Elect of Elohim

by Rusty Lindquist on September 10, 2008 · 35 comments

The following poem, by Orson F. Whitney, is a beautiful and clear presentation of the grand council in heaven, and the eventst that took place there.  So great is the importance of this grand council, and the roles we played there, and how wonderful it is, as Latter-day Saints, to be blessed with such a clear understanding of that time long ago.

Elect of Elohim
Orson F Whitney

In solemn counsel sat the Gods
From Kolob’s height supreme
Celestial light blazed forth afar,
Over countless kokobeam.

And faintest tinge the fiery fringe
Of that resplendent day
Lumed the dark abysmal realm
Where earth in chaos lay.

“Father”, the voice like music fell
clear as the murmuring flow
of mountain streamlet trickling down
from heights of virgin snow

“Father”, it said “Since one must die
thy children to redeem
from worlds all formless now and void
where myriad life shall teem

and mighty Michael foremost fall
that mortal man may be
and chosen Savior yet must send
lo, here am I, send Me”.

“I ask, I seek no recompense,
save that which then were mine
Mine be the willing sacrifice
The endless glory thine.”

Still rang that voice, when sudden rose
Aloft a towering form
Proudly erect, as lowering peak
Loomed by the gathering storm

A presence bright and beautiful
With eye of flashing fire
With lips whose haughty curl bespoke
A sense of inward ire.

“Send Me”, it said, it’s courtly smile
And scarce concealed disdain
And none shall hence from heaven to earth
That shall not rise again.

My saving plan exemption scorns,
Mans will, nay, mine alone
As recompense I claim the right
To sit on yonder throne.

Ceased Lucifer, the breathless hush
Resumed and denser grew,
All eyes were turned the general gaze
One common magnet drew

A moment there was solemn pause,
Listened eternity
While rolled from lips omnipotent
The Fathers firm decree.

Jehovah, my messenger son Ahman,
Thee I send
And one shall go thy face before
While twelve thy steps attend

And many more on that far shore
Thy pathway shall restore
That I the first the last may come
And earth My glory share

By arm divine, both mine and thine
The lost shalt thou restore
That man redeemd with God may be
As God forever more

On thee alone mans fate depends
The fate of beings all
Thou shalt not fail though thou art free
Free, but too great to fall.

Return and to the parent fold
This wandering planet bring
And earth shall hail thee conqueror
And heaven proclaim thee king

Twas done, from congregations vast
Tulmoltus murmurs rose
Waves of conflicting sound
As when two meeting seas oppose

Twas finished, but the heavens wept
And still their annals tell
How one was choice of Elohim
Over one who fighting fell.
 

P. S.  This poem can be found in the book “The Holy Temple”, by Boyd K. Packer.

{ 35 comments… read them below or add one }

1 mormonsoprano September 10, 2008 at 10:56 PM

I’ve never heard this poem. Thank you for sharing it

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2 Eric Nielson September 11, 2008 at 6:38 AM

This poem is really loaded. Doctrinal and theological implications galore. I really like this type of thing. In some ways I think early church leaders were a lot more ….. interesting … that the correlated stuff we often get today (which is probably for the best).

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3 Margaret September 11, 2008 at 10:44 AM

I had never seen this poem before, either. I had to look up a few words to get the meaning. Thank you so much for stretching my mind.

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4 Rusty Lindquist September 11, 2008 at 1:48 PM

Yeah, it’s not commonly known, but it is truly marvelous. I committed it to memory on my mission, and still recite it to myself frequently on my way to work, allowing my mind to feast upon it’s beautiful and doctrinally drenched words.

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5 ponderingpastor September 11, 2008 at 2:12 PM

I find it interesting that “Jehovah” is still used as a “name” for God by anyone. The story goes like this: In Hebrew, the name for God is YHWH (original Hebrew has no vowels). Later, the Masoretes developed pronunciation standards and vowel pointing to be added to the ancient texts. But … God’s name was considered too holy to be spoken, and in order to prevent the Holy Name to be accidentally read, the Masoretes put the vowel points of a different Hebrew word (Adonai/Lord) onto YHWH wherever it appeared. Gradually, over time, the use of Hebrew was discontinued, until German scholars went back to Hebrew and were attempting to resurrect this “dead” language. They didn’t know the story, and whenever they attempted to pronounce YHWH with the vowel pointing of Adonai, the pronounced it Jehovah (German Y=J, W=V). This was picked up and now we have this false name of God floating around.

