A friend of mine gave an excellent talk last week in his ward about the Zoramites. His humble prayer was that his audience might see some of the parallels between them and us as Latter-day Saints. Sadly, the message fell upon deaf ears.
I ask the same question my friend posed in his talk: Are we like the Zoramites of old time? If so, how?
In Alma 31 we find the account.
13 For they had a place built up in the center of their synagogue, a place for standing, which was high above the head; and the top thereof would only admit one person. (Is this so different than our “stand”? Set above the congregation, whereupon only the most faithful sit and speak?)
14 Therefore, whosoever desired to worship must go forth and stand upon the top thereof, and stretch forth his hands towards heaven, and cry with a loud voice, saying:
15 Holy, holy God; we believe that thou art God, and we believe that thou art holy, and that thou wast a spirit, and that thou art a spirit, and that thou wilt be a spirit forever. (Surely this was not what truly displeased Alma — the Zoramites were simply expressing their acknowledgement of God’s holiness. And to say He is Spirit is also not a contradiction to our beliefs. Remember Ammon’s response to the Lamanite king asking if God was the Great Spirit? Ammon’s response was “Yes!” Of course Mormons will emphasize that God is also flesh and bones, resurrected, etc. BUT to say He is also Spirit cannot be what angered Alma.)
16 Holy God, we believe that thou hast separated us from our brethren; and we do not believe in the tradition of our brethren, which was handed down to them by the childishness of their fathers; but we believe that thou hast elected us to be thy holy children; and also thou hast made it known unto us that there shall be no Christ. (Now is where I think Alma becomes truly upset. But as LDS we too often speak of how blessed we are to be “set apart” from everyone else — the only true and living church — elected and foreordained to come forth in these the last days as God’s most valiant spirits. With Holy Prophets, Seers, and Revelators — rejecting the Childishness of our Gentile Fathers who, per Bruce R. McConkie, not only had it all wrong, but who worshipped Satan and were members of the Church of the Great Whore who sat upon the Waters. Truly WE are a chosen people. Now on the issue of there being ‘no Christ,’ this would have upset Alma too, IMO, BUT are we any different if we do not know how to speak of Him or if we do not properly worship Him? Do we, like the Zoramites, accidentally deny Christ because we believe that “God has given his power to men” so that He is no longer needed here?)
17 But thou art the same yesterday, today, and forever; and thou hast elected us that we shall be saved, whilst all around us are elected to be cast by thy wrath down to hell; for the which holiness, O God, we thank thee; and we also thank thee that thou hast elected us, that we may not be led away after the foolish traditions of our brethren, which doth bind them down to a belief of Christ, which doth lead their hearts to wander far from thee, our God. (Much of the same. Elected, special, most valiant, set apart, better than all others. But I will say that our ‘damning to hell’ of other faiths has softened over the years. As a young man I recall a much greater urgency to preach the gospel because we feared that any who rejected or did not accept the gospel in this life would go to hell. BUT today us Mormons teach a much nicer message. As funny as it may sound, the Zoramites actually may have been more correct than today’s Mormonites who teach that there is no hell. Just glory for everyone. Oh and by the way, we will do your work for you when you die, so no worries.)
18 And again we thank thee, O God, that we are a chosen and a holy people. Amen. (We do this a lot too. ‘Thank you Lord that we are chosen and that we live in this blessed Valley, away from all the Gentiles, set apart able to teetotal without anyone making fun of us. White shirted and long skirted. I.e. Special.’)
19 Now it came to pass that after Alma and his brethren and his sons had heard these prayers, they were astonished beyond all measure.
20 For behold, every man did go forth and offer up these same prayers. (Do we offer the same vain and repetitive prayers? Let’s be honest. I say the answer is yes. ‘Please help us to get home safely and bless all those who are not here that they can come next week and bless these cookies to nourish and strengthen our bodies. We’re grateful that we are so blessed, that we have the truth and that we cannot be led astray by our holy prophets.’)
