Wednesday, February 19, 2014

What do we We Believe?

"We Believe: Doctrines of Mormonism"  is a new very large 2 volume set on Mormon doctrines.  This volume is not particularly new, but a new updated version has been released, and some folks I know have purchased a copy.  It was sitting on the kitchen counter so I took a browse through. It's sort of an encyclopedia of Mormon doctrine.  

It proudly declares on the back page:  "When first published, We Believe was placed in all seminaries and institutes worldwide"  That seemed calculated to calm your mind about it's credibility, and assure you that you will not be lead astray by any of the content, because after all, all seminaries and institutes use it worldwide.  What better standard could there be?  (I'm being sarcastic).   It's going as far as possible to imply Church sanction or endorsement without actually having it. 
I thought this next portion from the back cover was also especially interesting: 
 We Believe is also used in LDS Seminaries and Institutes worldwide. Three key criteria have been used in the editing of this work making it a reliable publication: 1. Only declarations from scriptures and latter-day prophets are used. (General and Regional Church authorities who are NOT prophets are not quoted.) 2. Only declarations from official Church publications are used. 3. A doctrine is not included unless three or more distinct doctrinal declarations can be verified.  (Packard, Carlos. We Believe: Doctrines of Mormonism. Packard Technologies.)

Notice how number 3 says "verified".  Don't be mislead thinking the doctrine has all been verified as true. No, it's simply being verified that three distinct references can be found somewhere in a giant database.  Which of course guarantees the accuracy or completeness of a doctrine right??  So what constitutes doctrine you say?  Three distinct declarations is all that's needed.  Verification of truthfulness is another thing.  They've thrown every bit of credibility they can muster, including the kitchen sink at the readers.  But as we should all know, verification of truthfulness comes from the Spirit, not someone's Church office, title, or ability to publish a book.  

I guess I have to comment on the last part of number 1.   "General Authorities and regional Church authorities who are NOT prophets".  Who demoted their potential? Thank goodness we have books like this to clarify for us spiritually ignorant, weak, and floundering folks who are running around absolutely confused about who is, and who is most certainly NOT a prophet.  I guess we'd have mass confusion if plain old General Authorities were allowed to speak prophetically, or have the testimony of Jesus which is the Spirit of Prophecy (Rev 19:10).  While it's true only the Quorum of the 12 and First Presidency are sustained as prophets seers and revelators, did this author miss D&C 68:3-4 which states that Elders when moved upon by the Holy Ghost can speak words of scripture?

Anyway, even though these statements and many of the doctrines in the book align more with cultural beliefs than scripture, you can relax, and put your mind at ease because only "legit" prophets are being quoted in this book.  haha I say this with a little humor.  The underlying intent seems at least somewhat calculated to cause you to lower your defenses, ignore or not see any need to seek Spiritual discernment, and instead drink deeply from what may be murky waters.  It goes right along with the trend to put your trust in men.  In fact it appeals to that mindset.

The only "bibliography" or credibility per say that matters to God is the Spirit.  Although not mentioned we'll give this doctrinal book's authors the benefit of the doubt  that they just expect readers to know that.    

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