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Stand on the Rock of Revelation Part 9

Viewpoint on Mormonism / Bill McKeever
The Truth Network Radio
October 16, 2020 10:29 am

Stand on the Rock of Revelation Part 9

Viewpoint on Mormonism / Bill McKeever

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October 16, 2020 10:29 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.

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Mormonism 101, a book by Mormonism Research Ministries, Bill McKeever and Eric Johnson, has helped many who want to understand what separates Mormonism from the Christian faith. 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.

Stand on the Rock of Revelation. It's an article by Elder Lawrence E. Corbridge, who was an emeritus member of the Seventy, and it comes from a devotional address that Mr. Corbridge gave titled Stand Forever, an address he delivered at Brigham Young University on January 22nd, 2019. Now clearly, Eric, this is an article that is supposed to hopefully encourage those that are having doubts about their LDS faith, and by the fact that he lists a number of issues here that would probably cause some doubt in the minds of Latter-day Saints, especially when it comes to some of its church history. Plural marriage, people of African descent, not being allowed to hold the priesthood, how the Book of Mormon was translated, the lack of DNA that supports the premise in the Book of Mormon regarding the Book of Mormon peoples, and as well as the different accounts of the First Vision. He knows that there are issues that cause members to doubt. He mentions, as we talked about yesterday, that he had an assignment where he was supposed to look into a lot of these subjects that tended to cause a lot of doubt in the minds of Latter-day Saints. And in yesterday's show, we mentioned how he brings up what he calls the product of belief bias. In other words, when somebody says something that disagrees with what you already believe, your presuppositions, you feel this dark gloom about you because it's contradicting what you already believe. That's a very real thing.

It's very real in the lives of many Latter-day Saints, and it's very real in the lives of really everybody. Everybody has some kind of belief bias. We all have our presuppositions. But Mr. Corbidge, of course, thinks that his presuppositions are absolutely correct, and he's above having belief bias when it comes to the gloom he said he felt when he was reading about all these criticisms regarding Joseph Smith and his church. We ended yesterday's show by citing Mr. Corbidge, who said it is the gloom of darkness and the stupor of thought. He says that the gloom that he experienced was not belief bias, and it is not the fear of being an heir. He said it is the absence of the Spirit of God. In other words, he feels what he was reading in criticism of the church must have been totally false and inaccurate, but it didn't cause him a dark gloom because it went against what he already believed.

He feels that it was because there was an absence of the Spirit of God, and then he cites Doctrine and Covenants 9, 8, and 9. What does D&C 9, 8, and 9 say, Eric? But behold, I say unto you, that you must study it out in your mind, then you must ask me if it be right. And if it is right, I will cause that your bosom shall burn within you. Therefore, you shall feel that it is right. Verse 9, But if it be not right, you shall have no such feelings. But you shall have a stupor of thought that shall cause you to forget the thing which is wrong.

Therefore, you cannot right that which is sacred, save it be given you from me. In other words, it's all subjective. You have to have a feeling whether this is true or not. And how many times have we heard Latter-day Saints say that very thing to us? I don't feel that what you're saying to me is accurate. I don't feel the Spirit when you say what you say. And yet, as I mentioned yesterday, many of the things we are saying come right from either the Book of Mormon, the Doctrine and Covenants, the Pearl of Great Price, or a citation from a Mormon leader. Why wouldn't they feel the Spirit? Well, it's because they probably didn't know that that was in there. And it goes against the grain of what they already presuppose is true.

Now, Mr. Corbridge feels that he's above that. Bill, going back to D&C 9-8, I just want to point out that according to God, that you're supposed to study it out in your mind, then you have to ask God if it be right, and if it is, your bosom shall burn within you. Therefore, you shall feel that it is right. Can you think, Bill, of any verse in the Bible that would correspond to D&C 9-8?

Because I can't. I can't think of any verse. It's always about going back, as we said earlier this week, to the Word of God. I'm thinking about the case in Acts where Paul is talking, and what do they do? They take out the Scriptures and check to see if what he is saying is true, and what does Luke say in Acts?

He says they were considered more noble than those in Thessalonica, because these guys were willing, the Bereans were willing to take out the Scriptures and see if it is true. How do you know that you have the Spirit of God? How do you know that it has been revealed to you?

Here, it's based on feelings. I think that's a really problematic way of trying to figure out truth. I can give you an example of how that plays out in the minds of some Latter-day Saints. I was having a conversation with a Mormon missionary, and I was talking about this first vision, and that's on the list that Mr. Corbridge gives. I was explaining to this Latter-day Saint that Joseph Smith's explanation of the first vision could not be true, because one, he says it was in the spring of 1820. There was no revival that he describes in the spring of 1820. I started listing some of the other problematic points in that event, and yet this young man said to me, Well, I don't care what you've found. I don't care what you've researched.

