When Moses was called as a prophet, he had an extraordinary visionary experience where he saw God represented as a burning bush.
When Isaiah was called as a prophet, we read of a dramatic visionary encounter with smoke filling the temple, heavenly figures called the seraphim, and more.
When Ezekiel was called as a prophet, he offered an elaborate description of divine beings that defy any normal description.
But the prophetic call of John the Baptist, who Jesus labeled as greater than any prophet before his time, is described in only seven words that are found in a very short verse in the book of Luke.
Annas and Caiaphas being the high priests, the word of God came unto John the son of Zacharias in the wilderness. (Luke 3:2)
That’s it. No sensational experience, just… the word of God came to John.
Continue reading “John the Baptist, preeminent prophet”
Follow the Prophet is a beloved phrase and a primary song, until it isn’t. And it usually stops being beloved when church members begin to assert their own internal authority:
Continue reading “Follow the Prophet, Internal vs External Authority”
“I determine my faith commitments”
“The church doesn’t get to dictate to me what I believe”
“I follow Jesus over the church”
“There’s no middle-man between me and God”
“I’m the one who determines what my church participation should look like”
“We’re all cafeteria members, so my choices in the cafeteria are no less valid than someone else’s”
Jesus answered him, Truly, truly, I say to you, if a person is not born from on high, that person is not able to see the kingdom of God.
Sedevacantism “seat-empty-ism” is a term commonly used to describe Catholics who think the pope is illegitimate because he is apostate, lacking authority, a wolf in sheep’s clothing, etc. In Catholicism, there has long been a rift over Vatican II, where the Catholic church convened a huge council in 1962-1965 and implemented a set of reforms that included no longer doing the mass in Latin. Remember that one of the core elements of fundamentalism is an idea that things were ideal in the past, and we need to return to some past way of doing things, because back then the faith was more pure or whatever. So fundamentalist Catholics typically reject Vatican II and to the extent they still participate in the Roman Catholic church, they constantly clash with popes and other authorities who maintain the reforms of Vatican II.
Continue reading “Beware of Sedevacantism in the Church”
I am unfortunately at an advanced enough age that I have now encountered more than once something I have said, done, or written, that I have no memory of at all. This is a humbling experience. So while I was reading Kent Jackson’s excellent book Understanding Joseph Smith’s Translation of the Bible that Joseph Smith translated some sections of the Bible more than once, apparently having forgotten that he already had done so previously with a different scribe.
How do his second pass translations compare to the first? Did he translate the passages in exactly the same way?
Continue reading “Memory, Prophetic Translation, and the Lost 116 Pages”
What do we mean when we affirm that President Russell M. Nelson is a prophet of God?
In this presentation, we have resources to answer that question.
Slides for viewing and download here:
Continue reading “Yes, Russell M. Nelson is an Authentic Prophet”
Here are some of my reasons for believing so.
Continue reading “Yes, Joseph Smith is an Authentic Prophet.”
In the 1985 Priesthood Session of General Conference, Elder Marvin J. Ashton gave a talk called “Spencer W. Kimball: A True Disciple of Christ.”
We Latter-Day Saints are often criticized for hero worship; we revere leaders of the past and we even sing hymns and primary songs about prophets in the present. In recent years, we have rightfully engaged in introspection regarding these tendencies and their unhealthy extremes. As more mature historiography has brought to light a litany of personal failings and shortcomings among church leaders and other prophetic figures of the past, many have found the gap between their previous cherished perceptions and their new uncomfortable awareness to be an insurmountable challenge to faith.
Continue reading “Marvin J Ashton and Spencer W. Kimball”