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May 30, 2020 3:13 pm
Point is, the teachings of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints 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 are things that a program for that musical introduction welcome to this edition of viewpoint on Mormonism.
I'm your host, Bill McTeer, founder director Mormonism research ministry with me today is Eric Johnson. My colleague at MRM we continue looking at books that were given away as gifts by the first presidency of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints between the years 1981 in 2017 yesterday we began looking at a book that was given away as a Christmas gift in 1997 a book titled discourses of Wilford Woodruff. We are looking at discourses of Brigham Young and we were talking about a controversial doctrine that Brigham Young taught that is the idea that his God Elohim, the one they call heavenly father was increasing and knowledge and we mentioned that Wilford Woodruff agreed with that teaching as well and I want to re-visit that quotation. So let's go through that quote and then I have some thoughts on that.
On page 3 he writes, God is increasing in knowledge. If there was a point where man in his progression could not proceed any further. The very idea with throw a gloom over every intelligent and reflecting mind, God himself is increasing and progressing in knowledge power and dominion, and will do so worlds without end. It is just so with us. We are in a probation which is a school of experience. This is a controversial statement that we know and we discussed already that Joseph Fielding Smith the 10th president of the church did not agree with. And so my question is as if Joseph Fielding Smith happen to be president in 1997 when this book was given away as a gift.
Would he have objected to allowing this book to be given away knowing that he felt that this idea that God was progressing in knowledge was a very dangerous doctrine and that's what he said about it.
I would think that know he would not because he would've actually read any book that he gave away because he was a scholar.
He was the historian for the church so I would think perhaps he wouldn't have, but we have to remember 1997 who were who were the members of the first presidency while we had Gordon Hinckley is the president we had James Faust and we had Thomas S. Monson. Those three men made up the first presidency. None of them are academics. None of them are historians.
I'm just going to say and I can't prove it that they may have never even read this book before it was given away by them if they didn't and they don't agree with this statement and I would probably lean towards the didn't agree with the statement they probably went more along with what Joseph Fielding Smith taught, and in regard to this being a dangerous doctrine.
It makes you wonder why they would allow that to be given away as a gift. It seems like it would be confusing to those who receive the book as a gift, but you have to remember to that. The church was trying to get every president included and there's not a whole lot that Wilford Woodruff actually wrote this would be one that was compiled after he died.
And so they didn't have a lot of choices when it came to getting Woodruff's name involved in this Christmas series. Nothing else I guess we could credit the first presidency with at least not editing the book and taking out the portions that they didn't like. They left it intact, it's there for us to read and it's there for us to discuss. So I'm just throwing out some questions that I've thought about since we began this series. The next topic we want to look at has to do with the celestial kingdom. This is found in the discourses of Wilford Woodruff, page 268 and 69. We are now upon our second estate in our eternal destiny depends upon the few years we spent in the flesh. We are placed here that it may be seen which law we will keep our heavenly father is placed before us the laws. Celestial Telos Jewel and terrestrial. If any man will obey the celestial law he will be preserved by that law, all the glory, power and exultation belonging to that law will be given to him now in this short paragraph. There's a lot that we can dissect and here's what I want to focus on when he says we are now upon our second estate. Now that's language that most non-Mormons wouldn't even understand what is that mean when an LDS leader or a latter-day Satan member in general uses that expression it's referring to the fact that they believe we existed in our first estate in what's known as the preexistence when we were at that time. Spirit children of the heavenly father and a heavenly mother. From that point because we can only progress so far in that environment we needed to take on mortal bodies and come to earth and because of how we performed in the preexistence would determine as we brought out by other books that were given away as Christmas gifts that it had something to do with how good we were in that preexistence and that determined and what kind of I guess you could say life station.
We were born here, and even what skin color. We had when we were born here.
This is known as our second estate is Wilford Woodruff is explaining that here, but I want to bring out one interesting facet of the sentence he says our eternal destiny depends upon the few years we spent in the flesh. What is he referring to. He's referring to another doctrine of Mormonism, known as the doctrine of mortal probation. We are here as human beings. The children of God most literally they would understand, and we are here to prove ourselves worthy during this mortal probation in order to get back in the presence of God and to continue in our eternal progression. How we believed how we behaved according to Mormonism will determine whether we end up in the celestial kingdom the terrestrial kingdom or the T lest you kingdom yet how many Latter Day Saints are actually living according to the celestial law that's talked about the doctrine and covenants when you asked them.
Are you doing what you're supposed to do. They always seem to say they're trying and they're doing their best, but everybody acknowledges they're not doing it, but many Latter Day Saints think that they have the next life to continue to work on this.