I still believe it happened in 1820. You see, that's exactly what happens when you do what Mr. Corbridge says. Listen to this little, still, small voice that's telling you it's true anyway, regardless of what the facts are saying.

And that becomes a wish and a prayer. That becomes what fictional stories are all about. But the Bible is not a fictional story. The Bible is based on history, and unfortunately for the Latter-day Saint, you have to depend on your feelings, even when they may contradict the facts. And as we said before, it's impossible to completely get rid of your belief bias.

It's just impossible. We must try as hard as we can to be as objective as possible. But I think an honest individual would have to admit to do that 100% of the time is just not going to happen. Our presuppositions are going to guide us in some areas, and we need to be careful about that, I admit. He goes on and writes, Doesn't that smack a bit of arrogance on his part when he says, I don't know much, but I do know the voice of the Lord. Now, as an evangelical outside of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, I hear a man say something like that. I don't know much, but I do know the voice of the Lord and the first thought that comes to my mind. And yet you're still Mormon. Because if you really knew the voice of the Lord, you wouldn't be a Latter-day Saint, because what the Latter-day Saints are being told conflicts not only with history, but conflicts with the theological terms that are laid down in the New Testament. So what you're saying, if it conflicts in those areas, certainly cannot be from the Lord.

It's just not possible. But when he says, I think that claim goes along with the claim later on in that paragraph, which for me, as a New Testament Christian, I would say, I'm sorry, Mr. Corbridge, as sincere as you are, I would have to conclude that you have been deceived, whether you think so or not. I'm going to suggest that he doesn't really have the Spirit of God, because when it comes to brass tacks, he doesn't accept the God of the Bible. He doesn't accept the Jesus of the Bible. He does not accept how salvation is to be received. He does not accept the authority that God has given in the Bible, and there are other scriptures that actually supersede the Bible. Because let's be honest, the Bible is probably the least of the four standard works. And so I would say again, I come back to this question, epistemologically, how do we know that you have the Spirit of God? And it has to be in concordance with what the Bible is teaching, and his God and Jesus are different. And I think you raise a good point, because if, as most Latter-day Saints believe, that the Bible is the Word of God only as far as it is translated correctly, and we know what that really means is that they do not believe it was transmitted correctly.

So even if it was translated correctly, it's only a correct translation of a bad transmission. In other words, they still have severe doubts about the authority of the Bible. How many times have we had Mormons tell us that? We cite the Bible to them, and they blow it off like it's not important at all.

Why? Because they are following the guidelines of a Mr. Corbridge. Hey, your personal revelation means much more than what the Bible may have to say, even if it conflicts with it. Obviously, that has to be the conclusion that Mr. Corbridge is giving, because of the fact that he is a faithful Latter-day Saint. And yet, he's believing things, as you just said, Eric, that conflict with the very basics of the Christian faith, and the very basics of what the New Testament tells us regarding the person of God the Father, regarding the person of Jesus the Son, regarding God's plan of salvation by grace, justification through faith alone. He disagrees with all those points, I'm sure, if he's a faithful Latter-day Saint. But yet, he feels he's above this belief bias.

And of course, for us, looking from the outside in, we would find that to be definitely a contradiction. Bill, who do you think he's referring to when he talks about a dark choir? Because it seems like he's talking about anybody who would disagree with Mormonism, especially anybody who is trying to bring up reasons why perhaps Joseph Smith is not a true prophet of God, why the Book of Mormon is not true scripture, or the Book of Abraham for that matter, et cetera, et cetera.

So I guess you and I would also be part of the dark choir. Oh, I'm sure he no doubt believes that we are one of the voices from this dark choir. But as I'm trying to make my case here, it's really anything that might make him feel uncomfortable regarding that faith that he has. But what's fascinating to me is he feels that he is above this belief bias that he tends to criticize.

He doesn't think he has it. He hears the word of the Lord. How do you know it's the word of the Lord?

Well, probably going to give me an answer very similar that I've heard from many other Latter-day Saints. Well, I just do. That doesn't help.

It doesn't really help. How do you know it's really from the Lord? Latter-day Saints don't all agree on the same issues. They all have their disagreements. So who is speaking for the Lord in those cases? Mormon prophets don't always agree on some of the big issues of Mormonism. Brigham Young certainly would not be welcome in a modern Mormon church, holding to a lot of the beliefs that Brigham Young held in the 19th century. So who is really believing the voice of the Lord? How do we know Brigham Young wasn't one of the voices from the dark choir? We hope you will join us again as we look at another Viewpoint on Mormonism.
Whisper: medium.en / 2024-02-04 06:32:50 / 2024-02-04 06:38:06 / 5

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