General Conference is the gift that keeps on giving. In his Saturday night’s talk, Elder Renlund tried to justify not having any more information on our Mother in Heaven with the following paragraph:

Ever since God appointed prophets, they have been authorized to speak on His behalf. But they do not pronounce doctrines fabricated “of [their] own mind” or teach what has not been revealed. Consider the words of the Old Testament prophet Balaam, who was offered a bribe to curse the Israelites to benefit Moab. Balaam said, “If [the king of Moab] would give me his house full of silver and gold, I cannot go beyond the word of the Lord my God, to do less or more.” Latter-day prophets are similarly constrained. Demanding revelation from God is both arrogant and unproductive. Instead, we wait on the Lord and His timetable to reveal His truths through the means that He has established.

Women’s Session, 2022 Elder Renlund

While I could do a whole post on the statement that prophets “do not pronounce doctrines fabricated “of [their] own mind” (Adam = God anyone?), I’d like to focus on his declaration that “Demanding revelation from God is both arrogant and unproductive” If you look up the word “Strawman” in the dictionary, this is the textbook example.

What Elder Renlund is saying is that there are only two ways to learn about Heavenly Mother. One is we can just wait for revelation (the right way), and the other is we can demand an answer (arrogant and unproductive). There is no middle way. Asking is not allowed. Wait or demand.

The response to this just writes itself.

If any of you lack wisdom, let him demand ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not, and it shall be given

James 1:5

Was Joseph Smith arrogant and unproductive then he asked God which church was right? Was Spencer Kimball arrogant when he asked God about giving blacks the priesthood?

Was the brother of Jared arrogant when he “did cry unto the Lord”? Cry is a strong word. In other verses in the book of Ether the brother of Jared “inquired of the Lord”, but in some cases he cried to the Lord. Sounding a lot like demanding?

It seems Renlund is “upbraiding” [1] us, while God would never do that just for asking, as James 1:5 tells us.

What are your thoughts on the “demanding” declaration by Elder Renlund? Is this just sexism, since it is women asking, so they are demanding, while Joseph, SWK and the brother of Jared are men so they are asking? Does this perpetuate the stereotype of the “shrill woman yelling (demanding)”?

[1] find fault with (someone); scold.

Image by Stefan Keller from Pixabay