Continuing Revelation – Leaders Are Called of God – Leaders are called by God Part II

I’ve been trying to write all night.

Since the new March Issue of the Ensign came out online last night  and broke the Internet, (at  least the LDS corner of it), The article in question, titled “When Doubts and Questions Arise” wasn’t that bad. I got what he was trying to say…. I just don’t wish he had said something other than “doubts”.  “Questioning is fine,”  he said, but if a person has doubts that means they refuse to even try the Lords’s way just like Korihor in the book of Mormon. Yup he went there. He compared good members of the Church who maybe have had their testimony rocked a little. Sure they may have doubts about the Gospel, they probably have doubts about themselves, and he compared them to an Antichrist. I somehow don’t think that is going to give a lot of comfort to anyone who is uncertain. Maybe the author’s only intent was to comfort those who haven’t ever had doubts? “Look at us we are being so kind and forgiving to let you have questions, just as long as you don’t ever doubt…oh no don’t do that, because once you doubt you are a son of perdition.  Yea I think he could have worded it better.  Sooo…. 

I have sat in front of my computer fighting to write this article.  I don’t honestly know how many of you are deep into the Bloggernacle, and in truth it doesn’t matter to me, because I am grateful that you like to come visit my little corner of it sometimes and keep me company. I, personally remember a time before we started calling it the Bloggernacle. I wasn’t an active participant at that time. I was afraid of including my voice, even in comments,  because I didn’t think that anyone would be interested in my voice. I still don’t I’ve just gotten old enough at this point to not care. 

Continue reading Continuing Revelation – Leaders Are Called of God – Leaders are called by God Part II

Advertisements

Continuing Revelation – Leaders Are Called of God – Leaders are called by God Part I

As I have read and studied  President Eyring’s talk, Continuing Revelation from the October 2014 General Conference, of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, there has been one idea that keeps playing in my mind. What is the difference between being called of God and being called by God. So no one gets lost let me explain quickly how on got on this thought train as I  this particular talk.

Since the talk is about revelation a lot of references came up about the 5th article of faith:

5.We believe that a man must be called of God, by prophecy, and by the laying on of hands by those who are in authority, to preach the Gospel and administer in the ordinances thereof. (Articles of Faith) (Emphasis added)

I know that this sound like some trivial thing to ponder over for an extended period, but hopefully you will stick with me on this one for a minute. 🙂 Of course nothing happens in a vacuum and as I was working on preparation for writing about this talk I was reading though some other blogs and came across a comment about how that not all calling in the Church are from God. That especially when talking about the local Bishop, or the Primary Chorister, or just all those everyday callings that we all do at one time or another,  that the Bishop or the Relief Society President or whoever is in that position at the time, is doing exactly just that. Filling a empty spot. They know Brother so-and-so plays the piano, so we can ask him to play for Primary, and you know what Sister Really Happy Smile, got her degree in communication so we will call her to be the ward (or even Stake) public affairs chair. Now the commenter  did say that she believed that the Bishop or whoever would seek confirmation from the Lord and the Lord would give it or not depending on the situation. But her basic feeling was that most calling come from Inspiration rather than revelation. *

I am not going to say that I completely disagree with her. But here is the thing, why do we draw a line between the two? I know that the Holy Spirit can and does speak to my heart and mind in many ways.  In a BYU Devotional, Brother Gordon Limb,  Director of BYU School of Social Work said, “when Heavenly Father speaks to us through the Spirit in its most familiar form, it most often comes to us through our thoughts and feelings.” (BYU Speeches emphasis added) The Holy Spirit is no more limited in how he can speak to us, than Christ was, in what kind of Miracles he was capable of performing.

Boyd K Packer speaking in General Conference in October of 2009 and 9 stated, “That sweet, quiet voice of inspiration comes more as feeling than it does as a sound. Pure intelligence can be spoken into the mind. The Holy Ghost communicates with our spirits through the mind more than through the physical senses.   This guidance comes as thoughts, as feelings through promptings and impressions.   We may feel the words of spiritual communication more than hear them and see with spiritual rather than with mortal eyes. “

And even beyond the fact that I am sure there are times that a calling needs a warm, preferably breathing body,  and the person whose job it is to extend that calling knows someone who has the skills and time and whatever to do it, whether it is playing the organ, infinite patience with 3-year-old sunbeams, a really large house that can actually fit a joint Mutual activity or whatever the need is, are you comfortable with simply saying, “Well wasn’t that lucky that person was in our ward.” Was it luck? Or was it a loving, kind Heavenly Father who, even when, “five sparrows (are) sold for two farthings… not one of them is forgotten before God?” And yet we will still tell ourselves that those “small” callings that are given by a servant of The Lord, are something less than revelation.

And every person who receives a calling, NOT MATTER WHAT THAT CALLING IS called of God, by prophecy, and by the laying on of hands by those who are in authority, from the building maintenance person to the Nursery leader, our visiting and home teachers, to the 3rd Sunday Relief Society Teacher, all the way to the Stake President, Seventies, and the Prophet himself. And once that calling has been given and the person set apart they are then entitled to receive every last piece of revelation required to care for those in their stewardship, and to fulfill that calling in the way the Lord needs it done. One of the most amazing parts of the restored gospel is that:

“Revelation continues in the Church: the prophet receiving it for the Church;the president for his stake, his mission, or his quorum;the bishop for his ward; the father for his family; the individual for himself.” (President Eyring

So back to the original thought, that brought me down this path. What is the difference between being called of God and being called by God. My first thought was that “by” implied that the Lord himself did it. When Joseph Smith prayed to know which church was correct, God himself call that young man to the work, face to face as with every Prophet I can think of from scripture. But even when the calling is not a face to face communication with The Father, it carries no less weight when it comes from one of His ordained servants. In the April, 1970 Conference Report President Spencer W. Kimball said, “A prophet needs to be more than a priest or a minister or an elder. His voice becomes the voice of God,” and while the Prophet is the only man who may receive revelation for the Church, if you receive a calling as the Young Women’s President, you have no less authority over those people you have been called to be lead than does the President of the Church over who he has been called to preside. They both have Stewardship over a specific group of people. 

