Mormon doctrine and how it is established: an official explanation?

At the April (2012) General Conference of the Mormon Church, Apostle D. Todd Christofferson told the congregation,

“…we must admit there has been and still persists some confusion about our doctrine and how it is established. That is the subject I wish to address today.”

In his remarks, Apostle Christofferson explained,

“The President of the Church may announce or interpret doctrines based on revelations to him (see, for example, D&C 138). Doctrinal expression may also come through the combined council of the First Presidency and Quorum of the Twelve Apostles (see, for example, Official Declaration 2)… At the same time it should be remembered that not every statement made by a Church leader, past or present, necessarily constitutes doctrine. It is commonly understood in the Church that a statement made by one leader on a single occasion often represents a personal, though well-considered, opinion, not meant to be official or binding for the whole Church. The Prophet Joseph Smith taught that ‘a prophet [is] a prophet only when [he] is acting as such.” (Apostle D. Todd Christofferson, “The Doctrine of Christ,” Ensign, May 2012, p. 88)

This, after he said several pages earlier:

“By 1954, President J. Reuben Clark Jr., then a counselor in the First Presidency, explained how doctrine is promulgated in the Church and the preeminent role of the President of the Church. Speaking of members of the First Presidency and Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, he stated: ‘[We] should [bear] in mind that some of the General Authorities have had assigned to them a special calling; they possess a special gift; they are sustained as prophets, seers, and revelators, which gives them a special spiritual endowment in connection with their teaching of the people. They have the right, the power, and authority to declare the mind and will of God to his people, subject to the over-all power and authority of the President of the Church. Others of the General Authorities are not given this special spiritual endowment and authority covering their teaching; they have a resulting limitation, and the resulting limitation upon their power and authority in teaching applies to every other officer and member of the Church, for none of them is spiritually endowed as a prophet, seer, and revelator. Furthermore, as just indicated, the President of the Church has a further and special spiritual endowment in this respect, for he is the Prophet, Seer, and Revelator of the whole Church.'” (pp. 86-87)

OK, so let me get this straight:

  1. The General Authorities have authority to declare doctrine.
  2. However, some of the General Authorities are limited.
  3. Apparently, the only one without limitation is the President of the Church.
  4. At the same time, if the President says something out of sync that is just his personal (though well-thought out) opinion, then it is “not meant to be official or binding for the whole church.”
  5. Conclusion: Therefore, we really can’t trust ANYTHING from these leaders–including the Prophet– because everything they say could possibly be just their personal opinion.

Thus, why bother having these leaders in the first place if they can’t be fully trusted and might be just spouting off personal opinions that are not scriptural?

And it’s so confusing because in October 2010, 13th President Ezra Taft Benson’s speech “Fourteen Fundamentals in Following the Prophet” was quoted (twice) in General Conference, point by point. And in that speech Benson said that a prophet does not have to say “Thus saith the Lord” for something to be considered a word from the Lord. So, I’m left with the conclusion that I can trust a Mormon leader’s words only if my personal revelation tells me he’s not merely speaking from his own limited perspective/opinion. Here we go — it all boils down to personal revelation, doesn’t it?

OK, then, I get it. I’m so glad LDS Apostle Christofferson cleared things up. But wait. What if I, as a Mormon (for the sake of argument), determine by personal revelation that everything this apostle (note: he’s not even the President) just told us in the Conference was nothing more than just his personal opinion? I guess we can disregard everything he said in this article. Case closed…Is this what we call a spiritual free-for-all?

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33 Responses to Mormon doctrine and how it is established: an official explanation?

  1. Mike R says:

    Eric, great post. These are interesting times in Mormondom . Confusion about doctrine and
    how it’s established? How could that be ? Perhaps this is one of the major reasons why so
    LDS are becoming inactive . Those who run autocratic organizations like the Mormon
    Church will point their finger at their followers, the rank and file members , for failing to grasp
    what is and what is not accurate doctrine . But all the rationalizing might stop if Mormon
    leaders would admit their track record of teaching spiritual truths has’nt been all to stable
    since Jesus supposedly restored His gospel thru them in 1830.

