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Sunday, January 4, 2015

300: "I" vs "CHRIST"

 
 Here is the 2015 First Presidency Message for January. Posted without commentary.
 
 

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OR:
 






 
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30 comments:

  1. "I" = 47
    "Christ" = 0

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  2. awesome post man!!. haven't heard from you in awhile, hope all is well.. and glad to see you posting again...

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  3. 2 Nephi 26:29: "He [the Lord Jesus Christ] commandeth that there shall be no priestcrafts; for, behold, priestcrafts are that men preach and set themselves up for a light unto the world, that they may get gain and praise of the world; but they seek not the welfare of Zion."

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  4. Not a very good score David; 47-0. What a shame we don't hear Christ's name more often in our "conferences". Good to see you posting again; we have missed you.

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  5. Remarkable. Thanks for the clear illustration.

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  6. He's telling a personal story. I'm sure all of our personal stories have a bunch of "I"'s in it. Is he supposed to talk about himself in the third person ala "Jimmy" on Seinfeld?

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    1. You are right... he is telling a personal story, and of course when telling personal stories about ourselves we do use a bunch of "I"s. The issue is not that he didn't talk in third person.

      When a spokesman or mouthpiece for the Lord has a message, it most likely will not contain alot of "I"s or personal stories about ourselves.

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    2. Alma tells people about when the angel came while he was out of it. Nephi tells about how he had the dream. Moses talks about the burning bush to his followers. Most prophets use stories from their life in their teachings.

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    3. To Anonymous 7:37 AM -
      Alma 36:6-24 has 39 "I"
      2 "Jesus"
      13 "God"
      1 "pains of a damned soul"
      1 "my iniquities"

      Alma's experience seems to be a bit different from Pres Monson's, though. Note this:
      "Oh, thought I, that I could be banished and become extinct both soul and body, that I might not be brought to stand in the presence of my God, to be judged of my deeds. And now, for three days and for three nights was I racked, even with the pains of a damned soul. And it came to pass that as I was thus racked with torment, while I was harrowed up by the memory of my many sins, behold, I remembered also to have heard my father prophesy unto the people concerning the coming of one Jesus Christ, a Son of God, to atone for the sins of the world. Now, as my mind caught hold upon this thought, I cried within my heart: O Jesus, thou Son of God, have mercy on me, who am in the gall of bitterness, and am encircled about by the everlasting chains of death."

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    4. That was also to Anonymous 7:51 PM.

      I think we would find similar things with Nephi and Moses (them talking more about the Lord, heaven, and angels than about what career they chose, with the message being, "Follow me.")

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    5. The problem is one should then Tie in Christ directly or at least point to him. This does not happen, just like most weak fast and testimony mtgs follow this same pattern, except here in Utah valley the "I's" have the aggressive competing acronym of "BYU" in testimonies that rarely point to Christ in the end. Not surprised by this message but I am surprised by the majority complex repeating itself now as it did with the saints throughout scripture.

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  7. why do all my post get deleated? you sure can dish it out, but don't take it very well. its time to wake up my friend

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    1. I don't delete comments (unless they would be offensive for my kids to read)

      Accidently, Two comments were posted on a rough draft yesterday that were lost when the final version was posted.. One comment was by an anonymous person said that "Looks like you must have been bored in Sacrament meeting" and another person by the alias Adam T posted a comment quoting" D&C 136:32 and 2 Nephi 25:26."

      Please repost, and use your name.
      .

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  8. This post brings greater clarity to the situation we find ourselves in today. Who will we follow? A mortal man pointing to himself, or to Jesus Christ -He Who Is Mighty To Save? Choose ye whom ye will serve this day!

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  9. I disagree with your blog about President Monson's talk. This is HIS talk. In my personal reading, I'm reading about the life of Prophet Ezra Taft Benson. When he was called to the apostleship, President Grant told President Benson the following," The Lord has ways of magnifying men who are called to leadership...and The Lord wants men who will give everything for His work." I can find no better example of one who gives everything to the work than President Monson. He is a very Christlike individual. His works testify of Christ.