You would think that Mormons who have a direct revelation from God through the modern prophets wouldn’t continue a false naming of God created centuries before Joseph Smith.

For what its worth. (Feeling a little cranky today)

Pondering Pastor

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6 Margaret September 11, 2008 at 2:54 PM

We refer to God the father as Elohim, and Christ as Jehovah. This may be fodder for another post ;o)

Sorry you’re cranky. Maybe tomorrow will be a better day.

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7 ryan September 11, 2008 at 7:58 PM

PP,

I just finished posting a comment under “Do Mormons have more than one God?” and in that proposed you reconsider Joseph Smith as a prophet. I guess today is not a good day? :) lol

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8 ponderingpastor September 12, 2008 at 5:04 AM

Mormons refer to Christ as “Jehovah”? I’d be interested to learn how that came about.

(Just a notch lower on the cranky scale.)
Pondering Pastor

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9 Eric Nielson September 12, 2008 at 12:40 PM

Here is a link to the topical guide in the LDS scriptures under the categorie Jesus Christ – Jehovah

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10 ponderingpastor September 12, 2008 at 3:59 PM

Oh my! Eric, this is really awful! I don’t know where to start! In those references, that which is translated as “Jehovah” is in the Hebrew YHWH, as I mentioned earlier. To identify Jesus as YHWH is either TRINITARIAN DOCTRINE (which Mormons don’t believe, and Trinitarian Christians would never make that connection in that way anyway) or a terrible reading of scripture where YHWH as redeemer is automatically transferred to Jesus which changes the whole meaning of the Old Testament witness. You have just demonstrated the lack of serious Biblical scholarship of Mormons, since this is on the official LDS site. I can’t stress enough that this is awful Biblical scholarship. I can only shake my head in disbelief! I was really trying to give the Mormons credit for at least reasonable readings of scripture.

Pondering Pastor

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11 Rusty Lindquist September 12, 2008 at 5:55 PM

Be nice please. I’ll reply shortly via a dedicated post, that we can have a more focused discussion without intimidating people that want to comment on the poem alone.

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12 Marcus September 12, 2008 at 6:59 PM

What? Jesus is Jehovah?

– I have a work for thee, Moses, my son; and thou art in the similitude of mine Only Begotten.
– By the word of my power, have I created them, which is mine Only Begotten Son.
– And I, God, said unto mine Only Begotten, which was with me from the beginning: Let us make man in our image, after our likeness; and it was so.

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13 Marcus September 13, 2008 at 9:02 AM

PP, I pulled this out from Wiki – Not authoritative by any means – but it explains how Mormon’s had introduced a wild card to explain away the conflicts in their doctrine of the Godhead.

“Divine investiture is defined as that condition in which –in all His dealings with the human family Jesus the Son has represented and yet represents Elohim His Father in power and authority. … Thus. .. Jesus Christ spoke and ministered and through the Father’s name; and so far as power, authority and Godship is concerned His words and acts were and are those of the Father.”

he concept was first explained in a 1916 First Presidency message drafted by James Talmage: “The Father and the Son’: A Doctrinal Exposition of the First Presidency and the Twelve.

It is well known that the 1916 doctrinal exposition “came about as a response to questions about the Godhead.” Members were confused about conflicting views of God between the Lectures on Faith, the Book of Mormon, the Bible, and later important sources of doctrine. The doctrine of divine investiture is seen by non-Mormons as an effort to account for the modalism of the Book of Mormon, wherein the person of the Father is indistinguishable from the person of the Son, as well as to account for tension heightened by the Elohim/Jehovah distinction, a convention which, like the divine investiture concept, was created in 1916. That the Son, being Jehovah in the Old Testament, demands and accepts prayer and worship, would be awkward for LDS theology, since the Father is the one who is to be worshiped and prayed to.

This might very well be called the doctrine of divine pretension, for in it Christ is pretending to be the Father.

In the Bible the distinction between the two persons is more meaningful–the two are clearly the same God-being, but the two persons are clearly distinguished as interrelating, different persons and never feign the identity of another. One can speak on behalf of another, but never makes the pretension to be that other person. The doctrine of the Trinity seems to honor this truth better than the LDS idea of divine investiture does.