  2. Ralph says:

    Wow, very subjective conclusion there, but I guess it makes your case, and I guess that most here who support your opinion will agree with you and not with me. But I think it is very easy to understand.

    All it states is that –

    1) The Prophet is the only one who can receive any revelation/doctrine solely by himself for the whole church.

    2) His councilors and the Quorum of the 12 can only act as prophets, seers and revelators under the Prophet’s guidance/authority (or when the Prophet is incapacitated or dead), but at no other time. So they cannot receive any revelation/doctrine for the whole church like the Prophet can, unless given permission.

    3) All other general authorities (eg Quorum of 70s) can only teach what the Prophet and Quorum of 12 has spoken. They cannot receive any revelation/doctrine for the whole church at any time.

    4) And finally, the prophet can have his own opinion on things and this can be determined by how it is disseminated to the church (eg how the other GAs teach what the Prophet has said).

    These days are better than in the past when things were unable to be scrutinised properly before either given in address at conference or published so we can differentiate between the prophet’s opinion and when he receives revelation.

    So when it comes to doctrine the only person we really need to look to is the Prophet, and how it comes out to the church from the general authorities. That is what the talk states and that is how the majority of the LDS I know understand the talk.

  3. falcon says:

    Yea and these are the guys who are always taking shots at the various councils held in the first four hundred years of the Christian church (history); which defined basic Church doctrine.
    In fact the “Councils” are given by Mormons, at least in part, as justification for the “restored gospel”. Funny, I’d think that the “restored gospel” would have been “revealed” fully birthed. But no, that’s not the case. Mormons justify all of their inconsistencies in doctrine and the reversal of course as “progressive revelation”. That basically means that they didn’t get it right the first time and have infinite redos.

  4. falcon says:

    Ralph wrote: “…..or when the prophet is incapacitated or dead”. Yea, I’d say being dead would probably be an instance where the prophet would be disqualified from revealing doctrine.
    I’ll see if I can find some of what Steve Benson has written about when his grandfather Ezra Taft Benson was incapacitated. Everything was done to hide the fact that the prophet was basically totally out of it.
    But this is Mormonism. Everyday is a bright new day. Revelation is their shiny toy.
    If Mormons have things so well nailed down, why do we get Mormons on this blog with their own interpretation of what counts and what doesn’t count in Mormonism.

  5. falcon says:

    OK, here’s a link where inquiring minds can get a first hand take from Steve Benson regarding his discoveries and conclusions about Mormon prophets. It’s worth the time to read what he has to say.

  6. Rick B says:

    Ralph said

    …..or when the prophet is incapacitated or dead”

    Ralph, better said is, all the lds and the LDS prophets are spiritually dead. Unless you have the real Jesus you are all Spiritually dead. And it seems from how LDS cannot agree and cannot decide who can speak and who is write and all the confusion, you guys are Spiritually dead.

  7. Mike R says:

    Ralph, let’s look at your subjective conclusion on this issue . Some things to consider on
    what you stated in # 1 thru #4 :

    #1 This is correct as to what I’ve read about how your Church is structured , i.e. one man
    at the top as the sole mouthpiece of God on earth etc. Unfortunately, this is’nt consistent with
    the picture we see of how the Church Jesus established in the New Testament is set up , it’s
    a clear departure from the New Testament church. There is no one sinful man at the top
    arrangement etc.
    #2 So the prophet gives his permission to his apostles to go and teach the people . Any apostle
    teaching false doctrine will be corrected by the prophet otherwise what the apostles , who are
    the main teachers in the church, teach is condoned or advocated by the prophet . This is how
    leaders work with their under them and rightly so . We see this arrangement in action when
    Brigham Young chastised apostle Orson Pratt on some things that Pratt had taught incorrectly .
    Prophet Young did the right thing we would expect from a leader when he said : ” We do not wish
    incorrect and unsound doctrines to be handed down to posterity…” So when a Mormon apostle
    teaches/preaches and there is no correction from his prophet then it is accepted doctrine . I
    hope that LDS compare what Mormon apostles have taught about God, Jesus , and
    the gospel of salvation ever since the gospel was allegedly restored back to earth , with
    what Jesus’ apostles taught on these same doctrines in the N.T. It’s very revealing .2Cor 11:13

