Regarding your comment:
You seem to be saying that members are at liberty to pray and seek their own guidance regarding direction given from the prophet and that really isn’t the case. Everything the church teaches, beyond the basic truths taught in the Bible, is based on revelation. If the prophets are suceptible to human failings in this realm, where is the claim to absolute and superior truth?
Every member of the Church MUST receive a testimony of the instructions they are given.
Perhaps you need to get more acquainted with Church History to understand that our leaders, even our Prophets, are not perfect beings, they are not Gods and are subject to make mistakes. Even when their mistakes may not be ill intended, they are humans, and they do make mistakes.
Perhaps reading about the Mountain Meadows Massacre you will find out how important it is for every member to be a pure and righteous vessel (by keeping the commandments) to be able to receive a confirmation from the Holy Ghost of ANY instruction they may receive. Perhaps the most extreme case in Church History, when leaders have made painful mistakes; and therefore we must learn something from it.
Our leaders are not Gods and we MUST NEVER follow them blindly. We have been given a gift, the gift of the Holy Ghost. It is our DUTY to be worthy and to use it to guide our lives. No prophetic command should come before the precious guide of God himself.
The scriptures teach us in numerous times that prophets are not perfect. Nephi confesses that his father Lehi murmured against God. Jonah was angry when the pepole from Niniveh, whom he was sent to preach repentance, repented and the Lord forgave them… he was hoping they were going to be destroyed.
I am not going to go into any of the controversies of our very own Church leaders… but sufficeth me to say this: they are not perfect, they have made terrible mistakes.
This is the time in which we cannot live on borrowed light. We cannot follow blindly. We have been given the gift to light our way, we just need to be worthy of it.
There is a difference between obedience and blind obedience.
16 And the Book of Mormon and the holy scriptures are given of me for your ainstruction; and the power of my Spirit quickeneth all things.
17 Wherefore, be faithful, praying always, having your alamps btrimmed and burning, and oil with you, that you may be cready at the coming of the Bridegroom—
“The time will come when no man nor woman will be able to endure on borrowed light. Each will have to be guided by the light within himself. If you do not have it, how can you stand?” (Heber C Kimball)
That time has long arrived.]]>
I think the danger in overemphasizing obedience is that it becomes obedience for obedience’s sake and people get bogged down and focused on rote compliance and perfectionism to the exclusion of higher virtues like charity.
That is right, isn’t that what Jesus condemned the pharisees for? One should perhaps not try to condense something as rich as the gospel into a catchy slogan. That always seems to leave something out. One could argue that the most important attribute of the Savior is his love towards us. At the same time one could argue that it is his submissiveness to the will of the Father. How can one put them in an order of preference?
I myself had to deal with a perfectionist ideal I created for myself and I hope I have learned my lesson.]]>
Anything we obtain through that plan or become because of that plan will be the result of our faith and obedience to it.]]>
The first principle of the gospel (on which everything else centers) is faith in the Lord Jesus Christ and such faith is defined as “confidence and trust in Jesus Christ that lead a person to obey him.” Obedience, or lack of it, is the manifestation of our faith-it is the “fruit” that distinguishes good trees from bad.
Christ was a perfect being, and a perfect sacrifice because He CHOSE to obey the will of Father perfectly. He CHOSE to put the Father’s will above His own-not because of rote compliance or perfectionism, but because He loved the Father perfectly and had perfect faith (trust) in His Father’s plan.
It is impossible to BE or BECOME a God without being willing to DO the things that lead to that end. It is impossible to become truly charitable without obeying the principles that lead to it. You can’t “be” a charitable person unless you choose to “do” charitable things.
There is no salvation without faith, and faith is a principle of action-not of “feeling”. Faith without works is dead. Abraham states that the purpose of mortality is for God to “prove [us] herewith, to see if [we] will do all things whatsoever the Lord [our] God shall command [us]“, every blessing we receive comes through obedience to the law attached to it, and only those who “doeth the will of the Father” will enter the kingdom of heaven.
Of course, like Meisha’s father proves, you cannot create faith through “force”. Rather than teaching his children to love and have faith in the Lord-which leads to true and sincere obedience, he only taught them to fear and have faith in his wrath-which only led to forced compliance.]]>
I think the danger in overemphasizing obedience is that it becomes obedience for obedience’s sake and people get bogged down and focused on rote compliance and perfectionism to the exclusion of higher virtues like charity.]]>
“After all, there was a great deal of repetition of the theological underpinnings of the priesthood ban, all of which went out the window in 1978″.
What did not go out the window was the repeated statement that the Lord was in control of the ban; prophet after prophet testified that it would be removed by the Lord when the time came, and it was. One can believe that the ban itself served a divine purpose without believing that any of the theories that were put forth actually addressed that purpose.
The fact remains that there are many official declarations and testimonies born by prophets that indicate in no uncertain terms that the ban came from the Lord. But time and again that fact (and others) are ignored in favor of taking one sentence spoken after the ban was lifted by Bruce R. McConkie completely out of context and manipulating it as “proof” that the ban was a mistake made by human beings.
Oddly, I have never encountered one active/faithful Latter-day Saint who will testify that God granted them a personal witness through the Holy Ghost that every modern prophet until 1978 was wrong about the ban being the will of the Lord.]]>