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"When the prophet has spoken, the thinking has been done"

This claim is often appealed to by many members of the church. In fact, one of the counselors in my bishopric made this claim a few days ago in priesthood meeting. I have also seen it and other very similar claims made on this very site quite often.

The oft-quoted phrase, “When our leaders speak, the thinking has been done” originally appeared in one of the Church’s teaching pamphlets in 1945. This phrase has been passed down and repeated by members and leaders for the past sixty years to silence questioning and propagate a myth of ecclesiastical infallibility. However, this has all been a big mistake.

In December of 1945, President George Albert Smith had this to say about this oft-quoted claim…

The leaflet … was not "prepared" by "one of our leaders." However, one or more of them inadvertently permitted the paragraph to pass uncensored. By their so doing, not a few members of the Church have been upset in their feelings, and General Authorities have been embarrassed.

I am pleased to assure ... that the passage quoted does not express the true position of the Church. Even to imply that members of the Church are not to do their own thinking is grossly to misrepresent the true ideal of the Church, which is that every individual must obtain for himself a testimony of the truth of the Gospel, must, through the redemption of Jesus Christ, work out his own salvation, and is personally responsible to His Maker for his individual acts. The Lord Himself does not attempt coercion in His desire and effort to give peace and salvation to His children. He gives the principles of life and true progress, but leaves every person free to choose or to reject His teachings. This plan the Authorities of the Church try to follow.

The Prophet Joseph Smith once said: "I want liberty of thinking and believing as I please." This liberty he and his successors in the leadership of the Church have granted to every other member thereof.

Yet, many members still use this to silence free thought. If not this claim, other very similar claims are made. “Don’t question the Prophet” “Questioning leads to apostacy” “Because the prophet said so, that’s why” and on and on and on…

Still many of you will say, “But that is just one phrase, the prophets have said elsewhere that we need to unquestioningly follow their command!” My elders quorum instructor bore his testimony Sunday that “the mind of the prophet is constantly in line with the will of God”. I about choked on my own tongue. I constantly hear fellow members poking fun at the Catholic belief of Papal Infallibility, yet they blindly accept this for the president of the church. Ironically, Papal Infallibility is far, far, far more reserved and limited than what many Mormons grant the president of the church.

Furthermore, many of the leaders of the church have not only denied this heretical idea of prophetic infallibility, but have urged and told members to question them. Here are some examples…

President Joseph F. Smith –

“We talk of obedience, but do we require any man or woman to ignorantly obey the counsels that are given? Do the First Presidency require it? No, never.”

Elder Charles W. Penrose –

“President Wilford Woodruff is a man of wisdom and experience, and we respect him, but we do not believe his personal views or utterances are revelations from God; and when 'Thus saith the Lord', comes from him, the saints investigate it: they do not shut their eyes and take it down like a pill.”

(Printed in the Millenial Star) –

“And none are required to tamely and blindly submit to a man because he has a portion of the priesthood. We have heard men who hold the priesthood remark, that they would do anything they were told to do by those who presided over them, if they knew it was wrong; but such obedience as this is worse than folly to us; it is slavery in the extreme; and the man who would thus willingly degrade himself should not claim a rank among intelligent beings, until he turns from his folly. A man of God... would despise the idea. Others, in the extreme exercise of their almighty authority have taught that such obedience was necessary, and that no matter what the saints were told to do by their presidents, they should do it without asking any questions. When Elders of Israel will so far indulge in these extreme notions of obedience as to teach them to the people, it is generally because they have it in their minds to do wrong themselves”

Brigham Young –

“What a pity it would be, if we were led by one man to utter destruction! Are you afraid of this? I am more afraid that this people have so much confidence in their leaders that they will not inquire for themselves of God whether they are led by him. I am fearful they settle down in a state of blind self-security, trusting their eternal destiny in the hands of their leaders with a reckless confidence that in itself would thwart the purposes of God in their salvation, and weaken the influence they could give to their leaders, did they know for themselves, by the revelations of Jesus, that they are led in the right way. Let every man and woman know, themselves, whether their leaders are walking in the path the Lord dictates, or not. This has been my exhortation continually”

BY again –

“How easy it would be for your leaders to lead you to destruction, unless you actually know the mind and will of the spirit yourselves”

And again –

“I do not wish any Latter-day Saint in this world, nor in heaven, to be satisfied with anything I do, unless the Spirit of the Lord Jesus Christ, the spirit of revelation, makes them satisfied...Suppose that the people were heedless, that they manifested no concern with regard to the things of the kingdom of God, but threw the whole burden upon the leaders of the people, saying, 'If the brethren who take charge of matters are satisfied, we are,' this is not pleasing in the sight of the Lord.”

And again –

“Now those men, or those women, who know no more about the power of God, and the influences of the Holy Spirit, than to be led entirely by another person, suspending their own understanding, and pinning their faith upon another's sleeve, will never be capable of entering into the celestial glory, to be crowned as they anticipate; they will never be capable of becoming Gods. They cannot rule themselves, to say nothing of ruling others, but they must be dictated to in every trifle, like a child. They cannot control themselves in the least, but James, Peter, or somebody else must control them. They never can become Gods, nor be crowned as rulers with glory, immortality, and eternal lives. They never can hold sceptres of glory, majesty, and power in the celestial kingdom. Who will? Those who are valiant and inspired with the true independence of heaven, who will go forth boldly in the service of their God, leaving others to do as they please, determined to do right, though all mankind besides should take the opposite course. Will this apply to any of you? Your own hearts can answer”

Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith –

“President Joseph Smith read the 14th chapter of Ezekiel [see, for example, verses 9-10: 'If the prophet be deceived when he hath spoken a thing...the punishment of the prophet shall be even as the punishment of him that seeketh unto him.']...said the Lord had declared by the Prophet [Ezekiel], that the people should each one stand for himself, and depend on no man or men in that state of corruption of the Jewish church -- that righteous persons could only deliver their own souls -- applied it to the present state [1842] of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints -- said if the people departed from the Lord, they must fall -- that they were depending on the Prophet, hence were darkened in their minds, in consequence of neglecting the duties devolving upon themselves..."

