Wednesday, February 24, 2010

You Gotta Ask Yourself…

Q: According to Ezra Taft Benson, “we are to ‘give heed unto all [of the prophet’s] words’--as if from the Lord's ‘own mouth,’" and the prophet will “never lead the church astray” {see quotes below}.

"I say to Israel, The Lord will never permit me or any other man who stands as president of the Church to lead you astray. It is not in the program. It is not in the mind of God." (The Discourses of Wilford Woodruff, selected by G. Homer Durham [Salt Lake City: Bookcraft, 1946], pp. 212-213.)

“I remember years ago when I was a Bishop I had President [Heber J.] Grant talk to our ward. After the meeting I drove him home....Standing by me, he put his arm over my shoulder and said: "My boy, you always keep your eye on the President of the Church, and if he ever tells you to do anything, and it is wrong, and you do it, the Lord will bless you for it." Then with a twinkle in his eye, he said, "But you don't need to worry. The Lord will never let his mouthpiece lead the people astray." Marion G. Romney [In Conference Report, October 1), p. 78]

The Prophet Brigham Young said {among many reprehensible things}:

"Shall I tell you the law of God in regard to the African race? If the white man who belongs to the chosen seed mixes his blood with the seed of Cain, the penalty, under the law of God, is death on the spot. This will always be so." (Journal of Discourses, Vol.10, p.109)

As a Mormon I was always told that God would remove a prophet before he would let him lead his people astray. So, here’s what you gotta ask yourself: If Brigham Young was the prophet, and he was incapable of leading the church members astray, then what do we make of this particular teaching?

Was he just “speaking as a man?” The problem with that idea is that:

  •  Ezra Taft Benson warned against dismissing the teachings of a prophet in just that manner.
  • It seems far too convenient an excuse to not make anyone with a shred of logical thought suspicious. “Follow the prophet! Follow the prophet! Follow the prophet! Don’t go astray! Follow the prophet! Follow the prophet! Follow the prophet! He knows the way…except for when he doesn’t because he’s just speaking as a man and we can feel free to dismiss anything he says if we don’t like how it makes the church look.” {That last bit is a play on a song Mormon children sing regularly on Sundays.}

So, was he not speaking as a man after all? The problem with that idea is that:

  • It makes it pretty damn clear that the church was in fact racist and that God is a huge jerk.
  • It begs the question…why is interracial marriage OK with God now, but not then? Which in turn begs the question…so, in the future, will God decide he’s OK with gay marriage after all?

Makes you wonder…doesn’t it?