We have come across some Latter Day Saints that do believe that and that's why I wanted to emphasize this sentence in this paragraph on page 268. We are now upon our second estate, and our eternal destiny depends upon the few years we spend in the flesh. So if you have a Latter Day Saints and will know we can make up for lost time after we die. It doesn't appear that Wilford Woodruff held that position, at least not by what he says in this particular paragraph another topic we want to look at that is found in the discourses of Wilford Woodruff and again makes me wonder, did the leaders at the time. In 1997 when they gave this book as a Christmas gift that they agree with Wilford Woodruff on this. I would tend to think so. Although it's not a topic that you hear discussed publicly, very often that's for sure.
This is found on page 95 and it has to do with the apostle John and the three neophytes that are mentioned in the book of Mormon. Woodruff said the first quorum of apostles were all put to death except John and we are informed that he still remains on the earth, though his body has doubtless undergone some change.
Three of the neophytes chosen here by the Lord Jesus as his apostles had the same promise that they should not taste death until Christ came and they still remain on the earth in the flesh. It's kind of difficult for a Mormon to not accept this teaching because as I mentioned the three neophytes are are talked about in the book of Mormon. The apostle John and his remaining alive on the earth is talked about in doctrine and covenants section 7, so it's a part of the Scripture and you just can't easily turn aside was written in your Scripture, though I'm sure there probably are some Latter Day Saints who may not even agree with this particular teaching, but the fact is, it seems that Wilford Woodruff believed it. And then of course raises a number of questions.
If the apostle John was promised by Jesus himself to remain alive on the earth, along with three other neophytes and I believe it was Bruce McConkie that referred to these neophytes as being apostles as well in the new world. They were ordained under Jesus after his resurrection, came to the New World. That would mean that there are at least four apostles runaround on the earth somewhere who we assume have priesthood authority and if they have priesthood authority as a latter-day St. You would be erroneous to assume that there was a complete apostasy of the Christian faith is most Mormons are led to believe. If you've got John running around and you got the three neophytes running around and they have priesthood authority.
You would think if they're doing what apostles are supposed to do. They are making converts and passing on their authority as understood in Mormonism, to those new converts. That would mean there could not be a complete apostasy of the Christian faith. Yet Mormon leaders have stated emphatically that there had to of been a complete apostasy of the Christian faith. Otherwise, the LDS church really has no basis of which to even be organized. That's the foundational teaching that we have heard from LDS leaders as to their very existence. One more citation we need to fit in here bill and this has to do with tithing. This is found on page 213 of the discourses of Wilford Woodruff. Of course he writes we are required to practice what we preach. I believe in that doctrine. Now I know for myself that the presidency of this church paid their tithing as chairman of the auditing committee. I know what their tithing is the 12 apostles pay their tithing, Bishop Hunter and his counselors pay their tithing as well as a great many others in the church and kingdom. I would not preach tithing if I did not pay it. I consider it my duty to pay my tithing. I considered a lot of God to me and I am no poor, for obeying it. Wish my brother and sisters to take this principle to heart as the president has said the Lord does not care anything about our cattle are golden or silver.
The law of tithing is alive God to us. Obedience is better than sacrifice. This raises an interesting question remember Wilford Woodruff was the fourth president of the church. He becomes the president after the death of John Taylor which was in the late 1880s the structure back in the 1880s. I'm sure is different than it is in the 21st-century.
We happen to know that the leadership in the church are all full time for the church. None of them seem to have any side jobs. If they did to.
They're not spending a lot of time on those side jobseekers are pretty busy running the church and most Latter Day Saints would agree with me on that. The question then becomes, do the modern general authorities in the church pay tithing as they expect all other members in the church to pay tithing that. What's interesting is I pose this question on the Internet and I found this website called Flora.com and this question came up. It was interesting to hear the various Latter Day Saints offer their opinions and that's all they were folks's opinion. Some said when it comes to the lower leaders in the church. Yes they do because they all work part time for the church and they also have full-time jobs and when it came to the general authorities like the first presidency and the Council of the 12. They devote all their time to the church and do not have other jobs and some of the LDS people on their felt that they did not pay tithing, I tend to lean with that. I don't think they do. I've never seen a list of the tithing revenues given by the general authorities and if you have I would love to see it you could send it to me at firstname.lastname@example.org. I'd love to see that list. But if they don't. How does that fit with what Wilford Woodruff says here, I would not preach tithing if I did not pay it because of the modern leaders are not paying it but yet they're preaching that obviously their ethics is a little bit different than what Wilford Woodruff had when he was president of the church.
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