Kim Clark and the Book of Mormon

August 8, 2005 | 35 comments
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A couple quick thoughts on recent prophetic moves.

The Deseret News has an article on Kim Clark’s recent decision to move to BYU Idaho. Times and Seasons, unfortunately, gets a mention because some commenters here were sad about the loss to the Northeast. I am not sad; but then Cambridge is not the center of my universe. Regardless, we had that discussion here already. I just wanted to point out by far the best quote from the article:

Said Paul Pugmire, president of the Rexburg City Council, “If Gordon Hinckley called and said, ‘What I need you to do is go work on the grounds crew at BYU-Idaho,’ I would say ‘Yes.’ “

Kudos to you, Paul. May we all live up to that willingness to serve.

And speaking of willingess, that brings up the second topic, which is a rousing T&S endorsement for President Hinckley’s call to read the Book of Mormon by the end of the year.

We studied the Book of Mormon in Sunday School this past year. Nonetheless I offer a challenge to members of the Church throughout the world and to our friends everywhere to read or reread the Book of Mormon. If you will read a bit more than one and one-half chapters a day, you will be able to finish the book before the end of this year…

Without reservation I promise you that if each of you will observe this simple program, regardless of how many times you previously may have read the Book of Mormon, there will come into your lives and into your homes an added measure of the Spirit of the Lord, a strengthened resolution to walk in obedience to His commandments, and a stronger testimony of the living reality of the Son of God.

Who doesn’t want that? Couldn’t be easier.

For those who only read on your computer screens, here’s the Book of Mormon online. Here’s a fun wiki-style Book of Mormon commentary you can look at or add to. And, for the willpower-impaired among us, here is a little computer gadget you can use to make your browser stop working for 30 minutes while you crack open your print scriptures.

At least we weren’t asked to move back to Missouri. It’s nasty there in August.

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35 Responses to Kim Clark and the Book of Mormon

  1. Cordeiro on August 8, 2005 at 1:40 pm

    And in June, and in July.

  2. obi-wan on August 8, 2005 at 1:55 pm

    Said Paul Pugmire, president of the Rexburg City Council, “If Gordon Hinckley called and said, ‘What I need you to do is go work on the grounds crew at BYU-Idaho,’ I would say ‘Yes.’ “

    Mr. Pugmire’s personal loyalty to President Hinckley certainly is impressive. I admit that I would not be inclined to work on the BYU grounds crew unless the Lord called me to do so.

    If Gordon Hinckley needs someone for the grounds crew . . . well, he’d best call Mr. Pugmire.

    The difference betwen the two calls was, I believe, the gist of the previous thread that Frank apparently found so distasteful.

  3. Eric Russell on August 8, 2005 at 3:16 pm

    Obi-wan,

    You bring up a point that still baffles me from the previous thread.

    Is there a situation where, after having been called or directly
    instructed by the prophet, the Lord is going to provide personal
    revelation to the individual instructing him or her to do otherwise
    than the prophet instructed? I would think that if I ever received
    “revelation” that the prophet was wrong, I would second-guess myself.

    What risks does one take in unconditionally obeying the prophet
    anyway? Supposing the prophet is speaking for himself and not
    the Lord, will God fault us for obeying the prophet? That’s
    inconceivable to me.

    It seems to me that the greater the divide we set between the prophet
    and the Lord, the greater the apostasy. And I can’t see any way around
    that.

  4. Kingsley on August 8, 2005 at 3:35 pm

    I feel similarly baffled by the line of reasoning that accepts the basic narrative of the Church as true yet continues to enshrine the self as the ultimate earthly authority. If the trustworthiness of prophetic utterance stands or falls according the the results of individual soul-searching, Joseph Smith wasted his time. When has Israel ever agreed with its prophet leaders in every particular? When has it agreed in most particulars?

  5. obi-wan on August 8, 2005 at 3:57 pm

    Obi-wan, You bring up a point that still baffles me from the previous thread.

    Is there a situation where, after having been called or directly instructed by the prophet, the Lord is going to provide personal revelation to the individual instructing him or her to do otherwise
    than the prophet instructed? I would think that if I ever received “revelation” that the prophet was wrong, I would second-guess myself.