  8. Mike R says:

    #3 The Seventies teach only what is not in conflict with what the apostles teach ? Sounds
    normal , and this is why we should be able to trust what a Seventy teaches in Gen Conf. etc.
    #4 Obviously a prophet can have his own opinion on some things. But given the fact that
    your leadership has counseled those LDS who teach to not engage in speculation or teach
    their own opinions , we should be able to trust Church curriculum or Conf sermons to be
    accurate handling of the Scriptures ( 2Tim 2:15 ) and in agreement with leadership standards.
    Lastly, you failed in your attempt to try and divert attention away from what past Mormon
    prophets/apostles have taught by trying to convince us that their teachings were’nt
    “scrutinized properly” before being published and sent out to the public. Ralph ,you know
    better than that . Your past prophets if they were alive and heard you say something like that
    they would correct you and remind you what they once promised to all LDS : ” We do not wish
    incorrect and unsound doctrines to be handed down to posterity under the sanction of great
    names to be received and valued by future generations as authentic and reliable, creating labor
    and difficulties for our successors to perform and contend with , which we ought not to
    transmit to them….” [ First Presidency , Millennial Star 10-21-1865 ]

  9. falcon says:

    Mormon doctrine is a world class mess both in content and process of deciding what counts and what doesn’t count.
    But that’s to be expected when we get these “prophets” musing and waxing eloquent about what ever random thoughts come through their minds. These guys are spiritual light-weights.
    All we have to ask is for them to describe the God that is providing them with these nuggets of nonsense. Case closed. Asking someone to describe the spirit by which they deliver prophetic utterances is enough to judge the content.
    To be perfectly honest, and this is cutting the boys who sit in the tall building and big chairs in SLC some slack, I don’t think they operate under any spirit at all.
    It’s all sea shells, balloons and whimsy. Spiritual depth is not one of their defining characteristics.
    A Mormon could get as much out of an Amway rally as they can General Conference.

  10. VWBrown says:

    One additional thing I don’t see that may be deeper in the article is what I’m told by many mormons is that no matter what the prophet declares, it must be submitted to a vote of the membership to be sustained as doctrine. From the extened exerpts, that is absent – the prophet has full control.

  11. Mike R says:

    VW, I’ve heard the same thing from Mormons , namely that what the prophet declares he’s
    heard from God must be submitted to a vote by church membership. I personally think this
    is done to help the church appear that their prophet is’nt a dictator , or that it is’nt a cult etc.
    This voting helps the membership feel that they have a say-so in what their organization
    believes but that’s not the full truth at all. First, there was no vote by the entire membership
    when substantial changes were made in the Temple Endowment ceremony in 1990 . Second , if
    a prophet receives spiritual truth from God , then it is true no matter if the whole congregation
    votes to agree or not . The whole issue with Mormonism is : can we trust their prophets and
    apostles to teach accurately concerning spiritual truths or not . What these men have preached
    in Conferences and what they have published to send out and feed their flock , is it consistently
    reliable spiritual guidance ? They claim that Jesus has been personally directing them to teach
    His truths since around 1830 , what does their track record reveal ?

