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Stand on the Rock of Revelation Part 1

Viewpoint on Mormonism / Bill McKeever
The Truth Network Radio
October 9, 2020 12:35 pm

Stand on the Rock of Revelation Part 1

Viewpoint on Mormonism / Bill McKeever

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October 9, 2020 12:35 pm

We take a closer look at the problems from an article in the October 2020 Ensign magazine written by Lawrence E. Corbridge, an emeritus Seventy.

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Viewpoint on Mormonism, the program that examines the teachings of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints from a Biblical perspective. Viewpoint on 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. 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. Standing on the Rock of Revelation, an article by Elder Lawrence E. Corbridge, who was an emeritus member of the Seventy. Mr. Corbridge is also an attorney.

He practices corporate and business law here in the state of Utah. Well, this article, titled Stand on the Rock of Revelation, by being grounded on the Rock of Revelation, we can find answers to the most important questions. This article can be found in the October 2020 edition of Ensign magazine, but it comes from a devotional address titled Stand Forever, an address that he delivered at Brigham Young University on January 22nd, 2009. Mr. Corbridge makes a lot of interesting statements, so naturally, this caught our attention, and we felt it worthy to go through. And hopefully, we can dissect some of the statements that he makes, because I think this is very important, not only for those of us who are trying to reach members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, but it's also important for members themselves. Because Mr. Corbridge's article, taken of course from his devotional, tends to expose a problem that we know is in the Mormon Church today, and that is a lot of people are leaving the LDS Church based on information that they are coming across, mostly on the internet, and he tends to make a hint towards that in this article itself.

What does he say in the first paragraph of this article, Eric? As part of an assignment I had as a General Authority a few years ago, I read through a great deal of material antagonistic to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, the Prophet Joseph Smith, the Book of Mormon, and the events of the Restoration. Since that assignment changed, I have not returned to wallow in that mire. Don't you find it a bit interesting that he was given an assignment as a General Authority? Remember, he's an emeritus member of the Seventy, which means he no longer has that position. But he says, I had as a General Authority a few years ago this assignment to read through a great deal of material antagonistic to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, and look at the categories here, the Prophet Joseph Smith, the Book of Mormon, and events of the Restoration.

And then he makes that little bit of a dig. He says, since that assignment changed, I have not returned to wallow in that mire. Why would you think he would describe his research into those areas as having to wallow in that mire? Because he's going to have to face some of the things that are being said, perhaps on even a site like ours,, and maybe did not have answers initially to many of the things, and even as he may have studied these things out, may have found out as the Gospel Topics Essays from 2013 to 2015 that the LDS Church has on its website today admitted to many of the things many Latter-day Saints did not know.

So it would be interesting to find out what exactly he found out in his research that he got assigned a few years ago, because we did some research on the internet we can't find anywhere where he has published anything to explain where these websites are wrong. Correct, and we don't know of any of his writings where he offers some sound rebuttals to them either. He certainly doesn't do that in this devotional, which now is an article in the October 2020 Ensign, but this is what he says in the second paragraph, Reading that material always left me with a feeling of gloom, and one day that sense of darkness inspired me to write a partial response to all such antagonistic claims.

I would like to share some of the thoughts I recorded that day, and although what I wrote was for my benefit, I hope it will help you as well. So he does say he wrote down some things, but he admits it's only a partial response to some of these antagonistic claims as he refers to them as. But as I said earlier, he doesn't really detail specifics. He doesn't offer any rebuttals. He just basically, in my opinion, all he's doing in this article is engaging in what's known as the proverbial poisoning the well. Stay away from this stuff.

Don't engage yourself. If you do, you're going to feel gloom, like I felt gloom when I was looking at some of this material in wallowing in that mire. Now you had read, Bill, the subtitle of this article. By being grounded on the Rock of Revelation, we can find answers to the most important questions. Now we can say, we'll tell you in advance what the Rock of Revelation is. That's the church, the LDS church, to be specific. But I want to point out the artwork.

It takes up two-thirds of the first two pages, pages 26 and 27. And there is a man, and he's wearing a white shirt and dark pants, looking like a Latter-day Saint, standing on a big rock. And all around him are at least 12 to 15 different antagonists who are screaming at him, and their spoken bubbles are dark. It's all dark, and there's nothing that he can see. So the impression I get from this piece of artwork is that he's standing there on the rock, and he doesn't care what all these people are saying because he's not going to listen to what they have to say. Now what we see from Lawrence Corbridge is that he has given partial response.

So he's had to have heard what these websites are saying, and he apparently has some kind of response. This guy that's standing on the rock seems unaffected, and he's just going to stand there and take it and not really hear what they have to say. I was telling you before we started recording, when I look at some of the images of these characters in this drawing, the one on the left with the glasses and the bald head kind of reminded me of Joseph Fielding Smith, the 10th president of the church. And I can understand why a Latter-day Saint reading some of the statements from their 10th president, Joseph Fielding Smith, might feel gloom because certainly he said some things that were very troubling for even modern Latter-day Saints.