And so I ask again, are there parallels between us and the Zoramites? Would Alma and his brethren be impressed or saddened and angered by what they would observe in our meetings? Or would they be more likely to agree with Joseph Smith who said:
How vain and trifling have been our spirits, our conferences, our councils, our meetings, our private as well as public conversations—too low, too mean, too vulgar, too condescending for the dignified characters of the called and chosen of God (Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, p.137)
Today in fast and testimony meeting, I think there was only one testimony that even spoke of Christ. But, even that testimony ended in how blessed we are to have a prophet to guide our Church that can never be led astray. All the other testimonies were about our bishopric and about the leaders of the Church, especially Thomas S. Monson. Funny enough the comment in one of the last testimonies said it best: “There has been a good spirit here today.” What does that even mean? Is it a confession that THE Spirit was not present, but that some Casper the Friendly Ghost spirit was in fact, in attendance? Who made us feel sleepy and happy and warm?
Bruce Almighty, aka Zeus McConkie
The god of Mormon Doctrine is no other than Bruce R. McConkie. He not only “wrote the book” on doctrine but he was also the son-in-law to Joseph Fielding Smith, a man also known for his “doctrinal prowess.” Surrounded by other great Mormon scholars and academics such as Hugh Nibley, Eugene England, Mark E. Petersen, and N. Eldon Tanner, Bruce set himself apart and became the doctrinal go-to-guy of his day.
This last week I read a great blogpost about McConkie’s beliefs on Jesus Christ. Keep in mind as you read this that this is the same man who said only two weeks before he died:
And now, as pertaining to this perfect atonement, wrought by the shedding of the blood of God—I testify that it took place in Gethsemane and at Golgotha, and as pertaining to Jesus Christ, I testify that he is the Son of the Living God and was crucified for the sins of the world. He is our Lord, our God, and our King. This I know of myself independent of any other person. I am one of his witnesses, and in a coming day I shall feel the nail marks in his hands and in his feet and shall wet his feet with my tears. But I shall not know any better then than I know now that he is God’s Almighty Son, that he is our Savior and Redeemer, and that salvation comes in and through his atoning blood and in no other way.
And yet in McConkie’s talk he warned us that we should NOT worship Christ or seek some special relationship with Him! Here is a part of that talk as quoted in the blog titled, Peace in Paradise:
The Mainstream of the Church
Now I know that some may be offended at the counsel that they should not strive for a special and personal relationship with Christ. It will seem to them as though I am speaking out against mother love, or Americanism, or the little red schoolhouse. But I am not. There is a fine line here over which true worshipers will not step.
It is true that there may, with propriety, be a special relationship with a wife, with children, with friends, with teachers, with the beasts of the field and the fowls of the sky and the lilies of the valley. But the very moment anyone singles out one member of the Godhead as the almost sole recipient of his devotion, to the exclusion of the others, that is the moment when spiritual instability begins to replace sense and reason.
The proper course for all of us is to stay in the mainstream of the Church. This is the Lord’s Church, and it is led by the spirit of inspiration, and the practice of the Church constitutes the interpretation of the scripture.
And you have never heard one of the First Presidency or the Twelve, who hold the keys of the kingdom, and who are appointed to see that we are not “tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine” (Ephesians 4:14)—you have never heard one of them advocate this excessive zeal that calls for gaining a so-called special and personal relationship with Christ.
You have heard them teach and testify of the ministry and mission of the Lord Jesus, using the most persuasive and powerful language at their command. But never, never at any time have they taught or endorsed the inordinate or intemperate zeal that encourages endless, sometimes day-long prayers, in order to gain a personal relationship with the Savior.
Those who truly love the Lord and who worship the Father in the name of the Son by the power of the Spirit, according to the approved patterns, maintain a reverential barrier between themselves and all the members of the Godhead.
I am well aware that some who have prayed for endless hours feel they have a special and personal relationship with Christ that they never had before. I wonder if this is any or so much different, however, from the feelings of fanatical sectarians who with glassy eyes and fiery tongues assure us they have been saved by grace and are assured of a place with the Lord in a heavenly abode, when in fact they have never even received the fullness of the gospel.
I wonder if it is not part of Lucifer’s system to make people feel they are special friends of Jesus when in fact they are not following the normal and usual pattern of worship found in the true Church.
Let me remind you to stay in the course chartered by the Church. It is the Lord’s Church, and he will not permit it to be led astray. If we take the counsel that comes from the prophets and seers, we will pursue the course that is pleasing to the Lord.
