Monday, October 17, 2011

"...or whether I speak of myself"

I think I ruffled some feathers recently when I said I disagreed with something that an apostle had said over the pulpit at general conference.

Allow me to clarify.

When I said I am a Big Tent Mormon, I was not saying that the church can't set standards for membership, or that temples should be opened to the public, or that policies should be changed. What I did say was that I think the title of Mormon should be self-selected, and that we should accept it for those (all those) who select it.

All of us--including leaders at every level--are human, and potentially make mistakes. We have been counseled again and again to seek personal confirmation on the things our leaders tell us. In the early days of the restored church there were disagreements, even heated arguments between various members and leaders. Ultimately, we have been given a simple method for determining if something--anything--is from God, or simply the teaching of a man.

study ~ measure it against the gospel as found in the scriptures
ponder ~ think it through logically, determine if it makes sense, and fits in with other things you know to be true
pray ~ ask for a personal verification of the validity (or falsity) of the matter

If it does not measure up, then it is opinion, not gospel.

"Scriptures are like packets of light 
that illuminate our minds 
and give place to guidance and inspiration from on high. 
They can become the key
to open the channel to communion 
with [Heaven]."

--Richard G Scott

I cannot guarantee that everyone will find the same answers. But I can guarantee that this process will bring valid answers. I generally believe in the good intentions of people. I generally give the benefit of the doubt when something sounds off to me. And then I go through the process. But I will always claim the right to differentiate between Truth and opinion, and I do not hold myself subject to the latter.

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