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Stand on the Rock of Revelation Part 10

Viewpoint on Mormonism / Bill McKeever
The Truth Network Radio
October 16, 2020 11:34 am

Stand on the Rock of Revelation Part 10

Viewpoint on Mormonism / Bill McKeever

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October 16, 2020 11:34 am

This is the second and final week as Bill and Eric take a closer look at the problems from an article in the October 2020 Ensign magazine written by Lawrence E. Corbridge, an emeritus Seventy. Audio Player

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Mormonism 101 for teens is a valuable resource for anyone wanting a simplified view of the Mormon religion from a Christian perspective. Mormonism 101 for teens is available at the Utah Lighthouse Bookstore in Salt Lake City or And now, your host for today's Viewpoint on Mormonism.

Are too many Latter-day Saints slogging through the swamp of secondary questions? Welcome to this edition of Viewpoint on Mormonism. I'm your host, Bill McKeever, founder and director of Mormonism Research Ministry, and with me today is Eric Johnson, my colleague at MRM. Today we wrap up our look at an article in the October 2020 edition of Ensign Magazine titled, Stand on the Rock of Revelation. It was originally a talk that was given by Elder Lawrence E. Corbridge, who's an emeritus member of the Seventy.

It was a devotional address titled, Stand Forever and delivered at BYU on January 22nd, 2019. He's addressing a lot of the doubts that many Latter-day Saints have regarding their faith. And Mr. Corbridge cautions those who are reading this article to only focus on what he calls primary questions and to leave the secondary questions basically alone, because if you answer the primary questions, the secondary questions will be answered as well. I think we have to understand that we're in an age of secondary questions for the Latter-day Saints, because if you go back 30 years ago, they were not able to ask those secondary questions very well because the information was very limited on how you would find it.

But today we have the internet. And so I think the reason they ever came out with the Gospel Topics essays from 2013 to 2015, the LDS Church wanted to deal with some of these things, actually did a pretty good job, and we've said that before. Having the ability to look on the internet and have nobody looking over your shoulder to look at the information such as, we have a website full of information that would be very troubling and I suppose would bring a lot of gloom to Latter-day Saints who are unsure about its history.

And Mr. Corbridge says that that gloom is the product of belief bias, hearing something that contradicts what you already believe, and that's what causes you a gloomy and disturbing thought. Well, he says that some who are afraid that the church may not be true spend their time and attention slogging through the swamp of secondary questions. To make sense of this paragraph, we have to go back and remind ourselves what are the secondary questions that Mr. Corbridge lists. He does this on page 29 where he says the secondary questions are unending. They include questions about church history, plural marriage, people of African descent and the priesthood, women and the priesthood, the translation of the Book of Mormon, the pearl of great price, DNA in the Book of Mormon, gay marriage, different accounts of the first vision, and on and on.

And as I mentioned, he goes on to say if you answer the primary questions, the secondary questions get answered too, or they pale in significance. To remind you the primary questions, number one, is there a God who is our Father? Is Jesus Christ the Son of God, the Savior of the world? Three, was Joseph Smith a prophet?

Four, is the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints the kingdom of God on earth? We insist you can believe points one and two regarding is there a God our Father and is there Jesus Christ the Son? You can believe that without having the baggage of Joseph Smith being a prophet or a false prophet in this case, or the LDS Church being a false church. But when he says they mistakenly try to learn the truth by process of elimination, by attempting to eliminate every doubt, is that really what most Latter-day Saints are really trying to do, to eliminate every doubt? I mean, all of us who have faith in anything are going to probably have some doubts. I don't know everything about Christianity. I can't answer every question about my faith. There are some things I have to wonder about and hope that I can find an answer down the road. But I think the problem that we find with many Latter-day Saints, that when they try to get answers to these secondary questions, it tells them, wait a minute, if these secondary questions can't show that Joseph Smith is a prophet of God, it most certainly shows that the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is not a true church.

And what happens then? Well, in many cases, we'll leave the church, either find a Christian church that will bolster their desire to still want to believe in God the Father and Jesus Christ, even though perhaps they're going to get some different definitions of who they are from the Bible, or they may drift off into agnosticism or atheism, which sadly happens far too many times. A couple paragraphs later, this is what is written, You see how the Holy Ghost or the Holy Spirit gets blamed for all the errors that every Mormon believes? How many times have I had Latter-day Saints tell me they believe what they believe because the Holy Ghost told them it was true, when knowing the facts behind what they believe, it's not true at all, and it couldn't possibly be the Holy Spirit that led them to that conclusion.

