ArcticFox wrote:Yeah I think I get what you mean, and you aren't wrong. I guess the only time it really matters is on bigger stuff. Like, in my church, people have lots of different views on things. It isn't as monolithic as might might seem. Some Mormons absolutely won't drink Coke or Pepsi because they feel the Word of Wisdom (the thing that tells us to stay away from coffee, tea, drugs, alcohol) forbids it, while others drink it all the time. Some believe it's okay to have herbal tea and some won't drink any tea. The only time it matters is when it's an issue that might affect someone's eternal salvation. I'm not likely to lose a temple recommend if I drink Pepsi and herbal tea, so it isn't something the First Presidency needs to get involved in.ChickenSoup wrote: I mean, we all have thousands of different individual beliefs, right? Having set, relatively inflexible beliefs without much wiggle room historically sets up a split, IMO. It's like building a bridge without compensations for the expansion/contraction of the structure or lateral shifting. It's pretty strong, but as soon as turbulence arises, it has no way to deal with it and can only fracture. It's not a perfect metaphor, but it's pretty good, I think.
Right, and I was mostly speaking broadly about Christianity. So, does every Mormon meet the Prophet then, or am I misunderstanding that part?
See, here's how I see that:On the other hand, if God says fornication can mess up my spiritual progress, then the First Presidency should make that clear to the Church membership.
Quick note: not making a statement about fornication, just about the implications of this phrasing.On the other hand, if the Church says that God says fornication can mess up my spiritual progress
Of courseNo worries I think we have a good rapport going here. Thanks for being aware though!ChickenSoup wrote: I guess this is one of those fundamental principles that I'm just not on board with. It isn't that I think you're flawed for believing it, and I can see exactly why you and many thousands and thousands of others find it to be sound, and I'm not criticizing you for believing it--just to be clear.
For us, it's a matter of having a testimony... meaning that the Holy Spirit has moved us directly to know and accept the authority of the Prophet. Basically it's like he's been endorsed by God to each of us, individually, so we know he's legit. This is supposed to happen every time we get a new Prophet, and the Church membership publicly sustains him as the new President of the Church. That's how everything in the LDS Church works... by individual testimony. We aren't supposed to just go with the crowd because all the cool kids are sustaining this new Prophet guy.. we're supposed to do it only because we've been inspired to do so directly, personally.ChickenSoup wrote: I just don't feel that in terms of spiritual matters, that it's necessarily constructive to have someone make sweeping statements in an ex cathedra manner. I don't know exactly what makes a revelation to that guy (pope, prophet, what have you) more valid that a personal revelation to myself. I know there are systems set up for qualifying these people, but it's all just so subjective. Many would say it's a pretty solid setup and many would say "ehhh I don't know how I'm supposed to just trust that. I'm gonna determine doctrine for myself, thanks." I just fall into the latter party. I still listen, engage, take careful consideration of the advice of various resources and theologians more intelligent than I am, but at the end of the day I don't defer to a set standard. I just have too many disagreements on some interpretive/intellectual level to default to a denominational set of doctrines if I'm not sure about something.
I guess I can loop back to my earlier question about the Prophet. I'm curious as to how it all fits together with thousands of members; is there just a pamphlet about him or do you get to meet with him for a while? (being somewhat facetious here, but the question and my interest in the LDS church structure is genuine )
Side note: Sstavix, you're a NaNoWriMo winner? Dude, congrats!