Would it be amiss if I reminded you that Jesus maintained a reserve between him and his disciples and that he did not allow them the same intimacy with him that they had with each other? This was particularly true after his resurrection.
For instance, when Mary Magdalene, in a great outpouring of love and devotion, sought to embrace the risen Lord, her hands were stayed. “Touch me not,” he said. Between her and him, no matter what the degree of their love, there was a line over which she could not pass. And yet, almost immediately thereafter, a whole group of faithful women held that same Lord by the feet, and, we cannot doubt, bathed his wounded feet with their tears.
It is a fine and sacred line, but clearly there is a difference between a personal and intimate relationship with the Lord, which is improper, and one of worshipful adoration, which yet maintains the required reserve between us and him who has bought us with his blood (my emphasis added).
Okay, I’m sorry but this is where I become a little unhinged. Ironically a large part of this talk was written to rebuke George Pace for having written about our opportunity to develop a personal relationship with Christ. Much like the time when McConkie reprimanded Brother England with a letter that said in part:
It is my province to teach to the Church what the doctrine is. It is your province to echo what I say or to remain silent.
I shall write in kindness and in plainness and perhaps with sharpness. I want you to know that I am extending to you the hand of fellowship though I hold over you at the same time, the scepter of judgment.
I say it’s Elder McConkie who deserves to be rebuked. For teaching false doctrine. And the Brethren who never corrected his false doctrine openly. (A committee found almost 1100 errors in Mormon Doctrine, very few of which were corrected)
I hope any reading this will have the courage to stand with me against such unrighteous dominion.
Since Elder McConkie is now on the other side of the veil, he can answer to the true Holy Prophets who said the following things in scripture that contradict his words that we should NOT worship Christ:
And as I spake concerning the convincing of the Jews, that Jesus is the very Christ, it must needs be that the Gentiles be convinced also that Jesus is the Christ, the Eternal God. (It almost appears that McConkie’s statements on behalf of the Gentile Church were foreseen by Nephi — He obviously needs to be convinced that Jesus is GOD and is worthy of our worship!)
And then there’s Jacob 7, where Sherem calls out the Nephites for “the worship of a being which ye say shall come many hundred years hence.”
And we talk of Christ, we rejoice in Christ, we preach of Christ, we prophesy of Christ, and we write according to our prophecies, that our children may know to what source they may look for a remission of their sins… And now behold, I say unto you that the right way is to believe in Christ, and deny him not; and Christ is the Holy One of Israel; wherefore ye must bow down before him, and worship him with all your might, mind, and strength, and your whole soul; and if do this ye shall in nowise be cast out.
There are so many more scriptures that contradict McConkie. You can read them in Jacob 4, Mosiah 18, Alma 7, Alma 15, Alma 21, Alma 22, Alma 31, 34, 44, 45, 3 Nephi 2, 11, 21, 4 Nephi, and in many other places in the scriptures.
The example in 3 Nephi when those in attendance prayed to and worshipped Him. Or in the New Testament when while still in mortality, women and apostles and others bowed down and worshipped the King of Kings, with their tears and their oinments and kisses. Jesus did not rebuke them as did the angel when John bowed to “his fellow servant.” There was no fine line as McConkie warned — just worship of the Creator of Heaven and Earth.
Now, in fairness, I am not a doctrinal go-to-guy. I admit that I don’t know exactly who it is we pray to. I don’t know exactly how to worship God the Father and His Son. But the scriptures tell me, and my heart tells me to seek this God Jesus who died for me. To fall down at His feet and to praise Him. He is my God and I want Him to be my Father.
As for Zeus and the Zormonites, I invite you to repent of your worship of men. Of your idolatry. Of your vain repetitions. Your holy pulpits and your teleprompters. Of your fine twined linen — your nice suits – that which you call the uniform of the priesthood. Of your grinding upon the faces of the poor by building up your fine sanctuaries with funds that should be consecrated to bringing meat into the the Lord’s storehouse.
May we repent together and come unto Him.
Great job. I also read the post from “A little peace in paradise” the day after I posted my testimony about CHRIST at http://www.jstcommentary.blogspot.com
To summarize, CHRIST is not our older brother, He is our Father. He is the God of this planet. He may have a Father, but His father is not our Father.