“For when God made a promise to Abraham, since he had no one greater by whom to swear, he swore by himself, saying, ‘Surely I will bless you and multiply you.'” – Hebrews 6:13-14

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14 Margaret September 13, 2008 at 12:57 PM

Since I’m the one that first spilled the beans about Jehovah, I’ll say just a little more. We know these things because of our living Prophets and our scriptures. Whenever you see the word “Lord” in the Bible, it has been substituted for the Greek word for “Jehovah”. Joseph Smith was the first to teach this truth and it has been supported by every Prophet and Apostle since.

There are many things we know because of our scriptures and our Living Prophets. In order to understand the things that we understand, you need to be willing to plant that little seed (faith) that can absorb the light and grow. If you are not willing to do that, all the words in the world will not help you to see it.

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15 Doug R September 13, 2008 at 2:58 PM

Margaret, I don’t know where your collecting support for your statements but it isn’t historically accurate. Correct me if I’m wrong but this is what I learned through study.

There was a huge amount of variation among Mormons over time and possibly even today regarding the Godhead. Joseph Smith on various occasions called Jesus Christ the son of Jehovah, a phraseology that would certainly identify the God of the Old Testament as the Father. There’s substantial evidence to suggest that almost all Mormons throughout the 19th century saw the God of the Old Testament as the Father of Jesus Christ, and not as Jesus Christ Himself. The identification of Jesus Christ with Jehovah was, as far as we can tell from the historical record, was first proposed in the 1870s and was not a majority position among Mormon leaders until the early 20th century. It was adopted as a post hoc counterargument to two Mormon theologies of the godhead that were no longer popular: the Book of Mormon theology that proposes a close link of identity between the Father and the Son, and Brigham Young’s Adam-God theology that identified Jehovah as Adam, Jesus as Adam’s son, and Elohim as Adam’s father.

Members were confused about conflicting views of God between the Lectures on Faith, the Book of Mormon, the Bible, and later important sources of doctrine. In a 1916 message drafted by James Talmage: “The Father and the Son: the Doctrine of Divine Investiture was defined as that condition in which –in all His dealings with the human family Jesus the Son has represented and yet represents Elohim His Father in power and authority. … Thus. .. Jesus Christ spoke and ministered and through the Father’s name; and so far as power, authority and Godship is concerned His words and acts were and are those of the Father.

The doctrine of divine investiture is seen by non-Mormons as an effort to account for the modalism of the Book of Mormon, wherein the person of the Father is indistinguishable from the person of the Son, as well as to account for tension heightened by the Elohim/Jehovah distinction, a convention which, like the divine investiture concept, was created in 1916. That the Son, being Jehovah in the Old Testament, demands and accepts prayer and worship, would be awkward for LDS theology, since the Father is the one who is to be worshiped and prayed to.

In the Bible the distinction between the two persons is more meaningful–the two are clearly the same God-being, but the two persons are clearly distinguished as interrelating, different persons and never feign the identity of another. One can speak on behalf of another, but never makes the pretension to be that other person. The doctrine of the Trinity seems to honor this truth better than the LDS idea of divine investiture does.

Hebrews 6:13-14
“For when God made a promise to Abraham, since he had no one greater by whom to swear, he swore by himself, saying, ‘Surely I will bless you and multiply you.'” –

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16 Margaret September 13, 2008 at 3:36 PM

D&C 110 given Apr 3, 1836 to Joseph Smith the Prophet. in Kirtland, Ohio
1 The veil was taken from our minds, and the eyes of our understanding were opened.
2 We saw the Lord standing upon the breastwork of the pulpit, before us; and under his feet was a paved work of pure cgold, in color like amber.
3 His eyes were as a flame of fire; the hair of his head was white like the pure snow; his countenance shone above the brightness of the sun; and his voice was as the sound of the rushing of great waters, even the voice of Jehovah, saying:
4 I am the first and the last; I am he who liveth, I am he who was slain; I am your advocate with the Father.

This was a revelation given to Joseph Smith and is the first time i know of that it was revealed. There may be earlier ones, but yes, Joseph Smith did refer to Christ as Jehovah.

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17 Doug R September 13, 2008 at 7:23 PM

Margaret, I’m only pointing out that the prophets and apostles had not always supported the view. This is a well known fact among LDS scholars?

http://library.lds.org/nxt/gateway.dll/Magazines/Ensign/2002.htm/ensign%20april%202002.htm/gospel%20classics%20%20the%20father%20and%20the%20son.htm

The Father and the Son

A Doctrinal Exposition by the First Presidency and the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles

From Improvement Era, Aug. 1916, 934–42; capitalization, punctuation, paragraphing, and spelling standardized.

