Why modern prophets don't appear to have the gift of prophesy

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Hagoth
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Why modern prophets don't appear to have the gift of prophesy

Post by Hagoth » Mon Nov 07, 2022 3:53 pm

Various LDS apologists tell us that Joseph Smith practiced magical treasure digging and spirit conjuring because God used the occult arts as a training ground to hone Joseph's prophetic skills as preparation for him to begin receiving revelation for the restoration.

Let's let that sink in for a minute. If we buy into this line of thinking, there are implications.

First, it means that occult magic is real. You really can make deals with ghosts to retrieve buried treasure. Joseph could not have honed any real supernatural skills doing something that was not legitimately a method of controlling supernatural powers. Joseph never quite accomplished the treasure finding part of it, and the ghosts seemed to always outsmart him, but he got really close a few times and picked up some cash along the way.

Second, it means that practicing magic is a necessary prerequisite to becoming a prophet. If God could just talk to Joseph directly, without requiring him to draw pentagrams, spill the blood of animals, and make secret deals to trade midnight ceremonies for money, surely he would have. But the BoM tells us that there are certain universal laws that God must comply with at the risk of ceasing to become God.

Conclusion: we no longer get "thus sayeth the Lord" revelation because modern prophets: A) are lazy learners who never bothered to pay their dues by honing proper occult ghost-wrangling skills, or B) They have made a stab at practicing the dark arts, but failed at it even worse than Joseph did, and never passed the test to level-up from Corporate Sole to Mage/Prophet. Maybe Bednar or somebody will succeed in finding some underground treasure, capture a few bloody-soaked ghosts in circles of goat's blood, and finally achieve a level of occult artistry to once again open the heavens. I will continue to wear my Jupiter talisman and pray before an inverted cross - whatever I can to help with the cause. Hail Moroni!
“The easy confidence with which I know another man's religion is folly teaches me to suspect that my own is also.” -Mark Twain

Jesus: "The Kingdom of God is within you." The Buddha: "Be your own light."

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felixfabulous
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Re: Why modern prophets don't appear to have the gift of prophesy

Post by felixfabulous » Tue Nov 08, 2022 2:05 pm

I listened to an interview with a Community of Christ historian and was surprised to realize that their church president/prophets have revelations that are voted on and canonized into their scripture. This is pretty wild when you realize that last canonized D&C section fro us was in 1921. From the Community of Christ interviews I've heard, there is much more of an acknowledgment of how the process works, but church presidents see it as their job to put forward revelations, even if they are about church governance. Here is a snippet from a 2004 revelation:

As a prophetic people you are called, under the direction of the spiritual authorities and with the common consent of the people, to discern the divine will for your own time and in the places where you serve. You live in a world with new challenges, and that world will require new forms of ministry. The priesthood must especially respond to that challenge, and the church is admonished to prayerfully consider how calling and giftedness in the Community of Christ can best be expressed in a new time.

The great irony is that we emphasize the prophetic role and gifts of our prophets and revere them as demi-gods and they do not produce revelation and the Community of Christ sees them as very human and most people call them by their first names, yet they regularly produce revelation that is canonized into scripture by common consent.

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nibbler
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Re: Why modern prophets don't appear to have the gift of prophesy

Post by nibbler » Wed Nov 09, 2022 1:56 pm

There are any number of overlapping reasons.

Current leaders no longer have to pretend to prophetic gifts. I get the feeling that Joseph Smith spun up these massive yarns to convince people of his prophetic ability, to keep people dangling on the line, and to get the attention he craved.

Current leaders don't need to do this. Mundane policy changes are "revelation." Members hang on their every word even when that word is the same thing that's been repeated ad nauseam. In practice the current leaders are infallible. There's no need to dress up in camouflage and sit in a tree all day when the deer come right up to eat out of your hand.

Current leaders are conservative where Joseph was more progressive. Here I'm not referring to politics, I'm referring to Joseph looking for ways to expand a theology and comparing it to how current leaders are always looking back to make sure every step they take is in harmony with things that have already been revealed.

Joseph was interested in inspiring more followers with something new. Current leaders are more interested in running everything through months of legal analysis to make sure everything is constrained within current confines. They don't want the gift of prophecy, they feel their charge is to maintain the purity of things that already exist.

It's about gaining a following and current leaders have inherited their following from the efforts of people that came before.

Revelation also represents risk and currently leaders are extremely risk averse.
We don’t see things as they are, we see them as we are.
– Anais Nin

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Hagoth
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Re: Why modern prophets don't appear to have the gift of prophesy

Post by Hagoth » Wed Nov 09, 2022 3:03 pm

Great observations, Felix and Nibbler.

But don't you wish the leaders, when they toss tough questions over to apologists, were also expected to take seriously what the apologists say? Like, in this example, about God's use of the occult as a training ground for prophesy. They would have to conclude that they need to start doing occult ceremonies to try to please God so he'll talk to them like they did Joseph. I want to see them drawing a big pentagram on top of Ensign Peak with the Smith family magical dagger, and digging treasure pits outside of Panguitch. You know, following The Prophet. That's what the church would look like if the leadership believed the apologetic vomit they expect the rest of us to believe.

For that matter, if the prophets and apostles can't answer questions and they need apologist to do the heavy lifting for them, then apologetics should be considered as scriptural as conference talks.
“The easy confidence with which I know another man's religion is folly teaches me to suspect that my own is also.” -Mark Twain

Jesus: "The Kingdom of God is within you." The Buddha: "Be your own light."

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deacon blues
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Re: Why modern prophets don't appear to have the gift of prophesy

Post by deacon blues » Fri Nov 11, 2022 7:54 am

I see two kinds of Prophecy in our world today. Traditional prophecy is tinged, perhaps saturated with magic. It is almost always vague as to what it means, and and when and if it will be fulfilled. Scientific prophecy can foresee illness, astronomical events like comets, even election results, (think: polls) etc. Traditional prophecy reminds me of Brigham Young's "Yankee guesser" quote. :roll:
God is Love. God is Truth. The greatest problem with organized religion is that the organization becomes god, rather than a means of serving God.

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