    Clearly yes. Take as a relatively small example Frank’s second item of the instruction to read the Book of Mormon by year’s end.

    On the whole, normally, and personally, I would consider this instruction fairly innocuous. What could possibly be wrong with reading the Book of Mormon over again? At a minimum, it should be like chicken soup for a cold; it can’t hurt.

    Except that it happens, in my particular family situation, trying to read the Book of Mormon again by year’s end would be at least counterproductive and quite possibly damaging to the testimony of one of my teen-agers. My wife and I struggled with this a bit and developed an alternative that we felt would accomplished the general goals of the First Presidency’s instruction: greater commitment to scripture reading, greater commitment to Book of Mormon reading in particular, and an improved testimony of the Book of Mormon. The Lord approved our plan, and we presented it to the family as a council and got buy-in from everyone. But we aren’t reading the whole Book of Mormon, and we aren’t doing it by year’s end, general and local authorities’ instruction to the contrary.

    When render my account of this life I do NOT think the Lord would be all forgiving if in answer to the question, “Why did you screw up your daughter’s testimony for all those years by demanding that she read the Book of Mormon by the end of 2005?” I answer, “Because the Prophet said so.” That’s just an irresponsible abdication of agency.

    Some of our leader’s statements are inspired. Some are not. Some apply to us. Some don’t. The Lord will hold us accountable for failing to follow the inspired statements that apply to us. He will hold us equally accountable for following the uninspired statements, or the ones that don’t apply to us. If sorting the inspired from the uninspired, the applicable from the inapplicable, bothers you, you should have voted for the other plan in the pre-mortal council. It’s too late now; you’re here and you’re stuck with it.

  6. obi-wan on August 8, 2005 at 4:15 pm

    I feel similarly baffled by the line of reasoning that accepts the basic narrative of the Church as true yet continues to enshrine the self as the ultimate earthly authority. If the trustworthiness of prophetic utterance stands or falls according the the results of individual soul-searching, Joseph Smith wasted his time.

    I’m having a little trouble taking this comment seriously since Joseph repeatedly told the members that trustworthiness of prophetic utterance does stand or fall on the results of individual soul-searching. I don’t think he thought he was wasting his time.

    We recieve general instruction from a great many sources: scripture, priesthood authority, endowment presentation, etc. Any and all of them contain a mixture of the inspired and uninspired, the applicable and the inapplicable. Any or all of them ought to prompt re-evaluation what the individual needs to be doing at a given time. Do all the scriptural injunctions apply to me all the time? Clearly not. Do I have a responsibility to search them to determine which ones do? Clearly so.

    When has Israel ever agreed with its prophet leaders in every particular? When has it agreed in most particulars?

    “Would all Isreal were prophets,” said Moses. The point of mortality is to seek the state where we individually act as God would. I actually think that even at that point there is still work for prophets to do, but in the terms you’re thinking about, yes, they become somewhat redundant.

  7. Frank McIntyre on August 8, 2005 at 4:16 pm

    obi-wan, it sounds like you are talking about your family scripture study, and I’m glad you take the task so seriously. President Hinckley’s encouragement to read the Book of Mormon could presumably still be applicable in your personal study?

    Also, for someone so solicitous of the spiritual needs of your family, your comment above seems to take an unneccasarily uncharitable view of the quote. The man said that he was willing to do what he was asked to do by an authorized representative of God. It would be odd to read it that he was doing it as a personal favor to President Hinckley when he is so obviously referring to President Hinckley’s role as God’s representative. As you may have heard, the fact that the prophet can speak for God is one of the more exciting parts of the restored gospel. I’m fine with the idea that prophets make mistakes, but you seem to be acting like it is the norm and not the exception.

  8. Kingsley on August 8, 2005 at 4:18 pm

    “If sorting the inspired from the uninspired, the applicable from the inapplicable, bothers you, you should have voted for the other plan in the pre-mortal council. It’s too late now; you’re here and you’re stuck with it.”

    Easy does it. All you have said is that you took the prophet’s counsel on a rather uncontroversial issue and intelligently adapted it to the needs of your family, like parents who hold Family Night on Tuesday rather than Monday because of conflicting work schedules. You’ve not given any examples of “uninspired” or “inapplicable” teachings from Pres. Hinckley, much less a convincing account of a full-proof method for deciding such things, so that your allusion to Lucifer is preposterously over the top. What may or may not happen to your daughter is less than a really thrilling argument for what the Lord may or may not say to you on Judgment Day.