George Q. Cannon –

“Do not, brethren, put your trust in man though he be a bishop, an apostle, or a president. If you do, they will fail you at some time or place; they will do wrong or seem to, and your support be gone;"

Interestingly, in the last priesthood session, Elder Holland gave an account of Lorenzo Snow and Ezra T Benson getting capsized in Hawaii and Snow almost dying. The part he did not tell is how they ended up on the boat that got capsized. Also on the trip was their junior, Joseph F. Smith. As they neared the island, the more experienced Smith advised his seniors, that the waters were unsafe and they wait until a smaller boat arrived to bring them to shore. Not only did they reject his counsel, but in telling Smith to join them, “Young man, you would better obey our counsel.” Joseph F. Smith refused to follow their order, stayed on the ship and watched the two apostles almost kill themselves.

What think ye?

It is a problem.

I agree that there is a big problem with blind obedience in the Church. Much of it, I believe, stems from the self-righteous among us who judge us for not conforming with Mormon culture. I believe that it is this (Mormon culture) that has slowly taken over the Church in parts of the world like Provo and Orem where the Church is very strong.

If you truly believe that this is the restored Church of Jesus Christ, you would take his counsel to "ask and ye shall seek, knock and it shall be opened unto you". Too many people want to be told what to do because it's easier than guiding your own spiritual life through your OWN effort of seeking and pondering. There are even MORE people that are being pushed around obliviously with the crowd of typical Mormons because they think they will be looked down on if they don't conform. I think it's a travesty, for example, that many women at BYU will not consider seriously dating a guy because he has not served a mission. I know many guys my age that are MUCH better people than I am and while I have served a mission, they haven't. SERVING A MISSION DOES NOT MAKE YOU A BETTER PERSON THAN SOMEONE WHO HAS SERVED A MISSION.

It's social stigmas like this that perpetuated racism and other terrible bigotry. I am definitely not perfect in this regard. I must admit that sometimes I have prejudged a person before I get to know them, but I ALWAYS try to get to know them before I just dismiss them. I have found many good friends this way.

The bottom line is that Mormon culture is often more important than following Christ at BYU. It may be hard to admit, but if you sit down and think about it, if you are single, why do you go to Church? Is it to worship the one True God? or to possible see a cute girl or a friend and socialize with them? Although the social part of the Church is very important, we need to remember that Christ really does want us to remember him occasionally instead of walking around with our "good Mormon" facade on gladhanding our other joe-Mormon cronies.

You're right Tyler

You're right Tyler, everyone needs to gain their own testimony - and put in the work and thought and prayer and scripture study to gain that testimony. We shouldn't just lean on someone else's testimony - even if they are a prophet. I have known people, including myself, who get caught up in the mindset of 'just follow because a prophet told us to'; but I think that mindset is more justified than its opposite. Once I have gained a testimony that the Church was restored, and the Book of Mormon is true, and there are living prophets on the Earth today, and that God will not allow His prophet to lead the Church astray, I am much safer following everything the prophet says knowing he may make mistakes here and there, than to disregard what he says with the justification that he's not perfect - because some things may be wrong, everything could be wrong. I don't think it's 'blindly following' either, if you have put in the work to gain a testimony of the Church, and then follow the counsel of the prophet in everything he says. It's not blind because you chose that path and you put in the work and thought and prayer and study to decide that that is the path you want to take.

Now, are prophets perfect? Of course not, or else they would be called gods, and not prophets. Do prophets and leaders of the Church make mistakes? Of course they do. Are they the most perfect men on the face of the Earth? I doubt it, although I personally believe they are among them. Are they perfect scientists, or orators? Some of them are very good in those fields, but none of them is perfect.

When a prophet gets up and speaks to us in conference, he does so as a sustained prophet, seer, and revelator for the church, and he is acting in that capacity. He has the authority to receive revelation to affect the entire church, and in fact, the entire world. If a good stake president were to get up in conference to speak - he may have good things to say, but he would not have the authority to speak as a prophet, seer, or revelator for the church. So when you speak of personal conversations prophets may have with friends or family, they may speak things that have not been revealed to them by God. A prophet speaking in a general setting, and speaking knowing he is addressing the world, he is acting within his stewardship, and in a position where he is able to receive revelation for the entire world. There are only fifteen men who hold that position, one which presides over them all, and all of them under the jurisdiction of their Creator.

So for someone who is converted to the Gospel of Christ in His restored church to follow every word, unquestionably, that comes from a prophet's mouth as he speaks to the church, I don't see that as mindless, dumb, or blind. They have put in the work to gain that testimony and put themselves in that position. Now, personally, I prefer to live a life more along what I think you are describing - I like to find out for myself that everything the prophet says is true, and good, and consistent with previous revelations. I think prophets can misspeak on occasion, or err. The church evolves and progresses toward perfection just like any other creation. The gospel it is built around remains perfect, and its Head remains perfect, but the church and every single member of that church is still along the lines of progression. For this reason, I believe current revelation supersedes previous revelation - although I think it all needs to be considered together. Alot of times you'll see seeming contradictions, then when you think further and deeper, you realize they fit together better than you originally thought.