Under the topics section of  lds.org, stewardship is defined as the, “Responsibility to administer or attend to the assignments one receives in a Church calling, or to take care of those things with which we are blessed from God, including families, neighbors, and even temporal blessings. “(lds.org topics) This includes receiving revelation as the caretaker of those people.

So tomorrow in part II I will talk about my original preconception about  the word “of” as well as what I discovered upon studying just a bit more, as well as how revelation not being received by the leadership of the Church about  their callings benefits all members of the Church. (You may want to read 1st Nephi 3 to get an idea of what I might mean) Have a blessed day.

In the name is Jesus Christ, Amen

Continuing Revelation – Profound and Personal (President Henry B Eyering)

“Human judgment and logical thinking will not be enough to get answers to the questions that matter most in life. We need revelation from God.” President Henry B. Eyering, First Counselor in the First Presidency October General Conference 2014 Sunday Morning Session

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints was founded by a young man seeking personal revelation. He believed the Apostle James when he testified in the scriptures that  “If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him.” James 1:5

For most members the belief in revelation is  almost 2nd nature. Most members accept without much hesitation that The Prophet receives revelation for The Church. They understand and know that the their Stake President guides the Stake he is High Priest over, through the power of revelation. We know that the Bishop extends callings to individuals though revelation. Mother’s and Father’s receive revelation for their children. Elder’s Quorum and Relief Society President’s receive revelation for those they are called to lead. Individual teachers receive revelation regarding what parts of the lesson they should emphasize, what questions the should pose to the class, and who they should call on to speak.

We ask for revelation about where we should go to school, if we should serve a mission, who we should marry, if we should accept a specific job offer, and every other major decision that may be made in someones life.

We ask for simple (can you really call any revelations for God simple? 🙂 ) revelations, such as God leading us to someone who we might be able to serve,  to find someone who is prepared to accept the Gospels good news, or who might need a hug or phone call, so that they know they are loved.

Unlike many Churches we believe that Revelation from God to His children, to His Church, is not something that ended. It is not something that was left in the past at the death of the Christ and his Apostles, but is in fact something that is alive and well, occurring throughout the World today as you read this. 

Continue reading Continuing Revelation – Profound and Personal (President Henry B Eyering)

I’m Back – Continuing Revelation by: President Henry B. Eyering

Hey everyone! Sorry that it took me longer to get back on then I had said last time I posted. As usual I was way busier than I was willing to acknowledge, lol. But here I am and I am ready to go. It’s only a few weeks until next conference (Yippeee!) so I obviously  won’t be able to cover all of last conference. But I am going to highlight a few of the talks that are really meaningful to me at this point, from October 2014’s Conference. (Here is a link to all of the talks from that conference) As usual I wanted to give you all some time to read over the current talk before I jump into breaking it down. The first talk I am going to be looking at is “Continuing Revelation”  by President Henry B. Eyering, First Counselor in the First Presidency, from the Sunday morning session.

Now I do want to give you a general idea of why I picked this talk to be first. A lot has changed in my life over the last year and half since I started this blog, some good, a lot not so much. I have doubted myself, and I even in some really dark moments doubted my testimony. I hope this makes sense, but it wasn’t the things that my testimony was about that I doubted, ie: Christ, The Gospel, The Atonement, The Restoration, The Book of Mormon, etc.  I know they are true and real. As real as the computer I am typing on, and as real as you sitting there reading these words. What I doubted was  if I had actually had a testimony period.

Continue reading I’m Back – Continuing Revelation by: President Henry B. Eyering

Not What Is Said But What We Hear And What We Feel

ldsconf-oct-2013-wordleConference is so important, so vital. It is not something that we can just sit down and listen to every six months and then leave behind.  “Heavenly Father wants us to regularly study and apply what we have learned in conference. I testify that those who put their trust in the Lord and heed this counsel in faith will gain great strength to bless themselves and their families for generations to come. ”

President Monson has said,  “I encourage you to read the talks once again and to ponder the messages contained therein. I have found in my own life that I gain even more from these inspired sermons when  I study them in  greater depth. ” https://www.lds.org/ensign/2012/11/god-be-with-you-till-we-meet-again?lang=eng

Preparing for Conference is just as important. If we are not spiritually prepared going into Conference we will still gain much, but will we gain all that we can?

Continue reading Not What Is Said But What We Hear And What We Feel

“General Conference: Strengthening Faith and Testimony” by Elder Robert D. Hales

StudyA new week a new talk. I think that most of you will see the obvious importance of this talk. We have been told that watching a studying General Conference is important.  Throughout numerous trials in my life, though activity and inactivity, I have always watched Conference.  The council has also been given to us to prepare for conference. To search in our minds the questions that we need answered . To pray and to take notes during Conference and then to study the talks between one Conference and the next.

“For the next six months, your conference edition of the Ensign should stand next to your standard works and be  referred to frequently. As my dear friend and brother Harold B. Lee said, we should let these conference addresses “be the guide to [our] walk and talk during the next six months. These are the important matters the Lord sees fit to  reveal to this people in this day” (in Conference Report, Apr. 1946, p. 68).” https://www.lds.org/general-conference/1988/04/come-unto-christ-and-be-perfected-in-him

Continue reading “General Conference: Strengthening Faith and Testimony” by Elder Robert D. Hales