But Eric, when he says answers to the primary questions do not come by answering the secondary questions, well, I would say in some cases, it most certainly does do that. If you can show through church history that Joseph Smith's behavior, for instance, was not really the behavior that you would expect from a true prophet of God, such as the fact that he was marrying wives behind his wife's back, and then telling Emma, his first wife, that he wasn't doing any such thing. Does that sound like the behavior of a true prophet of God? Would that put a bit of a question mark as to whether Joseph Smith was really called of God? Absolutely, I think you're right, and when we understand that one-third of Joseph Smith's wives were teenagers as young as 14, and then another third of his wives were married to living husbands, which was never practiced anywhere in the Bible, I think that is a major reason why many women leave, because they understand that the character of this man, especially in an age today, we live in the 21st century, and we say it wasn't right for this age, let alone in the 19th century. Well, let's look at another point that he talks about, people of African descent and the priesthood. I would think it would rightly concern a Latter-day Saint when they start looking into why those of African heritage and were members of the LDS church were not allowed to hold the priesthood, simply because, as leaders taught, there was a war in heaven, and a third of God's spirit children in the pre-existence were not loyal to God the Father or Jesus, and were kicked out and became the demons, but then there was another third that were not as valiant as they could have been, and Mormon leaders said that because of their lack of valiance, they were still allowed to take on a human body here on earth, which is certainly important if you're going to be exalted later on.

But, as a punishment, they would be marked with a black skin, and therefore would not be allowed to hold this necessary priesthood so vital to your exaltation in the next life. When they find out what leaders were saying prior to 1978, and compare it to what leaders are saying now, there is certainly a huge contradiction, because before 1978, that was the explanation they were giving. Today, the leadership goes, well, we don't know why they weren't allowed to hold the priesthood. Well, they certainly seem to know before 1978, now all of a sudden, you have this doctrinal amnesia, and you can't remember why these people were being banned from holding this necessary priesthood for much of the Mormon Church's history. And when it comes to the translation of the Book of Mormon, another point that he lists here. How many Latter-day Saints knew by the still small voice that Mr. Corbridge says is what gives you true information? How many Latter-day Saints knew by the still small voice that Joseph Smith really translated the Book of Mormon using a rock in a hat?

These are problematic. I mean, the First Vision and the Book of Mormon origination and the story of the Book of Mormon we talked about last week. Those are two cornerstone events in this church, and if they're not true, even their own leaders have said this church is not true. So all of these things that we're talking about I think go directly to the third primary question, was Joseph Smith a prophet?

If he was a prophet, then these things that are secondary issues should be supporting his position as a prophet rather than tearing it down. And so you can call it gloom, but if somebody tells you that you have something green in your teeth as you are walking through the hallway, you are appreciative of the gloomy news and you can take care of that issue. Or if a doctor says that you have cancer, at least you have something to go on. You want him to tell you the truth rather than having him hide that idea.

And a year later, you would ask the question, why didn't you tell me so I could have at least tried to combat this cancer? Well, when Mr. Corbridge says, I am not saying you should put your head in the sand, I kind of get the impression he sort of is saying you need to put your head in the sand. You don't want to be looking at these secondary issues because it most certainly might cause you to come to a conclusion other than what you might believe right now. So when a Latter-day Saint says, oh yeah, check all this stuff out, is that really what Mr. Corbridge is wanting you to do? I don't get the impression from this article that Mr. Corbridge is encouraging you to really go out and dig in to find out these answers.

He's basically saying it's not all that important. A couple of other quotes I want to give on page 31. Toward the end of the article, he writes, The Church of Jesus Christ is grounded on the rock of Revelation, and the gates of hell will not prevail against it, using Jesus' words. You and I are the Church. We must be grounded on the rock of Revelation. And although we may not know the answer to every question, we must know the answers to the primary questions.

And then in the last section, he adds this, he says, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is the kingdom of God on the earth. I know this by my experience, all of it. I know this by the evidence, and the evidence is overwhelming. I know this by study, and most surely, I know this by the spirit and power of the Holy Ghost. Bill, do you get the impression that he knows this more by the power of the Holy Spirit, which he claims to have? And what about the evidence? He doesn't really give us much to go on in these six pages of the article. He doesn't. And even though at the beginning of the article, he says that when he was going through, as an assignment, to look at some of the claims against Joseph Smith and his church, he wrote down some of his answers, I'm assuming. But yet he doesn't give us the answers. But let me just bring this out. He said, The Church of Jesus Christ is grounded on the Rock of Revelation, and the gates of hell will not prevail against it.

Wait a minute. You mean the church that Jesus founded wasn't really the Church of Jesus Christ? It wasn't grounded on the Rock of Revelation either? Because Mormons believe the gates of hell prevailed against it? Isn't it odd that the church that Jesus himself founded and set up apostles to keep that church going?

It failed, but yet Latter-day Saints assume that theirs cannot fail. But this is what I also find fascinating when he says you and I are the church. That's a Protestant position. Right.

That's a position that we would hold. We believe that the church is composed of forgiven individuals. It's not an organization. It's not a building. So when he says you and I are the church, how can he really say that and believe it in light of what his church has said since it began in 1830? We hope you will join us again as we look at another viewpoint on Mormonism.
Whisper: medium.en / 2024-02-04 06:11:50 / 2024-02-04 06:17:00 / 5

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