And then you got a guy down at the bottom wearing glasses, and he kind of reminded me of Ezra Taft Benson. Now I'm sure the artist didn't mean that at all. This is only my interpretation, but I think you make a good point.

The character standing on top of this rock is looking away from the people pointing fingers with their angry faces as if he is just ignoring them. Whereas I was telling you before we started recording, I think in the drawing I would have had, it would have been us, like, I'll take your question, pointing right back. I'll take your question. I'll point right back at you. I will respond to those things. I will not turn away.

I will look at what you have to say and offer, hopefully, a cogent, convincing response. But that's not what this picture is implying. It seems, and I think you're absolutely correct, Eric, it seems to be implying that a good Latter-day Saint is going to look away and not engage a lot of the accusations that are being made. And how many times do we see that kind of attitude on the streets when we're trying to witness? Because a lot of people will look away when they see, maybe we have a website sign in our hands, or maybe we're trying to offer them a newspaper, or like I like to do, hand out copies of Spencer Kimball's The Miracle of Forgiveness. They won't even look at you because they don't want any part of it for the fear, perhaps, of hearing something that might trouble them and possibly could cause them such consternation they might want to leave the church.

They don't want to deal with it at all. Well, when Mr. Corbridge mentions about having a feeling of gloom, you and I have had the experience of talking to Latter-day Saints one-on-one, and how many times have we mentioned something, maybe quoting from their own scriptures or quoting from their own leaders, where we will have a Latter-day Saint respond to us by saying, I don't feel the Spirit when you speak, or I'm getting a dark feeling when you speak, even though what we were speaking comes from their own sources. He's going to address this later on in his article, but basically, we would conclude, and he's going to try and refute our conclusions on this, the reason why they feel that way is because the information conflicts with what they already believe. Nobody, and I mean this, nobody likes to hear information that conflicts with your presuppositions. Now, as an honest individual, I would hope we would take that information into account and compare what we already believe with what now we see are different facts that might contradict what we believe and draw a new conclusion.

But he doesn't see it this way, and as I said, he's going to address this later on. But this is my explanation as to why so many Latter-day Saints don't like what we say, and then they might try to say something like, well, it's not so much what you said, it's how you said it. Now, that always puzzles me because we have a pretty good reputation of giving this information in a loving, thoughtful way. We try not to be obnoxious or arrogant. We try to give it to them in a way that we hope is probably the best way to deliver this information to them in a way that they would hopefully listen. So when they say, well, it's how you're saying it, what does that really mean?

Am I just using some language that is pretty blunt because I'm trying to get my point across or what? That becomes confusing sometimes, I have to admit. When he talks about a feeling of gloom, well, you and I, Bill, read a lot of LDS literature, including The Inside magazine. I read it every single month.

I read pretty much most of the articles. And I'm going to say I wouldn't say a feeling of gloom, but I sometimes feel sorry or pity for the views that are being given. Sometimes I do feel a little anger because I feel that the writer might not be honest as much as he or she should be.

But just because you're dealing with opposition doesn't mean that you have to have this feeling of gloom. Because if you have the true answers, Mr. Corbridge, then publish the explanations for the websites that you're looking at and all the other material that you're considering, because if what you're believing is true, it should be easy to point out the errors of those who are going against. And we're going to find out later such issues as the Book of Mormon and the First Vision and other things like that, that there should be answers to those things. And I think those answers should be published on the official LDS website.

I think they should be able to be there so everybody could have access to what he says that he has come across. I think you're absolutely right, because there are a lot of members that are seeking some answers to the troubling things that they do read on the internet, or perhaps even read in Mormon material. It bothers them. We know it bothers them because we've spoken to numerous Latter-day Saints who tell us that it bothered them.

And they want to find answers to this. But what Mr. Corbridge is going to do here in this article, at least this is what I took away from it, it's really don't focus on those things. Don't focus on what he's going to later call his secondary issues. But yet it's those secondary issues that speak a lot to some of the primary issues that he's also going to list in this article. One other thing I want to point out, Bill, is that with the issues that are going to be talked about in this article, we have dealt with all of them on our website.

And as you mentioned, you can go on our website. If you're a Latter-day Saint, I encourage you to find out the type of motive we have and the way that we present, because we're trying to present as factually as possible. But if these things are true, Mormonism is in trouble. Tomorrow we're going to continue looking at Lawrence E. Corbridge's article, Stand on the Rock of Revelation, found in the October 2020 edition of Ensign Magazine. Thank you for listening. If you would like more information regarding Mormonism Research Ministry, we encourage you to visit our website at, where you can request our free newsletter, Mormonism Researched. We hope you will join us again as we look at another viewpoint on Mormonism.
Whisper: medium.en / 2024-02-06 00:33:12 / 2024-02-06 00:38:46 / 6

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