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Answers to 7 questions Dallin H. Oaks Part 2

Viewpoint on Mormonism / Bill McKeever
The Truth Network Radio
July 17, 2020 7:17 pm

Answers to 7 questions Dallin H. Oaks Part 2

Viewpoint on Mormonism / Bill McKeever

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July 17, 2020 7:17 pm

This week we are taking a look at a June 2020 Ensign magazine article titled “Answers to Seven Questions From Young Married Adults” (pp. 76-80)


.1 examines the teachings of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints from a biblical perspective viewpoint when Mormonism is sponsored by Mormonism research ministry since 1979 Mormonism research ministry has been dedicated to equipping the body of Christ with answers regarding the Christian faith in a manner that expresses gentleness and respect. And now, your host for today's viewpoint on Mormonism. Should any religious faith bear to be investigated. Welcome to this edition of viewpoint on Mormonism. I'm your host, Bill McKeever, founder and director Mormonism research ministry and with me today is Eric Johnson. My colleague at MRM yesterday. We began looking at an article that was in the June 2020 addition of & magazine & magazine is a monthly periodical put out by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. It's written more for the adult members in the church. This article that we are looking at titled answers to seven questions from young married adults is geared as you can tell from the title towards young married adults, but I think the questions would also be good for just about anybody in the LDS church. Dallen Oakes is responding to these seven questions and we were looking at question number five question number five says my spouse has gone inactive due to doubts regarding church history and doctrinal issues. How should I go about researching and responding to these issues, we can bring this up yesterday Bill, but this is obviously somebody who must have had doubts because they have heard about church history problems and doctrinal problem. So they've already probably done some research and as we said yesterday Oakes response is, I suggest that research is not the answer I'm I'm not sure we would do that with a Christian who has doubts and I'm not sure a latter-day St. later to be promoting not doing any research to be able to figure out what is true.

I would agree with you, and I think that first sentence is very problematic and I would not be surprised if a lot of young Latter Day Saints or even older Latter Day Saints read that first sentence and probably stopped and went don't know if that's going to cut it. Here is why folks if you just take that first sentence that Oakes gives. I suggest that research is not the answer. That doesn't seem to really be the position of other LDS leaders of the past. Let me give you this citation from George Albert Smith. He was a member of the first presidency back on August 13, 1871. In this quote can be found in the Journal of discourses, volume 14, page 216 George Albert Smith said this, if of faith will not dare to be investigated. If it's preachers and professors are afraid to have it examined their foundation must be very weak. We had a mutual friend, Bill, Peter Barnes, who was a Jehovah's Witness for 30 years back in the 1970s he came out became a Christian and he had a statement he used to use all the time when he was talking to Jehovah's Witnesses out on the street or wherever it was, and when they would start to run away when Peter was talking and giving times, quite literally, we should say he I got a wet tail it back to their cars when he would address some kind of an issue and he would say to them is there right away.

Air will always run from truth. But truth will never run from air and I consider truth to be like a flashlight when you turn that light on and you're looking at what's under a bed and if there are cockroaches there and a scramble because they want nothing to do with the light and I see the same thing here when you tell somebody that they should just ignore it. That's not what George Albert Smith said when he says if the faith will not bear to be investigated, then its foundation must be very weak and I I would say as a latter-day St., are you willing to allow yourself the possibility that maybe Mormonism is not true and then it goes back to that question that I've asked hundreds of Latter Day Saints. If what you believe is not true, does not honor God to believe something that's not true. And I think that's an important question that all of us need to ask ourselves when it comes to anything that we might believe. But he goes into this next sentence and that's what we want to look at more closely today.

What is Oakes say after he suggests that research is not the answer because it sounds like he's backpedaling at least a little bit in this next sentence. References to the church as many helps to answer familiar questions such as the gospel topics may help one who is sincerely seeking don't notice what he's done he's gone from research is not the answer to. If you're going to research this is where you should do your research and so he offers as a suggestion, the gospel topics essays with your course found on the official website of the LDS church. You can also find links to these as well. But here's where I find a little bit of criticism. Notice what he's suggesting. If you're going to do your research. Do it only in the areas that I allow you to look at which of course in this situation or the gospel topics essays we've talked many times about the gospel topics, essays, and the reason they exist is because the church itself recognized that far too many members had questions regarding church history and doctrinal issues. The leadership in the church realize they could no longer get away with merely intimidating members by saying will don't listen to that or it's going to have spiritual implications, or just go pray about it and that will make everything okay.

We have talked to many former Latter Day Saints and when we asked them why did you leave I can't tell you how many times in the last 5 to 7 years we have heard, I did the research. I went onto my own church's website.