Now, knowing that prophets are people too, and leaders of the church are in fact fallible, it is easy for people to use that fact to justify not following what they say. As if the fallibility of leaders is some sort of 'convenience clause' in the commandments. I see this alot with words prophets have spoken that people will consider just 'suggestions' or 'good advice'. Well - if you're truly looking to becoming perfect, who better to look for for suggestions or good advice, than the prophets who receive revelation for us. Along those same lines people use the justification of 'I'm sure doing (such and such) is not going to keep you out of the Celestial Kingdom!' They're smart enough to realize that you don't have to be perfect right at first to attain exaltation, but yet they miss the points of obedience and progression. If I know that something is bad, and yet I still do it, then I am not progressing - meaning I'm not getting any closer to the Celestial Kingdom. It's not so much the individual acts that are keeping them from progression, but the attitude of complacency and convenience. Christ bore the weight of the world in Gethsemane to fulfill his part of the plan, what makes us think that we can coast through life with our pet vices?

So, finally, you bring up a good point, Tyler. I guess I see it as every time a prophet speaks it's counsel and a challenge all in one. It's up to us to find out if what he's saying is true, right, good, consistent, and from God. The best way to do that, in my opinion, is to try it. It seems there is something inately hardwired into our brain to always want to push the limits. When the Prophet says we're against gambling, by the time people get home they've already come up with some sort of definition 'he was only talking to people that have a problem with it'. When the prophet says to avoid R-rated movies, and then 15 years later says to use our best judgment in the movies we watch, people immediately assume that means R-rated movies are okay. Shouldn't that mean (remembering to think of everything in context of previous revelation) that we shouldn't watch R-rated movies AND we should use our best judgment on the movies we watch?

It's through applying the principles of prophetic counsel into my life that I've found out which things are true and right and good and from God, and will lead me back to the Celestial Kingdom. I think, in a way, you insult the attitude of obedience when you label those that obey as blind followers. I don't think the prophets are in any way insinuating that it's okay to not follow the prophet. I believe what they're saying is that each individual carries equal responsibility to find out for themselves if it's true or not, and those thoughts can be the fruits of gaining a basic testimony.

We also need to make the clear distinction between prophetic words and mormon culture. The doctrine of the church is true, but there are some habits and perpetuations among mormons that are not. Ward prayer, for example, may be a good thing for some people, but it's not church doctrine. it's not church doctrine that a mission automatically makes you a better person. That obviously deserves some attention in and of itself. I know alot of people who haven't served missions who are far better than I am, even though I did serve a mission. But this doesn't mean that a mission doesn't make you a better person. A mission gives you opportunities to learn and grow that you wouldn't have if you didn't serve a mission. So while a mission doesn't automatically make you a better person, it certainly can. Anyway, the point of distinguishing between doctrine and mormon culture, is that blind obedience to mormon culture is stupid. Blind obedience to doctrine isn't stupid. You can know that the doctrine of the church is true without knowing every single point of doctrine taught in the church. Tyler's question may be how we know what is and what is not doctrine. Part of the First Presidency's calling as outlined in the Doctrine and Covenants, is to establish doctrine. So that's why it's important to first gain the testimony of whether or not these men are Prophets, Seers, and Revelators. (rhetorical question: Did you raise your hand and sustain them as such in the last conference?)

Moroni was a prophet, and in his last words he talked about how he hoped there weren't any errors in his writing, but if there were they were the errors of man, not of God. He also said if we find error, that we should be thankful God is merciful enough to make us wiser than they were. So do prophets err? Obviously they do. Do they do it often? In my opinion, no they do not. Is it usually a significant mistake when they make it? It's usually not in major contradiction to the core doctrines of the Gospel, no. Would you be better off following every word that escaped the prophets mouth when spoken to the entire church, even if it occasionally contained error, than to disregard everything that he said as a 'possible mistake'? In my opinion, yes.

I'm all for intelligent, aware, competent members of the church and followers of the prophet. We should see that as a blessing to us that we have a prophet to lead us, and that will never lead us astray. I don't think we should ever use that mindset to justify or toss to the side anything that God reveals to us through His mouthpiece.

By the way, please cite your sources when you post a story......something like this would help so we know what type of sites you get your information from.

Tyler, the Plagiarizer

Tyler, I was surprised that you could come up with those quotes all by yourself, but then I realized you didnt, you got it off lets just say a less than reputable web site. http://www.lds-mormon.com/mothink.shtml. I have taken the liberty to search that site, and I can understand why you would not want to post it as your source. The site is clearly anti-Church of Jesus Christ of Later-Day Saints, questioning leadership and taking the opinoin of ex-communicated members over that of the lords chosen. It has obviously been the source for many of your other stories. All credibility of your articles and ideas as being original and true to the chruch has been lost. I didnt know that you were ok with plagiarism. That is what you did by posting your story without putting a source. Also by doing what you did, you could have put Mason in a position of breaking copyright laws. Mason is not allowed to post a whole story, and he did. Plagiarism is against the law. Its too bad that you reverted to it. I wonder how many other of Tylers stories have been plagerized off of questionable websites like these. Im sure if I spent the night searching these websites I could find about every idea you ever presented as your own. That is too bad. I'm not here to throw mud, but just show things the way they are. Im just disapointed in you tyler, thats all.

For those of you out there, I ask you to look at this site and judge for yourselves what you see. Ask yourself this question; Does this website, and the stories posted thereon strengthen my testimony of the restored gospel and the leaders of the chruch past and present? I dont know what your answer will be, but I know what it was for me. Clearly this site is anti. And it seems Tyler has been getting his information from this site. Interesting.