“The Father and the Son,” Ensign, Apr. 2002, 13

In the early 1900s, some discussion arose among Church members about the roles of God the Father and Jesus Christ. The First Presidency and Quorum of the Twelve Apostles issued the following in 1916 to clarify the meaning of certain scriptures where Jesus Christ, or Jehovah, is designated as the Father. It is thought that a printing of this statement will be helpful to members as they study the Old Testament this year.

4. Jesus Christ the “Father” by Divine Investiture of Authority

A fourth reason for applying the title “Father” to Jesus Christ is found in the fact that in all His dealings with the human family Jesus the Son has represented and yet represents Elohim His Father in power and authority. This is true of Christ in His preexistent, antemortal, or unembodied state, in the which He was known as Jehovah; also during His embodiment in the flesh; and during His labors as a disembodied spirit in the realm of the dead; and since that period in His resurrected state. To the Jews He said, “I and my Father are one” (John 10:30; see also John 17:11, 22); yet He declared, “My Father is greater than I” (John 14:28), and further, “I am come in my Father’s name” (John 5:43; see also John 10:25). The same truth was declared by Christ Himself to the Nephites (see 3 Ne. 20:35; 3 Ne. 28:10), and has been reaffirmed by revelation in the present dispensation (D&C 50:43). Thus the Father placed His name upon the Son; and Jesus Christ spoke and ministered in and through the Father’s name; and so far as power, authority, and godship are concerned His words and acts were and are those of the Father.

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18 Margaret September 13, 2008 at 8:30 PM

I have done a little more research via FAIRMormon and find that you are correct. Joseph Smith, Brigham Young and John Taylor all often referred to Jehovah as Heavenly Father. As you said, in 1916 an official statement clarified it. I learned something today. Thank you!

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19 ponderingpastor September 14, 2008 at 12:31 PM

Margaret:
You wrote, “Since I’m the one that first spilled the beans about Jehovah, I’ll say just a little more. We know these things because of our living Prophets and our scriptures. Whenever you see the word “Lord” in the Bible, it has been substituted for the Greek word for “Jehovah”. Joseph Smith was the first to teach this truth and it has been supported by every Prophet and Apostle since.”

There is no Greek word for Jehovah. It doesn’t exist.

Pondering Pastor

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20 Margaret September 14, 2008 at 3:41 PM

Pondering Pastor AND Doug R.

Thank you for correcting me! Obviously I am not an intellectual or a scriptorian like many of you here. I am also not so much of a detail person. I do, however, get the big picture.

Below is an excerpt from “Restoring the Ancient Church”, ch 3 from the FAIR web site. Obviously I should have said Hebrew. I hope this clarifies. I’ll try to pay more attention to detail if I gather the courage to comment again ;o).

Yahweh–Prince of Angels, Second God
A growing number of Old Testament scholars are beginning to realize that “Israel’s oldest religion was not monotheistic.”100 Much of the evidence for the foregoing assertion by Margaret Barker lies with the use of the names of God in the Hebrew Bible. Four names or titles are commonly used to connote God in the Old Testament. First, the Hebrew or Canaanite word “El” simply means “God.” The plural form of this word, “Elohim,” literally means “Gods,” but is often used to connote a single god whose supremacy and omnipotence make him “the God of gods.” (Psalm 136:2; Daniel 11:36)101 Another such designation is “Elyon” or “Most High.” “Jehovah,” the anglicized version of the Hebrew “Yahweh” or “Jahveh,” is the name of the God of Israel, who identified Himself as the great “I AM” (Exodus 3:14) to Moses. With few exceptions the KJV translates “Jehovah” as “LORD” in all capitals. Most mainline Christians see all these designations as referring to one divine being. However, Latter-day Saints believe that Jesus Christ, in his pre-existent state, was named “Yahweh,” the God of Israel, and the Father is given the title “Elohim.”

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21 ponderingpastor September 15, 2008 at 11:12 AM

Wow! Wow! Wow!

So, let me get this straight. Mormons are arguing that Israel was not monotheistic (despite all evidence to the contrary) on the basis of there being various names for God? Scholars have long held that this had more to do with the names the “editors” of material used. There are 4 different streams of editors hands apparent in the Old Testament, representing different times, emphases, and orientation. So now someone suggests that despite all the evidence to the contrary (including punishments described in scripture for chasing after other gods) Israel was polytheistic? How convenient for Mormons!

