A Small Stream of Truth

ThrowbackThurs

It’s Throwback Thursday!
The following blog article originally posted at Mormon Coffee on February 3, 2006.

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Philip Barlow, in Mormons and the Bible: The Place of the Latter-day Saints in American Religion cites late LDS Apostle Bruce McConkie on the alleged corruptions that today plague the Bible:

“[Our present Bible] contains a bucket, a small pail, a few draughts, no more than a small stream at most, out of the great ocean of revealed truth that has come to men in ages more spiritually enlightened than ours.” (193)

When I read that I couldn’t help but think of:

First, God’s ability and promise to preserve His Word (Psalm 12:6-7); and
Second, Paul’s encouragement to Timothy that the Scriptures are sufficient, containing everything we need to know for faith and practice (2 Timothy 3:15-17).

Paul also charged Timothy to “Preach the word!” To “convince, rebuke, exhort” because

“the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine, but according to their own desires, because they have itching ears, they will heap up for themselves teachers; and they will turn their ears away from the truth, and be turned aside to fables” (2 Timothy 4:1-5).

Is it possible that the “great oceans” of revelation that have “come to men in ages more spiritually enlightened than ours” could be some of the fables of which Paul warned?

(Quote from Philip Barlow’s book cited by Gerald R. McDermott in Saints Rising.)

About Sharon Lindbloom

Sharon surrendered her life to the Lord Jesus Christ in 1979. Deeply passionate about Truth, Sharon loves serving as a full-time volunteer research associate with Mormonism Research Ministry. Sharon and her husband live in Minnesota.

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12 Responses to A Small Stream of Truth

  1. Ironman1995 says:

    The Bible is full and has all we need and when I read John 16:13 the total truth . Unlike those church essays which are like a weekly TV show that would keep you hanging and wondering . Non 4 years removed I laugh and smile at each essay and try to guess , what subject is next ? No guessing with Jesus and the Bible.

  2. Ironman1995 says:

    Now 4 years removed and it’s easy to feel free and think for myself .

  3. falcon says:

    A little different take on this and believe me it’s not to impugn Bruce McConkey’s character, but he’s not the shinning light today that he was in his era of Mormonism. He wrote the book “Mormon Doctrine” and was said to be the guy that the “brethren” sought out when they had questions regarding doctrine.
    What a difference time makes. Today McConkey’s book isn’t even published by the subsidiary of the LDS church responsible for publishing. I don’t know what the modern day Mormons would have to say about this particular quote by McConkey.
    His premise is one that has been disproved except for the idea that there’s all this revelation out there and we have just a small amount. Continuous revelation is the playground that heretics and religious con men thrive on. The result is basically an ever changing doctrine that is flipped at the whim of the “prophet”. Dare we review all of the revelation that has changed in Mormonism.
    Mormonism is unstable because while continuous revelation is fun for LDS folks, it leads to a lot of excuse making and the coining of terms and concepts like “folk doctrine” and “opinion of the prophet”.
    It’s all pretty nutty and subject to the LDS doctrine scrap heap at any time.

  4. Mike R says:

    It is not surprising to hear those who claim to be latter days prophets exclusively appointed by God to proclaim the real truth about Him because everyone has been misled and is in the dark etc . In order for Mormon leaders to make their message heard , to get peoples attention , they teach a complete apostasy occurred soon after the death of Jesus’ apostles , as a result Christianity ( Jesus’ church) died off , the gospel of salvation that His apostles preached far and wide became altered , corrupted , so that salvation was NOT available again for many many centuries until Joseph Smith finally arrived on the scene. That’s the Mormon message .

    With a lie like that as the foundation of their message it’s no wonder that Mormon leaders would claim that God’s Word became so overcome that people could not read, hear ,enough of it and find out who Jesus is and what He did on the cross for their sins and thus gain a right/saving relationship with our Creator . But God has not allowed His Word to be overcome like that in the last 2000 years Jn 17:3 ; 20:28-31 ; Rom 1:16 ; 1 Jn 1: 1-4 .

    This fact is so logical that some Mormon authorities have admitted that the Bible is not nearly as damaged as some of their colleagues ( Like McConkie –MD ) have tried to convince LDS of .
    The Mormon people can trust the Bible to give the truth about God, Jesus , and what is required for sinners to gain complete forgiveness and receive eternal life . Mormons can trust God concerning His Word , but they should’nt trust the religious men who run their church as safe spiritual guides .