  12. Mike R says:

    It needs to be noted that the spotlight of truth is being held on the hierarchy of the Mormon
    Church , not on those rank and file members of the church that compose their followers .
    The Mormon people are a decent people, they are are not dumb because ANYONE can be misled
    by false prophets. Mormons follow false prophets. Mormon leaders on the other hand
    must be held accountable for what they’ve taught. Just like we hold any doctor accountable for
    what he does for us , or how we hold politicians accountable for their actions and representing
    us by how they vote in Wa. D.C. Jesus warned us all to beware of false prophets , and with good
    reason. False prophets can employ very polished techniques like salesmen in order to convince
    people to follow them and together with a neat well dressed appearance and polite attitude they
    can be very successful . It’s important that the Mormon people also understand that striving to
    live a moral lifestyle is great but to embrace false doctrine from prophets/apostles about God
    or Jesus is to be short changed as embracing false teachings on these can bring God’s
    displeasure . God puts a premium on prophets who teach accurately about Him but to
    those prophets or religious teachers who alter His truth with their “revelation” , or “new
    light” , then there are consequences . So may the Mormon people test their leaders teachings
    on God , Jesus —1Jn 4:1 . The Mormon people deserve to know the truth and not be detoured
    by false prophets. May God help them to set aside works published by the church for a time and
    immerse themselves in the Bible ,wonderful things can happen.

  13. falcon says:

    I don’t think that’s how it works. I’ve never heard of it. Ask your Mormon friends the last time they voted on doctrine.
    There is a certain amount of cafeteria style Mormonism though and also some real ignorance within (Mormonism). I’m often shocked at what Mormons don’t know about the history and doctrine of their own church. That’s why we’re often accused of spreading lies when the information is readily available from Mormon sources.

  14. spartacus says:

    Sorry I have been absent so long – having longterm Pc issues. I haven’t read all of the responses but wanted to reiterate a point I’ve made before.

    Eric basically says it but I want to give it full consideration.

    I’ve asked before “Where’s the Restoration?” In a where’s-the-beef way. Specific to this topic it would be “Where’s the Prophet?” As Eric States it all comes down to personal revelation which in other words means that the only (effective) prophets in the LDS Church are the members – all of them. Sure THE prophet says stuff, but you don’t know if its true or true revelation until you receive the revelation that it is. So its all the LDS members that are prophets.

  15. spartacus says:

    Sorry- using a tablet which is even worse than usual in this text box…

    My last point is – how iis this different than any other religion, denomination, or church? We all have to be careful about what we are hearing and considering as truth. (At least Paul attempted to indicate when he was just giving his answer and not necessarily God’s.) The LDS member is in no better position than any other believer of any other religion or organizatoon, except that they have a limited group that they consider as even possible sources of revelation and it gets “officially” renewed automatically. This is about the only clearly official thing about the LDSChurch – who their “official”officials are. Too bad that doesn’t get them very far.

    So where is the prophet?
    Where is the Restoration?

  16. Mike R says:

    Spartacus, welcome back ! You were missed .

  17. Mike R says:

    Mormonism advertises that God has a prophet today through whom alone He reveals His will
    for the whole Church The Mormon leadership thus encourages LDS to believe that the affairs
    of the church are guided by direct and daily revelation from God thru the Mormon hierarchy .
    The promise is made: the leadership will never send forth counsel that is contrary to the
    mind and will of the Lord. When the prophet claims to have received a new revelation it then
    is shared with the F.P. and Twelve apostles upon their agreement these men then ask the church
    for a sustaining vote. Those Mormons who vote in the affirmative thus make the new policy/
    doctrine binding on themselves . For those members who feel that the prophet really did’nt hear from the Lord, they cast a opposing vote. Supposedly , this puts these members on dangerous
    ground before God. Since it is taught that salvation is in the church , and of the church , and is
    obtained only thru the church [ Apostle Mark Petersen Deseret News 4-14-1973 p14 ] , it
    behooves LDS to think twice before casting a negative vote . So is all this behavior from Jesus?
    In evaluating the teachings and procedures by Mormon leaders, we would expect them to
    mimic much of Jesus’ true church as described in the New Testament , this is common behavior
    for counterfeit prophets /organizations .But since Mormon leaders have stated that their church
    is the modern-day counterpart of the church established 1900 years ago , with the same offices
    and the same gospel then that affords us a means to evaluate them –Gal1:8-9. As Eric has
    mentioned talking to some Mormons about all this objectively is’nt easy