Tyler tyler tyler

Your ignoring a very important principal. Abraham was commanded to take his son, the one promised to him and his wife, and offer him as a sacrafice. Without asking a question Abraham took his son, Issac, and prepared to offer him as a burnt offering. Before he did it, an angel appeared and asked Abraham what he was doing and why he was doing it. Abraham said that he was doing as The Lord commanded. He simply took what was said at face value and did it.

Tyler, if you want ANY credibility at all then you can't pick and choose when the prophets and apostles are right and when they are wrong. If you play that kind of game, where they are only authoratative when you feel like they are, then I can use the same logic and use quotes that only back my positions. If you can't see the double standard here then you need to pull the blinders off.

question for tyler

I didn't read the story. I haven't looked at the comments. I just wanted to make the comment that it seems the stories tyler submits are generally antagonizing to the general membership of the Church. Are you secretly trying to promote something other than what the Church has to say? If you are, you're going about it very cleverly. If not, I can't help but wonder about your motives. It almost seems as if there's this attitude that you agree with the gospel but think the vast majority of the members are unable to be intelligent.

Just wondering- what's your stance?

Robot, you are the the most s

Robot, you are the the most self-righteous prick I've had anything to do with online. Maybe if you'd read my post, you would have realized that I pointed out immediately that I hadn't read any more than the headline, and if you'd actually considered the content of what I said (that I wondered about the topics of tyler's posts) then maybe you could have rendered an intelligent response. As it is, you are obviously trying to react to anything I say. You've proven yourself an antagonizing jerk.

EDIT:
You are all fools. Instead of understanding principles and following them yourselves, you need someone to spoon-feed you EVERYTHING that you should do to be 'saved.' How ridiculous.

Well you know Robot, we all haven't had our calling and election made sure, like you have. We still need leaders, unlike you. We're imperfect, and we tend to group together so that we can help each other be better. I suppose we should appoint you as the all-knowing Pulser who has all the answers.

I'm not even sure why I respond to you anymore.

Psssst!

Hey Mr. Logic,
You used quotes from the brethren to try and prove that the brethren's words aren't dependable.
Either you're stupid or you think that we are.
Add hominy to any order: $.50

I think it's pretty clear tha

I think it's pretty clear that our man Tyler likes placing himself in the middle of controversy. Whether or not he actually believes the things he writes about or just likes to watch the spit fly is hard to tell, in my opinion, due to his incendiary approach.

In this case, I'm not convinced this is an issue. I think the bigger problem is people NOT listening to their leaders, rather than listening to them too much.

You guys all live in freakin La La land. In defense of Tyler

I think what Tyler is saying is that you can't just jump up and say the prophet is right by golly just because he is the prophet. You all make the claim that you say you have to "search, ponder, and pray". He is not making any claim that the prophet is wrong. he is not trying to prove that the prophet is wrong. he is proving that you have to figure it out for yourself. WHAT IS YOUR FREAKIN TESTIMONY? I think seriously, in a deep way, I think Tyler is one that understands his testimony the most. Seems to me a bunch of you still live off your primary testimony or the ones you share on your mission because it's simple for the investigator can understand and your language skill isn't par to equal.

Look at what you belive. Understand why. Not just because a man told you to do so. Think about. Remember your missions. Did you try to teach people to think about what their leaders of other religions told them? Find out for themselves if what their leaders is telling is the truth? DIdn't it frustrate you when they were like, oh because so and so said so. Well think about yourselves. This isn't a comment to cause you to lose your testimony. It's a comment to understand it better. Learn from it. I think if all of you would just quit your defensive whining trying to protect maybe what the prophet said, understand what he said and figure it out for yourself and not "just because he said so".

Djake and Farker, Listen to yourselves, you big babies.

Man, I can already see you guys starting to cry. It's like your whole world is crashing down or something. Instead of getting so emotional, why don't you look at what the argument is and come to your own rational conclusion, like Mephi?

All someone has to do is ask some questions about what you believe and you pull out "heretics" and "Rameumpton." Typical.

Here is an analogy you babies might find interesting.

In North Korea (I am not making this up, it is true):

1. You are not allowed to read anything against the state. If anyone is caught reading anything that is against the state, they are automatically labeled "enemies of the state" and are ostracized, and your family is shamed for generations.

2. This state goes back through their history books and hides everything that does not promote the government, and it always emphasizes the greatness of the state.

3. They use propaganda to convince their people that the enemy is "evil, and all around us," and they continually say that "the enemy is getting more and more evil," so that their citizens are more easily kept in line and continue to support the state.

4.You are not allowed to even question the government. If you question the government, they automatically brand you as an "enemy to the state."

5. They promote the propaganda that their leader, Kim Yong, is infallible.

Can you believe how North Korea treats its citizens, what is their government so afraid of?

dJake and Farker, can you be any more ignorant?

I don't think you know Tyler as well as you like to claim a lot. In your quote

The issue that Tyler is bringing to a head here, reading the way Tyler is writing, that the prophets are consistently wrong, the Church is true but the prophets aren't teaching the truth.

it seems to me you make a claim the Tyler believes the "church" is being lead away by false prophets that ,as you put it, "the prophets are consistently wrong. That's not at all what he is saying. Can you go as far as saying this without knowing him and what he believes?

That's the problem with a lot of people these days. For example, I know a lot of people take Dr D. Michael Quinn as an apostate. Takes some of his views that he has that may be contrary to some and then say everything he says must be wrong because he must have the devil in him. I know you probably don't say he has the devil in him but treat him as such. So if the man has a sincere testimony in the truths of the matter, it doesn't matter because he must have the "devil in him". If you heard Dr D. Michael Quinn's testimony I think that it would open you up to understanding of the way humans can feel and you would feel the spirit like everyone else that heard it. Don't judge a man without understanding them.