Here is how it is read by Christians: Mormons reject the historic faith of Israel and centuries of Biblical scholarship (secular and faith-filled) on the supposed claims of a handful of prophets, who have been indoctrinated with the Mormon faith.

Mormon claims are even more suspect than I had thought.

Pondering Pastor

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22 Rusty Lindquist September 16, 2008 at 1:27 AM

Doug,

I guess I’m confused as well about the point you’re hoping to make, other than the fact that over time, through added revelation, our understanding of the Godhead, and their various names, becomes clearer and clearer. But then again, that’s precisely the beauty behind continued revelation to a prophet of God, that all the problems of the past plaguing our knowledge of things eternal may become clear. At no point in time has anyone ever laid claim that Joseph Smith was omniscient, and knew all things at all time. So we should not be surprised, therefore, to find instances where he gained clarity over time. But perhaps I’m missing your point, if so, please let me know.

PP.

Easy tiger (no need to still be so grumpy).

You obviously feel strongly about the subject of upholding the view that ancient Isreal was monotheistic. That’s fine, and I won’t argue it at all. But to answer your question, no, Mormons are not arguing that Israel was polytheistic, re-read Margaret’s comment.

Margaret is simply saying that there is currently debate, among scholars, regarding that traditional monotheistic view. It’s not “our” debate. In fact, I daresay amongst most Mormons (particularly myself), it makes no difference to me whether they were polytheistic, monotheistic, henotheistic, or whatever.

We have discussed it at length elsewhere, and it still seems like monolatrism is perhaps the most accurate description of our viewpoint, along with theosis, but perhaps that’s just me. In fact, I just looked, and monolatrism is one of the things scholars are debating on to define the beliefs of ancient Israel as well (look up “Monolatrism” on wikipedia for instance).

So, despite your strong viewpoint (for there will obviously be strong viewpoints by those on the other side, who care) it is something currently being debated.

And interestingly, the scholars doing the debating are from many different religions. So when you start in with your old “here’s how it is read by Christians”, it’s nothing more than the same silly substance less attempt at polarization, more fit for politics than real religion. For this is not a “Christians vs Mormons” debate, and calling it such seems a strangely misguided attempt to make it emotional because it’s close to your heart. I get that it’s a subject close to you, although I think you could better help me understand why, but your tone turned uncharacteristically harsh. Am I missing something?

Mormon claims are what they are, and they’re unaffected by any such scholarly debate. The great claim of Mormonism is in latter-day revelation through living prophets, beginning with Joseph Smith, and through him the introduction of the Book of Mormon, and the complete restoration of the fullness of the gospel of Christ. The real claims of Mormonism can be boiled down to just this, which I cover in detail here (Is Mormonism true).

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23 ponderingpastor September 16, 2008 at 7:13 AM

Rusty,

My apologies for my tone. You have rightly chastised me.

I am astonished that the Mormon claim of latter-day revelation has the end result of ignoring serious secular and religious Biblical scholarship, unless that scholarship agrees with the revelation. I get that the revelation is “the thing”. I had not realized how key that revelation was. What I think astonishes me most is that this revelation is so important that it “trumps” anything else. How then can there be any discussion?

I think my “tone” comes in part from personal exhaustion (it’s not just here that the tone is noted). But also, this realization that the conversations here do not get down to a matter of interpretation of scripture or trying to gain some clarity about how Christianity and Mormonism might engage in dialogue, but rather that dialogue is impossible if in the end “latter-day revelation through living prophets” is the source and norm for your life together. It changes the whole conversation, for to accept this claim is to become Mormon, and the conversation is over. If we are looking for brilliance, it is in this formulation, not the overall doctrine.

This is absolutely unacceptable from a Lutheran perspective. Scripture is our source and norm. Any revelation is subject to that and is open for question, not the other way around.

The identification of YHWH (I refuse to use the non-word Jehovah) as Jesus Christ pre-incarnate (as a separate god … not part of the Holy Trinity) is an astonishing act of hubris. Sorry, there I go again. I thought we at least had common understanding about “God the Father”. As it turns out, Mormons and Christians don’t even have common ground there!