To steal an idea from former UN Secretary Dag Hammarskjold. “I would rather die and find out I believed CHRIST was greater than he really is, than to die and find out CHRIST was much greater than I originally believed.” Dag’s original quote dealt with the existence of GOD.
Thank you for your words,
Bruce R McConkie is also the one who said in the back of his book called The Promised Messiah that the spiritual progress of the church may be measured in terms of the number of the elders of Israel for whom the veil has been rent and who have seen the face of him whose we are. P592.
It is obvious to me that the mystery of iniquity is at work within the LDS church. “And for this cause God shall send them a strong delusion that they should beleive a lie: that they all might be damned who beleive not the truth but had pleasure in unrighteousness. This delusion is that they might not percieve the truth, for the truth shall be sealed unto them, for the Holy Ghost shall not work in them; thus, they shall beleive that all is well in Zion, and that Zion prospereth because God has given his work unto man.
By using Bruces own words it is evident that he and the brethren are being thrown by every “wind of dictorine”. Dallin Oaks recently said in a talk given in Boise that to seek the face of The Lord in this life is a common tool used by the arvesary. This made me wonder who his advessary really is. The culmination of the Mormon religion is to think of ourselves as if we were on the same journey as Adam and Eve, culminating with Adam and Eve parting the veil and entering into the presence of The Lord. It is all shown to happen in mortality because the the blessings of the gospel must be attained to while in mortality. We are even taught that we are in a telestial world. Does this not say that we are already in the hereafter? If the scriptures are properly understood it becomes apparent that the only way out of a telestial, terrestial existence is to know this Christ who is called Jesus on a personal one on one, face to face relationship. To recieve His testimony and to be valiant in that testimony. As for the current leadership of the LDS church i would say this; know that the pride and the power of the gentile and the gentile church is but a fading flower which bloometh in the season thereof and brought forth much for the gentile here upon the land of promise as was prophesied; but their pride and power shall become but a memory, for these things do not represent the God of the land, or the riches and wealth given of God have not been used to establish Zion. In the stead thereof, secret combinations have been formed against God and all righteousness that the devil ruleth upon the land of promise. The things the gentiles and the gentile church have done to yoke and choke the poor and the needy for the sake of greed and the want to get gain. In this manner the devil thinks to have control over the people that the truth spoken of in the scriptures may not come to pass. The day shall surely come when all those who do iniquity and sin against the gospel of Christ must repent or be destroyed, and surely the first shall be last and the last shall be first. In this thing it is known that the people of The Lord shall possess this land of promise unto The Lord. And all other people shall be destroyed by The Lord for having done such a great evil unto the people of The Lord in that they have destroyed, persecuted, built up forts against them, have hated them beyond measure, by having taken their birth right where under they were blessed of God upon this land, by seeking to place themselves as the literal seed and having forgotten the responisbility of recovering the seed, and much more, for it is to many to mention, but the perversions are found in the scriptures. It is known by the fathers of this day and the perversions to be manufactured and sold by the gentiles for the sake of the oath and to get gain. Therefore search the scriptures if you beleive not what is written, for what is written by the fathers testifieth of things to come, as they have been, and as they are at the present time; then beleive in their words. If you have the spirit of truth as your guide the things written will be understood and not be denied and thou shall have the spirit of Christ which shall bear witness of the truth of these things unto you.
Thinking about my honored brother, Elder McConkie…his words and his thoughts are now almost legendarily outdated with only a few holdouts that think he was next only to Joseph Smith in this dispensation. Awakening people have easily been able to see through the falseness of his then prevailing idea about seeking a personal witness of Jesus Christ. Growing up, we were encouraged to look past Christ to Father, and that our view was more correct than other sectarians. We are more catholic in our thinking than are evangelicals who go all out Jesus, Jesus, Jesus. As a church we have not progressed much beyond our stifling traditions, but it’s better. Now we have our crazy Brethren worship, but it too will wane away to a healthier general opinion in time (I believe). We will get better because of blogs like this one.
