The usefulness of prophets

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blazerb
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The usefulness of prophets

Post by blazerb » Sat Jul 22, 2023 9:45 am

In the most recent general conference, we were taught that the words of prophets don't age well. (https://www.churchofjesuschrist.org/stu ... e?lang=eng) It occurred to me today that if the words of prophets are of limited usefulness in time, there is no reason to believe that the words of prophets extend very far geographically, either. I'm sure they are more aware of the needs of the people they know, but the rest of us are benefitted very much. From the reports of GA's families that we see from time to time, I'm not sure that the prophets are really aware of how to help even their own families.

Oaks has taught that prophets are not going to talk about exceptions to counsel given. (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hsty03geyyM) What good are prophets in that case? It seems that all they can hope to teach us is available in "Chicken Soup for the Soul" or something. I guess they can also teach us to send them money, but that hasn't really helped me. It helps them a lot, though.

I know this is not very deep, but the nonsense sometimes hits me.

dogbite
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Re: The usefulness of prophets

Post by dogbite » Sat Jul 22, 2023 6:32 pm

Paine's Age of Reason on prophets
No one will deny or dispute the power of the Almighty to make such a communication if he pleases. But admitting, for the sake of a case, that something has been revealed to a certain person, and not revealed to any other person, it is revelation to that person only. When he tells it to a second person, a second to a third, a third to a fourth, and so on, it ceases to be a revelation to all those persons. It is revelation to the first person only, and hearsay to every other, and, consequently, they are not obliged to believe it.

It is a contradiction in terms and ideas to call anything a revelation that comes to us at second hand, either verbally or in writing. Revelation is necessarily limited to the first communication. After this, it is only an account of something which that person says was a revelation made to him; and though he may find himself obliged to believe it, it cannot be incumbent on me to believe it in the same manner, for it was not a revelation made to me, and I have only his word for it that it was made to him.
There is another part that I couldn't find in my quick skim where he says that if God can speak to one then certainly he can speak to all of he couldn't be god and have his powers so constrained. And so there is no need for a prophet. That he only speaks to one denies the equality of men and fairness in treatment if we are to be judged on belief

Cnsl1
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Re: The usefulness of prophets

Post by Cnsl1 » Sat Jul 22, 2023 10:44 pm

The apologetic response might be that priesthood authority allows certain men stewardship over others. They get revelation for you and can tell you what to do. Or rather, they can say that God told them to tell you what to do.

God is big on secret clubs and stuff.

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moksha
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Re: The usefulness of prophets

Post by moksha » Sun Jul 23, 2023 7:21 am

Cnsl1 wrote:
Sat Jul 22, 2023 10:44 pm
God is big on secret clubs and stuff.
More handshakes than Monty Python and the Marx Brothers combined.
Good faith does not require evidence, but it also does not turn a blind eye to that evidence. Otherwise, it becomes misplaced faith.
-- Moksha

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blazerb
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Re: The usefulness of prophets

Post by blazerb » Sun Jul 23, 2023 10:25 am

moksha wrote:
Sun Jul 23, 2023 7:21 am
Cnsl1 wrote:
Sat Jul 22, 2023 10:44 pm
God is big on secret clubs and stuff.
More handshakes than Monty Python and the Marx Brothers combined.
Why couldn't he have given us silly walks?

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Advocate
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Re: The usefulness of prophets

Post by Advocate » Tue Jul 25, 2023 4:31 pm

I think we can all agree that covid was a big deal for our country and the world. Likely the biggest disruption to human life any of us have seen. Thousands and maybe millions of people died from covid (many due to comorbidities). I just think how easy it would have been for the Lord to show his prophet a revelation of people wearing masks across the U.S., hospitals being overrun, even the navy medical ship (with a big red cross on the side) being docked in New York Harbor. Any of those visions would have told the prophet that a big medical event was coming soon, and he could have told us that people should get their "medical" (aka physical bodies) houses in order for a medical event. And yet, we got nothing. Zero. Not a single hint of what was to come or how we should prepare.

So what is the point of a prophet? And how is a prophet different from any other preacher that preaches the word of God?

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blazerb
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Re: The usefulness of prophets

Post by blazerb » Thu Jul 27, 2023 11:40 am

Advocate wrote:
Tue Jul 25, 2023 4:31 pm
I think we can all agree that covid was a big deal for our country and the world. Likely the biggest disruption to human life any of us have seen. Thousands and maybe millions of people died from covid (many due to comorbidities). I just think how easy it would have been for the Lord to show his prophet a revelation of people wearing masks across the U.S., hospitals being overrun, even the navy medical ship (with a big red cross on the side) being docked in New York Harbor. Any of those visions would have told the prophet that a big medical event was coming soon, and he could have told us that people should get their "medical" (aka physical bodies) houses in order for a medical event. And yet, we got nothing. Zero. Not a single hint of what was to come or how we should prepare.

