William James

William James
We must get by on what truth we have today, and be willing to call it error tomorrow.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Why Having A Living Prophet Does Not Eliminate All Error

The comment was made:

"I am copying an excerpt from a talk given by a Black female member of the LDS Church which discusses this issue:

Dispelling the Black Myth
by Renee Olson

What are we supposed to do when someone makes an accusation against our Church leaders, either past or present, of being a racist? Agree with them--they certainly won't be expecting that! But, by agreeing with them, all the "arguments" cease, and you can begin to really teach them. If you disagree and try to defend the Church, you're already fighting a losing battle. Our Church leaders have made more than enough damning remarks to give our critics all the ammunition they need to accuse the Church of racism.

Now that we've agreed there is just cause for accusing the Church of racism, how do we deal with that? Well, I think we need to understand that our Church leaders are human. As a matter of fact, they are human first and Apostles second. As human beings and children of their Heavenly Father, they are entitled to their own thoughts, opinions and feelings, just like anyone else. Just because one is ordained to the Quorum of the Twelve doesn't mean Heavenly Father all of the sudden imparts all of His wisdom and knowledge to them! I think we also have to operate from the premise that no General Authority would intentionally do or say anything to deliberately hurt the cause of Christ.

As a matter of fact, I would venture to say that except for the scriptures, anything written before 1978 that speaks of blacks should be avoided. This is why we have a living prophet on the Earth today. As Latter-day Saints, we have the most up-to-date information available. Even Elder McConkie said to forget everything said before, because the Lord had now revealed new light to man. We have to give him credit for that. His views before the ban was lifted may have seemed racist, but his attitude was on target for an apostle of the Lord. No matter how we as individuals may feel about something, when the Lord speaks, we are expected to listen, which means bringing our thinking in line with His."

To which I responded:

I praise Brother McConkie for his bold admission of fault. We need more of that among church leaders, in my opinion. But I do not believe that the issue is cured by the mere fact that we have a living prophet. If past prophets erred, which they surely did, then why must we assume that our living prophet cannot? In my opinion, we should listen to what the prophet has to say, but that does not deprive us of our right to disagree and to follow our own conscience and spiritual promptings even if they contradict what we are told.

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