  18. falcon says:

    The problem that Mormons face is really a catch 22. On the one hand the prophet is suppose to hear from the Mormon god and reveal what he hears to the people. Doctrine is an elusive thing and really is in a precarious position relative to revelation.
    The new catch phrase in Mormonism is “folklore”. Folklore is when a past prophet reveals something that in future generations sounds stupid. The revelation is then labeled “folklore”. It used to be labeled “the prophets opinion” but “folklore” has a better sound to it. We’ve seen this in the issue of blacks being denied the priesthood. The Mormon church just doesn’t seem to know where all that got started. I guess it’s just too much trouble to examine their own history because it’s pretty clear how this ban materialized.
    We even had G.B. Hinckley, the former prophet, say that he didn’t even know that the doctrine of men becoming gods was even taught in the church. What good are these Mormon prophets any way? The answer? Not any good at all.

  19. Ralph says:


    I am well aware that my comments were also subjective, that is why I ended that it was how LDS would understand it.

    But as far as your counter-comments, the Prophet is the only one that can receive revelation for the whole church and this is what can be classed as doctrine. The rest just teach it to the best of their abilities, thus what they say is not considered doctrine but their interpretation of it. Parts of their talks that help clarify points of doctrine better may be used in other talks and lesson manuals as determined by the Quorum of the 12 and the First Presidency. So your stipulation that what all the general authorities say has to be doctrine because it comes from the Prophet is not true. It is their understanding and interpretation of the doctrine, thus their opinion. And yes, they do get corrected if they teach the wrong thing as you have pointed out.


    If the LDS church is true then you are the one who is dead to God, and as I have said in the past, no one here has provided me with evidence to prove my belief wrong and yours right. So you can say what you want, it still comes down to you believe one thing and I believe another and only one or neither is correct. We have to make a stand for something, we can’t be wishy-washy as Jesus taught that those people will not fare well in the end.

  20. Rick B says:

    Ralph, you are correct, either I am correct and your wrong, or your right and I’m wrong, or we are both wrong and someone else is right.

    Paul said in acts 17:11 that we are to search the scriptures to know if these things are correct.

    Sadly LDS do not search the scriptures and they claim they are wrong. If and when they do, do search the scriptures they tend to claim things are missing. The Bible also teaches you must sear you conscience and choose darkness over light.

    This is what LDS do, it also not a matter of I or others have not provided you with evidence, we have, it’s a matter of you reject it in fovor of fairy tales and believing what you want.

    No point giving all the evidences out again, but in a super brief recap, their is not evidence in archeology for the BoM, and all the changes to LDS scriptures, and all the false prophecy’s by JS and your prophets, and how no LDS prophet can or will go to God and get clarification on all these issues. And none of the LDS that come here can agree with each other, yet they all insist they are correct. So you keep telling yourself we did not provide evidence and you keep believing everything is ok, Just remember, when you here Jesus say, I never knew you, depart from me you worker of evil, you cant say, you never knew and no one told you. I know I told you.

  21. Rick B says:

    Here is a good example. I was reading Hebrews chapter 11, some call that chapter, the hall of faith. In that chapter it was talking about many of the prophets and people in the Bible down through the years and how they died and what they went through for the Lord, And then it was said, they dont have time to share but here is the names of more people.

    Read and and tell me what you notice? Here is what I noticed, No one from the BoM, people, places, prophets nothing is mentioned in Hebrews chapter 11.