You must feel pretty good about yourselves being the "DEFENDERS OF TRUTH". I mean I think that it's great that you feel so strongly about the men that God calls to lead his children. You know what? If you really asked Tyler and not in a demeaning way, you would see how strong his testimony and how stupid you would feel because you thought you were better cause you were the mighty "DEFENDER OF TRUTH".

And from both Farker and dJakes comments... I think you guys are good guys but come out completely stupid when you try to make a comment saying that Tyler and Robot are in some way trying to pull people away from the church. I bet if one of you sat in a testimony meeting where Tyler bore his testimony you would be like wow that guy has a good testimony. Sad thing is you probably already may have. Don't be ignorantly stupid cause you think you are the mighty "Defender of Truth".

A Defender of Truth, the Anti-Intellectual

I'm not in the office today and I don't want to spend 3 hours responding to everything in depth, I'll hit on the key points and, as Robot has suggested, take this to it's rational conclusion.



Bighead Bob

    It's funny that you consider me a defender of truth, and I am rather flattered by the title. While I think the tyler and Robot are elitists, I'm not doubting the veracity of their testimonies. Tyler has a rather high opinion of his intellectual "superiority," I don't think his testimony is nonexistant.


    As for Dr. Quinn's work, I've never had a desire to read it. I don't need to have a clean look at the history of the Church to know that my testimony is solid because instead of being based off of historical facts, my testimony is based off of the spiritual witness I recieve from the Holy Ghost.

Robot

    Your North Korea example is kind of amusing. So in your opinion the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints is a totalitarian regime focused on nothing but making sure that everybody has a good opinion of it? And yet they haven't tracked you or tyler down so that they can promptly excommunicate you and have you labeled as an enemy of the faith. Once again, you climb to the top of your intellectual Rameumptom to proclaim how great you are and how stupid the rest of us are. I'm sorry that we can't aspire to your lofty intellectual understanding of the eternities.

Tyler Durden

    Let me underscore something I said to Bighead. I don't doubt the strength or veracity of your testimony. I have no doubt that you believe the tenents of the gospel just as strongly as I do. What I do question is your desire to lean on your intellectual understanding of the gospel instead of focusing on the spiritual growth of the gospel. How do I come to this conclusion? Your posts consistently go back to intellectual sources instead of making appeals to the scriptures. The gospel of Jesus Christ isn't an intellectual experience, it is a spiritual experience. I give you two scriptural sources for this:
    Cursed is he that putteth his trust in man, or maketh flesh his arm, or shall hearken unto the precepts of men, save their precepts shall be given by the power of the Holy Ghost. (2 Nephi 28:31

    And from the Lord directly:

    The weak things of the world shall come forth and break down the mighty and strong ones, that man should not counsel his fellow man, neither trust in the arm of flesh (D&C 1:19)

    There are other quotes in the scriptures like that, and that is the reason that I don't try to intellectualize the gospel. I read, I study, I pray and ask for confirmation, and when confirmation is given, I don't question it. I don't need to because my source of knowledge is between God and his oracles, the scriptures and the Holy Ghost.

    Are the prophets and apostles men? Yes. Are they falible? Yes. Will they lead me contrary to the precepts of the gospel? No.

Rational conclusion to this whole mess:

Yea, I know that I am nothing; as to my strength I am weak; therefore I will not boast of myself, but I will boast of my God, for in his strength I can do all things (Alma 26:12)

If you want to intellectualize the gospel and find all of the holes in the system, be my guest. I have always known where truth comes from and how to achieve it when I need it. IT DOES NOT involve looking up quotes from leaders, past or present, to try and prove to myself or others that a principal is right or wrong. It does involve relying heavily on God, because then I don't have to question the truth. I know it.


Wanna talk sports, I'm game. Wanna talk about the stupid things that happen in Provo, I'm game. If you wanna have a rational discussion, I'm game. If you want to intellectualize the gospel, I'm going back to ESPN or Power Line.

Rock on dJake!

!

2 Ne. 9: 28

2 Ne. 9: 28

28 O that cunning plan of the evil one! O the vainness, and the frailties, and the foolishness of men! When they are learned they think they are wise, and they hearken not unto the counsel of God, for they set it aside, supposing they know of themselves, wherefore, their wisdom is foolishness and it profiteth them not. And they shall perish.

I've tried to completely avoid this thread, because of its total lack of debate and blogging etiquette.

A couple of things that would really improve the quality of any discussion:

1) When someone makes a good point, acknowledge it as such. If you don't have any refutation for it, then perhaps you are wrong. If you do, and just disagree - then just agree to disagree. It's okay that we don't all come out of discussions agreeing completely on the topic.

2) Avoid immature and personal attacks. The reason behind all of these types of attacks is a lack of argument. If you've got nothing to add to the discussion, don't take away from it by throwing out immature personal attacks.

3) Site your sources. When you quote someone, tell us who you're quoting, where you got the quote from, where/why and in what context the original quote was said. It may take a few minutes of googling to come up with a source. But a legimitate source adds alot to any argument, whereas sourceless claims carry little or no credibility or validity.

4) Try to understand what the person really means by their post. You can take someone's argument and play all sorts of semantics games with it, but when you do you're not refuting the argument!!! When you make assumptions and take words out of context to try to prove some sort of point, no matter how intelligent your point may be, you still look like an idiot. If you need clarification, ask for it, and hopefully you'll get it.