This is the problem with leaders of orthodox religions whose words are equated with scripture, because in the minds of their followers, their interpretations of scripture and their sweeping doctrinal statements override the true scriptures themselves, answering all the tough questions without further need for understanding. It’s statements like those of Bruce Mckonkie as quoted in this post that have shaped the way in which a person views the limited role and limited extent of their personal relationship with the Lord, which is basically: He atoned, cool, and now if I do x, y, and z and manage my salvation through my file leaders I will be exalted and made a god. But what is ironic is that while such statements discourage a relationship with Christ, thus limiting eternal potential, they simultaneously reorient one’s focus, “faith”, and resulting “worship” on the ideas and teachings of men, further limiting eternal potential; which idolatry is not discouraged, but even encouraged, leading to exaltation’s opposite. Every tool the adversary deploys is an attempt to persuade us to disobey God’s word and worship or follow him instead, thus he labors incessantly using any means necessary to interfere and insert himself in our relationship with the Lord.
It’s a sobering thought when we see fulfillment of scripture concerning unrighteous dominion.
D & C 121: 39–42
39 We have learned by sad experience that it is the nature and disposition of almost all men, as soon as they get a little authority, as they suppose, they will immediately begin to exercise unrighteous dominion.
40 Hence many are called, but few are chosen.
41 No power or influence can or ought to be maintained by virtue of the priesthood, only by persuasion, by long-suffering, by gentleness and meekness, and by love unfeigned;
42 By kindness, and pure knowledge, which shall greatly enlarge the soul without hypocrisy, and without guile—
As I read through Elder McConkie’s remarks given at BYU, I had a hard time finding the gentleness, the meekness and the love unfeigned. Instead I found arrogance, self aggrandizement and prideful use of priesthood position. Here are some examples from his talk:
“I shall express the view of the Brethren, of the prophets and apostles of old, and of all those who understand the scriptures and are in tune with the Holy Spirit.”
“In presenting them I am on my own ground and am at home with my subject. I shall not stoop to petty wranglings about semantics but shall stay with matters of substance. I shall simply go back to basics and set forth fundamental doctrines of the kingdom, knowing that everyone who is sound spiritually and who has the guidance of the Holy Spirit will believe my words and follow my counsel.”
“As far as I know there is not a man on earth who thinks more highly of him than I do. It just may be that I have preached more sermons, taught more doctrine, and written more words about the Lord Jesus Christ than any other man now living. I have ten large volumes in print, seven of which deal almost entirely with Christ, and the other three with him and his doctrines.” https://speeches.byu.edu/talks/bruce-r-mcconkie_relationship-lord/
Is this the same Bruce R McConkie that so boldly defended Brigham Young’s position on Blacks and the Priesthood, and who then later had to recant his profound knowledge on the subject with this statement?
“Forget everything I have said, or what President Brigham Young or President George Q. Cannon or whoever has said in days past that is contrary to the present revelation. We spoke with a limited understanding, and without the light and knowledge that now has come into the world.” (McConkie, 1989, p. 170).
It seems that Elder McConkie wasn’t quit so grounded or at home with his subject after all. So who then are we to believe? Who do we look to for guidance? It seems that Elder McConkie was no better than Paul H Dunn. They both made things up.
Jesus taught that he is the way, the truth and the life, and that no man can come to the Father but by him. John 14:6 Sounds like if we focus on Christ and his teachings, we are in the narrow way.
Now when I attend church, I will be smiling when people approach the “Rameumptom.”
Great Post AB, Keep up the good work, All the best,
Well, I think this is my jumping off point. I’ve really enjoyed your posts over the last year or so. I’ve learned a lot and I thank you.
I can’t help but feel that there’s a lot of anger within the “remnant” movement. I understand why this is, I think. It’s one of the stages of grief. When faced with uncomfortable truths, we freak out. This is natural and fine. However, we run into danger when we can’t move past it. The Gospel of Jesus Christ is light, truth, understand and maybe most importantly, joy. There’s just too much good found within to dwell on past wrongs. We’re commanded to repent (literally turn away from the wrong and towards Christ), be patient, suffer long, ease burdens and come to Christ individually. We can rejoice in the scriptures, commune with the Holy Spirit, and pray whenever we want. That’s the good stuff.