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    1. So, you've met President Monson? You know him personally? He may be Christlike, but I'm not going to make that assumption from seeing him on television for a few minutes (literally) every six months.

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    2. Anonymous 11:39
      The blog post contains only one scripture and the First Presidency Message. Not sure what you disagree with.

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  10. I took a little closer look at the First Presidency message a few minutes ago. (https://www.lds.org/liahona/2015/01/follow-the-prophets) It is almost entirely an excerpt from a 2003 CES devotional. (http://bit.ly/1xCBTci) If you look closely, you'll find only the last sentence and a half is new--coincidentally being the same part that adds the innovative new "follow the prophet" doctrine that Pres. Kimball berated Elder Ezra Benson over: "... then follow the prophets of God. When you follow the prophets, you will be in safe territory." The original fireside only discusses "following" some *counsel* not a *person*. Check it yourself. It may be historic in that, to my knowledge, it represents the first time the President of the Church himself has asked that members follow him. I'm curious if anyone can point to any precedent for it. And given that the message is a complete excerpt with only a sentence and a half new, it really makes me wonder whether they are his words or some conveniently placed in his mouth by a helpful editor.

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  11. It is easy to find fault when you are looking for it. Choose to find the good. Choose to focus on the light that we can all have through our Savior Jesus Christ. President Monson has great light, and this light encourages me to follow my Savior. I'm grateful for his example to me. Instead of picking one talk apart, look at his whole life.... one devoted to Jesus Christ and His work here on earth.

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    1. This blog post, in my view does exactly what you suggest. This post IS looking for the light found in Christ and pointing to where it is to be found today. This post is not about one talk, it is about a pattern, not just with President Monson, but with Church leaders in general--a pattern that is growing more and more apparent to those with eyes to see and ears to hear. It makes the observation of the difference between the emphasis of scripture and what has become commonplace in the teachings of the authorities of the church.

      The scriptures testify of Christ, teach of Him, rejoice in Him, expound His doctrine, emphasize faith in Him, encourage all to come to Him, offer salvation through Him and explain the absolute necessity of receiving an audience with Him in this life, in the flesh, and of receiving "the Testimony of Jesus" in the flesh, having our calling and election made sure: in short receiving eternal life by "knowing" God.

      Defenders and devotees of the brethren will argue that the brethren do exactly the same thing. Yet, if you will study any general conferences over the last decade, and even longer, you will see that the vast majority of teaching comes from their own "philosophy" - meaning their own words and ideas (which are often times in direct opposition to scripture and the teachings of Joseph Smith). They spend great effort quoting each other and past leaders (mostly from the more modern apostles and prophets--Joseph Smith gets cited very selectively and far less than modern prophets) endlessly, while scriptural references are by comparison quite scarce. Do a search and you will see that this is true.

      Core Christ-centered teachings, that Joseph emphasized and expounded regularly, of Christ's gospel are watered down, de-emphasized or all but ignored by the leaders today: Zion, consecration, the Second Comforter (and the necessity of receiving Him in the flesh), adoption, calling and election, the more sure word of prophecy, the Spirit of Elijah, the true meaning of "sealing power", the Gifts of the Spirit, Baptism of Fire, the Lectures on Faith, power in the priesthood, and others.

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    2. Now, a defender of the brethren might say, "but anything the leaders say is scripture, that's in the D&C!" Yes, IF inspired by the Holy Ghost. Yes, If consistent with revealed scripture. Yes, if revealed from heaven.

      President Monson does seem to be a good man, a nice, cheerful man. His stories at times are inspiring. But here are a few questions to ponder:

      - How often are the stories Pres. Monson tells about himself, about his good works?
      - How often do other church leaders tell stories about Pres. Monson, lifting him up as a light unto us, as the example we should follow?
      - Where in the scriptures (not from statements by the brethren, but from the scriptures) do we get the teaching that we must "follow the prophet" and that the prophet and the apostles "cannot lead us astray"?