5) Re-emphasis on the fact that it's okay to disagree!! If you have both explained your stance sufficently, provided sufficient evidence to back up your claims, and feel you understand where the other person is coming from, there's nothing wrong with disagreeing in the end. Not everyone needs to think exactly how you do. If you've made a good argument, then the readers will decide what they think is right.

Does anyone else feel like th

Does anyone else feel like they're actually getting...stupider as a result of this endless discussion of opinions? Not that any of us are actually completely stupid...but getting stupider?

Obviously, I'm not really contributing anything here...but that's because you don't really care what I think. In reality, you just want me to know and agree with what you think. If this is a false assumption, it's only because that's the way you come off when you type.

It's not a discussion, it's an ill-fated argument, as most arguments are.

So, I won't play your game. I'll think what I think, and let you guess what that is if you really care.

Missing posts?

Has anyone else noticed that recent posts to this discussion are disappearing? They show up in the "Latest comments" section on the top left of the page, but are otherwise missing.

Tyler, I was surprised that y

Tyler, I was surprised that you could come up with those quotes all by yourself

You should be, because none of my posts have ever been original.

but then I realized you didnt, you got it off lets just say a less than reputable web site. http://www.lds-mormon.com/mothink.shtml. I have taken the liberty to search that site, and I can understand why you would not want to post it as your source. The site is clearly anti-Church of Jesus Christ of Later-Day Saints, questioning leadership and taking the opinoin of ex-communicated members over that of the lords chosen.

I was actually going to post the link, but I knew that many (such has obviously been the case with you) would disregard it because the maintainer of lds-mormon.com is an athiest with an anti-mormon flare.

It has obviously been the source for many of your other stories.

Actually it hasn't. In fact, this is the first time I consciously referenced it. If I have used anything, it comes from works by Hugh Nibley, Blake Ostler, Eugene England, The Book of Mormon, and elsewhere. The story in this post about Joseph F. Smith is from Todd Compton's article "Non-Hierarchical Revelation" in the book "Women and Authority :Re-emerging Mormon Feminism". I read a LOT. I'm betting a lot more than you. I do not say this to lift myself or any crap like that... just to deny your silly claim that most of my stories have come from lds-mormon.com. Oh yeah, just to make you happy, the quote from George Albert Smith comes from http://pdbio.byu.edu/zool338/1945.htm . I was looking for this quote after a counselor in my bishopric pulled the "when the leader has spoken" card and I recalled reading Smith's reply in a Sunstone article.

All credibility of your articles and ideas as being original and true to the chruch has been lost.

I certainly hope you are the only one sliding down this slippery slope.

Also by doing what you did, you could have put Mason in a position of breaking copyright laws.

Could not. If you really want reasons, I'll give them. I'm sure you are big enough to realize how silly and unfactual this claim is.

I wonder how many other of Tylers stories have been plagerized off of questionable websites like these. Im sure if I spent the night searching these websites I could find about every idea you ever presented as your own.

Have fun. You won't find any. Just to clarify one thing for you, I retrieved the Proclamation on the Economy from the Mormons for Equality and Social Justice website, mesj.org. (I was given the reference from a BYU professor at the recent Mormon Studies Conference at UVSC). While it is clearly not plagerism, it may not be so clear and simple for some on provopulse

Im just disapointed in you tyler, thats all

You were disappointed in me long before this.

For those of you out there, I ask you to look at this site and judge for yourselves what you see. Ask yourself this question; Does this website, and the stories posted thereon strengthen my testimony of the restored gospel and the leaders of the chruch past and present? I dont know what your answer will be, but I know what it was for me. Clearly this site is anti. And it seems Tyler has been getting his information from this site. Interesting.

And this is exactly why I did not reference the site. Instead of dealing with the quotes. You resort to ad hominem criticism. If anything, use the site to determine the original sources. Look them up. Find out for yourself whether or nor they are taken in context. Then deal with the quotes. Don't defer to rhydogg's unfortunate ad hominem reasoning.

I don't think it's 'blindly f

I don't think it's 'blindly following' either, if you have put in the work to gain a testimony of the Church, and then follow the counsel of the prophet in everything he says. It's not blind because you chose that path and you put in the work and thought and prayer and study to decide that that is the path you want to take

Yet, that is exactly what Brigham Young and others spoke against.

So for someone who is converted to the Gospel of Christ in His restored church to follow every word, unquestionably, that comes from a prophet's mouth as he speaks to the church, I don't see that as mindless, dumb, or blind.

I am totally confused here. SO do accept what Brigham Young said or not? You've got some odd double standard here.

A prophet speaking in a general setting, and speaking knowing he is addressing the world, he is acting within his stewardship, and in a position where he is able to receive revelation for the entire world.

This is ironically, similar to the Catholic dogma of Papal Infallibility (in their case, it is when he is sitting upon the throne of Peter - though it is much more restrictive than that). However, there is no such LDS doctrine! It's a myth. The keyword in your claim is 'able'. He is able to. That does not mean that it is.

I think, in a way, you insult the attitude of obedience when you label those that obey as blind followers

I never claimed such. The onlt time I said 'blind' was in the blind acceptance of the myth of ecclesiatical infallibility. I believe your criticism is much better applied to Brigham Young, but then that would make you hypocritical.

By the way, please cite your sources when you post a story......something like this would help so we know what type of sites you get your information from.

In a reply below, I give why I did not post the lds-mormon.com source. If I find the time (which I probably won't - i have to plagerize four 10-12 pages by next week), I'll try to give links to complete on-line sources for each of the quotes.