  9. Eric Russell on August 8, 2005 at 4:41 pm

    Obi-wan,

    There’s a big difference between a “challenge” to the general church membership to do something, and a commandment. Your argument works for the former but not the latter.

  10. Kingsley on August 8, 2005 at 4:53 pm

    ” … Joseph repeatedly told the members that trustworthiness of prophetic utterance does stand or fall on the results of individual soul-searching.”

    Perhaps you could come up with some repeated examples of this, i.e. my teachings are true if you, Brother X, decide they are. Even one example would be incredibly helpful.

    “Do all the scriptural injunctions apply to me all the time? Clearly not. Do I have a responsibility to search them to determine which ones do? Clearly so.”

    Depends, I suppose, on what you mean by “apply.” The injunction against adultery applies to me all the time whether I am living a chaste life or not. This is still a far cry from deciding that verses 1-11 are inspired while 12 is not, based on my personal soul-searching.

    ” … [I]n the terms you’re thinking about, yes, they become somewhat redundant.”

    Yes, well, I sort of assumed that none of us are quite behaving in a consistently God-like manner all the time.

  11. DavidH on August 8, 2005 at 4:57 pm

    “I would think that if I ever received ‘revelation’ that the prophet was wrong, I would second-guess myself.”

    This raises a serious epistomological issue. Which revelation should be questioned? (1) The original personal revelation that the God inspires the prophets or (2) the revelation that seems inconsistent (or may in fact be inconsistent) with prophetic counsel?

    Some of us assume that the personal revelation that appears or is inconsistent with counsel from prophets must in every case be wrong. As the saying goes, most recently quoted at the FAIR conference, “In the Catholic church, the pope is infallible, but no one believes it. In the Mormon church, the prophet is fallible, but no one believes it.”

    Others of our brothers and sisters use the conflict to prove that the original personal revelation–that prophets are always or usually inspired–must be wrong, and reject the leadership and structure of the Church.

    Some of us choose to believe that both revelations are or may be true–accepting that God inspires His prophets but that it is possible that personal inspiration may differ from what appears to be prophetic counsel. This can create a difficult tension–our friends both inside and outside the Church may question our personal integrity for continuing to sustain our leaders, but not doing so in an absolutist way.

  12. Aaron Brown on August 8, 2005 at 6:08 pm

    The odd thing about this whole discussion is that, regardless where you all come down on the priority of prophetic vs. personal revelation, the examples you’re giving aren’t really analogous to the particular prophetic injunction that prompted this post. Kim Clark was given a direct, one-on-one, directive (O.K., request) from President Hinkley. It was made to him and him only. So it makes no sense to start talking about general prophetic directives and whether or not we are entitled to receive revelations that justify individual exceptions. This seems like a different issue.

    Aaron B

  13. manaen on August 8, 2005 at 6:09 pm

    5.
    obi-wan, mayhaps I’m missing something here. Pres. Hinckley said, “Without reservation I promise you that if *each* of you will observe this simple program…” How would a daughter’s wrestlings result in you not reading the BoM by year’s end? I salute you for not demanding that she, or anyone else, follow you in following the prophet. But what stops you from moving forward and having that example that you could choose to use, or not, in parenting her? How would her testimony be damaged if you complete the BoM by year’s end? Would your obedience without compelling hers not help her feel safer around obedient people and more open to help from them in finding her answers?

    I ask this as someone fully open to rejoinder about motes/beams and setting my own house in order first.

  14. A. Greenwood on August 8, 2005 at 6:30 pm

    “As you may have heard, the fact that the prophet can speak for God is one of the more exciting parts of the restored gospel.”

    Wow, tell me more! Could two young representatives come personally to my home to tell me more about this EXCITING OPPORTUNITY! They could?!? Well, what am I waiting for!?!

    I’ll call now.

  15. A. Greenwood on August 8, 2005 at 6:34 pm

    “Perhaps you could come up with some repeated examples of this, i.e. my teachings are true if you, Brother X, decide they are. Even one example would be incredibly helpful. ”

    What I want to know is, who gets to be Brother X?