      Now, since you brought up the man...here are a few more questions:
      - Would Christ allow his followers to throw extravagant parties in his honor, as Pres. Monson, and many other past Presidents have allowed and attended?
      - Would Christ accept any kind of financial compensation (as President Monson and all of the apostles receive)--even if it were small (which is not the case with the general authorities who receive generous compensation for their service) from His Church for his service, preaching, and ministry, or would he decry any such payments and call it priestcraft?
      - Would Christ allow his church to be run by a marketing firm, by focus grouping and extensive polling and market research? Or would he tell his leaders to rely exclusively on the Holy Ghost, and His own voice for direction?
      - Would Christ attend ribbon cutting ceremonies at billion dollar church-owned shopping malls and shout "let's go shopping!" (as President Monson did) while the poor in the church and the growing homeless population all around Salt Lake suffer?
      - Would Christ ever tell his disciples that they need not seek a personal witness of Him in the flesh, that the only witness they need is through the Holy Ghost in order to be saved?
      - Would Christ have EVER changed the temple ceremony--Joseph Smith said that the ordinances of the temple are NOT to be changed. Did Christ do that or did men?
      - Would Christ ever give a talk without acknowledging the supremacy of and His dependence upon the Father. Would he ever not encourage us to come to Him so that He could bring us to the Father?

      There are many other questions that could be posed, but suffice it to say that if you have eyes to see and ears to hear, you will know that the church is becoming more and more an organization led by men, albeit well-meaning and perhaps good and decent men, but men who preach and teach that we should follow them and less and less that we should follow Christ.

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  12. I just read Denver's most recent post. It sure looks like there are quite a few "I'. Although "I" spend, Although "I" have told, Although "I harbor, Although "I" condemn, "I" am producing a book, " with many more too numberious to count. A review of past post finds little to do with Christ, but only his views the doctrine and the state of affairs. How is he any different?

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    1. Your comment makes me wonder if you have read much of Denver's blog, or his books. If you had, I don't think you would make that comment. You may disagree as many do, and are free to do so, with Denver's views or claims. However, any honest observer, reader will acknowledge that Denver's focus in his writings is exclusively on the Lord, His Gospel, the restoration, and encouraging all to come to Christ. It is extraordinarily easy to prove out: just randomly select posts from his blog and you will see. Just pick up any of Denver's books and you will see that the focus is entirely on the Lord. Whenever Denver discusses himself, it is usually to acknowledge his own weakness and dependence on Christ. It is usually to encourage people NOT to depend on him, but rather to look to and follow Christ and Him only.

      The post you are referring to is simply responding to false accusations against him. When people make false accusations, at times a response is required. Joseph Smith did the exact same thing, and yet Joseph's teachings were constantly focused on the Lord. When we make arguments we should employ substantive fact based reasoning and not de-contextualized, illogical, ill-informed statements.

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  13. I've read most everything he has written. And I can say the same thing about church leadership. They are teaching gospel principles so that people can understand how to come to church. You assume that every member of the church has the spiritual maturity to know how to come to Christ. Most are spiritually immature and they need milk in order to progress. If you taught them meat, they would only becomes confused. Someone who knows Christ doesn't need leadership to teach them how to come to Christ. However, most need leadership to help them get and stay on the path. This is who leadership it talking to. This is who you are abandoning when you leave the church.

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  14. Christ taught us to be saviors on mount zion. This means helping others who are struggling to come to Christ on their own. I hear so many say that the church offers them nothing. What a selfish approach. What I wish is heard more is, how can I help those who are struggling to find their way. Some people may not want help, but I know that there are many that do. You just need to make an effort to find them. Get lost in the effort. Take a neighbor to lunch and spend time talking about the gospel, invite them to the temple, pray for them. There is nothing more rewarding than helping the spiritually immature gain maturity in the gospel. Setting ourselves apart from the rest because of our believed higher level of spiritually makes us like the sadducees of old. Are you thinking about yourself or others?

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  15. perhaps somewhat brother monson slipped his memory of the lord due to aging....ladys power might help boost anti-aging....

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  16. The LDS First Presidency Message for January is just plain twisted on so many levels.

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  17. I think the focus on personal pronouns is a bit of a red herring. The issue is what message should the mouthpiece of God be spreading? Swell Navy tales or, I dunno, Christ?

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  18. Great post. Thanks for the illustration. By their fruits ye shall know them.

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