    Now before you or any LDS member says, who cares or why does it matter, here is why.
    I read in the BoM a account about the tower of Babel which by the way contradicts the account in the Bible. But if the BoM mentions the tower account, and in other places mentions people and places from the Bible, and quotes verses, word for word from the Bible, then it stands to reason, does it not, that people or prophets or places in the BoM should be mentioned by the people in the Bible. But they are not, Do you know why this is the case? It’s because the BoM is fake.

    Also their is a guy in my church who has been in my church for maybe 10 years, he joined the military and Got married, brought his wife back to our church, guess what, she is from Utah, she is a former Mormon, her ex husband is Mormon. Guess what she said, She left Mormonism because she had questions and was told she is not allowed to question her faith. But were are going to talk so she can share what I know with her family.

  22. falcon says:

    Those of us on the outside of Mormonism, who have studied it and carefully considered it as a religion can’t, quite frankly, understand why folks like you don’t get it.
    That is, to us, it is so easy to see the deception and we wonder why Mormons can’t. I get the rank and file who aren’t really temple Mormons, grew-up attending and never really considering that it might not be as advertised. But folks like you, for example, have had the opportunity to examine the evidence and can’t get past a feeling you have (about Mormonism).
    Rick pretty much hit the nail on the head when he mentioned the Bible talking about people having their conscience seared. Everyday, when I’m here posting and reading, I’m reminded that this in deed is a spiritual battle. Paul talks about this in Ephesians chapter 6 when he says that as Christians we don’t battle against flesh and blood but against spiritual forces.
    It’s then that I understand that unless God moves his hand and frees you from this spiritual dark cloud that engulfs you, you won’t see who He is and what He has done clearly.
    There’s a reason why two-thirds of those on the rolls of the Mormon church are inactive and why half of returning missionaries go inactive. And this doesn’t even count the numbers who have asked to have their names removed from the rolls.
    Our desire is that Mormons won’t be so fed-up with religion because of their experiences in Mormonism, that they will turn away from God completely.

  23. falcon says:

    We can talk about Adam-God, Blood Atonement, polygamy, banning blacks from the priesthood and baptism for the dead, outer darkness and on and on. However the only doctrine that matters in the big scheme of things is the doctrine regarding the nature of God.
    Ralph knows very well that we have a written record going back to the second century that articulates the doctrine of who God is. This claim from Mormonism that the gospel was lost is pure self-serving hog wash. Without the “lost” claim, there is no reason for Mormonism.
    All a person has to do is read the first fourteen verses of the Gospel according to John to know who the disciples claimed Jesus to be.
    The fictitious claims by Joseph Smith as to the nature of God are the result of his free wheeling creative mind-set. Mormons have no revelation because if they did it would support what was recorded by the early disciples regarding who Jesus is.
    Anyone can claim a revelation. The question is, where is the support for the revelation?
    The Scriptures warn of false prophets and false Christs. Mormonism is easy to classify but deep seated deception is hard to over come when the desire of man leads him to having his ears tickled.

  24. Mike R says:

    Ralph, I don’t quite follow what you said . Care to try again ?

  25. Mike R says:

    I was thinking about what Mormon apostle Christofferson said about there still persists some
    confusion about Mormon doctrine and how its established , and I have to ask : Who are the
    ones that are confused ? It’s either Mormon leaders ,do they have a record of offering unstable
    erratic guidance in spiritual truths ? ; Or perhaps it’s the rank and file Members of the
    Mormon church , are they listening close enough to what their apostles are saying about
    how nourishing is the spiritual food that these men are serving them ? ; Or perhaps it’s
    non-Mormons , are they just unable to ascertain when Mormon apostles are offering quality
    stable doctrinal teaching vrs just guessing on what is proper spiritual truth ? So who is
    confused party or where is the confusion coming from ?

