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Author Topic: Elder Oaks, Polygamy, and Public Criticism  (Read 321 times)


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Re: Elder Oaks, Polygamy, and Public Criticism
« Reply #15 on: October 14, 2019, 04:10:25 pm »
The thing is that the church curriculum writers often don't know what informed members know about things.   And sure, you can wonder how they missed that huge thing (including quoting that president's words), but sometimes that happens. 

Thank goodness for those members who wrote in concern to those who could fix it.   IME they've quickly corrected several such curriculum mistakes (like citations that are circular).
Nauvoo 1270, Feb 2005
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Re: Elder Oaks, Polygamy, and Public Criticism
« Reply #16 on: November 08, 2019, 11:40:31 am »
So, separated from some time, I'm in the process of revisiting the conference talks. While I still feel my initial reaction to aspects of the presentation of Oaks' talks are valid, it has been helpful to be able to approach the talk later, aware of my concerns with aspects of how the message was delivered, bracket them, and focus on the broader intent of the message itself.

In doing so, this paragraph stood out as very good counsel:

We can all wonder privately about circumstances in the spirit world or even discuss these or other unanswered questions in family or other intimate settings. But let us not teach or use as official doctrine what does not meet the standards of official doctrine. To do so does not further the work of the Lord and may even discourage individuals from seeking their own comfort or edification through the personal revelation the Lord’s plan provides for each of us. Excessive reliance on personal teachings or speculations may even draw us aside from concentrating on learning and efforts that will further our understanding and help us go forward on the covenant path.

Trust in the Lord is a familiar and true teaching in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. That was Joseph Smith’s teaching when the early Saints experienced severe persecutions and seemingly insurmountable obstacles.  That is still the best principle we can use when our efforts to learn or our attempts to find comfort encounter obstacles in matters not yet revealed or not adopted as the official doctrine of the Church.

I appreciate the validation of personal revelation and experiences and perspectives that bring peace and calm, with the caveat that declaring them or teaching them as definitive might halt others from seeking their own insight, and gaining the comfort they need.

I appreciate the suggestion that discussing such things in intimate settings is not discouraged. I very much consider this specific board an intimate setting. I value being aware of what has been "adopted as the official doctrine of the church", and tensions and questions that arise in light of that at times. I value the perspectives and insights and honest questions raised by those here.

I also value that at times the Spirit might help us as individuals see a picture that helps us to navigate problems that cause us distress. I recognize sometimes we might interpret that picture to extremes where it was not meant to go, and out of the context of our own personal experiences might not necessisarilly convey the same message to others when 'translated'.

It might be a key reason why we are counseled to keep aspects of personal revelation private. Because nuance of spiritual communications almost always lose something in translation when we try to describe them.

While I'm convinced the same thing happens even in canonized scriptural accounts, those get the mark of approval for being worthwhile for everyone to grapple with together.

Anyway - the first takeaway most relevant to this thread was that part of the value of revisiting these talks (and scriptures in general) is being able to have different reactions through different circumstances. I think I gained insights from both times I approached this message, and while they were wildly different, I believe they were both valid experiences, leading to good questions, good inspiration, and good insight.
« Last Edit: November 08, 2019, 12:24:17 pm by Taalcon »
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