News and Journals

I think we need to print a journal like the Elders Journal where people can submit articles.

Not everything has to be put into the scriptures (obviously)…that should be the cream of the crop (even if it is not all perfect in scriptures).

And also, there should be something that helps medium-level-interest stuff avoid getting lost in the big repository of the archives online. Everything should go in the archives, but some gems should be put in a journal and passed around.

Conference reports and transcripts are an easy starting point.

I really think we need a separate site that includes news, voting polls (on a tab with login maybe), and conference reports (transcripts), and maybe a journal with writing submissions, even if it is just an electronic pdf that people can print on their own. Then, that all gets backed up in the restoration archives.(You hide the archives in the back of the library so it doesn’t clutter the hot items in the stacks.)

It could even be the permanent conference website, so the upcoming conference(s) are tab(s) and you won’t have to create a brand new website for each conference.

Since we’re a collective community with no leaders, you can have people submit their writings to a preliminary place and anyone can review and vote yes or no to including it in the journal for publication. Since it’s a low stakes publication, and not the scriptures, a majority vote after a set amount of time can let someone’s writings pass muster and get published to the group with special status as something worth reading. Otherwise, it gets sent to the archives and people can look it up there.

That just makes it all based on persuasive power gauged by the whole community’s interest…and helps us avoid being flooded with stuff to consider, but archiving everything so no gems fall through the cracks.

You know, maybe eventually we’ll get better at determining if anything someone submits (other than Denver) is scripture-worthy. But, this way we get to vet things in advance without such a high-stakes commitment. It’s possible the majority would reject something that came from the Lord, but again, it will be there in the archives to be brought up at a later time when hearts are softened.

And, this isn’t to suggest that submissions are only of the type that claims: “thus saith the Lord,” it could be writings, teachings, proposals, projects, news, thoughts, musings, art, literature, fiction, poetry, music, hymns, etc.

Beyond the Guide and Standard, this would show our hearts to the world. It would illustrate all the diversity of thought, talents, and inspiration. Instead of the skeleton of principles, it would show the lifeblood of the community, hopefully as uplifted by the Lord’s influence.

It just might draw our hearts closer together, too, to see what we are all coming up with, located in one spot.

Plus, it’s not of the nature of needing the Lord to command us before we do it…its just going about doing good of our own free will. There isn’t any command against it.

I am extremely swamped and couldn’t set this up myself, but the idea is out there. Feel free to run with it.

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Do the LDS Prophet and the Councils of the Church Receive Revelation from God?

A council is entitled to have their decisions be considered righteous decisions if they meet a certain standard, and hence have it called the “inspiration” of the council, implying that it is truly from God. They are also entitled to receive revelation from God in addition to inspiration. We see this all over the Doctrine and Covenants. If the LDS Church is calling inspiration revelation, let’s let them concede the point for the sake of argument.

But, in addition to this, the revelations say: “The decisions of these quorums, or either of them, are to be made in all righteousness, in holiness, and lowliness of heart, meekness and long-suffering, and in faith, and virtue, and knowledge, temperance, patience, godliness, brotherly kindness and charity; Because the promise is, if these things abound in them they shall not be unfruitful in the knowledge of the Lord. And in case that any decision of these quorums is made in unrighteousness, it may be brought before a general assembly of the several quorums, which constitute the spiritual authorities of the church; otherwise there can be no appeal from their decision” (D&C 107:30-32).

The use of “a general assembly of the several quorums” doesn’t seem to be talking about General Authorities in these verses, but any gathering of the LDS Church’s priesthood and quorums from the general church membership. It is the members’ right to test the decisions of any quorum for the criteria listed in the above revelation, which means that past consensus on what was righteous, virtuous, etc. is already in the scriptures and provides another litmus test for present decisions to be weighed against. The definitions of those criteria ought to be understood on their own and by how the scriptures define them as well, so decisions can be weighed properly. It is a long list, and even if a decision qualifies in some criteria, the absence of any of the other criteria makes it a worthless decision. The revelation says “all righteousness”, not just part of those requirements.

If the membership doesn’t use its right to veto decisions, there is no appeal, and they have to live with the consequences of unrighteous judgment, and the council thus deciding would be denied being “fruitful in the knowledge of the Lord”.

 

Joseph Smith had this to say about councils and what made them effective in ancient days…a strict standard by any stretch of the imagination:

[On 12 February 1834 Joseph taught the following about ancient councils:]
“In ancient days councils were conducted with such strict propriety, that no one was allowed to whisper, be weary, leave the room, or get uneasy in the least, until the voice of the Lord, by revelation, or the voice of the council by the Spirit, was obtained, which has not been observed in this Church to the present time. It was understood in ancient days, that if one man could stay in council, another could; and if the president could spend his time, the members could also; but in our councils, generally, one will be uneasy, another asleep; one praying, another not; one’s mind on the business of the council, and another thinking on something else. Our acts are recorded, and at a future day they will be laid before us, and if we should fail to judge right and injure our fellow-beings, they may there, perhaps, condemn us; there they are of great consequence, and to me the consequence appears to be of force, beyond anything which I am able to express. Ask yourselves, brethren, how much you have exercised yourselves in prayer since you heard of this council; and if you are now prepared to sit in council upon the soul of your brother.” (History of the Church, 2:25-26)

Remember, the truth impressed on the Seer Joseph Smith was: “Our acts are recorded, and at a future day they will be laid before us, and if we should fail to judge right and injure our fellow-beings, they may there, perhaps, condemn us; there they are of great consequence, and to me the consequence appears to be of force, beyond anything which I am able to express.”