Wednesday, December 4, 2013

A Revelation About Revelation

I was poking around in the Doctrine and Covenants today and I was suddenly struck by how crazy it is that there are so many specific revelations given to members of the church by name.  There are so many that it's conceivable to compile an entire 240-page book containing brief biographies of each one of them. And that made me think of this verse from Joseph Smith History, when Smith discusses his vision with a Methodist preacher:
I took occasion to give him an account of the vision which I had had.  I was greatly surprised at his behavior; he treated my communication not only lightly, but with great contempt, saying it was all of the devil, that there were no such things as visions or revelations in these days; that all such things had ceased with the apostles, and that there would never be any more of them.
 Mormonism loves to celebrate this moment and how it causes the church to diverge so boldly from the rest of Christianity.  From this point in history on, so it goes, one church was getting revelation from God and all the rest continued as rudderless as before.  Mormonism is proud of its claim of a living prophet and constant divine revelation.  But oddly, the "revelation" the church gets today doesn't look much like the revelation it got in its beginning stages.

It's not a new concept to me that recent prophets haven't made much of anything resembling a prophecy or even a revelation in years.  I've seen that idea brought up repeatedly in the blogosphere, on forums and on Reddit.  But what's never occurred to me is how different the things that supposedly come from God are nowadays.  Apparently God stopped micromanaging and and no longer gives his disciples personal written instructions relating to specific circumstances.  Why?

My guess is that there are no such things as clear, unambiguous personal revelations from the prophet himself in these days.  All such things ceased with the pioneers.  There will never be any more of them.

The more I think about the church, the more glaring it becomes to me that it has changed and evolved in a manner obviously directed by the decisions of men instead of by the unchanging wisdom of a deity.

That doesn't seem right to me.


  1. In 1967, the church got the Book of Abraham papri back. Here's my question, why doesn't the prophet, seer, and revelator, Thomas S. Monson, break out Joseph's seer stone from the vault and translate the Book of Joseph that Joseph Smith never got the chance to "translate?" Why doesn't the church parade the documents out to "prove" that Joseph translated them accurately? The answer is because they aren't/weren't prophets and the "translations" were a total fabrication. It's absolute proof of his deceit, and the apologists look and sound like fools trying to explain it away. The church leaders just wish it would go away.

    1. Well, in Monson's defense, he's not currently practicing the everlasting covenant of polygamy, so he might not be as worthy as Joseph and the seer stone might not work for him.

      But seriously, wouldn't it be awesome if the church could have revelations now like it did in D&C times?

      "And now, I speak unto my servant Bob Jenkins. It is not wisdom in me that ye should take that job in Cincinnati at this time, for the offer you have received from the firm in Tallahassee will be of much greater benefit to your family."

      Talk about practical religion.

    2. It would be awesome if it weren't some bogus attempt to manipulate you like Joseph did to his followers. The way he spoke to Emma in section 132 was pathetic.

    3. Yeah. Of course, my idea was predicated on the idea that the revelation was actually coming from God through his prophet. Considering Joseph wasn't actually a prophet and Monson isn't actually a prophet, then all bets would be off as far as how manipulative the so-called revelation would be.

    4. For sure. If it actually was true, it would be amazing.