So what is the point of a prophet? And how is a prophet different from any other preacher that preaches the word of God?
Absolutely. It seems that the Lord did something without telling RMN, so I guess he must not be one of the prophets. It's another example of the failure of LDS leaders to receive any useful guidance for the people.

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Meilingkie
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Re: The usefulness of prophets

Post by Meilingkie » Thu Jul 27, 2023 12:20 pm

Just today I heard a good one from an old friend who's still in.

God didn't give revelation about Covid to test us to see if we would obey his next commandment.
He surely did test us after RMN asked us to get vaccinated.

Friend didn't take the shot btw.
"Getting the Mormon out of the Church is easier than getting the Mormon out of the Ex-Mormon"

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Hagoth
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Re: The usefulness of prophets

Post by Hagoth » Thu Jul 27, 2023 12:38 pm

I suppose prophets would be a very useful thing if they actually existed. As far as I can tell, the opinion of the average Man on the Street is exactly as useful as Russel M. Nelson's.
“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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wtfluff
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Re: The usefulness of prophets

Post by wtfluff » Thu Jul 27, 2023 3:37 pm

Hagoth wrote:
Thu Jul 27, 2023 12:38 pm
I suppose prophets would be a very useful thing if they actually existed. As far as I can tell, the opinion of the average Man on the Street is exactly as useful as Russel M. Nelson's.
Honestly: I'd trust the average Man on the Street more than I would trust Dantzel and Wendy's "eternal companion."
Faith does not give you the answers, it just stops you asking the questions. -Frater Ravus

IDKSAF -RubinHighlander

You can surrender without a prayer...

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DPRoberts
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Re: The usefulness of prophets

Post by DPRoberts » Fri Jul 28, 2023 8:22 pm

Hagoth wrote:
Thu Jul 27, 2023 12:38 pm
I suppose prophets would be a very useful thing if they actually existed. As far as I can tell, the opinion of the average Man on the Street is exactly as useful as Russel M. Nelson's.
They have spent and continue to expand great efforts to lower our expectations of what prophets actually are in our time. Think "death march" and "faith not to be healed". But in so doing they've sprung Joseph's trap. Prophets in his fantasy novel could actually foretell the future, heal the sick, and raise the dead. They could lead a group of green recruits to a miraculous battle outcome. IIRC there was even one who did the equivalent of aerial reconnaissance in revealing where and from what direction the Laminates would attack, at the specific behest of the military commander. The BofM set a very high bar for prophets that our guys just can't clear.

No wonder Joseph wanted to ditch the title of prophet in his later years and claim something more earthly and attainable. His successors have Joe's book to tell them what they should be able to do, but they are also confronted with reality and have to reconcile things using the mental gymnastics that religious folks employ when the cogdis gets too loud. Just like we did as believers.

The overwhelming ordinariness of the brethren makes Hagoth's conclusion inescapable.
When an honest man discovers he is mistaken, he will either cease to be mistaken or cease to be honest. -anon
The belief that there is only one truth, and that oneself is in possession of it, is the root of all evil in the world. -Max Born

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deacon blues
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Re: The usefulness of prophets

Post by deacon blues » Tue Aug 01, 2023 8:59 am

A good therapist is likely to be more helpful than most prophets. ;)
Heck, a good friend is more helpful than most prophets. :D
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.

Gatorbait
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Re: The usefulness of prophets

Post by Gatorbait » Mon Aug 07, 2023 1:37 pm

Listened to Oak's talk, which I liked. Too often people want to be told what to do so that when they do it they feel that they are gaining ground on a reward somehow. The most- very most poignant thing Jos. Smith ever taught, in my opinion, was to teach correct principles and let the people govern themselves.

The church has replaced Jos. Smith's advise with way too many dos and don'ts on which underwear to wear, what to eat or drink or smoke, which rating a movie should have before you can watch it and so on and so forth. Can't speak for you, but I like Jos. Smith's idea better than the present one.

What I do wish prophets would say and say it more often, because I just got ripped off again, by a card carrying Mormon on a business deal. Years ago I received council from a wise person who said, "The higher the office in the church, the closer you watch them. They will steal from you and justify it in ways that make no sense."

The other bozo's talk was so sickening I couldn't make it through it so I can't comment on that one.
"Let no man count himself righteous who permits a wrong he could avert". N.N. Riddell

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