Was Bruce perfect? No. Was he gruff? Yes. Did he err? Absolutely. Did he display pride? Unquestionably. But so what? He’s long gone (nearly 32 years now) and received his rewards or otherwise. I’m sure just about anyone under the age of 40 probably couldn’t pick him out of a lineup or are even vaguely aware of him. Let the dead bury the dead. I don’t think it profits us rehash this stuff (I’m not singling anyone out – I see spread out over many and various blogs). It feeds vanity. It damns spiritual growth. It’s Satan who stirs us up to anger, and that’s not Christ’s doctrine. Christ commanded the Nephites at Bountiful that there be no disputations among them. That’s sound advice.
I hope we can all find peace through Our Lord. He will give it freely if we seek it. I know this because I’ve experienced it and I’m a big, fat nobody.
Best to everyone.
Good thoughts! I will say though for me I think there are many who are unfamiliar with the many contractions among past leaders, which when brought to light, help people come to a better understanding of the truth. I’m glad many people are there and aware but many are not. So I see value but agree that anger is always best to try to let go of and overcome.
Ironically, the verse Bruce Almighty quoted as the sole illustration that we should not seek an intimate relationship with Christ, actually heavily advocates an intimate relationship!
I’m referring to John 20:17. Bruce disingenuously omits the JST correction. With him being a scholar and prone to exactness in research, there’s absolutely no chance he would not have known the JST translation.
JST John 20:17 … Hold me not …
In other words, Bruce is caught with his hand in the cookie jar. He is caught in a blatant lie. Nobody can defend he chose the wrong translation that would help support his false tradition.
However, as Denver Snuffer has testified (because he SAW the scene in vision), Mary hugged Christ. As one could imagine, it had to have been one of the most intimate and loving embraces in the history of the world! After a hug that a true Christian can only hope to have the privilege of experiencing one day, Jesus had to go His Father. She didn’t want to let him go. She HELD him tight, probably saying “don’t leave me, take me with You.” But the record we do have says, “Hold me not; for I am not yet ascended to my Father.” He probably had to gently pry her arms off of him.
So this was the scene that first morning of the resurrection. How intimate. How special.
And Bruce uses this account as evidence that we shouldn’t seek an intimate relationship with Jesus? Has he lost his mind?
His rebuke of George Pace has got to rank up there with one of the most insidious and faith-damaging public rebukes in Church history. It destroyed a man’s reputation, and had catastrophic effects on the faith of untold thousands of young and impressionable latter-day saints. How evil, pathetic and puny! I feel bad for Brother Pace, who humbly stood down. No public apology was ever afforded him, just as no public rebuke was announced when Benson was reprimanded for his idolatrous talk on the 14 points.
The disastrous result of how we pray and interact with God as a Church has been to keep Jesus at arm’s length (“touch me not”), when for all these years we should have been seeking to be “clasped in the arms of Jesus” (Mormon 5:11). Can you imagine the difference in spiritual growth and in actual coming to a knowledge of Jesus IF correct doctrine had been allowed to be taught back then?!
Jesus’ words in Matthew 23:13 apply so well to Bruce the Scribe it seems to me: “But woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye shut up the kingdom of heaven against men: for ye neither go in yourselves, neither suffer ye them that are entering to go in.”
For a number of years my brother wrote books and lectured about the end-times. His lectures attracted quite a number of people; occasionally over a thousand at a time. Frequently the things he said panicked some member of the audience, or more likely, an acquaintance of a member of the audience who would take their concerns up the chain. Frequently, these would result in conversations with his stake president, but occasionally the Brethren would tell him to adopt a different topic. Ostensibly, their reasoning wasn’t that it wasn’t true or correct, but that it was ‘their province’ to disseminate things pertaining to the end-times.
Being a dutiful LDS, my brother would follow their counsel and desist.
But here’s my question: If the Brethren recognize that it is their province to speak about these things, why don’t they do it? As you point out in another essay, they are not the ones writing about Isaiah or decoding the book of Revelations; it’s all the lay members who are trying to enlighten their fellow man.
My belief now is that we should be glad that they are silent. They are only blind guides. But, when they silence others by claiming authority over them and then are silent themselves, I believe they will have to answer for it when the Lord comes.