    It’s wise to be leery of latter days prophets — Matt 24:11 — test them : 1 Jn 4:1

  5. falcon says:

    I’m wondering what this guy thinks “revealed truth” is? Joseph Smith and those who followed him in the role of “prophet” had a lot of problems with their revealed truth. As we see, Joseph Smith was constantly revamping his revealed truth especially when it came to the nature of God.
    If there is anything to this idea of continuous revelation then the unfolding truth would have to be an expanded form of what ever has been revealed already. It wouldn’t be a total flip. Joseph Smith started with a fairly conventional view of the nature of God. He ended up with men becoming gods and getting their own planets to rule with their goddess wives.
    Not to be out done, Brigham Young decided that the Mormon god was really Adam. This revealed god was said to have had actual physical sex with the Virgin Mary conceiving Jesus.
    This isn’t “revelation”. This is madness.
    I watched a video from an FLDS fellow who said that the “revelation” that ended the practice of polygamy wasn’t really revelation. It was a manifesto. The FLDS think the LDS are a bunch of apostates.
    Continuous revelation in the LDS world is when something becomes too hot to handle and it needs to either be modified or totally abandoned. This would be things like polygamy, the ban on blacks in the priesthood and the temple ritual with the pantomime of throat slitting and bowel dissecting.
    More and improved revelation is nothing more than a religious playground for folks who are unstable and need continuous entertainment.

  6. Mike R says:

    Falcon, you’re right about the teachings of Mormon leaders . These men have exhibited a pattern of unstable , vacillating teachings in their “gospel preaching ” since their first appeared on the scene .
    Not reliable as guides .

    You said , ” The FLDS think the LDS are a bunch of apostates .” I have to agree with the FLDS on that one .

    Concerning apostasy : Mormon leaders love to bolster their credentials by claiming there was a great apostasy soon after the deaths of Jesus’ apostles . But what Mormons teach commenced this apostasy was not much different than what we observe in the behavior of Mormon leaders themselves once we examine their gospel preaching record . People concerned about taking Jesus’ warning seriously ( Matt 24:11 ) can’t afford to follow the men who run the Mormon church .

  7. falcon says:

    I’ve recently had some back-and-forth with a young Mormon man I know related to a post he wrote of his facebook page. I would guess he’s pretty typical of the average gung-ho young Mormon male who has been endowed with the priesthood. I asked him a couple of questions regarding his post and it wasn’t too long that he was bearing his testimony to me with all of the “I KNOWs” and the Spirit having testified to him.
    Part of this had to do with a ceremony done in the temple that disappeared after the deaths of the apostles and now was restored, as he told me. I was nudging him towards reality based, factual thinking and away from his impressions of events and conclusions.
    In my years here on MC, I know that when a Mormon starts testimony bearing about anything, their back is against the wall. It’s easier to haul-out some subjective conclusion based on a desired out-come then being a little skeptical and question what’s going on. After all, in the mind of the dedicated LDS member, questioning is not allowed because it makes you feel bad and comes from Satan.
    The guy I was interacting with, is really harmless and the LDS church with all of the hocus pocus and feelings based spiritual experiences are “good” for this young fella. The LDS church provides a structure, purpose and meaning for his life. It also provides a lot of ego fulfillment.
    The problem is that none of it’s true and while it may be satisfying for him on a lot of different levels, it’s end is spiritual destruction. But in his mind, it’s all true. Having put himself under the influence of a spiritual entity that provides emotional rewards, he’s heading for a bad spiritual end.

  8. Brian says:

    Thank you, Sharon, for your post on this very important subject.

    A couple years ago I wrote a short paper using one passage from the Book of Mormon and one passage from the Bible. Both passages dealt with God’s word. And I found that the Book of Mormon and the Bible diverge on a cardinal attribute of God’s word. And that attribute is endures. God’s word endures forever—1 Peter 1:23:25.

    The Book of Mormon denies this. It claims the word of God fell victim to human conspiracy.

    The Bible reveals God to his creations. The Gospels chronicle what occurred when God became man in the person of Jesus Christ. Jesus proclaimed that he is the truth (John 14:6). Joseph Smith claimed that the truth had been lost for centuries, and fortunately we have him to correct this problem. But Jesus Christ is the truth. Can Jesus be lost? Of course not. It was Joseph Smith who was lost. And who denied God’s promise to preserve his word forever.

    While Joseph may have denied the word of God with his lips, in a deeper sense he affirmed the word of God by his life. That may sound like a surprising statement, but consider something. The Bible says that no one is righteous (Romans 3:10). Joseph seemed quite confident of his own goodness, piety, and strength. He had revealed a code of laws—the restored gospel—which, through correct choices, would make his followers righteous. But by his own life, Joseph demolished this conceit and reaffirmed Romans 3:10.

    The only way Joseph could be considered righteous would be if another were to live a perfect life in his place, crediting it to Joseph. Wonderful to tell, that is exactly what every Christian is the recepiant of. That is grace. Martin Luther said that the prayer, “Be thou my righteousness, and be thou my sin” is what it means to be a Christian. Unfortunately, Joseph looked to another way. A way apart from the word of God. A way dead in sin, lies, and ruin. A way that was ultimately himself.