  16. Prudence McPrude on August 8, 2005 at 6:37 pm

    Agreed that the prophet and his superpowers are exciting, but not nearly as much as the death and carnage in the Book of Mormon. I just love reading about mass destruction and misery, and it’s especially fun when you imagine it befalling all those people who bring you down spiritually every day. That’s my favorite part of the gospel, by far.

  17. Mark on August 8, 2005 at 8:19 pm

    Eric asked (#3) :

    Is there a situation where, after having been called or directly instructed by the prophet, the Lord is going to provide personal
    revelation to the individual instructing him or her to do otherwise than the prophet instructed?

    Eric, yes there is. Here are some examples, from the lives of people I personally know.

    We are commanded to pay tithing. I know a man whose non-member wife strongly objects to tithing. In order to keep peace in the home, he complies with her wishes. He has a recommend.

    The prophet has repeatedly said that everyone should have a calling. I know several people whose situations in life right now are so difficult, their bishop has decided not to give them a calling.

    The prophet denounces abortion in the strongest possible terms. I know a couple who, after counselling with their bishop, chose to abort. They both have recommends.

    The prophet, through the GHI, says that scouts shouldn’t shedule camping trips on the Sabbath. Hundreds of LDS scouts, and at least one general authority, turned their backs on the prophet and went to the national jamboree last week. What a bunch of apostates!

    I think it is an unfair oversimplification to claim that anybody who wants to carve out some room for personal revelation is seeking to repudiate the prophet. In the cases I know, people are seeking to reconcile prophetic teachings which appear, at least to those individuals, to be in conflict. The prophet says, pay tithing. The prophet says, harmony in the home is very important. My friend had to choose. His answer to prayer was, don’t pay tithing, at least for now.

    Frank, somewhere on a different thread you made the very sensible observation that nobody has a right to judge the amount of anybody else’s fast offering contribution. I take that to mean that, even though we are commanded to give a generous offering, it is OK with you if somebody’s donation slip has a zero on the F.O. line month after month. Doesn’t the same principle apply to other, nonmonetary areas of commitment as well?

  18. JKS on August 8, 2005 at 8:54 pm

    LOL, Prudence.

  19. Eric Russell on August 8, 2005 at 9:06 pm

    Mark,

    We are commanded to pay tithing. I know a man whose non-member wife strongly objects to tithing. In order to keep peace in the home, he complies with her wishes. He has a recommend.

    I seriously doubt that Stake Presidents are giving temple recommends behind GA’s backs. No doubt the First Presidency has approved Stake Presidents to make such exceptions.

    The prophet has repeatedly said that everyone should have a calling. I know several people whose situations in life right now are so difficult, their bishop has decided not to give them a calling.

    I similarly doubt that the Bishop is rebelling against the church in deciding not to bestow a calling. Most likely the Bishop has been trained, by the church itself, to make such decisions.

    The prophet denounces abortion in the strongest possible terms. I know a couple who, after counselling with their bishop, chose to abort. They both have recommends.

    The prophet does not denounce abortion in the strongest possible terms. The Church Handbook outlines certain exceptions. And again, if they counselled with their Bishop, most likely the will of the First Presidency was presented, and his counsel was in accordance with theirs on the matter. Renegade Bishops don’t last long in the church.

    I think I was unclear in my original comment. I realize that the prophet admits special exceptions to his own words. What I mean is that the prophet and the Lord aren’t going to be in disagreement on an issue. There won’t be a time where we have to choose between the prophet’s will, on the one hand, and the Lord’s will, on the other.

  20. Harold B. Curtis on August 8, 2005 at 11:23 pm

    I have hoped that one of the prophets of blog would bring up the recent 1st Presidency message to read the Book of Mormon before the end of the year. I have these summations to depose.

    1. What is so pressing that The Book of Mormon needs to be read in the next 5 months?
    2. The Book of Mormon has many messages, many lessons, and many doctrines. Pres. Hinckley emphasizes three notable principles. A) The converting Power of the book. B) The warning of unrighteous leadership leading willing people to sin and complete destruction. C) The Book of Mormon is the divinely appointed instrument to bring men to Christ the son of the Living God, the promised Messiah, and Redeemer of the world, who manifests Himself to all nations.
    3. Pres. Hinckley issues the Challenge to read in the authorized magazines of the Church followed by a subsequent letter from the First presidency to be read over the pulpit.