I have found it interesting that Bruce R’s son, who lives in St George, preaches that he, the son, is of church royalty. Sadder still is when he speaks or appears, people in his ward, stake or region fall over him and hold him in high esteem because he is a McConkie. I follow no man or men…I worship Christ. I do not stand when they enter a room I fall at the feet of my Savior. I am no man’s judge. God’s judgement is just. Praise be to God!
The Truth can set you Free , but first it will tick you off….. ask the Apostle Paul.
Did he ask forgiveness of the members? No. Have any of the General Authorities ever asked for forgiveness? No. They can say whatever they want with little expectation of being held accountable; in fact, they cover for each other.
And the wrongs are not just “past” wrongs; the wrongs continue to this day.
I believe clarity regarding prayer comes from 3 Ne 19 … 6: the twelve did teach the multitude… Should pray unto the Father in the name of Jesus
Vs 8 … They knelt again and prayed to the Father in the name of Jesus…
They were baptised, angels, then Christ administered unto them.
Vs 17_18 … He commanded his disciples that they should pray…. They did pray unto Jesus calling him their Lord and their God
Then we see the Savior slip away from them for personal prayer… I’ve always seen these few verses as his “apology”prayer…. Vs 22. … And because this headrest them, and they pray unto me; and they PRAY UNTO ME BECAUSE I AM WITH THEM…
Vs 23… And now Father I prayer unto Thee for them
I believe this “act of respect” by Christ to God, His Father is directly aligned with his promise during the original Council in Heaven… A quick rewind of that movie includes:
1. Moses 4:1… I will do it therefore give me thine honor… By Satan
4:2 ….. Father THY WILL BE DONE, and the GLORY be Thine forever.; … By Christ
For now Christ pays honor to his father, he gives his Father the glory… He teaches us to “honor thy father and thy mother” and he does/did. He asks us to do the same, to our mortal and premortal parents, and demonstrate that honor and glory by praying (delivering our prayers, celebrations, honors), in His/Christ’s name.
Our honoring Christ comes by our adherence to the sacrament prayers and obedience to scripture/commandments. Not too far hence Christ will come in “great glory” and his Father will declare his titles and honors to us all.
We’ve witnessed this pattern previously, at.Christs baptism, at His appearance in 3rd Ne, and in Joseph’s first vision.
When we celebrate creation, plants, animals, elements knowing Christ was the creator, but Christ reminds us he was on his Father’s errand completing these duties, and given power/authority from his Father before creation was initiated.
God’s house is one of order, Christ provided clear examples of the correct patterns within the Godhood order.
I appreciate this article very much. I am so grateful for the time and effort that goes into something like this. Got me thinking and helped me remember about the many distractions in my life (drawing my attention away from thing’s I ought to be focused on) and how, in my life, these distractions are satan’s greatest tool….and sadly, used with much success. What I am a little uneasy with is the tone of this article which seems to descend into bashing a good man…..a very good man by most standards. Don’t get me wrong here, I think I do understand the real point of this article. Just feels a little too negative toward one guy and draws me in to my baser inclinations to pile on.
Back to the point of the article – I too have been in awe as I have seen this type of “man worship” become more and more prevalent in the church that I grew up in, have been so loyal to, and have loved so much. Nevertheless, I have been just as guilty of this type of idolatry in my life and have only begun in the last few years to recognize how far we (in the Church and the world as well) have gone down this road. That being said let us be careful not to vilify our brother Bruce McConkie. Did he make mistakes? Certainly. Did he make statements that he would like to take back? I’m sure the answer is yes to that as well. Are we not all in that same boat?? The issue lies in the tendency that we in the masses have in making men and women of standing more than they are and setting them up on pedestals. Let’s focus on why we should not do this. And this article does a good job of pointing out where we are lacking, and have been lacking in this. Let us NOT focus on a few errors in the voluminous life’s work of this man….the vast majority of which is good and true. Kind of feels like a smack down. I never knew Brother McConkie personally nor did I ever hear him speak in person but I am certain that he is not a devil nor a servant of satan. Quite the opposite is true. I have received much inspiration from reading his books and talks. As a general rule I try to focus on the Spirit to help me get what I need from a writing/talk/whatever. There are little tidbits of goodness and truth everywhere in the world that are perfect and have been prepared for me to receive and understand. Funny thing is that when I’m in tune with the Spirit and searching for truth, I find these little tidbits in the oddest of places. Even sometimes nestled up against rubbish. I try not to look at the surface of things nor do I see things as black and white or accept things lock, stock, and barrel. Not even the scriptures. My mind can interpret things in so many wacky ways and run off to heaven knows where. Without the guidance of the Spirit, where am I?
