They Pay Money for This

If It’s On the Prophet’s Mind, It Matters

Apparently, this was one of the highlights of Education Week, a class about paying attention to what the prophet says. First we get this gem:

“I don’t know if you can prioritize the prophets, seers and revelators,” Knowlton said. “It’s very difficult. You have this group of 15 men that we sustain as prophets, seers and revelators, and all of them [speak] prophetic words. We know their warnings are all prophetic, we know what they would have to say is what the Lord would like us to hear.

“But when it comes right down to it, you have to say the president of the church and what he is saying has really got to make a difference and we’ve got to find a way to prioritize it.”

So, let me get this straight: “their warnings are all prophetic,” and what they tell us is “what the Lord would like us to hear.” Whatever happened to the idea that a prophet is only acting as a prophet when moved upon by the spirit? Heaven knows that excuse has worked for years as a way for apologists to shrug their shoulders and say, “He was only speaking as a man.”

But no, we’re suppose to believe that every word that comes over the pulpit, from Richard Scott’s whining pleas to Thomas Monson’s recitation of doggerel, is what Jesus wants us to hear right here and right now.

And just what is the message the Savior has for us?

Not to fear, as Brother Knowlton has identified some important themes: “Every Conference I always think to myself, ‘When is he going to say this four-letter word we call duty?’ He loves it.” Then he quotes some passages from Monson’s conference talks, all of which are striking mostly for their high-level generalization and banality. These can be summarized as follows:

  1. Heavenly Father needs us to do His work on earth.
  2. We need to figure out what is important in this life (hint: it’s the church).
  3. Remember how blessed you are to be a Mormon.
  4. Stay away from the dark side of the Interwebs.

What more can be said than Brother Knowlton’s conclusion: “I am grateful for this prophet of ours. What a blessing to live in his day; what a blessing to know of such a man.”

In essence, then, people shelled out money to hear a lecture that could be summed up in a Primary song: “Follow the prophet, follow the prophet, follow the prophet, he knows the way!”

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3 Responses to They Pay Money for This

  1. jr says:

    A few years ago Russell Nielson gave a conference talk with regards to church leadership vs. personal revelation. He basically said that even if we have received personal revelation about a subject, that if church leadership has a different answer then our personal revelation is null & void and that we must follow church leadership.
    If that isn’t the very definition of a cult, I don’t know what is.

  2. chanson says:

    In essence, then, people shelled out money to hear a lecture that could be summed up in a Primary song: “Follow the prophet, follow the prophet, follow the prophet, he knows the way!”

    This is what’s so sad about the LDS belief in modern-day revelation. It would be different if they were getting real moral guidance on modern issues — then the belief and trust might make some sense!

    By contrast, have a look at the CoC’s (formerly RLDS) latest revelation, D&C 163. Seriously, read the whole thing, and look at the difference in terms of tackling difficult moral issues.

    p.s. I am, of course, an atheist — I just think this is a good example to show people who want latter-day moral guidance and are getting nothing but fluff like commands not to use visual aids or ask people to follow along in their scriptures in church.

    • runtu says:

      Wow, that is indeed beautiful and far more serious and thoughtful than anything we get from conference. Thanks for pointing that out, chanson.

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