So, yes. I’m quite irritable. Right now it feels like the Mormon church is attempting to steal Jesus Christ, God the Father, the Old and New Testaments and claim them as their own, and using an argument that sounds more cultist than faithful. It is as if I went to court claiming your house was really mine, and moving my stuff in while letting you set up tent in the back yard.

Deep breath

I’ll have to decide if I can maintain a civil tone here. If not, I’ll probably not post any more.

Pondering Pastor

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24 Margaret September 16, 2008 at 10:02 AM

PP
Trying to be brave here and not add to your grumpiness.

I think you have hit on the difference between us and you. Revelation DOES trump scholarly research because revelation comes from Heavenly Father or Jesus Christ, and scholarly research comes from men. How can we presume to tell God how it should be? We have no business “counseling the Lord!” When He speaks the discussion os over. At least that’s how I feel.

I guess the quandry goes back to: is Mormonism true and was Joseph Smith a Prophet? It’s my testimony that it is and he was.

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25 Margaret September 16, 2008 at 10:04 AM

PS

Welcome back, Rusty! We’ve missed you! Hope you’re feeling much better!

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26 ponderingpastor September 16, 2008 at 11:11 AM

Margaret writes:

“Revelation DOES trump scholarly research because revelation comes from Heavenly Father or Jesus Christ, and scholarly research comes from men.”

Pondering Pastor writes:
Revelation is often contained in scholarly research guided by the Holy Spirit through men and women. To claim that individual revelation is somehow more important is a place we differ significantly.

Pondering Pastor

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27 Rusty Lindquist September 16, 2008 at 11:51 AM

Margaret – LOL, thanks, I’d say I’m feeling better, but I still have these gosh-awful bamboo poles shoved up my nose to keep my septum straight. But, I get them out tomorrow WHO-HOO.

PP,

No worries. I think it’s common for people to underestimate the importance of revelation. Let me present it to you this way, looking logically at the concept of revelation – or direct communication from God.

Realistically, if I were to stand before the Lord, face to face, and hear him speak, would I even think for one instance that perhaps what he’s telling me is wrong because it contradicts what I “thought” he said two thousand years ago?

Not a chance. If there were something contradictory, I’d humbly assume I either misunderstood in the first place (for clearly, there is much debate on scriptural interpretation, even amongst what you agree are “Christians”, somebody if not most, are going to be wrong), or I’d assume that the time for that was past, and we’re in a new time now. Who am I to counsel the Lord?

By the same token, if you have a testimony of the prophet, and truly believe that he is in direct communication with the Lord (just as in biblical times), would his direct instruction/counsel today not trump all else? Even if it flew in the face of conventional wisdom?

When Moses prophesied of the flood, the true believers knew and accepted his words because they knew and accepted him as a prophet.

Revelation is all-important, it’s the crux of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day saints, it’s “upon this rock” that he built his church.

What’s more, one of the foundational principles in the bible is that he gives us line upon line, precept upon precept, here a little and there a little. The very notion of that doctrine is based on the foundation that we don’t have it all. Which means there is still more to come. It means there will still be new things that we learn, and that slowly, over time, those who have the faith to follow and accept without the mentally crippling demand for proof, will begin to understand even things that are NOT in the bible.

In truth, revelation is the heart of the matter. For if there is revelation, then the cannon is not closed, for God’s mouth is not shut, and all his words must be accepted, past, present, and future.

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28 Rusty Lindquist September 16, 2008 at 11:54 AM

PP, Also, I should note that I do agree, inspiration is often found within the subtle spiritual promptings given to scholars and scientists alike as they seek to uncover “the truth”, and the role of personal revelation is for individual guidance only, but the revelation given to the prophet of God is what trumps all such scholarly wisdom. It’s the difference between personal revelation and prophetic guidance.

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29 ponderingpastor September 16, 2008 at 1:53 PM

“When Moses prophesied of the flood, the true believers knew and accepted his words because they knew and accepted him as a prophet.”

Do you mean Noah rather than Moses here? The only people who believed Noah were his family. If you mean Moses, I’m not sure which flood you are talking about.

I understand about “revelation” and the Mormon focus on living prophets. I simply underestimated its importance. Likewise, I think you minimize and underestimate the importance of the ongoing work of the Holy Spirit in the Body of Christ.

I reject the Mormon assumption that God’s revelations come only to the living prophets of the Mormon church.