    It is my opinion that truly something is amiss in Zion, for which the reading of the Book of Mormon is meant to remedy. I offer the following which may be just a few among many corrective iron rod adjustments, meant for any of us who call ourselves saints. Beams and motes if you will from my own observation.

    • In October 2005 it will have been 7 years since President Hinckley’s talk to the priesthood session of conference in which he referenced 7 years of plenty and 7 years of famine.
    • Abundant overspending for this world’s goods. Costly apparel if you will, that may cost us our souls to a new economic slavery. 666 unleashed!!!!
    • Sexual promiscuity, pornography, a lack of personal self control and governance.
    • Secret combinations in government, finance, and all forms of commerce. Thievery, bribery, behavior without conscience.
    • A complicated legal code facilitated to lawyers and judges but incomprehensible to the common citizen. Self determination placed in the hands of others.
    • Unwillingness to submit our will to the counsels and councils of the Most High.
    • Apathy
    • Retention of new converts
    • Conversion
    • Preparation to take the gospel in full measure to China, India, and the Muslim nations.
    • What we comprehend as the second coming of Jesus Christ draws steadily closer. Our reliance on the promises of the Lord becomes ever dearer and necessary. “I am in your midst and ye know it not.”
    • Prepare us to receive further revelations from God, to move the work forward. Adam Ondi Ahman. Sealed plates.
    • Return to the Center Place of Zion, building of New Jerusalem & Old Jerusalem

    And the list can be continued………………..

    Harold B. Curtis

  21. XON on August 8, 2005 at 11:30 pm

    Adam (#15),

    In the name of Theological Epistemology, I volunteer. . .

  22. A. Greenwood on August 8, 2005 at 11:54 pm

    All right, Brother XON. There’s this little matter of an O and and N, but I’m sure that can be arranged.

    Brother Curtis,
    I hope you’re wrong. But I’m going to do my reading anyhow.

  23. Kevipoo on August 9, 2005 at 1:42 am

    Elder Oaks recently said there are exceptions. Why is that so hard for some people to believe?

    “As a General Authority, it is my responsibility to preach general principles. When I do, I don’t try to define all the exceptions. There are exceptions to some rules. For example, we believe the commandment is not violated by killing pursuant to a lawful order in an armed conflict. But don’t ask me to give an opinion on your exception. I only teach the general rules. Whether an exception applies to you is your responsibility. You must work that out individually between you and the Lord.” http://www.lds.org/library/display/0,4945,538-1-3100-1,00.html

  24. Soyde River on August 9, 2005 at 6:19 am

    What Elder Oaks might have said also, but probably didn’t, is that there are certain people who seem to define themselves by exceptions. It brings to mind an article about pithy and telling managerial evaluations that somebody had gathered up over a long time. This is how I recall it:

    “Whenever a new proposal or idea is presented, this manager can be counted on to immediately come up with the one situation in which it will not work.”

  25. fan of Harold on August 9, 2005 at 10:33 am

    Harold,

    Do you by chance have a nifty little poem to go with your list?? thanks ever so much!

  26. N Miller on August 9, 2005 at 5:51 pm

    Harold has an excellent point. Is there a reason behind the prophet asking us to do this? It is not often that the prophet commands (or heavily suggests) that we all do something within a specific time period. Although I would bet the purposes are focused more on the repentant side of things that Harold noted, it is fun to think about the other things such as opening the doors to China, moving to Missouri, etc.

    Concerning the exception discussion.

    I often wonder why exceptions are so often sought after. Do you often ask yourself what reasons you have not to follow the commands from the prophets? As my family and I started through the Book of Mormon the other day, we came across the oft read verses of the murmurings of Laman and Lemuel as they left Jerusalem. They struggled with the commands of their dad, the prophet. Although some say, “hey, at least they went”. Agreed. But I wonder if their souls would have been worse off if they stayed in Jerusalem. I doubt it. Looked what they did after they left Jerusalem. Not much better, and probably worse, than had they stayed back I bet.