The gospel topics essays disturb me and there are number of essays that could do that, the book of Abraham not being a literal translation. The stone that was used in the hat. The seer stone by Joseph Smith to translate the book of Mormon. Those are just some of the issues that Latter Day Saints did not know because the church was not telling people the truth about its history and so when they found out from their churches own website, they were appalled we have a website. As you mentioned, Bill, and if you go on there and type in with the/gospel topics with the hyphen in between. We have covered most of those gospel topics, essays, and we've also done an entire radio series on that. I would encourage Latter Day Saints to read the gospel topics essays because even though they are written in a way that's trying to keep people in the church.

I think there's enough there to cause people some problems, but you notice what Oakes does not do in his answer, he does not counsel those that are questioning to go find the answers anywhere because truth is truth. You would think he probably takes a very similar position as that of Bruce McConkie.

Now Bruce McConkey was the son-in-law of Joseph Fielding Smith the 10th present the church. He was also an apostle in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. But listen to how he responds when it comes to let's say getting information from an area that most Mormons might be a little bit hesitant to listen to. This is also found in the set of instructions that were given from what was called an open letter directed to quote unquote honest truth seekers and the date is July 1, 1980. He had a number of various points in this letter, but point number nine said it, ignore if you can. The endless array of anti-Mormon literature and avoid cults like a plague conversion is not born of contention. He that hath the spirit of contention is not of God, not the all of a sudden for the conclusion that just because I'm trying to do some research that this is born out of some kind of contention so he has to read something into the motives of the person who has the questions he goes on to say our divine commission is to declare a glad tidings to the world not to quarrel with others about the meaning of texts there are of course answers to all of the false claims of those who were ready themselves against us. I do not believe the devil has had a new idea for 100 years, but conversion is not found in the dens of debate. It comes rather to those who read the book of Mormon in the way Moron I counseled course, that's a reference to Moron I tend for in the book of Mormon. McConkey goes on to say in this paragraph. Most members of the church would be better off if they simply ignored the specious claims of the professional anti-Mormons.

What makes the paragraph sounds interesting to me is that most of what he would call professional anti-Mormons write about are things that people like Bruce McConkey have said notice were quoting Bruce McConkey and we have at times cited this very quote by Bruce McConkey throughout our writings and our responses to people who have had questions the point that McConkey is making is don't go to an outside source.

And that's kind of what we're hearing talent Oakes say here don't go to an outside source.

If you're going to do research, go here, go to the gospel topics essays, which, of course, as you said Eric we would encourage people to go to the gospel topics essays.

We do believe that they have a lot of good information and we have seen members who read these essays find that their faith is certainly challenged because of it. They could be much more transparent, for sure, but we do come in. The essays were being as transparent as they are. That certainly much more than what members have received from the leadership in years past we've used this illustration before it's an old one, but I think it's worth talking about. If you're going to go to a Ford dealership and look at the Ford cars.

What kind of information you think you're going to get from the Ford salesman.

He's going to tell you everything positive about that when you ask him what about the Toyota and they're going to say well the tire is not as good as this and are going to show you all of those things you go to the Toyota salesman. It will be the same thing they're going to tell y'all good about the Toyota and not good about the Ford and you would expect that.

But why can't we take a look at all of the information, go to the Consumer Reports see what the two different cars are doing and see what the prices and make an intelligent decision based on all the information I remind you of what you quoted earlier Bill George Albert Smith said if the faith will not bear to be investigated. If it's preachers and professors are afraid to have it examine their foundation must be very weak. Let me go back to Bruce McConkey as we close out today showing very quickly. I just want to talk about what else he says in this book the sermons and writings of Bruce R. McConkey.

That's where I got that other quote. This is page 233 at the bottom of the page he refers to cults and very quickly.

I want to read this and asked to the cults.

They are the gate to hell. Members of the church to espouse the cultish practice of plural marriage and how the context is he's wanting members to stay away from those fundamentalist Mormons as they are known and yet he refers to their plural marriage as cultish a way to minute didn't the Mormon church itself. Practice plural marriage for much of its early history. Of course he did help him. It wasn't cultish.

Back then, well, because now the church was forced to make a course correction based on the rule of law, but he goes on to say, the common approach of those who propagandize for this practice is to pit the sayings of the dead profits against those of the living prophets. Anyone who follows a dead prophet rather than a living prophet will follow him to death rather than to life. Can you imagine what that is saying you mean we really can't quote any past prophet of the Mormon church.

Well, they probably wouldn't be so much against that in its entirety, but certainly are not allowed to quote them if the a more recent prophet contradicted them. My question would be if they're getting their information from the same source, speaking of a God who is been around for quite a while and doesn't need to have new information, why would a more modern leader contradict the teachings of a past Mormon leader. Thank you for listening you would like more information is research ministry. We encourage you to visit our website you can request our free newsletter research.

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