Sunday, March 28, 2010

JS Quote I Liked

Because I frequently visit a couple blogs about the Church and its doctrine I come across a few people who try to "steady the ark." While I am not naive enough to believe in the infallibility of prophets, I do think some members go too far in their criticisms. I understand that the Church is lead by men and therefore mistakes are unavoidable. Furthermore, sometimes those mistakes are easy to see. With that, enjoy the following from Brother Joseph...


“I will give you one of the Keys of the mysteries of the Kingdom. It is an eternal principle, that has existed with God from all eternity: That man who rises up to condemn others, finding fault with the Church, saying that they are out of the way, while he himself is righteous, then know assuredly, that that man is in the high road to apostasy; and if he does not repent, will apostatize, as God lives.” - History of the Church, 3:385; from a discourse given by Joseph Smith on July 2, 1839, in Montrose, Iowa; reported by Wilford Woodruff and Willard Richards.

3 comments:

Dr Calderwood said...

Good quote, but unfortunately those who are trying to steady the ark will view this quote as nothing more than Joseph Smith's personal opinion and not doctrine. Therefore they won't view themselves in the wrong for criticizing their leaders and trying to steady the ark.

mdesignsfor6 said...

What I find interesting about this quote is that it was given as part of a discourse to the LEADERS of the church - not the members. Maybe it should also be looked at as: that man (leader) who rises up to condemn others who are finding fault in the church...

Unrighteous Dominion seems to be a greater problem, in the eyes of the Lord, then a little complaining about the corporate organization that is the "church". Just take a look at D&C 121 (vs. 37 in particular).

Certainly raising up to condemn others always leads to withdrawal of the spirit which always leads to abandoning one's principles, beliefs (apostasy). But, I think we should look at the quote a little more closely, especially since Joseph Smith is talking about an eternal principle.

The church isn't an eternal entity. (The way I see it anyway, the church is an organization designed to help us reach God - not something that will be needed forever! All things that have a beginning have an end - another priceless gem from Joseph. The "church" surely had a beginning, and will surely have an end!) So how can finding fault with the church be a part of an eternal principle? I think it more likely has to do with the love others as yourself eternal principle: condemnation of anyone, while thinking yourself to be above or better or more righteous breaks this eternal principle (among others!)

Anyway, I don't think that this idea as put forth by the prophet Joseph should be used to condemn those who think like you (and I), that our leaders are infallible or that the “church” can mess up. (Especially when taking account of his other comments about the kind of free discourse that should abound in the church) Unfortunately it is most commonly looked at as a way to tsk, tsk at anyone who thinks outside the box. There are too many members who think we should be mind-dumb robots who mimic and blindly obey ALL that comes from SLC. We should not ever blindly obey, but confirm all we hear by the spirit and by our standard works - the scriptures. It is up to us to "prove all things, hold fast that which is good." All things!

So, next time someone warns you that you are on the road to apostasy for merely sharing an opinion that may differ from one they have read about in their latest issue of the Ensign, you can enlighten that person!!!

Carson Calderwood said...

Sorry mdesignsfor6, I never saw your comments until today and they needed moderation for some reason. I haven't dealt with that before either.