January 29, 2016

Asked by the President to explain the convergence between her Christianity and her “concerns about democracy,” Robinson offers the simplest possible explanation: she believes “people are images of God” and that “democracy is the logical, the inevitable consequence of this kind of religious humanism at its highest level.” To the President’s and the novelist’s joint chagrin, though, the “loudest voices” for Christianity in American politics don’t really take their Christianity seriously; supposedly they fail to follow Christ’s injunction to love… Read more

January 26, 2016

The commandments, including the big 10 themselves, are a prominent theme of the Friday afternoon session of the October 1971 General Conference. Richard L. Evans  of the Quorum of the Twelve (“Should the Commandments Be Rewritten?”) notes that some have recently recommended that the commandments should be rewritten. He advises instead that they be re-read.   Rather than quarreling with or quibbling about the commandments and trying to rationalize them away, we must “simply accept the facts and be honest with… Read more

January 19, 2016

[Another day in our General Conference Odyssey — spearheaded by Nathaniel Givens] President Joseph Fielding Smith opens this conference (“I Know that My Redeemer Liveth”) as he closed the April conference, on a note of firm testimony and gratitude for the Restoration: We the Latter-day Saints are a blessed and favored people. It is our privilege to become “a kingdom of priests, and an holy nation.” (Ex. 19:6.) The Lord has chosen us, as he chose our fathers anciently, “to… Read more

January 12, 2016

(Another week has come and gone, bringing with it another segment from our “General Conference Odyssey” — spearheaded by Nathaniel Givens) We have come to the last, Tuesday afternoon, session of the April 1971 General Conference. I was struck in reading these talks by the emphasis on the need for revelation by the Holy Ghost and on the blessings of a Church guided by revelation. Elder Le Grand Richards reflects that he is speaking at his 74th general conference, more… Read more

January 5, 2016

Is knowledge of ultimate truth possible? We have of late heard critics of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints from both right and left declare or insinuate that Church leaders have no particular spiritual warrant for their authority but are merely good organization men giving the masses what they seem to need, bolstering inherited and conventional beliefs without claiming any real revelation, any definite access to a higher truth. Sure, the prophets testify, repeating the same old formulae,… Read more

January 4, 2016

https://rsc.byu.edu/archived/volume-11-number-1-2010/paradox-and-discipleship This is a wonderful distillation by a great saint and great scholar, Terryl Givens, of the themes of his book People of Paradox  (and including a fecund 5th paradox: Originality and Assimilation). My immediate hunch is that all five of these are aspects of a single, deep and fruitful paradox, which might be indicated by the tension between God as the author of all law and God as beholden to eternal laws somehow independent of his will. In other… Read more

December 29, 2015

[Another addition in the more to come series of “insights and inspirations from previous General Conferences” project] Harold B. Lee was President of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles when he addressed the April, 1971 General Conference on the topic of “the Iron Rod.” (I note that the occasion for Elder Lee’s becoming an apostle in 1941 was the death of once-Senator and apostle Reed Smoot, and that, upon Lee’s death, L. Tom Perry, whom we just lost this last… Read more

December 24, 2015

At Times & Seasons, Marc Bohn promotes inside information that John Gustav-Wrathall is eager to pass on. Wrathall lets the T & S community in on the secret information he gathered, as a leader of Affirmation, with certain un-named “Church leaders”. The now open secret, purportedly, is that “our leaders,” while opening up to Wrathall, are lying to the rest of us in their consistent, explicit, and frequent confirmations that the practice of homosexuality is wrong and that homosexual marriage… Read more

December 22, 2015

[Along with a bunch of friends – linked below – I am reviewing LDS General Conferences beginning with the first available at lds.org, April 1971.  Here are a few thoughts relating the April, 1971, Saturday Afternoon session.] Sunday Morning, April 4, 1971 N. Eldon Tanner, 2nd Counselor in the First Presidency, proposes to say just what he would say if this were his last message to us. And his choice is to concentrate our minds on the choice that determines… Read more

December 15, 2015

[A continuation in the project of gleaning insights and inspirations from previous LDS General Conferences beginning in April 1971. To see more insights and perspectives from others participating in this endeavor, follow the links at the bottom of the page] As Victor L. Brown was not an apostle, but (in 1971) “only” a counselor in the Presiding Bishopric, I will defer to the wisdom he can be presumed to share with his colleagues among the General Authorities, but I will… Read more

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