedience” that increasingly there is only one god recognized in American religious life and that is the god of the self. god is ok as long as he/she/it meets my criteria for what I want and what I prefer.

  • Elder Anderson

    So, trust the common sense and moral compass my parents taught me? I like the way you think!

  • Clifton Palmer McLendon

    Allen Warner:
    It is obvious that Downtown Dave is only interested in mocking, so I say let him mock.
    By and by, he will mourn.
    Trying to inform him might be a violation of 3 Nephi 14:6 …

  • Allen Warner

    Huh?
    I do not think he was mocking (making fun of Mormons). I think he expressed his sincere opinion. I also don’t think that sharing the gospel with someone who thinks that we follow a different Jesus is “casting pearls before swine”, which is what the verse you referred to says.

    I do not think he is in danger of eternal punishment because he thinks the way he does. That seems even harsher to me than what he said, as did the rest of your comment.

    I find it irritating that someone would come on here hoping to draw people away from the church when they clearly have no idea of what we believe, but I am not concerned that God is going to punish him somehow for it. That is a bit much.

  • Clifton Palmer McLendon

    Maybe you are right — but his blurb sounds more like when the scribes and Pharisees and Sadducees were picking at Jesus than it sounds like when Nicodemus came to visit Him.

    I do not assert that God will punish Downtown Dave … but I see Downtown Dave on the road to the Great Disappointment Gulch, where he will in due course arrive unless he takes the Re-Think Exit and visits Dr. Better Focus on Look Again Carefully Street in the town of See Clearly, then gets on the Narrow Road to the Happy Fields of Home.

    God is not sending Downtown Dave to the Great Disappointment Gulch. God would much rather have Downtown Dave go to the Happy Fields of Home. To that end, He has provided maps and travel advisors and told them “Give Downtown Dave all the help you can — but don’t force him, or you will answer to Me.”

  • jeamne Jacobs

    No the Mormon Church is not fake hiseph was not a false prophet the Jesus we worship is the same Jesus you worship he is not a different Jesus the gosple is real and I have a strong testimony of kf. You Mormons that are bashing the church should be ashamed of yourselves

  • Ben in oakland

    You’ve just described every Christian ever.

    Want a bacon sandwich or a shrimp cocktail? Oh, the dietary laws declaring them abominations aren’t important, but the laws declaring gay people abominations certainly are.

    Judge not lest he be judged? i can show you a passage where is says judge away.

  • Elder Anderson

    You must be a prophet! I happened to be eating shrimp cocktail when I scrolled down to your post. 🙂

  • tom

    Jana, everything in this world is an opportunity for spiritual growth. We are here to have our faith tried over and over. We will have our faith tried to the level that it requires us to turn to God in prayer and scripture study. Some of the things the brethren may say can lead some to doubt the church. In this is their opportunity to turn to God for understanding or not. It is always a matter of free agency. I have had my faith tried many times and I find the only way to overcome it is to turn to God’s Spirit. It is more important to feel God’s Spirit than to know God’s Spirit. I find all those who commit against the church have one thing in common including the author is a lack of. In this itself is fine. We are all here on this earth to learn and grow at our own time and place. We are here to experience both the good and bad in this life. It is your life and opportunity to grow or not. I would just remind you all to “doubt your doubts before you doubt your faith”.

  • Elder Anderson

    Tom,
    Thanks so much for that inspiring testimony. I am so inspired that I am going to write a Mormon testimony generator app. The ad free pro(phet) version will generate GC talks for the Bretheren and their minions. I can probably have it done by Tuesday.
    Best regards,
    EA

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  • Elder Anderson

    ‘On Sunday, LDS Church President Thomas S. Monson modified the faith’s famous phrase during a brief sermon that began the final day of its 186th Annual General Conference. “May we ever choose the harder right, instead of the easier wrong,” he said.’
    –Deseret News

    I notice that Monson didn’t credit the origin of his quote. The above article makes it sound like this came from Monson. He also omitted the remainder of the original quote. I can see why, of course, given the “milk before meat” philosophy.

    “Make us to choose the harder right instead of the easier wrong, and never to be content with a half truth when the whole can be won.”
    –West Point Cadet’s Prayer

  • Elder Anderson, your digs at Harry are not valid according to Church doctrine. The three Leviticus quotes have been fulfilled and not renewed. They are no longer valid. As for Paul’s quote, a Prophet in this dispensation spoke against this quote saying that he was saddened that Paul allowed his culture to influence his writing this way. (Oh, how I wish I could find that quote!) I think it was Joseph F. Smith. Also, the history of the restored Church, reason and personal experience all say clearly that women are to teach, preach, pray and lead. BTW: Those (Church history, reason and personal experience) are the other three elements of the Wesleyan Quadrilateral that Jana is “famous” for.
    Finally, what “seer noun” is all about, I don’t get. It sounded like a dictionary definition.
    Elder Anderson, do I sense an edge in your posts. I hope and pray any questions you have get answered, any wounds you may have be healed and you feel comfort from our Savior. Good luck.

  • Elder Anderson

    @Dean
    Where I come from, what God says in the Bible trumps any “doctrine” or stuff than prophets say. The fact is, if you ask 10 Mormons if something is doctrine and why, you’ll get 10 different explanations. As far as “wounds” go, I don’t have any, but if you feel the need to pray for my online alias, knock yourself out.