  9. falcon says:

    Brian,
    Very good point, the Word of God endures forever.
    This isn’t true with the LDS/Mormon emphasis on continuous revelation. Like I said in my earlier post, it wouldn’t be so bad if these folks built upon a solid foundation. They don’t! They build some sort of soft base, throw-up a few random logs and then it’s off on a totally different tangent. They can’t keep the BoM consistent due to the many changes or even one of their most fundamental temple rituals.
    Look, for example, what’s happened to Bruce McConkie’s book “Mormon Doctrine”. In his day, McConkie was the shiny new object. They won’t even publish his book any more and to a whole generation of Mormons, he was thee man.
    Think of this. Even the Mormon god doesn’t endure forever. He had a beginning and he is constantly changing as he progresses to more knowledge and wisdom. The new gods are baby gods. Everything is always evolving in the wonderful world of Mormonism.

  10. Mike R says:

    It’s advantageous for Mormon leaders to create the story that the Bible is an out of date doctrinal standard for Christians , after all it’s to old , it’s prophets/ apostles are all dead . That’s why we all need to recognize that there is a ” living prophet ” on earth today , and he can be found in a office building in Salt Lake City , Utah . The fundamental doctrines that should be in the Bible but are’nt today because evil men prevented them , have been made known because this prophet has heard from God and restored them . That type of belief is something that any latter days false prophet would love to convince people of ! With the Bible ‘s dead apostles out of the way it would free wheeling for these types of prophets to introduce practically any new teaching they wanted to , they would simply wrap it up with a label that reads ” latter day truth ” , and it would sell .

  11. falcon says:

    The problem is, the LDS folks accept what they are told!
    There’s no such thing as checking out a claim or a revelation. Once someone has received the “burning in the bosom”, they surrender and out-source their thinking to those in charge.
    Is there anything more unreliable than a prophet who stands on a foundation of lies? That sounds pretty harsh I know but when the church has perpetuated a myth of how Joseph Smith translated the Mormon most sacred scripture, what else can we say?
    In order to hide the fact that Smith put his magic rock in his hat and shoved his face (in the hat) to receive “revelation”, the one true church publishes a picture of Smith with the gold plates next to him as he translates. No magic rock or hat is present. They’ve had to fess-up but my guess is that not many Mormons know what really went on.
    Smith wised-up. After a while he decided it wasn’t necessary for him to use his rock. He could just proclaim something and the people would believe him. His track record with or without the rock was about the same, miserable, so I guess it really didn’t matter.

    The point is, do the LDS people really want to follow the legacy of prophets who were consistently wrong and for whom the one true church has to continually back-fill for?
    I wouldn’t think so!

  12. Mike R says:

    It’s interesting to see how some Mormons use the Bible to convince people that Mormonism is definitely in it . The claim that the Mormon church is the exact same church Jesus established by His apostles , with the same gospel , and same authority , the Mormon church is personally supervised by Jesus being His one and only church — restored after 1700 years of being extinct , not on the earth.
    By the use of half truths , some diversion , and a few straw man type arguments , some Mormons can paint a very convincing picture that can convince people that the Bible teaches Mormonism .

    From a Mormon tract we read the following : ” Members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day saints ( known informally by the nickname Mormons ) believe the Bible . Indeed, so literally and completely do their beliefs and practices conform to the teachings of the Bible that it is not uncommon to hear informed persons say : ‘ If all men believed the Bible , all would be Mormons .’
    Bible doctrine is Mormon doctrine , and Mormon doctrine is Bible doctrine . they are one and the same . ” [ What the Mormons Think of Christ , by Bruce McConkie , p. 2 cited in Mormon Claims Answered , p 23 ] .

    This is the kind of statement that sells well in public , it serves it’s purpose to gain people’s attention and curiosity . It’s good bait , but then the hook will follow soon afterwards ,perhaps with a appointment with the Missionaries etc .

    Our hope is that the Mormon people will take time in their busy lives to follow the apostle John’s counsel and test their leaders — 1 Jn 4: 1 . Latter days prophets who have not been sent by Jesus (Matt 24:11) can be well dressed , act polite , and be neighborly individuals . But they will bring a imitation gospel and sell it by usually appealing to the emotion of those curious to hear them .
    Mormon leaders are such prophets . But there is freedom from following such prophets so it is worthwhile for sincere Mormons to seek the truth , and it can start by reading God’s Word the Bible alone , one not published by the Mormon church . Spiritual nourishment for doubting or hurting LDS is found in the Bible .

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