Anyways, I appreciate your reply. I obvously disagreed with a few points, but i largely agree with the whole of it. For the most part, I believe that a primary duty of the prophet is to bring things to our attention and then allowing us evaluate them for ourselves. Much like Brigham Young, I believe that blind obedience hinders our progression. It makes us amoral (not immoral). We need to evaluate things and choose because we know that it is right in itself, not just because the prophet said so.

On a side note, I must admit that I really enjoyed President Hinckley's priesthood session talk. He laid it out quite well. I had to sit back and take it all in later that night, but I agree with him... and will no longer gamble :(

Your ignoring a very importan

Your ignoring a very important principal. Abraham was commanded to take his son, the one promised to him and his wife, and offer him as a sacrafice. Without asking a question Abraham took his son, Issac, and prepared to offer him as a burnt offering. Before he did it, an angel appeared and asked Abraham what he was doing and why he was doing it. Abraham said that he was doing as The Lord commanded. He simply took what was said at face value and did it.

I'm not sure exactly what was going through Abraham's head. He lived in a very different society and culture that had a very different understanding and practice of sacrifice then we have today. Furthermore, he was in direct contact with God. There is a great difference between God telling Abraham to sacrifice his son and (lets say) Melchizedek telling Abraham to do it. The whole story is very difficult. Question for you: President Hinckely enters your home and says he needs to eat your brain. Would you let him? My friend made up this question long ago. Another question: An angel of light tells you to kill your parents. Do you?

If you play that kind of game, where they are only authoratative when you feel like they are, then I can use the same logic and use quotes that only back my positions. If you can't see the double standard here then you need to pull the blinders off

I am not using any double standards. I am just saying that sometimes they are right sometimes they are wrong. I set no standards. It seems that it is you who has the problem of reconciling the opposing views of church leaders concerning ecclesiatical infallibility and obedience.

Are you secretly trying to pr

Are you secretly trying to promote something other than what the Church has to say?

I'm not sure what you mean by 'Church'. If you are referring to the organization as a whole, then I'm not sure if such a unified thing exists. If you are referring to the leadership, then again, I don't think any single unified leadership exists. If you are using 'church' in the scriptural sense to refer to the members as a whole, once again, I don't think a single unified conglomeration exists. So I guess the answer is no.

If not, I can't help but wonder about your motives.

pure evil

It almost seems as if there's this attitude that you agree with the gospel but think the vast majority of the members are unable to be intelligent.

You almost got it. Except I really don't know what the 'vast majority of the members' believe or think. All I can really say is "the vast majority of the members [of my elder's quorum] are [apparently] unable to be intelligent" or that "[a fair amount] of the members are unable to be intelligent"

I hope that answers your question. I know it sounds all high and mighty, but that is what happens when you have a supremely powerful intellect like me. ;)

Farker and reason?

"are you secretly trying to promote something other than what the Church has to say? If you are, you're going about it very cleverly."

This is idiotic. Why is it when someone says, 'Think for yourself, and do not blindly follow someone else' he is branded a heretic?

You are all fools. Instead of understanding principles and following them yourselves, you need someone to spoon-feed you EVERYTHING that you should do to be 'saved.' How ridiculous. Why do you even need the prophet to tell you not to gamble? Why is it that you only stop gambling when he says something about it?

Blind obedience leads to robots. Robots are not Gods; they are pets.

Study the best books (even if they are not canonized scripture) and learn to govern yourselves.

Only obedience, WITH understanding, can lead to exaltation.

so touchy, Farker

Maybe if you'd read my post, you would have realized that I pointed out immediately that I hadn't read any more than the headline,

What kind of self-righteous prick posts a comment without even reading the content?

Are you secretly trying to promote something other than what the Church has to say? If you are, you're going about it very cleverly.

This whole attack on tyler's motives without having even read the content of his post!

Talk about self-righteous.

"You used quotes from the bre

"You used quotes from the brethren to try and prove that the brethren's words aren't dependable."

Once again you are claiming something that I have never said. I am only showing that they are not infallible. That means they may be wrong. They can occasionally be wrong and still be dependable. If you think that you can only depend on someone who is absolutely perfect in a thing, then you live a sorry life.

If these quotes are correct, then church leaders are not infallible, but it is still possible for them to be right most of the time. If these quotes are wrong, then church leaders are not infallible and can still possibly be right most of the time.

If claims that church leaders are infallible are correct, then church leaders are infallible and are right all of the time. If the claims are false, then church leaders are not infallible and are not right all of the time.

If church leaders are infallible, then no church leader can claim that church leaders are not infallible.

Church leaders have claimed that church leaders are not infallible. Therefore church leaders are not infallible.

The claim that church leaders are infallible is false.

The fact that church leaders have claimed that church leaders are not infallible proves church leaders are not infallible. Whether or not they are correct. If they are correct, then church leaders are not infallible. If they are wrong, then church leaders are not infallible.

Since I am now, apparently, 'Mr. Logic', I can outline this all out for you if you want.

"Either you're stupid or you think that we are."

There are plenty of other options. I am sure there are lots of smart people on provopulse. I, however, am definitely stupid. But I believe there is at least one other stupid person here. I won't name any names.

Mephibosheth

"I think the bigger problem is people NOT listening to their leaders, rather than listening to them too much."

hmmm...please elaborate, Mephi.

Living in La La Land

Consider the following quote:

I am bothered by the apathy and amoral life of people I see around me in Happy Valley. Merely following the prophet or merely doing something because we 'know' God has commanded it is not acting morally. Our lives have become determined by the dictations of others. We are no longer acting freely, but our living as slaves of others.

