Sunday, July 22, 2012

Inherited Mormonism

While sitting in church today I got to thinking about some of the profound topics Joseph Smith was working on restoring towards the end of his life.  I've read about them, but never heard them so much as mentioned at church.  I did come across one talk by Bruce R Mckonkie down at BYU from the late 1960's that still spoke of the fuller Gospel topics. Such talks are so scarce that I wanted to put a link to it here. Link

I wondered how the religion we have now would look compared to what was originally being restored. Sometimes I think the version of Mormonism that is predominant in our day is an inherited form. There are appearances, traditions, understandings, and beliefs that are simply inherited, or passed down by tradition and spoken about with great emotion. We relive the faith-trying experiences of others with treks and parades and the like. This may not be a bad thing at all. However if the religion we live is inherited, and animated by sentiment, rather than revealed and animated by God himself, then we may want to immediately reconsider our current state. The scriptures call the state of a the modern religious audience "awful".

Found this quote from a friend's blog super super well put.

"This terrible modern day dilemma we find ourselves in is not completely our fault.  We've inherited many ideas about the gospel.  Some are correct and have their roots in the restoration the Prophet was trying to accomplish.  Others are innovations or alterations from more recent history.  But you shouldn't be surprised you didn't know that.  How could you?  When a man walks into a room that is painted blue, he does not naturally begin wondering what color the room used to be painted.  Not until the paint begins to peel away does he entertain questions about the original. "

The understanding Joseph had, the experiences he had, and the remarkable divine agenda he was pursuing causes me to entertain questions about the original. He spoke differently, had experiences I no longer hear about, and spoke of topics that the correlation committee now blocks from all approved Church curriculum. I have to wonder what else may have gotten lost since the restoration began. There appears to have been a great deal lost, altered, and watered down. Which is what always happens when God reveals the Gospel. But that doesn't mean it's not still available. It does mean you have to wake up to the fact that what we've inherited may not be entirely what the original looked like. We are not immune from the same apostasy that everyone else has had to fight off in any age of the Gospel. We may think we are above that, and that due to our superiority or some misinterpreted scripture we will not face another apostasy, but going down that path makes us probably just as blind as the last group of God's people who thought the same thing.

So what do we do? Where is the fullness? What does "The fullness of the Gospel" even mean? What if the original definition of the word has been forgotten and we now err because we guess what it means due to not knowing and not being taught (2 Nephi 28:14).

Every dispensation of the Gospel is the "last Dispensation" until it fails. Then another is sent and it is the "last" until it fails. This will continue for so long as man continues to fail. God is in no hurry. Apparently we are not either.  (Snuffer)


  1. "super super well put" as well. So glad that your blog is going public again.

    Good luck this week my friend.

  2. Hi Taylor,
    Two thoughts:
    1) Joseph Smith didn't "set out to restore" anything. He was chosen by God to restore that which God wanted restored. The church wasn't Joseph's church. This isn't Thomas Monson's church. It is the church of Jesus Christ.

    2) This is the final dispensation. The Gospel and the Priesthood will not be taken from the earth (D&C 13).

  3. Glad for the thoughts.

    As to 1). My wording could be read that way. However that wasn't the intent which hopefully was clear from the rest of the post. I believe it was the Lords doing, Joseph Being the instrument. I'll fix the wording for clarity sake.

    As to 2). There are at least 2 ways Gospel or Priesthood can leave the earth. God could take it. Or we could loose it, let is slip away, and fail to preserve it. In such case, the Lord didn't take it. We simply lost it. That is the risk the the post was getting at.

    I think the main point is that we can read scriptures in a way that reassures us that we are chosen, elected, incapable of messing up, or we can see the reality that we in fact are in a risky situation. It's possible to be rejected as a church (D&C 124 :32)or fall blindly into apostasy like prior generations. I don't think any of us want that. But to ignore the possibility of it happening seems unwise.