    A hint as to which one of these three is the guilty party :
    It seems that it only adds to the suspician that the guilty party here are the 15 apostles that
    head the Mormon church , because for years and years what these men called a valid doctrine
    of their religion was quietly relegated down to mere “folklore” in order to lessen the stubborn
    controversy over it after the “doctrine’ was finally changed,— the priesthood ban on Blacks.
    Also, the examples of how Mormon apostles made it known that while other Churches were
    “teaching for doctrine the commandments of men ” as indicated by many of their doctrines
    being inconsistent/unstable, yet Mormon apostles offered confidence in their teachings as the
    remedy for this malady.

  26. Rick B says:

    Falcon said

    This claim from Mormonism that the gospel was lost is pure self-serving hog wash. Without the “lost” claim, there is no reason for Mormonism.

    Ralph, this is one thing Mormons teach to try and validate what they believe. They said that priest hood authority was lost. Here again is more reasons why both I dont believe in Mormonism and some problems with it.

    The Bible never teaches and God and Jesus and the apostles NEVER SAY, or Teach, in order for us to do anything we need priesthood authority. You and every Mormon alive have a problem, You cannot show from the Bible or the BoM cannot show me this.

    But to make matters worse, the BoM teaches the apostle John was told he will live to teach the gospel until Jesus returns, and some buddies of John’s with him.

    So if these guys are alive, then their was not and cannot be a total apostasy and therefore no need for the Mormon gospel. But then if John and his buddies do not have priesthood authority, then again we have a problem. Why did God tell him he would live to teach the gospel until His return, but then not give him priesthood authority?

    I also have meet LDS members that claim they have meet people who meet John. Well why does John not come forward if he really is alive and prove the Gospel of Mormonism true.

    Sadly despite all these problems, You simply set aside reason and logic and dismiss all of this as nothing, simply because you choose to believe in a false gospel that cannot save you.

  27. Mike R says:

    Mormon apostles have claimed to offer this confidence despite the fact that a review of their
    track record on teaching spiritual truths over the years reveals troubling evidence of this
    same malady they’ve accused others of .
    If current Mormon apostles like Mr. Christofferson seeks to address the problem of confusion
    concerning Mormon doctrine he should start by looking at what his own colleagues have
    produced as “gospel truths” thru the years .

  28. falcon says:

    Haven’t Mormons figured out that since there is no record of what was lost that someone posing as a prophet could make-up anything he wanted to.
    For example, as Rick pointed out, the priesthood. Is there any record of it being part of the first century Church? We have extensive writings regarding Church structure and practice in the first century and there is no mention of a priesthood. Now someone is going to have to be real gullible to believe the conspiracy theory offered by the LDS church.
    There’s a reason why Mormon doctrine is a hodge-podge of whatever the current prophet thinks and what the next prophet thinks. First of all these “prophets” have no idea what they are talking about and secondly future generations figure that out because it’s all so embarrassing. So it’s simply a process of duck and cover and hope no one notices.
    This is what happens when folks play follow the leader and don’t pay attention.

  29. Mike R says:

    Mormonism advertises : ” We are most fortunate to have a living prophet at the head of the
    Church to guide us ….” It’s claimed that one need for this guidance is : ” Today there are
    many issues under debate as controversies rage all around us . It should be evident that to
    all that we need divine direction, as men and women who argue their causes seem to be unable
    to come to workable or peaceful solutions. It is sad indeed that the world does not know or
    accept the fact that in our midst is a prophet through God can direct the solution of world
    problems. True Latter-day Saints have no such dilemma.” [ F.P.message , Ensign Aug. 1979].
    One question that arises concerning this guidance that Mormons are given by their leaders in
    receiving clarity to all kinds of issues , doctrinal and otherwise, might be this : What about
    reliable counsel on important matters relevant to the Book of Mormon ?
    It seems there is confusion as to locations of place names in the BofM , where the alleged
    Nephites and Lamanites actually lived etc. Interestingly Mormon author John Lund blames
    some of the confusion on Mormons leaders: ” Many members of the Church are confused about
    the disagreements over where the primary events of the Book of Mormon took place. This
    confusion is the result of well meaning members of the Church advocating three different
    geographical places. Adding to this confusion are contradictory statements made by some
    Church leaders.” [ ” Mesoamerica and the Book of Mormon: Is This the Place”, p9, cited in
    MRM newsletter Feb2010].

