Pressured Revelation

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There seems to be some occurrences of revelation within the Mormon church that have been a result of (or at the very least coincided with) societal pressures.

The Word of Wisdom was received as a result of Emma Smith complaining to Joseph Smith about cleaning up tobacco spit from the floor of the School of the Prophets. The Manifesto was issued around the same time that Utah wanted to become a state in a country where plural marriage was illegal. The revelation to extend the priesthood to all males was issued in an era of a civil rights movement.

Can society be a catalyst for revelation? Does God need to wait for a prophet to approach Him with a problem before issuing a revelation? Can any society issue put enough pressure on the Church that a revelation changing policy/doctrine be issued?

113 thoughts on “Pressured Revelation

  1. Kim: “Do you have a reference that we can read that states the Lord confirmed Aaron through Moses?”

    Read Exodus 40 1-15.

    “1 And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying, …
    15 And thou shalt anoint them, as thou didst anoint their father, that they may minister unto me in the priest’s office: for their anointing shall surely be an everlasting priesthood throughout their generations.”

    Clearly, the Lord directed Moses to do the annointing.

    P.S. Sorry to jump on this topic sooo late. I just stumbled on your blog, and am trying to catch up.

  2. It seems to me that most often these “questions” put forward in this forum are a means to cause bickering…more often than not and seen in a short period of time, the sentiment “I am right and you are wrong” during these so called discussions…because I read this book, this talk etc. etc. It frustrates me to no end when coming into blogs like this that church members specifically hide behind other’s books (which may or may not be correct..who really is to say!!) and other forums etc. to forward their OPINION as the only correct one/answer. I have left other forums for less (although I do seem to enjoy coming back to this one). I also find that those whose testimonies are wavering (and I am NOT saying that ANYONE’s on this list IS), often purposefully start discussions like this in order to forward their personal conclusions about the “wrongness” of the church. The fact that many of you are related on this site fascinates me as well…that no one questions it…it feels like others are tag teamed a lot. At any rate, I really have no commentary on this thread as it obviously has ventured into this realm of “rightness” on so many different levels. Until the next thread…


  3. Actually, only 3 of us are related.

    Not sure why you think anyone is trying to say ” I am right and you are wrong”. As well, where you think anyone is saying the Church is wrong. I certainly am not. Nor is Kim. Since I live with him and know him, I know what he has been through spiritually, physically and emotionally. I know his heart. I know his testimony, I know his dedication to the Lord and to the Gospel, I think I am more equipped to be a judge of what he is attempting here. I am well aware that many misunderstand him, which is why I make an effort to explain him (probably a fruitless endeavour since a few seem determined to make a judgement on what he is thinking when they have absolutely NO ideea).

    What frustrates me is those who feel justified in reading into what he is saying, without giving him the benefit of the doubt. Kim is a thinker. A fairly deep thinker. He is a dedicated home teacher (one of the very few in our ward who actually DOES his hometeaching), he is a dedicated Elder’s Quorum President. In every job he has held he has been valued for his hard work, honesty and integrity. In each of his callings he has gone far beyond the call of duty. He doesn’t question the Gospel, he sometimes questions long held LDS traditions, perpetuated not by the General Authorities, but by members of the Church who decide this is what is supposed to be.

    Another thing about Kim as well is, he hides behind no one, not a book, not a person, not an idea. He is true to the Lord Jesus Christ, true to his testimony of the truthfulness of this Gospel, true to the Prophets, past and present. True to his family. He honours his priesthood, he treats his family with love, gentleness and compassion. He goes out of his way to help others, even when it causes him physical pain. Yes, physical pain. He suffers from arthritis, but he still will stay on his feet for hours helping people move, serving others. And then comes home and is in pain for several days. Excrutiating pain. But you don’t hear him complaining, not even to me. Don’t question his dedication or his intent. I know his intent. You do not. Just because you don’t understand what he is saying doesn’t mean you have to attack him in such a matter.

  4. Mary,

    I was not “attacking” your husband…and it is obvious that you care about him deeply and I can see why you might think I was…my intent was towards “the whole”, whether it be this forum, another forum or whatever it be…it annoys me that discussion in this type of forum go on so long and SO off topic because of some of the reasons I outlined in my last post.

    Furthermore, I think Kim’s words speak for themselves, and he is obviously a very deep thinker. I do not think you need to feel the need to expand upon his words or defend him, he is an eloqunet speaker (writer) on his own merits.

    I did not mean to offend you Mary…I was simply commenting on my frustrations (not being able to have a civil “conversation” in these forums due to many members…how to put it…maybe arrogance, my way because “I KNOW” attitude?) with …which I felt was fairly obvious.


  5. Kris

    I wasn’t offended, just protective (I tend to get that way with friends and family).

    I know he is well able to handle himself, I just can’t help myself sometimes.

    Sometimes there is a bit of an “I know” attitude, but I feel it has more to do with the internet and the written word. But I could be wrong. That’s why I tend to use a lot of smiley faces.

    Sorry I assumed it was mostly directed at Kim.

  6. After Joseph Smith have the preisthood to the black man he was told that it was not to be so. The man was told that it was wrong and he honored that. Joseph was told that the blacks were not to be given the priesthood until a future time. A week before that revelation my brother was teaching a black man in Los Angeles about the priesthood. He told the man that the time would soon come when that revelation would come that the blacks would be given the priesthood. Jerry(The Black man) asked if he could be baptised the following week.

  7. Do you have a reference for this Ray? Everything I have read to date points to Brigham Young instituting the ban on black holding the priesthood.

  8. I think the subject of “what is scripture and is a church leader’s opinion one and the same” would make an interesting topic. I remember a time the Stake President enforced his opinion on everyone in the Stake. If you drank soft drinks that contained caffine YOU COULD NOT HAVE A TEMPLE RECOMMEND. A Bishop who stood before the men of the Ward and told them that if they had sexual relations with their wife in any manner other than what he was going to descibed – He would release you from any calling and bring you before a Church court. Those old style clothes with the slit were to be worn at all times and he meant at all times.

    Can members question church leaders? NO and the answer remains NO at all levels. Both of the examples are true, they did happen and I am a first hand witness to them.

    Are they backed by scripture? NO Were they enforced? You bet they were.

    The Gospel of Jesus Christ is beautiful and loving and I enjoy the Gospel. You let men and their lust for power get involved and things change. I do not have a problem with the Gospel, I do have problems sometimes with the stupid things men say and act like it is from God.

    The LDS Church teaches that God never changes that God would cease to be God if he did yet the Church itself changes all the time. Us mere members are not allowed to question why all of the changes.

    Why should leaders be allowed to make up rules that God has not given them? I am interested in what you have to say.

  9. The preceding examples are just more fuel for the argument that lay-people should not be allowed to simply step into the office without more training.

  10. I also am familier with the old style policies that Bill Mentioned. I grew up in Los Angeles, and was fortunate to have wonderfull leaders that were inspired men of God. I wish I had paid better attention to their counsel. But it still remains that they are mortal men. They may have made decisions in their callings that might have been wrong.
    I had a bishop once give me some counsel and a couple weeks later appologize and say he was wrong. Did this affect my testimony? No. But his previous counsel did bother me. I could have gone inactive or left the church. I was sure at the time that no one, Including my ex wife, would have cared.

  11. Kim: I do not have a referance for it but I will look. I have read alot of books about the life of Joseph Smith and cannot remember where I heard it. It could also have been in a class or something.

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