Devotional thought from Church history (white space added).
“Here’s an editorial from an 1852 LDS Millennial Star:
“Because of … the apparent imperfections of men on whom God confers authority, the question is sometimes asked,–to what extent is obedience to those who hold the Priesthood required? This is a very important question, and one which should be understood by all Saints.
In attempting to answer this question, we would repeat, in short, what we have already written, that willing obedience to the laws of God, administered by the Priesthood, is indispensable to salvation; but we would further add, that a proper conservative to this power exists for the benefit of all, and none are required to tamely and blindly submit to a man because he has a portion of the Priesthood.
We have heard men who hold the Priesthood remark, that they would do any thing they were told to do by those who presided over them, [even] if they knew it was wrong: but such obedience as this is worse than folly to us; it is slavery in the extreme; and the man who would thus willingly degrade himself, should not claim a rank among intelligent beings, until he turns from his folly. …
Others, in the extreme exercise of their almighty (!) authority, have taught that such obedience was necessary, and that no matter what the Saints were told to do by their Presidents, they should do it without asking any questions.”
“When the Elders of dIsrael will so far indulge in these extreme notions of obedience, as to teach them to the people, it is generally because they have it in their hearts to do wrong themselves, and wish to pave the way to accomplish that wrong….””
Hearing this from the General Conference pulpit today would seem like a dramatic statement.
I recently heard Peter Bleakley quoting from Hugh B. Brown and Games Talmage. I wonder if we had more of preaching like those two and quotes like the above from 170 years ago if many like me would be as disenchanted with the current leadership.
This is a wonderful post. It is a good reminder to the masses about what their responsibilities really are.
Now, to be clear, it is not up to the masses to determine what or truth. This would lead to everything being relative, with everyone doing what feels pleasurable. The truth is that being served Irish nachos and German beer by scantily clad women at the local honky tonk is always wrong.
But, so is blindly doing what another says. There are many who want to shift responsibility for their actions to others by blind following. This is too easy, and is not the plan. One must take responsibility for doing good when the opportunity arises, and not simply sitting around in sweatpants and crocs waiting to be told what to do.
Blind following leads to the rise of leaders such as Kaiser William II. That is not what we need.
“ The truth is that being served Irish nachos and German beer by scantily clad women at the local honky tonk is always wrong.”
Yeah? Well, you know, that’s just like uh, your opinion, man.
*looking up Irish nachos*
“Now, to be clear, it is not up to the masses to determine what or (is?) truth.”
Absolutely disagree. It is everyone’s responsibility to determine what is truth. The church even teaches this.
JCS has an interesting view on things, but he is right about two of them. We can’t just allow everyone to decide what is right. Things like rape and murder are wrong regardless of what anyone thinks. Also, blindly following leaders in whatever they say is not good either. People must follow basic laws that prevent them from hurting others, and then must make sure that they do good things on their own.
Here’s the general idea officially (and we all know it):
1. yesterday’s leaders were imperfect. that’s why we “disavow”
2. today’s leaders aren’t perfect but we should obey them
3. eventually #2 becomes #1 but we won’t talk about that
Foxinhikingshorts, perhaps the church leaders sometimes say it is everyone’s responsibility to determine the truth, but they don’t mean it. They say one thing but mean another. If you determine a religious truth that is different from their religious truth, they will belittle you and sometimes excommunicate you. They don’t actually mean you are free to determine another truth, but only that you are free to determine that they (the leaders) are right.
“ Interesting quote:
Brigham Young’s sentiment: ‘It floods my heart with sorrow to see so many Elders of Israel who wish everybody to come to their standard and be measured by their measure. Every man must be just so long, to fit their iron bedstead, or be cut off to the right length.’”