    How often we hear this in the church, murmurings that what the Lord wants and expects of us can’t be done becuase of one reason or another. Yet, Nephi explains that all things can be done if the Lord commands it. Either he was deceived, lying, or was absolutly correct.

    I am not suggesting there are not exceptions. In the example I gave, to accomplish the command to get the plates, Nephi had to kill Laban which meant to break another commandment. But how many times did he get prompted by the spirit to go against the commandment? Three times. Perhaps we ought to feel the same way as Nephi did before we go against prophetic counsel or commands. It took prompting from the spirit to go against that commandment. Perhaps we ought to go do what we are commanded and wait for the spirit to prompt us to do otherwise. It’s not like Nephi prayed and asked “can I kill laban?” rather it was a prompting from the spirit. He might have prayed for help to know what to do, but I am sure he wasn’t the one that came up with the killing idea.

    Are you Laman or Nephi? Which do you want to be?

  27. Harold B. Curtis on August 9, 2005 at 11:45 pm

    Concering Kim Clark…….

    Upon the principle of the first shall be last and the last first, it may be hoped that the first….Harvard….wil be last …..and the last…..BYU Idaho…will be first. The economics of such ledger balancing are mind boggling to the macro, in a society who one day shall have all things in common. It just may be that we will need an army of trained saints to monitor those ledgers.

    Welcome to Zion Bro. Clark……Weve been micro long enough…………..

    Harold B Curtis

  28. Harold B. Curtis on August 10, 2005 at 1:16 am

    The Book of Mormon….Like unto Me…..August 9, 2005

    Do I like my parents like Nephi liked His?

    Do I get nervous when members talk about answered prayers, being directed by the spirit, or knowing that the church is true?

    Do I see the comparison between Lehi and the many other prophets testifying that that great city Jerusalem will be destroyed if the people do not repent, and the proclamation on the family, which is also declared by many prophets, saying “…..that individuals who violate covenants of chastity, who abuse spouse or offspring, or who fail to fulfill family responsibilities will one day stand accountable before God. Further, we warn that the disintegration of the family will bring upon individuals, communities, and nations the calamities foretold by ancient and modern prophets.”

    Can those great cities New York, Boston, Chicago, Miami, Dallas, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Portland, Seattle, Kansas City, Salt Lake City, and a thousand cities in between, and a multitude of Nations and their cites ever really be destroyed because of the wickedness of the people and or the course of the government?

    Righteousness is lived in the wilderness away from worldliness. Three day journey from worldliness…. Always trouble when you try to bring your worldliness with you. It blocks you from righteousness. Got to give it up, or it will get up on you. Jesus went into wilderness to prepare for ministry….

    Not good for man to be alone, go get your wife brethren…..off to Jerusalem we go……

    If don’t have scriptures you will fail. If you don’t read scriptures you will not have the spirit… In the midst of a vision Lehi reads a book… and being filled with the spirit……”

    Don’t loose head from keeping scriptures locked up!

    How do you erase a typo on gold?

    How do you hold on to the Rod of Iron…The word of God…what would make you let go…release….abandon…forsake….give up….rebel against…

    In the midst of a mist of darkness….strange paths…..forbidden……spacious building dwellers dressed fine…..what is the point of their pointing…

    Kneel to partake of the precious fruit….kneel at the feet of Jesus …..Then you can really see the wounds in his feet….Kneel….they are my wounds…

    To be continued…..

    Harold B.Curtis

  29. Tatiana on August 11, 2005 at 6:36 am

    I agree with obiwan that we should seek our own revelation on every possible issue. That we should think hard and ponder it out in our minds first, then decide what we think is right and ask for confirmation, for our own confirming revelation. I think of it as similar to doing Calculus homework. First you work the problem out yourself, then you check the answer in the back of the book. Now, if my analogy doesn’t break down, the next step, if the book’s answer (the Prophet’s revelation) disagrees with yours is to go back through your problem step by step and try to understand what you did wrong. Check over it three or four times, (personal revelation). If you still don’t see your error, you might consult another authority (the teacher in my Calculus analogy or the Bishop). It is possilbe that the answer in the back of the book is a mistake or typo, but we can assume those will be rare.