You'd think that somebody was railing against the sins of pornography, fornication, drug use or something of that realm. Instead it is one "enlightened" Mormon telling the rest of the Mormons, while standing on top of the Rameumpton, that they are living amoral lives because they follow the teachings of Jesus Christ. Correct me if I'm wrong but this sounds like some Southern Baptist coming into town and telling me I'm going to hell for being a Mormon.



I have a testimony of the gospel of Jesus Christ. When I want to know the truth of a principal, I pray about it. If the principal is correct then I recieve confirmation that the principal is correct and then I continue on in life. Sometimes, often times when listening to the prophet and the apostles speak, I feel Spirit confirming the message as it is being delivered. Without even praying about it I know the truth of the message. In either case, I know for myself the truth of the message.



The issue that Tyler is bringing to a head here, reading the way Tyler is writing, that the prophets are consistently wrong, the Church is true but the prophets aren't teaching the truth. Tyler has appointed himself as a barometer of truth around here and expects that because he is "enlightened" that we should all instantly switch over to his philosophy.


What Robot Durden (if I may borrow from provojoe's fun title) is saying is borderline heretical. Satan likes to use the tool of divide and conquer. The thought is "maybe if we can get a few Mormons to think that the prophets are wrong all of the time then they'll fall away from the church." Do I believe prophets are immune to making mistakes? Not a chance. They are men just like everybody else is on the planet. At the same time, we are talking about a body of men who live their lives in such strict accordance to spiritual guidelines that it makes me HIGHLY suspicious that Tyler is right and they are wrong. Fine, tyler can pull out a few examples of how their are conflicts in the teachings of the prophets. His few examples are what anti-mormons use to try and tell members of the Church that the prophets of different times don't agree with each other so therefore the Church isn't true.



When tyler (and by supporting his arguments, Robot and Mexican Scientist) uses these examples about what is wrong with the Church it is going to invoke the righteous indignation of us "mindless" believers. Tyler calling me and everybody else who believes and acts of those beliefs amoral is kind of hard to swallow. And then when he uses anti- material to prove his point it ceases to become tyler trying to point out that our spiritual development could be stunted and it turns into a full court defense of the truth. I'm not a slave in any regard, I make my own choices. And if beind a disciple of Christ makes me a slave, slap the ankle irons on and throw me out in the fields.

I think what Tyler is saying

I think what Tyler is saying is that you can't just jump up and say the prophet is right by golly just because he is the prophet.

Actually, you can. I don't know of any example in the history of the world where anyone has ever been anything but blessed for following the prophet just because he is the prophet. Last I checked, the prophet was the mouthpiece of the Lord.

Reminds me of a story in the Book of Mormon. There's this one guy talking to another guy and he says something to the effect of, "You guys are all stupid. Why do you look for Christ? Nobody can know there is a Christ. These prophecies of yours, they are just stupid traditions passed down from you fathers. You've got frenzied minds. Now I'm not saying that there ISN'T a Christ, I'm just saying YOU can't KNOW there is a Christ. Want me to believe? Show me a sign. Prove it."

Dang, I can't remember what happened next.

Robot

That's it, Robot. You have just proved that you are a heretic. Like Farker, I don't even have to read your post; I already know that you're motives are full of deviant half-truths.

I'm going to have to go with Djake and God on this one; sorry, friend.

Just kidding. Actually, I thought that was a pretty interesting analogy. But I'm pretty darn sure that there are no parallels between that and the organization I happen to give my entire life to without question.

Yup, no parallels at all.

So you really do have deep-se

So you really do have deep-seated problems with the restored church!
That's 2 out of 3, Loyd you care to confess, too?
How did it happen? Did you see an angel of light?
Did it say, " Get thee out and say unto this people: Stop blindly following
the prophet, for he is a mere mortal and this people are in bondage to him.
Yea, he is given to err and lead this people astray lest ye recover them
through your tireless and thankless preaching. But behold the glory be
thine forever". Did it go something like that?
Do tell!

Great analogy, Robot. So wha

Great analogy, Robot. So what you're saying is that Mormons who choose not to fully investigate everything controversial in the Church are like the North Korean government. Moron. Why not use words like cult or Nazi to further sensationalize the issue?

Nobody's world is crashing down on them, unless maybe those of you who feel that the Church isn't really what it proclaims to be. Why don't you guys just cut to the chase? The leaders don't agree with each other. The Church is trying to hide it's history. Everyone (you know, except for the few of you educated and enlightened folks are blindly following traditions that are false and will do nothing for us in the long run. Basically, the LDS Church is full of liars and lemmings. All liars and lemmings, except for a few of you chosen and intelligent people.

I'd love to see you guys making these statements in public, without the guise of internet anonymity. I'm sure the bishop would call on you to deliver your intellect to the unknowing congregation. I bet the missionaries introduce you to their investigators right away, hoping for you to spread your awesome understanding and radiant testimonies with them.

But because we disagree, we're babies. I tell you you're full of yourself, and I'm unChristlike. You say, "you're all fools!" but we, well we're just the blind followers that aren't as educated as you are, with your wonderful truth-seeking and altruistic motives. You just want to help show us the right way, is that it?

Get over yourself.

Interesting claims. You know

Interesting claims. You know tyler and Robot personally? It's also nice how you are confident tyler has this awesome testimony (I'm assuming you don't know him) and how dJake and I are ignorant (I know you don't know me).

I don't consider myself the DEFENDER OF TRUTH either. Maybe more like that ATTACKER OF SELF-RIGHTEOUSNESS, which applies much more to Robot than tyler, but I find it difficult to believe either of them have altruistic motives, which is really all I ever questioned.

I'm amazed at how judgmental some of you are that keep asking us DEFENDERS OF TRUTH to be objective.