  30. Mike R says:

    Perhaps much of this confusion could be avoided if Mormon leaders would follow their own
    counsel they give to their followers to refrain from speculating on matters they have little
    or proof of . This counsel is deemed essential by Church leaders for those teaching at any
    level in the Church and has been emphasized repeatedly . Should’nt Mormon leaders keep
    quiet rather than offer their mere opinion on these matters like they counsel their followers ?
    Given the claims of Mormonism to have the solution to answering many of the controversies
    that we all face today, it therefore bears more responsibility to provide answers to these issues,
    especially those in their own Church . Perhaps Mormon apostles like Mr Christoffersen won’t
    have to explain why there is STILL significant confusion over ” Mormon doctrine ” .
    The Mormon people don’t deserve to be confused .

  31. grindael says:

    So, if a Mormon “Seventy” for example, were to reveal something they said came from God, the ONLY reason for the fact that it may NOT be “doctrine”, is that they have “limited authority”? This is a dangerous road, for it does not give anyone confidence that these men know what the “power of the ‘Holy Ghost’ is, or how to speak by it. Instead it shows a complete ignorance of common sense (to keep your mouth shut in certain circumstances), and downright stupidity on the part of these men, who claim to be “called of God”, “as was Aaron”. It also calls into question ANYTHING they might say IN ANY CIRCUMSTANCE, for it goes to judgement, and their lack of it. They are also saying that all the “authorities” that were called as “prophets, seers and revelators” in past times were also ignorant and stupid, for promulgating revelations such as Adam-god, or the priesthood ban. What confidence can you have in any of them, if one “prophet” says another “prophet” was using his “divine” office to “speculate” much of the time? Also what does it say about those who came later, when the ones who came before affirmed that what the later ones are now saying, is bunk? This whole line of reasoning is so stupid, that it’s a miracle that anyone can believe a word that any of them says. Moses Thatcher, assured the “Saints” in the 1880’s that Mormon “authorities” were not this stupid:

  32. grindael says:

    “Lacking the revelations of the Holy Ghost, men and self-constituted ministers are not led into all truth but teach, instead thereof, opinions and vain imaginings.” (Moses Thatcher, JOD 23:198)

    “Nothing to my mind can be greater sacrilege in the sight of the Almighty than to undertake to speak in His name without the inspiration of His spirit. We may talk upon the branches of human learning and knowledge, speaking after the manner of men with but little of this feeling of timidity, but not when we undertake to speak of the principles of life and salvation, of the plan of human redemption as it has always existed—as it existed before the foundations of the world were laid, as it will continue to exist until every child of God except the sons of perdition shall be brought back and exalted in a degree of glory far beyond the comprehension of the finite mind. It has sometimes been said that Mormonism, so called, is narrow, proscriptive and selfish; yet those who comprehend it, even in part, have never made such an assertion.

    Can a church not even bearing the name of the Redeemer, and having neither Apostles nor Prophets, bear the fruits enjoyed by the disciples of our Lord in the days of and subsequent to His ministry? Do any of them ever claim to have such fruits? Who among them have the endowments of the Comforter, whose mission it was and is to bring the teachings of Jesus to the memory, show things to come and lead into all truth? God neither changes nor is he a respecter of persons; the causes, therefore, which lie ordained to produce certain results in one age will produce them in another.(Moses Thatcher, JD:26:303-4, 10 [1885])

    Don’t they know this now? And I do comprehend Mormonism. And it most definitely, “is narrow, proscriptive and selfish.” Everything now, is done through opinion polls and PR Firms. What more proof do you need?

  33. grindael says:

    Where is the Mormon “Comforter” now? I know. Teaching Mitt Romney to lie.

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