Friday, March 11, 2011

More on Mormons - The Heavens are Open

They Saw the Heavens Open - Walter Rane
Brigham Young said, “I would rather have living oracles than all the writing in the books.”

The Heavens are Open, or the term Continuing Revelation, refers to the belief that the prophets of today are more relevant than the old prophets even if there is a contradiction. There are conferences, within the Mormon church, where the prophets of today speak and reveal these new rules and revelations (some of the most recent were no second earring holes and no sandals in church).  Like any Christian conference, the Mormon conferences (if they are the same conferences) have inspirational speakers as well.  I have links below.

This idea of Continuing Revelation consists of two important sub categories 1) Eternal Progression and 2) Plural Marriage. I will discuss these in separate posts, as I think they may get long.

It seems to me that there is a difference between prophets of today holding more precedence than the Old and New Testaments and the prophets of today speaking truths that already align with the ancient text.  I have a hard time with any person who is speaking on behalf of God contradicting the Old or New Testament. 

What do you guys think about the ability of today's Mormon prophets being seen as having the authority to make statements on behalf of God that could potentially contradict old Biblical beliefs?  Do you agree with this idea?  Why or why not?  I would love to see both sides.

Here is an article about Continuing Revelation from Mormon Beliefs.org 

October 2010 Conference Sessions.
By the way...I am not Mormon and am unsure of the exact beliefs and what they mean to those who practice the religion. That being said I am sure that I don't have it all perfect, or even close in places. These posts are simply my research. I would love to read the explanations of those who practice Mormonism. Thank you!


4 comments:

  1. If the Bible was enough, wouldn't there be one single religion? Christianity is so diverse based on interpretation of the Bible and includes many contradictory doctrines that it is impossible to say that we don't need help. Who better to help then the very person who runs the show through a prophet like he did through the bible? I don't know why the idea of God speaking to a Prophet is such a terrible thought to you. We have the word of God through Prophets in the Bible, why is that now such a crazy foreign idea? I know you say that everything God needed to say is in the Bible but if that were really true and nothing more was needed, why so many different types of Christianity?

    ReplyDelete
  2. First of all, thank you for your comment, I am excited to see a larger variety of people reading these posts. For all of you out there, keep in mind that this series of posts is tracking my research and what I am learning about the Mormon Church and its Holy texts. These posts will continue to include different ideas than those I have been exposed to in my prior Christian experience. I have run into many Mormons who do not believe portions of the Book of Mormon and I don’t want to speak for individuals but rather look at the texts and widely held beliefs of the church. Like any religion, members of the Mormon Church vary in their belief systems. This is why I would like more comments about the beliefs I am presenting.

    Yes, Christianity is diverse. This is not always a negative, especially when churches are separated based on preferred worship styles, and small differences. A benefit to having a variety of churches is that they can support more missionaries, causes, and help varied communities. (Romans 12:3-8 , 1 Corinthians 12:12-31, Romans 14:23[the whole chapter could apply, I might do a post to explain this]) There are so many people, that different types of Christianity are inevitable. The variations can also help people learn about their own beliefs. Every religion and culture has variation within itself. The problems arise when we are not able to show respect for others.

    Moving on, you do not know what I say, have said, or would say (unless it was in this blog or another online platform that I use). Please do not put words into my mouth, and then criticize what you assume I believe. I want to encourage this space to remain a positive environment while addressing significant and possibly provocative issues. I ask that all of my readers show maturity and respect to others while on this site.

    That being said, I never said, “The idea of God speaking to a prophet is a terrible idea.” In fact, I completely agree that the Old Testament prophets were significant and spoke the truth. I also believe that the book (the canonical Bible) which Young seems to be referring to, is the heart of Christianity and is more important than what people of today have to say. (I do believe that certain passages can be interpreted i.e. you can apply Rom. 14 to drinking and other behaviors, it doesn’t have to be applied only to meat)

    Some passages that influence my thinking include

    Heb 1:1-2 – God used prophets in the Old Testament, in the New Testament we have Jesus. It makes sense that since God created a way for us to commune directly with God, that we can ask God about issues.

    2 Peter 1:20 – Prophecy is typical revealed after it comes true.

    2 Peter 2:1, 1 John 4:1-6 – Those who deny the scriptures (Old and New Testament need to be critiqued very closely). I am not saying that this is what is going on in the Mormon church, just sharing some of my reservations about new prophets on a regular basis.

    My confusion, and nervousness, with the idea of Continuing Revelation is that I have a hard time with new prophets coming, making changes, deleting them, and even contradicting the Old and New Testaments.

    Are there any other thoughts on this out there? Any support from the Old and New Testament scripture (both Mormons and Protestants believe these books)?

    ReplyDelete
  3. In reading what was actually written in the post, I have a hard time seeing where Felicia came across as saying that God speaking through prophets is bad. But, I do have to disagree with Felicia in her comment above, "I also believe that...the canonical Bible...is the heart of Christianity and is more important than what people of today have to say." What if what prophets are saying now is what God wants people to hear? How can that be less important? What if people had held that opinion in the years after Christ rose from the dead? I believe the words God is speaking today are every bit as important as what's written in the Bible, but not more.

    This seems to be the real point of disagreement between your two points of view. From the post it seems (I admittedly know little about Mormonism) that Mormons are more willing to cover up passages in the Bible based on modern prophecy. Christians seem to think that whatever prophets say now should line up with everything that has already been spoken and written.

    Does the Mormon belief indicate God is willing to change his mind on important issues? Does the Christian belief indicate that God is so unmoving he's unwilling to admit to any change in the human race?

    ReplyDelete
  4. @Jim. Good call! You are right and I agree that prophets can be as important today. The situations that I would not agree with would be if the prophets are contradicting or changing the Old and New Testaments, or contradicting each other every couple of years. I am not saying that this is what the Mormon prophets are doing. It is just an example of when I would not put faith in them.

    ReplyDelete