Pondering Pastor

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30 ponderingpastor September 16, 2008 at 1:58 PM

PS – I notice you minimize the experience of the Holy Spirit in your note:

“…inspiration is often found within the subtle spiritual promptings given to scholars and scientists alike as they seek to uncover “the truth”, and the role of personal revelation is for individual guidance only, but the revelation given to the prophet of God is what trumps all such scholarly wisdom. It’s the difference between personal revelation and prophetic guidance.”

I’d argue that it is not just inspiration but also revelation, and it’s not always subtle (ask some members of the church I serve about their 2 X 4 experiences … revelations as subtle as getting hit upside the head by a 2 X 4), and personal revelation for individual guidance only … baloney! I rely on this guidance … direct guidance from God … in the regular work and leading of the congregation God has called me to serve. I suppose in the definition that Mormons use, that makes me a prophet.

Pondering Pastor

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31 Rusty Lindquist September 16, 2008 at 3:09 PM

LOL, yeah I meant Noah. People follow the prophets, even when the things they tell them may seem odd, because they know and accept that they are prophets, and are privy to foresight beyond their own because they directly commune with God.

Where did you read that Mormons have the assumption that revelation comes only to the living prophets of the Mormon Church? You must have misread my comments above, because not only do we NOT assume revelation comes only to Gods prophets, but we believe strongly (as I mentioned) that his divine guidance is present in each of our lives, and in the “body of Christ” as a whole. It plays a crucial role to the individuals and as a sum-effect on humanity and the organization of Christ.

To understand the role of each, you could look at a business organization as an example. Each individual exercises their own judgment and “inspiration” within the capacity of the roles in which they play. A worker uses applies that inspiration to his own work, and the things over which he has direct responsibility and authority. A manager, the same – but his authority is more extensive and includes others. A prophet – like the CEO, is able to receive divine guidance and revelation that applies to the whole of the church, even the whole earth, for his accountability and responsibility is over all mankind.

To this point, the minimalization to which you refer was more perceived than implied. I would totally agree that sometimes it may be a subtler inspiration, and other times a full-fledged 2×4 experience, direct revelation from God.

Finally, all silliness aside (and sorry to dissapoint you), but the ability to receive revelation is does not make you a prophet, for all have the ability to receive such (as you suggest).

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32 ponderingpastor September 17, 2008 at 10:33 AM

“LOL, yeah I meant Noah. People follow the prophets, even when the things they tell them may seem odd, because they know and accept that they are prophets, and are privy to foresight beyond their own because they directly commune with God.”

Why is it then that only Noah’s family followed him … and the history of prophesy is full of people not following the prophet. Elijah comes to mind. No, the history of people following prophets is not good. Often they are not recognized or valued in their lifetimes.

Pondering Pastor

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33 Rusty Lindquist September 17, 2008 at 11:25 AM

Yeah, it has always been the case, even today, when the vast majority of the people reject the prophet. Straight is the way, and few who find it. But that’s beside the point, which is that prophets receive revelation from God, and it is not up to man to decide which of Gods revelation should be canon, and which is unworthy.

Obviously you’re one who rejects the latter-day prophet, but now you see why those of us who follow him, place such importance upon his role/words. For those words are scripture, no different when spoken by the prophet today then by a prophet 2,000 years ago.

Hopefully that view can help people understand the crucial importance Latter-day Saints subscribe to their prophet and the apostles.

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34 Rebecca Bello October 20, 2009 at 7:00 PM

I thought there were more verses in the beginning of the poen Elect of Elohim. Or are the following verses from a different Poem altogether?

Sing I a song of eons gone,
of life from mystery sprung,
ere sun or moon or rolling stars,
their radiance earthward flung.
Ere spirit winged intelligence
forsook those shinging spheres,
exceeding glory there to gain
through mortal toil and tears.

A song they learn whose lives eterne
Transend yon twinkling night
Pale Oleas silver beam outsoar Shineha’s golden flight
passing the angel sentries by
mounting oer stars and suns
to where the orbs that govern burn
royal and regnant ones

Declare oh muse of mightier wings
of loftier lore than mine
Why God is God and man may be
both human and devine
Why sons of God mid sons of men
unrecognized may dwell
so masked in dense mortality
that none their truth can tell

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35 Rusty Lindquist October 20, 2009 at 10:17 PM

I don’t believe they’re part of the same poem, since the cadence and meter are different, as is the language. But part or not, it’s a beautiful poem. Thank you for sharing. I think I’ll need to memorize that one.

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