    I think that just as in Calculus class, thinking for ourselves, then consulting the Prophet’s guidance, is the best and fastest way for us to learn. As a method, this is superior to charging ahead and working out all the problems ourselves in whatever way seems best without checking our answers. But it’s also superior to copying the answers straight out of the back of the book.

    Morality is about more than obedience. If you make a mistake while obeying authority, God may not hold you responsible, but the wrong thing still happens because of the mistake. There’s that much more trouble or sorrow in the world because the best thing wasn’t done. I feel responsible for doing what’s right, what’s best, no matter what, and don’t feel like I’m off the hook just because I won’t be punished or held accountable for it. It’s bad consequences, not punishment, that I am trying to avoid.

  30. DonA on August 11, 2005 at 8:07 pm

    The prophet’s council to read the Book of Mormon this year went out to over 12 million members of the Church in 140+ countries on every continent. They range from the very spiritual to the very sinful, from the most intelligent to the mentally disabled, from the very healthy to the very sick, from every socio-economic class from the top to the bottom.

    Some adaptation is required. For example, the person who cannot read and does not know brail, may be able to listen to tapes. A person who is illiterate may be able to listen to tapes but only if he can afford them. A very sick person may not be able to do either one in the specified time. None of these people should feel guilty, or ashamed for the adaptations as long as they are doing the best they can. It is their stewardship, their responsibility to determine what best works for them.

    Joseph Smith explained how he was so successful in leading his people. He responded that he taught correct principles, and let the people lead themselves. The prophet’s roll is largely to express principle, and it is the responsibility of the members to apply that principle the best of their ability and situation calls for.

    Brigham Young is reported to have said that the greatest fear he had was that the members of the Church would take what he said as the mind and will of God without first praying and obtaining a witness of the same for themselves (See Deseret News, 9 Dec. 1857, 317; 12 Feb. 1862, 257.)

    In my case, I had just finished reading the Book of Mormon two months before President Hinckley’s council. I wasn’t much interested in rereading it so soon. But after contemplating praying for a while, I decided to do as the prophet directed. I am pleased to say I am gaining much more from it this time, than last. The prophet’s promise is already being fulfilled to me. But I have no illusion that my experience is the same as everyone else.

    Our challenge is not slavish conformity, but to apply intelligent obedience to the prophet’s guidance, knowing God’s will for us. Only then will we fill our fullest potential.

  31. JKS on August 11, 2005 at 11:26 pm

    My son is 5. He is going to read the book of Enos by the end of the year.

  32. Timothy A. Griffy on August 16, 2005 at 10:50 am

    There was a time that I read all the Standard Works (though not necessarily the official versions) twice a year. It has been weighing heavily on me lately that I’ve let that practice fall to the wayside. Maybe President Hinckley’s challenge isn’t such a bad idea after all.

  33. JM on September 4, 2005 at 12:01 am

    I noticed that this site was mentioned on CNN for the low remarks on President Clark. I am one of the students here at BYU-Idaho. We are excited to learn from him and to have him on campus.

    Thanks

  34. Bill on September 22, 2005 at 1:19 am

    There are now 100 days left in the year. As this story indicates, if you devote just one extra minute per day, you could finish the Bible too:

    http://news.yahoo.com/news?tmpl=story&u=/afp/20050921/od_afp/britainreligionbibleoffbeat_050921112127

  35. R L Spencer on October 18, 2005 at 12:30 am

    We wonder why–after all, it is much more specific than usual.
    We comment on whether.
    We ask how-after all, some sacrifice is involved.
    Doesn’t matter as long as we JUST DO IT–
    He’s been so right before–I’m kind of old now, and time and experience has taught me that THE LORD wants us to do it, not just President Hinckley, Benson, McKay–etc.
    Those who do it will get the stated blessings–those who do not, will not.
    Notice it is a call to the nation, not just to LDS.–So have been many calls lately, including the Statement on the Family.
    RLS
    P.S. BYU Idaho is good, MIT, Cambridge, Cornell etc are good. Oxford is terrific (:-) prejudice there.) But nowhere is any good if you can’t learn to feel the promptings of the spirit to guide you through the world’s morass.

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