Finally, I know that I need to be careful not to join in on a chicken coop style attack on this man just to mask my own faults and weaknesses. Its way too easy for me to go down that well traveled road in my life. This article is not about Bruce R McConkie, so let’s not go there too zealously. It’s about me and my tendency to worship the arm of flesh. Please help me keep my eye on that ball.
Thank you! I have been observing the exact same thing and reflecting in my mind lately how we, LDS, resemble the Zoramites. Glad to know I’m not the only one seeing the same kind of behavior. It’s rather disturbing.
That’s great if you acknowledge the errors of the past and do not persist in them. But if the ground is filled with weeds, you must recognize the weeds and pull them out before you replant.
This post serves toward that end. Thank you, AB.
Look, these guys demand that they be “followed” in “all things” as if they were God! “Whether by mine own voice or the voice of my servants, it is the same,” they are fond of quoting.
Many of us in the “remnant” movement, including myself, have been excommunicated for refusing to agree to do ANYTHING they say, holding out the possibility that, in some things, they might be wrong. I was told matter-of-factly that I must be willing to do ANYTHING they say, or I am not worthy of a recommend or even to be a member of the church!
Because I held out the POSSIBILITY that they might be wrong in something — not even anything specific! — and should not therefore be “followed” unquestionably, I was labeled an “apostate” and excommunicated from the church.
This is the danger of putting one’s trust in the arm of flesh and following men, rather than God. Without question, Bruce R. McConkie put himself in the category of “being on the Lord’s Side”. If you disagreed with him (as far as he was concerned), you disagreed with God! (And were dealt with accordingly.)
The great irony is that the 12 traveling ministers, commonly known today as “apostles”, were given no such authority from God over the church. By tradition, they have arrogated that power unto themselves.
Wasn’t McKonkie calling out BYU religion professor George Pace who was a semi-cult like figure with the “personal relationship with Christ” catch phrase?
I believe it is essential to go to the scriptures when confusion arises about tje gospel and the Godhead.
17 And it came to pass that when Jesus had spoken these words unto his disciples, he turned again unto the multitude and said unto them:
18 Behold, verily, verily, I say unto you, ye must watch and pray always lest ye enter into temptation; for Satan desireth to have you, that he may sift you as wheat.
19 Therefore ye must always pray unto the Father in my name;
When the Savior (having just completed the atonement gives specific direction, all opinion may be put aside.
The Savior goes one step further in this circumstance, he prays. He apologises (in His prayer) to “Father” . He acknowleges that the multitude pray to Him – asking for Father’s understanding. He says their prayers to HIM/CHRIST is because He is with them.
He fulfills a component of His role promised when he was selected by “Father” to atone for us all and to GIVE ALL THE GLORY TO FATHER.
Christ is very clear. Father initiate d the creation, selected His choice for “Savior” and from that moment Christ fulfilled the stewardship He was “CALLED” to play.
Even the temple endowment session, if we are to accept it, presents… Father authorizes creation activities to Christ, Christ delegates the activities to others (mentions Peter, James &John – Personally I’d add Adam to the creation team amid others). The team completes a creation phase, reports back to Christ who in turn reports back to Father. Then another phase of creation is initiated by Father to Christ and Christ delegates duties again.
Hebrews 11 indicates the team (identified as ELDERS) “gave a good report” thru creation and onto interacting with Adam and Eve.
Yes, we acknowledge Christ, with the term Father, but HIS Father is OUR FATHER. GOD THE FATHER, and our eternal Mother produced our spirits, and Christ is one of their children, He is our “spirit sibling”. He did not provide our spirit bodies. Even his physical body differed from ours and was produced by a union of His RESURRECTED Father and His mortal mother-Mary.