Sunday, August 15, 2010

religeon and prophets

The Sunday school lesson today was about the organization of the primitive church of Jesus Christ. The lesson also touched on the organization of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. The teacher went through various scriptures showing the inspired organization which includes prophets, apostles, teachers, evangelists, pastors... we also read the 6th article of faith which reads : 6 We believe in the same aorganization that existed in the Primitive Church, namely, apostles, bprophets, cpastors, dteachers, eevangelists, and so forth.
Then the traditional hierarchy got written on the board, starting with the president of the church which has come to be synonymous with "The" Prophet. This hasn't always been the case in history, it's a recent (past few decades) development.

Anyway so up on the board we had the chart that somewhat resembled the typical leadership organization of a large business. From the back came an interesting question: "Is there such a thing as a prophet that is independent from the church organizational hierarchy?  Does such a thing exist?" The room was silent for at least 10 seconds. A few "huh.." sounds came from a few people in the audience. The discussion then changed as this question bounced around inside our heads. One person raised their hand and talked about how the bible did in fact mention "prophetesses" who obviously are not part of the organizational priesthood leadership... others raised their hands and talked about how people are indeed blessed with the gift of prophecy who don't happen to be part of the Quorum of the 12, or First Presidency.

Then the Elder's quorum president commented that both exist but that there is a difference of role. One has the role to receive revelation for the church, and to administer the affairs, the other's role is more of a spirit of prophesy gift. A distinction I really liked. Evidence that the Elders Quorum is acting in line with his calling and teaching truth to the quorum.

The teacher and the person that asked the question talked about it afterwords. One exchange I heard was that when Church people are ONLY willing to accept God's words from JUST the people in the organizational hierarchy they in effect deny the spirit of prophecy from coming from anyone else.

I found that fascinating.  To do such things would in effect be to tell God to "shut up" because we only want to hear from one man, or 15 as the case may be and no one else.  What an interesting discussion.

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