Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Words of Mormon 1:6

Words of Mormon 1:6
But behold, I shall take these plates, which contain these prophesyings and revelations, and put them with the remainder of my record, for they are choice unto me; and I know they will be choice unto my brethren.

These prophesyings and revelations are choice to him and unto his brethren. Who are his brethren? The Lamanites? The Nephites? Those who to him would be brothers and sisters in Christ? Interesting questions.

Prophesyings and revelations. The modern organized church proclaims apostles and prophets leading it, I look forward to and would expect at some point to hear of prophecies and revelations. They were prevalent when the church began. The writers of scripture were not shy about saying they had a prophecy to deliver, or had a revelation to share. They even declared them as well as mysteries to non believers a lot of times, to folks many would consider totally unworthy for such things. (Samuel the Lamanite, Alma Chapter 12,13, Christ Himself, Nephi to unbelieving brothers) If you look up the words of those folks you'll see for yourself who they taught, it was often the unworthy, those cast out of synagogues, and the "non members".

When I say revelation I mean something that needs to be "revealed" because it wasn't previously known and wasn't floating around in the back of peoples minds already. If I talk about the need to serve the poor, (under how I"m using the word revelation), that is not a revelation because it's well known already and an important teaching to apply in our lives. If I talk about family, about values, about principles that isn't a revelation either, most moral institutions around the world will agree on the importance of traits of character, family, and integrity etc.

To me a revelation is a revelation. Something is revealed that wasn't previously common knowledge. I see a few examples of this in the institutional church, but would love to see more. If someone can point more out than I've been able to find I would be all ears and eager to study it and learn from it. In my lifetime of being a member of the LDS church I don't know of hardly anything that was called a prophecy or direct revelation. I hear promises, which I suppose could be termed a prophecy. Get out of debt I suppose could be called one. But I hear the same thing from financial advisers. Having food storage they themselves call "counsel". The promises given are things already in place in scripture.  But if this is the Lord's church, and I believe it is, I think we can expect this to be a part of it.

There is lots of counsel like debt avoidance and food storage which I'm working on. I think their counsel is wise and I do my best to follow. The times I've heard someone saying they had revelation from God to the church however would also be very limited.  This isn't to say I haven't felt God speak through the leaders, because I have. I support those called to lead. I've gotten personal revelation and heard the voice of the Spirit in the leaders words.

I imagine being a General Authority is no easy or simple thing, and no doubt an all consuming moment to moment responsibility. I support them and none of this is intended as criticism. In my view that is not going to go anywhere nor is it what Christ has taught us to do. I have felt the Spirit and learned important things from all my leaders, however a revelation like was so common in the early days of the church and that make up D&C I haven't heard much of. But I'm looking and hopeful to find. Scriptures speak of a day that will come when there will be all sorts of mischief, error, false doctrine, a lack of Angels ministering, people mislead, and the like (2 Nephi 28). Nephi in 2 Nephi 28:14 says only a few are the humble followers of Christ and even they err due to what they are taught. Nephi's prophecy worries me because according to Mormon it will surly come to pass.

I've read accounts of how leaders words are sometimes restricted to what the correlation committee deems acceptable to present in General Conference. Perhaps some of them want to share more, want to share revelation but are not allowed to due to correlation and someone else determining what's acceptable to present to the church and what is not. That would be extremely upsetting and I'm afraid it happens. But regardless of any of that, it doesn't inhibit the individual from the Spirit of Prophecy which is also listed as one of the Gifts of the Spirit (Moroni 10:13) (Alma 9:21). This gift is not restricted to leaders, or to men, it clearly includes women who may also be prophetesses.

This all brings up a fascinating question. Is The Institutional Church the same thing as Zion? Or the same thing as the Gospel.  I think this is worth some thought. Could the institutional church be more like a tool to become pure in heart? Zion is defined by things like unity and purity (Moses 7:18–21, 69) (D&C 97:21) (D&C 38:4), not so much things like uniformity of belief and mindset and orthodoxy. Am I right? On that note, here is something interesting by Hugh Nibley.  In "Approaching Zion" he talks about Zions bank, and how a Babylonian financial institution has no place being called after a holy city, our culture mixes Babylon and the Gospel and that is...well.... just like history. The juxtaposition of those two thoughts I found very interesting.

I wonder how Mormon knows these plates that he's referencing will be choice to his brethren. Why would they be choice? I think it's because they contain the words of eternal life? Is it because it shows the pattern whereby man can come back into the Presence of God? I think that is worth thought too.  Or perhaps we have we neglected such talk and almost hesitate to bring it up in Sunday school anymore. Deseret book won't sell multiple books I'm aware of on such topics. Many are Books that are totally appropriate, and doctrinally accurate.  Deseret Book has said the reason is because it's "too sensitive" a subject according to the approval committee.

 Hopefully we don't become the swine to whom "pearls" should not be cast because we trample it. If we continue to neglect The Book of Mormon and call things too sensitive for members to have available to them from such bookstores, we may find ourselves in a pigsty so to speak, because we've proven we have no idea what to do with a pearl other than push it around, step on it, and get it dirty. I say we avoid that at all costs.

2 comments:

  1. Great post. you might find it interesting to read this:

    http://zomarah.wordpress.com/2011/02/09/thomas-s-monson-a-seer-a-revelator-a-translator-and-a-prophet/

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  2. I read the link. The author presents his points with humility and what appears to be a desire to know the truth. I didn't find it had an apostate tone or direction. I liked how he said he was trying to apply Christ's teaching regarding Prophets, and false prophets that: "By their fruits ye shall know them".

    Christ's teachings won't do us very much good if we only apply them to "everyone else" and not ourselves, or our own beliefs, and system of religion. We're not exempt. :)

    Thanks for the comment.

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